Archive for the ‘Sales’ Category

I updated a Kindle Paperwhite…and it broke it…and then I found a workaround!

February 12, 2016

I updated a Kindle Paperwhite…and it broke it…and then I found a workaround!

Well.

I recently wrote about a

Big new update coming to current Kindle EBRs in February

The Kindle Paperwhite I use is an older generation, and wasn’t eligible for this update.

My Significant Other had a 6th generation Kindle Paperwhite which was eligible.

My SO hadn’t used it in some time. I think unexpectedly, my SO now reads on a now discontinue Kindle Fire HDX…which is also a daily device of mine (and one I like very much).

So, I found it, charged it up, went to

February 2016 EBR Update Amazon page (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

double-checked that I was getting the right download version for the device, and manually updadoted it (following Amazon’s directions precisely…I generally do that, in part to test how clear their directions are for other people).

It went through the update process, but then…

Just as it would be going to the homescreen (that’s one of the big changes), I got an “Application Error” message box, that told me

“The selected application could not be started. Please try again.”

All I had was a blank screen…still illuminated, but blank.

I restarted  it.

Same thing.

I downloaded the file again from Amazon, went back through the install process.

Same thing.

I couldn’t do anything with it except use the power button to restart it, or put it into USB mode by plugging it into my computer.

Now, I often say how I generally find Amazon’s Kindle Support to be friendly and helpful, and that has been the case.

I went to

http://www.amazon.com/kindlesupport (at AmazonSmile*)

That worked in its normal satisfying fashion: my phone rang in seconds, and I was speaking to a person within a minute.

Well, I was with that person on the phone for close to an hour.

While it isn’t my primary job responsibility, I do phone tech support at work. I do think I know something about it, both as a user of phone tech support and to a small extent, as a provider of it.

Generally, Amazon is very, very good on this.

In this case, it could have been improved. They tell us that these calls could be recorded for training purposes. I honestly hope this is one of them.

It’s not just that the problem couldn’t get fixed…hey, sometimes, things are really broken.

It’s that the representative kept forgetting what my actual situation was.

More than once, the rep asked me to go to the settings menu…when I repeatedly responded that I couldn’t get to the menus at all, since all I had was a blank screen (no amount of swiping or restarting would change that).

I was asked if my wi-fi was on: I said I assumed it was. I was asked to verify it: I had to say (again) that I couldn’t get into anything that would enable me to check it.

The person with whom I was speaking was in what was probably a group chat, asking other Amazon employees questions. I have no problem with that: I do that myself. We can’t all know it all, and it’s great sometimes to have shared wisdom on a perhaps unusual circumstance (I’m sure many people have update sixth generation Paperwhites with no problem.

One creative solution was to rename the downloaded “bin” file, which is the update.

Unfortunately, that didn’t fix it, but it was a nice try.

I was asked if I had modified this Paperwhite: nope, this one is for my Significant Other, and I really, really don’t mess with those. I want unmodified ones precisely so I can have the typical user experience in situations like this.

Finally, after more than 45 minutes, I was transferred to someone who was actually an expert in this.

Within ten minutes, the verdict was, yes, it was broken. :)

I was out of warranty…so they offered me a discount on the purchase of a future device.

How much of a discount?

It seemed like $10 or $15, depending on the price of the device…and that they would send me an e-mail with the information.

I haven’t gotten an e-mail, as far as I can tell (I checked my spam folder, besides my inbox).

I’ve never had that happen from Amazon before, either…where they said I would get an e-mail, and I didn’t.

My Significant Other came home while I was on the second call, and could tell I was frustrated.

I almost never get frustrated, so that was a bit shocking. :)

I think I was still civil, although I was probably shorter with the second person than I should have been.

Bottom line: I do think I probably did as instructed by Amazon, and I do think it made the device unable to perform. Amazon could have, I think, handled my Customer Service experience better…and that is very atypical of my experiences with them in the past. I’m guessing (hoping?) it was just a fluke.

I’m letting you know, in part to say that perhaps manually updating your sixth generation Paperwhite may not be advised.

One additional point, and this is interesting.

I was getting the Special Offers “screensaver” before it would go to a blank screen when I swipe. Yes, I know, I know…the only thing working on the Paperwhite was the ad. ;)

However, it occurred to me that maybe I would bypass the broken application if I had it go to the offer instead.

I tried that this morning…and it worked!

From there, I could try getting to settings (not that I can do much there now), but that is only the store settings.

There was a “Home” button I could reach though…and I tapped it.

It took me to a “slideshow” about my update!

Hey, I just got through the slideshow…and I’m on the new homescreen!

I tested to see if that would persist by restarting it…and it failed with the same white screen and error message.

When I toggled the device on and off (using the power button), I got the Special Offers screen again…and by going through that special deal, I once again was able to get to the Homescreen!

I’ll let Amazon know about this “back door” method. That doesn’t fix the Paperwhite, but at least it is usable again.

I also want to mention that I did try downloading the other generation Paperwhite updates…and in each case, it correctly identified them with messages that they were the incorrect versions, so I know I had the right one initially…I was confident in that, but I wanted to test.

Hm…it is quite slow, so since I now have access to the menus, I’m trying to reset it to factory defaults to see what happens.

Okay, having gone through the reset, it does seem to work, and it tells me it is at the current version (5.7.2). I do have the new homescreen experience. One more test: I’ll restart it and see if it gives me that blank screen…

Well! So far, it all seems to work! I need to test it more, but virtual fingers crossed. Oh, and I did just put a passcode on it to test to see if that feature might have been what was broken, but that also worked.

I’ll contact Amazon directly and know about this…I will also offer them their discount back…presuming I actually get it. ;) I now feel great that I solved the problem! Not great about the Customer Service call, but it’s hard to keep an optimist down for long. ;)

Bonus deals:

Today’s

Kindle Daily Deal (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

includes ten books in the Brother Cadfael series by Ellis Peters by $1.99 each. A number of these are also available through

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Another deal, no doubt related to St. Valentine’s Day (although it goes through March 3rd) is

99 Romances for $0.99 each (at AmazonSmile*)

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

 

All seven Harry Potter books in one download for $14.99…and an 8th HP book in July!

February 11, 2016

All seven Harry Potter books in one download for $14.99…and an 8th HP book in July!

Update: it looks like my glitch hypothesis for this pricing may have been correct. The price is back up to $56.64. My guess is that they accidentally priced the seven-volume omnibus with the price for the eighth book (see below…especially for those of using screen readers, I’ll link it here, too: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts I & II (Special Rehearsal Edition): The Official Script Book of the Original West End Production (at AmazonSmile*)). Based on the reviews posted yesterday, some folks did get it a that price, which I consider to be legitimate (it’s the price that was posted…by accident, probably, but when you are buying the book, you don’t know that and shouldn’t be expected to evaluate it). Again, many thanks to jabag01 for tweeting me on this, so I could share it with you. Back to the original post…

Thanks to jbaga01 for the heads-up on this!

I don’t know why this is happening**, and I don’t know how long it will last, but it looks legitimate to me at first examination.

Harry Potter: The Complete Collection (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

for $14.99!

That’s all seven of the novels from Pottermore!

Is it a glitch? Is it price-matching? Is it introductory?**

I don’t know at this point, but I’m getting this out quickly so you have a chance to get it at this price.

Remember that you can give these as gifts and delay them for the proper gift-giving occassion…and they are going on our guest Kindle!

Check the price before you click or tap that Buy button…e-book prices can change at any time and this might be only in the USA.

Enjoy!

**Update: this is probably why…a new, official eighth book in the Harry Potter series is coming out this July!

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts I & II (Special Rehearsal Edition): The Official Script Book of the Original West End Production (at AmazonSmile*)

You can pre-order now for that same price point of $14.99.

We have to be clear about what this book is (besides a super bestseller, of course). ;)

It will be a script, not a novel, and it won’t be the final script version of the play. It’s  so designated because the staged version will likely evolve. I’ve been in original scripted plays (I’ve written couple) and they can be like a TV show, where they keep handing you new pages (“Today we are using the green pages, we aren’t using the blue pages.”)

J.K. Rowling (the original Harry Potter author) is one of the writers credited on the story on which the script is based, but the script is by Jack Thorne.

None of that will matter much to the sales. ;)

Reading a script is a different experience…I enjoy it, but not everybody will. It’s much more structured than a novel, and that can take some people out of it (you keep seeing the name of who is speaking, for example, and there may be stage directions rather than a narrative description of something).

I’m also sure some of you are wondering if Jim Dale will do an audiobook version…

Regardless, this is exciting!

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things. 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Update your Kindle or lose access on it to your Cloud, the store, and other Kindle services

February 10, 2016

Update your Kindle or lose access on it to your Cloud, the store, and other Kindle services

Big thanks to regular reader and commenter Lady Galaxy for letting me know about an e-mail from Amazon about a looming deadline.

One of the other Kindle Forum Pros (we get that designation from Amazon for being helpful on the Amazon forums, but we aren’t employed by them) pointed me to this Amazon help page with the details:

Critical Software Update for Kindle E-Readers (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

The basics are this:

For many older Kindle EBRs (E-Book Readers), if you don’t update them by March 22, 2016, they will no longer be able to access the Kindle services. You would still be able to read e-books from the Kindle store you have already downloaded to your devices, but…

  • You would not have access on that device to your Cloud: the books (and other items) that you have purchased from the Kindle store and are being stored for you by Amazon
  • You would not be able to buy new items from the Kindle store on that device
  • “Other services” would likely include subscriptions (including blogs like this one), Send to Kindle, Whispersync between your device and other devices on your account, and backing up your annotations

First, I do want to say that this is going to be a pretty small group of people (which does include Lady Galaxy). Devices generally automatically update “over the air”. I would guess that not one percent of devices out there are not updated.

However, people do choose not to update. For example, I know of people who chose not to update a device after Amazon allowed publishers to block text-to-speech access. That meant that they didn’t get the books wirelessly on those devices, they downloaded them with a computer and transferred them via USB…which is what could happen after this deadline passes, I assume.

What I don’t like here is that was voluntary: this won’t be.

Second, it’s important to note that Amazon is not taking away people’s purchases. They can continue to read them and they could do it using Amazon’s free reading apps.

The “however” on this one is that if they want to read those books on an e-ink device, they would have to buy another one (or have another one registered to the account).

Third, and significantly, this could lose people access to active content (games and apps) unless they update. You can’t use those in the reading apps. They don’t work on the current devices.

So, this is a takeaway, although not for very many people in many situations.

Still, I don’t like that. We don’t commit to updating our devices to continue to have the access we have when we purchase a license from the Kindle store.

Now, this may be unavoidable in some way.

Since this is going to affect all devices back to the 2007 model, it clearly indicates a change in the Kindle network/server side, not on the devices.

They aren’t suggesting that you have to get a new update, just the current ones.

Personally, especially given how small this group is going to be, I think Amazon should compensate them in some way.

One smart thing to do would be to offer them a small discount on a current device and to promote the trade-in.

Amazon could give them a $20 discount on the purchase of a new device. They don’t have to do that; Amazon is, I believe, within their contractual obligations to require this update. It would be good Customer Service (and Amazon has great Customer Service), and help alleviate fears that this might inflame about eventually losing access to your Amazon purchases. It’s not my intent, but this post may spark a bit of a tweetstorm about Amazon taking away access. Of course, it might not: I don’t get quoted all that often. ;)

I’m writing this to give you a heads-up so you can take some actions if you want.

You could download things to your current device. Downloaded e-books and active  content and such should continue to work (although features like Wikipedia look up and sharing quotes probably wouldn’t). You could then use them…until it died.

You could update it…while you might lose some things you like, it would be fully connected.

You could emotionally prepare yourself to switch to (or at least add) another device. :)

Even if Amazon doesn’t offer a discount to those affected people, there is a trade-in program (probably won’t get you much, but could get you something):

Amazon Trade-In Program (at AmazonSmile*)

Also, and I don’t think there is any connection, but most of the current line up of EBRs and Fire tablets are on sale right now.

I had started to write a post about that, but this story is important to me…so I’ll paste what I was writing here:

It’s not just KU that’s on sale: so are many devices!

I wrote recently about

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

 being on sale through this Sunday:

25% off Kindle Unlimited through Sunday

Many of the Fire tablets and Kindles are also on sale!

In terms of the EBRs (E-Book Readers), this is similar to a deal they did in November…$20 off, with the Voyage not on sale.

So, I’ll copy in what I said then:

Kindle, 6″ Glare-Free Touchscreen Display, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) $59.99 (down from $79.99)

The $20 off also means you could get it without the Special Offers ($79.99, down from $99.99) for the same price you would normally pay for an ad-supported model.

This is the entry level model, and it’s a good one. Here are some of the differences between this and the Paperwhite (which I’ll link below):

  • No frontlighting, so you read it like you would a p-book
  • Fewer pixels per inch (167 versus 300), so the image isn’t as sharp (but I would say sharp enough for most casual reading…you might notice it with images, like graphs)
  • Available only in wi-fi…no wi-fi and 3G option (for more money)
  • A bit less heavy, a bit thicker

Kindle for Kids Bundle with the latest Kindle, 2-Year Accident Protection, Kid-Friendly Blue Cover (at AmazonSmile*) $79.99 (down from $99.99)

This is like the above, but includes a ruggedized cover and an extended warranty…since each of those costs $20, this is a big savings, even without the discount.

Certainly something to consider for a gift.

All-New Kindle Paperwhite, 6″ High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers (at AmazonSmile*) $99.99 (down from $119.99)

The Paperwhite (this is the latest generation) is a great model Kindle! I’d say it may be my favorite (price and everything taken into account), with the Kindle 3 (Kindle Keyboard) being second…well, wait, lack of TTS makes that a tighter battle. For sight-reading, it’s my favorite. :)

Why would you literally pay $100 more (right now) for a top of the line

Kindle Voyage (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

?

You do get a few more things:

  • Adaptive light sensor
  • Page press buttons (in addition to touchscreen…these all have touchscreen)
  • Quite a bit less heavy and a tad smaller

Also on sale are the least and most expensive Fire tablets:

Note that all of these prices are for the USA, and are for a limited time…as always, check the price before you click or tap that “Buy button”.

Here is Amazon’s list of the devices affected by the deadline:

Device and Year Software Release Your Device Needs Update via wireless (3G) or Wi-Fi
Kindle 1st Generation (2007) 1.2.1 Use 3G
Kindle 2nd Generation (2009) 2.5.8* Use 3G
Kindle DX 2nd Generation (2009) 2.5.8* Use 3G
Kindle Keyboard 3rd Generation (2010) 3.4.2 or higher Use Wi-Fi
Kindle 4th Generation (2011) 4.1.3 or higher Use Wi-Fi
Kindle 5th Generation (2012) 4.1.3 or higher Use Wi-Fi
Kindle Touch 4th Generation (2011) 5.3.7.3 or higher Use Wi-Fi
Kindle Paperwhite 5th Generation (2012) 5.6.1.1 or higher Use Wi-Fi
Kindle Paperwhite 6th Generation (2013) 5.6.5 or higher Use Wi-Fi
Kindle 7th Generation (2014) No Update Needed No Update Needed
Kindle Voyage 7th Generation (2014) No Update Needed No Update Needed
Kindle Paperwhite 7th Generation (2015) No Update Needed No Update Needed

* For these devices, even if you are running software version 2.5.8, if you have not connected to wireless (3G) since October 5, 2015, please connect now.

Let me be really clear: I’m not mad at Amazon about this. It’s clearly part of Amazon improving services for the vast majority of their users. Inevitably, that can cause some losses to some people. Building something that’s great for cars may be bad for people who ride horses. Building something that’s great for electric cars may be a negative for people who use internal combustion engine cars. I do think it would make sense for Amazon to give something to the people who are losing something, but I don’t think it’s required…

What do you think? Do you have one of these “unupdated” EBRs? What do you plan to do about it? Had you gotten the e-mail? Whether you have one or not, do you think Amazon should compensate people in some way for the change? Do you think we as consumers will see changes to the Kindle service on all of our devices after March 22nd, or is this just a “behind the curtain” change? If you do think there will be visible changes, what do you think they will be? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

25% off Kindle Unlimited through Sunday

February 9, 2016

25% off Kindle Unlimited  through Sunday

Sales on

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

have been quite rare, but there’s one going on right now for St. Valentine’s Day!

It’s 25% off pre-paid plans.

That’s

  • 6 Months: $59.94 – Now $44.95
  • 12 Months: $119.88 – Now $89.91
  • 24 Months: $239.76 – Now $179.82

I’ve been a happy member of Amazon’s subser (subscription service) for e-books  since it debuted.

I looked immediately to see if we could buy it at the discount to add on to our current pre-paid plan, but not too surprisingly, you can’t. The terms of the deal include:

  • Customers who are on a monthly plan and have previously purchased a pre-paid plan that is currently associated with their account and customers who have purchased multiple pre-paid plans that are currently associated with their account are not eligible.
  • Existing Kindle Unlimited subscribers with monthly subscriptions who have not previously purchased a pre-paid plan are eligible for this promotion. For those subscribers who choose to participate, automatic renewals will be temporarily suspended for the duration of the monthly package purchased and will automatically restart at its conclusion.

I definitely think it’s worth it, but I should explain that a bit.

Normally, you are paying $9.99 a month for an “all you can read” selection. You can have up to 10 titles out at the same time on one account (and typically, you could have an individual title on six devices on your account at the same time).

That’s out of 1,228,126 titles at the time of writing (in the USA…that’s what I’m discussing today).

One of the big things I see with this is that I get books I wouldn’t have read otherwise…often due to price.

I like public domain books, and I could read all I want without spending a dime, I think, by just reading those free out of copyright titles.

However, there are certainly in-copyright books I’d like to read. :) I put some on my wish list for family members to see on gift giving occasions, but there are others that I’d just like to read.

So, with KU, it’s not that I get a book for which I would have paid for free (well, technically, for no additional cost)…it’s that I read different books.

My Significant Other, who isn’t a big fan of technology, is now also downloading KU books, mainly to read on the treadmill. :)

I’ve recommended KU books a number of times in the past…see the

category of ILMK posts.

Today, though, I thought I’d let you know what we actually have out right now. I think that may give you some ideas, and my feeling is that some readers like to see that little window into our lives. :)

I copied this from the listing…the dates are the dates borrowed. If it’s one I’ve read or am reading, I’ll give you some thoughts.

Before I start, here is an obvious question: why do we still  have the books if I’ve finished reading them? I tell myself that I’ll review all the books I read on Goodreads, but I don’t always get to it. I think I do tend to indicate I’m currently reading them, so at least there is that. You can follow my reviews on Goodreads here:

I do make an effort to write an “artful” and helpful review, which why I don’t just crank them out.

Okay, on to our borrowed books!

When I Found You
Ryan Hyde January 22, 2016

The Short Drop
Matthew FitzSimmons January 22, 2016

Alan Mendelsohn, The Boy from Mars
Daniel Pinkwater January 14, 2016

I’ve finished reading this one, and I did enjoy it. Pinkwater writes what are seen as young adult and children’s books, but I would say they are Baby Boomer informed. They are goofy and surrealistic. I wouldn’t say this was the best one, but it was worth it.

The Man Who Fell to Earth
Walter Tevis January 6, 2016

David Bowie was perfectly cast in the movie, and if I’d read the book, it was a long time ago. This was a case where both the movie and the book were good. I’d actually say the book had some superior elements, but this was a good, cynical read.

A Truth Worth Tellin’
Toni Teepell December 11, 2015

I really enjoyed this one, and it’s not science fiction or fantasy. :) This is a book that could find an audience and become well-known, but it’s just a question of whether or not it breaks through.

Angles of Attack (Frontlines Book 3)
Marko KloosSeptember 25, 2015

I read all of these military science fiction books (well, the first three main books), and they were both old-fashioned (as in 1950s) and more modern. They have more character development and more human interaction elements than you might anticipate. Again, worth reading

Experiencing Lithuania: An Unconventional Travel Guide
Columbia Warren June 20, 2015

I had relatives going to Lithuania, and I was looking for something that wasn’t the typical guidebook. This fit the bill: it was much more experiential…what a friend would tell you who came back from living there. The only major gap I saw was no mention of the Three Stooges (the actual brothers, Moe, Curly, and Shemp are of Lithuanian descent). That’s a quibble; I thought it was fun and useful.

A King of Infinite Space (Long Beach Homicide)
Tyler Dilts September 6, 2014

Earth: An Alien Enterprise: The Shocking Truth Behind the..
Timothy Good August 14, 2014

Good’s Above Top Secret was one of the most popular books about UFOs and secrecy, and they are entertainingly written. I wouldn’t say it’s going to convince anybody who isn’t already leaning strongly in favor of the idea (not just of UFOs being genuine alien craft or some kind, but of the government covering it up). If you are in that camp, or if you want to just read it as entertainment, it works.

Whether this is for St. Valentine’s Day or not, I would think about this. We gave KU to a related family…mainly for the two kids, but the adults will get to use it, too. :) I think that might have been my favorite gift that we gave this last holiday season.

Enjoy!

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things. 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

My favorite Kindle e-book sale is back! KDD is the student deal (338 books up to 90% off each)

January 26, 2016

My favorite Kindle e-book sale is back! KDD is the student deal (338 books up to 90% off each)

Today’s

Kindle Daily Deal (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

is any of 338 books “for students”, up to 90% off.

I put the “for students” in quotation marks, because that seems like a very loose definition for me…there is probably something here for just about anyone. After all, hopefully, we are still students of one kind or another, right? ;)

I took a quick look back…it does look like they tend to do this in January. That’s sort of in the middle of a traditional school year, and they don’t need to (ever) clear out stock on e-books, so I’m not sure why…but I’m not going to look a gift course in the mouth. ;)

Remember also that e-books can make great gifts! You can buy them now at the discount, and specify that they be delivered on the appropriate gift giving occasion. You can also have the e-mail sent to yourself, print it out, and wrap it, if you’d rather.

Something I also noticed as I started to look through these: very few, if any, are part of

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

So if I buy any, they are likely to be as gifts…but I may also put some on my wish list.

Here are some that caught my eye:

  • The Associated Press Stylebook 2015 by Associated Press $1.99
  • The Adventure of English: The Biography of a Language by Melvyn Bragg $1.99
  • Dark Winter: How the Sun Is Causing a 30-Year Cold Spell by John L. Casey $2.99
  • The Prince of Medicine: Galen in the Roman Empire by Susan P. Mattern $3.03
  • Rethinking the Sales Force: Redefining Selling to Create and Capture Customer Value by John DeVincentis and Neil Rackham $1.99
  • Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing (Quick & Dirty Tips) by Mignon Fogarty $3.99
  • Practical Electronics for Inventors, Third Edition by Paul Scherz and Simon Monk $1.99
  • Web Scraping with Python: Collecting Data from the Modern Web by Ryan Mitchell $5.49 (and lots of other O’Reilly books)
  • Debugging Teams: Better Productivity through Collaboration by Brian W. Fitzpatrick and Ben Collins-Sussman $3.99
  • The Innovator’s Prescription: A Disruptive Solution for Health Care by Clayton M. Christensen and Jerome H. Grossman M.D. $1.99
  • Among the Ruins: Syria Past and Present by Christian Sahner $2.99
  • Python Playground: Geeky Projects for the Curious Programmer by Mahesh Venkitachalam $4.49
  • Hello, Startup: A Programmer’s Guide to Building Products, Technologies, and Teams by Yevgeniy Brikman $6.49
  • The Murder of William of Norwich: The Origins of the Blood Libel in Medieval Europe by E.M. Rose $4.99
  • Principles of Quantum Mechanics, 2nd Edition by R. Shankar $4.84
  • The Oxford Illustrated History of the First World War: New Edition by Hew Strachan $5.99
  • To Be Loved by Berry Gordy $2.99 (gift for a music fan?)
  • Freedom Betrayed: Herbert Hoover’s Secret History of the Second World War and Its Aftermath by Herbert Hoover and George H. Nash $1.99
  • Lucy Stone: An Unapologetic Life by Sally G. McMillen $5.99
  • Most Wanted Particle: The Inside Story of the Hunt for the Higgs, the Heart of the Future of Physics by Jon Butterworth
  • The Archive Thief: The Man Who Salvaged French Jewish History in the Wake of the Holocaust (The Oxford Series…by Lisa Moses Leff $5.99
  • Arianna Huffington Shares the Secrets of Political Blogging Success: Making it in the Political Blogosphere by Tanni Haas $1.99
  • Digital Filmmaking for Beginners A Practical Guide to Video Production by Michael Hughes $1.99
  • Buying the Vote: A History of Campaign Finance Reform by Robert E. Mutch $4.99
  • City Girls: The Nisei Social World in Los Angeles, 1920-1950 by Valerie J. Matsumoto $4.99
  • The Beau Monde: Fashionable Society in Georgian London by Hannah Greig $3.99
  • The Philadelphia Chromosome: A Genetic Mystery, a Lethal Cancer, and the Improbable Invention of a Lifesaving…by Jessica Wapner and Robert A. Weinberg $2.99
  • Lies They Teach in School: Exposing the Myths Behind 250 Commonly Believed Fallacies by Herb Reich $1.99
  • 101 Spy Gadgets for the Evil Genius 2/E by Brad Graham (and other Evil Genius books) $1.99
  • The Art of Talking to Anyone: Essential People Skills for Success in Any Situation by Rosalie Maggio $1.99
  • Flicker: Your Brain on MoviesNov 3, 2014 | Kindle eBook
    by Jeffrey Zacks $3.99
  • Aha!: The Moments of Insight that Shape Our World by William B. Irvine $2.99
  • The Greatest Empire: A Life of Seneca by Emily Wilson $3.99
  • The Forgotten Revolution: How Science Was Born in 300 BC and Why it Had to Be Reborn by Lucio Russo and Silvio (translator) Levy $4.99
  • The Real Truth about Success: What the Top 1% Do Differently, Why They Won’t Tell You, and How You Can Do It…by Garrison Wynn $1.99
  • The Art of Engagement: Bridging the Gap Between People and Possibilities by Jim Haudan $1.99
  • The Conscious Brain: How Attention Engenders Experience (Philosophy of Mind) by Jesse J. Prinz $4.99
  • Proceed, Sergeant Lamb by Robert Graves $1.99
  • Specters of Revolution: Peasant Guerrillas in the Cold War Mexican Countryside by Alexander Avina $4.99
  • The Political Economy of Violence against Women (Oxford Studies in Gender and International Relations) by Jacqui True $4.99
  • Eco-Tyranny: How the Left’s Green Agenda will Dismantle America by Brian Sussman $3.99
  • Build Your Own Autonomous NERF Blaster: Programming Mayhem with Processing and Arduino by Bryce Bigger $1.99
  • Disobeying Hitler: German Resistance After Valkyrie by Randall Hansen $3.99
  • Survival of the Nicest: How Altruism Made Us Human and Why It Pays to Get Along by Stefan Klein and David Dollenmayer $1.99

Remember that this sale is just for today, and may not apply in your country: check the price before you click or tap that “Buy” button. All price are as of the time of writing.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Prime on sale this weekend for $73

January 16, 2016

Prime on sale this weekend for $73

For new members,

Amazon Prime (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

is on sale this weekend (through 11:59 PM Pacific on Sunday, 1/17) for $73 for your first year instead of $99.

Prime is great and keeps getting better!

Among the benefits:

  • No additional cost two-day shipping on many items
  • No additional cost streaming (and some downloading) of a wide variety of videos
  • No additional cost streaming of lots of music
  • One free Kindle book a month to own from a very small set
  • No additional cost unlimited photo storage

You can also now do add-on subscriptions for video services…for example, you could add on Showtime for $8.99 a month. As the Millenial Hulk might say, “It’s cable cuttin’ time!” ;)

Update: I meant to include why they are doing this. :)

They are doing it to celebrate

Mozart in the Jungle (at AmazonSmile*)

which just won two Golden Globes (Best Television Show – Comedy or Musical, and Best Actor in the same category).

You can watch it as part of Prime at no additional cost…it’s also the second Amazon Studios TV series to be recognized.

Among other Prime movies and TV shows…

  • Interstellar
  • Ex Machina (came out in 2015, Oscar-nominated)
  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (the one before last year’s)
  • Selma (particularly good for this weekend, but I thought it was brilliantly directed for any time of year)
  • The Craft
  • True Blood TV series
  • Firefly TV series

I did want to include something in this post for people who are already Prime members, and I haven’t written about this yet.

This holiday, I got a

HooToo Wireless Travel Router, USB Port, High Performance- TripMate Nano (at AmazonSmile*)

It was something I wanted to try…my Significant Other didn’t quite get what it was, but it’s been great for me!

It’s a little router…I’d say two of them could just about fit in your palm.

It does a number of things, but here’s a key one. You can plug in an internet cable (like you might have in a hotel or at work), and it creates its own wi-fi network, with its own password.

Yep, I can just go into a hotel, plug the cable into my HooToo, plug the HooToo into power (USB)…and that’s it. All of my devices would just log into it…and it’s fast!

I haven’t tested it in a lot of situations, but so far, I’m quite impressed!

How much does it cost?

At the time of writing…$17.99!

I know, that’s a lot of exclamation marks for me, but like I say, I’m happy with it at this point.

It’s not going to give you internet where you don’t already have it…but I could take our

Amazon Echo (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

to a hotel with us…gee, wouldn’t you just love being in the room next to ours? ;)

When people visit your home, you could also use this…and not give them the password to your regular wi-fi.

As I mentioned, it does other things…media streaming, storage, but I haven’t tried those yet.

Is this just how I feel about it?

4.3 stars (out of 5) with 1,187 on Amazon…

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Monthly Kindle Deals for $3.99 or less each: January 2016

January 2, 2016

Monthly Kindle Deals for $3.99 or less each: January 2016

Amazon does the Kindle Daily Deal (at AmazonSmile…benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*), which used to discount four books a day (often general fiction, a romance, a science fiction/fantasy book, and a kids’ book). Now, it seems like it is generally more books than that, and not categorized.

They also do Monthly Kindle Book Deals for $3.99 or less each (at AmazonSmile). There used to be about 100 of them, but there are ten times that now: 1,215 at the time of writing…27 more than the holiday sale they did last month! They are up to 85% off…but some of them are more than the normal $3.99 top limit. Weirdly, the most expensive one I found was $13.64 (which is down thirty-five cents from last month), and did not appear to be discounted…I thought that might be a fluke last time, but having it happen three months in a row is a pattern. This time, there were also two pages of titles higher than $3.99…I guess were going with the high discount rather than the low price this time.

Those prices only apply to the USA, and one weird thing is that some of the books seem to sell out at that price sometimes (or become unavailable for some other reason).

Another thing is that 670 (244 more than last month) of these are available through

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Amazon lists that information prominently…and it’s now commonly a filter in search results. If they are, then you need to consider whether it is worth buying them…even at these low prices. While they are in KU, you can, if you are a subscriber (and there’s a free month available right now), read them at no additional cost. There are, of course, advantages to owning books, especially if you want to re-read them. A book could move out of KU at any time. Even if you think you want to own it, if you are a KU member, you could always read it first to make sure. ;) I will mark them with KU.

By the way, in the new version of the

eReaderIQ advanced search

you can make KU a filter. So, you can search for books by an author, a keyword, an average customer review which you can read as part of your KU membership…nice! I’m not associated with eReaderIQ except as a user (we have had some correspondence), but I do think it is the most valuable website for Kindleers.

I’m going to list some of the books in this sale that caught my eye…I’m not necessarily recommending them, but I do think they are interesting.

The ones I link (if I actually link to specific books) also don’t block text-to-speech access**…but I think blocking it is becoming rarer.

  • American Conspiracy Theories by Joseph E. Uscinski and Joseph M. Parent
  • Old Yeller by Fred Gipson and Steven Polson
  • Actors Anonymous by James Franco (KU)
  • The Mongoliad (The Mongoliad Cycle Book 1) by Greg Bear and Neal Stephenson (KU)
  • New Blood (HALO) by Matt Forbeck
  • American Appetites by Joyce Carol Oates
  • Tough Customer by Sandra Brown
  • Alien: The Official Movie Novelization by Alan Dean Foster
  • The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help by Amanda Palmer and Brené Brown
  • Dead Spots (Scarlett Bernard Book 1) by Melissa F. Olson
  • Location is (Still) Everything: The Surprising Influence of the Real World on How We Search, Shop, and Sell in…by David R. Bell (KU)
  • Confessions of a Casting Director: Help Actors Land Any Role with Secrets from Inside the Audition Room by Jen Rudin
  • Max Allan Collin novels (KU)
  • Secret Lives of the First Ladies by Cormac O’Brien and Monika Suteski
  • Principle-Centered Leadership by Stephen R. Covey
  • Citizen Explorer: The Life of Zebulon Pike by Jared Orsi
  • Batman Arkham Knight: The Official Novelization by Marv Wolfman
  • Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time by Dava Sobel (KU)
  • The Blooding by Joseph Wambaugh
  • Sonora Sundown: Arizona (The Americana Series Book 3) by Janet Dailey (KU)
  • Things We Set on Fire by Deborah Reed (KU)
  • Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart
  • Wonder Woman Unbound: The Curious History of the World’s Most Famous Heroine by Tim Hanley
  • Linda Goodman’s Love Signs by Linda Goodman
  • Secrets to Die For (A Detective Jackson Mystery) by L.J. Sellers
  • The Grail (Area 51 Series Book 5) by Bob Mayer
  • Marley & Me by John Grogan
  • Killing Christians: Living the Faith Where It’s Not Safe to Believe by Tom Doyle
  • Gutenberg’s Apprentice by Alix Christie
  • Mastering the West: Rome and Carthage at War (Ancient Warfare and Civilization) by Dexter Hoyos
  • Women Who Don’t Wait in Line: Break the Mold, Lead the Way by Reshma Saujani (KU)
  • Oz Reimagined: New Tales from the Emerald City and Beyond by Galen Dara and John Joseph Adams (KU)
  • A Scattered Life by Karen McQuestion (KU)
  • Three Plays: Six Characters in Search of an Author, Henry IV, The Mountain Giants (Oxford World’s Classics) by Luigi Pirandello and Anthony Mortimer
  • Uganda Be Kidding Me by Chelsea Handler
  • The Saint In New York (The Saint Series) by Leslie Charteris (KU)
  • The Coloring Book: A Comedian Solves Race Relations in America by Colin Quinn
  • Constantine the Emperor by David Potter
  • All Dogs Go to Kevin: Everything Three Dogs Taught Me (That I Didn’t Learn in Veterinary School) by Jessica Vogelsang
  • Sherlock Holmes and the Needle’s Eye: The World’s Greatest Detective Tackles the Bible’s Ultimate Mysteries by Len Bailey
  • Going Vegan: The Complete Guide to Making a Healthy Transition to a Plant-Based Lifestyle by Joni Marie Newman and Gerrie L. Adams
  • The Glory and the Dream: A Narrative History of America, 1932-1972 by William Manchester
  • King City by Lee Goldberg (KU)
  • Neil Young: Long May You Run: The Illustrated History by Daniel Durchholz and Gary Graff
  • How to Succeed in Business Without Really Crying by Carol Leifer
  • A Time to Embrace (Timeless Love Series Book 2) by Karen Kingsbury
  • Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 by William L. Shirer
  • Last of the Duanes by Zane Grey (KU)
  • Fire from Heaven (Alexander the Great series Book 1) by Mary Renault (KU)
  • Fatal Voyage: A Novel (Temperance Brennan Book 4) by Kathy Reichs
  • Worlds of Arthur: Facts and Fictions of the Dark Ages by Guy Halsall
  • Blog, Inc.: Blogging for Passion, Profit, and to Create Community by Joy Deangdeelert Cho and Meg Mateo Ilasco
  • Homecoming: Sixty Years of Egyptian Short Stories (Modern Arabic Literature) by Denys Johnson-Davies
  • Vegan Finger Foods: More Than 100 Crowd-Pleasing Recipes for Bite-Size Eats Everyone Will Love by Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes
  • Survive the Bomb: The Radioactive Citizen’s Guide to Nuclear Survival by Eric G. Swedin
  • Between Love and Honor by Alexandra Lapierre and Jane Lizop (KU)
  • To Explain the World: The Discovery of Modern Science by Steven Weinberg
  • The FBI and Martin Luther King, Jr.: From “Solo” to Memphis by David J. Garrow
  • Democracy’s Fourth Wave?: Digital Media and the Arab Spring (Oxford Studies in Digital Politics) by Philip N. Howard and Muzammil M. Hussain
  • The Hedge Knight: The Graphic Novel (A Game of Thrones) by George R. R. Martin and Ben Avery
  • A Rogue in Sheep’s Clothing (The Albright Sisters Book 1) by Elf Ahearn (KU)
  • The Two Minute Rule by Robert Crais
  • Mycroft Holmes by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse
  • Running with Scissors: A Memoir by Augusten Burroughs
  • “Is This Thing On?”: A Friendly Guide to Everything Digital for Newbies, Technophobes, and the Kicking & Screaming by Abby Stokes
  • Mortuary Confidential: Undertakers Spill the Dirt by Todd Harra and Kenneth McKenzie
  • Outsider in the White House by Bernie Sanders and John Nichols
  • The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente and Ana Juan
  • An Innocent Abroad: Life-changing Trips from 35 Great Writers (Lonely Planet Travel Literature) by John Berendt and Dave Eggers (KU)
  • Attachments: Why You Love, Feel, and Act the Way You Do by Tim Clinton
  • Flights of No Return: Aviation History’s Most Infamous One-Way Tickets to Immortality by Steven A. Ruffin
  • Funny on Purpose: The Definitive Guide to an Unpredictable Career in Comedy: Standup + Improv + Sketch + TV by Joe Randazzo and John Hodgman
  • Bean By Bean: A Cookbook: More than 175 Recipes for Fresh Beans, Dried Beans, Cool Beans, Hot Beans, Savory Beans…by Crescent Dragonwagon
  • The Homing Instinct: Meaning and Mystery in Animal Migration by Bernd Heinrich
  • Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies by Alastair Bonnett

It’s definitely worth looking at the list: I’d be surprised if you couldn’t find a gift for somebody here (e-books from the Kindle store can be delayed until the appropriate gift giving occasion).

If there were others you’d like to mention for me and my readers, please comment on this post.

Prime members, don’t forget to pick up your

Kindle First books (at AmazonSmile*)

You can get one of the six (same as last month…previously, it had been four) books to own (not borrow) for free…these are books which will be actually released next month. The choices this month are:

  • Fields of Wrath (Luis Chavez Book 1) by Mark Wheaton (mystery)
  • The Moonlit Garden by Corina Bomann, Alison Layland (contemporary fiction)
  • Captain Riley (The Captain Riley Adventures Book 1) by Fernando Gamboa, Alexander Woodend (action adventure)
  • Harmony Black (Harmony Black Series Book 1) by Craig Schaefer
  • Becoming Marta by Lorea Canales, Gabriel Amor
  • The Oddfits (The Oddfits Series Book 1) by Tiffany Tsao

People like to know which one I pick…and this month, I could have gotten several of them. Last month, I had Alexa (in our Amazon Echo) randomly pick one…that one was okay. I think I’m going with Harmony Black. I may need to rethink my approach to this. These books all become part of KU, so maybe I should make the decision based on what other people in my account in the future may want to read, not what we want to read right now…

Enjoy!

 Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

** A Kindle with text-to-speech can read any text downloaded to it…unless that access is blocked by the publisher inserting code into the file to prevent it. That’s why you can have the device read personal documents to you (I’ve done that). I believe that this sort of access blocking disproportionately disadvantages the disabled, although I also believe it is legal (provided that there is at least one accessible version of each e-book available, however, that one can require a certification of disability). For that reason, I don’t deliberately link to books which block TTS access here (although it may happen accidentally, particularly if the access is blocked after I’ve linked it). I do believe this is a personal decision, and there  are legitimate arguments for purchasing those books. 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Today’s KDD: up to 80% off each of 14 of Amazon’s Editors’ Best Books of 2015

December 29, 2015

Today’s KDD: up to 80% off each of 14 of Amazon’s Editors’ Best Books of 2015

Today’s

Kindle Daily Deal (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

is up to 80% off each of 14 of Amazon’s Editors’ Best Books of 2015.

Here’s the list:

  • Pretty Girls by Karen Slaughter
  • Smoke by Catherine McKenzie
  • Purity by Jonathan Franzen
  • Blackout by Sarah Hepola
  • Dreamland by Sam Quinones
  • The Mearsault Investigation by Kamel Daoud
  • The Pentagon’s Brain by Annie Jacobsen
  • Orhan’s Inheritance by Aline Ohanesian
  • Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum
  • It Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell
  • Hold Still by Sally Mann
  • Saint Mazie by Jamie Attenberg
  • Dietland by Sarai Walker
  • Green on Blue by Elliott Ackerman

Prices range from $1.99 to $4.99 each…enjoy!

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Amazon unplugs cable…and recent e-book price drops

December 9, 2015

Amazon unplugs cable…and recent e-book price drops

Snip!

That’s the sound of cable cutters leaving their $100 a month and more cable subscriptions thanks to what was announced yesterday in this

Amazon press release

It’s called the “Streaming Partners” program, and it enables

Amazon Prime (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

members, who can already watch thousands of movies and TV shows as part of their $99 a year membership, to subscribe to additional video services.

There are a few particularly interesting elements to this, and why I think it is really significant.

First, it’s the appeal to people who are already Prime subscribers.

Many Prime members are already satisfied with the service. People who subscribe tend to stay subscribed…in marketing parlance, it’s “sticky”. Among the benefits:

  • Free two-day shipping on many items (and reduced faster shipping)
  • Prime music: stream lots of music, including currently popular songs
  • Prime video
  • Free storage of photos
  • The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library…if you are a Prime member and you have a hardware Kindle, you can borrow up to one book a calendar month from over a million titles. I get reminded when I go to the Prime page above that I am not using that benefit, but it’s because we pay to be Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) members
  • Kindle First: get one book a month (to own) out of a few soon to be published titles

All of those benefits (and that’s not all of them) are why it’s also good to

Give the Gift of Prime (at AmazonSmile*)

If you are already a member of Prime, you don’t really think about the roughly $8.25 a month you pay for it (and there have been some opportunities to get it at a reduced price). If you start paying $4.99 a month for an add-on  subscription, you aren’t going to think of that as $13.24…and you shouldn’t, unless you don’t use any of the other benefits ever.

I was hoping to just find a simple list of the add-on subscriptions with prices at

Amazon’s add-on subscriptions page (at AmazonSmile*)

but from what I could see, I had to click on the services and then click on the trial subscription button to see the details.

These are some of what was listed (from high cost to low):

  • Gaia $9.95 a month
  • Showtime $8.99 a month
  • Starz $8.99 a month
  • Qello Concerts $7.99 a month
  • Curiosity Stream $5.99 a month
  • hooplakids $5.99 a month
  • Acorn TV $4.99 a month
  • ConTV $4.99 a month
  • Screen Junkiez $4.99 a month
  • Shudder $4.99 a month
  • Tribeca Shortlist $4.99 a month
  • Comedy Central Stand Up Plus $3.99 a month
  • Lifetime Movie Club $3.99 a month
  • Dramafever Instant $3.99 a month
  • NatureVision TV $2.99 a month

There are quite a few others, generally of specialized interest.

If you were already paying for Prime, might you pay $8.99 a month more to get Showtime and drop your premium cable package?  Sure. Might you also want to get foreign drama series (including Boys Over Flowers, based on a popular Japanese manga series)? Yes, I think you might want to get that for a family member…or ConTV, based on geeky cons, but including movies, TV series, and more.

They all seem to have free trials (I saw both seven days and fourteen days), and it looks to me like it is month to month (no commitment). That is a huge option! You could pay $8.99 for a month, and binge watch, say, Outlander.

The second thing about the program is the attraction to get new Prime members. I’m not sure how many people would join just to get the video services, but if they were considering Prime, they could drop cable and pay for the year…with about what it costs for a month of Premium cable. ;)

Oh, by the way…one reason people get cable is to get local channels. Another option is an HDTV antenna…

Amazon suggests this one:

HDTV Antenna (at AmazonSmile*) $23.99 for a 35 mile range

You don’t pay anything a month to use these antennae…

The third thing, and this is something that has been integral to Amazon’s strategy, is the appeal to content producers (and/or distributors).

Have your own video channel? Start here

http://www.amazon.com/streamingpartners

Amazon handles the streaming infrastructure, billing, and does some level of promotion…similar to what they do with Kindle Direct Publishing.

I didn’t see much about the requirements…I assume it’s not an exclusive deal, even if you aren’t a big name like Showtime.

Here’s a wild speculation: would Netflix join this?

I’m already a Netflix subscriber, but I’d much rather have it be just part of my Prime subscription as an add-on…especially if it was a bit cheaper, but even if it was the same, it’s just easier to have one bill.

Commentators on the news noted the possible impact on Netflix, but I think Dish TV, Comcast, and those places should be more concerned. Netflix has original content…but I would say most people who subscribe to premium Comcast cable do so for just a few channels. That get a whole lot of others, and they may watch them from time to time, but they’d let that go, in many cases, I think.

This has the potential to reshape the TV market…there will be winners and losers out of it. Here’s one reason, and I’m going to coin this new slogan: “It’s easier through Amazon!” :)

I don’t like to do a post without giving something to my readers who are really all about the books (and the EBRs…E-Book Readers), so here are some books which have recently dropped in price (they are all at least 30% off…check the price before you click or tap that “Buy” button, since the prices can change at any time):

  • Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain $3.50
  • A Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley $6.99
  • The Ghost House (Annie Graham #1) $3.99
  • Midnight’s Furies: The Deadly Legacy of India’s Partition by Nisid Hajari $9.99
  • Luring a Lady by Nora Roberts $3.99
  • Rickey & Robinson: The True, Untold Story of the Integration of Baseball by Roger Kahn $4.99

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

New! Fire HD 8 Reader’s Edition (available for pre-order)

December 7, 2015

New! Fire HD 8 Reader’s Edition (available for pre-order)

Amazon just announced a new choice (shipping December 9th):

Fire HD 8 Reader’s Edition (Fire HD 8 Reader’s Edition)

They sent me this

press release

They list it as part of a bundle, but it’s not a bundle I would buy (it includes a leather cover, and I don’t use leather). However, I tested it: I put the bundle into my cart, and then I could delete the cover from the cart.

The tablet is $149.99.

A year’s membership in

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

(Amazon’s subser…subscription service. I’ve been a happy member since it started) is listed at $119.88.

That leather cover is listed at $79.99.

The total of those is $349.86.

The bundle is $249.99, so that’s just about a $100 savings.

The big new feature they mention is “Blue Shade” (no relation to Zoolander’s “Blue Steel”,  I assume). ;) We had a big discussion about this recently, in the comments to this post:

Scientific study compares bedtime reading risk from iPad, iPhone, PW1

One of my readers, Dr. Alan Church, was  kind enough to share expertise on the impact of blue light on sleep.

This new feature claims (in what I considerable to be plausible terms) to switch out the blue, so that your device won’t tend to disrupt your sleep patterns.

That feature by itself will get some people to buy this model.

I think, based on a careful reading of the press release, that it will come to all of the Fire OS 5 Fire tablets (and possibly the now discontinued Fire Phone, which is my daily use personal phone). The press release says:

“…an exclusive Fire OS “Bellini” feature…”

There’s no Amazon Help Page on it yet, but my guess is that it will come to the other models (running Fire OS 5…and that list will increase with updates to some older models) pretty quickly…perhaps after the first flush of sales for the “Reader’s Edition”, maybe even sooner.

I checked my

Fire, 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB – Includes Special Offers, Black (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

It’s not on there yet. :)

As I mentioned, they list this tablet at $149.99…and the current version of the

Fire HD 8, 8″ HD Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB – Includes Special Offers, Black (at AmazonSmile*)

is $20 less than that right now at $129.99.

That’s not necessarily because of the new model: there are other Amazon devices on sale right now for the holidays:

It’s definitely a time of year to get good deals!

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

 

 


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