Archive for the ‘Sales’ Category

Round up #290: bargain bestsellers, e-book marketshare

March 30, 2015

Round up #290: bargain bestsellers, e-book marketshare

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.

E-book marketshare of spending rises 25% in 2014

According to this

Publishers Weekly article by Jim Milliott

reporting on a Nielsen Books & Consumers survey, new book spending on e-books in the USA rose to 15% of the total in 2014, as opposed to 12% in 2013…a 25% gain.

That’s right…only fifteen percent.

A bit of a shock, perhaps…and remember, they are zero percent of used book sales, although Amazon has looked into that possibility, as I’ve reported before

Judge rules against ReDigi, making Amazon used e-books more likely

While that 15% is based on spending, not surprising, the number of units is higher. The units are how many books are sold/licensed, versus how much is paid for them. Since, on balance, p-books (paperbooks) cost more than e-books, we would expect their unit share to be higher than their spending share.

Interestingly, though, that share is still only 21%.

Let’s see…21 is forty percent higher than 15, so that could be about right.

There are a lot of very important trends (well, data points…we don’t know if they are really trends yet)…I don’t want to take too much away from the article, so I’m going to recommend you read it.

I’ll just point out a couple of things, and then let you read the details:

  • Online bookselling may be losing marketshare
  • Bookstore chain marketshare is way down
  • EBR (E-Book Readership) was down…both for the NOOK and the Kindle

 Amazon’s change in Cloud Drive plans…how it helps you

I have to say, Amazon does not do a great job of explaining things to people when they introduce a new feature, service, or device.

Part of it is most people’s natural skepticism (I have a genetic abnormality…I’m an optimist). ;) They naturally expect that any change is going to be for the bad.

I’ve taught change management before, and this is the biggest tip I can give you there.

Whenever you announce a change, always tell them what is not changing first.

For example, if you restructure your company, your employees will be so concerned that their jobs are going to be eliminated that they won’t hear anything else you say until you address that.

So, you start out with something like, “First, let me assure you: no one here is having their job eliminated, and no one is getting a pay cut. You will continue to do the same work you’ve been doing, which we really value. What’s happening is that management is changing, and some of you may have a different boss…”

In this case, Amazon could have led (on the page, not necessarily in the press release…maybe in an e-mail) with “We have some exciting new plans available for the Amazon Cloud Drive. This will not affect the free storage customers already get for their Amazon purchases, and will actually increase the storage they get when using Amazon’s Personal Documents service…at no additional cost.  New options include…”

That’s right. I’ve seen many threads in the

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

where people were concerned that either Amazon was going to start charging them for storing their Kindle store purchases, or charge them for any amount of personal documents they are storing using the Personal Documents service.

I have confirmed with Amazon: neither of those are true.

This is what I asked Amazon about, which was confirmed:

Under the new system:

Non-Prime member/non-Fire owner without a plan:

Unlimited Kindle Personal Docs. They do not count towards a storage limit, because they count for zero.

No other free non-Kindle Personal Doc storage (they used to have some).

Prime member/Fire owner without upgrading:

Unlimited photo storage
Unlimited Kindle Personal Docs storage
5GB of storage for other things, like spreadsheets and presentations

Note that there is a group that has a loss from this change. If someone is not a Prime member and does not have a Fire, they no longer have free storage for things like spreadsheets.

However, the plus that everybody got is no limit on storage of personal documents.

Meanwhile, in the UK

In the first article, I was talking about the USA.

Well, we also have statistics for the UK…and e-books are doing much better there!

According to this

The Bookseller article by Joshua Farrington

e-book sales are 30% of units in the UK, more than a third higher than in the USA.

Not only that, more money was spent online on books (not just e-books) than in stores…for the first time.

The thrust of the article was concern expressed about Amazon’s dominance (particularly by Tim Walker, President of the Booksellers Association.

According to Walker, Amazon has 95% of e-book sales in the UK…and that is “damaging”.

I didn’t see particular evidence that it was…what was cited were problems that other people were having with e-book sales, but that doesn’t mean cause and effect.

Still, I leave it to you to read the article and decide…

Amazon’s Editors’ Picks…find bargains, but not indies

One of the “aisles” Amazon has is called

Amazon’s Editors’ Picks (at AmazonSmile*)

I haven’t looked at it much.

The first thing that struck me was that every book I saw on the front page was from a traditional publisher.

When I’m looking for discovery for books, I’m not looking for the ones which are featured in People Magazine…I want an editor to tell me about something that’s new to me.

That was a bit of a negative.

Then, I was going to do a price analysis to compare them to the overall Kindle store bestsellers…and noticed that some of them are on really good sales!

If you were looking for a gift for somebody who maybe didn’t read 100 books a year, this might be a good place to find a deal.

Some examples:

  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn: $4.20 (less than half the paperback price)
  • Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand: $4.99 ($9.60 in paperback)
  • The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown: $2.99 ($10.20 in paperback)
  • Station Eleven: A novel by Emily St. John Mandel: $2.99 ($12.33 in paperback)

I’m going to keep that in mind when gift giving occasions arise!

What do you think? Is the e-book marketshare growth slowing down? If so, why? Is it temporary? Will we ever get to more than 50% unit sales being e-books in the USA? Why are e-books a bigger force in the UK? 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.

Today’s KDD: Fiction favorites up to 80% off

March 28, 2015

Today’s KDD: Fiction favorites up to 80% off

One of today’s Kindle Daily Deals (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) is any of eighteen books which they call “fiction favorites”

There are certainly some well-known books in this group, some with more than a thousand reviews, and I think they are all an average of more than four stars out of five.

Let’s take a look at them…at first glance, they also look like they are at least mostly from the Big 5 publishers, but we’ll know in a minute. ;)

As always, check the price before you click or tap that “Buy” button. These prices should just be for today, and may not apply in your country (and I’m proud to have readers all over the world).

Private Down Under
by James Patterson and Michael White
3.9 stars | 1444 customer reviews
$3.99 at time of writing
ranked #289 paid in the Kindle store

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
by Jonathan Safran Foer
3.8 stars | 1247 reviews
$2.99
#422 paid in the Kindle store
Also available through Kindle Unlimited (KU)

Made into an Oscar nominated movie (Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor), this one is going on my Kindle Unlimited wish list!

The Lost Island
Gideon Crew #3
by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
4.1 stars | 450 reviews
$3.99
#715 paid in the Kindle store

The Crossing Places
Ruth Galloway Mysteries #1
by Elly Griffiths
4.2 stars | 295 reviews
$2.99
KU
#866 paid in the Kindle store

The Secret Wisdom of the Earth
by Christopher Scotton
4.6 stars | 121 reviews
$3.99
#1457 paid in the Kindle store

The Outcast Dead
Ruth Galloway Mysteries #6
by Elly Griffiths
4.6 stars | 220 reviews
$2.99
#1773 paid in the Kindle store

Swimming Pool Sunday
by Sophie Kinsella (writings as Madeleine Wickham)
3.4 stars | 66 reviews
$2.99
#1867 paid in the Kindle store

Notorious
Max Revere novels #1
by Allison Brennan
4.3 stars | 183 reviews
$2.99
#1743 paid in the Kindle store

Shotgun Lovesongs
by Nickolas Butler
4.2 stars | 425 reviews
$2.99
#1868 paid in the Kindle store

Black River
by S.M. Hulse
4.5 stars | 69 reviews
$3.99
#3076 paid in the Kindle store

Cold Sassy Tree
by Olive Ann Burns
4.3 stars | 559 reviews
$2.99
KU
#954 paid in the Kindle store

Another one to consider for KU!

The Wanderers
by Richard Price
4.3 stars | 43 reviews
$2.99
KU
#2337 paid in the Kindle store

Also made into a movie…

Assassin’s Game
by Ward Larsen
4.5 stars | 126 reviews
$2.99
#1864 paid in the Kindle store

The Mill River Redemption
by Darcie Chan
4.4 stars | 111 reviews
$3.99
#3087 paid in the Kindle store

See How Small
by Scott Blackwood
2.9 stars | 63 reviews
$3.99
#8262 paid in the Kindle store

Hm…this one is the lowest rated one I’ve looked at so far, but the reviews are actually encouraging to me. It sounds like it is a difficult book…which is something I can find attractive, but I know that being nontraditional doesn’t always been being good. ;) It can, but it’s not enough.

Dead Water
Shetland #5
by Ann Cleeves
4.4 stars | 116 reviews
$2.99
#1817 paid in the Kindle store

Note that this one says the price was set by the publisher…that’s the new version of the Agency Model at work, I think. Amazon can still discount, and that may be happening here, or it might be that the publisher has it on sale.

Knots and Crosses
Inspector Rebus #1
by Ian Rankin
3.9 stars | 147 reviews
$2.99
#1572 paid in the Kindle store

Just to get a bit of trivia in here, the title is a pun on “Noughts and Crosses”, which is a British term for what Americans call “Tic Tac Toe”. A “nought” is a zero…further trivia, Jethro Bodine on the Beverly Hillbillies played at being a “double nought spy”, like James Bond. “Nought” can also be spelled “naught”, but some people differentiate those, with “nought” being the number (the actual symbol) and “naught” being sort of the state of nothingness, I believe…as in, “All of our best efforts came to naught”.

The Jaguar’s Children
by John Vaillant
4.3 stars | 37 reviews
$2.99
#6800 paid in the Kindle store

There you go! A lot of these were from Big 5 publishers (I saw Hachette and Macmillan), but I’m not quite sure why they are calling them “favorites” specifically. Several of them were actually ranked under four stars, and they aren’t the bestselling books. Everybody’s book may be somebody’s favorite ;) and if these aren’t yours, well…it’s still a deal. ;)

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.

Bargains! FAOTD bundle, $5/yr magazines…

March 21, 2015

Bargains! FAOTD bundle, $5/yr magazines…

It’s Spring, and bargains are bursting out all over!

Well, actually, there are bargains every day from Amazon…but that means there are some now too, right? ;)

Let’s start out with this one:

Kindle edition magazines $5 for a year each (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

You might need to read that one again.

These are well-known magazines, for $5 for a whole year…not per month or per issue. Well, you can get the single current issue of some of them for $4.99…but why not get the whole year for a penny more?

As always, check the price before you click the Buy button…it may not apply in your country, and the sale might be over before you get to it.

Oh, and check the link that says, “Available on these devices,” to make sure it is compatible with the device you use. The first couple I checked were only available on Fire tablets (including the earlier Kindle Fire tablets), and the Fire Phone.

Here are the 19 at time of writing:

  • Real Simple
  • People Stylewatch
  • Health
  • InStyle
  • Southern Living
  • Cooking Light
  • This Old House
  • All You
  • Food & Wine
  • Essence
  • Money
  • Sunset
  • Coastal Living
  • New York
  • Fortune
  • Travel & Leisure
  • Time for Kids
  • Working Mother
  • Boating

I should mention that the general situation with magazines through the Kindle store has gotten much better over time.

You can now read the same subscription on multiple compatible devices on the account for the same price.

You also have access to the back issues for as far back as you’ve been a subscriber…at least, I know that’s usually true.

Next, let’s go with the

Free App of the Day “Bundle” (at AmazonSmile*)

Even those these are really good deals, I do wish Amazon would stop calling them “bundles”. They aren’t. If it was a bundle, you could get them all with one click. You have to get each one of these at a time.

That said, you can really save some money on popular apps!

When you buy an app, by the way, you can have it stored in your cloud only…you don’t need to put it on one of your devices until you want it there.

I think that’s because an app can take up a whole more memory on your device than an e-book will. You can have e-books sent to your Cloud Reader (I do that), but I would prefer if I could just say “cloud only” for the e-books as well.

Here are the titles:

  • Five Nights at Freddy’s 2
  • Cut the Rope (just to point out the popularity, this one has a 4.4 star rating out of 5, and 3227 customer reviews)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: The Universal Weapon (yep, the Marvel characters)
  • World of Goo
  • Simple Planes
  • Super Why! (from PBS Kids)
  • G-Stomper Studio
  • Slingshot Racing
  • Cross DJ Pro
  • FolderSync
  • Elements of  Photography  Pro
  • Deep Under the Sky
  • Atomus HD
  • EasyTether
  • Reading Trainer (it’s not specifically a speed reading app, but suggests it can double your reading in days…and has training for comprehension)
  • Unpossible
  • Servers Ultimate Pro
  • NeoCal Advanced Calculator
  • Monkey Preschool Explorers
  • The Hidden World
  • Kingdom Rush Origins
  • Repix – Full Version
  • Chimpact 2Family Tree
  • Pumped BMX 2
  • Bank Escape Pro
  • Ruzzle
  • Sago Mini Ocean Swimmer
  • Alphabet Aquarium Vol 1: Animated Puzzle Games with Letters and Animals
  • Adventure Beyond Time
  • Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek
  • HanDBase Database
  • Business Calendar
  • OpenDocument Reader
  • Amelia and Terror of the Night – Story Book for Kids

I must say…this seems like a particularly good selection! The ratings are all over four stars, and there are two here for the Fire TV (and on for the Fire TV stick). A number of these also appear to me to be free for the first time. I say that because there were some interesting ones I didn’t have yet…and my default with free apps is to get them and store the in the Cloud.

I’ll amend that a bit…I don’t go into the Appstore and start “buying” their thousands of free apps! I do get the FAOTD (Free App of the Day) pretty much every day.

Oh, and if you’d prefer to pay a little something to get ad-free versions of the apps, there is a Rovio Spring Sale happening. Some Angry Birds games which are usually $2.99 are $0.99 right now. You can find them on this Rovio page (along with the free, ad-supported versions):

Rovio in the Amazon Appstore (at AmazonSmile*)

Okay, enough with the Fires! ;)

Time for books!

As always, you can go to the

Kindle Book Deals (at AmazonSmile*)

and find links for 100s of books.

Here are the features right now:

  • Kindle Daily Deals
  • The Big Deal, Up to 85% Off
  • Monthly Deals, $3.99 or Less
  • 50 Kindle Books for $2 Each
  • Kindle Countdown Deals
  • 175 Kindle Books for $1.99 Each
  • 25 Kids’ Books for $1.99
  • What Everyone Needs to Know, $4.99
  • Kindle MatchBook

I think I’ll feature that “What Everyone Needs to Know” promotion.

That one goes through March 30th, and this is a series of books from Oxford University Press.

They are sort of background briefings on topics of current interest…and I see some well-known authorities listed as authors. For example, Allan Friedman is the co-author of a book on cybersecurity and cyberwar, and Andrew Finkel contributes a book on Turkey.

There are some very controversial subjects covered here, and if these are done in a neutral (or at least, non-advocatory) style that will give you real information, I could see them being quite valuable (and possibly good gifts).

One more thing: I’m going to point out a few individual books on sale. Note that the price can change any time, so again, check before you buy.

  • The Ghosts of Belfast by Stuart Neville | 4.2 stars | 275 reviews | $1.99 | 86% off
  • Going Postal (Discworld 33) by Terry Pratchett | 4.7 stars | 260 reviews | $1.99 | 75% off
  • Warrior of the Light by Paulo Coelho  4.3 stars | 237 reviews | $3.99 | 73% off
  • Tracks: One Woman’s Journey Across 1,700 Miles of Australian Outback by Robyn Davidson | 4.2 stars | 233 reviews | $2.99 | about 80% off, also available through Kindle Unlimited (I’m adding it to the wish list I use to keep track of KU books)

There you go!

Bargainjoy!

Um…I usually say “Enjoy” on something like this, but I wanted to indicate the bargains…so I combined the two words. A portmanteau for you! ;)

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.

The Big Deal: Kindle books up to 85% off through March 29th

March 15, 2015

The Big Deal: Kindle books up to 85% off through March 29th

Amazon saves us money on e-books in so many ways, but I do think it’s fun when they do the Big Deal. It’s over 400 books (431 at time of writing).

The Big Deal: Kindle Books Up to 85% Off (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

These are typically e-books which are genuinely on sale…they aren’t just cheap to begin with. :)

When the sale is over, they tend to go back up in price…although they may be reduced again later, of course.

Remember, as always, that you can buy e-books as gifts and delay the delivery until the appropriate date. You can also print out the gift and just hold on to it, so you have something to wrap. ;) In that case, you don’t really need to specify to whom it goes, so these can also be good “emergency gifts” (we always keep a few of those around).

Do check the price before you click or tap that “Buy button”…these prices may not apply in your country (and I have readers in a lot of countries) :) and I think it’s possible for books to go in and out of the set.

One more thing: some of these books are also available through

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

as part of the $9.99 monthly membership. It feels to me like Amazon sometimes uses the sales to promote KU, although there are now enough KU books that it may just be coincidence. On the other hand, they may be able to more freely discount the books which are in KU, so that may be part of it as well.

Here are some that caught my eye:

Crossroads
by Wm. Paul Young
4.5 stars out of 5 | 1,451 customer reviews
$2.99 at time of writing

That’s a very high review rating, but this is a faith-based book…and I’ve mentioned before that I think they tend to have higher scores. Don’t know why that is: they could actually be better, or could be that the audience for them is more generous with stars (which could be for different reasons). Still, that many reviews makes it impressive. Oh, and this is published by Hachette, so Big 5 publishers are part of this sale.

Don’t Go
by Lisa Scottoline
4.3 stars | 597 reviews
$2.99

Scottoline is a very popular author! Nice to see that here.

Green for Life
by Victoria Boutenko and A. William Menzin, MD
4.4 stars | 485 reviews
$2.51

I’ve been a vegetarian for a very long time. This is a popular book that focuses on “green smoothies”, which is something I don’t do. :) I only drink water…I just found that simplifies things quite a bit, and has some health benefits. I carry a Brita Sport Water Filter Bottle (at AmazonSmile*) with me at work (in my laptop case…away from the computer, just in case, but it hasn’t leaked)…it’s much cheaper than buying bottled water, and I don’t taste anything with it (which I did with some thermoses). I also like that I’m not dealing with all those empties from bottled water.

Tinkers
by Paul Harding
3.5 stars | 402 reviews
$3.99

A Pulitzer Prize winning debut novel…you don’t get to say that very often. :)

Exceptional (book 1 of the Exceptional series)
by Jess Petosa
4.0 stars | 353 reviews
$0.99
Available through Kindle Unlimited (KU)

Young adult dystopian science fiction…well reviewed. If you like doing audiobooks with Whispersync for Voice through KU, that’s available on this one.

Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness (Edward Abbey Series Book 1)
by Edward Abbey
4.5 stars | 335 reviews
$1.99

Also available in the sale: The Monkey Wrench Gang

Ball Four
by Jim Bouton
4.3 stars | 317 reviews
$1.99
KU (with Whispersync for Voice…WFV)

This is classic baseball non-fiction…controversial, but I sold it a lot when I managed a brick-and-mortar bookstore. This one could be a great gift…and a nice KU read.

Six Days of War
by Michael Oren
4.5 stars | 313 reviews
$2.99

Non-fiction about the Six Day War in the Middle East…the impact of these events is still in the news today.

Moving Target: A Novel (Ali Reynolds Book 9)
by J.A. Jance
4.5 stars | 307 reviews
$4.99

Another very popular author!

Black Dahlia Avenger: The True Story
by Steve Hodel
3.3 stars | 277 reviews
$1.99

This book claims to solve the notorious and horrific Black Dahlia murder case…

Guinness World Records 2015
4.7 stars | 277 reviews
$3.99

Another great gift, especially for a curious kid…

A Cry In The Night
by Mary Higgins Clark
4.5 stars | 258 reviews

One of the most popular authors of all time!

A Passage to India
by E.M. Forster
3.9 stars | 221 reviews
$1.99

Probably needs no introduction… :)

‘White Girl Bleed A Lot': The Return of Racial Violence to America and How the Media Ignore It
by Colin Flaherty
4.5 stars | 211 reviews
$2.99

Controversial, to say the least.

Who Really Killed Kennedy?: 50 Years Later: Stunning New Revelations About the JFK Assassination
by Jerome Corsi
4.3 stars | 202 reviews
$1.99

The Complete Photo Guide to Cake Decorating
by Autumn Carpenter
4.8 stars | 178 reviews
$2.99

Come on…you watch those shows, right? ;) Very high star average! Another possible gift…

Who Goes There?
by John W. Campbell
4.3 stars | 163 reviews
$1.99

The science fiction classic, inspiration for The Thing (from Another World), John Carpenter’s version, and more.

Linda Goodman’s Love Signs
by Linda Goodman
4.6 stars | 161 reviews
$1.99

Goodman was responsible for some of the mainstreaming of astrology, back in the day.

Audition: Everything an Actor Needs to Know to Get the Part
by Michael Shurtleff and Bob Fosse
4.7 stars | 146 reviews
$1.99

Got an aspiring actor in your circle? Great gift…this has been the definitive book on auditioning.

Time to start just listing:

  • Secrets from the Past by Barbara Taylor Bradford
  • Undercurrents by Ridley Pearson (KU)
  • Emmett & Gentry Westerns
  • Morgue Drawer series
  • Promised Land by Robert B. Parker (a Spenser for Hire novel)
  • The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan
  • Cro-Magnon: How the Ice Age Gave Birth to the First Modern Humans by Brian Fagan
  • Secret Santa by Fern Michaels and Marie Bostwick
  • The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon
  • What’s Eating Gilbert Grape by Peter Hedges
  • Some of the Kindle Worlds books, including Hugh Howey’s entry in the Kurt Vonnegut universe
  • The Millennials by Thom S. Rainer and Jess W. Rainer
  • Don’t Wake Up the Bear! by Marjorie Dennis Murray and Patricia Wittmann: kids’ picture book, also in KU
  • César: ¡Sí Se Puede! Yes We Can! by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand and David Diaz
  • Daredevil, Vol. 1: Yellow by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale (new Daredevil ((a Marvel superhero)) series coming to Netflix…)
  • The Hope by Herman Wouk
  • No Dawn for Men: A Novel of Ian Fleming, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Nazi Germany by James Lepore and Carlos Davis

I have to say, this may be the best Big Deal yet! Classic backlist, current novels, children’s books, non-fiction…something (or more than one thing) for everyone. ;)

Those were just some of them, of course…if you see another in the deal you want to recommend to my readers, you can comment on this post.

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.

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.

Categories in ILMK

March 8, 2015

Categories in ILMK

I realized after a recent post that, while I use categories in this blog to identify the nature of posts, I haven’t ever explained that to the readers.

That can cause some confusion. In that post, I was offering my opinion about something, and a reader reasonably took it as me offering something I could prove.

That happens to me in real life, too. :)

People tend to believe me…that’s valuable for me as a trainer, and I’m sure I’ve gotten positive reinforcement for ways of communicating that suggest that I am a credible source of information.

Even when I’ve told people in person that, “I really don’t know, I’m just guessing,” they may report it as fact and tell people it was true because I said it. :)

On the blog, I tend to think people see the category and that it helps them interpret what I am saying. That’s probably foolish, on my part…the categories appear after the post, not before, so it’s really going to be more whatever their expectations are when they start reading it.

Still, I thought it would be useful to share the categories I am currently using, and tell you a bit about them. The number in parentheses is the number of posts

Oh, and the same post might have multiple categories! That’s why some categories appear to have so many posts (like the Amazon Echo). If I write a short piece about something in one of the Roundups, that would show up as one of the posts below…even if it was only a couple of sentences.

  • A Day in the LIfe of a Kindleer(4): I do these posts about once a year, just to share how I personally am using Kindles and other Amazon devices. I’ll basically go through a typical day. I think that tends to help people discover options for them
  • A Kindle Abandoned (4): this is my four-part Sherlock Holmes parody. Honestly, I think it came out quite well
  • A Kindle Carol (3): more fiction…a parody of A Christmas Carol. I’d say it has some of my best just straight up writing. I tend to repost it during the holidays, which also gives me the ability to focus more on my family at that time
  • Accessibility (5): primarily, this has to do with text-to-speech, although I’ve addressed other accessibility issues
  • Accessories (4): covers, stands, that sort of thing
  • Advice (15): this may be tongue in cheek at times, but it’s advice I give
  • Advice to Amazon (14): I understand that at least some Amazon employees read this blog, and I do get sent press releases. Hopefully, I have or will make the Kindle experience better for everyone at some point
  • Agency Model (18): the Agency Model is a pricing strategy wherein the publisher sets the price and Amazon just acts as “the agent”. We may not have seen my last post on this…
  • Amazon Aisles (4): I also have a section of links for these on the blogsite. When you are walking through a physical bookstore (I used to manage one), you go down aisles for different subjects or different categories. These posts have to do with sections of the Amazon website
  • Amazon Echo (13): Amazon’s ambient computing device. I’m supposed to get mine at the end of May…or in July
  • Amazon Financials (9): Quarterly and Annual reports
  • Amazon forums (2): I mentioned Amazon threads in their forums quite a bit…I sometimes actually write about the forum itself, rather than individual thread
  • Amazon Publishing (11): Amazon does a lot of traditional publishing now…this will largely be about that
  • Amazon services (1): hm…the only one in here so far is about Prime Now
  • Amazon statements (1): I’m not sure this one needs its own category, but the intent was to link to actual statements from Amazon
  • Analysis (200): as you can see, one of the most common categories. When I label something as “analysis”, it means I’ve done actual work on it myself, typically crunching numbers. The Snapshots are a sub-category of this. When I’ve done the math, I’m prepared to be challenged on it :)
  • Annual Snapshots (4): once a year summary of the Kindle store
  • Apple (16): the company
  • Apps (40): these apps may have something to do with books, but there may be some other reason I cover oner
  • Audiobooks (11)
  • Author profiles (3)
  • Authors (31)
  • Awards (1): I like awards (I do a big Oscar thing every year)…the only one in there right now has to with the Goodreads (owned by Amazon) Awards
  • Bestseller analysis (13)
  • blogs) (3): need to fix the way this one is displayed! It’s not about my blogs, but about blogs in general (other Kindle blogs, for example)
  • Booklovers (2): individuals who love books
  • Books on my Kindles (5): I go through from time to time and list the books I have on my Kindles at that time
  • Brick-and-mortar bookstores(32): I used to manage one, so I keep track. I think my readers are interested in this
  • Bufo’s books (10): the ones I’ve written
  • Bufo’s Life (33): this blog is, unavoidably, to some extent about me :)
  • Canada (1)
  • Children (17)
  • Cloud Collections (3)
  • Cloud Reader (1)
  • Collections on Amazon (1)
  • Comics (8): as in comic books, viewable on some devices
  • Comparisons (15): this is going to be a comparison between two or more items, such as between different types of Kindles, or a Kindle and other EBRs (E-Book Readers)
  • Copyright (26): this affects what you read to a great extent, and I have a particular interest in it (as a layperson…I’m not a lawyer)
  • Customer Service (2)
  • Digitizing books (5): ways to take paper books and convert them to e-books
  • Discovery (10): how you can find books to read…I think will become increasing important
  • Doctor Watson’s Blog (4): again, the Sherlock Holmes parody. Why have both categories? The other one is a sub-category of this one…I wanted to leave open writing another Doctor Watson’s Blog…I rather enjoyed it
  • Eddiecoms (7): part of the humor category: fake comments that I get that are apparently really ads, and can be quite surreal
  • Excerpts (22): excerpts from public domain books. I’ve heard from my readers that they aren’t big fans of this for the most part, so I don’t do it very often
  • Fiction (47): fiction I’ve written, not that I’ve read :)
  • Fire Phone (10)
  • Fire TV (12)
  • Fire TV stick (6)
  • Flash posts (502): I used to label breaking news posts with “Flash!” in the beginning. Some people got confused with Adobe Flash, and I think I was just hearkening back to an earlier era (like Walter Winchell: “Flash! To Mr. and Mrs. America, and all the ships at see…let’s go to press!” Not sure that’s an actual quotation, by the way…
  • Flipboard magazines (9)
  • Focus on Free (11)
  • Freebie Flashes (204): I used to pretty often send out listings of free books, but there were so many of them, and Amazon changed the rules of promoting free books, that I have pretty much stopped
  • Freedom/censorship (4)
  • Frequently Asked Kindle Questions (8): these are usually extensive question and answer type posts on a particular topic. I haven’t done in a while, but I do think they are valuable
  • Fun (1)
  • Future features (1)
  • Games (57)
  • General (29)
  • Gifts (5): this has to do with giving gifts, the mechanism of that. It used to pretty complicated
  • Give a Kid a Kindle (5): I gave away a Kindle. My sense is that didn’t appeal to my readers all that much. Might do it again at some point
  • Giveaways (39): could be from me, but these are also commonly from other places, and I just like to give you the heads
  • Globalization (14)
  • Goodreads (6): one of Amazon’s social reading sites
  • Google (1)
  • Google settlement (12): this settlement had to with Google scanning books in public libraries, basically…more to it than that
  • Guest Posts (1): not something I’ll do commonly at all, but it could happen again
  • Hachazon War (14): the dispute between the publisher Hachette and Amazon, recently resolved
  • History (1): I’ve done one of these, about when Amazon started doing Special Offers on Kindles
  • Holiday Gift Guides (1)
  • Holidays (27)
  • Humor (82)
  • ILMK (6): this blog…that’s where this one is going
  • Indie (independent) publishing (2)
  • Interviews (3): I enjoy doing these!
  • Jeff Bezos (4)
  • KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) (8)
  • Kindle 3 (9)
  • Kindle 4 (Mindle) (5)
  • Kindle 7 (Mindle Touch) (5)
  • Kindle Community (1)
  • Kindle Convert (2)
  • Kindle DX (3)
  • Kindle Fire (81)
  • Kindle for Android (3)
  • Kindle for iPad (2)
  • Kindle for iPhones and iPod touch (2)
  • Kindle for PC (6)
  • Kindle Key Concepts (1)
  • Kindle Matchbook (3)
  • Kindle Paperwhite (21)
  • Kindle Reader Apps (2)
  • Kindle Scout (1)
  • Kindle Scout (4)
  • Kindle Touch (7)
  • Kindle Unlimited (22)
  • Kindle Voyage (3)
  • Kindle with Special Offers (2)
  • Kindle Worlds (9)
  • Knowledge Check (1): I probably should have just put this under games…
  • Kobo (3)
  • Legal Actions (26)
  • Limited Time Offers (6)
  • Manage Your Kindle (6)
  • Menu Maps (6): when I do a menu map, I go through the options in a device’s menus. I find this to be very instructive for me, and I think useful for my readers. I also like to refer back to them sometimes after an update
  • New models (12)
  • New Owners (7)
  • News (1,101)
  • newspapers (2)
  • nook (60)
  • Observations (4): generally, this should be making an observation about something…not necessarily commenting on it much, although I’m sure I tend to do that
  • Odyssey Editions (4): a publishing imprint
  • One liners (1): people did not like the title of this, although I thought the content was good
  • Opinion (190): that’s my opinion, of course. :) These may be more stream of consciousness, less fact based. Let me rephrase that: more subjective than objective
  • Parodies (13)
  • Personal Documents (1)
  • Pictures (1)
  • Poll Parties (2): this is a subcategory under Polls (see immediately below)
  • Polls (66): I like polling my readers…it isn’t scientific, and I don’t think my readers are typical, but I find it interesting. I think people like doing them
  • Popular Pre-orders (17): I stopped making them particularly popular ones, but I’ve kept that category
  • Prime (13): Amazon Prime
  • Public libraries (20)
  • Publisher Profiles (4)
  • Publishing (1)
  • Purchasing decisions (1)
  • Random public domain freebies (1): there shouldn’t be two categories here…again, I should clean that up
  • Random Public Domain Freebies (3)
  • Random Tips (3)
  • Read the Book First (3): books being made into movies/TV shows
  • Reader Apps (3)
  • Reader Heroes (4): one of my favorite things! We honor someone who honors reading
  • Recent Kindle Releases (17)
  • Recommendations (91)
  • Reposts (6)
  • Reviews (61)
  • Round-ups (287)
  • Sales (234): items on sale
  • Sales Tax (19): the issue of sales tax being collected
  • Smile.Amazon (5): it became known as AmazonSmile, but when it first came out, I named the category after the way the website address works…and I’ve left it that way
  • Snapshots (70): one of the most labor intensive types of posts I do. My Significant Other knows that on the first of the month, I’ve got some writing to do as I do analyses of the Kindle store
  • Social Media (6)
  • Sony (1)
  • Special Offers (7)
  • Splinterviews (2): interviews with myself. :) ILMK is not the first place I’ve used the term “splinterview” for that
  • Subscription Items (magazines (3)
  • Subscription services (7)
  • Ten Most Wanted (1): these are the books people most wanted to see “Kindleized”, based on the watch lists at eReaderIQ
  • Text to speech (12): people sometimes think I write too much about this issue, I know…but it’s an important one to me personally and to some of my readers
  • Textbooks/schools (2)
  • The Year Ahead (4): predictions
  • The Year in E-Books (6)
  • Third party (1): the first two parties are Amazon and its customers…I probably could use this category more, but it’s when someone who isn’t Amazon makes something for use with Kindles and Fires
  • Thoughtabouts (46): I’m typically musing here, and haven’t made up my mind (although I try not to lock myself into an opinion at any time…at least, in real world matters)
  • Tips (177)
  • Traditional Publishers (29)
  • Trivia (3)
  • Uncategorized (31): there really shouldn’t be any of these, but what sometimes happens is the post gets saved before I’ve assigned a category…and it automatically puts the Uncategorized category on it. If I don’t notice that and add another category, it doesn’t take this one away
  • Updates (49): I started putting all of the Version categories below into this
  • Version 2.5 (8)
  • Version 3.1 (1)
  • Watching the Watchers (12): I write about journalists writing about topics of interest to this blog
  • Whispercast (1)
  • Worth a Thousand Words (1): I don’t do a lot of pictures in this blog, unless they are to illustrate something I’m writing. This one was an exception, and I could do more

Hope that helps explain things about this blog a bit more!

Feel free, though, to ask me questions about posts…it could absolutely be that I haven’t written something clearly enough, and my intent hasn’t gotten across.

Bonus deal: through March 11 (Wednesday), 175 Kindle Books for $1.99 Each (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*). There are actually some good books here, and many of them (162 out of 175!) are in Kindle Unlimited

 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.

Monthly Kindle Deals for $3.99 or less each: March 2015

March 3, 2015

Monthly Kindle Deals for $3.99 or less each:March 2015

Amazon does the Kindle Daily Deal (at AmazonSmile…benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*), which discounts (usually) four books a day (often general fiction, a romance, a science fiction/fantasy book, and a kids’ book).

They’ve also been doing Monthly Kindle Book Deals for $3.99 or less each) (at AmazonSmile). That’s a rebranding: they used to say it was “100 Books”, but that’s also gotten to be more…there are 117 for this month at the time of writing (two more than last month…it has been trending upwards).

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).

It’s also interesting…about 50% of the books in the USA Kindle store are $3.99 or less (1,664,311 of 3,298,023). Still, these are on sale, and that’s worth something. :)

Another thing is that many of these books may be part of

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

Amazon lists that information prominently. 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.

I’m going to list some of the $3.99 or lower ones that caught my eye…I’m not necessarily recommending them, but I do think they are interesting.

The ones I list also don’t block text-to-speech access**…but I think blocking it is becoming rarer.

The Harbinger: The Ancient Mystery that Holds the Secret of America’s Future
by Jonathan Cahn
4.6 stars out of 5 | 6,477 customer reviews

This is a major price cut on a very popular book (sales rank #439 out of more than three million). In the sale, it is $3.99 versus a digital list price of $16.99. It is faith based, and I’ve mentioned, I’ve noticed those tend to have higher average reviews.

Handle with Care
by Jodi Picoult
3.4 stars | 598 reviews

Invisible Cities
by Italo Calvino
Kindle Unlimited
4.4 stars | 185 reviews

The Joy of x: A Guided Tour of Math, from One to Infinity
by Steven Strogatz
4.5 stars | 210 reviews
Kindle Unlimited

The Skies of Pern
by Anne McCaffrey
4.1 stars | 184 reviews

Before people watched dragons on Game of Thrones, we read about them in the Pern series. Undoubtedly, Avatar felt a bit…familiar to some of us. ;)

Blood Test (Alex Delaware #2)
by Jonathan Kellerman
4.1 stars | 122 reviews

The Many-Colored Land (Pliocene Exile #1)
by Julian May
4.3 stars | 82 reviews
Kindle Unlimited

I sold a lot of this Locus Award winning novel when I managed a brick and mortar bookstore. Be aware, though, that you’ll probably feel like it doesn’t finish the story and want to go on to the others.

The Dreadful Debutante (The Royal Ambition Series Book 1)
by M. C. Beaton
4.2 stars | 75 reviews

The Crocodile Bird
by Ruth Rendell
4.3 stars | 70 reviews
Kindle Unlimited

Rants
by Dennis Miller (yes, that Dennis Miller)
4.2 stars | 56 reviews

Lost Eden
by J.R. Rain and Elizabeth Basque
4.1 stars | 56 reviews
Kindle Unlimited

Tori Amos: Piece by Piece
by Tori Amos and Ann Powers
4.4 stars | 49 reviews

Seeing
by Jose Saramago and Margaret Jull Costa
4.0 stars | 50 reviews
Kindle Unlimited

Saramago is a Nobel Prize winner who wrote Blindness, which was adapted into a movie with Julianne Moore (and reminded me of The Day of the Triffids). Another one for my Kindle Unlimited Wish List.

The Quick and the Dead
by Louis L’Amour
4.5 stars | 46 reviews

L’Amour is, of course, one of the most popular writers of Westerns.

Curious George Visits the Dentist
by H. A. Rey
4.7 stars | 3 reviews

The Girl with No Name: The Incredible story of a Child Raised by Monkeys
by Marina Chapman, Lynne Barrett-Lee
4.5 stars | 197 reviews
Kindle Unlimited

This is a true story…which makes it quite remarkable. Even Edgar Rice Burroughs didn’t fictionalize Tarzan being raised by monkeys…or the great apes we know, for that matter. Completely unrelated to the book immediately above. ;) This one is going on my Kindle Unlimited Wish List.

Joss Whedon: The Biography
by Amy Pascale
foreword by Nathan Fillion
4.5 stars | 33 reviews

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 two (this is the third month in a row where that has been the case) of the four books to own (not borrow) for free…these are books which will be actually released next month. The choices this month are:

  • Younger by Suzanne Munshower (thriller)
  • Helen of Sparta by Amalia Carosella (historical fiction)
  • It Had to Be Him by Tamra Baumann (romance)
  • The Gemini Effect by Chuck Grossart (science fiction thriller)

Well, I knew I would probably go with The Gemini Effect (while I consider myself an eclectic reader, science fiction is a plus). However, I read through the information about the other books to pick my second. I decided to go with Helen of Sparta. The title was intriguing: I know the legend reasonably well, and I could see how Helen might even choose to be known that way. I’ve also been rewatching The Time Tunnel recently, and saw a Trojan War episode not that long ago. :)

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.

“Mindle Touch” on sale for $59

March 2, 2015

“Mindle Touch” on sale for $59

In honor of March being National Reading Month (gee, isn’t that every month?) ;), Amazon is offering

$20 off the The entry level model, the one I call the “Mindle Touch”(at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) making it only $59

This the least expensive Kindle at this point, and it’s certainly a serviceable device. It does have a touchscreen, but does not have the built-in light of the Paperwhite or the Voyage. As is the case with all current non-Fire Kindles, it does not have audio (so no music, audiobooks, or text-to-speech).

This could be a good “guest Kindle”, though, and might be a good Kindle for a responsible child.

I do like the Paperwhite better, but this is literally less than half the price of that $119 device at this point.

They don’t say how long the sale will last, and my guess is not long…

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.

Today only: 15% off Fire tablets

February 24, 2015

Today only: 15% off Fire tablets

There is a special sale today:

15% off Fire tablets (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

They are promoting these prices:

Not included on the splash page is the

Kindle Fire HDX 7″ (at AmazonSmile*)

but I assume that’s because it is already on sale at $199 versus $239…which is about 17% off. :)

We have an HD 6 at home as a “guest Kindle”, and my Significant Other and I each have a Kindle Fire HDX 7″, which we use every day.

I don’t think this suggests that any change is coming in the lineup…they just do sales like this from time to time.

As  usual, check that price before you click or tap the Buy button: prices may be different in your country.

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.

Today’s KDD: Love the Movie? Read the Book ($2.99 or less each)

February 21, 2015

Today’s KDD: Love the Movie? Read the Book ($2.99 or less each)

One of today’s Kindle Daily Deals (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) is any of eighteen books on which  movies have been based for $2.99 or less each.

Well, Amazon has fudged that a bit by including more than one book for the same movie. :)

There are also many other books on which movies have been based which are available at Amazon…large numbers of them for free (public domain titles, like Dracula, Moby Dick, and so on).

Still, this is an interesting set.

The fact that a movie was made from a book does say something about it.

Even though the movie may be significantly different from the book (and that can be a good or bad thing), there is still something in the book that got people to put money into an adaptation.

Let’s take a look at the options in this sale…remember to check the price before you click or tap that Buy button. Prices are for today, and may not apply in your country.

Life of Pi
Yann Martel
4.3 out of 5 stars | 6,020 customer reviews
Movie: Life of Pi (2012)
Oscar wins (I presume this sale is to tie into the Oscars tomorrow): Directing; Cinematography; Score; Visual Effects
Additional Oscar nominations: Best Picture; Adapted Screenplay; Editing; Sound Mixing; Sound Editing; Original Song; Production Design
Available as part of Kindle Unlimited

The Princess Bride
by William Goldman
4.5 stars | 1380 reviews
Movie: The Princess Bride (1987)
Oscar wins: none
Additional Oscar nominations: Best Score
Available as part of Kindle Unlimited

All the King’s Men
by Robert Penn Warren
4.3 stars | 328 reviews
Movie: All the King’s Men (1949)
Oscar wins: Best Picture; Best Actor; Best Actress
Additional Oscar nominations: Supporting Actor; Director; Writing; Editing
Movie (2): All the King’s Men (2006)
Oscar wins: none
Additional Oscar nominations: none
Available as part of Kindle Unlimited

The Post Office Girl
by Stefan Zweig
4.3 stars, 61 reviews
Movie: The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
Oscar wins: not known at time of writing (nominated this year)
Additional Oscar nominations: Best Picture; Directing; Original Screenplay; Cinematography; Editing; Production Design; Costumes; Hair and Makeup; Score

Beware of Pity
by Stefan Zweig
4.6 stars, 72 reviews
For all movie information, see immediately above

On the Waterfront
by Budd Schulberg
3.8 stars | 6 reviews
Movie: On the Waterfront (1954)
Oscar wins: Best Picture; Best Actor; Best Actress; Directing; Writing; Cinematography; Art Direction; Editing
Additional Oscar nominations: Support Actor (three nominations: Karl Malden, Rod Steiger; Lee J. Cobb); Score

How to Train Your Dragon (11 books in the series, priced individually)
by Cressida Cowell
First book: 4.4 stars | 250 reviews
Movie: How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
Oscar wins: none
Additional Oscar nominations; Animated Feature; Score
Movie: How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)
Oscar wins: too soon to tell (nominated this year)
Additional Oscar nominations: Animated Feature

The Boxtrolls
by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel
Note: this is not the book credited as the source of the movie…that’s Here Be Monsters by Alan Snow
4.8 stars | 10 reviews
Movie: The Boxtrolls
Oscar wins: too soon to tell (nominated this year)
Additional Oscar nominations: Animated Feature

For more books on which 2015 Oscar nominated movies were based, see

2015 Read the Oscar nominees

The polls are still open (through today) for

2015 BOPMadness (Bufo’s Oscar Prediction Madness)

but this is where we stand right now on our group predictions for this year’s Adapted Screenplay Oscar:

  1. The Imitation Game (Graham Moore): 76% chance
  2. The Theory of Everything (Anthony McCarten): 73% chance
  3. Whiplash (Damien Chazelle): 60% chance
  4. American Sniper (Jason Hall): 47% chance
  5. Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson): 44% chance

Don’t like the group’s predictions? There is still to play in this free game! ;)

What do you think? What is your favorite movie adaptation of a book? Is there a movie you think was better than the book? What book do you still think should be made into a movie which hasn’t been? 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.

Amazon’s 100 Biographies & Memoirs to Read in a Lifetime

February 18, 2015

Amazon’s 100 Biographies & Memoirs to Read in a Lifetime

Lists of books are popular features.

It’s interesting to me that that is the case.

After all, I doubt I’ve ever seen a list where I didn’t think there were omissions and questionable inclusions.

Perhaps that’s the point.

They spark a reaction, and reactions can mean engagement…and engagement can mean purchasing.

Not all lists are about purchasing, of course, and even an Amazon list of books like the brand new

100 Biographies & Memoirs to Read in a Lifetime (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

isn’t about immediate conversion of sales.

In some ways, it’s about Amazon’s positioning as knowledgeable about books…knowledgeable and credible, which are not synonyms. You can be knowledgeable and have no one believe you (ask Cassandra), and you can be credible without having a lot of knowledge on a topic.

When I’ve trained trainers, I’ve even taught the latter…how to be credible.

A few quick notes on that:

  • Use numbers…that always impresses people. For example, if I was teaching an Excel class many years ago, I could be in front of people who thought they knew Excel quite well. I could say (back then), “There are 256 columns in Excel…does anyone know how many rows? 65,536.” That gave me instant credibility…even if it was just a memorized fact. It doesn’t have to be a complicated number: “There were seven castaways on Gilligan’s Island.” That may get people counting to confirm…and when they do, they are impressed with you
  • When in doubt, use big words. That also makes you sound credible…not approachable or relatable, necessarily, but it does help with credibility. :) That’s only true if you use them correctly…well, if somebody knows what the word actually means, that is. I have to reset my reaction when someone uses the word “decimated” (often “absolutely decimated” or “completely decimated”) to indicate a nearly complete reduction. “Decimated” technically means “reduced by one tenth”. If there were 100 soldiers, and you reduced it to ninety, you decimated that group. At least, that’s what it used to mean…my now adult kid who is a linguist has convinced me that it is usage that matters. I still have the emotional reaction, but I can reset it :)
  • Use the jargon. I work with medical folks, and when I can use a word that they use appropriately, it really ups my credibility
  • Speak quickly. Again, this is just when you are establishing credibility, not when you are training a concept. Most people don’t think you can lie at high speeds…that you have to think about what you are saying too much. If you excitedly say something, smashingallthewordstogether, people will think you are being honest. Don’t believe me? Try saying something really slowly and deliberately out loud…it will likely sound even to you like you are lying
  • Be imperfect. Pause, use an “um”, look to the ceiling (up to the left, typically), laugh at yourself for what you just said…those can all make you seem genuine, and not rehearsed

Now, clearly, you can’t just follow techniques to gain credibility…you need to be reacting in the moment and have empathy for what your audience is feeling.

That said, I come across as credible in person…and it can be a problem for me.

I’ve been a boss.

I’ve said to people something like, “Now, I don’t know yet if this is going to happen, so don’t hold me to it, but it’s possible that we are going to xyz.” I’ve then had people telling others we were going to xyz, and saying, “Bufo said so.”

That means I have to be careful about what I say. :)

I was being observed by one of my favorite managers, and in debriefing a class, the manager said at one point, “Then you did that hypnosis thing you do,” and just went on to another point.

I said something like, “Wait, what? What hypnosis thing?”

I realized later that I do use something like “guided imagery”.

Never, by the way, for nefarious reasons!

It’s just as important and difficult (sometimes) to make people believe in something which is true and good for them as it is to make them believe in something which is false and bad for them.

That said, let’s talk about this list. :)

I do like biographies and memoirs, but I like a lot of things. ;)

Here’s the list from Amazon, and whether or not I’ve read them:

  • A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers: no
  • A Long Way Home by Ishmael Beah: yes
  • A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway: no
  • A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson: no
  • American Caesar by William Manchester: no
  • American Lion by Jon Meacham: no
  • American Prometheus by Kai Bird: no
  • American Sniper by Chris Kyle: no
  • American Sphinx by Joseph J. Ellis: no
  • Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt: no
  • Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank: yes
  • Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy: no
  • Autobiography of Mark Twain by Mark Twain: yes
  • Ball Four by Jim Bouton: no
  • Black Boy by Richard Wright: no
  • Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin: yes
  • Born Standing Up by Steve Martin: no
  • Born to Run by Christopher McDougall: no
  • Bossypants by Tina Fey: no
  • Cash by Johnny Cash: no
  • Catherine the Great by Robert K. Massie: no
  • Chronicles by Bob Dylan: no
  • Churchill: A Life by Martin Gilbert: no
  • Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose: no
  • Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness by William Styron: no
  • De Profundis and Other Personal Writings by Oscar Wilde: no
  • Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller: no
  • Dorothy Parker by Marion Meade: no
  • Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama: no
  • Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp: no
  • Dust Tracks on a Road by Zora Neale Hurston: no
  • E-Mc~2 by David Bodanis: no
  • Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert: no
  • Endurance by Alfred Lansing: no
  • Everybody Was So Young by Amanda Vaill: no
  • Helen Keller: The Story of My Life by Helen Keller: yes
  • I Am Malala by mlala Yousafzai: no
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou: no
  • Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer: no
  • Just Kids by Patti Smith: no
  • Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain: no
  • Knock Wood by Candice Bergen: no
  • Life by Keith Richards: no
  • Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela: no
  • Meditations by Marcus Aurelius: no
  • Mortality by Christopher Hitchens: no
  • My Life in France by Julia Child: no
  • Naked by David Sedaris: no
  • Napoleon by Andrew Roberts: no
  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass: no
  • Night by Elie Wiesel: no
  • Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin: no
  • On the Road by Jack Kerouac: no
  • Open by Andre Agassi: no
  • Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen: no
  • Personal History by Katharine Graham: no
  • Robert A. Caro’s The Years of Lyndon Johnson by Robert A. Caro: no
  • Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs: no
  • Savage Beauty by Nancy Milford: no
  • Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand: no
  • Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher by Timothy Egan: no
  • Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov: no
  • Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson: no
  • Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman: no
  • Tennessee Williams by John Lahr: no
  • The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone: no
  • The Andy Warhol Diaries by Andy Warhol: no
  • The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein: no
  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X: no
  • The Basketball Diaries by Jim Carroll: no
  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath: no
  • The Color of Water by James McBride: no
  • The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman: no
  • The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi: no
  • The Diary of Anais Nin by Anais Nin: no
  • The Diary of Frida Kahlo by Carlos Fuentes: no
  • The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls: no
  • The Gulag Archipeligo by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: no
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot: no
  • The Kid Stays in the Picture by Robert Evans: no
  • The Last Lone Inventor by Evan I. Schwartz: no
  • The Liars’ Club by Mary Karr: no
  • The Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto Che Guevara: no
  • The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester: no
  • The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris: no
  • The Soul of a New Machine by Tracy Kidder: no
  • The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer: no
  • The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston: no
  • The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion: no
  • This Boy’s Life by Tobias Wolff: no
  • Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow: no
  • Touching the Void by Joe Simpson: no
  • Travels with Charley in Search of America by John Steinbeck: no
  • Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand: no
  • Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes: no
  • Updike by Adam Begley: no
  • Vera (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov) by Stacy Schiff: no
  • West with the Night by Beryl Markham: no
  • Wild Swans by Jung Chang: no
  • Wild by Cheryl Strayed: no

Well, I’ve only read five of these, but I have to say, I was very impressed with some of them. The Helen Keller book is amazing. A Long Way Home was devastating, but great. The Mark Twain book was so modern and so clever.

Certainly, though, there are many others I might list which I have read and which in some small way, let me live someone else’s life for a while.

Amazon knows that, and one of the synergies of their having purchased the social reading website Goodreads, is that they can do a curated list like the above and let people contribute to a crowd sourced one…which they have done:

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/85102.100_Biographies_Memoirs_to_Read_in_a_Lifetime_Readers_Picks

You can vote on and add titles to that one.

Without at all claiming that they are the best, here are some other biographies/memoirs which come to mind for me:

  • A Zoo in My Luggage by Gerald Durrell…and indeed, several of the Durrell books (not available for the Kindle)
  • A Job for Superman by Kirk Alyn…Alyn was Superman in the serials, and this book has some great stories! I bought it from Alyn at a science fiction convention, and that may have colored my perception of it. :) Still, I remember some of the stories easily. There was one where Alyn is talking about a scene carrying, I think, Lois Lane out of a burning building down steps. “Action!” Runs down the steps, but they have to reshoot the scene (smoke or something). Another take. Another problem. Another take. Another take. Another take. Eventually, the director says, “Superman, you’re slowing down.” Alyn explains that the actor is heavy, and the director says something like, “Actor? You’re supposed to be carrying a dummy!” That was part of the perception of Alyn on set as being Superman. Two more. :) Superman is animated flying, but they are standing around (very common on a set). Alyn asks what is happening, and they say they are trying to figure out how Superman is going to take off. Alyn, who was a ballet dancer, says, “I can jump over the camera.” Well, this is a tall camera! They don’t believe their star, but Alyn does it. Alyn points out, amused, that Superman takes off from a ballet position. ;) The last one was when They did have to do a close up of Superman flying. What they did was build a chest plate with wires, and Alyn would lay in it with legs (and hips) held straight out. That’s right…the plate didn’t get to Alyn’s hips! Picture doing that for a minute or more while they did the shot. Better, lie down on a table with your hips off the edge and try it…
  • Books by John A. Keel and Hans Holzer…very different people, very different writing style, sort of connected both writing about “paranormal” things. They are both field investigators and both bring you a feel for what it is like being there
  • Philip Jose Farmer’s “mythographies” of Doc Savage (Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life (at AmazonSmile*)) and Tarzan

I could keep going. :)

One last thing, so those of you with Kindle Unlimited can read biographies and memoirs at no additional cost as part of your membership:

Kindle Unlimited Biographies & Memoirs sorted by most reviewed (at AmazonSmile*)

Don’t have Kindle Unlimited yet? It’s worthy of consideration, in my opinion:

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

What do you think? What are your favorite biographies and memoirs? I know people who say they don’t like to read non-fiction…what books do you think would convince them? These sorts of books also fit into Common Core…does this show the value of that program? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Bonus deal: pre-pay for three months of Sling TV ($20 a month) and get a Fire TV Stick for free, or $50 off a Fire TV!

Sling TV and Fire TV (at AmazonSmile*)

That’s the “cable cutting” way to get some TV networks at a cheaper price than paying for a full cable package.

Don’t want Sling TV? The Fire TV is also $15 off at time of writing, making it $84 instead of $99.

I use a Fire TV every day, and a Fire TV Stick some days.

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

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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