Archive for the ‘Subscription Items (magazines’ Category

Magazine subscriptions for $5 each…for a year!

April 7, 2015

Magazine subscriptions for $5 each…for a year!

Walk into a bookstore to buy a magazine, and you’ll be luck to find one where an individual issue is under $5.

There is a limited time offer right now at Amazon for Kindle store magazines for $5…for an entire year!

I do read magazines on my

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

I read Entertainment Weekly every week, which I get through Amazon.

I read Fortean Times, which I get through Zinio (you can get the app for the Fire tablets at the Zinio site). I’d say I’m more than a year behind on that, but I get to it eventually.

That’s one of those magazines where you get a lot of content…unlike some really popular magazines, it doesn’t seem like it is mostly ads.

We subscribe to National Geographic…and I read it from time to time. It depends on whether an article catches my eye, and I do tend to read it when I’m at the dentist because, you know, tradition. 😉

My sense is that magazines are not a big money maker for Amazon for the Kindle, but I do think they are here to stay, and they can be a nice part of your reading mix. Some of them even do text-to-speech now on individual articles, although I haven’t had one that will just keep reading into the next article.

If you don’t have a Fire, check to see if the magazine will work with your device (some do, some don’t). Two other notes: you can’t give digital subscription to magazines at this point (although you can do that with paper magazines), and you can’t use a gift card balance to pay for subscription items.

You can do a free sample of magazines, but if you do want to buy a subscription, here are sixteen you can get right now for $5 each for a year:

Kindle Magazines for $5 (limited time) (at AMazon Smile*)

  • Better Homes & Garden
  • Family Circle
  • Allrecipes
  • Eating Well
  • Every Day with Rachel Ray
  • Traditional Home
  • Popular Science
  • Midwest Living
  • Family Fun
  • Parents
  • Field & Stream
  • Cycle World
  • Flying
  • Siempre Mujer
  • Ski
  • Skiing

There are some really well-known titles in there!


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.


Washington Post free on Kindle Fire

November 21, 2014

Washington Post free on Kindle Fire

When Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO (Chief Executive Officer) bought the Washington Post, most of the talk was about how that might (presumably negatively) impact the venerable newspaper.

Less discussed (but not entirely absent) was how it might benefit it, and consumers.

Well, Kindle Fire owners can now get the Washington Post on their tablets for free for six months.

You just need to download this app:

The Washington Post (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

I’ve been exploring it this morning on my

Kindle Fire HDX (at AmazonSmile*)

and it seems like an easy yes.

There is no obligation to continue with the subscription.

You don’t need to have any other relationship with the WaPo.

Even if you do decide to continue (and you’ll be asked…it’s not an automatic opt-in), the next six months are $1 (I think for the full six months, not $1 per month). Following that, it would be an opt out to avoid continuing at $3.99 per month.

It’s a carefully thought out app, with easy navigation.

There is a lot of content. This morning, for example, there are

  • Top Stories: 12 stories
  • Around the World: 9 stories
  • Politics & Power: 12 stories
  • Business & Tech: 8 stories
  • Ideas & Controversy: 9 stories
  •  Sports: 15 stories
  • Life & Entertainment: 11 stories

They have a “Most Read & Don’t Miss” category as well, and a section called “Backstory”.

You can also save stories.

I was pleased to see that they had easy sharing options, including (since I have it installed), Flipboard. For example, I flipped a story called “How Disney Turned ‘Frozen’ into a $1B Hit” into my

The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard

this morning.

If you missed reading a newspaper, or, as may be pretty likely for some people, are curious about what it was like 😉 , this is a great opportunity.

However, it’s worth noting that you don’t have the resources you do when reading a Kindle book. You can’t pull up a definition of a word or go to Wikipedia for more detail on it.

I’ve written to them about this next one. No text-to-speech access.

It’s possible in these sorts of apps: I have it in my National Geographic app, for example.

While I don’t want to take away from the time I spend with books, this would be a wonderful option in the car with TTS. I could jump into a particular article with a deeper background than I got from a 24 hour news channel (or the Watchup (at AmazonSmile*) app) and get the benefit of in-depth journalism while driving.

This is currently a Fire tablet exclusive.

However, it’s worth noting that a twenty-week subscription to seven day home delivery of the WaPo is $39.80…so, for about the cost of a year’s worth of it (which would come out to around $100), you could get one of the current generation of (low end) Fire tablets.

I will say, this won’t replace

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

for me as a news source. I like seeing many, many stories with snippet previews, as I do in Flipboard. What I want to know (and I don’t always know I want to know before I see it) is never going to be a solid match for the WaPo…even though I do want to know about most Washington Post covered topics, too.

What do you think? If you’ve tried the app, do you have an opinion? Do you agree with the overwhelmingly positive reviews on Amazon? What would still make the physical experience better for you, if that’s the case? Would this get you to buy a Fire, if you haven’t? If you don’t have a Fire, are you disappointed you can’t get this deal? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Join hundreds 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.

The top 10 blogs in the USA Kindle store

July 13, 2013

The top 10 blogs in the USA Kindle store

I haven’t looked at the top blogs in ILMK for a while, so I thought I’d share them with you.

First, I should say…thank you subscribers! 🙂

I think the overall number of people actually subscribing to blogs in the Kindle store has probably gone down. Since Amazon does not make them available as a subscription item for the Kindle Fire line, that simply may be reducing their market availability as more people switch to those as their primary readers.

I really wish Amazon would make them available. In fact, Amazon could self-create an app that “magazined” blogs, the way that Flipboard does it with your Twitter feed. The app could be free, and could work with your Kindle store subscriptions…and you should be able to subscribe right through the app. That might work especially well with the free introductory trials that they do…it might result in a lot more sales.

That’s not the way it works now, though. 🙂

This blog, and I think many others, are substantially supported by the Kindle store subscriptions. Some blogs survive mostly on advertising, and that’s one way to go…but I don’t sell advertising here.

So, it’s interesting to me which blogs and news feeds are at the top.

One thing that ties them together: they’ve all been in the top 10 for at least 1,200 days…that’s more than three years. Thanks to you, ILMK has been there for 1,403 days as the time of writing…hmm…I think that means it made the top ten list within a month or two of starting, and (knock virtual wood), has been there pretty much since. We’ve been as high as number 1, but there is some shuffling around of order…and it’s possible we’ll drop out and come back into it in the future.

Otherwise, it’s probably worth noting that half of the titles are about Kindles and/or e-books. No question, these sorts of blogs can be an investment. 🙂 You may easily save the amount that you pay (ninety-nine cents a month for each of the Kindle/e-book related titles) with the information they give you.

Here’s that list:

Best Sellers

Kindle Store : Blogs & News Feeds
Updated hourly

1. 1331 days in the top 100
Free Kindle Books and Tips
Kindle Edition
$0.99 / month
4.5 out of 5 stars, 153 reviews at the time of writing

This one is by Michael Gallagher. As you can tell from the reviews, people like it. 🙂 Congratulations, Michael!

2. 1512 days in the top 100
The New York Times – Latest News
Kindle Edition
$1.99 / month
4.1 stars, 71 reviews

This is the most expensive of the top ten…and tied for having been a top-tenner the longest. I think it was there at launch of the blogs.

3. 1208 days in the top 100
Free books OnKindle — bestsellers, top movers, new
Kindle Edition
$0.99 / month
2.2 out of 5 stars with 16 reviews

The reviews on this one are not good (look at the average), but some of that comes from people not understanding the product, I think. You have to figure there is some reasonable retention by subscribers, or this wouldn’t have been in the top ten for so long. I don’t think there can be that much turnover with new people subscribing and dropping it the same month.

4. 1206 days in the top 100
Free books for Kindle
Kindle Edition
$0.99 / month
3.7 stars, 18 reviews

For Kindle, on Kindle…obviously, this one is positioned similarly, in terms of market, as the one above it.

5. 1512 days in the top 100
Huffington Post
Kindle Edition
$0.99 / month
2.8 stars, 35 reviews

Hm…the review average isn’t very good for this feed from the popular website. I don’t think very many people actually write blog reviews on Amazon, so they may not be very representative of what subscribers actually think about a blog.

6. 1463 days in the top 100
Kindle Nation Daily
Kindle Edition
$0.99 / month
3.6 stars, 46 reviews

This is be Stephen Windwalker, who is also a bestselling author of Kindle books. I should mention that we have some correspondence, although we’ve never met in real life

7. Ranking has gone up in the past 24 hours 1403 days in the top 100
I Love My Kindle
Kindle Edition
$0.99 / month
4.5 stars, 39 reviews

You get credit for the success of this blog! Looks like I’m also tied for the third highest stars (with Michael Gallagher) in the top ten…that’s cool! Not quite so cool: I see they have the language of the blog listed as German. I’ll have to check into that…danke, abonnenten! 😉

8. Ranking has gone down in the past 24 hours 1207 days in the top 100
National Review Online: Articles
Kindle Edition
$0.99 / month
4.8 stars, 10 reviews

I think this one is particularly substantive, out of the group.

9. Ranking has gone up in the past 24 hours 1342 days in the top 100
Joke of the Day
Kindle Edition
$0.99 / month
2.5 stars, 21 reviews

I will say that the reviews are…interesting. Humor is tricky: I’ve actually taught people about using humor. It’s very tough to do if you don’t know your audience and can’t seem them react. Certainly, funny books can work, but people buying them often know what to expect of that particular book. If that’s not the case, you need to keep it pretty middle of the road. That appears as though that might not be the case here.

10. Ranking has gone up in the past 24 hours 1466 days in the top 100
George Will
Kindle Edition
$0.99 / month
5 stars, 2 reviews

Will is a very well-known commentator, and this does have a perfect five stars (although only two reviews).

Well, there you go! There are 14,508 blogs in the USA Kindle store at the time of writing…and I think that the significant sellers are concentrated at the very top. I don’t know, of course, but it wouldn’t surprise me if 90 percent of the subscriptions come from the top ten percent of the titles. I’m sure lots of them have basically no subscribers…blogs are often more about getting your thoughts out there, rather than about making money. Also, as I mentioned, some of them may be supported more by selling advertising and by advertising fees.

What do you think? Do you have any favorite blogs (in the Kindle store) that you would recommend to people and aren’t on this list? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

5 changes I’d like to see to Kindle magazine subscriptions

July 10, 2013

5 changes I’d like to see to Kindle magazine subscriptions

Generally, I like the way Amazon does content for me. Sure, there are changes I’d like to see everywhere, but I’m not dissatisfied with the current set up on e-books, for example.

On magazines, though? I roll my eyes. 😉

In fact, we recently dropped some magazine subscriptions through the Kindle store. I checked with everybody on the account, and we just weren’t really reading them enough.

I would have kept them, though, if a few things had been different.

Now, before I list these, let me say that I know this isn’t all under Amazon’s control. I very often see people blaming Amazon for things that somebody else has to change. I saw that recently with somebody wanting digital access to a publication to which they have a paper subscription. Amazon can’t just scan the paper magazine and make it available to you. It’s up to the magazine publisher to do that.

Some of them do. In fact, there are 46 currently listed in the

Print+Kindle section

Those are just the ones that are part of that program. I could also get Entertainment Weekly at no additional cost as a digital subscription through the Kindle store…although I was happy when they let me just drop the paper version, and get it only for my Fire.

Some of the things I suggest here might also have technical barriers. I get that, too. 🙂 However, if they could be done (in an economically feasible way for Amazon and the publishers), well, I’d be much happier.

1. Store my back issues for me (see updates in this entry)

I know this one can be done…because my Zinio subscriptions do it! I don’t really buy books anywhere except the Kindle store, but I do prefer Zinio for magazines, and this is one of the biggest reasons.

The way it generally works at Amazon (although my Entertainment Weekly, which I get through an app from the Amazon Appstore, rather than through the Newsstand, keeps all the issues for me) is that you get the current issue and six back issues.

Let’s say you start a subscription with the January edition of a monthly. You are fine through July. You can redownload the issue, even download it to another (compatible) device on your account.

When August comes, though, you lose access to January.

That seems odd to me. After all, I pay every month…I don’t just pay one lump sum for access to a rolling seven issues. That would be different, and people would go for that as an option. Pay $50 once, and you have access to the current issue and six previous ones.

However, that’s not the way it works. If one issue is $3, and let’s say you don’t get a subscription discount, you pay that $3 a month. By the time July rolls around, you’ve paid $21. When August arrive, you’ve paid $24…but still only have access to seven issues. By December, you’ve paid $36. A year later, you’ve paid $72. You can still only access seven issues.

You keep paying more, but you don’t have more access.

Yes, you are getting a new magazine to read each month…but why then do they give you access to any back issues?

It’s just strange.

Eventually, you will have paid hundred of dollars…and you will have access to seven issues.

You could, I suppose, think about it like paying your cable bill. For me, though, I go back and look at back issues. I use them for research. I remember specific articles, and go back to them.

I have done just that with Zinio.

That’s my first (and biggest, I think) suggestion: store my back issues for me, just like you store e-books and apps.

I should point out that you can “keep” an issue, and then it isn’t part of your rolling seven. However, you store it locally on your device (and magazines take up a lot of memory, because of all the pictures)…and it only works on that one device. If your Kindle fails with magazines stored on it that you’ve kept, you just lose them.

Update: big thanks to my reader, Michael! Michael commented to tell me that there were more than seven issues in Michael’s archives. I’m quite sure that isn’t the way it used to be. However, I went to

and checked one of the subscriptions we still have (National Geographic). The display was different…it used to be a simple dropdown, now it is a horizontal scroll. Lo and behold, there were more than seven issues available to me!

So, I guess that one is solved…four to go. 😉

Thanks, Michael!

Update: I’ve now had indications that this happened July 1st, so it’s recent (thanks to *~*Pineapple*~* for that info!) . 🙂

I’ve also been pointed to this (thanks again, *~*Pineapple*~*), which makes it official:

“Back issues of magazines and newspapers that you subscribe to are stored and available to download again from the Manage Your Kindle page ( The 12 most recent issues of your magazine subscription and the 14 most recent issues of your newspaper subscription will also be available from the Cloud tab on your Kindle Fire.”
Manage Your Subscriptions Amazon help page

Note that the help page is for the Kindle Fire HD 8.9″. The number of issues stored on the device seems to vary, but the back issues should be available regardless of which Kindle Fire you have. For magazines that work on the non-Fire Kindles, I would assume it is the same.

2. Let me buy individual back issues

Sometimes, I’ll see a magazine article cited, and want to read it. At this point, Amazon doesn’t give me a way to buy any individual issue except the current one. I would pay for it…and I’d love it if it went back decades. 🙂

Zinio is going to start offering this idea to public libraries…letting them buy individual back issues, from what I’ve heard.

3. Text-to-speech for magazines

I understand that you need to have the words as text, not just as part of images…but some of my magazines allow me to switch to a text version. I would absolutely love being able to listen to a magazine in the car! Its’ not always about the pictures…although that brings to mind what people used to say about a certain magazine, that they only bought it for the articles. 😉

4. Save my clipped articles as though they were e-book titles

One of my regular readers and commenters, Lady Galaxy, suggested this for blog articles, and I think it makes a lot of sense. I would like to be able to “clip” an article, and just have that article stored separately. Ideally, I could put them in Collections, like we can do on some Kindle devices. In fact, it would be really cool if I could tag them, and then have them “stitched” into one title. I could choose to read all of my articles from different magazines about, oh, the Apple Agency Model case, and have it presented to me as one book.

5. Let me read magazines on all my devices

I get it…my Kindle Paperwhite can’t display the color pictures on my Fire. However, I’d be happy looking at them in black and white. I want to be able to read an article on my phone, if I want. The thing that would really enable this, of course, is text versions of the magazines…and currently, that appears to be done in a bit of a clunky fashion. Of course, I’d like this extended to blogs…I hear from people quite often who want to subscribe to this blog to read on a SmartPhone or a Kindle Fire. I wouldn’t think that would be that hard to do.

Well, there are five ideas from me. What do you think? Do you buy magazines from the Kindle store? If not, have you made a conscious decision not to do it…and what would change your mind? Feel free to let me and my readers know what you think by commenting on this blog.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

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