Fire Phone reduced in price…by 99.5%

Fire Phone reduced in price…by 99.5%

I bought my

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

when it was recently released for about $200.

In this

press release

Amazon announced the new price…of ninety-nine cents (with a two-year contract…same requirement I had)!

Wow, a drop of that much in about a month and a half! That makes me want to…smile. ;)

Yup, I’m happy that other people will be able to get such a great deal.

As I’ve written in previous Fire Phone posts, it took me a while to warm up to it…but I like it now.

The biggest plus for me is the easy access to things you’ve done before. I go a lot of different places, and I really like having access to previous navigations right from the Carousel.

Of course, I couldn’t get a feel for that until I’d been there, done that a few times.

Certainly, I’m looking forward to a software update to the voice assistant. It’s still pretty limited, although it understands what I say well.

Generally, I think one thing that makes it a good phone for many people is Mayday, the live, onscreen technical help. This is the first phone you can give to someone who is not at all tech savvy, and they’ll be able to really use it to send texts and e-mails.

I think we’ll see tremendous improvements to the phone over the next year, in the way of software updates.

So, why the big drop?

Rumors suggest it wasn’t selling well. One speculation I saw mentioned a figure of 15,000 phones…which would make me one in about 200.

They need to get them into people’s hands…they can’t have this be seen as a failure. Well, they could…pretty much every company has had failures, but they don’t want Fire Phone to be to Amazon as the Newton is to Apple. ;)

I suspect adoption will be slow, but will get up there. The included year of Prime (even for current Prime members) will mean some folks will try it as another phone at the holidays. I suspect we may see this some kids’ first phones…and that’s part of why their advertising campaign with the two children makes sense.

The press release also says,

“In the U.S., Fire is available exclusively on AT&T – the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network. Fire with 32GB is available for 99 cents with a two-year contract or $0 down and $18.75 per month (for 24 months) with AT&T NEXT 18.”

Readers Edward Boyhan and Tom Semple have also pointed out that you can now buy the Fire Phone without a service plan for $449.

We’ll know after the holidays how effective this was…even if Amazon doesn’t release figures, people can do some analysis and make some guesses.

Bonus story

I didn’t want to do a story just on the Fire Phone…I know a lot of you reading this blog may see it as somewhat outside “…the Kindle and the world of e-books”, as I say on the masthead for the blog. It is in some ways involved with e-books, and certainly affects Amazon (and that affects the Kindle’s fortunes), but I understand.

So, here’s a purely book story. :)

Annotated Classics series (at AmazonSmile*)

This is a series of low-priced (but not free) public domain classics.

The reviews are generally good, and they do seem to be pretty inclusive for the given author. They also have quite a bit of other material…not just pulling one essay off Wikipedia, as some books do.

For example, for the Shakespeare collection, they say:

“* NEW: Easily look up text that is linked to local Shakespeare glossary.
* Illustrated with the original images.
* Annotated with concise introduction, including analysis of William Shakespeare’s works as well as modern view on Shakespeare’s historical background.
* Original footnotes are hyperlinked for easy reference.
* The collection includes alphabetical and chronological indexes of Shakespeare’s works.
* Each book features its own active Table of Contents.
* Includes William Shakespeare’s Biography.
* Includes William Shakespeare’s most famous quotes.
* Includes famous quotes about William Shakespeare.
* Includes analysis of William Shakespeare’s literary style.
* Includes analysis of English Renaissance theatre.
* Includes analysis of characters of Shakespeare’s Plays.
* Includes glossary of Shakespeare’s words.
* All Annotated Classics books are beautifully designed for easy reading and navigation on e-Readers and mobile devices.”

In terms of completeness, here is the listing for the H.G. Wells set…nothing is standing out as missing to me:

NOVELS:
Ann Veronica
The First Men in the Moon
The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth
The History of Mr Polly
In the Days of the Comet
The Invisible Man
The Island of Dr Moreau
Joan and Peter
Kipps
Little Wars
Love and Mr Lewisham
Marriage
Mr. Britling Sees It Through
The New Machiavelli
The Passionate Friends
The Research Magnificent
The Sea Lady Illustrated
The Secret Places of the Heart
The Sleeper Awakes
The Soul of a Bishop
The Time Machine
Tono-Bungay
The War in the Air
The War of the Worlds
The Wheels of Chance
When the Sleeper Wakes
The Wife of Sir Isaac Harman
The Wonderful Visit
The World Set Free

COLLECTIONS
The Stolen Bacillus and Other Incidents
Twelve Stories and a Dream

SHORT STORIES
Aepyornis Island
The Apple
The Argonauts of the Air
The Beautiful Suit
A Catastrophe
The Chronic Argonauts
The Cone
The Country of the Blind
The Crystal Egg
A Deal in Ostriches
The Diamond Maker
The Door in the Wall
A Dream of Armageddon
The Empire of the Ants
A Family Elopement
Filmer
The Flowering of the Strange Orchid
The Flying Man
The Grisly Folk
The Hammerpond Park Burglary
How Gabriel Became Thompson
In the Abyss
In the Avu Observatory
In the Modern Vein: An Unsympathetic Love Story
The Jilting of Jane
Jimmy Goggles the God
The Land Ironclads
Le Mari Terrible
Little Mother Up the Morderberg
The Lord of the Dynamos
The Lost Inheritance
The Man Who Could Work Miracles
The Man With a Nose
The Magic Shop
Miss Winchelsea’s Heart
A Misunderstood Artist
The Moth
A Moonlight Fable
Mr. Brisher’s Treasure
Mr. Ledbetter’s Vacation
Mr. Marshall’s Doppelgänger
Mr. Skelmersdale in Fairyland
My First Aeroplane
The New Accelerator
The Obliterated Man
A Perfect Gentleman
The Plattner Story
Pollock and the Porroh Man
The Purple Pileus
The Rajah’s Treasure
The Reconciliation
The Red Room
The Remarkable Case of Davidson’s Eyes
The Sad Story of a Dramatic Critic
The Sea Raiders
A Slip under the Microscope
The Star
The Stolen Body
The Stolen Bacillus
A Story of the Days To Come
The Story of the Inexperienced Ghost
The Story of the Last Trump
The Story of the Late Mr. Elvesham
A Story of the Stone Age
The Temptation of Harringay
The Treasure in the Forest
The Triumphs of a Taxidermist
Through a Window
The Truth About Pyecraft
Under the Knife
A Vision of Judgment
The Valley of Spiders
The Wild Asses of the Devil

NON-FICTION
Anticipations
Certain Personal Matters
An Englishman Looks at the World
First and Last Things
Floor Games
God the Invisible King
In the Fourth Year
Mankind in the Making
A Modern Utopia
New Worlds for Old
Russia in the Shadows
The Salvaging of Civilization
A Short History of the World Illustrated
War and the Future
What is Coming?

BIOGRAPHY & HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
Biography
Chronology
H.G. WELLS by J.D. BERESFORD

QUOTES & ANALYSIS
Quotes
Works’ Analysis
History of science fiction

I checked a sample, and it does look good. With the H.G. Wells, sample, I got more than one full book, by the way…and one of them was The First Men in the Moon.

These might be good gifts, or could be a good way for you to be an e-completist. ;)

Enjoy!

This post was updated and improved with comments from readers…and I also caught one of my own mistakes. ;)

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! :) 

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 drops price on Fire Phone to 99 cents with 2-year contract

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 12.48.11 PM

Amazon today announced a pretty amazing price drop for the Fire Phone - from $199 (the price I paid for mine on launch day) to 99 cents. When I first saw the price in an email from Amazon’s PR department, I thought it was a typo. Cutting the price in half would have been newsworthy. But 99 cents? Really?

I guess so. The timing is no coincidence, with Apple set to announce details of the iPhone 6 tomorrow. Of course I would have liked it if the Fire had cost 99 cents on June 18th, when I bought mine. But if I’d known the price was going to fall that dramatically today, I’m sure I would have paid full price to buy one of the first ones.

In any event, I hope they sell a ton of them. I can say after using mine for more than two months, this is a lot of phone for 99 cents!

If you’ve been waiting for a dramatic price decrease to buy a Fire Phone, today’s your day. And if you purchase your Fire from this page using the ad in the upper right corner or this link, it will of course help The Kindle Chronicles through an Amazon Associates commission.

Here is the full press release, which also contains news that the Fire is now on sale in the U.K. and Germany. So all in all, a big day for this smart little phone with Dynamic Perspective and Firefly.

Amazon Fire Phone Now 99 Cents with Two-Year Contract

Plus, one year of Prime membership included

Free unlimited cloud storage for photos

World-class customer support with Mayday—24×7, 365 days a year

32GB Storage—Standard

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sep. 8, 2014– (NASDAQ: AMZN)—Dynamic Perspective, Firefly, world-class customer support with Mayday, free unlimited cloud storage for photos, 32GB of storage—and, for a limited time, customers get 12 months of Prime membership with Fire phone, which includes unlimited streaming of tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes from Prime Instant Video, access to over a million songs to download or stream from Prime Music, over 500,000 books to borrow from Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and free two-day shipping on tens of millions of items. Now there’s another great reason to buy Fire—it’s just99 cents with a two-year contract. Customers can purchase Fire on www.amazon.com, www.att.com and in AT&T stores nationwide.

“Fire is now 99 cents with a two-year contract, plus customers get one full year of Prime included,” said Ian Freed, Vice President, Amazon Devices. “With access to all of the Prime content, Mayday, 32GB of memory and free unlimited cloud storage for photos, plus the exclusive Dynamic Perspective and Firefly features, Fire is another example of the value Amazon delivers to customers.”

See what Amazon Fire customers are saying:

  • “The best part of the phone is the integration with Prime – I’ve switched all of my iTunes music over to Amazon Music and have bought a few albums from my phone. The sound from the included headphones is amazing. I’ve watched some movies and read some books – all synced to my Kindle Fire HDX and the movies with my Fire TV.”
  • “Mayday: I feel this truly separates this phone from every other phone in the market. It’s like having someone available 24×7 to help you out with your phone…and, there is no charge for that ‘ever.’”
  • “Love it, better than the iPhone I had, Better pictures and better screen…My wife is switching from her iPhone 5 to Fire since she has checked out my FIRE.”
  • “I’ve had three Kindle Fire tablets, and this Fire phone hooks seamlessly to their ecosystem of books and videos, which I use heavily in my professional work so that’s important to me.”
  • “The Firefly feature is fun, and the camera takes fabulous pictures and videos.”
  • “If you’re an Amazon Prime user, it can’t get better than this. The support for the Amazon ecosystem is amazing.”

Fire is the only smartphone with Dynamic Perspective and Firefly, two breakthrough technologies that allow you to see and interact with the world through a whole new lens. Fire features an advanced, 13MP rear-facing camera with backside illumination, LED flash, 5-element f/2.0 lens, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), and high dynamic range (HDR) capabilities for beautiful, crisp photos, even in low-light conditions. Fire also includes a 2.1MP front-facing camera, and photos taken with Fire receive free, unlimited cloud storage.

Additionally, the Amazon Appstore has seen tremendous growth with the rate of app submissions to the Appstore more than doubling in the weeks following the Fire phone launch in the U.S. Recent additions include: Fly Delta, Bank of America, MLB.com At Bat, Tetris Blitz, Uno With Friends, Venmo, and World Series of Poker as well as the tens of thousands of others already available for Fire – Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Flixster, Instagram, Pandora, Pinterest, Spotify, StubHub, Twitter, and WhatsApp. Customers are also enjoying the use of Dynamic Perspective within apps and games—3 of the top 7 downloaded apps and games, incorporate features of Dynamic Perspective. Learn more about the Fire developer SDK at http://developer.amazon.com/firephone.

In the U.S., Fire is available exclusively on AT&T – the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network. Fire with 32GB is available for 99 cents with a two-year contract or $0 down and $18.75 per month (for 24 months) with AT&T NEXT 18. Customers can purchase Fire at www.amazon.com, www.att.com or AT&T stores nationwide. For more information, please visit www.amazon.com/fire.

About Amazon.com

Amazon opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995. The company is guided by three principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire phone, Fire tablets, and Fire TV are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon.

Send to Kindle

Good for a spin

Stephen King's Mr. Mercedes has a pretty good hook which quickly draws us into the story: a retired police detective, bored and quite possibly suicidal, gets a new lease on life when he starts getting taunted by "the one that got away", a homicidal maniac who ran down a whole bunch of people in line for a job fair. Detective Bill Hodges now has a reason to live again, as he decides to chase down "the Mercedes Killer" himself, rather than turn things over to his former cop colleagues.

This maybe isn't first-tier King, as the plotting and characters are fairly simple. Bill Hodges, for example, is totally good and totally likable (if sometimes flawed in his thinking), while the Mercedes Killer is totally creepy and totally evil. This doesn't make things horrible, just a little less interesting than many of King's other books. There's good suspense throughout, though, and a few story highlights. These include a gory poisoning death that makes the book feel like the classic King of old, and a long set piece near the end, set at a boy-band concert attended by 4000 screaming pre-teens, where our heroes attempt to prevent a tragedy that would make the Mercedes Killer's first act of terror seem like a hangnail.

There's some good humor throughout, too. The way King describes the insipid daytime TV that retiree Hodges is watching day in and day out at the story's start makes us completely understand why the barrel end of Hodge's service revolver is starting to look disturbingly good to him. Talk about horrific!

If this novel was one of those 800-page affairs of King's, I'd be harder on it. But, as it's fairly compact, I'm basically okay with its more simple, modest pleasures. You get a decent cat-and-mouse detective plot, a little romance, some likable supporting characters, and at least three or four instances where you'll be turning the pages very quickly. Hey, not everything has to be Duma Key or 11/22/63. Sometimes "pretty good" is perfectly fine.

Round up #267: page 45, Neuromancer deal

Round up #267: page 45, Neuromancer deal

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

Today’s Kindle Daily Deal

In today’s

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

there are two deals which stand out to me.

Neuromancer by William Gibson came out in 1984, and won the Hugo, the Nebula, and Philip K. Dick award…and profoundly influenced geek thinking. You can get it today for $1.99…either for yourself, or maybe delay delivery for an appropriate gift giving occasion. It’s quite possible that even the way you are reading this was influenced by ideas in this book. 4.0 stars out of 5, 813 customer reviews.

The other deal is on twenty Iris Johansen titles for $2.99 each. There are a bunch of Eve Duncan books in this group, and others.

If you want to buy rather than borrow (through Kindle Unlimited or the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library), these are good deals.

Page 45 status

Humans are great at finding linkages and patterns in things…even if they don’t actually exist. ;)

That has led to all sorts of fortune telling techniques, among other things.

I put together a CD with hundreds of small sound clips from movies and TV, gathered from

http://www.dailywav.com/

which is a great site for that sort of thing. It’s been around since 1995, and is nicely organized. They also comply with rightsholders, and I think that they are within Fair Use with what they do.

I have listened to it many times in the car (before I had text-to-speech…I listen to books, now). I would put it on shuffle, and I called it “The Magic Clip Ball”. One way to “use” it would be to think of a question, and then whatever quotation came up next was the “advice” for you. That was often fun!

My adult kid recently made me aware of a “viral book status”.

To quote:

“Pick up the nearest book to you and turn to page 45. The first sentence describes your love life.”

Now, there are some complications with this for e-book users. All of the books in my Kindle (and I know some of you may have thousands downloaded) are really equidistant from me. If you use a Kindle for this, I’d say the one that is nearest to the front of your Carousel. Of course, you may also not have a page 45…I’d go with location 450 if you don’t.

When I decided to try it just for fun, there was a p-book (paperbook) near me…Monsters by George Eberhart (believe me, if I could have had it as an e-book, I’d prefer it).

The line for me?

“One Man in Canoe Sets Out to Hunt Loch Ness Monster”

;)

I won’t comment on the appropriateness of that for me, but I can see how it might fit some people (making it gender neutral, of course).

Seeking Alpha round-up

I recently created a free account on

Seeking Alpha

and they’ve sent me several interesting articles!

They are well thought-out and researched…I’m impressed!

Why Amazon’s Appstore Could Become As Big As Google Play by “Critical Timing”

This isn’t just pie in the sky, but makes a good argument for the super rapid growth of Amazon’s Appstore. Gee, in three years, will be people be as mad at a phone not having access to the Amazon Appstore as they are now to the Fire Phone and Kindle Fires not having direct access to Google Play? Perhaps, although Amazon seems more likely to me to make the apps available more places…they don’t tend to build walls to keep people from getting their products. Witness all of the Kindle reader apps. Of course, you can’t install a Kindle reader app on a non-tablet NOOK, but that has more to do with apps and that operating system, I believe, than deliberate exclusion. In this case there are apps that will work best with the

Amazon Fire Phone (at AmazonSmile)

dynamic perspective (which I call “dy-per”), but outside of that, I think we’ll see the Amazon Appstore continue to expand.

Oh, one comment on the Fire Phone: I now like it a lot, after using it for a while. The easy access to things I’ve done before (such as addresses I’ve mapped) is one reason. One big gap? The voice assistant can’t do as much as Google Now or Siri or Cortana, but that will likely improve with software updates. I also asked Amazon if it had a name, and they said no…that might be a mistake, in terms of brand loyalty.

Reading And Believing In Barnes & Noble by Kevin Donovan

I’ve been seeing articles recently talking up Barnes & Noble as a company, at least for investors. Again, this has graphs and trends to back up its point…and they do consider what Amazon does a potential threat to continued growth.

Speaking of what Amazon does, I expect we’ll get a new hardware announcement before the end of the month. In terms of my personal satisfaction, I don’t know what they would do hardware wise to get me to want to upgrade. I’m quite satisfied with both my

Kindle Fire HDX (at AmazonSmile*)

and my

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

It’s possible they’ll introduce some services in another model that would make it attractive.

However, if a model has something unprecedented, I might get it anyway, so I can tell you about it. :)

Back to B&N: do I think they can succeed? I think it’s possible, but I don’t see the path yet.

Why Amazon Has No Profits (And Why It Works) by Benedict Evans

This may be the best article I’ve ever read on Amazon.

Thorough analysis explaining how it works, and what it will need to do to keep working.

Highly recommended!

It also helps explain why, according to this

RTT News article and other sources

Bank of America just gave Amazon a two billion (!) dollar credit facility.

This despite CFO (Chief Financial Officer) Thomas Szkutak of Amazon’s announced departure next year.

B of A can see money in Amazon’s future…

A KOLL of lump

Last month was the first month since it’s been available that I did not borrow a book from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL). It wasn’t by choice. Despite contacting Amazon, I could not figure out a way to do it…and I’m pretty good at figuring things out. ;)

You see, I’m both an eligible Prime member and a member of Kindle Unlimited…and even when a book was available in both, it would only let me borrow it as part of the KOLL.

Fortunately, we don’t have Prime just to borrow books, and this is not that big a deal for me (since as noted, I can borrow books through KU instead). It does feel like a bit of a loss, though.

What do you think? Did you get an intriguing “page 45″ result? Do you know of other similar things to do with books and insight? Will B&N survive…and perhaps even thrive? Did you already have an opinion on Neuromancer? 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! :) 

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.


Books on my Kindles #2 (part 3)

Books on my Kindles #2 (part 3)

This is a continuation of a recent series of posts:

in which I list and talk about the books I currently have downloaded to my Kindles. For more information on this, see that first post linked above.

Listed in the previous posts:

More books…

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)
by Travis Bradberry & Jean Greaves
3.9 out of five stars, 319 customer reviews
12% done
bought for $1.99

I’ll be interested to see how I come out on this. I’m not a very emotional (I tend to stay on a pretty even keel) person, but I do think I’m pretty good at understanding other people’s emotions. I think that empathetic sense helps me as a trainer, and when I was hiring trainers, it’s one of the things I sought in candidates. I’ve been stalled on this one because it wants me to take an online test to set a baseline, and I just haven’t gotten around to that. There is a basic concept at work here, that there are many kinds of “intelligence”. I wrote a paper in high school on “optimum IQ”, in which I argued that the highest IQ wasn’t necessarily the best one, in terms of success in the world. Obviously, I’m not the only person to have thought that. This quotation, which I have in my book of quotations, The Mind Boggles: A Unique Book of Quotations (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*), gives one perspective:

Cassie Hughes (played by Christina Cole): “So, what’s it like being so wise?”
Azazeal (played by Michael Fassbender): “Well…obviously, it makes normal life difficult. The trouble is, you see everything before everyone else, and then you have to wait for them to catch up.”
Cassie: “That must be very frustrating.”
Asazeal: “You’ve no idea.”
–Possession episode of
Hex
screenplay by Julian Jones

A Game of Thrones 4-Book Bundle: A Song of Ice and Fire Series: A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, and A Feast for Crows (at AmazonSmile*)
by George R.R. Martin
4.4 stars, 390 reviews
8% done
purchased for $15.72

No, I’ve never seen the series. :) We don’t have HBO, and while I probably would try it if it eventually became free or “no additional cost” (available through Prime Video, for example), I’m not willing to pay for it.

What happened here is that a relative (one generation down) asked me if I’d read it because it was hard to follow and my relative wanted to ask me some questions about it. So, I bought it. :)

I’ve only been reading it off and on. I haven’t found it all that engaging and while it does have non-human animals (always a plus for me), it’s quite harsh, which I tend not to prefer. Our adult kid has both read the books and seen the series, and recommended to me watching the series first (a very unusual suggestion from that source), since it gave you more of a “road map”, which made the books easier to follow. I’m a bit torn, because of that…our adult kid is very wise. :)

Horns: A Novel (at AmazonSmile*)
by Joe Hill
4.2 stars, 1153 reviews
not yet started
bought for $1.99

With the Daniel Radcliffe-starring, Alexandre Aja-directed version opening in the USA at Halloween, I was intrigued…and picked this up on sale.

How To Get Instant Trust, Belief, Influence and Rapport! 13 Ways To Create Open Minds By Talking To The Subconscious Mind (at AmazonSmile*)
by Tom “Big Al” Schreiter
4.7 stars, 175 reviews
not yet started
bought for $2.99

Using “Big Al” as a nickname didn’t immediately gain my trust or belief, but we’ll see how the book goes. ;)

This Explains Everything: 150 Deep, Beautiful, and Elegant Theories of How the World Works (at AmazonSmile*)
by John Brockman
4.0 stars, 97 reviews
not yet started
bought for $1.99

“The great tragedy of Science: the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.”
–Thomas Henry Huxley

That quotation is paraphrased a lot, but I would also say that’s the beauty of science…you want your hypotheses knocked down by facts: that’s why they are there. ;)

I’m looking forward to starting this one, when the timing is right.

This Will Make You Smarter: 150 New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking (This Will Make You Smarter: 150 New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking)
by John Brockman
3.8 stars, 148 reviews
bought for $2.99
0% (still in the front matter)

That’s not like me! I didn’t even realize until now that these were both by the same author. :) I will say, though, as I check the prices, I got some good deals! This one is currently $8.81. Now, though, I’m much more likely to just get something through Kindle Unlimited, so books being on sale won’t tempt me as much.

The Battle of $9.99: How Apple, Amazon, and the Big Six Publishers Changed the E-Book Business Overnight (Kindle Single) (at AmazonSmile*))
by Andrew Richard Albanese
3.8 stars, 138 reviews
Got it as a gift

Not sure why this one is still on my Fire. :) I got this Kindle single as a gift at the holidays, and I have read it. I’ll remove it after this. You can read my review of it on Goodreads

here

A Long Way To Contentment (at AmazonSmile*)
by Boyd Lemon
4.4 stars, 9 reviews
bought for $0.99
not yet started

This one was purchased by Significant Other…probably give it a shot when my SO is reading it, so we can talk about it afterwards.

Crash Gordon and the Revelations from Big Sur (at AmazonSmile*)
by Derek Swannson
4.4 stars, 42 reviews
bought it for $3.99

I was able to help with this in the pre-publication phase, doing proofreading and making some editorial suggestions. For that reason, I don’t want to say too much about it (although I don’t have any financial connection to the book, and I don’t have a relationship with Derek outside of having read the first book, reviewed it, and then helped with the second gratis). Both books are available through KU.

Here’s my review of the first book, which will give you some idea:

Review: Crash Gordon and the Mysteries of Kingsburg

I think that’s enough for this post! One more ought to catch us up.

By the way, my SO used KU for the first time….and borrowed a couple of cookbooks and got a couple of recipes…that’s an excellent use of it, in my mind.

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! :) 

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.


Ikea: Experience the power of a bookbook

Ikea: Experience the power of a bookbook

Just for fun tonight…

YouTube video

Bonus deal: people who are reading this on a non-Fire Kindle can’t jump to the video, so I wanted to include something for everybody:

20 Kindle Books for $2 each (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

 

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! :) 

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.


TKC 318 Sara Nelson

Sara Nelson, Headshot

Editorial Director of Amazon.com

Interview starts at 20:43

On the Amazon book team’s pick for September’s spotlight debut title, Fives and Twenty-Fives by Michael Pitre: “Books about the war, any war, certainly a war that is current are very, very hard sells to customers. I think people often feel like they don’t want to read it, because they’re reading it in the newspaper or they’re hearing about it on the news, but this book transcended the genre.”

Show Notes and Links:

News

Basic Kindle without Special Offers out of stock at Amazon.com

“Amazon Invites Children’s Book Authors to Kindle Direct Publishing, Rolls Out Kids’ Book Creator Application” by Sarah Perez at TechCrunch – September 3, 2014

Amazon press release announcing KDP Kids – September 3, 2014

Tech Tips

Peggo app for creating mp3 files from YouTube and Soundcloud audio

Critical Margins Podcast episode 12: How to Write for the Cloud

Interview with Sara Nelson

Amazon.com Best Books of the Month – September

The Bone Clocks: A Novel by David Mitchell – September Spotlight pick by Amazon’s book editors

Fives and Twenty-Fives by Michael Pitre – September Debut Spotlight pick

The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers

Redeployment by Phil Klay

Bill Cosby: His Life and Times by Mark Whitaker

I’ll Drink to That: A Life in Style, with a Twist by Betty Halbreich with Rebecca Paley

Sara Nelson’s interview with Betty Halbreich at Omnivoracious blog – September 4, 2014

What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe

The Big Fall Books Preview at Amazon.com

Amazon release on Big Fall Books – August 19, 2014

Revival: A Novel by Stephen King – set for release November 11, 2014

Edge of Eternity: Book Three of the Century Trilogy by Ken Follett – set for release September 16, 2014

Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned” by Lena Dunham – set for release September 30, 2014

Content

“Biblio Mysteries” recommended by listener Richard Marpet:

The Bookman’s Tale: A Novel of Obsession by Charlie Lovett

The Bookseller (Hugo Marston) by Mark Pryor

Ex-Libris by Ross King (Kindle edition not available)

The Club Dumas by Arturo Perez-Reverte

The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Book 1) by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Dido Hoare Mysteries by Marianne MacDonald

Hardcover by Wayne Warga (Kindle edition not available)

The Kindle Chronicles app at Amazon’s Appstore for Android

Alcoholics Anonymous 4th Edition

Music for my podcast is from an original Thelonius Monk composition named “Well, You Needn’t.” This version is “Ra-Monk” by Eval Manigat on the “Variations in Time: A Jazz Persepctive” CD by Public Transit Recording” CD. 

Please Join the Kindle Chronicles group at Goodreads!

Send to Kindle

Toasting the weekend

On this fine Friday, let's take a moment to contemplate one of our favorite beverages here in the Taproom...

A meal without wine... is called breakfast.


Wine improves with age.  The older I get, the better I like it.


The other day someone told me that I could make ice cubes with leftover wine.  I get confused... what is leftover wine?


In wine there is wisdom.  In beer there is freedom.  In water there is bacteria.


Alcohol is not the answer.  It just makes you forget the question.


Does Mom have a birthday coming up?  Buy her a bottle of wine.  Remember, you're the reason she drinks!

Monthly Kindle Deals for $3.99 for less each: September 2014

Monthly Kindle Deals for $3.99 for less each: August 2014

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 101 for this month at the time of writing (significantly fewer than last month, when there were 126).

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 49% of the books in the USA Kindle store are $3.99 or less (1,377,957 of 2,809,946). Still, these are on sale, and that’s worth something. :)

Another new 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 Best American Short Stories 2013 (at AmazonSmile)
edited by Elizabeth Strout, Heidi Pitlor
3.9 out of 5 stars, 38 reviews
$2.99 KU

I’m putting this one on my KU Wish List, which I use to make it easy to borrow more books more quickly. I do like short stories: they can be great for a short trip to the store using text-to-speech.

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West (at AmazonSmile*)
by Dee Brown
4.7 stars, 443 reviews
$2.44 KU

Another one for my KU list! This one is a true non-fiction classic…check out the number of reviews and the high rating! Not an easy read, but history isn’t always easy.

The Wars of the Roses (at AmazonSmile*)
by Alison Weir
4.3 stars, 152 reviews
$1.99

Another well-reviewed history…but of a different place.

The Carpet People (at AmazonSmile*)
by Terry Pratchett
4.0 stars, 61 reviews
$1.99 KU

A children’s book from the beloved author of the Discworld series.

John Lennon: The Life (at AmazonSmile*)
by Philip Norman
4.0 stars, 181 reviews
$1.99

This is one to consider as a gift…remember that you can delay a gift until the appropriate date. Might be a nice small gift at the holidays, for example.

A Widow’s Story: A Memoir (at AmazonSmile*)
by Joyce Carol Oates
4.0 stars, 197 reviews
$1.99

It can be difficult sometimes when an author writes something very different from what you are used to reading by them…but this personal memoir may be worth it if you can put that aside.

The Confessions of Nat Turner (at AmazonSmile*)
by William Styron
4.1 stars, 90 reviews
$2.51 KU

You want the backlist? How about a 1967 Pulitzer Prize winning novel?

Again, that’s just a few that stood out to me…there are books (not the best-known ones) by Michael Crichton and Ed McBain, John Rain books by Barry Eisler, books in the Not Quite series by Catherine Bybee, and more.

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 for September (at AmazonSmile*)

You can get one 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:

  • The Moonlight Palace by Liz Rosenberg (historical fiction…might go with that one)
  • Tunnel Vision by Aric Davis (mystery)
  • Girl on a Wire by Gwenda Bond (young adult fantasy)…hmmm, I do like young adult fantasy. These will probably all be in KU after they are released, so it’s a question of which one I think someone else on my account might want to read at some point: that’s the one I should buy
  • Playing it Safe by Barbie Bohrman (romance)

 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.

** 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.


Amazon introduces KDP Kids and Kindle Kids’ Book Creator

Amazon introduces KDP Kids and Kindle Kids’ Book Creator

I remember when people would argue that children’s (pre-teen) books were always going to be better on paper than in e-book form.

Certainly, tactile input processing is different in children than in adults.

When you look at the Kindle store book bestsellers (as I often do), you don’t see that many books for kids at the top (although it does happen).

Well, looks like Amazon would like to change that.

In this

press release

Amazon announces a new book publishing venture…KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) for Kids:

https://kdp.amazon.com/kids

There have pretty much always been independently published kids books in the Kindle store (since it’s been open), but this is something different.

It gives you the tools to make digital pop ups…and apparently, quite easily, based on the blurbs they have.

Of course, the market for fancy illustrated books is really for the

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

rather than the non-Fire Kindles…when you are talking illustrations (and animations) there is no comparison.

However, this publishing will also let people put age and grade levels on their books, which will help even if it is more text-based.

I’m a bit curious about that: can anybody just pick whatever they want?

Age and grade levels can be very tricky.

When our now adult kid was, oh, six or so, they were reading at a much higher level. The school librarian gave our kid a Goosebumps book…nightmare city! The reading level was more appropriate, but the material wasn’t. That’s what I mean by it being tricky.

There are 163,828 children’s books in the USA Kindle store right now…I suspect we may see that grow pretty rapidly.

I have no question that this is a plus for the authors. I think it will also be a plus for the readers…and since this is part of KDP, it ought to bump up the options for kids using

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

which is Amazon’s $9.99 “all you can read” subser (subscription service).

If Amazon isn’t figuring out a simple way to gift memberships in KU for the holidays, they will really be missing a chance.

This may also sell more Kindle Fires, and possibly the

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

and even the

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

There is a Kindle app for the former and not for the latter…but you could mirror a Kindle Fire to a Fire TV, and they may work out an app for books.

Would you read a book on a TV?

I could certainly see reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom or a Dr. Seuss book to a room full of kids!

I don’t think the people at Amazon are anti-p-book (paperbook), but it’s better for their business model to promote e-books. P-book distribution is still largely under the control of tradpubs (traditional publishers) and brick and mortar stores, although e-tailing is probably moving up (and will move up more in a hurry if Barnes & Noble or Books-A-Million collapse).

If your kid is reading color, slightly animated e-books on a Kindle Fire through Kindle Unlimited, it really commits you much more deeply to Amazon.

Then, maybe you become a Prime member (free month with that Kindle Fire…free year with that Fire phone). Once you’ve done that, you start buying the higher margin physical items from Amazon (or third parties fulfilled through Amazon) and the big A can start making a profit…without raising e-book prices all that much.

They haven’t been raising the e-book prices generally…except for the New York Times bestseller hardback equivalents, which have shot up an extraordinary amount this year, based on my Snapshots.

Let me ask this, though: do you still have p-books you got as a child? I do. I think a lot of people do…cherished (often “well-used”) parts of youth. That won’t quite be the same with digital kids’ books. ;)

What do you think? Have you always had an idea for a kids’ book…and now you think you might be able to do it? Is there anything that worries you about this? For example, could people with fringe or anti-social ideas use this to reach children? Publishers get to choose their own categories…would someone publish the Kama Sutra (maybe with teddy bears) through KDP Kids? If you could easily gift KU to a kid this holiday season, do you think you would do that? Do books like this pose any threat to the continuance of the non-Fire Kindles? 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! :) 

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.