Who Wants a Kindle?

Guys, I’ve had a Kindle since 2010 or 2011. I took a friend of mine to Six Flags for her birthday (four hours away) and she reciprocated by buying me a Kindle for my next birthday. And we stopped talking completely the following year. Eh. Friendships.

Anyway, I wouldn’t have a Kindle device if one wasn’t given to me as a gift. Just because I always prefer print over eBook. And now I think it’s time to give it to someone who will actually put it to good use.

I have a Kindle Keyboard with free wireless. You don’t need to connect it to your WiFi to download books. Just turn wireless on on the device and you can download books instantly. I also have the original charger and two cases. One case is leather and straps the Kindle inside, and the other is really just an additional later of protection should you drop it. I’ve never dropped it. And you can use both cases at once. The reasoning behind this is that I never liked reading with the Kindle hooked into the leather case. So I use the leather case when the Kindle is not in use and the rubber one when I’m reading.

The Kindle Keyboard does NOT have a browser or touchscreen. It doesn’t have a backlight. But it does get the job done for someone who only needs it for reading purposes. And who has adequate light around them.

I’ve never once had any issue with it. No charging failures. No display problems. No button issues.

I’m asking $50 for the Kindle and the two cases that I think work well together. I’ll pay shipping.

If you decide you don’t want it after buying you can send it back to me within 30 days. YOU cover the shipping charge. Guys, I can sell it back to Amazon just as easily as I’m selling it to you. Payment would be made through PayPal.

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So, does anyone need a Kindle to be used strictly for reading?

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Harry Potter News!

I just read something I think some of you might be interested in. It has to do with the boy who lived. Can you guess it? New book? New movie? New…anything?

All wrong. The series is finally available to purchase from the Kindle Store. It’s long been available to read on Kindle via Kindle Unlimited, but now the books are available to buy, mostly because more money will be earned from the sale of the books than was earned from the borrowing of them through Amazon’s book subscription service.

The books are each priced at $8.99, which looks to be right in the middle of popular YA series on Kindle. Some are as low as $2.99. Others are $10.99.

How many of you are interested in owning the series on Kindle? I’m not because I already have it in print, and I paid much less than $9 a book for two paperbacks and five hardcovers.

Tsk Tsk Tsk

I could have told you this would happen.

Remember the various disputes over eBook pricing last year between Amazon and some of the Big 5 publishers? They ended when all reached new deals with the company and kept the right to set their own eBook prices. Now they’re seeing what happens when prices are set at ridiculous price points.

The average eBook prices for the publishers involved in the recent contract negotiations is over $10. With most titles selling for nearly as much as the hardcover. Think about that. Why buy an eBook for $14.99 when you can buy the hardcover for $15.30. Those are the kinds of things happening with most major releases.

Now eBook sales are way down. They’ve been fairly stagnant in recent years, but stagnant is obviously better than a drop. I still think publishers are stealing your money when they make you pay $14.99 for what amounts to a tiny file on an eReader. With what I know about the production costs and royalty rates for authors today, I’ll never be convinced that a Kindle eBook is worth $14.99. Heck, it’s hard to convince me that a hardcover is even worth that.

Do you think the publishers are shooting themselves in the foot by continuing to price their eBooks as high as they are? I think these executives have some time frame in mind that they’re willing to go through. And if the sales continue to fall, then I’m certain that lower prices will make their way back into the Kindle store.


On this day in 2014 I published Here They Come.

 

Barnes and Noble Closes International Nook Store

If I’m being completely honest, I’m surprised it took them this long to make this decision. The Nook business has not been profitable almost from the get-go. That isn’t to say that the devices are lower quality than the Kindle or other eReaders, because I don’t believe that to be the case.

The Nook store will remain in the US and UK for the time being, but I can foresee a future in which the Nook store no longer exists at all. Let me throw around some knowledge for a second. Did you know that Barnes and Noble fairly recently spun off its Nook business? And did you know that Barnes and Noble’s print (brick and mortar stores) is actually profitable today? No, well it is.

I understand why the UK and US Nook stores will remain operational, because they serve a purpose even if they don’t make money. They keep Amazon somewhat at bay. Somewhat. But if I owned a Nook device in the US or UK and heard about this announcement, I’d go ahead and get myself a Kindle. Because I think we all know what’s coming.

What do you think of Barnes and Noble closing its international Nook store? Have you ever read on a Nook device?


On this day in 2014 I published Why I Think NaNo Anything is Dumb.

 

Amazon Creates a Fair Royalty System, and Everyone Hates it

Last week Amazon did something drastic. They changed how authors are paid when Kindle books are borrowed. But let me give you a little more information before I get into the good stuff.

Are you familiar with the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL)? No? Okay. KOLL is set up for Prime members who also happen to own a Kindle device. These individuals are able to download one free eBook per month as part of their Prime subscription. Authors are compensated from a fund that Amazon sets up at the start of each month that is divided up among all downloads. Let’s just say that for a given month the royalty per download is $2. If your books are collectively downloaded 100 times, then you’ve made yourself $200. Got it? Okay.

Second, are you familiar with Kindle Unlimited? No? Okay. It’s Amazon’s eBook subscription service that allows for subscribers to download and read as many books as they want to for $9.99 a month. Keep in mind that not one Big 5 publisher has its titles enrolled in the program. Got it? Okay.

In the past, authors would receive their royalty when their book was downloaded as long as the reader read 10 percent of the book. This threshold applied to all books. It didn’t matter if it was a 50 page novella or a 1000 page brick. The reader had to read 10 percent or no royalty would be paid out. And what were people doing? They were publishing very short works and enlarging the print so that it would be incredibly easy to reach that 10 percent mark. They would get their royalty just the same as someone who published a novel worthy of Big 5 publication.

My book is 216 pages, right? Which is very short for a book. Does it seem fair that someone would need to read 22 pages of my book in order for me to get my royalty when there are works published that are even shorter in length than that? No. It wasn’t fair and Amazon knew it.

The entire system has been overhauled and now authors will be paid per page read. The 10 percent threshold has been eliminated. How is this new system unfair to anyone? How can people be writing article and blog post after blog post denouncing Amazon for this? THEY MADE IT MORE FAIR!

Just to give you an idea of the kind of people who have spoken out against the new system, one blogger who claimed to be an author and reader said that Amazon has invaded her privacy by tracking how much she reads of a given book. How the hell does she think those lists are compiled each year about the books being read on Kindle? Magic? I mean, get a fucking clue. Her Kindle is MADE by Amazon. Her Kindle is BOUGHT from Amazon. Her Kindle is REGISTERED ON AMAZON.

Remember guys, this new system applies only to books enrolled in KDP Select, which automatically enrolls them in Kindle Unlimited and KOLL. This does NOT apply to books purchased, only books borrowed. A book bought is a book bought, no matter if the reader reads the whole thing or two pages. And also don’t forget that no one says any book has to be in KDP Select at all.

You can read exactly how the system will work by clicking here. It goes into effect July 1.

I’m ready to open the floodgates. What do you think of Amazon abandoning the 10 percent threshold for a pay-per-page model for books borrowed?

 

Changing Times for eBooks

When you think of reading eBooks, which retailers do you think of? For me it comes down to three or four retailers. Amazon. Apple. Google. Barnes and Noble. I know there’s Kobo too, but they don’t have any kind of traction here in the US.  Barnes and Noble’s Nook is a nice experience. I’ve played on several devices before. But let’s face it, the entire future of the Nook is a giant question mark. Then comes Apple, which may or may not have colluded with major publishers to increase eBook prices. That leaves us with Google and Amazon.

I have an Android device and I’ve never once read a book on it. But I imagine Play Books is right up there with Apple and Amazon as far as its user experience. And now they’re trying to make it even better. Google and Amazon have both recently changed the fonts of their eBooks. Both were changed after extensive research into a variety of factors that affected one’s ability to read on their devices. I sometimes download books on to my Kindle, but I haven’t actually read on it in quite some time.

I applaud both companies for trying to make it easier to read on their devices, but I have to be completely honest here. I have one of the very first Kindle models, which leads me to believe that it would already be a bit more difficult to read on my device than on some of the newer models like the Paperwhite or the Voyage. And I’ve never had any issue with the font. It isn’t too small to start. It isn’t difficult to read. And I’ve read so much about the big gaps and spaces between words and letters in books because there hasn’t been any hyphenation before the new font, but I’ve never come across anything that looked out of order or weird. So props to both companies for improving the user experiences of their eBook readers, but I can’t say I’ve ever felt a new font was necessary.

The name of Amazon’s new font is Bookerly. The name of Google’s new font is Literata.

What about you? Have you ever been reading on your Kindle or Android device and just wanted a better, more aesthetic font for your reading?

RadioShack is Closing…Should Amazon buy Some of Those Stores?

I’m sure by now you’ve heard that RadioShack has filed for bankruptcy. And will be closing hundreds of its stores very soon. We’re talking a lot of retail space that will be coming free virtually all over the country. And what’s that little rumor we’ve been hearing about Amazon wanting to make same-day delivery a reality for everyone? Hmm.

Imagine small retail stores that could act as little hubs for the internet retailer. And if you’re like me, you probably live within a short driving distance from a RadioShack location right now. How cool would it be to go into your local Amazon store and browse the latest bestsellers at Amazon prices. No shipping. No waiting a few days to get it. No nothing. Or imagine having any of your Amazon orders shipped for free to the store rather than paying to have it arrive at your doorstep. And if you’re thinking that would take away from people wanting Prime memberships, well I’d say Prime is a bit more than just two-day shipping.

And the best thing about this potential scenario would be that you could go in and try out new gadgets before buying them. Like Kindle, FireTV, Fire Phone, or any of the products that Amazon is set to release that we don’t even know about yet. I know this would be a huge undertaking for Amazon, but from a consumer perspective I know I’d like it. What do you think?

I was looking for an image for this post when I came across this article. Hmm.