Looking at offers in Kindle Store and elsewhere, again

For your Kindle, and not for your Kindle, here are some offers -

  1. Divanomics by Michelle Mckinney Hammond. Price: $0. Genre: Personal Finance, Frugality, Divine Inspiration for Victorious Attitude. Rated 4 stars on 20 reviews.
  2. Update: Now available in the Kindle Store – 8 Jane Austen inspired books and 6 Jane Austen originals with illustrations - It’s a post by Happy Reader Joyce that lists all of them. There’s supposed to be a Jane Austen special today with 16 offers – 10 Austen-inspired novels, 6 Austen classics with original illustrations by the Brock Brothers. Except, Kindle Store didn’t get the memo. At Nook Store you can get the 10 Austen-inspired novels for free, but the 6 Austen classics cost $1 each. It’s also supposed to be available at iTunes. Then you can read the books on your non-Kindle reading devices. Go to this Jane Austen search page at B&N and scroll down - The Jane Austen inspired novels are results 4 through 12, and result 27. The books on offer include -
  3. Mr. Fitzwillliam Darcy: The Last Man in the World by Abigail Reynolds.
    Mr. Darcy’s Diary by Amanda Grange.
    Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife by Linda Berdoll.
    Lydia Bennett’s Story: A Sequel to Pride and Prejudice by Jane Odiwe.
    Eliza’s Daughter by Joan Aiken.
    The Darcys & the Bingleys: Pride and Prejudice Continues by Marsha Altman.

It’s unfortunate that the illustrated originals aren’t free anywhere. Not sure why Kindle Store doesn’t have the others, which are free at Nook Store and iBookstore. Kindle Store does have the original illustrated editions for $1 each – Free would be better.

Quick Thoughts on reading on Nook Color

  1. It’s great for reading at night. The Kindle with the Lighted Cover is better – However, with Nook Color you don’t need a cover. Nook Color costs exactly the same as Kindle and the Lighted Cover combined.
  2. The Night Mode isn’t really Night Mode. It’s more like grey and white – not as nice.
  3. Nook Color is the perfect size, though a little heavier than the ideal weight. You can hold it up in one hand – though not for long.
  4. You can surf the Internet very well on it – hold it up with one hand, use the touchscreen keyboard with the other hand. It’s a plus and a minus to have easy access to email and the Internet on your reading device.
  5. It’s better than iPhone for reading at night. The big advantage of the iPhone is having Kindle for iPhone. However, when reading two books that are equally as good – Nook Color simply destroys iPhone (screen too small) and iPad (too heavy). 

It’s quickly becoming a Kindle and Nook Color world for me. Can’t wait for some innovative apps to show up for both – Then can throw away everything else, and use just these two.

Speaking of innovative apps, the last two apps for the Kindle are pretty cool -

  1. Dusk World is an interactive story app. It’s super ambitious. It’s also unfortunately priced at $5.99 which cuts the market – It’s still managed to hit #39 in the Kindle Store. Guessing that since it’s 7 MB, and download charges are 15 cents per MB, every download costs $1.05. Amazon should just make it $4, and restrict downloads to via PC only.
  2. Abs Anywhere is an exercise partner app. At least it’s different. It’s $1.99. It has a 1 star rating because it can’t be used in waiting rooms – You need a floor to do the exercises. The strange thing is, one of the best ab exercises is deep breathing and contracting your abs. It wouldn’t take much effort for them to include some ab exercises that Kindle owners can do when sitting, and a few for when Kindle owners are standing up.

For me, this is what the app store is really about – One company trying out ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ type apps, another company choosing a ‘fitness exercises’ app. Hopefully, the Kindle Store keeps adding innovative apps.

The need for a foldable Kindle, 4 free books

First, for your Kindle, here are 4 kindle free books -

  1. The Judge Who Stole Christmas by Randy Singer. Price: $0. Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Christian, Christmas. Rated 4.5 stars on 8 reviews.

    This holiday novella’s premise is a Christmas-time court battle over a live crèche scene set up in the town square of Possum, Va. Thomas Hammond loves playing Joseph in this crèche, and he is determined to keep turning out for his role regardless of what the ACLU or a decidedly Grinch-like judge has to say about it. His resolve earns him the respect of some of his fellow church-goers, but it also lands him in jail. He is defended by Jasmine Woodfaulk, a third-year law student who sticks with the case even though its notoriety costs her a plum job at a top law firm in New York

  2. Lessons of a Brand Manager by Michael F. Golden. Price: $0. Genre: Business, Branding, Brand Management.

    After 150-plus years in the firearms business, customers everywhere recognized the Smith & Wesson name—but they didn’t know what it stood for. For CEO Michael Golden and the team of brand-builders he put together, the management challenge wasn’t just about reclaiming market share. It was about regaining an understanding of how potential customers perceived the business and how best to tap into that.

    Golden’s grasp of brand management, which he gained in other industries, helped him make decisions about how to engage employees, create partnerships, design marketing plans, and even structure his own role in ways that would ensure that the company conveyed a consistent brand message. Here’s what you can learn from his experience.

  3. The Truth About Getting the Best From People by Martha I. Finney. Price: $0. Genre: Leadership, Human Resources, Personnel Management. Rated 5 stars on 4 reviews.

    “Finally, a no-nonsense primer for leaders on how to build…and keep…extraordinary talent. This book should be in the briefcase of every exec in the world and should be pulled out every day for a refresher on how to be a real leader.”
                                      - Dan Walker, Former Chief Talent Officer for Apple, Inc.

  4. 15 Ways to Take Control of Your Career Now by FT Press. Price: $0. Genre: Business, Career Management. Rated 4 stars on 1 review.

    Fifteen powerfully useful mini-guides help you get ahead where you are or move on…find your next great job, negotiate great compensation, and start with confidence…smoothly handle nonstop change, negative emotions, and whatever else comes your way!

    From world-renowned leaders and experts, including Dr. Gregory Shea, Robert Gunther, Martha I. Finney, and more.

These take our total for the day to 11.

Next, let’s make the case for Amazon to focus on making a foldable Kindle. Perhaps as soon as Kindle 4 or Kindle DX 3.

The Case for a Foldable Kindle

Look at the Sony 350′s extreme portability and you have to admire just how convenient it is – put it in your pocket and take it everywhere. Look at the Nook Color’s 7″ screen and it’s obvious that 7″ or 8″ would be a better fit for books than the Kindle 3′s 6″ screen.

Well, there’s a way Kindle 4 and Kindle DX 3 could combine the benefits of both.

A Foldable Kindle would be extremely portable

If Kindle 3 were foldable it could be half or a third in size. You could fold it into the size of the keyboard and put it in your pocket or handbag and not have to worry about carrying it in your hand or it taking up a lot of space in your bag.

If Kindle DX were foldable in half it would be the size of the Kindle 3. You could also design it to fold to a third of the size or even a fourth of the size. The single biggest reason my Kindle DX doesn’t see more use is that it’s so awkward to carry around.

A side benefit of extreme portability would be that Kindles would be dropped less – You’d be carrying them in your hands less and they would be easier to grip/hold when moving around.

Foldable Kindle = We can go with larger screen sizes

We don’t have to limit ourselves to screens that are the current size or just a tiny bit bigger.

We could have the Kindle fold out into almost the exact size of a paperback – two 7″ screens facing each other. We could have a Kindle DX that folds out into double the current size.

You could have a Kindle 4 that is half the size of the Kindle 3 when folded up and then opens into the size of a paperback with two full 7″ screens.

The argument that adding folding adversely affects thickness is not very valid because we’re already at a point where the thinness adds little – Kindles are almost too thin. If the Kindle were 1″ instead of 0.33″ it wouldn’t be that big a deal. Also, it’s mostly the eInk screen size that would be affected – so the thickness wouldn’t need to increase very much.

A Foldable Kindle would offer much better protection

Firstly, we’d have to use flexible eInk to make a foldable Kindle and that would mean the screen would naturally be harder to break.

Secondly, a foldable Kindle would mean the eInk screen could be covered up – no scratches from anything in your pocket or anything in your bag, less chance of the screen hitting something.

Finally, it’s possible to use designs that transfer the stress of a fall away the screen and internal components – Perhaps when you drop your Kindle the stress is transferred into the hinges and joints and there’s something there (like rubber) to take the pressure. Perhaps the edges have absorbent rubber or a special protective casing.

Foldable Kindles would offer new design possibilities

Qualcomm has a patent for a foldable device with 3 screens that changes its functionality based on how the screens are aligned with each other. It’s a great idea to take inspiration from.

With a foldable Kindle DX you could have it go into a ‘two page book’ mode when the screens are held in landscape view and folded inwards a bit. Then you unfold it and align it in portrait view and it’s the normal Kindle DX.

A Folding Kindle would be very cool

It would be a huge advantage because foldable screens aren’t very common at all. The Kindle would suddenly have this eInk screen which is better for reading than any other screen technology and is also foldable.

Not sure about this but don’t think that LCD screens are very amenable to folding – Manufacturers would have to re-tool their entire production facilities. It might be a long time before other screen technologies could compete with foldable, flexible eInk screens. Basically, eInk hasn’t got billions of dollars invested into facilities that make non-flexible screens. If eInk quickly shifts to flexible screens it’d take LCD screen manufacturers a while to catch up.

A flexible, foldable screen would be a huge advantage for the Kindle and it’s definitely something Amazon should look into for Kindle 4.

4 additional kindle free books for a total of 23

You can find all 23 of today’s free book offers at the 50 Kindle Free Books post.

Here are the 4 latest additions -

  1. Options Trading for the Conservative Investor: Increasing Profits Without Increasing Your Risk by Michael C. Thomsett. Price: $0. Genre: Finance, Investing, Options. Rated 3.5 stars on 21 reviews.

    The world’s #1 options author has written the definitive options guide for conservative investors! One step at a time, you’ll discover how to use options to increase yields, reduce risks, protect existing positions, and ride safely through any market down cycle. Want double-digit returns without heart-pounding risk? Here are the options you’ve been searching for!

  2. The Truth About Thriving in Change by William S. Kane. Price: $0. Genre: Business, Leadership, Organizational Change. No reviews.

    This book brings together 49 powerful “truths” about planning, driving, and sustaining organizational change: real solutions for the tough challenges faced by every business leader. You’ll discover which skills you need most, and how to develop them…how to lead change without eroding employee motivation, commitment, and productivity…why you must start fast, and “run before you walk”…when to persuade, when to educate, and when to “use force”…how to make the change agenda everyone’s agenda…and how to create the right cultural framework for successful change.

  3. On the Run by Bill Myers. Price: $0. Genre: Children, Christian, Fantasy, Suspense. Rated 4 stars on 5 reviews.

    In book one, On the Run, Elijah’s supernatural gifts have drawn the attention of dark forces. Separated from their parents, Zach and Piper (with a lot of help from heaven) must protect their little brother.

    Bill Myers is a bestselling author and award-winning writer/director whose work has won forty national and international awards. His books and videos have sold eight million copies and include The Seeing, Eli, The Voice, My Life as, Forbidden Doors, and McGee and Me.

  4. Hustlin’ Divas by De’nesha Diamond. Price: $0. Genre: Urban Fiction, Street Lit. Rated 4 stars on 8 reviews.

    Memphis is the crime capital of America, and no one knows that better than the women born and raised in its mean streets. It’s put sisters Ta’Shara and LeShelle on opposite sides of the street game, where blood means nothing and loyalty doesn’t last long. It’s also got Yolanda, an ambitious drug mule, and Melanie, a police detective, caught up with the same man–the notorious hustler Python.

    Forget what you heard about East Coast/West Coast, ’cause real vendettas are born in the Dirty South.

23 free kindle books in 1 day. It seems Amazon intends to make sure everyone visits its site regularly during holiday season.

Will there be a Black Friday Kindle Deal or a Kindle Bundle?

Marisa asks an interesting questions at the official kindle forum -

So I’m looking for pure speculation or substantiated fact. I’m going to be purchasing a Kindle Wireless ($139) for my husband for Christmas. The price is amazing and I know that it won’t come down (why should it?).

But Black Friday is around the corner now and I’m wondering if Amazon might sweeten the pot a bit and bundle the Kindle with something. Maybe a case or a gift card for purchasing titles, …

All the answers seem to converge to one conclusion -

  • Amazon has never done a Kindle Black Friday deal in the past and is unlikely to do anything Kindle related for Black Friday this year.  

There are, however, a few reasons this year might be different -

  1. BestBuy has a $100 Nook WiFi offer. Sony has a $150 Sony PRS-350 offer through November 27th at its own stores and at various other stores.
  2. Amazon hasn’t done any price-cuts since Kindle 3 and Kindle WiFi first came out. It tends to cut prices pretty regularly and a Kindle Black Friday deal or price-cut would fit in well.
  3. Given that Kindle 3 and Kindle WiFi are selling briskly you have to imagine economies of scale have already kicked in or will very soon. Amazon is likely to pass on the savings.
  4. Amazon doesn’t know what 2011 might bring – Mini iPad, Color Screen eReaders, Pixel Qi tablets. The more Kindles it can sell in 2010 the better.
  5. If ebooks keep growing at their current rate they might trigger a destruction of traditional publishers. Amazon would benefit tremendously if this were to happen. Amazon may very well decide that getting more Kindles into people’s hands and selling more ebooks is worth taking a loss on the Kindle WiFi.

Logically a $100 or $110 Kindle WiFi makes sense if you think of a Kindle as customer acquisition. Anyone who buys a Kindle is a potential lifetime Amazon customer.

My gut instinct is that Amazon will get it done. From November 2007 to November 2010 we’ve seen the Kindle’s price drop from $399 to $189/$139. This holiday season Amazon doesn’t really have any competitors and it can really clean up.

It might never get another opportunity like this and a $100 Kindle WiFi is the obvious move.

4 Kindle Free Books, Stephen King’s $80,000 Novella

First, the free kindle books -

  1. Cool Beans: A Maya Davis Novel by Erynn Magnum. Genre: Christian, Romance. Price: Free. Rated 4.5 stars on 10 reviews.

    Everything seems to be going perfectly for Maya Davis: She has a great job at a coffee shop, gets along with her parents, and is happily single. That is until her best friend starts dating Maya’s high school sweetheart.

    This funny, heartwarming fiction story by best-selling author Erynn Mangum uses the power of story to challenge teens to discover the relevance of faith in their relationships and their lives.

  2. Dancing in the Lowcountry by James Villas. Price: Free. Genre: Fiction, Contemporary Fiction.

    Ella Dubose is a Southern lady of a certain age–an age at which memories of youth can rush in at every turn and overwhelm the present. But while Ella’s two younger children are concerned for her health and want to limit her independence, Ella–elegant, unconventional, and unrepentantly willful–has very different ideas. And she’s not about to be controlled by anyone, not when there are tasks she needs to complete and loose ends that must be tied.

    The first step is to leave her family and take a road trip back to the places where key chapters of her life unfolded. Myrtle Beach has been overrun by theme restaurants and ocean-front condos, but the Priscilla is still the charming, shingled inn Ella remembers from visits long ago. At the Priscilla, Ella and her companion, Goldie, sip cocktails on the porch and dine on she-crab soup and fried oysters while awaiting the arrival of Ella’s oldest son, Tyler, now a successful writer in New York. And there, too, Ella meets a dashing, attentive gentleman …

  3. Half Past Dead by Zoe Archer and Bianca D’Arc. Price: Free. Genre: Romance, Horror, Zombies. Rated 4 stars on 4 reviews.  

    Vintage horror, high adventure, and soul-aching romance blend in Archer’s compelling The Undying Heart, prequel to the upcoming Blades of the Rose trilogy. Cassandra Fielding, a young pistol-in-the-skirts hunter of magical artifacts, renews her childhood infatuation with Sam Reed, even though he’s been turned into a cold, fierce, disillusioned, but still handsome zombie by his unscrupulous Crimean War commander.

    In D’Arc’s more modern Simon Says, a prequel to Once Bitten, Twice Dead, special ops agent Simon Blackwell chases contagious zombie Marines in the woods by night and dallies with military nurse Mariana Daniels by day, but both pursuits come off as lukewarm and somewhat routine.

  4. Spinning Forward by Terri DuLong. Genre: Fiction, Knitting. Price: Free. Rated 4 stars on 33 reviews.

    A New Englander born and bred, the last place Sydney Webster expects to find herself starting over is on an island off the coast of Florida. Yet here she is in Cedar Key, trying to pull herself together after her husband’s untimely death–and the even more untimely revelation of his gambling addiction. Bereft of her comfortable suburban life, Syd takes shelter at a college pal’s bed and breakfast, where amidst the bougainvillea blossoms and the island’s gentle rhythms, a plan begins to form. . .

    Syd never considered the possibility of turning her passion for spinning and knitting into something more than a hobby, but when the unique composition of her wool draws attention, a door is opened–the first among many. Yet even as she ventures out of her comfort zone, Syd finds herself stepping into the embrace of a community rich with love, laughter, friendship…and secrets.

Good books – Spinning Forward has a very pretty cover. It was free a while back but didn’t get a chance to download it and perhaps you missed it too.

Stephen King made $80,000 on Ur, wrote it in 3 days

It’s always interesting to hear about Kindle book sales. Here’s what Stephen King says about Kindle book sales in a short interview with the WSJ -

I didn’t do “Ur” for money. I did it because it was interesting. I’m fairly prolific. It took three days, and I’ve made about $80,000. You can’t get that for short fiction from Playboy or anybody else. It’s ridiculous.

He also revealed that digital books are approaching half of his reading time.

He talks about this as a potential drawback of ebooks -

I wonder if one or two atom bombs went off, would electromagnetic pulses erase the world’s reading material from the servers where they are stored?

eBooks would be the least of our worries if 1 or 2 atom bombs went off.

2 kindle free books, kindle updates

First, here are the two free kindle books -

  1. The Anvil of the World by Kage Baker. Genre: Fantasy. Price: Free. Rated 4 stars on 33 reviews.

    Best known for such time-travel novels as Sky Coyote, Baker now turns her hand to humorous fantasy in this picaresque tale of a retired assassin, Smith, who is just trying to stay on the right side of the law, but who continually finds himself knee-deep in mayhem.

    Smith takes a job as a caravan master, shepherding a cargo of one gross of glass butterflies and a variety of eccentric passengers on a dangerous journey from the city of Troon to Salesh-by-the-Sea. Most notable among his passengers are the decadent Lord Ermenwyr and his nurse Balnshik, neither of whom are entirely mortal.

  2. The Promise: Make Your Life Rich by Discovering Your Best Self by Victor Davich. Genre: Self-Help. Price: Free sometimes, Paid sometimes – YMMV. Rated 5 stars on 6 reviews.

    Imagine what it would feel like to be effortlessly confident, powerful, and happy – to reap the riches you’re entitled to, just by being born?

    From the creator of the program Time magazine calls “the most American form of meditation yet” comes an exciting new 8-minute action plan that will empower you to reclaim the true joy and fulfillment that is all your own. The Promise is a revolutionary new program that will allow you to embrace an extraordinary gift: Your Best Self.

 The first one seems really promising.

Amazon to announce ‘Absolutely Nothing’ about Kindle at Tomorrow’s Earnings Call

Amazon has its earnings call tomorrow – which probably means another call with no meaningful information on Kindle sales. Amazon has elevated revealing nothing about the Kindle to an art form.



Kindle for Mac gets updates

 Kindle for Mac App got some updates today -

  1. Notes and Highlights. 
  2. Search.  
  3. Multi-column reading mode.
  4. A slick new look.

In all fairness it does look quite good in the photos.

Kindle Update 3.0.3 available

This is the 3.0.3 Kindle ‘early preview’ release and it’s only meant for users who are willing to help Amazon out by trying out the update and giving feedback. Not recommended unless you’re willing to risk the dangers of a preview release.

It includes general performance improvements.

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