Rumor? or Real? Amazon about to offer a New eBook Subscription Service

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The internet (the part that is interested in ebooks, anyway :) ) is abuzz today with the most-likely-true rumor that Amazon is about to launch a new service.

This looks like it will be a new Netflix-ish subscription service with digital ebooks and audio books…… an “all you can eat” approach …. for $9.99 a month.

It isn’t available yet. As a matter of fact, it hasn’t even been confirmed, yet. But the stories about it are everywhere.

When (if) this launches, I’ll be sure to post the details. But in the meantime, here are some links to many of the stories flooding the internet, today:

Amazon Tests ‘Kindle Unlimited,’ A Netflix For Ebooks And Audiobooks

Amazon Appears to Be Testing All-You-Can-Read Kindle Ebook Subscriptions

Amazon’s Prepping a “Kindle Unlimited” Subscription Service For Books

Amazon is working on Kindle Unlimited, the ultimate subscription service for readers

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A Question for Readers …….

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 8.09.29 AMThis is the time of the year where my Kindle is always within reach. I take it everywhere.

I read a lot. My favorite kind of book is historical fiction, “Pillars of the Earth” being a great example. And if it is really good … I like it LONG (because I’m always sad when a great book comes to an end. :( )

I know a lot of the readers of this blog are also voracious readers.

Here’s a question that I saw on twitter the other day:

What was the LAST BOOK that you recommended to someone?

Hmmmm. Interesting question! Not any-old recommendation. Not your favorite book. But the LAST book that you recommended to someone.

My answer: The last book I recommended to someone was The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure. Set in France during the occupation, a reluctant architect designs intricate hiding places for Jewish citizens. It is a page-turner!

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How about you? What was the LAST BOOK that you recommended to someone?

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Your Opportunity to Get an Invite to Amazon’s June Launch Event

Amazon will be making an announcement … a launching announcement …. soon. June 18, to be exact.

Speculation is that it will be a NEW device. An Amazon SmartPhone? That seems to be the most popular guess.

Here is their video “hint” about the device-to-be-launched:

If you’d like to go to the launch event, you have a chance. Amazon will be including customers at their party (not just media types and developers).

Just follow this link and fill in your email and reasons why you would like an invitation. (Keep in mind that it will be held in Seattle.)

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It’s my Blog-aversary!

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This week marks my anniversary of TWO full years of blogging.

TWO years!

I find it hard to believe.

I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of my readers for your continued support and encouragement.

For now I plan to continue. After all, new iPhones are just around the corner, followed (most likely) with a new OS, new tweaks, new and updated apps, maybe even a new Paperwhite ….

As the tech keeps coming, I’ll keep on bloggin’!

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Like E-books? Want ‘em cheaper? eReaderIQ just made it easier than ever!

Screen Shot 2014-05-04 at 7.44.15 PM I am a voracious e-reader. And that means I buy a lot of books. (I also borrow books … from both my local library AND from Amazon Prime.) But in spite of all the free opportunities, I find that for me, just about every-other-book is a “buy”.

So to manage my budget, and get the books I want as cheaply as I can, I turn to a marvelous website, eReaderIQ. Although I have gushed about eReaderIQ before on this blog, I am not going to link to those posts because eReaderIQ has gotten BETTER, and the “old ways” just don’t apply anymore.

But first, let me back up a bit and tell you all about eReaderIQ. It is absolutely FREE to use. And when you sign up, you only need your email address (no password to remember!!).

There are so many features on this website that I usually spend time there every day. If you have a Kindle, this should absolutely be on your “look here” list.

Kindle books often fluctuate in price, and with eReaderIQ you can stay up with and take advantage of those price changes.

You can:

…. set up daily alerts via email for the genres you are interested in

…. see the day’s best price drops

…. see what is new today on Kindle

…. look at a list of books for just $1

…. see the most popular FREE books of the day

and ….. my FAVORITE feature ….. Track the prices of the books that you are interested in!

I’ve been using this feature ever since I discovered the website. I find a book that I would like to read, and I put it on my “tracking” list with eReaderIQ. I can pick a price and tell them to alert me when the book drops to the price I am hoping for. This is a truly wonderful and money-saving feature.

AND, it just got better!

In the past, in order to track a book, you had to copy and paste book ASIN numbers into the website. Although I explained all of that in a previous post, I’m not linking to that post, because the procedure has been GREATLY improved. :)

Now they provide a link that you can drag to your bookmark bar. I did this, and it is awesome.

I now have a “one-click watcher” AND a “one-click viewer” sitting on my bookmark bar. When I am browsing books on the Amazon website, and see a book I would like to “watch” and wait for a price drop, all I have to do is tap the “one click watcher” link on my bookmark bar. This is MUCH easier than all the copying and pasting from before.

Another great shopping tool is the “one-click viewer”. If you are considering buying a book, you would probably be interested to know if the book was ever priced lower or higher. This might help you decide if now is the best time to buy the book. With the “one-click-viewer”, just give a tap on the link and you will see the entire price history of the book you are looking at.

Here I “one clicked” to see the price history of “World Without End”. You can see that the price has gradually come down over the years, and appears to be at its lowest point right now.

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Just go ahead and explore their website for all these wonderful features. The main page is here, and a link to their tracking tools is here.

Enjoy!! and Shop Smart! eReaderIQ

eReaderIQ is available for the US, the UK, and Canada. Just click the appropriate flag at the top of the screen.

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Kindle App just keeps getting better and better!

Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 8.23.46 PM Although the Kindle Paperwhite is the best e-reader ever ….. I also read on my iPad. (I’m a multi-tasker-reader. :) ) When I read on my iPad, I use the Kindle app.

I have only wonderful things to say about the Kindle app …. and I use it every single day. (I actually prefer to look at my Kindle library through this app on the the iPad (rather than my Paperwhite) just because all of the covers look so colorful, and are so easy to browse through.) We have talked about it many times on this blog, and you can find links to all those posts by clicking on All Things Kindle.

Remember … even if you don’t have a Kindle, with the free Kindle app you can have books sent directly to you iPhone or iPad with your Amazon account.

So, back to the latest upgrade!

With this update, you now have the ability to look at the Table of Contents of a book from anywhere within the book. You can be merrily reading along, and with just a tap you will see the contents appear on the side of your screen.

Here is how to access the Table of Contents within the Kindle App:

Tap the top of the page that you are reading, and then tap the menu lines in the upper left corner.

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A menu will drop down and you will see the now-available choice “Table of Contents”. Give that a tap.

The Table of Contents will appear on the left side of your page. You can scroll through it or even jump to another chapter.

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This Kindle app just keeps getting better and better!!

The Kindle App is FREE in the iTunes store.

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Amazon Settlement is ….. settled. Did you get $?

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 7.46.54 AM“In December 2013, a federal court approved legal settlements by publishers Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Penguin in antitrust lawsuits filed by State Attorneys General and Class Plaintiffs about the price of eBooks. Those settlements resulted in credits for qualifying Kindle books purchased between April 1, 2010 and May 21, 2012.”

All this legal maneuvering has been simmering for a while, and I was wondering how it was going to come out in the wash.

This morning I received an e-mail from Amazon informing me that I would be receiving a credit on my account for the e-books that I purchased in the latter half of 2010, 2011 and part of 2012.

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If you bought Kindle books during that time frame, and you received this email today … have no fear. It is legit. You didn’t have to do anything to be part of this settlement. It just happened for you. Enjoy!! :)

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I am one of the 4%

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 7.50.56 PMEarlier this year Pew research released the results of several studies regarding the habits of the reading public.

As someone who reads “e-books only” I was curious to see how common (or not) this has become. According to the research, this puts me in a small group of just 4%. Most people who read e-books also read print books.

But me? I stand firmly in that 4%. My eyes prefer the adjustable fonts, the adjustable light, the ease of getting, saving and carrying books. I’ve always been a big reader, but the e-reader (Kindle) simply makes reading even better.

However, when it comes to e-reading in general, once you take away the “exclusive”, the numbers climb. 28% of adults have read an e-book in the past year, and this number continues to rise.

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Half of all the adults in America own either a tablet or an e-reader, and coupled with the stats below, this makes me wonder:
…. if 32% of people own an e-reader, but only 28% have read an e-book, can we assume that about 4% own e-readers that are just collecting dust? (not to be confused with the 4% of us who are e-readers-only!)

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The full article: E-Reading Rises as Device Ownership Jumps
Three in ten adults read an e-book last year; half own a tablet or e-reader

Where do you fit? E-reader only? E-reader + print books? or do you (gasp) have an e-reader just languishing at the bottom of a drawer?

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Amazon Prime will now cost you a bit more

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Last week, all Amazon Prime members were notified that the price of their membership is going up. The cost had been $79 a year, but when their membership renews they will be charged $99. This is a $20/year increase. (But in all fairness, this is the first raise in price in 9 years.)

$99 a year translates to $8.25 a month. Your $8.25 a month gets you: 1) free shipping for prime-eligible merchandise 2) a large library of videos to stream to your devices, and 3) a library of ebooks to borrow for free and read on your Kindle.

I’ve been a member of Amazon’s Prime for several years, now. And with the raise in price? I’m staying.

My experience has been generally good. When I first started using Prime, the free shipping was the major draw for me. It was delightful not to have to “save up” my purchases to top the $25 total to qualify for free shipping. Suddenly I could order anything, have it appear at my door in days, and I never had to consider postage costs. However, I have noticed that over time many smaller items have been moved to a new category of “add ons”. This has been a disappointment and I hope this is not a trend that continues. But all in all, the free shipping is still very important to me. When buying a product I always sort through the choices to view only the prime-elible options.

The video streaming is delightful. The library is large, and there is a wide variety of content. While (in my opinion) Netflix is still better, Amazon Prime is getting better all the time.

The Kindle library is the third perk of Amazon Prime. This (to me) is the weakest prong of the three benefits of prime membership. While I have borrowed several books from the Kindle library (and it was VERY easy to do), I haven’t found many of the books that are on my to-read list. That said, the library boasts 500,000 titles, so it certainly isn’t the size that’s my complaint. Just not a lot of current best-seller types. I don’t mean to sound too negative, however. The last book that I read was from this library and it was excellent. I guess I’m saying that it can’t be your ONLY source of books.

So, in spite of the rate rise, I’m staying.

FYI: Amazon Student will raise from $39 to $49 a year.

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A Brief Look at Kindle Highlights (part two: How to Highlight as you Read your Book)

The point of this blog is to take our consumer technology and break it down into tiny little pieces. Gradually over these few weeks I’ll be addressing a few “how to’s” for Kindle Highlights. The first post in this series was: A Brief Look at Kindle Highlights: (part one: Popular Highlights)

Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 8.18.01 AMIf you are reading on a Kindle Paperwhite, and you come across a passage that you would like to highlight, it is so easy-peazy to do.

How to highlight a passage in the Kindle Paperwhite:

Just touch the first word of the passage you want to highlight. Now drag your finger to the END of the same passage. The text will darken.

Lift your finger.

You will now be presented with several choices of things that you can do with this highlighted text.

Select “highlight”.

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Poof! That’s all there is to it.

Now …. what if you want to see all the highlights you have selected in this book?

While you are IN the book, just go up to the top and tap on “menu”.

Then select “View Notes and Marks”

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Stay tuned ….. More info about Highlights to come! :)

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