Huge Sale On Kindle Books This Week!

Amazon has a really big sale going on Kindle books this week in what they are calling “The Big Deal” for Cyber Monday Week! Check out the sale prices here!

Some books are 99 cents, and others range from $1.99-3.99. This is a great time to get that book you haven’t pulled the trigger on at $9.99-$14.99 and have some great reading material for the holidays. Or you could use this to get an early Christmas present for a fellow Kindle user! (Of course, if you are looking for gifts for a Kindle owner but don’t know exactly what they want, you could always get them a Kindle gift card.) They are also mixing it up a bit and having different deals each day, so make sure you keep checking back every day this week!

Given the Kindle reviews spread all over the web right now long with many a raving review about the Kindle Fire, I will be surprised if ebook sales don’t go through the roof through the holidays. Not only that, but e-reader and tablet sales in general are through the roof, all of which have a Kindle app on them.The Kindle Fire right now is the top selling tablet at Best Buy, even beating out the iPad (although this is only partially true, as Best Buy divides up iPad sales by model, so they do not get counted together. Still an impressive feat nonetheless!)

2012 will be the year of the ebook, much more so than 2011, in my opinion. Next up for Amazon? Cell phones! We predicted that here a few weeks ago, and now it seems to be coming. More on that in a day or two once I gather all the details.

Again, make sure you check out this page at Amazon to get a deal on a book or two (or more!) this week!

Publishers Pulling Out Of Kindle Library Lending Programs?

It seems that publishers are pushing back on the many ways Amazon is now allowing users to borrow books. The Kindle Library Lending program is starting to take heat, and it could find itself in jeopardy soon.

Note:the Kindle Library Lending program and the Kindle Owners Lending Library are different beasts. In this post we are specifically talking about the program in which local library members can download Kindle books for a short time from libraries as if they checked out the paper book.

Penguin Publishing this week removed all of their books from the local library program citing security concerns. They were completely unclear as to what those “security” concerns were, but we can probably guess from the pushback these programs have received from publishers.

What publishers like Penguin (who may only be the first of many to pull out so it seems) are concerned about is this fact that there is the possibility that people could sign up for just about any library they wanted (in theory) and download whatever books they want without paying for them. So, it’s not so much abotu security as it is about the fear of loss of sales due to people using potential loopholes in the program.

Personally, I find Penguin’s position somewhat questionable. I understand the desire to prevent pirating of copyrighted material, but is taking books away from libraries the way to do that? I mean, we are talking about libraries – the place where all citizens are supposed to have access to knowledge. Surely the problem isn’t so rampant that publishers must ban libraries from the use of their materials altogether.

But hey, that’s my two cents, and I expect that we may see this trend continue, as publishers have many concerns as they face the brave new world of ebooks.

Amazon Dumps Duplicate Kindle Books

Kindle review news  – If you have searched the Kindle store over the past year or so, you may have seen lots of titles that were the same or almost the same that were out there. These books are known as “PLR” ebooks. PLR stands for private label rights, and it basically means that the purchaser has the right to put their name on a title and re-publish it as their own.

Many marketers, looking for a quick way to make a little cash, were putting these books up in the Kindle store. At one time, it was allowed, so there were folks out there selling training courses on how to do it.

However, Amazon just brought down the hammer on these folks. No more of what they called “undifferentiated” material. In a statement sent to many of the people who had these books on the shelves in the Kindle store, they said thy dropped them because they felt it took away from the experience of Kindle users.

I think they are probably right in this, and I must say that I am glad that this practice has stopped. I think it could have eventually really junked up the book selection from Amazon. Fortunately, this is not simply Amazon cracking down on authors, as some may have thought when this happened. It is really more the opposite – allowing original authorship to be the hallmark of the books offered.

Kindle Textbook Rental for College Students!

Kindle Textbook Rental

Finally!

If you are in college or went to college, you know how unbelievably expense textbooks are. I have always felt like it is kind of a racket. In comes the Kindle Textbook Rental program to save the day! If you don’t have a Kindle yet and you are a college student, it’s time for a Kindle review!

This is an idea whose time has finally come. I just wish it was around when I was in school. You can learn more about the program here – Amazon.com Kindle Textbooks.

The way it is set up is very cool. You can buy the textbook if you want, but if you want to rent it, you can rent it from a period of 30 to 360 days. This avoids the issues of different semester lengths, start times, etc., as you can just rent it for as long as you need. Not to mention the way textbooks can be updated. You know that half the books you bought/buy are out of date as soon as you pull them off the shelf. This way, authors and publishers can get out an update much faster than they can now.

Kindle textbook rental

Also, you will not have to own a Kindle to use this feature. Although most of you who read this site do have one. You could also read your textbooks on your computer or mobile device if you so desire (but why would you with such a killer screen on the Kindle? haha!).

The only downside to this that I can see is that you can not sell the books bac like you can when you buy a new or used textbook. Of course, if you had the experience I had, most of the time you would get almost nothing when you try to sell them back. It stinks! So, you might as well go this route, as you probably would not get any real value for selling the book back.

At any rate, I am excited about this for you college students! Please come by and comment if you use this or plan to use this!

Project Gutenberg becomes Kindle Compatible

One of the best things about copyright law is that it expires 50 years after the author has passed away. This means that all the great classics that were written a few decades ago can be distributed without paying heed to the stringent restrictions of copyright law. Project Gutenberg has steadily been compiling electronic versions of books which are no longer bound by copyright restrictions and the website has recently provided these books in the Kindle format.

So which titles are free?

The project Gutenberg website has over 29 000 titles which can be downloaded directly onto your Kindle. You can easily peruse the available e-books by searching an author’s name or entering the title of a specific book that you want.

Is it legal?

Movie and music piracy has illustrated that most people do not care about the legality of stealing digitalized forms of art, but there are still some people who have reserves about any type of theft. The few law-abiding citizens within the extensive internet community should rest assured that websites like Project Gutenberg remain within the strict bounds of the law and you can therefore engage in guilt-free downloading.

How does the law work?

Books are only protected by copyright law until 50 years after the author’s death. Any book that is older than this can be distributed freely by any publisher. Classic novels have always been more affordable than their contemporary counterparts because the overhead of royalties has been eliminated.

Does Amazon have any free titles?

You can download numerous free titles directly from the Amazon website if you would prefer this. The reliability of the Amazon system might make this a better option, but if you can’t find the title you are looking for, then you should definitely refer to Gutenberg catalogue of free e-books.

Which free E-books are good?

The literary canon has been constructed over centuries to ensure that best books are retained within the culture and not forgotten. Generally, if a book forms part of the canon, it will have a great deal of literary merit, but this does not necessarily mean that you will like it. The wide array of classic books means that you will have to do some research and decide what it is that you would like to read. Joyce might appeal to some people, but the avid Danielle Steele reader will probably become lost under the layered cross referencing of the Irish genius. Instead of spending hours perusing the shelves of a bookstore, find a free e-book and enjoy something that is regarded aesthetically important enough to be retained within our culture.

Will the Kindle Replace Textbooks?

Kindle at School

The space-aged image of students reading from handheld tablets might seem far-fetched, but Clearwater High School, in the United States, handed Kindles to all its students last September. This event triggered many comments about the death of books and that Kindle would replace textbooks in the near future, but this has not really come to fruition yet, with most schools still distributing books instead going the electronic route.

Will Kindle replace textbooks?

It is difficult to say if Kindles will successfully oust books from the classroom, because the product has only been on the market for a few years. Every small improvement and enhancement of the Kindle will make it more likely to replace books, but it is unlikely to change the way we study for quite some time.

The advent of laptops left many people thinking that notebooks and pens were a thing of the past, but most students still opt to write instead of typing in class. The odd pretentious keener might sit at the front of the class and annoy the rest of the lecture attendees with his or her key bashing, but this has not changed the way the majority of the students prefer to take notes.

Benefits of Kindle at school

• Students are digital savvy – Most students spend of their time texting or chatting online and the Kindle platform is a perfect match for this hobby. Taking notes on a Kindle is akin to texting on a cellphone and this might increase the likelihood of kids actually taking notes.

• Kindle carries more than a bag – An extensive library of books can be contained within a single Kindle and this means that students will easily be able to carry more than what they need on a daily basis. The excuse, “I left my book at home” will disappear because the Kindle will be all that you need.

• It’s cheaper – Kindle also offers the added benefit of affordability, because it does not have the overheads that textbook publishers have. If Kindle is incorporated into schools then the students will gain access to more books at a lower cost, and this could potentially extend the scope of education within schools.

Why schools might not be ready for Kindle

• We are used to paper – Humans have been using paper for centuries and to break away from this will prove very difficult. Old-school authoritarians will look at the adoption of digital readers with enormous distrust and will probably regard it as the degradation of society.
• Students break things – In order to understand the destructive abilities of a student, you need only look at the state of his or her textbook after one week. If students are entrusted with a fragile electronic device then there is always the possibility that they will destroy it very quickly and thereby lose everything that was stored on it.

What does the future hold?

It is difficult to say at this point, but it is very likely that e-readers, like Kindle, will eventually replace text books in the classroom. Once we overcome our familiarity with paper, Kindle will take over and the way we study will change indefinitely.

Amazon Drops Lendle

Amazon has terminated its relationship with Lendle and other E-book lending applications. Kindle users no longer have the benefit of lending books instead and will now have to revert to purchasing copies at retail prices. The internet community has expressed its dismay on social networks, like Twitter, but there has been no indication that Amazon intends to reestablish ties with Lendle or other similar applications.

What was Lendle?

It is rather odd to speak about a month old application in the past tense, but it is necessary with regard to Lendle because it has already been discontinued. Lendle was an interactive website on which users could swap E-books instead of purchasing them. The site allowed Kindle users to gain access to titles that they didn’t necessarily want to buy.

Why did Amazon pull it?

Amazon decided to pull Lendle because it was not furthering the sales of Kindle titles. Lendle provided users with a means to get titles virtually free of charge. If a user had already purchased ten titles it would mean that he or she could trade all of these titles and thereby negotiate to gain access to ten more E-books. Such a system would eventually make it unnecessary for users to buy books at all.

Is it fair?

It seems grossly unfair for Amazon to pull the plug on a concept which seems so beneficial, but let’s consider social sharing of media for a moment. Sites that host the sharing of files have ripped such a hole into copyright law that movie makers and musicians no longer have any protection. Authors were always a bit more fortunate because their medium was print, but the digital era has done away with this safeguard.

For Amazon to protect its sales, it is also going a long way to protect the rights of authors throughout the world. If social sharing of E-books descended to the abysmal depths that it has in media then authors would soon have no protection whatsoever.

Where does this leave us?

Kindle has already made reading cheaper and more accessible, while retaining some protection for authors. If you are not willing to spend ten dollars on a piece of fiction that took a person years to produce, then you should perhaps walk into a local book store and just pocket a book, because, when you think about it, in a way, that is what “social sharing,” if it is a permanent sharing, eventually amounts to.

New page numbers for Kindle on iPad

The seemingly insignificant page number can induce unbearable annoyance when it is absent. For a long time, Amazon’s Kindle was guilty of overlooking the importance of page numbers and gave headaches to students and book club members throughout the world. The protests of these annoyed customers has resulted in a change to the formatting of the Kindle e-books.

The absence of page numbers created a nightmare for students who were trying to reference their work while using an electronic version of a prescribed book. Many students were forced to obtain paperback copies of the books to ensure that the referencing was done accurately.

In response to dilemmas of this nature, Kindle quietly released an update and it has already impacted thousands of books, with many more to follow in the near future. At first the upgrade was exclusive to Kindle products but the change has now been extended to include Apple’s iPad application; so, iPad owners do not have to be concerned about being deprived of the privilege of page numbers.

If you are running an Android device, then you will have to wait a little longer to benefit from page numbers because Amazon has still not made this perk compatible with this operating system. Because Amazon has been so quiet about the page number saga, it is unclear when an application will become available for Android users.

There is also speculation that Amazon might pull the iPad application because of a dispute with Apple. New shopping guidelines, provided by Apple, state that any product purchased from within an IOS application must be done through the Apple Store and this will ensure the company a 30% cut of the profits that would normally go to Amazon.

Amazon has served as the premier seller of e-books since the release of the Kindle range and it is unlikely that the company will be willing to relinquish this position. If Amazon was to pull the application then this would place all iPad users in the same annoying position that they were in before.

Competing with Apple is proving very treacherous and Amazon will be eager to keep abreast of the electronic giant in any way that it can. Neither company would benefit from a mass of unsatisfied customers, so a rapid compromise is very likely. It is interesting to think that modern business rivalry has such a pervasive influence that it now even includes arbitrary things like page numbers.