Monday, March 2, 2015

Kindle Tips: Amazon has upgraded Kindle book samples ... Overdrive fixed its Kindle public library books problem ... 3M's library access - how it's done on Kindle Fires ... Today's specials on computer items and accessories, up to 50% off March 2 only ... March's free Kindle books (contemporary). Updated.

I'm just back from an unexpected vacation from the blog after 6 years but have monitored blog comments for any questions that people might have.

Will be catching up with some Amazon and Kindle news I did log, mainly for those who are too busy to keep up with that.

Four items before I get to others my list:

Amazon has made the Kindle book samples more useful
Amazon's email explained:

"- Samples that you download from the Kindle book store will now be saved in the cloud so that you can access and read them on any supported Amazon device or Kindle reading app.

 - You can delete your samples from the cloud on any supported devices or Kindle reading apps, or from Manage Your Content and Devices. (

Amazon devices and free Kindle reading apps that support these sample improvements are:
Fire HDX, Fire HD, Kindle Fire HDX, Kindle Fire HD (2nd Generation), Kindle Voyage, Kindle Paperwhite (2nd Generation), Kindle (7th Generation), Fire phone, Kindle for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch version 4.5 or greater, and Kindle for Android version 4.7 or greater."

More info at Amazon's Kindle Samples Help page.

Update on Overdrive for Public Libraries and Kindle Books
For January and February 2015, a number of eBooks added to their catalog were not available in the Kindle format, and Kindle customers brought this to their attention without getting explanations from Overdrive.  The situation was corrected on Friday (Feb. 27).
' This has now been resolved, and the Kindle format of the affected titles is now available in OverDrive’s Marketplace.  All U.S. libraries’ digital collections will be automatically refreshed with the Kindle format for any titles they have purchased that may not have had the format at the time of purchase.

As always, we will continue to add daily to our world leading catalog of over 2.6 million titles with all available formats. We look forward to continuing as the only provider of Kindle format eBooks for our U.S. library and school partners. '

Now, I don't know what they mean by 'continuing as the only provider of Kindle format eBooks' for their U.S. Library and school partners except for the following:

  3M is a rival provider, but it is definitely harder to use to access Kindle books, as it is NOT available for Kindle e-Ink eReaders (but can be transferred from computer downloads to Nook and Kobo eInk readers) and the recommended way is to use Kindle Fire tablets to download Kindle-formatted books.  Obviously, Amazon and 3M haven't come to an agreement similar to Overdrive's, which works with Amazon's easy download system.  However, some public libraries apparently don't offer Overdrive.

  Here are step-by-step instructions from the 3M public library Kindle Fire page (updated February 10, 2015).  Note that they say this is for the Kindle Fire HDX and doesn't mention the HD models.  However, in the initial steps of clicking a settings box to allow installation of a non-Amazon store app, it mentions that you'll find it under Settings/Device -- but in the HD and earlier models, this box is found under Settings/Applications.  Maybe that's the difference.

  If you don't have an HDX (or an HD that the 3M instructions might work on, here are alternate instructions that may work for the older Kindle Fire HD and and even earlier Kindle Fire from Washington County libraries system, as their steps incorporate 3M's own instructions for the Kindle Fire (linking you to the 3M page after a certain point) but they add advice on the various steps.

March's free Kindle books (contemporary or non-classics)
    February 2015  March 2015.
    Also, all currently free non-classics sorted by:
    Publication Date   Bestselling    High ratings

  There are only a few shown on the first few days of any month, and these include pre-orders due that month -- most of these are listed as "free preview" of whatever chapters chosen, some are short stories, and a few (overnight) not-entirely-family-safe titles may show up.

To see the monthly Kindle book discount deals available for March (these change monthly
and some of them are less-known), the February 2 blog entry was updated today, March 2,
to include revised information to reflect March's book selections.

Amazon's Deal of the Day in electronics
Today they're focusing on items for the PC -- up to 50% off for today, March 2 Only.
"Select Computer Components & Accessories." You'll see these at PC deals March 2
' Today only, enjoy special savings on select PC components and accessories from top brands. This one-day offer is valid on March 2, 2015, or while supplies last. Discount is already included in the current price. Applies only to purchases made from and does not apply to products purchased from third-party merchants on the website. Return to the Gold Box page. '

That's it for this morning.

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  1. Glad to see you back. Hope all is well.

    1. Yes. Thanks, Jim. I think I'm refreshed :-) Lots to cover, I see.

  2. Making Kindle samples "more useful" by simply making them available in the cloud and thus on more of a reader's devices? I think not. Amazon's samples, the mindless grabbing of the first portion of a book, are often worthless. Some barely extend past the dull front-matter. Being able to notice that failing on more devices won't change that. In fact, readers are now stuck with the hassle of going online with a web browser and deleting them.

    Amazon's sampling process illustrates two features of Amazon's book culture:

    1. Contempt for authors. Writers are not allowed to create their own sample text as with Apple's iBookstore. Control-obsessed Amazon grabs what they think best and, as usual, does it badly.

    2. Amazon's cluelessness about the world of books. Amazon still can't grasp that all books are not novels or trite little celebrity biographies that might be adequately captured by a sample that's simply the first part of a book. The idea that for more complex and richer books, a sample should be a well-chosen selection is beyond its worldview.

    Executives at large, mainstream publishers are right that, after some 20 years in the business Amazon still doesn't understand books or publishing. Arrogance cripples any ability to learn.

    1. Okay, it's just the first 10% of your book. Can you structure the beginning to show, in some kind of introduction, what you want brought to the attention of prospective readers? I realize it's the first10% of images and first 10% of text that will make it through to a sample. I have seen really effective samples. Amazon's automated system still decides what, in the first 10%, gets in -- but after the writing of the body is completed, can you make the approximate first 10% be what you want? Can you have a long intro with highlighted items followed by table of contents? I realize there's a serious lack of freedom here, but their automated processes apparently are due to the volume of what can be published. ?


    1. Are you asking as a reader or as an author? If the latter, you should ask at Amazon's publishing forums. Somewhere on their publishing forujms --

      Otherwise, the samples are what Amazon and the author have chosen, and you will have seen the other question and response here


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