Sunday, April 12, 2015

Quick Kindle book tip for history fiends: Free Kindle downloads of all 8 volumes of the official biography of Winston Churchill, $80 value -- through Sunday, April 12, 11:59pm PDT now. Update5

Free 8 volume set of Winston Churchill biography

While the offer was ended prematurely Saturday despite the date range of April 9-11, I've received a response from Soren at The Churchill Project at Hillsdale College that this was an error at either Amazon or at RosettaBooks, and they've made the 8-volume set free again through tonight, Sunday April 12.

So, those disappointed yesterday can take advantage of it today.

  Update5: (April 12) - Soren has confirmed that this will be good until 11:59pm tonight PDT.

  To be doubly sure, get the books earlier.  No Kindle device is needed to read these.  There are free reading apps for PC, Mac, and most mobile devices (including Blackberry phones).

Reader Randall Leverette sent the alert Saturday and this blog article was originally posted early Saturday night (PDT).

  This offer, by Hillsdale College, publisher of the set, was originally set to be good for April 9-11 and (repeating), has now been extended through Sunday, April 12, ending just before midnight, PDT.
' .. the Official Biography of Winston Churchill ...

To mark the anniversary of Churchill's honorary US citizenship, Hillsdale College and RosettaBooks are offering free Kindle downloads of all 8 volumes of the official biography on April 9-11 – An $80 value, absolutely free! '

You can download your free copies at these Amazon links: 
  1. Youth, 1874–1900 (Volume I)
  2. Young Statesman, 1901–1914 (Volume II)
  3. The Challenge of War, 1914–1916 (Volume III)
  4. World in Torment, 1916–1922 (Volume IV)
  5. The Prophet of Truth, 1922–1939 (Volume V)
  6. Finest Hour, 1939–1941 (Volume VI)
  7. Road to Victory, 1941–1945 (Volume VII)
  8. Never Despair, 1945–1965 (Volume VIII)

Tip: - These will be downloaded to your chosen device (even if a PC or Mac when not a mobile device).
  To save device space, though -- keeping these on the Cloud only (your books area at Amazon):
  -- When 'buying' these for $0, choose either your "Kindle for Cloud" (server)
      or choose to "Transfer by computer" later so it doesn't deliver it to any physical device.

More details of the background and celebration here.

  For daily free ebooks, check the following links:
Temporarily-free books - Non-classics
USA: by:
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   Bestselling   High-ratings

UK: PubDate   Popular
The Kindle Daily Deal
What is 3G? and "WiFi"?       Battery Care
Highly-rated under $1,  Newest: $1-$2, $2-$3
Most Popular Free K-Books
U.S. & Int'l (NOT UK):
   Top 100 free
   Top 100 free
USEFUL for your Kindle Keyboard(U.S. only, currently):
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  99c Calendar,   99c Converter

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  1. There might have been some confusion about how to enter the pricing change to free and back in Amazon. I seem to recall having some problem with that when I checked what Amazon was doing to my prices with the VAT mess this past January 1. There is some inherent ambiguity there. Is midnight between April 10 and April 11 on the former or latter day?

    The smart move is to grab all free offers as soon as you hear about them. If they cost, check carefully. The discount may have a reason.

    Here's an example. Audible offered an English version of The Little Prince last week for just 99 cents. I almost grabbed it, but I noticed some Amazon reviewers contrasting the quality of two translations from the French. One, they said, captured the feel of the original while the other was wooden. This isn't a tale you want to read in a poor translation.

    Neither Audible or Amazon told who the translator was, an omission that made me suspicious. The Amazon reviews were a muddle of all versions and thus of no use. I finally located the identical audiobook publisher and reader on B&N, and there the translator was given. It was the wooden one. I took a pass on that offer.

    Remember, free you can't lose. Grab it quickly. Paying even small amounts, you may not get what you wanted.

    For those who didn't get this Churchill collection, keep in mind that this is a source document biography. It arranges original documents in chronological order and includes brief comments to set the context, many of them by Churchill's son Randolph. That can get quite interesting. The book opens with letters Winston's dad sent out about the troubles that resulted when he was born two months premature. His parents hadn't even bought clothes yet and had to borrow them from a neighbor. It's different from most biographies you read.

    1. Thanks for the good advice, MIchael. Yes, 'free' is a no-brainer if the book interests us, because we can delete them from the Cloud forever if we decide we don't want them.

      Your reason for getting the Churchill collection is exactly mine. That kind of well-researched information being *searchable* on your device is just priceless to me. And even better when it is literally priceless :-)

      Thanks for the preview of the opening. Looking forward to this.

    2. There is a hitch with this collection and why I checked to see if the iBookstore had it similarly marked down before downloading. Alas, Apple doesn't have it at all.

      I'm not sure how this Kindle version appears on a Kindle Fire, but on my Kindle 3, reading is a bit like visiting a dentist who doesn't believe in pain killers. The only distinction between commentary and quoted material is a slight difference in font size. Add that to the lack of explanatory headings (with dates) and the usual loss of place that's inherent with reflowable text, and reading these volumes is like sailing on a vast sea without a compass or sextant. Words after words after words with no context given.

      Give me an InDesign version of this text, I could easily create a version for everyone but Amazon that'd not only clearly distinguish commentary from quotes, for the fixed layout epub version it'd be easy to include headers that'd include subheadings and quotes, making research much more enjoyable. It'd be a pleasure to read rather than a duty, Amazon, curse them, has refused to help Adobe create Kindle export for InDesign because that'd make it easier for publishers to create one digital version for everyone's platform.

      I don't blame Amazon for this collection's ugliness though. I blame Amazon for setting such abysmally low expectations for an ebook's appearance that whoever created these volumes didn't know any better. And I blame Amazon for confining itself to a proprietary format and proprietary apps to create books that can only be formatted for them alone rather than top-of-the-line apps for marvelous book layout and export such as InDesign.

      Incidentally, I did precisely what I'm talking about for an collection of articles that G. K. Chesterton wrote on the topic of war and peace before during and just after WWI. I created a complex layout that made clear what every part of the text was and headers that told readers precisely where they were in time. I even sent a copy of that book the the editor of this Churchill collection, Martin Gilbert, and he praised that layout in a letter he sent me. Perhaps he saw how helpful that could be.

      Chesterton and Churchill had much in common, particularly their early warnings about Nazism. In 1932, Chesterton was already warning that, if someone wasn't done by the leaders of Britain and France, the next European war would break out over a border dispute between Germany and Poland, precisely what happened in 1939.

      --Michael W. Perry, Chesterton on War and Peace: Battling the Ideas and Movements that Led to Nazism and World War II

    3. Michael, could you give me page numbers? I looked at Vol 1 and the quoted passages are nicely set off from the normal and the layout is very readable.

      On Page 14 of 546 (I can tap it to see Location 850 instead of page number). I see an extract (headng centered, title in italics) from a letter by Disraeli to Queen Victoria. The quoted text is somewhat smaller than the normal text, and the rest of that chapter continues on like that.

      I'm reading on a Kindle Fire HDX 8.9" released 2013 (1.5 years ago) and it's not the current model.

      There WERE layout improvements though in the Kindle tablets vs the eInk eReaders. I'll look at my Paperwhite 1 (2012) later to see what it looks like there. Which Kindle eReader are you on?

  2. They're free again, Sunday at 8:42am eastern.

    1. Gary - Yes, I got the publisher's email in response to my question re a possible extension and was busily re-writing the blog entry to let people know, although only East Coast people were awake when I was doing that :-) Thanks for making sure I knew about it.


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