Posted tagged ‘amazon’

Kindle Unlimited Isn’t

August 23, 2014

I wrote a few weeks ago about Amazon’s “Kindle Unlimited” subscription service for books. Well, yesterday I discovered a limitation of the service. It seems that you can only download 10 books at a time. When you try to download book number 11, Amazon tells you to delete one of the previous ten books.
 
 Now this limit is probably buried in the fine print of the terms and conditions document that you accepted and if you are anything like me didn’t bother to read.
 
 Also, my guess is that when you cancel, Amazon will reach into your Kindle or Kindle App on your iPad and delete all of the free books. I’ll find out when I cancel later after I finish the book about Ernest Shackleton’s adventure at the South Pole.
 
 The service is just not worth it. The book selection just sucks. in the two or three weeks I have had the service, I haven’t seen any improvement. Most of the books would normally be selling for under $5, some under $3. Just not worth it.
 
 
 – Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Amazon Unlimited

July 25, 2014

So last week, Amazon announced a new product called “Amazon Unlimited” whereby for the monthly price of $9.95 one could down load Kindle books for free. If you read a lot (as I do), you might say “wow, pretty good deal”? Well, not so fast bucko. As always, the devil is in the details.

This announcement comes a couple of months after a similar product called “Oyster” appeared on the Internet. Same price, $9.95 a month, unlimited down loads.

One major difference between Oyster and Kindle Unlimited is that Oyster has it’s own app. Where Kindle Unlimited is integrated with existing Kindle apps and devices. So if you have a real Kindle, Oyster won’t work for you.

I tried Oyster for the four week trial period and then cancelled. The content was just not worth the money. No “A-List” or even “B-List” authors. There is no app for reading on PC or MAC.

So Kindle Unlimited works nicely with the existing Kindle devices and apps. No need to load an additional app.

So what about content. It’s a little tricky to find the titles that classified as “Kindle Unlimited”. Certainly, none of the A-List authors or books on the various best seller lists are available for Kindle Unlimited. Perhaps that might change, but I kind of doubt it.

So to look at it another way, if a book is selling north of $10, it is unlikely to appear on Kindle Unlimited. It’s seems that many of the books on Kindle Unlimited are by unknown authors. Here is search results for “Kindle Unlimited Books“. There seems to be a few bestsellers from years gone by. (eg. Life of Pi, or Water for Elephants). In looking at the list there is a lot of junk. Books that aren’t likely to sell for $3 or less.

Some current best sellers are on Kindle Unlimited, but it’s tough to tell from the Best Seller screen. Here is a screen shot of the best seller list:

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Two books in the top six are on Kindle Unlimited. You can’t tell without clicking through to the book info. A clue is that the price is under $5.

It is not clear what publishers are participating in Kindle Unlimited. Perhaps more will get on board. My brother Richard Bowker (the author) has books on Kindle but his publisher is not doing Kindle Unlimited (yet). Okay, shameless plug: Go check out Richard’s books on Amazon. All good stuff. Most of his books are in the $3-$5 range.

So as time goes by, I expect that Amazon will sign up more publishers to participate in Amazon Unlimited. Time will tell. I am board for now.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Oyster

January 11, 2014

I found out about a new ebook service by the name of “Oyster“. It purports to be the “Netflix” of eBooks. Here’s the concept. For the price of $9.95 per month, you get access to an unlimited number of books to read. It starts with a 30 day free trial, then they bill your credit card $9.95 every month.

So what the heck, I thought I would give it a try. I signed up for the free trial. Of course you have to give them a credit card number to establish your account. So far so good.

The web site advertises apps for iPad, iPhone and iPod. No Android. So far so good. I don’t think you can read book from the PC web applet. You can browse and add books to your reading list. To read you need to go to your iPhone or iPad. Not a big problem but something to consider.

You can search for books or authors from the iPad or iPhone app. Sorry Richard Bowker, your books aren’t available.

So I browsed their collection. There certainly isn’t anything available from current books from any best-seller lists. Most of the material is at least a few years old if not more. They do have some classics available. I got several hits for “Charles Dickens” and “F Scott Fitzgerald”.

So the $64,000 question is. Is it worth it? For me, probably not.

Cons:

  • The books that I download, can’t be viewed on Paula’s Kindle.
  • You can’t read on a laptop.
  • You would have to read at least 3 or more books per month to compete with Amazon. I started reading a book from 2010 by Dennis Lehane that sells for $7.59 on Kindle. Charles Dickens books on Amazon are either free or $1 – $3.
  • Scrolling on the apps are up-down rather than left-right. Perhaps this is a nit. It’s just my personal preference for reading eBooks. No option to change.
  • No note taking or book-marking features.

Pros:

  • Actually I’m having trouble thinking of any. Perhaps if the price were a tad lower, like $4.50 per month.

So I will finish the book that I started (Dennis LeHane’s “A Drink Before the War”) then cancel.

No Time for Sergeants

July 4, 2012

In honor of the passing of Andy Griffiths yesterday,  we decided to watch “No Time for Sergeants” on Amazon Instant Video. (Also available on Netflix DVD)

No Time for Sergeants Poster

What a great movie. We laughed for almost the entire two hours. Andy Griffith plays the role of a country bumpkin drafted into the USAF. He manages to drive his sergeant crazy.

Don Knotts plays the part of a corporal whose job it is to test the recruits on manual dexterity. By the way, this was Don Knotts’ film debut.

In this film you can see the seeds of future characters like Gomer Pyle. And Jamie Farr has a bit part as the copilot on the training flight.

This was a film well worth seeing.