Happy holidays (and a little Christmas music)

Wishing everyone a happy and joyous holiday season!

I will be posting here and there over the next week and back to a more regular daily posting schedule after the first of the year.

As some of my regular readers know, my husband is a musician who, a few years back, recorded a wonderful holiday jazz CD, Tidings of Comfort and Joy: A Jazz Piano Trio Christmas. Once a year, I try to do one post promoting his music.

For your holiday enjoyment, here is  video for the one of my favorite songs from from his album:

You can listen to more on this playlist from YouTube. You can also listen for free on Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Music and other streaming services. And, if you like what you heard, comments and reviews on your favorite retailer are always appreciated!

If you enjoy the album and want a copy of your own, it’s available in both CD and digital formats at at Bandcamp, CD Baby, Amazon and iTunes.

Enjoy!

More pre-paid Kindle Unlimited plans are back (at least for now)

Those longer term Kindle Unlimited subscriptions seem to be back again, at least temporarily.

There is now a special landing page where you can now choose between 6, 12 and 24-month pre-paid plans at savings of up to 40% off, depending on the length of your subscription. The offer says it is valid until 11:59 p.m. (PST), January 11, 2019.

Over the last month, I have written about how access to purchasing pre-paid, multi-month subscriptions had disappeared. The ability to purchase the subscriptions as gift reappeared a few days ago, with the only option being a 12 month subscription deal.

If the amount of mail I’ve received over this issue over the last month from people asking about this any indication, an awful lot of people want to pre-pay for their Kindle Unlimited and like to give subscriptions as gifts.

One of the things I have noticed is that Amazon has made information on this very hard to find. At one point, the old pre-paid gifting page had a message stating that gifting is unavailable; at this time that page is still blank.

The back and forth on access to these subscription makes me wonder if the ability to purchase pre-paid plans will remain available in the long term. The current page has promo landing as part of the page title, although it is unclear whether that is because of the sale pricing or if it is an indication that pre-paid subscriptions are only a temporary promotional item. It could be an early deal for Amazon Digital Day, but those deals are not supposed to start until December 28, 2018.

At this point, I am not sure what to think….

How to give an Kindle ebook as a gift

Everyone who knows me knows what an avid reader I am. For many years, a  book was ALWAYS the perfect gift for me. Now, however, I pretty much only read ebooks and I am not alone in that choice. As more and more people are reading digitally, book giving has gotten a bit more complicated.  While gift cards are an option, some people think that a gift card is too impersonal. And what if you really want to give someone a specific book?

For that someone who now only reads ebooks, one solution is gift an ebook to them directly. Kindle book gifting allows allows you to:

  • Send your gift instantly via email.
  • Give a gift that can be read on any device
  • Give a satisfaction guaranteed gift. The recipient can exchange for a gift card if they have already read or don’t want the book you’ve selected..

To give an ebook, simply select the book you would like to give from the Kindle store. As an example, I am using Teresa Frohock’s excellent dark fantasy, Miserere, as an example.

On the Kindle book page, scroll down below the buy button to the section that looks like this:

Click the “Buy for others” button. A page pops up that looks like this:

(Click picture to enlarge)

Notice that there’s a picture of the cover of the book you are buying on the left side of the page. You simply fill in the recipient’s email address and, if desired, you can personalize the message sent with the book. The “From” field is pre-filled with name on the account and can be changed to read something like “Mom and Dad” if you prefer. At the bottom, you can set the delivery date for anytime up to a year in the future.

The right side shows the total cost of the book and the method of payment. You then click the yellow “Place your Order” button to order the gift.

The fine print: The availability may vary by country/region. If this title isn’t available for your gift recipient, Amazon will exchange your gift for an equivalent value Amazon gift card. If you have selected “Now” as the delivery date, your payment will be processed and your gift will be delivered immediately upon clicking “Place your Order”.

How about you? Would you rather give a specific ebook or a gift card to someone? And which of the two do you prefer to receive?

For Digital First Sale, It’s Still 2001

Great post on this topic! This is why, unfortunately, I can’t foresee a used ebook or music market evolving.

Copyright and Technology

Seventeen years ago, the U.S. Copyright Office — Congress’s official advisor on copyright issues — published an opinion for Congress on whether there should be a first sale right for digital content: a right for consumers to alienate (sell, lend, rent, or give away) digital files, like the one that exists for physical items like books, CDs, and DVDs. In the so-called Section 104 Report, the Copyright Office considered the idea that digital first sale could be supported with a “forward-and-delete” mechanism that ensures that if you send a digital file to someone, the file no longer exists on your device.

The Copyright Office said:

… unless a ‘forward-and-delete’ technology is employed, transfer of a copy by transmission requires an additional affirmative act by the sender. In applying a digital first sale doctrine as a defense to infringement it would be difficult to prove or disprove whether that act had…

View original post 1,296 more words

Here come the digital deals! Amazon Digital Day is December 28, 2018

Amazon has announced their third annual digital day sales event. The event will showcase thousands of deals from Amazon’s digital content inventory, including movies, TV shows, mobile games, apps, eBooks, and lots more.

Featured bargains this year include:

  • Save up to 75% off Kindle best-selling books, including titles such asManhattan Beach, In the Midst of Winter, My Squirrel Days, Summer I Turned Pretty, Indianapolis, and Great At Work
  • Save up to 80% off best-selling Marvel graphic novels like Jessica Jones: Blind Spot, Runaways Vol. 1: Pride and JoyYou Are Deadpool, and X-Men: Days of Future Past
  • Save up to 60% off digital magazines such as Vanity Fair, People,Entertainment Weekly, Martha Stewart Living,Better Homes and Gardens, Bon Appétit, Wired, Shape, and Men’s Journal
  • Get 25% extra gold bars on all Candy Crush Friends Saga December Deals
  • Get 35% off the Clash of Clan’s in-game Digital Clash Pack with 6x value on Gold, Elixir, Book of Everything, and Builder Potions
  • Save 25% on select Final Fantasy Brave Exvius Lapis Bundles
  • Save on hundreds of movies like Incredibles 2, Christopher Robin, The Spy Who Dumped Me, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Avengers: Infinity War on Prime Video
  • Prime members save up to 65% off movies like Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Red Sparrow, Sicario: Day of the Soldado, Tomb Raider, and Book Club on Prime Video
  • Save up to 66% off PBS Kids apps for Daniel Tiger, Dinosaur Train, Peg + Cat, and more
  • Save 30% off language programs from Rosetta Stone and Babbel
  • Save 50% or more off of software from H&R Block, Norton Security, and Quicken Personal Finance
  • Save 20% on TurboTax 2018 and get a free $10 Amazon Gift Card
  • Save 33% on the Audible Romance Package for the first 3 months
  • Save $50 on Fire HD 10 tablet and receive 3 months free trial to Audible
  • Audible members can buy one, get one free on a selection of hundreds of Audible books
  • Get 3 months of Kindle Unlimited for $0.99. Enjoy unlimited access to over 1 million books, popular magazines and thousands of books with Audible narration. Offer valid for new subscribers only
  • Get 3 months free of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited for $2.99. Offer valid for new subscribers only
  • Start a new paid subscription to AMC Premiere, CBS All Access, ESPN+, or Showtime and get $10Amazon credit
  • Start a new paid subscription to ABCmouse and get $10 Amazon credit

You can sign up now to receive notifications when the deals begin. You can also follow the deals on social media with the hashtag #DigitalDay.

The fine print: According to the press release, “As a preview of the sale, some deals will be available starting as early as December 26, with the biggest savings launching at 12:00 am PST time on December 28.”

Amazon again allowing gifting of Kindle Unlimited

In early December this year, I wrote about the fact that Amazon had removed the ability to give gift subscriptions to its all-you-can-eat style subscription service, Kindle Unlimited.Those of us who liked to give (or get) subscriptions to the service were more than a little upset by the move.

I don’t know if it is because Amazon listened to those who complained, but there is now a special gift page for Kindle Unlimited. You can only buy the gift for a period of one year (formerly, you had your choice of 3, 6, 12 and 24 month subscriptions) The price, normally $119.88 is $80.31, a savings of 33% off the regular 12 month price.

There is no indication yet whether this is a permanent promotion or simply one geared towards Christmas and Holiday gift giving. I, for one, am taking advantage of it while I can. Unfortunately, my former 12 month subscription expired in mid-December and had already renewed for one month.

Kindle Unlimited features unlimited access to over a million titles, and includes audiobooks. Kindle Unlimited books can be read on any Kindle device, including apps, ereaders and tablets.

Update. The links are somewhat wonky. If you are having a hard time finding the correct link for gift subscriptions, try the KU help page here.