Kindle First Books for March 2017

hemingwaylEvery month, Amazon allows Prime members to download one upcoming book from one of Amazon’s imprints for free. The books are chosen by Amazon’s editors. (This is for US customers only.)

This month’s books are:

Previously, Amazon would allow you to download a second upcoming title for only $1.99. While that offer is no longer available, if you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, all of these books will be available to read for free when they are released on April 1, 2017 as part of your Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Prime members can also sign up to receive a monthly e-mail announcing new Kindle First picks.

Amazon launches Kindle Single Classics series

K_single_classics1Back in 2011, Amazon launched a series of short form pieces for the Kindle called Kindle Singles. Today, Amazon has announced a new series called Kindle Singles Classics.

The new series is described as “a way to make iconic articles, stories and essays from well-known authors writing for top magazines and periodicals available in digital form, many for the first time.”

According to the press release, the initial launch features over 140 works that consist of both fiction and non-fiction. A variety of writers are represented: Susan Orlean , Norman Mailer, Gloria Steinem, Lawrence Wright, Margo Jefferson, Gay Talese and Chang-rae Lee, as well as short stories from best-selling authors like John le Carré and Kurt Vonnegut.The works draw from magazines like Time, Playboy and the New York Times Magazine. Some of the pieces date back decades.

Singles Classics are priced from 99 cents and are available for free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

In the press release, Amazon does note that “writers and publishers sell their previously published work via Kindle Direct Publishing”, which means that we will probably be seeing more previously published content in the series. If the series works the same way as Kindle Singles, works will probably require approval before they can be published.

Back before Amazon established the 99 cent threshold for books and stories published for the Kindle, I used to find a large number of (undoubtedly illegal) science fiction and fantasy stories available for pennies. I remember seeing Damon Knight’s classic  “Not With a Bang” priced at only 10 cents for the short story.

While I am not overly excited about a glut of old material surfacing on Amazon, there are some amazing short works, especially in the SFF genre, that I would love to read again. Many were originally published in anthologies that have been orphaned or gone out of print and are not available in e-versions. Seeing some of those works available would be wonderful!

Can I be the first to request “Whatever Became of the McGowans?”

How to see the books you’ve read in Kindle Unlimited

I’ve been a subscriber to Kindle Unlimited since last August. Since I also subscribe to Scribd as well as purchase my own books, I like to periodically check and make sure that I am using the service enough to justify the cost. While I do keep track of the books I read on Goodreads, I just don’t always remember to make a note that I have read them through  the Kindle Unlimited service.

Did you know that there is a way to check which books you’ve read through your Kindle Unlimited subscription?

First, log in to Amazon and go to your Account >  Manage Your Content and Devices page. Go to the Your Content section of the page.

MYK_ books

Click the books box to expand the menu and select and click Kindle Unlimited.

MYK_KU

Note that the box that formerly said all, now says books. The list of books below this section shows you the titles you currently have borrowed from Kindle Unlimited. It also shows the date the books were borrowed. You can sort these items by title, author, and date borrowed.

MYK_books_box

Click on the books box to expand the menu. There are four menu items: books, all, audio books, and returned.

MYK_returned

Books and all show you the currently borrowed books you have on your device. Audiobooks shows you any audio book versions automatically included with any KU books you have borrowed. The returned option shows you all the titles you have borrowed and returned from Kindle Unlimited. the returned books can also be sorted by title, author and date borrowed.

And that’s it! It’s that easy! 🙂 If you are  doing a 30-Day Free Trial of Kindle Unlimited, it is a great way to see if you are using the service enough to make it worthwhile for you. If you have tried the program, please leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Finds and Deals: Kindle Unlimited and Hisense Chromebook

hisense chromeTwo other deals for today:

Amazon is running a special valentine’s Day deal for 25% off the regular price of Kindle Unlimited. There are three choice for the length of membership:

  • 6 Months: $59.94 – Now $44.95
  • 12 Months: $119.88 – Now $89.91
  • 24 Months: $239.76 – Now $179.82

Kindle Unlimited (KU)  offers unlimited reading of over one million titles and thousands of audiobooks.  The deal ends February 13, 2016.KU works on any device, including the free reading app.

On Woot.com, one of today’s computer deals is a refurbished Hisense C11 11.6″ Chromebook for $89.99. The device features a Rockchip RK3288 Quad-Core, 16GB Internal Storage, 2GB Memory, 802.11ac, Bluetooth, with ChromeOS and even includes an HDMI port. There’s a review from Ars Technica here. This deal ends at 6am on February 12, 2016

Prime Perks for Kindle and Fire Owners

paperwhiteThis year,  my son finally asked for a e-ink Kindle. So, for Christmas, I bought him a Kindle Paperwhite and one of the $50 fire tablets.  Since he is already a Prime Member (another gift from mom and dad), I wanted to fill him in on a couple of Prime benefits that only applied to device owners. Since this is the time of year when many people get Kindles for the first time, I thought I would share these with everyone.

Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL) allows Prime members to borrow one (1) book per month for free.

  • Works on Kindle e-reader, Fire tablet, or Fire phone.
  • Only available for device owners with memberships to Amazon Prime.
  • Borrowed KOLL titles may also be shared with another adult in your household through Amazon Household and Family Library with select Prime memberships.
  • Eligible books display the Prime logo. There are over 500,000 books in the lending library.
  • Complete instructions with video are here.

A couple of important points here:  First, there is no master “list” of book available to lend (the books actually change all the time). Secondly, you are not able to pick books from the web or the Kindle app. You also can only browse the Kindle store from your device to see which books are available to borrow. This tends to be a source of frustration for a lot of people, but it is the way the program works.

Kindle First is a program that offers customers early access to new Kindle books across popular genres from Amazon Publishing.

  • Every month Prime members can choose one (1) of the books selected by Amazon’s editors for FREE.
  • There are generally four to six books to choose from. These are books that will be released the following month.
  •  Kindle First books can be read on any Kindle device or free Kindle reading app and become part of customers’ permanent libraries.
  • Prime invitees are not eligible for free downloads.
  • Prime members can sign up to receive a monthly e-mail newsletter announcing new Kindle First picks.
  • Kindle First on Amazon.com is available to US customers only.
  • Complete instructions are here.

Unlike the Kindle Owners Lending Library, these titles can not be shared with other household members. Non-Prime members can usually purchase one of these titles for $1.99.

Over the years, these programs have been one of my favorite features for Kindle owners. I have read entire series that I would not ordinarily have bought. I have also read books that inspired me to go out an buy the entire series after reading the first book. It can be a great discovery tool.

The Kindle Owner’s Lending Library and the Kindle First programs are not meant to be a substitute for subscription services like Kindle Unlimited or Scribd. Rather, they should be thought of as an added Prime membership perk alongside the free shipping, video and music offered with the program.

Finds and Deals: Fire HD 8 Reader’s Edition

Amazon hkindle hd 8 bundleas announced the Fire HD 8 Reader’s Edition. This is an exclusive bundle, priced at $249.99 with free shipping. The bundle includes:

  • The new Fire HD 8 tablet, normally retailing for $149.99.
  • One year of Kindle Unlimited, normally retailing for $9.99 per month (a $120 value)
  • An exclusive Reader’s Edition brown leather cover for the tablet. According to Amazon, the cover is designed to give the look and feel of a real book cover as well as protecting the tablet.

The bundle is available for pre-order and will begin shipping on December 9, 2015.

Note: There is no specified end date for this promotion. Generally, Amazon only makes these bundles available for a limited time.

 

 

Cyber Monday Book Deals

cybermondayA few noteworthy Cyber Monday Deals for e-book lovers today:

Amazon has massive savings on over 800 books in what they are calling the Biggest Kindle Daily Deal of the Year. You can save up to 85% of regular prices with titles starting at $1.99. And, yes, there are still Kindles on sale today. The $50 Fire is sold out until December 24, but the Fire 6 HD is still available.

Amazon also is offering up to 40% off on its Kindle Unlimited subscription reading service. The longer you subscribe for, the more you save.

There are hundreds of Open Road Media titles for up to 80% off as part of a holiday promotion. You can find the titles at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple and Google Books.

Barnes and Noble is offering 500 Nook books for under $5.

At Google Play Books, you can get up to 80% off select titles in their Cyber Weekend Deals.

Kobo is also offering a long list of titles at 80% off. And, you can get the Kobo Glo HD e-reader for only $109.99 as part of their Cyber Monday Deals.

Note that iBooks also has many books on sale for Cyber Monday, but they show in the iTunes app, not via the web browser. Sorry, but I can’t link directly to them. 😦

I am seeing a lot of the same titles on the various sites. This is a great “pick the store you like to shop at” sale!