Category: Housekeeping
Housekeeping: kindle.amazon.com is merging with Goodreads 12 comments
Amazon Tracking to end
I’ve infrequently used Amazon’s tracking system to record what I’ve read or decided wasn’t worth the effort. The system lists every book – Kindle and print – you have purchased through Amazon.
A recent visit to the website notified me that the data will be merging with Goodreads, an Amazon-owned website.
The good news is that Amazon will send you a spreadsheet of every book you have purchased from them. I received my list just a few minutes after submitting the request.
If you are not familiar with the feature, go to https://kindle.amazon.com.

You may need to sign in. You may need to select Your Books to display your purchases. On the far right, you can limit the selections to Kindle only or choose to view all books.

To request the download of your book list, you need to click on Learn more in the gray box (Important information about kindle.amazon.com) at the top of the page. You will be linked to a page that explains what is happening with Goodreads and giving you options to link your two accounts and send your book list to Goodreads.
Even if you choose not to track your reading on Goodreads, I strongly encourage you to request the booklist.
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Housekeeping: Prime Members: Win an Echo and Just How Dangerous Is Alexa? 1 comment
Prime Members: Win an Echo
Eligible Prime members who listen to any Audible selection on a list of devices (Fire tablets, Echo devices, Audible App on other devices) from July 5-11 are entered into a drawing for 100 free Echo devices. You can enter each day just by listening for more than 5 seconds.
You can download a Prime-exclusive audiobook Funny Amazon Reviews for free if you need help selecting a title.
Read more about the opportunity here. Official Rules apply.

 

Just how dangerous is Alexa?
We don’t recommend you register to win an Echo if you have a fear of your conversations being recorded. Shelly Palmer has written an article regarding Alexa, privacy and the 60 seconds recorded before you say the wake word.
It’s an interesting read and may assuage some of your concerns or keep you awake at night. The technology, the data gathered and what is done with that data is fascinating thinking.
Shelly Palmer is the CEO of The Palmer Group, a strategic advisory, technology solutions and business development practice. Mr. Palmer is also Fox 5 New York’s on-air tech and digital media expert, writes a weekly column for AdAge, and is a regular commentator on CNBC and CNN.

 

Prime Day 2017
We will be here at 6:00p.m. PDT on Monday evening (July 10), posting the first Prime Day deals. I won’t be able to keep track of what is selling all day long, but we expect some deals to be good the full 30 hours. You can shop some deals now by going here. Go to this page to see the daily deals prior to Prime Day.
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Housekeeping: Response from Audible 8 comments
Audible Responds
A couple of weeks ago I posted about my unhappiness with Audible for raising the prices on titles that were great deals because I had also bought the Kindle Version. I had chatted with a care rep, but had not received a reply.
Yesterday I sent an email through Audible’s Contact Us page. I recounted how I had fallen in love with listening to books and that I often purchased the Kindle version to get the audiobook. I mentioned my very long wish list and my habit of buying 10-15 titles at a time.
I went on to express my disappointment with the price increase and how the change was prompting me to reconsider my yearly membership to Audible.
To close the email I reminded them of Amazon’s argument to publishers that lower prices mean more sales that will mean more profit in the long run. Isn’t it ironic that Amazon didn’t apply that argument to their own products?
 
The reply came back within a few hours:

Thank you for contacting Audible!
We care about bringing you the best audiobook experiences by investing in innovative technologies like Whispersync for Voice, while still offering fair compensation to our authors, too. Tens of thousands of titles in the Whispersync for Voice catalog are priced at $2 or less, and no Whispersync titles cost more than $12.99.
 
We are sorry to know that you are not happy regarding the higher price and we’d like to inform you that our business team is working on it as we received many of our customer’s [sic] feedback on this issue. We value your business and hope you’ll give us an opportunity to prove the quality of our service to you in the future.
 
As soon as your request becomes available, we will definitely let you know about this through our website. Our priority is to ensure that your Audible experience is exceedingly positive.
 
For the inconvenience we have applied the promotional credit of $10.00 to your account, this promo balance will be applied automatically on your next purchase.

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Housekeeping II – Check out this book in the Kindle Store – Kindle in Motion 0 comments

You must go to this webpage and give this a look-see – The Matchmaker’s Playbook [Kindle in Motion]
The book is Kindle in Motion:

This book can be read on any device, including Kindle E-readers. Kindle in Motion books include art, animation, or video features that can be viewed on certain Fire tablets and the free Kindle app for iOS and Android. You can switch features on or off at any time.

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Housekeeping: Audible’s unpleasant surprise! 10 comments
Boo Audible!
Amazon via Audible has done it again. I’ve become addicted to audiobooks and have enjoyed more than 700 titles over the last five years. Short stories, children’s books, classics, contemporary favorites, new authors, protracted histories – I’ve listened to all of them.
I also admit to buying Kindle versions of books because the audio version is only $1.99 or $3.99 or some price below $5. My Audible wish list has more than 250 titles – many at great prices for buying the Kindle version – just waiting for me to click them into the shopping cart. Every 4-6 weeks, I shop my wish list to restock the audio library.
I recently clicked on the wish list and found many books are now priced at $7.49. When I purchased the Kindle version, the offer to buy the audiobook did not state a time limit. Usually, I do not buy the audiobook at the same time for two reasons: 1) small purchases on my debit/credit card trigger a fraud alert and 2) I like to read reviews of the audio version before buying.
I contacted a care representative via chat to ask about the price change. The person forwarded my question to marketing, but assured me that some books on my wish list were still $3.99. Is this a diversionary tactic? The rep doesn’t address my concern over price increases, but tells me some books are still $3.99. It’s worth noting that many of those books at the lower price are inspirational fiction.
Today I loaded the shopping cart with over 40 books selling at $1.99 and $3.99 before the price changes. A $7.49 version of an audiobook is no longer a great deal. Amazon may have lost a very good customer – both at Kindle and Audible. They have taken away the incentive to buy the Kindle book to get the audiobook at a great price. My listening addiction may be going on cold turkey.
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Housekeeping: Saturday Night Live has fun with Alexa 0 comments
SNL gives Amazon another idea for Alexa/Echo
With their usual stellar humor, Saturday Night Live produced a wonderful skit that pokes a bit of fun at older Alexa users when they introduce the Amazon Echo Silver.
Watch the video and laugh. Read more about the skit and another company that is creating a similar device. You can also watch the video on this site.
The Echo Dot is available today for just $39.99 – a $10 savings.

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Housekeeping: All-New Amazon Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 with Amazon Alexa; Shipping Minimum Change and AMZN Anniversary 2 comments

All-New Amazon Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 with Amazon Alexa
Amazon has announced two new Fire tablets to pre-order today. Release date is June 7.
All-New Fire 7 Tablet with Alexa, the next generation of Amazon’s best-selling tablet, is now thinner and lighter with an improved 7″ IPS display, longer battery life, and improved Wi-Fi connectivity–still only $49.99
All-New Fire HD 8 Tablet with Alexa, the next generation of Amazon’s highest customer-rated tablet, offers a stunning 8″ HD display with over 1 million pixels, up to 12 hours of battery life, and 16 GB of storage–now only $79.99.
Both of Amazon’s latest Fire Tablets include:
• Alexa–Simply press and ask to play videos, enjoy music, listen to audiobooks, ask questions, shop, find news, display the weather, and more on your Fire tablet.
• Front- and rear-facing cameras–Video chat with friends and family with the front-facing camera; take and share photos, and save them for later with free, unlimited cloud storage for all photos taken on Fire devices.
• Amazon-exclusive features–Alexa, ASAP, X-Ray, Second Screen, Amazon FreeTime, Family Library, Blue Shade, On Deck, Prime Video downloads, and more.
• New color options–Black, Punch Red, Marine Blue, and Canary Yellow.
Buy any 3 all-new Fire tablets and save 20% using promo code FIRE3PACK. Read more here.

 

Minimum Order Change
For many years, non-Prime members needed a $25 minimum order to receive free shipping. In 2013 the minimum was increased to $35. In an effort to encourage Prime membership, Amazon increased the minimum to $49 in February 2016.
Amazon recently changed the minimum order again: if your order includes at least $25 of eligible items, you receive free shipping. Per the webpage any item with “FREE Shipping” messaging on the product detail page that is fulfilled and shipped by Amazon is eligible and contributes to your free shipping order minimum.
Read more about the change here.

 

AMZN Anniversary
May 15 marked the 20th anniversary of Amazon’s IPO – Initial Public Offering – on Nasdaq. Way back then the stock price was $18 a share.
An article in Investopedia.com reports that if you had invested $100 in Amazon that first day in 1997, the stock would be worth $63,990 as of Friday, May 12. Read more about the history of the stock at the link above.
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Housekeeping: Alexa calling/messaging and Amazon Echo Show 2 comments
Alexa Provides Calling and Messaging
Amazon has updated its Alexa app to allow for calling and messaging. This article at droidlife.com has well-written instructions to guide the process.
Alexa-to-Alexa calling and messaging helps you keep in touch with friends and family who also have supported Echo devices or the Alexa app. This free feature provides calling and messaging between supported Echo devices and the Alexa app on compatible iOS and Android phones.
You can also read more at Amazon by clicking here.
NOTE: The Alexa app updated for calling may not work on older Kindle Fires that cannot support the app.
If you don’t have an Echo or Dot, for a limited time you can save $30 on an Echo ($149.99). The Echo Dot is available for $49.99.

 

Echo with a screen!
Earlier this week, Amazon announced a new Echo. Echo Show brings you everything you love about Alexa, and now she can show you things. Watch video flash briefings and YouTube, see music lyrics, security cameras, photos, weather forecasts, to-do and shopping lists, and more. All hands-free—just ask.
• Introducing a new way to be together. Make hands-free video calls to friends and family who have an Echo Show or the Alexa App, and make voice calls to anyone who has an Echo or Echo Dot.
• See lyrics on-screen with Amazon Music. Just ask to play a song, artist or genre, and stream over Wi-Fi. Also, stream music on Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and more.
• Powerful, room-filling speakers with Dolby processing for crisp vocals and extended bass response
• Ask Alexa to show you the front door or monitor the baby’s room with compatible cameras from Ring and Arlo. Turn on lights, control thermostats and more with WeMo, Philips Hue, ecobee, and other compatible smart home devices.
• With eight microphones, beam-forming technology, and noise cancellation, Echo Show hears you from any direction—even while music is playing
• Always getting smarter and adding new features, plus thousands of skills like Uber, Allrecipes, CNN, and more
Echo show is available starting today for pre-order for $229.99. The item will release on June 28.
Place two Echo Shows in your cart and receive $100 off your order with code SHOW2PACK.
Click here to purchase Echo Show
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Housekeeping: Echo Look, Bad Analogies and Cheap Reads 5 comments

Echo Look
Amazon has announced the Echo Look, a hands-free camera and style assistant. The web page tells us all about it:
• Introducing Echo Look—everything you love about Alexa, and now she can help you look your best
• Using just your voice, easily take full-length photos and short videos with a hands-free camera that includes built-in LED lighting, depth-sensing camera, and computer vision-based background blur
• See yourself from every angle with the companion app. Build a personal lookbook and share your photos.
• Get a second opinion on which outfit looks best with Style Check, a new service that combines machine learning algorithms with advice from fashion specialists
• Echo Look helps you discover new brands and styles inspired by your lookbook
• Ask Alexa to read the news and audiobooks, set alarms, get traffic and weather updates, control smart home devices, play music, and more
• Always getting smarter and adding new features, plus thousands of skills like Starbucks, Fitbit, NPR, and more
Paula’s thoughts: I can understand how bloggers who post many pictures would want the hands-free camera feature. Echo Look also solves the problem of family photos missing the one person at the camera.
After watching the video about how you can use it to get fashion advice, I decided the first buyers would be the narcissistic. Then I had the frightening thought, “What if someone gave me one as a gift? Are they saying? ‘Have you taken a good look at yourself lately? Here’s an Echo Look so you will know what you look like in that outfit.'”
The Echo Look sells for $199.99 but only by invitation.

 

Freshman Composition
The school year is nearing the end and teens around the country are scrambling to finish their essays and creative writing projects. Perhaps the analogies below were penned during the late night hours while suffering from writer’s block. My personal favorite is #10.

 

Cheap Reads
Enjoy these two novels by popular author Susan Wiggs selling for $1.99 today.
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Housekeeping: Daily Deal Repeats and Cheap Reads 5 comments

Daily Deal Repeats
Our new format with the Daily Deals and other Kindle sales featured on the first post of the day has saved us several hours a week. We hope that you are able to find the deals and buy great reads. One negative is that we no longer have a record of each book featured in the Daily Deal. We might accidentally post a book that has already been on sale just a few days earlier. No matter how hard we try, our memories just aren’t good enough to recall every book.
 
Sunday, April 23, World Book Day

 
Cheap Read

If you enjoy paranormal romance, you will want to buy the complete Alpha Underground Trilogy with bonus short stories for only 99 cents today. It’s chock full of danger, adventure, and romance.
Alpha Underground Trilogy (99 cents) Fen Young is a half-shifter whose inner beast is more mouse than wolf. Home is her castle, the only place she’s ever felt safe.
Enter Hunter Green, an uber-alpha strong enough to stop traffic with a single look. He’s handsome and enticing and seems like just the ticket to broaden Fen’s horizons…until the uber-alpha brushes off his admirer and summarily ejects her from her home pack.
Now treading water in the no-man’s land of outpack territory, Fen must confront a missing pack mate, a tantalizing stranger, and a serial killer targeting half-werewolves. Will she be able to shore up her waning power in time to save her friend…and half-breeds everywhere…before it’s too late?
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