Amazon may be dropping your order via parachute in the future. A patent filed with U.S. Patent and Trademark Office provides details of how packages delivered by drones may use a parachute.
The filing was made public Tuesday and includes details of how the technology would place the package in the right spot, avoiding trees, carports, balconies, power lines, eaves and the like.
Read more about it and watch a video clip about drone delivery here.
Enjoy calorie-free Chocolat ($1.99), a bestselling novel that has entranced readers with its mix of hedonism, whimsy, and, of course, chocolate.
Book Description: In tiny Lansquenet, where nothing much has changed in a hundred years, beautiful newcomer Vianne Rocher and her exquisite chocolate shop arrive and instantly begin to play havoc with Lenten vows.
Each box of luscious bonbons comes with a free gift: Vianne’s uncanny perception of its buyer’s private discontents and a clever, caring cure for them. Is she a witch?
Soon the parish no longer cares, as it abandons itself to temptation, happiness, and a dramatic face-off between Easter solemnity and the pagan gaiety of a chocolate festival.
Cheap Reads – Books about Presidents
This President’s Day holiday weekend would be a great time to read about one of the men who have served in the office over our nation’s history. Each of the six books below is selling for $1.99.
Amazon offers eTextbooks rentals for those who don’t need to own a traditional print copy. Not all rentable textbooks fit the traditional definition. Books from the Cherry Ames Series, historical fiction for pre-teens and teens about a young WWII nurse, are available for a minimal 30-day rent. If you need a bit more time to finish the book or four-book bundle, select any date beyond 30 days and the fee will be increased accordingly.
As the expiration date approaches, Amazon sends a helpful email reminding you to extend the rental period. You can also purchase the book and your rental fee paid will be applied to the current price, if you take action prior to the end of the rental period.
Notice that the email I received (at left) mentions that notes and highlights can be accessed after the expiration. If an enterprising student highlighted the complete textbook…..would those highlights be available?
Earlier this week I found this biography that can be purchased for $1.99 or rented for 30 days for 96 cents:
The Life of Herbert Hoover: Fighting Quaker, 1928–1933 : This is the first definitive study of the presidency of America’s least understood and most under-appreciated Chief Executive. Combining government with private resources, Hoover became the first president to pit government action against the economic cycle, setting precedents and spawning ideas employed by his successor and all future presidents.
Amazon is offering a great price on magazines subscriptions – just $5 for popular publications such as The New Yorker, Martha Stewart Living, Money, O The Oprah Magazine and more. Most subscriptions are for 12 months and several are all access (print and digital). NOTE: Confirm prices as the link has more than just the $5 deals.
This great rate is auto-renewing, but you can cancel your subscription through your Amazon account manager.
The marketing tag-line calls it an “easy way to fund shopping on Amazon.” It’s Amazon Allowance – the plan that you set up to add gift card funds for yourself or someone else on a one-time, daily, weekly, monthly, or every-two-week basis.
If your child is an avid reader, this option may be a solution to provide them a consistent spending budget. This is different from a gift card in that when funds are added to this account, it does not require a claim code.
Read more about this option here.
Free Audiobook – Heart of Darkness
This month’s free Kindle book and companion audiobook is Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.
Heart of Darkness (1899) is a novella by Polish-British novelist Joseph Conrad, about a voyage up the Congo River into the Congo Free State, in the heart of Africa, by the story’s narrator Marlow. Marlow tells his story to friends aboard a boat anchored on the River Thames, London, England.
Just a reminder, you do not need to be a member of Audible.com to download the free audiobook, but you must set up an account. Sign in using your Amazon password.
Joanne Fluke is well-known for Hannah Swenson cozy mystery series. She also writes traditional suspense novels. The four below are selling for only $1.99 each today.
At the Digital Book World conference in New York City in mid-January, Jonathan Stolper, senior v-p and global managing director for Nielsen Book, announced that e-book sales had fallen 16% in 2016 compared to 2015. His analysis was based on actual sales reports for nine months and estimates of the last quarter of the year.
Stolper pointed to the increased price of digital books as the driver of the decline. Agency pricing by the Big Five trade houses began again in 2015 and raised e-book prices by an average of $3.
Another reason for the decline in e-book sales is that more book buyers use tablets and smartphones to read e-books. Readers who use dedicated e-book readers have consistently purchased more e-books than consumers who use other devices. In 2011, more than 70% of e-book buyers said they used dedicated e-book devices; by 2016 only 24% did.
Read the full article here.
Looking for love without long-term commitment?
Google has announced that for a limited time you can rent a digital romance. For only 99 cents each, you have 24 hours to read happily-ever-afters published by Harlequin. Sixty titles are in the selection including a few by favorite authors Debbie Macomber, Robyn Carr, and Diana Palmer. Sub-genres include inspirational, romantic suspense, historical, contemporary, military and more.
As a counter, Amazon has a sale of 99 romances for 99 cents each. No rentals here, so plan on a long-term commitment.
Amazon does offer textbook rentals. I wonder if Googles rent-a-novel will prompt Amazon to offer something similar. Would you pay $2.99 or $3.99 to rent a best seller for 24 hours.
Cheap Reads – Nathan Heller Crime Fiction Novels
Fill your Kindle with these exciting Nathan Heller crime fiction novels set in Chicago during the 30s and 40s. You can buy the Kindle version for only 99 cents each and buy the companion audiobook for $1.99 each.
Bloomberg.com is reporting that Amazon is developing a premium Alexa/Echo with improved speakers and a screen. According to the article Amazon is “trying to capitalize on the surprise success of its voice-controlled home gadgets.”
Anonymous sources say the new device will have a 7″ touchscreen to give easier access to popular content such as calendar, news and weather forecasts. The new unit will tilt upwards to be used while the user is standing, such as in a kitchen. This Alexa/Echo will have higher grade speakers and will be introduced in April 2017 according to the sources.
Read Bloomberg’s article here.
Paula’s thoughts: A touchscreen with the device is a welcome improvement. Having the Alexa app on an external device is not convenient. I’ll let you know as soon as the next Alexa is introduced.
Amazon is encouraging indie authors to publish in 2017 and will be showcasing a collection of books published via Kindle Direct Publishing and CreateSpace and audiobooks created via Audible’s Audiobook Creation Exchange.
Read about Amazon’s publishing platforms and the support they offer here. You will also find helpful reference guides and books of advice to read on your Kindle.
If your New Year’s resolution is to be more creative, write a book or do something outside your comfort zone, check out the resources available from Amazon.
Don’t miss your chance to rent a popular video!
Amazon is offering more than 49,000 movies to rent for 99 cents. Sadly, the deal is limited to one per customer and account. Click here to browse all the videos available to rent. Choose your favorite and follow the instructions carefully.
Deal expires Monday, January 23. When renting, you have 30 days to start watching this video, and 24 hours to finish once started. Read more in this post from last night.
The eyes of the world will be on Washington, DC, tomorrow as our next President will be inaugurated. These four political thrillers are selling for only 99 cents each.
Amazon is offering a deal on Certified Refurbished Fire HD 10 Tablet Wi-Fi 16 GB w/ Special Offers . Priced at $199.99, you will save an additional $50 when you use the code FIRE10 at checkout. Deal expires January 15.
A Certified Refurbished Fire HD 10 is refurbished, tested, and certified to look and work like new. And this item comes with a one-year limited warranty and service, for more information go here.
Yesterday Amazon announced a fee-free Visa credit card loaded with perks for its large Prime Member base.
The metal card (yes, metal) comes with these benefits:
• 5% cash back on all Amazon purchases
• 2% cash back at an oddly specific mix of restaurants, gas stations and drug stores
• 1% cash back everywhere else
• No foreign transaction fees
• While slightly on the high end, the card’s interest rates are otherwise well within normal range
Read more about the card here.
Download the Kindle version of White Fang free and you will be able to download the companion audiobook free, too.
Book description: WHITE FANG is a novel by American author Jack London (1876-1916) – and the name of the book’s eponymous character, a wild wolfdog. First serialized in Outing magazine, it was published in 1906. The story takes place in Yukon Territory, Canada, during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush and details White Fang’s journey to domestication.
New year, new goals!
Do you have a reading goal for 2017? What about a reading challenge?
The sample below was pulled from the web. All of us have favorite genre and need a prod to expand our selections. If you input “reading challenge” in an internet search engine, you will find several others – perhaps one that is better for you.
Whether you follow a plan or free style, we wish you a wonderful year of reading in the coming months. We will be sharing our favorite reads from 2016 in the coming weeks.
While 2016 was coming to an end, the wonderful credit from Apple that I received June 21 came to an end, too. Even though the credit could be used for practically anything purchased from Amazon, I zealously guarded the funds and used them only for Kindle book purchases.
Publishers have slashed prices on award-wining books for children and pre-teens. Our jr. site has many of the books and I’ll be posting a more as the prices hold. I tried to put the award name in the post title to help you find them.
If you love a good story, shorter in length and loved by the young-at-heart, check out these six award winners selling for only $1.99 each today.
If you are a member of Audible, you are getting a Christmas present. As a member, you are already able to listen to Channels – a service that offers podcasts, curated playlists and more. The benefit has been welcomed, but many users were frustrated they could not enjoy Channels on their Fire tablets.
The week Audible announced that their hard work has brought Channels to the Kindle Fire.
As a reward for our patience, members of Audible are being given a free credit to download any audiobook available. However, you must claim the credit via an email that should have already arrived in your mailbox. The subject is: Audible Channels – Listen now on Fire tablets
The credit is good until March 19, 2017. Join Audible here,.
If you are a member of Prime and you haven’t purchased Music Unlimited yet, you can receive a $20 credit when you enroll today. Prime members pay only $7.99 a month or $79.99 for a full-year subscriptions. With this credit, you pay only $59.99 for a full year access of millions of tunes.
Sign up for Music Unlimited here .
If you are looking for a reliable tablet at a great price, you can purchase the Fire Tablet, 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 16 GB (Includes Special Offers) for only $49.99 (regularly $69.99). Buy black, blue or magenta and still receive it before Christmas.
All Kindle Fire devices are selling at reduced prices. Now’s the time to buy a spare or to give to someone special.
This holiday season you can give the gift of Prime membership for 3 months ($33) or 12 months ($99). Amazon will send your gift recipient an email on the day you choose along with redemption instructions. The gift recipient can start their Prime membership right away. If the recipient is already a Prime member, the gift can be exchanged for an Amazon.com Gift Card. The gift membership does not automatically renew and is not eligible for promotional offers.
You can even give yourself a Prime membership.
Prime members enjoy:
• FREE Two-Day Shipping on over 30 million items
• Watch thousands of movies and TV shows with Prime Video
• Stream millions of songs and thousands of playlists
• Also get free Kindle e-books, unlimited photo storage, exclusive access to deals, Twitch, and much more
With just ten more days before Christmas, a gift card is a great option. Choose from Amazon or many other retailers including restaurants, department and specialty stores.
If you enjoy young adult fiction, publishers are offering great deals on selections for middle grade tweens and teens. Buy the Warriors 3-Book Collection for only $3.99.
Salt to the Sea is a popular, highly-reviewed World War II historical fiction novel selling for $1.99.
You had better watch out! The Christmas holiday will be here before you know it. Days for shopping are slipping away. If you need a few suggestions, Amazon has created more than 25 gift guides. Categories include electronics, toys, home, handmade, gift cards, clothing, sports, luxury and beauty, books, grocery, baby and more.
Personally, our calendars are double-booked. We are liquidating our father’s farm equipment via an auction on Saturday and will be hosting visting family through the weekend. The local university football team continues to win in the play-off system and as loyal fans, we attend the games. The full-time jobs we have are requiring travel and extended hours the next two weeks.
In the middle of all this, my reliable laptop kicked the bucket. Considering the hours it has worked the last two years, it probably just plain wore out. A technician is working to recover my files and I will be purchasing a new laptop this evening. The 4-year-old backup is working in a pinch, but is slower than molasses in January.
We will hold on tight and do all we can to keep the site going through the chaos. We appreciate your patience!
When you don’t have much time to read because of over-packed schedules, short stories are welcome diversions. Bernie the detective and Bernie his dog are popular crime sleuths. Download this holiday short read for just 99 cents today.
Santa 365 (99 cents Audiobook $2.99) He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. This year, jolly old St. Nick knows Bernie has been sleeping on preparations for a special Christmas celebration with his son Charlie. Enter Plumpy Napoleon, fresh from a short stint in prison, to save Bernie from the naughty list.
Buy these romance bundles for $1.99 or $2.99 each. These are full-length novels.