Archives for: April 2012
Housekeeping – Traveling, What’s in a name and Very cheap reads 3 comments

OR, this may be a case of you need to check again tomorrow morning. Prices fluctuate down overnight and then up in the late afternoon.

UPDATE: As of 4:25am Central US time on Friday, all of the books below are back at the cheap prices. It pays to shop in the mornings on Amazon.
On the road with Kindles
This last week was just a bit busier than normal as Tiger and I traveled to the Southeast United States to attend his class reunion. What did we see when we traveled? Kindles! At the airport, on the airplane, in the hotel lobby, at a restaurant, just about everywhere.
Three years ago when Kindles were just getting a good start the expression was that a Kindle had been spotted “in the wild.” Today they are the norm for the traveling public.
What’s in a name?
I browse through the books in the Kindle Store every day and have noticed something that just doesn’t sit right. Some independent publishers are being a bit misleading. In the cooking section of the Kindle Store, you can find books that are written by authors whose names are very, very similar to celebrity chefs from television networks. A reader who doesn’t notice the variation in spelling might buy the book, thinking they had gotten a great price on a book by this chef that would normally cost $9.99 or more.
Inspirational books are being authored by people with names so similar to well-known spiritual leaders you would have to look two or three times to realize the difference.
No doubt these publishers are making similar changes to book titles, hoping for sales from unsuspecting readers who don’t realize that they are being duped.
I’m not going to provide the names of the authors because I don’t want to give them any attention or business. That’s how strongly I feel about their behavior.
If my name honestly is Agatha Christy and I write mysteries, shouldn’t I be able to use my real name? (The famous writer is Agatha Christie.)
Do you see this practice as misleading or inappropriate? What about unethical? Should Amazon try to control this near-spelling or is it caveat emptor and the reader should be more careful? Tell us what you think about these near names and if you have been duped by one of these books or authors.
Some very cheap reads
Every book below is selling for less than $1.00 – as cheap as 57 cents and 95 cents on the high end.
Diana Palmer fans, the book below is a two-book bundle selling for only 63 cents. For those of you who can’t stand Diana Palmer, it’s still too much to pay, isn’t it?

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Housekeeping – A bad spell; Virgin River pre-order, Prices down then up then repeat; Hunger Games Trilogy – $15 5 comments

Spelling errors? I didn’t realise . . .
Pam sent a note asking

Why do so many ereader books have the word “realize” misspelled using s instead of z?

She had seen a book description on Daily Cheap Reads with the error.
Finding a spelling error on Daily Cheap Reads is easy. (I appreciate when you drop me a note about those typos.)
Pam’s note reminded me that the world is getting smaller. As the internet draws people with common interests together, language and spelling differences will become more widely known.
The book description Pam saw was by a British author. The original English speakers have alternate spellings to America’s accepted spelling.
Realise is British; realize is American.
Cosy is British, cozy is American.
Humour is British; humor is American. And on it goes
One author has this on her book’s webpage:

NOTE TO AMERICAN READERS: This book has British spelling and grammar as is written and spoken in Europe, Ireland included, which might look like spelling errors. The heroines are Irish and it would seem strange if they spoke American English.

Maybe I can use a similar excuse for typos on our site, calling them alternate spellings. It would seem strange if I didn’t have typos.
Next book in Virgin River – Sunrise Point – Available for pre-order
The next installment (19th book) in the Virgin River series is available for pre-order with delivery on April 24.
Sunrise Point ($6.39) Former marine Tom Cavanaugh has come home to Virgin River, ready to take over his family’s apple orchard and settle down. He knows just what the perfect woman will be like: sweet, decent, maybe a little naive. The marrying kind. Nothing like Nora Crane. So why can’t he keep his eyes off the striking single mother? Both Nora and Tom have their own ideas of what family means. But they’re about to prove each other completely wrong.…
You can see all the Virgin River books in reverse publication order here.
Prices in the evening in the United States
Prices have been a bit odd lately. Some books will have great prices in the morning, then jump to the regular price in the afternoon or evening, back to the cheap price the next morning, and the cycle repeats and repeats. This makes it very hard to post a book on our site with this kind of see-saw pricing activity. We appreciate your patience and hope that prices stabilize soon. We’ll keep posting those cheap books and ask that you check at different times if the great price is gone.
Tall, Dark, Texas Ranger is a Harlequin romance selling for 48 cents that has been bouncing around. An After-Hours Affair is a Harlequin Desire contemporary romance selling for 73 cents at the time of this post. Holiday in Stone Creek is a two-book set of holiday romances selling for 63 cents right now. Let’s see if these books will continue the pattern.
The trilogy of the year is now $5 per book
The Hunger Games Trilogy ($15.00) The extraordinary, ground breaking New York Times bestsellers The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, along with the third book in The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay, are available in a beautiful e-book trilogy edition. Stunning, gripping, and powerful. I (Susan) loved the books but haven’t made it the movie yet.

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Housekeeping – Agency model update; Is it just me? and Cheap reads 14 comments

Agency Model settlement reached for some publishers
Good news for readers! The United States Department of Justice announced in a statement yesterday (April 11) that Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster have reached a settlement where retailers will have “the freedom to reduce the prices of their e-book titles.”
This announcement was made at the same time that the DOJ reported filing an anti-trust lawsuit against Apple, Inc. and the five major publishers who first participated in the agency model, saying the publishers conspired with Apple to raise retail electronic-book prices to limit competition.
Read articles here: Marketwatch and Wall Street Journal.
Watch a video from Marketwatch about what this means to consumers:
Is it just me?
— Is it just me or is practically every new cookbook gluten-free recipes? Recipes now are either free of something or include every ingredient in the pantry, such as: Triple chocolate caramel layered brownies on pecan and coconut butterscotch crust with New York-style vanilla bean cheesecake filling and marshmallow fudge frosting. Is it just me or does that made-up recipe title sound yummy?
— Is it just me or are most contemporary romances now featuring a television/movie star or popular musician who is just looking for the simple life away from the stress of fame? Are these the people who have careers and money, replacing the wealthy corporate magnates of the past?
— Is it just me or are most self-help books either about losing weight or losing clutter? The weight loss need will always be a hot topic, but just a few years ago weren’t the decorating books all about displaying your collections? Now your collections have become clutter? Talk about setting the stage for your next book . . .
— Is it just me or are more novels featuring characters involved in political campaigns; employed by politicians or working to uncover corruption in government? Are these novels fiction or just remakes of the nightly news broadcast?
— Is it just me or are there hundreds, perhaps thousands of books about attracting and catching a member of the opposite sex, but only a few about what to do once you’ve caught one? Do any of the books give advice for attracting television/movie stars or popular musicians?
— Is it just me or is 80% of inspirational fiction historical romance? This market is ripe for something new – but no Hollywood stars or politicians, please.
— Is mine the only one or is your Kindle 2 doing a hard reboot about every 4 days? The archive list doesn’t include all my archived books, either. Now I’m thinking about buying a new Kindle Keyboard. Is it just me or does anyone else think the rebooting may be a marketing tool?
Cheap Reads by Lawrence Block
Lawrence Block is an acclaimed contemporary American crime writer best known for two long-running New York–set series, about the recovering alcoholic P.I. Matthew Scudder and gentleman burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr, respectively.
HarperCollins has priced forty-four of his novels at less than $5 with most of the books priced at $3.99 each. See the complete list here.
Below is the first Matthew Scudder novel The Sins of the Fathers (only 99 cents); the highest reviewed crime novel Eight Million Ways to Die ($3.99) and the most popular non-fiction book Telling Lies for Fun & Profit ($3.99).

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Housekeeping – Divine business plan, Update on agency model; Books no longer available; Kindle en Español and a Cheap read 5 comments

Divine business plan?
Earlier this week while reading my Bible, I came upon a verse that made me wonder if Amazon has adopted it as their business plan. What do you think?

“I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled!” –Luke 12:49 New American Standard Bible

Settlement near in the agency model collusion case
According to this article on’s website, Apple and some of its major publication partners are negotiating a settlement with the Department of Justice after the DoJ threatened to sue the companies for collusion in pricing e-books. See related Housekeeping post.
The article quotes sources as saying that Amazon and consumers will gain the most from a settlement. Cowen & Co. analyst Jim Friedland believes that Amazon stands to gain upward of $1 billion in revenue.
A settlement may be reached in a “couple of weeks.” E-book prices might be lower by the time the summer reading season arrives.
Books pulled from the Kindle Store
This week two books we featured in our posts have become unavailable in the United States Kindle Store. The webpages state “Pricing information not available.”
Both of these books (Amelia Peabody Omnibus and Last Seen in Massilia) were offered at great prices by Robinson, a publisher in the United Kingdom. Robinson holds the publishing rights for these two authors/books in the United Kingdom, but apparently not the United States.
The good news is that if you pre-ordered the Amelia Peabody Omnibus that was scheduled to be downloaded on May 17, the four-book-bundle was sent to your Kindle yesterday (April 4) afternoon. I did not pre-order Last Seen in Massilia, so I don’t know if those pre-orders will be or have been honored. If you did pre-order the book, let us know the outcome.
Kindle en Español
A new Spanish-language e-book store opened today within the Kindle Store, “eBooks Kindle en Español.” U.S. customers can now shop for Spanish-language books in the new store, or set any Kindle device to access a customized shopping experience designed for books in Spanish and access help pages in Spanish. The store has over 30,000 titles in total.
Cheap Read
The Woman Who Is Always Tan And Has a Flat Stomach: And Other Annoying People ($2.99) You know that overprotective PTA mom who needs to be resuscitated after she finds out you fed her son a hotdog? Or that couple who sends out the annual holiday letter about how their little Timmy came up with an alternative to fossil fuels while you’re proud of simply replacing the lint catcher in your dryer once a year? You’ll meet them again in Lauren Allison and Lisa Perry’s laugh-out-loud compendium. Allison and Perry take on soccer moms, video dads, rabid gardeners, and grating couples in this collection of short, punchy essays.
Less-than-perfect moms and dads everywhere will be sure to relate to the authors’ portraits of the most annoying people around!

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