Check Your Amazon Accounts!

You know that little court case that’s been slithering through the system for a few years now? The one that alleged Apple conspired with publishers against Amazon to raise eBook prices. Well Apple (the lone remaining party) has finally exhausted all of its legal challenges and has agreed to pay $400 million to customers who purchased eBooks between 2010 and 2012. If you did then you should have an Amazon credit on your account right now. The amount will depend on the number of NYT bestsellers and other ebooks you purchased.

I’m not sure if it’s a digital credit or a regular one. So check!

I’m glad Apple has finally had to fork over some money. Screw them and the publishers for what they did and getting caught. The publishers have all settled already.

On Kindle

The Kindle has come a long way since it first debuted nearly a decade ago. And Amazon keeps making it better. But seeing is believing, not just reading about it.

Recently I happened upon a co-worker reading in the break room at work. I saw him reading on a new Kindle. I asked which model it was because it looked nice. He said the $79 one, which is the regular Kindle. Now I know I’ve said I’m trading mine back in because I just don’t use it, but his device was great. I mean, I didn’t expect the base model to appear so advanced. The text is so much more clear than mine. The screen is much easier on the eyes. And it appeared about as thin as a strand of hair.

And of course Amazon just announced their newest edition. All this is simply to say that the “regular” Kindle is a great device, so I can’t imagine how superb the more advanced models are.

PS: Still not using mine or buying a new one.

No More Kindle

I’ve had my Kindle since 2011, I think? Maybe 2012. I’ve read fewer than ten books on it since I first received it as a birthday present. But I think I last read a book on it over a year ago. Some might upgrade to a new device, and that’s fine, but I’m not. Why upgrade something I have no desire to use? So I’m not upgrading anything. I’m sending it back to Amazon for their trade-in program in exchange for a gift card. There isn’t anything I need at the moment from the site, so I’ll just let the gift card sit in my account until I feel like using it.

Do you actively use your Kindle?

Google Releases Books for Smartphones

I can’t speak for the behavior of others, but I’ve had an Android device for nearly three years and I’ve never thought to buy books from Google Play. I mean, I’m sure the formatting is okay. I’m sure reading books bought from the Google Play store is minimally different from Kindle books or iBooks. But eh, it just hasn’t happened.

Google obviously knows there’s money to be earned from selling eBooks, and now they’re adapting. They recently released two books that are meant to be read on smartphones. They’re interactive and very short “reads”. And more could be on the way.

I imagine these kinds of interactive books are geared toward younger readers, but if you could get through a nice little interactive eBook in 30-60 minutes, then why not give them a try, right?

Two questions. Do you ever read books on your smartphone? Would you be interested in these interactive eBooks Google is betting on?


Last month I tried to conduct a giveaway for a gift card, but it didn’t seem to catch on. Now I’m upping the stakes a bit. I know I don’t need to conduct a giveaway, but I’m serious about my channel. And I feel like a lot of people aren’t really taking it seriously. Which is okay, I know people have their own interests and reasons for this. Now I want to give even more of an incentive. This is essentially what we do at Half Price Books when we aren’t getting as many email sign ups as we’d like. We do a gift card drawing. I’m betting that if you aren’t interested in my channel right now, perhaps I’ll be able to convince you somewhere down the line, but in the meantime there’s a Kindle here with your name on it. So here are the rules.

You’ll be able to enter up to the three times. But you MUST subscribe to my YouTube channel. So even if you do two of the three and don’t subscribe, then you wont be entered. Here’s how to enter.

  1. Subscribe to my YouTube channel. (YOU MUST DO THIS TO ENTER AT ALL)
  2. Like this post.
  3. Like the giveaway picture on my Instagram.

This is the device I’ll be giving away here. It’ll be BRAND NEW.


And that’s it! There is one catch here. I’m once again setting a minimum on the number of subscribers I gain in order for the giveaway to take place. I want to gain 160 to reach 200 total. Which is quite a few more than my current 40, but there’s a Kindle on the line. If I don’t reach the minimum I’ll drop the prize down to a gift card, but I’ll definitely give away SOMETHING.

Here’s how I’ll pick the winner. I’ll allow people to enter for seven days. Once next Tuesday comes around I’ll immediately check the subscriber numbers and the likes on everything else. I’ll assign a number to every new subscriber, every like on this post, and every like on Instagram (for those who qualify). Then I’ll use a random number generator to determine the winner. I’ll notify the winner and get the Kindle shipped out as soon as I can.


You can enter the maximum number of three times in about a minute, so what are you waiting for?!



Another Trump Book

Ugh. Donald Trump isn’t fading in the most recent polls released. He’s actually widening the gap between himself and his GOP counterparts. So it isn’t surprising to see another book about Trump climbing up the bestseller charts on Amazon.

But this time it’s something we can laugh at. The book is written by a comedian. And it’s called Trump Temptation: The Billionaire and the Bell Boy. đŸ˜‚ It’s already been rated 174 times on Amazon. And it’s ranked #365 in the Kindle store. I’m not sure it’ll be able to become a NYT bestseller, but it really doesn’t matter. If we’re forced to hear about Trump because of his standing in the polls, then I want more things like this.

Are you interested in some Trump erotica? I’m not. But it’s only $1.99 on Kindle. Ha!

On Amazon Echo’s new Feature

I don’t have an Amazon Echo device. I’m even a little surprised that it’s as popular as it is. It isn’t much different from what smartphones can do. But now Amazon is trying to improve the device as time goes on, and I think they’re doing just that.

Alexa (the device’s name) will now be able to read any of your Kindle books to you. Her voice may not be quite the same as a voice actor reading an audio book, but there’s no subscription needed. It’s completely free.

Free is always nice to hear, especially when you see the prices of individual audio books or an Audible subscription. I think Amazon is on to something. I don’t use my Kindle and I don’t listen to audio books, but millions of readers enjoy both.

Do you have an Amazon Echo? What do you think of Alexa now being able to read Kindle Books?

Who Wants a Kindle?

Guys, I’ve had a Kindle since 2010 or 2011. I took a friend of mine to Six Flags for her birthday (four hours away) and she reciprocated by buying me a Kindle for my next birthday. And we stopped talking completely the following year. Eh. Friendships.

Anyway, I wouldn’t have a Kindle device if one wasn’t given to me as a gift. Just because I always prefer print over eBook. And now I think it’s time to give it to someone who will actually put it to good use.

I have a Kindle Keyboard with free wireless. You don’t need to connect it to your WiFi to download books. Just turn wireless on on the device and you can download books instantly. I also have the original charger and two cases. One case is leather and straps the Kindle inside, and the other is really just an additional later of protection should you drop it. I’ve never dropped it. And you can use both cases at once. The reasoning behind this is that I never liked reading with the Kindle hooked into the leather case. So I use the leather case when the Kindle is not in use and the rubber one when I’m reading.

The Kindle Keyboard does NOT have a browser or touchscreen. It doesn’t have a backlight. But it does get the job done for someone who only needs it for reading purposes. And who has adequate light around them.

I’ve never once had any issue with it. No charging failures. No display problems. No button issues.

I’m asking $50 for the Kindle and the two cases that I think work well together. I’ll pay shipping.

If you decide you don’t want it after buying you can send it back to me within 30 days. YOU cover the shipping charge. Guys, I can sell it back to Amazon just as easily as I’m selling it to you. Payment would be made through PayPal.



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So, does anyone need a Kindle to be used strictly for reading?

Harry Potter News!

I just read something I think some of you might be interested in. It has to do with the boy who lived. Can you guess it? New book? New movie? New…anything?

All wrong. The series is finally available to purchase from the Kindle Store. It’s long been available to read on Kindle via Kindle Unlimited, but now the books are available to buy, mostly because more money will be earned from the sale of the books than was earned from the borrowing of them through Amazon’s book subscription service.

The books are each priced at $8.99, which looks to be right in the middle of popular YA series on Kindle. Some are as low as $2.99. Others are $10.99.

How many of you are interested in owning the series on Kindle? I’m not because I already have it in print, and I paid much less than $9 a book for two paperbacks and five hardcovers.

Tsk Tsk Tsk

I could have told you this would happen.

Remember the various disputes over eBook pricing last year between Amazon and some of the Big 5 publishers? They ended when all reached new deals with the company and kept the right to set their own eBook prices. Now they’re seeing what happens when prices are set at ridiculous price points.

The average eBook prices for the publishers involved in the recent contract negotiations is over $10. With most titles selling for nearly as much as the hardcover. Think about that. Why buy an eBook for $14.99 when you can buy the hardcover for $15.30. Those are the kinds of things happening with most major releases.

Now eBook sales are way down. They’ve been fairly stagnant in recent years, but stagnant is obviously better than a drop. I still think publishers are stealing your money when they make you pay $14.99 for what amounts to a tiny file on an eReader. With what I know about the production costs and royalty rates for authors today, I’ll never be convinced that a Kindle eBook is worth $14.99. Heck, it’s hard to convince me that a hardcover is even worth that.

Do you think the publishers are shooting themselves in the foot by continuing to price their eBooks as high as they are? I think these executives have some time frame in mind that they’re willing to go through. And if the sales continue to fall, then I’m certain that lower prices will make their way back into the Kindle store.

On this day in 2014 I published Here They Come.