Tag: Kindle

Amazon Knows What You’re Reading and How You’re Reading It

In an article by The Guardian, Kari Paul discusses a new discovery she’s made about how Amazon has logged not only what books she’s read on her Amazon Kindle, but the things she’s highlighted, excerpts she’s copied from books into her iPhone’s clipboard, and even looking up definitions of words in the Kindle’s dictionary.  I am probably as shocked as she is.  Paul was only able to discover this, as she starts off in her article:

 

“When I requested my personal information from Amazon this month under California’s new privacy law, I received mostly what I expected my order history, shipping information, and customer support chat logs.  But tucked into the dozens of files were also two Excel spreadsheets, more than 20,000 lines each, with titles, timestamps and actions detailing my reading habits on the Kindle app on my iPhone.”

 

image via apple insider

 

This disturbing revelation, according to Paul, revealed the moments she highlighted excerpts from The Deeper the Water and Uglier the Fish on February 15, or another, Severance, started on November 3 of 2018.  She then states that she made highlights in an excerpt from the third installment of The Diary of Anais Nin on May 21, 2019, or an excerpt from Leslie Jamison’s The Recovering: Intoxication and its Aftermath on August 23, 2018.  Amazon even recorded her changing the color of this excerpt!

 

 

You may be asking why Amazon even needs this information from you.  According to their privacy page, they collect things like search or shop for products in their stores, adding or removing items in your cart or placing orders, downloading, streaming, viewing, or using content on your device through their services, providing information in Your Account, and much more.  Amazon says that they use this to personalize your shopping experience and make proper recommendations to you when shopping (this would explain why if you search ‘phone cases’ and then buy one, you suddenly see Amazon recommending you tons of other phone cases “you may like”).

 

image via mage plaza

 

Paul states that “Amazon says it does not share what individual customers have highlighted with publishers or anyone else,” according to a spokeswoman.  “The highlights are logged to sync reading progress and actions across devices.”  This seems to make sense, but Amazon is logging almost everything done while reading on a Kindle.  What is all that extra data used for, then?

 

Paul has an answer through Alastair Mactaggart, someone who advocated for the California Consumer Privacy Act. Mactaggart states that “though Amazon says it is not currently sharing the insights gleaned from reading habits with anyone else, that the company holds on to the data shows it could be used in the future.”

 

 

For anyone who reads on a Kindle, this will be worrying for them.  It definitely doesn’t feel good knowing that everything you’re doing on a Kindle is being logged and recorded, all for no good reason. Amazon is just collecting all this data and holding onto it.  Paul quotes Evan Greer, the director at the privacy act group Fight For the Future.  He makes a good point when he says, “There is no reason Amazon or any other company needs to collect that kind of information to provide you with the service, which is simply reading a book.”

 

This discovery of data collection could be yet another drawback to using technology to read books.  Amazon definitely won’t be tracking what you read and what you mark through a good ol’ paper book.

 

Featured image via the verge

 


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5 Kindle Books You’ll Love—Without Breaking the Bank

Like any book lover, you have probably, at some point, struggled to carry books around with you—whether that be in your backpack, your purse, or your suitcase. Sometimes, it just makes sense to go digital. Whether you religiously read e-books, or have attempted to squeeze those eight books you just can’t choose between into your luggage, vowing never to abandon your print copies—you’ll love these Kindle deals. They’re not only accessible, but cheap, leaving you the funds to buy even more books you (probably don’t) need.

Chase the Dark by Annette Marie

Via goodreads

Listed on Amazon for $0.99, this Young Adult fantasy is worth every penny. Chase the Dark follows Piper Griffiths as she flees her father’s Consulate after a top secret weapon is stolen. Hunted by daemons, the only people she can trust are her two run-away companions—daemons whose motives she isn’t entirely sure of. 

If you like badass characters, daemons, and romantic heat—download Chase the Dark today!

 

Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

via goodreads

If you’ve heard about Colleen Hoover, you probably know that she is a queen of New Adult romance, and Maybe Someday is no exception to that rule. The book follows twenty-two-year-old Sydney, whose life at college is all well and good—until she discovers her boyfriend is cheating on her with her best friend/roommate. In the days following, Sydney becomes captivated by her next-door neighbor, Ridge, while simultaneously bonding with him over music. 

Mixed together with the perfect amounts of complicated relationships, music, and drama, Maybe Someday will please anyone looking for their next Colleen Hoover fix—all for $1.99 on Amazon!

 

First Year by Rachel E. Carter

Via amazon

First Year is everything you want from a lighter, Young Adult fantasy novel. The $2.99 e-book follows Ryiah as she competes for an apprenticeship while enrolled in a trial year at one of her kingdom’s war schools. If Ryiah is chosen for an apprenticeship, she will be able to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a Mage, but her fellow classmates—especially Prince Darren—make that even more difficult than it already is.

Readers will sympathize with Ryiah and root for her on her academic journey as she navigates friends, foes, and the limits to her magic. Her story continues in book two of the Black Mage series, also available on Kindle.

 

 

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

via amazon

If you haven’t yet seen the movie in theaters, and want to read the book first, now’s your chance to read Little Women, available for $1.99 on Kindle! The book will make you laugh, cry, and nostalgically reflect on your own childhood adventures as you follow the lives of March sisters Jo, Meg, Amy, and Beth. Alcott explores family bonds, wifely domesticity, and what it means to be a female writer at this time.

 

Southern Spirits by Angie Fox

via kobo

Southern Spirits is a cozy mystery featuring Verity Long who, after accidentally gaining the ability to see spirits, is hired to chase ghosts from an ancient estate. But ghosts are the least of her concerns when she begins unraveling the secrets of the past, and finds herself caught up in a mystery present-day. 

Not only is this book funny, supernatural, and lighthearted, but it’s free on Kindle! It also features a ghost side-kick, and if that’s not enough for you, what is?

 

 

featured image via unsplash


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Toddlers May Connect with Physical Books More Than Tablets

E-books are one of the biggest changes to ever come to the publishing industry. They’ve revolutionized reading, whether you’re doing it on your commute to work or reading a good night story to your kids before bed. However, a recent study suggests parents should opt for physical books when reading to their kids at night.

 

image via jama pediatrics

 

A new study published in JAMA pediatrics found that toddlers seem to be more focused and engaged when their parents read to them from physical books instead of e-books.

 

 

Whoa whoa whoa, before you go and throw out your Kindle it might help to get some context. The study examines how toddlers behave when their parents read to them in different circumstances, and it found that “intrusive behaviors” and “solitary body posture” occurs more frequently when there’s a tablet involved. Basically, that means that when children were reading an e-book along with their parents, they were more likely to position themselves as if they were just reading alone.

 

image via momjunction

 

Some of the findings might have to do with how the parents read as well. When parents read from tablets, “their language use may not be as potent,” said Dr. Tiffany Munzer, a developmental and behavioral pediatrician who led the study. “With a print book, parents feel they can cozy up with their kids and make the story come alive”.

Speaking about the results of the study, Dr. Munzer said, “it may be that when parents and toddlers engage over a tablet, it might be harder for them to have moments of connection.”

 

 

Featured image via NAEYC

The Kindle Oasis. Do you want it?

New Kindle Oasis – Is It Worth It?

We’re getting a new Kindle Oasis, and this one will have the ability to change the color temperature of the display. Now, when I say that, I mean they’re SELLING it. Of course, it remains to be seen whether or not we’re actually getting one. So, is the Kindle Oasis all it’s supposed to be? Let’s check it out for ourselves.

Man reading a Kindle

Image Via Amazon

 

The picture above is from Amazon and it is downright amazing, but advertisements lie to you. Remember this?

 

Infinity war hulk trailer
Image Via Flickering Myth

 

Or this?

 

TV burgers vs real burgers

Image VIa YOUTUBE

 

So the question remains: Do we really need this Kindle?

 

 

Well let’s look at the facts, chief!

 

Let's look at the facts

Image Via Fun Inventors

 

As per The Verge, “it has the same 7-inch, 300ppi E Ink display, one-handed design, waterproofing, and Bluetooth support for Audible audiobooks”.

CNET quotes an Amazon representative as saying:

The new Kindle Oasis introduces the next and improved generation of e-ink, which is faster in common customer scenarios such as getting back into your favorite book from Home or Library, looking up a word, and launching Settings, among others.

Chapter One on a Kindle

Image Via The Verge

 

The key difference between the old Kindle Oasis and the New Kindle Oasis (in fact, the only difference) is that the new Kindle will have a adjustable light that allows you to change the color tone from cool to warm. You can even schedule colors to coincide with day or night!

Do you want it?

 

How bad do you want it?

Image Via Order of Man

 

Well with a price tag of $249.99 for the 8GB model and $279.99 for the 32GB version, that means you’ll have to spare a pretty penny for this device. It goes on sale this July 24th. Are you going to preorder today?

 

 

Featured Image Via LifeHacker.

Kindle eBook graphic.

‘Book-Stuffing:’ The Self-Publishing Crime You’ve Never Heard Of

There’s a scam going on in the eBook industry, and, as with most high-dollar missteps, no one is stopping it.

Before we get into the details of these legal evasions, it’s critical to understand that eBook authors make money per pages read. When authors fill their works with special features to drive the page count into the thousands, eBook readers feel like they’re getting a steal: extra content for the same price. But, for the author, ‘steal’ isn’t that far off.

 

Image Via David Gaughran

 

There have been a number of tactics to stop self-publishing abuses designed to arbitrarily inflate eBook profits, but few have actually been effective. Authors are banned from directly incentivizing reviews, but some have found a workaround: Chance Carter, a self-described “bad boy who writes about bad boys,” created a giveaway in which reviewers would earn the chance to receive a Tiffany ring. It’s clear he really is a bad boy: he nested six extra books in the back of his Mr. Diamond (the precious gem is as hard and desirable as the protagonist’s, well, you know).

This is how authors game the system: filling their publications with bonus content to artificially inflate the length of each book. It’s called ‘book stuffing,’ and it’s no game—the top scammers are making $100,000 per month.

 

Chance Carter's proposal to his followers

Image Via Medium

 

There’s some measure of justice, even if that measurement is more an inch than a mile. Bad boy Carter was banned after #tiffanygate made its way into the public consciousness… but not for long. Many suspect Carter now writes under the pseudonym Johanna Hawke, who writes about “bad boys and hotties.” He’s back with a different name… and the same game.

Well, how bad could it be if an author includes a few bonus chapters? Given that it’s far more than just a dozen extra pages: pretty bad.

 

Self-published Kindle Unlimited authors receive their income from a ‘communal authors’ fund,’ the distribution of which is largely dependant both on what percentage of a book readers complete AND how many total pages readers turn. Amazon has made limited attempts to stop this abuse of the system, enacting a rule that no more than 10% of a book can be bonus content. But many authors have circumvented this system with ‘compilations’ or ‘collections,’ allowing them to hit that 3,000 upper page limit.

This bit of ingenuity is hardly the end of these scammers’ tricks. Many such eBook authors engage in ‘mosaic book stuffing,’ the practice of repackaging previous releases into one new (and derivative) work. While some authors engage in active plagiarism, others will re-use passages of their own works, stitching together some botched Frankenstein’s monster and re-selling it to the public. Others use false links in their novel, which trick readers to skip directly to the end. These authors then get a bonus upon the novel’s completion.

It’s a cheap trick, but the consequences are costing authors who don’t engage in such deceptive policies. The communal fund is, as you may have imagined, communal. Amazon may benefit from the increased sales, and readers may appreciate the extra content. But the authors don’t—at least, not the ones who are honest.

 

Featured Image Via ElegantThemes.com