Random Kindle Thoughts Plus Answers to Email

I have been meaning to get this post out for a while today, but I have been struck by one massive headache that just won’t go away: I’d like to blame it on the pathetic Astros vs. Brewers game I went to and suffered through, but since the venue is air conditioned I can’t blame it on a heat issue.

Anyway, I am getting off-subject here.  As a matter of fact, there isn’t any set agenda to this post, just a clarification or two plus an answer to a few questions via email.

On August 5th, I told you about the second book of The Days and Months We Were First Born being free; it was free for about an hour, then the web page for the book was completely removed for what the author emailed me about was a “pricing conflict” with other sites – it must have been part of a mass email because several of you forwarded it to me, also.  I am pleased to report Book 2 is back again as free, and you can pick up your free copy by clicking here or typing in http://amzn.to/nLU2n9 into your computer’s web browser.  If you missed Book 1 in the series, it is still free: you can pick up your free copy if you click here or type in http://amzn.to/qNaLHJ into your computer’s web browser.  Both of these books are in my digital “to be read” pile.

Sales Taxes on Select Kindle Books

Several of you have written me lately as to why Amazon charges sales tax on certain Kindle books and not on others.  That’s a great question that has even me, a CPA in real life (no, I do not blog all day to put food on the table), scratching my head from time-to-time.  Before I give you the answer, I’ll throw in a little personal prognostication that is not meant to be a political statement: no matter which side of the political spectrum you are on, things are significantly out of whack between the revenue side and the spending side of our government’s checkbook.  Don’t be too surprised if every single Internet purchased has either a state, local, or <gasp> a federal sales tax placed on it sometime soon.  I personally think that would stink (that is a technical accounting term and not the first word that actually came to my mind but this is, after all, a family blog).

Anyway, back to our scheduled program – why are sales taxes charged on some Kindle books and not others?  You can thank the agency model in general and Steve Jobs in particular for that one; I won’t go into detail on it as there are others who have explained it much better than I can (just do a Bing or Google search on it).  I did get on my soapbox about it when it was first announced in April 2010 in a few posts; you can click here or type in http://bit.ly/rjJTqX into your computer’s web browser to read one of my rants and where I listed the publishers who would be charging sales taxes on Kindle books.

Here is the “official” Amazon response on this in the Amazon Kindle discussion board:

Several publishers have recently changed the nature of their relationship with Amazon, moving to a business model whereby the publisher, not Amazon, is the seller of record for their books. Kindle books sold under this model are subject to sales tax based on the publisher’s state tax reporting obligations and the taxability of digital books in those states. Books where the publisher is the seller of record say “This price was set by the publisher.” Nothing has changed with respect to sales taxes on Kindle books where Amazon is the seller of record.

Now, that may not make much sense to you (it doesn’t to me) and it is a little vague.  My rule of thumb is if I see the phrase “This price was set by the publisher” I mentally add sales tax to the cost of the book before I hit the purchase button.  Then again, I haven’t purchased too many books lately because I have been overwhelmed with the free offers!

Facebook Page

Almost a month ago, I got off my rear-end and finally launched (some would call it re-launched) a Facebook page for this blog.  I thought I might get a couple of hundred people to press the “Like” button after about a year, which was based on my unscientific reasoning behind my experiences with the Twitter page I set up for the blog about six months ago.  Needless to say, I have been blown away by the response – thank you!  As I type this tonight, there are 1,098 of you who have “liked” the page: who will be #1,100?  You can get there by clicking here or typing in http://on.fb.me/mgfbook into your computer’s web browser.

And finally, here is an email I received from Amy C.:

My husband broke his second Kindle last week so he called customer service and they replaced it for $65 (yay!).  The first time he had to manually put all of his books back into the collections.  He asked if there was a way to save his collections so he didn’t have to recreate them and they said he could go into a Collection and click on “Archive Collection”.  His Kindle was broken so he couldn’t do it, but I went into my Kindle to try to archive my collections and couldn’t figure out how to do it.  Was the the representative wrong or am I missing something?

I love your blog and have been following it since I got my Kindle for Christmas.

I have gone through a couple of Kindles, and the first time I manually did the collections and it was a pain in the neck and I kicked myself (and cursed a few times) afterwards when I found out there was an easier way to do it.  When I bricked my Kindle last year on an international trip (that’s another story for another day), once I got back to the USA and received the replacement it didn’t take that much time to get the collections organized.

You can see how to do it if you click here or type in http://bit.ly/fDZSA9 into your computer’s web browser.

I actually posted this one in September 2010 – it was extremely popular at the time and continues to do so, primarily due to so many people getting new Kindles as well as upgrading from a K2 to a K3. This post is rather long and is about the “Collections” feature, and is broken up into two parts. The first section is for the experienced Kindlers who already know about Collections and want to transfer them over to their new K3; the second is a general review of what a collection is and how to establish them on your new Kindle – which might be handy to those of you who have upgraded from your K1 to either a new K3 or the many used K2’s that are on the market.

Anyway, enough for now – I think I will pop a few more ibuprofen for this headache and hit the sack a little earlier than usual tonight!

Have a great upcoming week-


Published Monday – Friday (with an occasional weekend post) this blog, Kindle Books for a Buck or Less, has a primary focus on the independent author: there are jewels beyond the “name brand” authors. If you would like to try out the free two-week trial subscription on your Kindle, click here or type in http://amzn.to/kb4abuck into your computer’s web browser. Who knows, you might find a new favorite author!



Filed under Kindle Tips, Misc. and Random Stuff

3 responses to “Random Kindle Thoughts Plus Answers to Email

  1. leslie

    can you use a standard cell phone charger to charge a kindle

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