This is a rather long post – you may want to grab a cup of coffee!
It’s that time again – time to answer via the blog those email questions I received a couple of times over the past week or so: I figure if several of you have the same question, many more of you have it, too, and it can help out a lot of folks (and possibly minimize the frustration aspect). If you would like to write to me, my email address is kindle at gagler dot com
Lost or Stolen Kindles
I’ve had a little over two dozen people write to me regarding stolen and / or lost Kindles and what should they do. Here is a copy and paste of a post I had back in April of this year addressing the same thing:
The first thing you need to do is contact Amazon Kindle customer support and report it lost or stolen and get it deregistered – you don’t want someone loading up your lost Kindle with a lot of books charged to your credit card!
Here’s how one reader explained her process best:
My Kindle was stolen a couple months ago by some painters at my mother’s house. As soon as I noticed it missing (which wasn’t too long) I called Kindle support. I explained the situation and they deregistered my Kindle and placed a lock on the serial number of my Kindle. That way no one else could register it to their account. I was mollified that once they tried to use it, the books would all disappear and it would be useless because it wasn’t able to be reregistered. A few days later after a call to the contractors my Kindle was returned to me. Please tell people about this service. It was slightly comforting. Thank you so much.
Sharing a Kindle (or Not)
Here’s a question from Chey D.:
First of all, your Tips and Tricks blog was one of the first things I subscribed to on my Kindle when I received it for Christmas this past year. I love the freebies, but your tips and tricks have saved this Kindle newbie many times! So, naturally, I am turning to you for some help in deciding what to do on the following situation:
Recently, my elderly mother has moved in with us. She’s seen me reading my Kindle and has become interested in it (especially because the font size can be enlarged – she’s 83.) Now my mom has “technology phobia” and doesn’t have a clue when it comes to computers, keyboards, wireless, etc.
She wants a Kindle, but wants me to be able to select and download all the content she wants. In other words, she just wants to read and not be bothered by all that “high tech mess”. What would be the best way to handle this? Should I just buy and register another Kindle to my own account and take care of all the set up for her? If I do that, can I easily share my own Kindle content with her on this second Kindle registered to my account? Or should I get her a separate Kindle account? Obviously, I’m a newbie.
Appreciate all you do for the Kindle fans! Many thanks!
This question is both easy and difficult at the same time – the easy part is to get Mom a separate Kindle: they are pretty cheap now, with $79 for the Kindle with Special Offers (click here or type in http://amzn.to/kindlefall2011 into your computer’s web browser to see it).
The harder question of “is Mom going to be on my account or on a separate account” is more of a personal decision: each family situation, and the finances, is a personal thing you don’t want a gray-haired and obese blogger like myself telling you what to do so take the rest of this response with a grain of salt!
On one hand, since your Mom is living with you in your house and presumably eating your food (or is it community food) maybe your finances are co-mingled. If that is the case, especially if you both enjoy a lot of the same books, I would recommend having all of the Kindles on one account – that way, you can share the books between the two of you and you can avoid both of you paying for the same book on separate accounts.
On the other hand, if you and Mom are keeping everything separate with a detailed accounting, you will probably want to have separate Kindles with separate accounts – you can then loan books back and forth, as long as you comply with all of the restrictions on loaning Kindle books back and forth (only once, two week period, etc.). However, if you and Mom are keeping everything financially separate with detailed accounting while living under the same roof there are probably bigger issues to resolve than “should we have a joint or separate” Kindle account.
A long-winded answer, I know – my unofficial response would be to have one account you share: in the long run, it’s cheaper, plus there are other more pressing problems in the world to solve today.
My Relationship with Amazon
Many people think I have a contact at Amazon I can call or email and receive a direct response; many people also think I work directly for Amazon and can resolve shipping or order issues. In reality, I do not – when I email the generic blog support email, I have never received a straight answer or had a question resolved; for book author support, they have a really long delay and might get back to me with an answer about 50% of the time (in other words, I’ve given up).
I contrast that with the customer support for the purchaser side, and they have been outstanding. It’s almost a tale of two different companies.
I do know people at Amazon do read the blog on a periodic basis, which is why I am putting this request from blog reader Christi P. in this post – besides, I’ve had some of the same “wish list” items:
couple things…first want you to know I have really enjoyed your comments as well as your listing of free books on Amazon. I look forward to your daily posting and have downloaded many of the free books without disappointment.
I often read series books. Sometimes I get stuck on an author and want to read all the books in a particular series. Problem is Amazon does not list which book in the series they are (unless I do some serious digging). I have also noticed some of the free books are part of a series and not necessarily the 1st book. (Guess I like the background of the earlier stories, especially if the main characters move from one to the next)
I would like to see Amazon list which book in the series the book is….example JA Konrath, Jack Daniels mysteries. John Locke, Kathy Reichs, Nora Roberts, Clive Cussler Erlene Fowler are just a few that come to my mind at the moment. It would be great if a book that is part of a series, is listed as say (book 3 in the Jack Daniels mystery series or book 9 in the Beni Harper series or book 1 of the Dirk Pitt series ) on the same page with the book info, not in a later page about the author. I realize some books make no difference which order they are read but still it’s nice to know. This would be particularly nice to know when ordering books from the kindle. (I find the tiny print very frustrating on the amazon page when it comes up on my kindle)
I would make this recommendation to Amazon myself, but haven’t found the page on their website for such recommendations. And since you “work with them” I am hoping you could make the suggestion for me. I’m sure there are others that would like this information as well. I just don’t know who to contact.
I don’t know who to contact, either – let’s see if it works!
Reading the Blog on Something Other Than Your Kindle
I frequently receive emails about why people can’t read the blog on the Kindle for PC app the iPhone Kindle app, etc. Here’s a question I received from Stephanie regarding the same:
Hello!! I love your blog Free Kindle Books Plus a Few Other Tricks…It has been very helpful and informative!!!
Now my question. I occasionally use the Kindle for PC app. I have a desktop and a laptop. I used the app on the desktop first and was able to get the most current days edition of your blog on the app. Today i put the app on my laptop and cannot get your blog on the app on my laptop. Any ideas why not??? Also, I have not tried it on the desktop as the kids have pretty much taken it over since I got the laptop.
Thanks so much!!!
The short answer is “I don’t know.”
Of course, I would like to receive as many paid subscriptions as I can, and the various Kindle apps are an untapped market for not only me but every other blog publisher on the Kindle platform. I do find it strange Amazon is missing another opportunity to collect more revenue! Before you think I am getting rich off of this, please remember of your 99 cent per month subscription you pay Amazon to read it on your Kindle, I get all of 30 cents – or one cent per day, per subscriber. That’s not enough to make me quit my real job and be able to still pay the mortgage, two sets of braces, put food on the table, etc.!
I’ve thought about not having the blogs available on the various Kindle apps, and from a guesstimate standpoint (remember, Amazon doesn’t call me for my opinion for their sales and marketing strategies) they must think readers will read blogs on the other devices’ web browsers vs. the Kindle application. It does make sense from that standpoint, but I would imagine it would only cost about $200k or so to program it and test it – money that would be more than made up on the incremental revenue for all of the Kindle blogs combined.
While I am an accountant in real life, I am not Amazon’s accountant so the math is probably working out to something different.
In the interim, you can read the blog on the web – just point your web browser to https://fkbt.wordpress.com and you can see all of the past tips, free book offers, and rants by Michael.
Anyway, looking at the bottom of my Word display I’m almost at 2,000 words – wow! If you’ve read this far, thanks!
Have a great weekend-
Want to have this blog sent wirelessly to your Kindle vs. reading it on your computer? Try out the free two-week subscription! Click here for the Amazon page for Free Kindle Books Plus a Few Other Tips.