Category Archives: Misc. and Random Stuff

Gift Ideas for Men

Gentlemen, this section is for you:

As a stereotypical guy, I love the beauty and simplicity of gift cards.  With Amazon’s gift cards, I could theoretically get one and print it out with my home computer and printer on Valentine’s Day before I went out for a Valentine’s dinner and the recipient would not be the wiser to my procrastination unless I confessed to it (not that I would do that).

In addition to printing them out at any time, gift cards can be emailed to the recipient.  Amazon is also offering free one-day shipping if you want one of the hard plastic cards and gift envelopes or boxes with your gift card.  Here’s your link so you won’t miss it and have a mad someone who is wondering why you didn’t bring her a present this year: http://amzn.to/tPKzX3

Of course, I’m not opening up the whole discussion of the appropriateness of a gift card….

Have a great rest of the afternoon-

Michael

 

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Facebook Page Updates

This message is for the folks who read the updates on the Facebook page – you can see the Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/fkbooksandtips – I’ve received a few emails from people over the last few days you haven’t been able to see updates to the Facebook page on your wall / home screen unless you come over to our Facebook page.

Kind of defeats the point, doesn’t it?

One way to make the posts start showing up on your personal page is to give an individual post a “like” or a share to get the feeds going again.

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 or type in http://www.tinyurl.com/fkblog into your computer’s web browser.

Check out our Facebook page and give us a “like” by clicking here or typing in http://www.facebook.com/fkbooksandtips into your computer’s web browser!

 

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A Random Kindle Blog Post

Okay, it’s a Sunday night and I really should be thinking about getting to bed – it’s going to be an extremely busy week at work (you really think I blog all day?!?), and this fat man can’t stay up as late as he used to these days.

However, sometimes the best intentions fall to the wayside…besides, I can’t sleep right now, so I thought I would ramble on a few topics that are either on my mind or in answer to some of the emails I have received over the last few days.

Length of Free Book Offers

I’ve received quite a few emails and a few negative reviews from people saying the books I’m telling you about aren’t free and they have been charged – I know, it’s a recurring theme some of you have heard me talk about before, but we are getting quite a few new subscribers each day.

The bottom-line is the books are free when I send out the post: I verify that before I push the “post” button.  The problem is no one outside of Amazon or the author knows how long the free book offer will last.  In the last three years, I’ve seen some books be free for over a year, and I have also seen books be free for less than 30 minutes.

I realize it is easy to get in the habit of hitting the link(s) I tell you about each day and select the “Buy now with 1-click” button without thinking about it.  Please make sure you check the pricing and confirm it is free before you hit the buy button or your account will be charged!

How Many Kindles Do I Own?

I get this question from time-to-time, and after buying a new car this week I stopped to count them up (more on the new car in a later post).  I guess the good news is I don’t have as many as I used to, the bad news is I have more Kindle devices than I do people in my household (maybe if you threw in the dog and the fish it might even up).  Here’s what I have today in my house:

3 Kindle Fires

2 Kindle Keyboards with 3G (formerly known as the Kindle 3 or K3)

1 Kindle DX

1 Kindle Wi-Fi

1 Kindle Touch 3G

Why so many?  The answer I give my wife is I need to have one of each so I can review them for the blog as well as to test how the blog appears on each of their screens.  A better answer is when the Fire came out, I got one for me and Santa Claus brought one for each of the kids on Christmas Day which resulted in three of us having two Kindle devices each.

I have tested, read from, and played with each of them quite a bit and each has pluses and minuses over the other. For pure reading, I like the DX better as you can put a heck of a lot more on the screen; I switch between it and my K3 all of the time.  I also got my first pair of prescription glasses for reading only last month, and the DX is a lot easier for me to read as (a) I really don’t like wearing the glasses, (b) I don’t want to stop and hunt for them, and (c) when you put a larger font on the DX you don’t have to push the next page button as frequently as the K3.  Call me lazy for not wanting to push the button so many times…

I read just a little bit on the Fire, as I mainly use it to play games.  My kids, however, are eating up the Fire between reading books, playing games, and watching movies.

I like the Kindle Wi-Fi, but don’t use it much because I read on the other devices.  I do, however, check it frequently as I have taken advantage of some of the special offers that are displayed as a screen saver.  The best coupon I have used to date was when Amazon ran a promotion of getting a $20 Amazon gift card for just $10.  Seeing as how the unit only cost me $79, that was similar to lowering the price down to $69.

As I’ve said before, I can’t stand the Kindle Touch, although you may think it is the best thing since sliced bread.  Rather than enumerate the reasons again in this post, just check out my review of the unit on the Amazon website!  I’m tempted to sell the darn thing on eBay.

My wife, unfortunately, is addicted to her iPad and gave up her Kindle 2 a while ago (the Kindle 2 died an untimely death after it was dropped one to many times).  I know, it’s really sad to hear of the Kindle guy’s spouse turning to the competition – but I will say she does use the free Kindle reading application all of the time!  Now if I could just get her to read this blog….

What Am I Reading Now?

I’m asked this all of the time – if you realized how often I switch genres, you might say I have some strange tastes.  Right now, I am reading a two-book collection by Louis L’Amour called Shalako and Catlow – you can click here or type in http://amzn.to/AoofZi into your computer’s web browser to see it.

I love Louis L’Amour, and have probably read each of his novels half a dozen times each growing up.  I still have most of them in paperback, but they are in a box in the attic and I really don’t feel like rooting around up there to dig them out (yes, call me lazy again) so I bought the Kindle version – the paperbacks are about 30-40 years old and are starting to come apart, so it’s probably time to get rid of them, but they are like old friends: I wrote in them when I was little, they are creased here and there, and like most packrats I have a hard time getting rid of things.  However, I am slowly restocking the digital shelf with these same titles as one Kindle is easier to tote around than a box full of books!

How Do I Find the Free Books?

Over the last two weeks, many people have asked me how I find out about the free book offerings, and how do I know they are “new” freebies for a particular day.

It’s a trade secret!

Actually, it’s not a secret at all – I have two methods.  The first is I wrote a simple script to go check the Amazon listings for books prized at zero and dump it into an Excel file.  I do a quick comparison for the previous day’s file, and there you have it.

The second is independent authors are starting to let me know when their books are going to be free – if it sounds like something I would be interested in, as well as what I think you would be interested in, plus has a fairly high customer rating I will more likely than not post it for you to check out.

Anyway, that’s probably enough rambling for now.  If you made it this far without nodding off, congratulations!

Here’s to hoping everyone has a great week this week-

Michael

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 or type in http://www.tinyurl.com/fkblog into your computer’s web browser.

Check out my new Kindle guide, Kindle Fire How-To Guide: Your Guide to Tips, Tricks, Free Books, and Startup.  You can check it out if you click here or type in http://amzn.to/firebook into your computer’s web browser.

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Answering Your Kindle Questions

I thought it would be a good time to answer a few of the emailed questions I have received in a group format: these are usually the ones I have received several times, which leads me to believe there must be a lot more of you out there with the same question!

If you would like to write to me, my email address is kindle at gagler dot com (I write it out that way in a small attempt to thwart the spam email harvesters).

First of all, I told you in a previous post I was a bit under the weather, and many of you sent well-wishes – thanks!  The crud I have has become better, but it just won’t go away.  There is a bad cold hitting the Houston area and lots of people are missing work and other activities, with three people in my small group at work out with it right now.  Here’s hoping this thing doesn’t travel to your part of the world!

 


Rating Kindle Books

Doug and a few others had a question about rating books after they have been read, and here is Doug’s email to me:

Michael, I found your free kindle book blog after my kids got me a Kindle for Father’s Day and since then I now get the buck or less blog. The first thing I do when I turn on my Kindle in the morning is read both. I really like the tips and book offers.  I do have one question, on finishing a book you get the opportunity to rate book or share that you have finished book. Since I can’t share my opinion as I don’t twitter or facebook or whatever you need to social network does my book rating get added to the total?  Thanks again for your interesting blogs.    Doug

If you didn’t know, what Doug is referring to is on most Kindles, after you finish a book the very last page is actually a pop-up from Amazon, allowing you to rate the book you have just completed.  The heading starts off with “You’ve finished.  Before you go…” with several options you can pick and choose.

The first option is to Tweet via Twitter or post via Facebook you have completed the book: if you are a member of one of those social networks, you can share the news accordingly if you so desire (the accountant in me wonders how much Twitter and Facebook are paying Amazon for that functionality, or is Amazon paying them to link back to the Amazon store?).

If you scrolled down one menu option below the “Tweet” option, you can select “Rate this book,”  which will open a new pop-up window to grade it on a 1 to 5 star rating.  If you chose this option and rated the book on the star rating system, and you save / share or just save this rating, it will then be uploaded to the Amazon website.

As most of you know, I try to rate everything I have read on the Amazon website as I believe we are all one little (but large) community, and I appreciate your reviews – and hope you like mine – as I might be interested in what you like to read and vice versa.  On the other hand, we may have totally different tastes in literature.  However, I try to provide a few brief comments of what I liked and disliked vs. relying solely on the “star” rating system without providing a spoiler and I appreciate reviews that do the same as most of the time it gives me a good gauge of the book. You can see the reviews I have written at any time by pointing your web browser to http://amzn.to/mpgreviews

 


Returning Kindle Books

Michael S. sent me an email Friday, telling me there is an easier way to return Kindle books.  I really haven’t used that feature in a while, so I guess it is time for me to get more up to speed and thanks to Michael S. for sharing this with not only me, but you.  Here’s what he had to say:

Love your blog.

Under your description of free kindle books, you talk about how to return them.  There is now a very easy way, not needing either immediate action, nor do you have to go through customer support.

Books you purchase from the Kindle Store are eligible for return and refund if we receive your request within seven days of the date of purchase. Once a refund is issued, you will no longer have access to the book. To request a refund and return, visit Manage Your Kindle, click the actions tab for the title you’d like to return, and select “Return for refund.”

Thanks for passing this one on, Michael!  If you have a tip you would like to share with the group, maybe a shortcut you use that helps you out and / or saves time, how about sharing it?  Just email it to me (kindle at gagler dot com) and you may see it appear on the blog!


Monthly Kindle Fire Giveaway

Many of you may remember author C.J. West, who gave away a copy of his book, The End of Marking Time, to the blog’s readers in 2011 (it’s $2.99 now, but I liked it and it as an average user rating of 4.5 stars based on 130 customer reviews – click here or type in http://amzn.to/f2xFZA into your computer’s web browser to see it.)

C.J. is giving away a free Kindle Fire each month of 2012.  To enter the contest, just click here or type in http://22wb.com/firemeup.htm into your computer’s web browser.
What Am I Reading Now?

I’m frequently asked what I am reading on my Kindle.  Technically, I am not reading anything right now: I just finished a book this afternoon called The Jakarta Pandemic by Steven Konkoly (click here or type in http://amzn.to/uWeNjy into your computer’s web browser to see it).  I told you about this one on December 27th when it was free, and I grabbed it as it sounded interesting.  Now that I’ve completed it, I thought it was great!  Unfortunately, it’s not free now but priced at $3.99 – it’s well worth it, so if you missed it when it was free I highly recommend it!
Other blogs I Read

Many of you want to know if I read other blogs about the Kindle.  The short answer is “yes,” I pop over and read a couple of Kindle-related blogs from time-to-time, including:

I Love My Kindle by Bufo Calvin.  Bufo is a mainstay on the Amazon Kindle discussion boards, and is quick to offer a helping hand with Kindle-related questions on the discussion boards.  He usually has one to two posts per day with various things about the Kindle as well as his life, and the book business in general.  He also has a nice writing style.  I’ve never met Bufo, but we’ve corresponded a couple of times over the past few years, and seems like a guy I’d like to have a beer or a cup of coffee with one day.  You can read his blog at http://ilmk.wordpress.com/

Kindle Boards – this really isn’t a blog, but more of a discussion board of a lot of things Kindle, reviews of books, and an area for independent authors to discuss various trends.   You can lurk around and read it for free, but if you want to participate in a discussion and post you need to register (registration is free).  You can check it out at http://www.kindleboards.com/

Beyond Black Friday / Me and My Kindle by Jon Cog.  You never know what Jon is going to post about from day-to-day: one day there are a few free book offers, the next it’s an interview with someone, or a general post about the eBook or publishing industry.  You can check it out at http://www.beyond-black-friday.com/ and you can read the interview he had with me at http://www.beyond-black-friday.com/2011/12/27/my-interview-with-a-best-selling-author/

If you’ve made it this far in the post, congratulations!  That’s all I have for now, and I hope you have a great week next week!

Michael

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 Tipsor type in http://www.tinyurl.com/fkblog into your computer’s web browser.

Check out my new Kindle guide, Kindle Fire How-To Guide: Your Guide to Tips, Tricks, Free Books, and Startup.  You can check it out if you click here or type in http://amzn.to/firebook into your computer’s web browser.

 

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Answering Your Kindle-Related Questions

This is a long post….

I thought it time to answer some email and other questions I receive via either the blog interface, Facebook Page, etc.  Granted, after being out of town for a week during Christmas and New Year and returning on Monday, I am a bit behind so please bear with me as I try to catch up.

For those of you who asked where I went for vacation, my family and I went on a Caribbean cruise out of Galveston on the 26th and came back on the 2nd.  We had a great time, and it was nice weather but a bit cramped having four people in a really small room for a week.  If you have never gone on a cruise, I highly recommend it and as an accountant I can tell you generally it is cheaper than flying somewhere, booking a hotel and rent car, and paying for meals and activities.

I’m ready to go again – right now – but my wallet won’t let me!

Before I get started on today’s replies one thing I would like to point out is I do not work for Amazon, there is a 99.9999999% chance I can’t fix your Kindle hardware or system software issues, and I will be the first to raise my hand and say I certainly do not know all of the answers to people’s Kindle questions.  Most of you will appreciate the previous sentence shortly.

Kindle Reading Apps

Several people have asked me if they can read the free books on a Kindle app for their iPhone, iPad, and other iYounameit devices.  The answer is “yes, you can.”  Click the link below to find out more:

Kindle iPod app: http://amzn.to/kindleipod

In addition to the iPod, Amazon has developed free Kindle reading apps for the iPhone, Windows PC, Mac, BlackBerry, iPad, Android, and Windows Phone 7 devices.  Here is a link the appropriate page on the Amazon website to learn more as well as to download the app for free; after you get to this page, just click the appropriate device name on the right-hand side of the screen: http://amzn.to/kindlereadingapps

Free Book Offers

There are several people convinced I have only been highlighting books that are available for a free “borrow” if you are an Amazon Prime member.  There are also several people convinced I should be responsible for books that were on a particular day not being free several days later and they are a bit perturbed (for lack of a more colorful descriptive word) they clicked the buy button and were charged by Amazon and strongly believe I should give them a refund.

The fact is when I send a post out about a book being free in the Amazon Kindle store, or any other site, the book is free at that time.  A book can be offered for free for as long as months at a time, and most of us have seen books being offered for free for less than an hour: I have no control, and rarely have the inside information (only if an author emails me in advance), on how long a book is going to be offered for free.  The bottom line is you need to make sure the book is still free before you hit that buy button: if the price is, for example, $2.99 when you click the buy button your account will be charged $2.99!

Amazon will allow you to return a book if you hit the buy button by accident and they will give you a refund – that’s only fair, as you can do the same thing if you purchased a book from a retail location.  TO return a book, you can do it on your Kindle on the screen immediately following your purchase, or you can also do it by either contacting Amazon’s customer service department.

My Email Address

Pat had this question for me via the blog’s web interface:

Michael,
This maybe a dumb question but do I blog to you via my kindle or do I blog via my laptop thru wordpress? and where the heck do I type “kindle at gagler dot com? I am 73 so it takes me awhile catch on.

I’ll answer the last one first.  Spammers deploy electronic web crawlers, or robots, to gather email addresses.  Once they get your email address, you are now subject to all sorts of interesting email advertisements I want to avoid, so that is why I type my email address as kindle at gagler dot com.

As an example of what that really means, let’s assume an email address for this example is joe@schmoe.com  – you see the email address clearly, and if you hovered your mouse over that email address you can copy it to your clipboard and do with it what you will: so can the spammers.  So, in a small effort to confuse the spam robots, you can shorten joe@schmoe.com to joe at schmoe dot com as when you say it out load or read it, that’s the email address.

As far as the first question, I’m not too sure I understand it: technically, Pat as a reader is not blogging “to” me.  If, however, you meant “how do you read the blog” you can read it via a Kindle subscription if your Kindle is not a Kindle Fire (click here or type in http://www.tinyurl.com/fkblog into your computer’s web browser to sign up for the Kindle subscription), read it on Facebook (click here or type in http://www.facebook.com/fkbooksandtips into your computer’s web browser), via Twitter (Click here or type in http://twitter.com/fkbt into your web browser), or on the web at https://fkbt.wordpress.com

If you are a Kindle Fire user, Amazon does not have the subscription option for you to use like a regular Kindle does.  You can, however, use the free Pulse App that is installed on your Kindle Fire to read the blog – click here or type in http://bit.ly/rSWjuj into your computer’s web browser to read on how to set that up (it takes about 30 seconds to set it up).

 

Links With a Kindle Touch

Maria had a question last week about the Kindle Touch:

Your blog’s links to free books do not WORK in 3G on the Kindle Touch. If you want people to pay for the blog, why don’t you find another solution?

And here was my reply:

Maria-

Without being physically in front of your Kindle Touch, I can only speculate as to the problem you are seeing. I will tell you, the links work on my Touch and other devices, albeit sometimes slowly.

Regards,

Michael

Maria had a series of increasingly frustrated comments on the Facebook page yesterday afternoon and this morning I won’t repeat here, primarily about how Amazon is blocking web surfing Internet sites on her Kindle Touch 3G unless she is going to the Amazon website, but not blocking any website if she is using a Wi-Fi connection.

Maria sent me an reply yesterday on the blog interface after others tried to help her with her problem:

Of course I checked the wifi first! Yes it works beautifully in wifi and I expected the same in 3G when I am not sitting at home. Today I missed out on several valuable books because I could not download via 3G and was not at home. I do not expect Michael Gallagher to be “kind”. I am not asking for a favor here. If I subscribe to this blog, and pay money for it, I expect it to work as promised. Part of that promise is that I can click on the links in the blog and download a book easily. I will base my decision to pay for the blog on whether or not it works. Mr. Gallagher, if Amazon controls everything, and they’re telling me it’s because your links are browser based, then you should be working with them to make the links operate correctly in 3G. The blog isn’t browser based, and the store isn’t browser based, so why can’t you make the links work without calling up the browser? Also, it’s completely ridiculous that Amazon has disabled all links in their browser including to their own site when you use 3G. I’m just one person and have no pull. A blog’s author who brings in money has more clout to get this fixed.

Maria also sent me an email I received tonight after I came home from work and completed my seventh grade math homework and dinner:

I have been posting over and over again about this issue, yet you are silent.  Can you please tell me if you are going to address this problem?  I called Kindle support and they say it’s the blog author’s responsibility for what happens in his blog.  They have not been helpful at all.  I have found out through my own efforts that the Touch browser does not recognize amzn.to as an amazon address. It will accept an amazon.com link.  I think as blog author it is your responsibility to address a technical problem that keeps your blog from working correctly on all Kindles.  Otherwise, you should be disclosing that it doesn’t.  Why are you using amzn.to as a link anyway?

I am assuming Maria missed several of my posts where I said I was on vacation, I am glad I am sticking to my design of keeping this as a family-readable publication as my nieces and nephews read this blog for free books and tips (Hi, Emily!).  I also do not work for Amazon in their technical support department.

To be upfront, my first response was not suitable for publication.  I think this email was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, as there are quite a few new people thinking I am getting rich blogging away or blogging is all I do.  That’s the farthest thing from reality: I blog for fun.

The reality is I have no control over what Amazon does, or does not, allow to be sent through their networks: when you use the Kindle web browser over 3G, you are on Amazon’s network.  I will tell you the links work fine, most days, on my test units that receive the blog as a paid Kindle subscription (Kindle 2, Kindle 3 / Kindle Keyboard, Kindle DX, and a Kindle Touch with 3G and WiFi); the blog links also worked fine on my Kindle 1 until it bit the dust this past summer.  The links work even better on the Kindle Fire with the Pulse app I discussed a few paragraphs above.

When I say “most days,” there are just some days the Kindle experimental web browser fails to cooperate with any site: that’s why I also put the actual URL in the blog post in case the browser on your Kindle is acting up: remember, Amazon still calls the Kindle web browser “experimental.”

I can say my Kindle Touch doesn’t have a problem with the links, but then again I am usually on a WiFi connection vs. the 3G because most of the places I use all of my Kindles have Wi-Fi available and I have the names / password pre-loaded.  If there is a problem with the 3G connection, I haven’t experienced it in the Houston area, but it might be a problem in other parts of the country.  It could also be attributable to some of the 3G issues I’ve been reading about with AT&T and other carriers around the country over the last month and a half I have been reading about online, maybe Maria just has a bad Kindle Fire, but your guess is as good as mine as I don’t know.

The accountant in me can also speculate Amazon is purposefully blocking 3G web surfing on Kindles because they are the ones paying for it: I would block it, too, if I was paying for it.  If you think about it, when the regular Kindles were introduced, the free 3G capability was put in there for us to download books, blogs, newspapers, and other content we were purchasing from Amazon, not for a free device to surf the web because the data files for various website are big and cost a lot more to deliver than a 500k book (although I do it a lot of web surfing with my Kindle 3 / Kindle Keyboard when I am not at home).  Again, your guess is as good as mine, but I’ll go back to that “experimental” web browser phrase again – experimental to me means they can yank it at any time.

While I am in the guessing mood, because I don’t have an answer for Maria as I don’t work for Amazon, I can also speculate maybe it’s because – in my opinion – the Kindle Touch is really a poorly-designed device that was probably rushed to market.  I strongly dislike this first-generation Kindle touch device.  In comparison to every Kindle model that has come out before it (and I have owned them all) page turning is significantly slow or delayed, the interface is clunky and unresponsive at times, it restarts constantly, and is generally a pain in the neck to use and operate.  The only reason I haven’t sold it on eBay is because I use it as a test unit.

Addressing one of the last comments of Maria’s email which was probably what set me off in the first place, I disagree as a blog author it is my responsibility to address a technical problem that keeps my blogs from working on all Kindles.  I can only do that if I have creative and technical control of the software operating code of the Kindle device and updates to the same: if I had my way blogs would be available for subscription on the Kindle for PC, iPad, iPhone, iThis, iThat, BlackBerry, Droid, Fire, and every other device out there.

I can, however, provide workarounds, which is what I have been doing all along:

  • In addition to the link to click, I provide the actual URL you can type in to your computer if the link does not work within the experimental web browser of your Kindle.
  • As the Kindle Fire does not allow for subscriptions to that device, I have detailed a workaround to reading the blog on the Pulse app (click here or type in http://bit.ly/rSWjuj into your computer’s web browser to read on how to set that up).
  • You can read the blog with a computer on the Facebook, Twitter, or on the web with the links I mention above.
  • I am working on an easier alternative for Kindle Fire and DROID-device users: more on that toward the end of this month.

So, a rather long-winded answer to several emails.  I’ll be back tomorrow with your regularly-scheduled programming.

Michael

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 or type in http://www.tinyurl.com/fkblog into your computer’s web browser.

Check out my new Kindle guide, Kindle Fire How-To Guide: Your Guide to Tips, Tricks, Free Books, and Startup.  You can check it out if you click here or type in http://amzn.to/firebook into your computer’s web browser.

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Random 2011 Kindle Blog Statistics

Well, I am back from vacation (unfortunately) and reality – back to work – starts again bright and early tomorrow morning.  I was actually only able to log in only four times over this past week due to one of the slowest Internet connections on the planet, and I hope my automated posts at random times of the day with various Kindle tips made it seem like I was still here!

As we enter 2012, and seeing as how I am a data nut, I thought I would share some random stats about the blog from 2011:

The Raw Data

  • There were 1,411 unique posts to the blog in 2011, with 2,560 total posts for this blog.
  • After tabulating 1,500+ free book offers through the month of July, I got tired of counting them (actually, there wasn’t enough time in the day to keep track of everything).  My back of the envelope calculation tells me I told you about 5,000+ free book offers in 2011.
  • There were about 880,000 unique visitors to the blog’s web page in 2011.
  • The busiest day was November 9th where 13,003 people visited the blog’s web page.  The most popular post that day was where I told you about 34 free book offers in the Amazon Kindle store.  While most of these books are no longer free, you can see that post again if you click here or type in http://bit.ly/typMeB into your computer’s web browser.
  • The top referring websites to the blog’s web page were Facebook and Twitter.  You can see the blog’s Facebook page if you click here or type in http://www.facebook.com/fkbooksandtips into your computer’s web browser.  The Twitter page can be accessed if you click here or type in http://twitter.com/fkbt into your computer’s web browser.
  • Most of the blog’s visitor’s came from the United States, Canada, and Germany but over 95 countries were represented on the statistics.

Most Popular Page Views

Excluding posts about specific free book offers, the Top Five page views (mostly tips) were:

  1. How to Transfer Books to your Kindle – this was originally posted in February of 2011 – click here or type in http://bit.ly/gHmgTv into your computer’s web browser to see it (this was updated on December 30th for the Fire, so click here or type in http://bit.ly/roKqao into your computer’s web browser to see an updated version).
  2. The “About This Blog” page was the second-highest viewed page that was a non-free book offer.  I think it’s pretty boring, and I should probably update it.  You can see it if you click here or type in https://fkbt.wordpress.com/about/ into your computer’s web browser.
  3. A post from September 2010 was the third most-viewed page on the blog: this one describes how to use the “Collections” feature on your Kindle (no, the Kindle Fire does not have the collections feature yet); I wrote this shortly after receiving my trusty Kindle 3, now called a Kindle Keyboard, and went through the trial and error of moving my collections and books from the now broken Kindle 2 to the K3.  You can see this post if you click here or type in http://bit.ly/fDZSA9 into your computer’s web browser. 
  4. The list of Kindle-Friendly mobile websites is next – this is another post from December 2010 and you can click here or type in http://bit.ly/ei80EJ into your computer’s web browser to see it.  This post was so popular I turned it into a Kindle book in order for people to be able to have the list of these websites stay on their Kindles and be accessible at any time.
  5. The fifth most popular post that was not about a free book offer was where I (a) talked about borrowing books for free from the Amazon Kindle store, and (b) urged you to please borrow my books from the Amazon Kindle store.  You can see that post if you click here or type in http://bit.ly/rZ2h5h into your computer’s web browser.  As an update, I’m waiting for Amazon to tell me how I did against everyone else: I do know there were 3,605 “borrows” of my books in December.

The most popular book offer page was where I told you there were 900+ free book offers on a single day in the Amazon Kindle store; these books are not in the public domain, but are the “new” books.  That page is still going like gangbusters, primarily due to the link I recommended you save in your computer’s web browser to check in on the offers at any time.  If you didn’t bookmark the link to the Amazon free offers page, click here or type in or save http://amzn.to/bookload into your computer’s web browser.  FYI – there are 3,336 non-public domain free offers in the Amazon Kindle store as I type this post!

That’s probably enough statistics for now…as most of us head back to work tomorrow (why did I choose to be an accountant?), I hope each of you has a great 2012!

Michael

 

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 Tipsor type in http://www.tinyurl.com/fkblog into your computer’s web browser.

Check out my new Kindle guide, Kindle Fire How-To Guide: Your Guide to Tips, Tricks, Free Books, and Startup.  You can check it out if you click here or type in http://amzn.to/firebook into your computer’s web browser.

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Don’t Forget This Month’s Informal Kindle Poll!

Each month for the past two years, I’ve started or participated in a monthly poll on the USA Amazon Kindle discussion boards asking people a simple question: what are you reading on your Kindle? I’ve received some great tips with past monthly polls, finding out what others are reading on their Kindle, and found some “new” authors I generally wouldn’t have found using my hunt-and-peck method. While I have certainly enjoyed the “mainstream” author suggestions over the past year, I’ve also enjoyed a lot of independent authors from each month’s poll I never would have heard of previously.

If you would like to check out the poll and find some new things or, better yet, tell others what you are reading, just click here or type in http://amzn.to/dec11poll into your web browser and start!

Here’s how this works – list a book you are currently reading or just recently read on your Kindle (insert the product link using the little button above the text box in the discussion forum so others can find it), whether you would recommend it, did you get it free, and anything else you would care to share.

I started this month’s poll by saying I had just finished Zero Day by David Baldacci; which overall I thought was pretty good – while there were a few scenes I wanted to say were a little unrealistic overall it was a good tale and much better than some of his later works. Kindle purists will complain I paid more than $9.99 for it but there are a few authors like Baldacci I will make an exception! You can click here or type in http://amzn.to/rs8490 into your computer’s web browser to see it.

I am setting this post to go out in advance right now as I am on vacation with my family, so I can’t tell you what I am reading right now – although I can tell you my Kindle is packed with a whole stack of things to read!

And here’s my standard continuation of each month’s request for prior participants in the poll: if you like or dislike a title you have read, in addition to telling us about it in this informal poll, how about writing a book review on the Amazon website? The review will certainly last and be visible a lot longer than this poll will. If you’re like me, you look at the customer reviews in order to see if you want to investigate a book further. Since we are all a little community here, and while I realize each review is each person’s opinion and we may not like the same thing, I know your friends and online discussion neighbors would appreciate your honest assessment of the likes and dislikes without providing a spoiler – I know I would! Your reviews don’t need to be a long dissertation of the book, I like to keep them short, sweet, and (hopefully) to the point.

Yes, I wrote a short and sweet review for the book Zero Day above: you can read and vote on the helpfulness of that review if you click here or type in http://amzn.to/uxf2pp into your computer’s web browser. I’ve read about half a dozen books since completing that one, and I am a little behind on writing my reviews, but you can see all of the reviews I have written if you click here or type in http://amzn.to/mpgreviews

Anyway, that’s all for now. Have a great rest of the week!

Michael

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 Tipsor type in http://www.tinyurl.com/fkblog into your computer’s web browser.

Looking for more or a reliable source of free books for your Kindle?  Click here for my “Free Kindle Books and How to Find Them book (updated November 2011 for the release of the Kindle Fire!).

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