Get a New Kindle Fire for $169!

July 4th Kindle Fire HD sale at Amazon

Wow! Amazon’s just announced a big $30 discount on their 7-inch Kindle Fire HD tablets. Normally they’d cost $199, but Amazon’s just lowered their price to just $169. “Save $30 on the ultimate HD experience,” reads the announcement on the front page of

For a shortcut, just point your web browser to

This is a “limited time offer,” Amazon warns in the fine print, so I can’t say how long this offer is going to last. One shopping site reported this was part of Amazon’s larger sale for the 4th of July — though they had trouble getting that officially confirmed. (“Amazon does not provide an end date for this Kindle Fire sale,” they noted in their article, adding that “We contacted them to ask about this, but have not received a response by publication time…”)

Amazon’s also giving away $5.00 worth of free game and app downloads now with each Kindle Fire through their special “Amazon Coins” program. If you already own a Kindle Fire, Amazon’s already applied that credit to your account, but it’s nice to see that they’re also making the same offer available to new Kindle Fire owners. Remember, you can browse Amazon’s selection of apps for the Kindle FIie at And the apps will also run on Android smartphones and tablets.

It’s nice to save $30 on a Kindle Fire – and it’s a bigger discount than Amazon usually offers. On Mother’s Day, Amazon announced a special code for a twenty-dollar discount on a Kindle Fire. Usually Amazon only offers larger discounts are only available on the expensive large-screen Kindle Fire tablets — like the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD.

Maybe Amazon’s calculated that they’ll earn back that $30 when their customers start using the tablets to buy all their ebooks (plus music and videos) from Amazon. Or maybe they’re just willing to lose a little money if it gives them a chance to steal some customers from other tablets, like the iPad and the Nook. But whatever Amazon’s game plan, they managed to sum up the significance of this sale in just three words they’re displaying now on their page for the Kindle Fire HD.

“You save $30…”

For a shortcut, just point your web browser to

How Amazon Employees Sell Their eBooks

Dilbert and Dogbert

There was a startling announcement on Monday. An Amazon employee is selling a book about their life at the company. But if you purchased it as a Kindle ebook, he’d also mail you a free print version of the same book! It’s the first time I’ve seen a print book relegated to the “bonus” give-away when purchasing a digital ebook — and it turns out he’s not the only former Amazon employee who’s come up with some new twists on Kindle ebooks…

This offer was described at, and a press release claims it “marks the beginning of a turning point in the Book 2.0 evolution.” But there’s at least three other Amazon employees who have also done some extra thinking about books and ebooks – and the ways that we’ll find them!

Book cover - man with dog bone in mouth - 21 Dog Years - Doing Time at Amazon by employee Mike Daisey

21 Dog Years: Doing Time @

In 2002, Mike Daisey released a 240-page memoir about his own time at Amazon. In fact, he’d already created a one-man theatrical show in Seattle about his experiences, according to a review by Library Journal, which jokes that Amazon may be haunted by their decision to hire Daisey back in 1998. (Daisey writes that “Amazon and I started in Seattle at about the same time,” and addds that “To give you an idea of how clueless I was, I had originally assumed that Amazon was a lesbian Internet bookstore, owing to the historical origins of the word Amazon along with the company’s reputation for being ‘progressive.'”) Daisey appears to have been one of the first few hundred employees at Amazon, and his book is a fast-paced and funny read, with lots of very entertaining gossip. Here’s how he remembers a presentation for potential new Amazon employees.

“The four Amazonians who came to speak with us had the clearest, cleanest skin that I’d ever seen… I would never see those people again in my entire time at Amazon. I assume they worked for a black-ops section that specialized in providing fake employees who are startlingly sharp, attractive, and painfully fit.

“We settled back and they began to talk about Linux tools and server uptime, and I suddenly realized that these people were geeks. Serious computer geeks who looked and smelled great…from the way the sexy tech workers talked about, it appeared I’d really missed the boat….

“These tech-savvy, attractive, and well-spoken workers appeared blissfully happy… The opportunity to be near them, surrounded by their coolness and learning from them while being paid, sounded like heaven in itself. If I couldn’t be a geek, at least I could be in their company. And what a company! Though I hadn’t known who they were until that day, I was convinced they were making history… I had a vague sense of riches, of future glory…”

But soon he’s talking about his inevitable disillusionment. (“Doing Time @” was the book’s original subtitle, though it was later apparently changed to “A Cube-Dweller’s Tale.”) Library Journal calls his book “an eye-opening testament as to how truly dysfunctional a dot-com can get,” noting that Daisey describes his work environment as “gothic” and spills the beans on some unusual phone calls that came in to Amazon’s customer service. And they acknowledge that his insider stories about life at Amazon are all “quite funny.”

Interestingly, that book isn’t available as an e-book on Amazon’s Kindle — though you can buy it as an audiobook.

Cover of Burning the Page

Burning the Page
This book just came out in April, and it was written by Jason Merkoski, who was actually the program manager for the Kindle on the day that it launched. I thought it was fascinating memoir with some interesting insights into the future of reading. But more importantly, the author came up with some clever new ebook tricks to help make his book more appealing to Kindle owners.

On Twitter and Facebook, Merkoski revealed part of “the brave new world of what I call ‘Reading 2.0′”. At the end of the first chapter of “Burning the Page”, he’d included a link to a social app offering his readers a way of connecting to not only the author, but to other readers — plus “surprises all along the way.” He promised it would be a combination of a virtual book club, offering a chance to interact with the book’s author as he became “a thoughtful friend who brings you special notes and treats.” Each chapter ended with a new link, and when readers clicked on it, there was always another new surprise waiting. Once it was a link to an unannounced bonus chapter, and another time it was a personalized digital autograph. And Merkoski promised that when you finished reading his book, you’d receive a personalized message from the author himself.

For a shortcut to this book’s page on Amazon, point your browser to

Book cover of Amazonia by Amazon employee James Marcus

Amazonia: Five Years at the Epicenter of the Dot.Com Juggernaut

James Marcus remembers interviewing for a job in “a low, inauspicious building south of the downtown, next to a barbecue joint whose vinegar-scented fumes I could smell the moment I hit the sidewalk.” Marcus was Amazon employee #55, back when Amazon’s yearly sales were just $16 million a year, and he provides “a captivating, witty account of how the fledgling e-retailer transformed itself,” according to Publisher’s Weekly. At the age of 37, he was the oldest person in the room when he arrived at what he describes as a book warehouse with offices, and the book opens with a fascinating description of how ambitious Jeff Bezos had likeably interviewed him. (“He had none of Bill Gates’s pasty paranoia…”) Marcus even tours the warehouse — snooping on individual customer orders. “Forget heterosexual, plain-vanilla porn (of which there was a great deal)… In cyberspace, I could see, there was no love that dare not speak its name…”

It’s an inspiring read, because even back then he could see that Amazon was intent on changing the world, and “Their sense of having grabbed history by the horns was almost palpable.” Publisher’s Weekly even noted a kind of nostalgia in his book for the early days of Amazon, as Marcus writes about their warehouse across from the world headquarters of Starbucks and the exhiliaration they seemed to feel. “It made them slightly giddy and enormously tired.”

And as he walks his future co-workers back to their offices, “The breeze had shifted and the barbecue fumes were again in evidence.”

Inside the Giant Machine - Amazon insider e-book cover

Inside the Giant Machine

“Behind Amazon’s quirky smile logo lurks a cold and calculating giant machine,” claims the book’s description, promising an e-book filled with poetry that “makes us feel the vitality of the Hi-Tech worlds of California and Seattle.” The first section of “Inside the Giant Machine” is an e-mail the author had sent in 2002 to his friends, describing a late-night success at his own startup company. That company’s success leads to a merger, after which “we ended up with two VPs of Technology — which was one too many,” and soon he’s also looking for a new job in Seattle. This is the book that was “developed” from blog posts, though at times it feels like it might’ve been inspired (if not modeled) after some of the earlier books by Amazon employees.

In fact, one of the author’s most interesting revelations is that when he was hired Amazon actually mailed him copies of Daisey’s book “21 Dog Years: Doing Time @” and James Marcus’s
“Amazonia: Five Years at the Epicenter of the Dot.Com Juggernaut” (along with three books about Seattle). This book was was written using a pseudonym (“Kalpanik S.”),so there’s no way of knowing for sure that it’s really by an Amazon employee. But he does sound like a true “Amazonian” when he writes that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos “sincerely believed that his cult was changing the world and I wanted to be part of this revolution, and change the world!”

It’s a short book — when I first bought it in 2011, the print edition was just 128 pages, and at times it felt a little bit skimpy. (The last 10% was just “back matter” — copyrights, “works cited,” a selection of “acclaim” for the book, and a list of the author’s other books (including an excerpt). There was also a “color interior” paperback edition with “approximately 80 color photographs, including several panoramic shots of Seattle!” I notice that the new version on sale today comes in at 220 pages.

But at least one reviewer at noticed the same thing that I did: that the book itself has a higher-than-usual number of typos. (Example?” Amazon’s young, sharp minds still want you prove to yourself to them.”) I was intrigued by the chapter titles (like “The hacker who loved me” and “things start to fall apart”), and some of his photographs (like the Seattle skyline) look very attractive on the Kindle’s black and white screen. But sometimes it felt like the author just re-published some of his old e-mails to friends.

I asked myself if I should ultimately see that as a bug or a feature. You could argue that it makes the book feel more like one man’s personal story — and it’s genuinely fun to read the moment when the former Amazon employee has a revelation, that “suddenly publishing a book was easily within my reach.

“All I needed to do was combine those various pieces, fill in the gaps, polish the material, and hire an editor!”

There were a few lines that made me laugh out loud, but the author’s first chapter about his startup also rises to a poignant conclusion. “We want to change the world, though, and that is never easy. The world is usually very reluctant to change, especially at the pace startups want it do so.”

And then another future book-author headed off for his fateful two-day job interview at…

What’s the Best-Selling Kindle eBook of 2013?

Safe Haven ebook cover

Amazon’s created a special web page reporting their best-selling Kindle ebooks of 2013 (so far). But what’s fascinating is how different that list is from Amazon’s other list of this year’s best-selling printed books. In fact, only two of the top 10 best-selling print books also appear on Amazon’s list of the best-selling Kindle ebooks.

Check out both lists at

The best-selling Kindle eBook of 2013 is Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks — a novel of love and intrigue by a best-selling fiction writer. Yet amazingly, it’s not even in the top 100 on Amazon’s list of the best-selling printed books! And the exact same thing is true for the #10 best-selling Kindle ebook of 2013. It’s Silver Linings Playbook: A Novel by Matthew Quick — and despite its massive sales as a Kindle ebook, it’s not even in the top 100 of Amazon’s list of print best-sellers. (Since both ebooks were recently made into movies, you might wonder if Kindle owners are more in tune with the fast-moving world of popular culture? Or maybe they’re just younger readers who go to the movies more often…)

Meanwhile, there’s more surprises on Amazon’s list of the best-selling printed book this year. It’s StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath — a non-fiction book that helps readers assess their personal talents and weaknesses. In fact, five non-fiction titles made the top 10 on Amazon’s list of the best-selling printed books of the year. How many non-fiction titles made Amazon’s list of the 10 best-selling Kindle ebooks of 2013?


Here’s Amazon’s list of their top 10 best-selling ebooks of 2013

   Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
   Inferno: A Novel by Dan Brown
   Gone Girl: A Novel by Gillian Flynn
   Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
   The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
   The Hit by Will Robie
   Wait for Me by Elisabeth Naughton
   Alex Cross, Run by James Patterson
   Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia
   The Silver Linings Playbook: A Novel by Matthew Quick

And now here’s Amazon’s list of their top 10 best-selling
print books of 2013

   StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath
   Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
   Inferno by Dan Brown
   Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss
   Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife by Eben Alexander
   The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
   Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young
   The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia
   The 5 Love Languages: The Secrets to Love That Lasts by Gary D. Chapman
   A Song of Ice and Fire, Books 1-4 by George R. R. Martin

So the two books that both lists had in common were both works of fiction — Inferno: A Novel by Dan Brown (the author of The Da Vinci Code) and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. But of course, Dan Brown’s books have always been phenomenally popular — and The Great Gatsby was released this year as a major movie picture. But then again, Safe Haven was also released as major motion picture in February, and became the #1 best-selling Kindle ebook of the year — while not even making it into the top 100 on Amazon’s list of the best-selling printed books!

So what’s going on? There’s another clue when you look at the ebooks which didn’t make it onto Amazon’s list of the top 10 best-selling printed books. For example…

   #4. Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

One of 2013’s best-selling ebooks came from a self-published author living in rural East Texas — a 33-year-old social worker who published her first novel just 18 months ago. Thanks to the power of viral marketing — and Amazon’s Kindle Store — Colleen Hoover was able to find an appreciative audience online, and her books are now also available in print. But the print world is still struggling to catch up, apparently, since none of the print editions of Colleen’s novels have even made it into the top 100 of Amazon’s best-selling print books of 2013.

Of course, two of the 10 print best-sellers aren’t available as Kindle ebooks.

   Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss
   The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia

Maybe the lesson there is that some books just work better in print — like books with lavish illustrations and a complicated layout. But it’s interesting to note that all of the top 10 best-selling Kindle ebooks are also available in print editions. Is it possible that publishers now consider the ebook market to be the most important one?

Anyways, I’m finding it fascinating to compare the two lists. It’s like catching glimpses of two different universes, which exist side-by-side in this moment in time. And they offer hints about the way that we read — and how it’s starting to change…

Check out both lists at

100 More Discounted Kindle eBooks For June!

Amazon discounted Kindle ebooks for $3.99 or less

Every month, Amazon offers a special discount on over 100 different Kindle ebooks — and I’m especially excited about their selection for June. For the first time, they’re offering a discount on an ebook that I’d actually just started reading — and for an extra $1.99 more, they’re also offering a full audiobook version, too! The sale is called “100 eBooks for $3.99 or Less”, and like every month, you can see the whole selection by pointing your web browser to:

But in addition, Amazon’s also offering “20 Kindle Books for $2” at the bottom of the same page (including the classic western, The Sixth Shotgun by Louis L’Amour for just $2.00). And there’s even another link promising 30 Kindle Books for $3 Each.

Here’s some of the most interesting discounted ebooks this month.

To Hell on a Fast Horse: Billy the Kid, Pat Garrett, and the Epic Chase to Justice in the Old West by Mark Lee Gardner ($1.99)

This book gives you the real history behind the legendary outlaw and the man of justice who apprehended him — while also painting an accurate picture of the American West. I found it to be really engrossing, and one reviewer at Amazon described it as “a vivid telling of the true story behind one of the wild west’s most enduring legends.” That’s why I’m so excited that for another $1.99, I can also get the professionally-narrated audiobook, hearing the wise old voice of Alan Sklar telling it like a tale of the old frontier. “For others to survive, Billy could not,” his introduction begins. “Garrett could not. These two men perished long ago, and that is the cold truth of history, but their ghosts are still there. Billy forever calls out to us from the darkness of the past…

Listen to a sample of the narration at

Saturday Night by Susan Orlean ($2.99)

The author of The Orchid Thief once asked a surprisingly interesting question — why do Americans feel that Saturday Nights are special? “To answer it, she embarked on a remarkable journey across the country,” reads the book’s description at Amazon, “and spent the evening with all sorts of people in all sorts of places – hipsters in Los Angeles, car cruisers in small-town Indiana, coeds in Boston, the homeless in New York, a lounge band in Portland, quinceanera revelers in Phoenix, and more – to chronicle the one night of the week when we do the things we want to do rather than the things we need to do.” One reviewer at Amazon described it as “exquisite voyeurism”, while another applauded her wide-sweeping research which according to Amazon leads to “an irresistible portrait of how Saturday night in America is lived.”

The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke: The Star, Volume III (Arthur C. Clarke Collection: Short Stories) – $2.99

He’s best known for 2001: A Space Odyssey — and for years he was considered one of the world’s greatest science fiction authors. This month, Amazon’s discounting a massive 976-page anthology of over 100 short science fiction pieces by Clarke, in a lavish Kindle ebook showcasing “not only Clarke’s technological imagination – but also a deep poetic sensibility that led him to ponder the philosophical and moral implications of technological advances.” One reviewer at Amazon described it as “surely the greatest single volume of short Science Fiction ever published” (and Amazon’s web page reports that “13 reviewers made a similar statement.”) He quotes the amazon first lines of one Clarke short story, which almost seem like a symbol for the author’s grand and sweeping imagination. “Many and strange are the Universes that drift like bubbles in the foam upon the River of time. Some – a very few – move against or athwart its current; and fewer still are those that lie forever beyond its reach, knowing nothing of the future or the past…”

Folly and Glory: A Novel by Larry McMurtry ($2.99)

In 2004, the famous novelist (and Texas enthusiast) Larry McMurtry completed the epic finale to his four-volume series, the Berrybender Narratives. His characters encounter real figures from history, like
Kit Carson the explorer and Captain Clark (from the Lewis & Clark expedition). Amazon’s description promises the book offers both “a sense of closure and a meditation on the nature of the American frontier.” (Though some reviewers recommend you read the entire series). “The story is gritty, with lots of hardship…” notes one reviewer on Amazon, calling the book “entertaining and enjoyable.” And Amazon’s also offering a huge discount on the audiobook version of this novel — just $2.99. (When I listened to its sample at, the first line that I heard the narrator reading was “GIve your brother his rooster!”)

When you also purchase the audiobook, Amazon will enable their special “WhisperSync for Voice” feature, which lets you switch back and forth between the text version on your Kindle and the professionally-narrated audiobook version. (Without ever losing your place!) And of course, these aren’t the only books being discounted this month. Some other interesting titles include:

They Came to Baghdad by Agatha Christie ($1.99)
Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut ($2.99)
We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting for: Inner Light in a Time of Darkness by Alice Walker ($3.99)
Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley ($2.99)

Amazon’s even offering a discount on a Harlequin Historical Romance titled “Never Trust a Rake”!

Which just goes to show that this month, there’s something for everybody…

More Free Kindle Comic Books!

Superman Man of Steel Movie poster

Friday is a big day for comic book fans. It’s the opening day for another big superhero movie — Man of Steel, which tells the story of Superman and how he became a champion of justice. And in Amazon’s Kindle Store, there’s already some fun Superman give-aways. For example, right now you can download the first issue of the 1991 comic book Superman: The Man of Steel — for free!

To see all the free comic books, point your web browser to

Superman: Man of Steel was just released for the Kindle last month — and it’s one of several free Superman comics that are now available in the Kindle Store. Also available is the special 2013 edition of Superman: Last Son of Krypton that was released in May as part of “Free Comic Book Day”. And there’s also something called the “Superman Sampler,” featuring excerpts from several graphic novels about the man of steel which, according to Amazon’s description, showcase the characters appearing in the new movie. (Of course, if you prefer Batman, his “Free Comic Book Day” issue is also available — Beware the Batman/Teen Titans Go!)

These comics will all display in color on your Kindle Fire (or on any of Amazon’s Kindle smartphone apps). But you can also read it on most of the black-and-white e-ink Kindles, including the Paperwhite, Kindle Touch, and the new Kindle. “Reading a comic book on a Kindle is a new and exciting thing for the comic book fan,” wrote one Amazon reviewer last month. And there’s one more special free comic book I’ve found that’s available from Amazon…

Superman - the New 52 - #1 (cover)

Last week Amazon sent me an e-mail about their new weekly newsletter — “Amazon Delivers Comics”. And if you sign up to receive it within the next six weeks, Amazon will also let you download a free issue of the 2011 comic, Superman #1! “First-time subscribers to the Amazon Delivers Comics newsletter qualify for a promotional credit,” Amazon explains on the web page, “to get Superman No. 1 from the New 52 series by DC Comics for free.” For a shortcut to the page, just point your web browser to

And I’ll admit that I smiled when reading Amazon’s “Book Description” for this comic book. “What is The Man of Steel’s startling new status quo? How does it affect Lois Lane and the Daily Planet? There’s no time for answers now, because Superman must stop a monstrous threat to Metropolis – one that he is somehow the cause of!” The comic has only been available on the Kindle for the last six months, but it’s received two five-star reviews — with one customer calling it “amazing”.

I’ve always enjoyed reading comic books — ever since I was a kid. So I’m glad that the tradition will continue with a new generation of readers – who’ll be reading the comic books on their Kindle!

Check out Amazon’s complete selection at

Amazon Offers Kindle Fire Discounts for Father’s Day

Father's Day Kindle Fire HD and tie as a gift

Father’s Day is this Sunday, and Amazon celebrates the holiday each year with a tradition of their own — with sales on Kindles! This year, Amazon is discounting the high-definition version of their Kindle Fire tablets, hoping people will buy one as a gift for their dad. It’s the third year Amazon’s offered some kind of Kindle discount as the holiday approaches, with savings of up to 20%.

For a shortcut to this year’s discount, point your browser to

Amazon’s lowered the price by $20 on all three versions of their Kindle Fire HD tablets — including the standard 7-inch model (which usually sells for $199). Both of the larger 8.9-inch versions are also eligible for the $20 discount — including the one with the built-in 4G wireless connectivity. (All you have to do to claim the discount is enter the code DADSFIRE when you’re checking out — so be sure you’re not using Amazon’s “One Click” button to make your purchase!) I’ve read the terms and conditions, but it’s mostly the standard disclaimers — that the discount is only available “while supplies last”. And they’re limiting it to just one Kindle per customer — I guess on the assumption that you only have one dad!

Of course, Amazon’s also offering discounts on other products, too. Today the front page of is promising “Big Savings on select Samsung HDTVs”. Even the clothing area of the site has a promotion offering “laid-back gift ideas, like classic Levi’s and more.” I checked for special offers in the Kindle Store, too, but the only thing unusual that I saw on its front page was a selection of “Classic Westerns by Louis L’Amour” — as well as a selection of 20 of Amazon’s top-rated Western ebooks. I was surprised that they didn’t even mention in the Kindle Store that you could save $20 if you purchased a high-definition Kindle Fire tablet!

But at least they’re mentioning it on the front page of Amazon — where they’re calling it the perfect gift for dad.

Father's Day Kindle Fire HD discount

Browse Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD discounts at

Amazon Revives the Kindle DX!

Kindle DX on sale in 2013

Wow! Amazon’s suddenly started selling a product that everyone thought they’d discontinued back in October! It’s the Kindle DX — with a huge 9.7-inch black-and-white screen on a device that’s nearly 11 inches tall. It was one of the last Kindles that Amazon ever released with a keyboard built right into the plastic, instead of using an on-screen “virtual” keyboard like the ones in the Kindle Paperwhite. And the Kindle DX ships with free 3G wireless connectivity, so you can surf the web even when you’re away from your WiFi connection!

For a shortcut, just point your web browser to

The Kindle DX has always been one of my favorite Kindle models. (I always joke that the only thing better than an e-ink screen is a big e-ink screen…) I’m baffled as to why Amazon chose to revive this product line now. But maybe Amazon thinks the Kindle DX is a nice gift idea for Father’s Day. It’s got the biggest screen of any Kindle that Amazon’s ever released, and without all the distractions of a full-color tablet.

This is especially exciting because just eight months ago, I came to this blog to write a sad post called “Goodbye to the Kindle DX.” The month before a Kindle executive had surprised a technology site called The Verge with the news that Amazon is “pretty much done” with the Kindle DX. In that same interview, he’d emphasized that Amazon wouldn’t abandon the Kindle DX — though he never said what Amazon would be doing. At the time NBC News reported that the Kindle DX would go “to e-reader heaven” — though they admitted at the time that Amazon hadn’t actually confirmed that.

So in an unexpected move, Amazon has again started selling them again — and it’s almost as though Amazon has turned back the clock. The Huffington Post noted that basically Amazon “is re-releasing a product from 2009,” though it’s still a little expensive. At $299, the Kindle DX costs $100 more than some of Amazon’s color Kindle Fire HD tablets. But that’s actually a discount from the original selling price for the Kindle DX, which was $380.

And best of all, you can read ebooks on a giant screen that’s 7.2 inches wide by 10.4 inches tall…

Remember, for a shortcut, just point your web browser to

Amazon Offers Free Kindle Fire Apps


If you own a Kindle Fire, and you live in the United States, Amazon’s announced another great new freebie. They’re offering $5.00 worth of free app downloads in their Kindle Fire store. You can browse the store’s selection at It’s all part of a special promotion to celebrate the launch of a new service called Amazon Coins.

ABC News described it as Amazon’s “own digital currency for Kindle Fire owners”. (Or, in Amazon’s words, it’s “an easy way to purchase apps and in-app items on Kindle Fire.”) Amazon’s Vice President of Apps and Games proclaimed proudly that “Today is Day One for Coins”, and to commemorate the occasion, announced that “Today we are giving Kindle Fire owners $5 worth of Coins to spend on new apps and games, or to purchase in-app items, such as recipes in iCookbook, song collections in SongPop or mighty falcon bundles in Angry Birds Star Wars.” They even added a 10% discount on the purchase of coins — so you could create your own stockpile of virtual cash.

I’m guessing you could also use this credit to buy apps for your Android smartphone (since that’s where I’m mostly likely to play Angry Birds). In fact, one technology blogger wondered whether Amazon might someday extend the ability to use their Coins for all purchases on Amazon.. But Amazon’s move provoked a variety of strong reactions — not all of them positive. “We already have money, it’s called money,complained one app developer. He acknowledges that in the computer games industry, other companies are already offering their own currencies (like the Microsoft Points available for XBox systems). But his ultimate concern is that “at the end of the day, you’re still giving Amazon hundreds of dollars that you might not spend for months or that you have to worry about managing separate from, you know, your bank accounts.”

I’ll admit that I’m much more likely to spend money on an app than I am to spend in an app. But I still appreciate the fact that Amazon’s let everyone try out the program with 500 free coins. Even if I never spend another virtual dollar of Amazon’s money, I’ll still end up with $5 worth of free apps on my Kindle Fire.

Browse Amazon’s selection of apps at

Amazon Android Store Angry Birds Rio app