Fun Friday eBooks!

Amazon Big Deal 99-cent ebook sale

I’ve been amazed by just how many discounts Amazon’s started offering on their Kindle ebooks. Right now there’s at least three different sales going on, plus at least one fascinating free ebook that just turned up in Amazon’s Kindle Store. And there was some surprising news about Amazon this week — including an article about how they’re pricing their books. Here’s some fun links to both the sales and the stories — to help you celebrate the arrival of the weekend with your Kindle!

Amazon Discounts 500 More eBooks!
The best discount is a surprise discount, and browsing Amazon this week I discovered a very special announcement: “The Big Deal: Kindle Books Up to 85% Off!” These deals are only available through this Sunday, August 4th, but there’s hundreds of ’em, and in lots of different categories. (Graphic Novels, Professional & Technical, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Humor & Entertainment…) And some ebooks have been discounted to just 99 cents!

For a shortcut to the sale, just point your browser to

A Free Kindle Single — interviewing President Obama!
“The phone rang last Thursday afternoon as the word came from the White House…” begins Amazon’s newest Kindle Single. President Barack Obama was visiting Chattanooga, Tennessee to visit Amazon’s fulfillment center for a speech about jobs and the American economy, and “Did Amazon’s Kindle Singles, by any chance, want to talk with him about it?” He ultimately sits down with the head of Amazon’s Kindle Singles program for a very candid 15-page interview. (“I think you’re the first president to have his credit card declined…” Amazon’s editor jokes at one point.) I enjoyed the sense of immediacy in this interview — it was conducted on Tuesday — and it’s already become Amazon’s #1 best-selling free Kindle ebook.

For a shortcut, just point your browser to

Amazon Slashes Price on Best-Sellers
Publisher’s Weekly also noticed that Amazon’s begun offering big discounts on new best-sellers — at least, in the hardcover format. On Monday, the site reported, “ quietly began discounting many bestselling hardcover titles between 50% and 65%, levels we’ve never seen in the history of Amazon or in the bricks-and-mortar price wars of the past.” The discounted books all come from major publishers, and “are far below the usual 40%-50% range sometimes offered by Amazon, warehouse clubs and other discounters and are more typical for remainders than frontlist hardcovers.” The article notes that sometimes the hardcover books are even cheaper than their Kindle editions, and one bookstore owner complained this was “an open declaration of war against the industry.” Discounted books include Inferno by Dan Brown, And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, and Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. And I was really surprised to see that the Kindle ebook edition of one best-seller was now priced at just $3.99 — The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (which Time magazine called the very best fiction book of 2012.)

Amazon Won an Emmy!
Yes, it’s true. This morning Amazon issued a press release announcing that they’d be receiving their very first Emmy Award for their Instant Video service. I’ve been enjoying Amazon Instant Video on my Kindle Fire, though you can also enjoy the same movies by accessing their page with a web browser — and Amazon’s creating their own original video programs, as well as offering a large library of movies and TV shows to choose from. The Emmy award isn’t for any TV show they created, but instead for Amazon’s whole “Instant Video” service, and the way it can offer personalized recommendations. (For example, “Customers who watched this also watched…”) Amazon’s press release points out that Amazon can also recommend TV shows (and movies) based on what kind of instant videos their customers have already watched in the recent past. And though YouTube received the same award earlier in the week, it’s still nice to see Amazon’s innovations being officially recognized by The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences!

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