Two Big Announcements from Amazon


Amazon’s gearing up for the big holiday shopping season — and they’ve just made two surprising new announcements.

Your Own Photos on Kindle Cases!

You can now upload your own favorite photo to Amazon, and they’ll make it into a case for your Kindle! You can also convert the photo into a Kindle skin — a thin, rubber wrap-around protector. And Amazon’s also got their own selection of designs to choose from, including illustrations of Snoopy and the other characters from Peanuts. Amazon’s press release promises they can even put images from Star Trek and other popular TV shows and movies onto your Kindle’s cover — and even characters from Breaking Bad!

Breaking Bad Kindle Cover

For a shortcut to the whole selection, just point your web browser to

Unfortunately, they’re only supporting Kindles from the last three years — as far back as the Kindle Touch, but not as far back as the fourth-generation “Kindle” (or the Kindle Keyboard…) But that still leaves a lot of Kindles that are now eligible for customer covers. “With this new service, we’re making it possible for customers to dream up virtually any design and seamlessly turn it into a Kindle cover — at no cost…” explained one Amazon Kindle executive. “We’re excited to bring this all-new technology to Kindle accessories and we can’t wait to see what customers come up with.”

This holiday season, some people may wind up receiving some very creative gifts! And Amazon’s also announced another new service that will make it even easier to finish your shopping…

Sunday Delivery of Packages!

I couldn’t believe it, but Los Angeles and New York City are now both getting packages delivered from Amazon on Sundays! And Amazon plans to expand the service to more cities in the next year, including Phoenix, New Orleans, Dallas, and Houston! “We’re excited that now every day is an Amazon delivery day…” announced Amazon’s vice president of worldwide operations and customer service. (It’s only available to members of Amazon’s Prime shipping program, which offers one year of free two-day shipping for a flat fee of $79 – and as a bonus, includes free access to Amazon’s online library of movies and TV shows on the web and with your Kindle Fire tablet)

To make this happen, Amazon’s teamed up with the U.S. Postal service. One business site pointed out that the post office could use the money, since traditional paper letters have been declining, now that more people communicate with e-mail. The post office actually beat out Federal Express for the right to deliver Amazon’s package, as well as U.P.S., but in the long run, the real winner may be Amazon. A business analyst at The Motley Fool points out that people who join Amazon’s Prime program ultimately use Amazon for the majority of their online shopping, and end up spending more than twice the amount spent by non-Prime members. In fact, on average prime members spend $1,200 a year on Amazon’s web site.

So it’s no wonder Amazon’s willing to try Sunday deliveries as a way to attract even more Prime customers. And The Motley Fool predicts that soon, Amazon may be offering Sunday delivery service to the entire country!

Amazon’s Day-After Christmas Sale

Amazon's Black Friday deals

Amazon’s doing something special this week. They’re lowering the price on lots of Kindle ebooks, offering new discounts every day. You can check out the selection at . And on December 26th, Amazon’s also offering some customers a big discount on Kindle accessories.

The discounted ebooks are in four different categories — including 10 biographies and memoirs. But Amazon’s also offering an 86% discount on Diary of a Wimpy Kid, the first book in the popular series by author/illustrator Jeff Kinney. It’s on sale for just $1.99, and they’re also offering the same price on a dystopian science fiction novel called The Handmaid’s Tale. Amazon describes it as “not only a radical and brilliant departure for respected Canadian poet and novelist Margaret Atwood, it is a novel of such power that the reader will be unable to forget its images and its forecast.” And Amazon’s even discounted the “mature and imaginative romantic thriller” The Host, which was written by Stephenie Meyer the author of the Twilight series.

But there’s 10 memoirs that are also on sale — eight for just $1.99, and two for $2.99.

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson (a.k.a. The Bloggess) – $1.99

Seriously…I’m Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres – $1.99

Waging Heavy Peace by Neil Young – $1.99

How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran – $1.99

My Horizontal Life by Chelsea Handler – $2.99

Just Kids by Patti Smith – $1.99

Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him by Luis Carlos Montalvan – $1.99

Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow – $1.99

Bad Habits: Confessions of a Recovering Catholic by Jenny McCarthy – $1.99

When We Were the Kennedys: a Memoir from Mexico, Maine by Monica Wood – $2.99

And finally, Amazon’s also offering big savings on accessories for your Kindle — including a wide selection of leather cases! It’s being offered through the “Amazon Local” page (at, which is available in 29 different states. Leather cases can be pretty expensive, but Amazon’s offering a big 40% discount on models for nearly every kind of Kindle.

I guess Amazon’s offering discounts on both cases and ebooks, because they’re hoping we’ll start spending even more time on our Kindles in 2013!

Surprise Amazon Sale on Kindles and Accessories!

Today Amazon announced a $110 discount on a Kindle DX tablet.It’s on their “Deal of the Day” page — so it’s one of their special one-day-only sales. (“Or until they’re all gone,” Amazon warns on the web page.) But it’s not the only Kindle-related discount that Amazon’s offering today. The page also includes a different “Lightning Deal” every hour — and every single one features a Kindle or a Kindle accessory!

You can find all Amazon’s deals at this URL:

Remember, each “lightning deal” lasts for only an hour — or until Amazon’s sold out of the discounted product! Below is a complete list of the deals for today, and a schedule for when they’ll be available.
(All times our PDT….)

10 a.m. Discounts on a leather Kindle Fire case.
11 a.m. A Kindle/Kindle Touch sleeve by BUILT
12 p.m. A Kindle Fire sleeve by BUILT
1 p.m. Kindle Fire speakers that are portable and re-chargeable
2 p.m. Power Adapters (for all Kindles)
3 p.m. “Dress up your Kindle Touch”
4 p.m. A lighted cover for your old Kindle Keyboard
5 p.m. Anti-glare screen protectors for Kindle Fire. (Three-pack)
6 p.m. A Kindle Fire desk stand by Kensington
7 p.m. A Kindle/Kindle Touch sleeve by BUILT
8 p.m. Kindle covers by Belkin (not for Kindle Touch)
9 p.m. More discounts on a leather Kindle Fire case.

Amazon’s blow-out sale is causing some extra excitement, because it might be a sign that they’re about to release new Kindles. “It’s the kind of deal you offer when you want to clear out inventory, fast,” posted reporter Brian Barrett at the technology blog Gizmodo. And he seems to have discovered another tantalizing clue. This morning Amazon was listing the current version of their Kindle Touch reader as out of stock!

I’ve since checked that web page, and Amazon’s now saying that the Kindle Touch will be available “in 4 to 7 days.” Brian sees this as a sign that all of Amazon’s newest Kindles are going to be released by next week. From a sales perspective, it’s just common sense, he concludes, writing that with an experienced seller like Amazon, there’s “no way it stays out of stock of some of its most popular products for more than a few days. And he remembers that the Kindle 2 “showed up as sold out the morning of July 28, 2010. That same afternoon, Amazon introduced Kindle 3 to the world.” Plus, the back-to-school shopping season is coming up soon, so Brian feels like the time is right for Amazon to make their big announcement. His conclusion?

“We’re going to see new Kindles of every stripe next week.”

Amazon Offers a New 40% Discount on Kindles and Accessories

Dog licking a Kindle from Amazon TV ad

C|Net‘s reporting on a big 40% discount that Amazon’s now offering on their $79 Kindles, and also on most Kindle accessories. It lowers the price of a new Kindle to just $47, and the 40% discount also applies to covers, cases, and even chargers. The catch is you have to use an Amazon “Rewards” Visa card to make the purchase – but you can apply for one online. For a shortcut to the offer, just point your web browser to C|Net speculates that this big sale is a sign that Amazon is clearing out their inventory, because they expect to start shipping new Kindles soon!

The offer is only available through August 15, “or while supplies last,” but the discount applies to nearly every kind of Kindle accessory that’s available. “You can read what you want into this special sale,” write C|Net reporter David Carnoy, “but discounting certain e-ink Kindles to as low as $47 would seem to indicate that Amazon is starting to clear stock to make room for new models.” But whatever Amazon is thinking, it’s a great way for shoppers to save some money, especially on some “high-end” Kindle accessories which would normally be too expensive. “If you had your eye on one of those pricey Kindle Lighted Leather covers (for any Kindle model), this might be the time to put it in the cart, because you can pick one up for $36 instead of $59.99.”

But even without an Amazon Visa card, there may be another way to save money. C|Net reports that “it’s quite possible” that Amazon will also slash prices soon on refurbished Kindles, “as it has in the past.” It’s widely believed that Amazon will be launching a newer version of these Kindles very soon, which will then make it harder for them to sell these “previous-generation” models. I’m always delighted by how many ways there seem to be to save money on the purchase of a new Kindle.

And apparently I’m not the only one, at least judging by the comments on C|Net‘s story. “Thank goodness I got an credit card yesterday,” posted one user.

“Hellooooo Christmas presents!”

A Big Valentine’s Day Sale for Kindle Owners

Kindle Fire cover

Promising “a sweet deal” for Valentine’s Day, Amazon’s reduced the price on many Kindle accessories by 30%. The deal ends Tuesday (February 14th), but there’s still time to place an “overnight” order if you need a quick gift. And Amazon’s offering bigger discounts elsewhere on their site for some other traditional gift items. On some pieces of jewelry, Amazon’s even announced up to 70% discounts — and free one-day shipping!

But I was more intrigued by the bargain-priced Kindle accessories. For example, you can dress your Kindle Fire tablet in a genuine leather case for just $48.99. (Normally the Versa Marrakesh cover sells for $69.) And for the new Kindle (and other models), there’s also a wide selection of sleeves and cases. Even the Kindle power adapter is reduced in price, to just $14.99 (though you can also buy used adapters for as little as $2.00.)

Amazon promises these accessories make a great gift “for yourself or your favorite Kindle owner this Valentine’s day.” But they’re also offering big savings on “classic” Valentine’s Day gifts like chocolate, fragrances, watches, and clothing. There’s even gifts for men in categories like sports and recreation, fitness, and gear for sports fans. (Amazon promises that “Whether your leading man is a gadget guy, outdoor enthusiast, avid golfer, or devoted sports fan, we’ve got the perfect gifts to express your love.”) You can browse through all the discounted gifts in a special page Amazon’s created as a “Valentine’s Day store”.

To reach the page, point your web browser to

Amazon’s even got a gift for Kindle lovers that you can purchase on February 14th. They’re offering “instant delivery” on an Amazon gift card via e-mail. (And I’m guessing the graphics are very attractive.) The selection includes “Kindle-branded” gift cards, so you can send a store credit that’s announced by the silhouette of a reader sitting happily under a tree. And you can really surprise your valentine on Tuesday by delivering your gift card as a Facebook “wall post”. (Amazon reminds you that besides ebooks, they’re also redeemable for “millions of other items at Amazon.”)

But best of all, you can even order a bouquet of flowers from Amazon, from companies like 1-800-Flowers and Proflowers!

Save 72% on a Kindle 2 jacket!

M-Edge leather Kindle jacket

I’ve never seen savings like this. They’re authentic leather jackets from M-Edge for the Kindle 2 — and they’re on sale for just $14.99!

Normally they’d cost between $39.99 and $54.99, but a special sale started today at a store called Tuesday Morning. Ten times a year — on the first Tuesday of each month — they’ll announce their biggest new specials on brand-name merchandise. It’s a chain of 842 stores in 47 different states, according to Wikipedia, and it’s “known for its deep discounts on gifts and accessories seen in more upscale department stores.” (Find your local branch here.) I didn’t see any Kindle 3 jackets, but for the Kindle 2 there’s lots of different colors available. This afternoon I saw red, purple, tan, and cream at my local store — and the cashier said the supply should last.

In fact, she also said that she hadn’t sold any all day — and it’s not hard to guess why they’ve been discounted. These M-Edge jackets have built-in straps to hold your Kindle in place, but they’ll only fit around an 8-inch Kindle 2 — and not the newer Kindle 3 (which is 7.5 inches tall). Amazon stopped selling the Kindle 2 in August, so the market for these jackets has to be dwindling. The store’s corporate profile notes they provide “upscale closeout” items, and sure enough, many of the jackets are currently listed as “unavailable” on

But they’ve received dozens of favorable reviews from customers, and it’s really a nice Kindle jacket. Tuesday Morning is offering discounts on their “Latitude” jacket, which offers a built-in zipper, as well as the “Go!” jacket. (“Selection will vary by store,” their newspaper ad explains.) But both versions offer a slot where you can insert the tiny e-Luminator booklight, and the Go! jacket even doubles as stand, so you can prop up your Kindle and read it with no hands!

Kindle e-illuminator book light by M-Edge

It comes with a package insert promising the product is “Amazon approved,” and their slogan is “Everything EReader.” It’s my very first leather Kindle jacket, and I love the way it feels under my fingertips. Instead of touching cold, white plastic — I’m finally touching real leather. It’s a beautiful cream color, with a tan, saddle-stitched strap, and the interior is a super-soft microfiber. (“Soft, plush interiors protect e-Reader from damage,” the ad explained.) It’s even easier to hang onto — since it adds some extra thickness around the Kindle, which makes it easier to grip.

For me it feels like a whole new way of enjoying the Kindle. (And according to the store’s newspaper ad, the jackets are available “in a wide variety of colors and styles.”) You can view the ad online by pointing your browser to — and then flipping to page 5.

Tuesday Morning April newspaper ad for M-Edge Kindle leather jacket

And if you can’t find your way to a Tuesday morning store, there’s still a few jackets that are available online.