July is a special month for Amazon, practically as big or bigger than the year-end December holiday shopping season. So you may want to check it out, and if you aren’t an Amazon Prime member, you might want to consider the benefits. Amazon Prime isn’t for everyone. Some people don’t buy things on Amazon that come with free Prime shipping, so that’s not valuable to them. Others cannot justify paying the annual membership fee. But if you like reading books on Kindle devices, the benefits may outweigh the costs…and make Prime Membership a real bargain for you. Let’s look at some of the reasons why that may be true and make sense for you. There are also some clever tips to help you find the e-books you enjoy on Amazon.
Amazon Prime Day Sales
The big Amazon Prime Day sale is back again, and if you’re a Prime member you can reap substantial savings on e-readers. If you’re not familiar with Prime Day, all you need to know that it is the biggest discount shopping day of the entire year, not counting Black Friday. The official date of Prime Day is Early July 16 through 17. But leading up to it Amazon is helping to build excitement by offering special Prime Day type discounts ahead of time. So check it out during the first half of July, because the savings on everything from e-books to e-reader devices and other items could be huge. You might save enough to even cover the cost of a Prime Membership, which is about $119 a year.
Electronic Magazine Subscriptions
Meanwhile, did you know that you can subscribe to and read e-book versions of your favorite magazines. Even when there isn’t a special sale promotion like Prime Days, you can save a ton on magazines. Plus you enjoy the convenience of watching them on your portable device. You can typically save more than 60% off on all kinds of different magazine subscriptions you can download and read on an e-reader device like a Kindle. You can, for instance, get a whole year’s worth of many popular magazines for as little as $5. That’s less than 45 cents a month.
Amazon Audio Books
Prime Members can also save more than 65 percent on Amazon Audible, which is the service for audio e-books. As a member of Amazon Audio you’ll eligible for other deep discounts, too. Prime Membership also means you get access to new titles each month, to keep you updated. You get to keep your audio books, in your own personal library, which is great. Then you can access them from your mobile e-reader device and take them wherever you go. Amazon lets you download a free app, to ensure that you can hear your audio books conveniently and seamlessly. There’s also a great features with Amazon Audible. If you buy an audio book and decide it’s not what you expected, you can trade it in for something else you like better.
A Tip for Finding Audio Books
Here’s an easier way to find audio books, and ones that are eligible for Prime Membership discount pricing.
Click on this link, or do a search on Amazon using the words “Books with audible narration in Prime reading.” If you’re browsing titles on Amazon, you can also use the search filter options displays on the left side of the page. You’ll see a column that starts with the heading “Show Results For.” Under it, check the box that says “E-books with Audible Narration.” You can additionally add a further filter by checking the box that says “Prime Reading Eligible” or “Kindle Unlimited Eligible.” That will cause the search engine to only display e-books that meet those specifications.
Choose Audio Book Lengths
You can even drill down more specifically by looking under the heading that says “Kindle Short Reads.” Below it you’ll see the following options:
- 45 minutes (22-32 pages)
- One hour (33-43 pages)
- 90 minutes (44-64 pages)
- Two hours or more (65-100 pages)
Just click on the option you want. For instance, if you want a book that takes 90 minutes to listen to from start to finish, click on the “90 minutes (44-64 pages) option. This feature is really handy if you know how much time you have to listen to an audio book on Kindle, and you want to be able to finish the whole book. Let’s say you’re traveling on a bus to work, and the commute takes one hour. Pick a one-hour title. Or if you’re aboard a flight and won’t touch down at your destination for two hours, pick the two-hour option. You’ll be presented with a list of all the audio books that meet your criteria, and then you just take your pick.
Summer’s here, along with a variety of news for anyone who is a fan of e-readers and e-books. Most of it involves updates or debuts in the area of e-reader devices. But this summer there is also news about how e-books are gaining more readers throughout the world.
What’s Been Making Headlines
There are exciting and fun things happening at Amazon this month for kids. Over at Barnes and Noble, unfortunately, it’s more of the “same old, same old.” That bookseller used to be one of Amazon’s main contenders with the Nook e-reader and a vast inventory of e-books. But lately it just keeps cutting back…without adding new products. The up and coming rival to Amazon, which is still small by comparison but is quickly establishing itself worldwide, is Kobo. That fast-growing company just introduced a new device meant to attract consumers who like features of the Kindle Paperwhite.
The HD Fire 10 Kid’s Edition
Amazon is about to debut a new kid’s version of it’s powerful and popular Fire HD 10 tablet. The Fire HD 10 Kid’s Edition is here right on time for kids to take advantage of summer reading. Until July 11th the device is available for pre-ordering. Starting on July 11th Amazon will start shipping the new 10-inch display e-readers, which are priced at $199.99. They may be for children, but they have grown-up power with a 1.8 Ghz quad core processor and 2 gigs of Ram, plus 32 gigs of internal storage you can upgrade to as much as 256 gigs. They’re kitted-out with Bluetooth, front and rear cameras, and up to 10 hours of battery power. You can fully recharge one is less than five hours with the included USB adapter. These new Fire 10 devices also come with parental controls and a free year of Freetime Unlimited, which is content especially designed for kids. That includes free movies, TV shows, and apps.
Introducing the Kobo Clara
Kobo just introduced its newest e-reader, the Kobo Clara. This one is a handy, very portable and thin lightweight model perfect for summer. While it isn’t waterproof like some other Kobo devices, it does have a 6-inch, 300ppi e-ink Carta screen and 2.4GHz Wi-Fi. That’s the same kind of screen on the Kindle Paperwhite (which is also not waterproof). Unlike the Kindle, you can adjust the color on the front light, which some readers find makes it easier on the eyes. The list price is $129.99. Kobo doesn’t offer nearly as many titles as the gigantic megastore Amazon. But for fans of Kobo, the Clara is the ideal alternative to the Kindle Paperwhite.
Meanwhile, Amazon continues to drive forward, full speed ahead…introducing thousands of titles to the Arabic-speaking and reading world. Just days before the official start of summer, Amazon announced that more than 12,000 titles for Kindle will be available in Arabic. As explained in Forbes Magazine, this is a huge step, because there nearly 470 million Arabic speakers in the work, across 60 nations. At least a million of those readers live in the United States. Now you can browse and download Arabic titles on Amazon conveniently and easily. “We are excited to make Arabic language Kindle books available to the hundreds of millions of Arabic speakers around the world,” said David Naggar, Vice President of Kindle.
Bye-Bye 1st Generation Nook, Hello Security Patch
Barnes and Noble isn’t expanding though, and not long ago it officially discontinued the 1st generation Nook. If you own a Nook that is a more recent generation, it will need a new downloaded security patch update. Barnes and Noble upgraded its security to help protect the company and its customers from problems like criminal hacks of its payment processing software. That’s a good thing, because until now the website was vulnerable. But here’s the catch. Unless the patch is installed, your e-reader may stop functioning or it won’t be able to perform many of the internet-based functions you’re used to. For most people, the download will happen automatically. But to learn more and find out how to install the files on your own, visit Barnes and Noble by clicking here.
Be awesome! Be a book nut!