Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Why I Haven't Written about the Kindle Fire Yet!

Go ahead and guess why I haven't written about MY new Kindle Fire yet ... maybe because I can't stop using it and watching movies on it and sucking down episodes of TV shows from it and reading books on it and all that.

The hardest thing to write about is what it FEELS like.  It's a great size and the rubber back and sides are not icy cold or slippery or sharp, like the iPad.  I've been thinking that maybe in a warm climate like California, the iPad doesn't feel so COLD.  Maybe in a crappy weather town like Seattle, they know everything about getting in bed and getting cozy with a book and a good cup of tea or coffee.  So all tech considerations aside, I love the way the Kindle Fire feels.

I'll be back with more soon.  Back to the Fire place I go ...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Kindle Fire Reviews

I'll post some of the new Kindle Fire reviews soon today.  Glad to see so many thoughtful ones like this one.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Amazon Infographic from Frugal Dad

Amazing Amazon facts and one in particular you don't want to miss: "With 50,000 daily pre-orders, Kindle Fire is set to double the launch of the iPad." Thanks for the info from

Amazon Infographic

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tis The Season Almost

Tis the season almost and the day after Thanksgiving is the best day in the world to stay home and visit your computer instead of the mall!

Shop Amazon's Toys - Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals Week

Friday, November 18, 2011

LeWeb Official Bloggers

Wow! I'm so excited to be part of the official bloggers for LeWeb. It's great that there are so many from places OTHER than the U.S.A. In fact, out of about 80 (just counted them very quickly) there are only 5 Americans.

Looking forward to being in Paris and sharing great ideas with other bloggers worldwide. See you all at the Renault party Tuesday, December 6! Can't wait.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Book Awards Tonight

Craig Fehrman writes in The New York Times about the National Book Awards which take place tonight:

On Nov. 16, literary types will put on their evening wear, gather in a Manhattan ballroom and clap politely for the presentation of this year’s National Book Awards. It’s the publishing industry’s biggest awards ceremony — and its best excuse to party — but it remains a subdued affair. Last year’s jolt of celebrity came from a jeans-wearing Patti Smith, whose “Just Kids” won the nonfiction award. Far more typical was the fiction prize, which went to the little-known “Lord of Misrule,” by Jaimy Gordon. It would have been a shocking choice if the National Book Awards weren’t known for this sort of thing. They’re awards for insiders. Founders Interview: Chris Howard and Fernando Albertorio

I think you'll like hearing all about -- a community for writers, editors, proofreaders, graphics and design professionals.

Heaven, I'm in Heaven ...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Len Edgerly's Kindle Fire Review

That guy is always ahead of me. Check out Len's great review of the Kindle Fire. I do hope you're a subscriber to his great podcast -- The Kindle Chronicles.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Unusual Perfumes: His Bestseller is Called "In The Library"

A radical "perfumier" or perfume maker named Christopher Brosius has made a fascinating palette of perfumes of everyday, non-floral smells.  He runs the shop CB: I Hate Perfume, with the link here.

One of his bestsellers smells like BOOKS!  His perfume called "In The Library" seems to be very popular. Christopher describes it as, "First Edition, Russian and Moroccan Leather, Binding Cloth and a hint of Wood Polish."

So maybe there's more to that concept of readers like me, sticking their nose into a book and rarely coming up for air.

From the names of his many creations, I have to say, I love the sound of these three scents:  Wet Pavement, At The Beach 1966, and In The Summer Kitchen and can't wait to experience their smells.

Friday, November 11, 2011

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

From ebook to exquisite

Check out these amazing volumes from Juniper Books.  They do very custom designed books, just about the most hardcore hardcovers you will ever see.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Yes, I Bought an Expensive Hardcover Paper Book on

It's true, the rumor is out there and it's true, I bought an expensive hardcover PAPER book on Amazon the other day.  Why?  Well, it's new, it's a great book ... and duh, as a Kindle lover and a recipient of a million great deals on ebooks on a regular basis thanks to Amazon, it's the least I could do. (And of course, it's not available on Kindle yet.)

See that's the thing, Amazon throws so many sweet deals your way as a Kindle owner or Prime member, you're fine with throwing some money for real books, or porch furniture, or some new software or hardware or a hundred other things their way.  Beyond that, you KNOW they deliver and you love it when they do.

I called my biz here BoOkBoX for a reason -- one reason is how much fun it is to get a BOX from Amazon delivered to your door and open it and find wonderful stuff inside. Another reason is, I think of a book as a little box of letters, all lined up in the way the writer decided they should be. A little Alphabetic Army of Letters waiting for the general to review the troops.

I wish they would make a little e-box as nice as their brown cardboard boxes, with some extra e-offers and stuff thrown in.  I'd love to have a little digital graphic of the cardboard box suddenly appear on my desktop, that I could open by clicking on it.  Please, Mr. Bezos, can't you gift-wrap my digital books too?

So a little box icon appears on my desktop and I click on it and it has a bunch of cool stuff (and a few free Kindle Samples and maybe a Kindle Single, I can say yes or no to with a clickable box)?  Real artists ship and you guys are real artists, when it comes to shipping!

*Picture Credit on the box:  Thanks Connor is Awesome

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Women's Leadership Forum: Get A Co-Founder

There were so many good speakers and excellent panels last week at the  Women's Leadership Forum which took place at the Microsoft NERD Center, you knew you were missing things in other rooms, so I can't wait to read all the coverage of the other discussions. 

There was a session for Entrepreneurs which featured a number of great brand new and some more seasoned entrepreneurs.  In particular, I really appreciated the advice of some of the women who suggested getting a co-founder.  It's perfectly "duh" advice on one level, but you have to hear it to go ... "Of course!"   

I think it was a discussion between the brilliant Katie Rae of Tech Stars and fabulous Pam Reeve of The Commonwealth Institute.  They gave the best simple advice about how to pitch, how to hire and how having a co-founder makes it easier for VC's to get a sense of who you are and who they are investing in.  Ladies, a little redundancy please, both in your servers AND in having a partner to help run your business.  

The Radical Change: How Ebooks Bring Our Brains Closer Together

I read a great piece in The New York Times about Reid Hoffman's role as a Valley Godfather of sorts and his spot-on intuition about the fact that all-things-internety are beginning to take a big leap.

I feel it too, from my perspective as an "ebook evolutionary scholar" of sorts, on the eve of this Amazon Kindle Launch, that we are about to witness an amazing uptick in sharing our experiences of what it is to be human. Just as when blogging began and the decision of WHO can publish and WHAT we should write about or read, was wrenched out of the hands of conventional publishers, so it goes with the amazing speed ebooks are being written, read and spread.

For a living, breathing, human writer to write and epublish 10 fresh little ebooks packed with cool ideas, in the same time it used to take their legacy publishers to perhaps publish 2 of their books on paper is stunning. It means, just as the Net has always done, our brains are suddenly much closer in time and space. It means any given writer will publish more, read more, learn more, teach the world more. And that means a lot.

I've been reading George Orwell's 1984 (written in '48, get it 48/84) and had forgotten he died a year after finishing it at the young age of 46. What if we had even one more book by Orwell or perhaps 5?! I know faster publishing doesn't go hand in hand with speedier writing, or that fast writing makes for better literature. Hardly, but friction-free fast publishing, with more direct revenue going to the writer's pocket (net 60 days in Amazon's epublishing model) gives a writer bread and cheese money sooner and more free time to write another book.

All this is great for writers, but is greater still for society and readers worldwide. It will have earth-changing ramifications. Why should it be more revolutionary than blogging? Well, a book or ebook is still the best way to engage a group of people in deep focus on a particular subject at a particular time. You're not convinced? Wait, watch, see.

Sadly, the last place ebooks and digital data will go (and it should have been the first) is education. Thick heavy textbooks, often called "doorstoppers" may end up being only that, used solely to prop open doors of classrooms as students stream in and out of e-schools with their light portable multi-function tablets, filled with the ideas of others and ready to host these newest humans' most insightful thoughts.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

So Does Music Glue The World Back Together?

David Guetta and Usher think so. Last video Guetta did was all about how he stopped the sun from rising, so we could dance all night. This one glues the world together. #GlobalGlue

Friday, November 4, 2011

Kindle Tablet: Firing Up A Retail Engine

[Editor's Note: Now with more news about Amazon offering thousands of ebooks for free to new Kindle Fire users, I'm republishing this piece I wrote in 9/27/11 about how Amazon is taking the gloves off in the Tablet Wars.]

Everyone's excited about Amazon's launch of the Kindle Tablet tomorrow in New York, allegedly to be called the Kindle Fire. It will be an Android-based tablet -- another nudge in the ribs to Apple's iPad and a slight cozying-up to Google. There are all these variables that may help or hinder it from succeeding -- price, apps, hardware considerations, competitors -- but I think there is one big differentiator that makes the other factors unimportant.

I need to go back -- not too far back, but back to the day I got my iPad 2 last spring and the literal moment I started it up and registered it and learned how to use it.

I remember starting up other brand new computers -- both Windows and Apple -- over the years and the basic first steps always had you launching the operating system and connecting with a website. With Windows, you went through a bunch of Microsoft set-up screens and registered with a bunch of pages. With MacBook, off to you went.

With the iPad, you started with the iTunes site.

I remember thinking, "Wait, isn't iTunes a place to buy music?" What kind of new computer is this? And it all became obvious suddenly -- this is a platform for retailing. The iPad like no other computing device I'd owned before, was a platform for buying content.

And Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all? The fairest retailer -- the most amazing retailer -- the leading edge retailer -- I do think the answer is Amazon.

So if you think the Kindle Fire is going to make it or break it because of Android or email or apps or all these other considerations, I think you are not looking in the right place. Look at that first set-up screen for the iPad -- and that means iTunes -- it's a store and as great a store as it is and as excellent a bunch of tools as Apple makes (and I love my iPad2 and my MacBook Pro) having Amazon as your retailing competition is seriously challenging.

Apple fan boys and girls feel free to disagree but on Wednesday, in New York, Amazon will be launching an ominous retail engine that just happens to be called the Kindle Fire. And it will be a retail engine that makes it easy as pie to buy a lot more than just music or books. And not to be overlooked, it will be very friendly to a massive audience of users who currently don't own an iPad or a Nook or any type of tablet, but love shopping on Amazon and have for years.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia, Amazon (picture of Jeff Bezos)

My esteemed board of advisors

Alphabetical Listing: Laura Fitton, Guy Kawasaki, Unicorn (don't know him actually, he just jumped into the picture when I wasn't watching)

Writers: Ikea Helps You Make Your Bed And Lie In It!

You have to love this Ikea Duvet set. Perfect for those alphabetic types. You know what they say, always get it in writing.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cloud Nine: Kindle Fire

Amazon's little video on what Kindle Fire will do. Kinda makes you feel like you're on Cloud Nine, eh?

Amazon Offers Free Ebook Borrowing for Prime Members

Did you read the homepage announcement by Jeff Bezos over at Amazon this morning. It's getting very cool to be an Amazon Prime Member with all the content you can eat heading your way. As I wrote here last month about the new Kindle Fire being the ultimate retail platform, it's all coming true. Hat Tip to Dave Winer for the Twitter update on this.

Dear Customers,

Today we're announcing a new benefit for Kindle owners with an Amazon Prime membership: the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.

Kindle owners can now choose from thousands of books to borrow for free, including over 100 current and former New York Times Bestsellers — as frequently as a book a month, with no due dates. No other e-reader or ebook store offers such a service.

The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library features a wide array of popular titles, including Water for Elephants, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, and Fast Food Nation – plus award-winning novels such as The Finkler Question, motivational books like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, biographies and memoirs including Kitchen Confidential, and Pulitzer Prize-winning books like Guns, Germs, and Steel.

We’re adding the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library to Prime membership at no extra cost — Amazon Prime remains just $79 a year, which gives you free two-day shipping on millions of products, plus unlimited instant streaming of almost 13,000 movies and TV shows.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

PaidContent: WSJ and BookScan Reporting to Include Ebooks

The dirty little secret of ebooks -- including them on bestseller lists -- is being told. Until recently, hardcover publishers did not want the bestseller list all mixed up with ebooks, because often as not ebooks were outselling many paper books and being on the list gave them more attention than some paper publishers preferred. Laura Hazard Owen at reports on ebook rankings which will be part of the Nielsen BookScan reporting in the WSJ.
With e-books now making up about 20 percent of sales for many big publishers, it’s essential for bestseller lists to include them in order to give an accurate picture of what is selling. The Wall Street Journal will start running e-book bestseller lists starting this weekend, following a move by the New York Times (NYSE: NYT) earlier this year and USA Today in 2009. But there is something unique about the WSJ‘s e-book lists: They are powered by Nielsen BookScan, which has not publicly tracked e-book sales until now.
In July she addressed the ebook / bestseller list issue here in a piece called Hitting Online Bestseller Lists is Key for Ebooks' Success.