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Publetariat Dispatch: 6 Tips and Tricks to Use Kindle for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch

Publetariat: For People Who Publish!

In today’s Publetariat Dispatch, author and digital media watcher Piotr Kowalczyk offers tips and tricks for using the Kindle Reader app on mobile devices.

Kindle for iOS has just been updated to version 2.8 (iTunes link), which complies with Apple’s new in-app purchase rules.

Kindle Store button was removed from the home page – it was obvious. I’ve  also checked endings of free samples to see what Amazon did with their Buy Now link, which in older versions was switching to book’s Kindle Store page in Safari. Buy Now button is still there (as well as See details for this book in the Kindle Store). However, both links show an alert: “We’re sorry. This operation is not currently supported.”

Apple and Amazon are playing games, which are more and more annoying.  Status for today: Apple won’t earn money, Amazon won’t lose money. The  only losing part is the reader.

Below you’ll find tips on how to make the most of Kindle on your  device – especially after making our lives harder by removing any option  to buy a book from within the app. A good thing to do is to change  attitude: Kindle on iPad or iPhone is not only about using a Kindle application.


1. Browse Kindle Store in Safari

After 2.8 update it will be reasonable more than ever to browse and  buy books right away from Safari browser (without bothering to open  Kindle app). Never tried it? Don’t worry. Amazon mobile site looks  really well on iPhone/iPod Touch. On the iPad a regular site is  displayed, works well, I haven’t noticed any flaws.

2. Add Kindle Store to your Home Screen

Add Kindle Store to your Home Screen

It’s good to add Kindle Store either to a list of bookmarks in Safari  or to a Home Screen. On the iPad just go to Amazon site and select  Kindle Store from a drop list.

If you’re on the iPhone/iPod Touch, go in Safari directly to this address http://amzn.to/fW2ffk.  It’s Kindle Store’s site optimized for small screens – not the same as  regular one. You can add it as a bookmark to Home Screen (see picture on  the right) and a nice icon will show up.

Find more information about it here.

3. Browse free Kindle books in Safari

In fact, you can use the browser to add books from other sources than Kindle Store. What’s very important, you can add them directly to Kindle for iOS. This is possible since 2.5 update.

What you have to look for is books in mobi format, without DRM. To  add a book to Kindle app, tap on a link to a book file, ending with  .mobi.

Best sites with free Kindle books, optimized for mobile reading, are: Feedbooks, Project Gutenberg, Smashwords and ManyBooks.

Read more about this topic here.

4. Add books to your Kindle for iOS – not only via iTunes

iTunes is a default way to add content to applications, but happily  it’s not the only one. As I’ve written above, you can add books from  Safari.

There are two more options available: via e-mail (just send a file to  yourself and open it with a native Mail app) and via cloud storage apps  like Dropbox.

Find out more about the topic here.

5. Discover books on Twitter and add them instantly to Kindle app

It’s my favorite topic. If you spend a lot of time on Twitter, using  Twitter iOS applications, why don’t you try to find Kindle books there?  It’s actually pretty easy. Just look for a keyword Kindle or a tag #kindle and you’ll find out a lot of tweets with amzn.to links.

Or if one of Twitter friends is recommending a Kindle book, just tap  on a link and you’ll be redirected to mobile Safari (either within  Twitter app or outside it) and you’ll decide whether to download a free  sample or buy a book.

For more information read this post.

6. Use Kindle application as a free dictionary

Finally, Kindle for iOS can also work as a great dictionary  application, so there is no need to buy another one. This is possible  thanks to the The New Oxford American Dictionary installed.

You’ll find more information about it here.

* * *

I hope you enjoyed the tips. Please share in the comments what’s  missing. If you want to keep up with what’s going on with Kindle on iOS  devices, get free updates of Ebook Friendly Tips (via RSS or e-mail) where I focus on sharing simple Kindle tips.

If you liked this article, please share it with your friends. Get free updates by e-mail or RSS, powered by FeedBurner. Let’s meet on Twitter and Facebook. Check also my geek fiction stories: Password Incorrect and Failure Confirmed.

This is a reprint from Piotr Kowalczyk‘s Password Incorrect.

Put Kindle Nation Daily “Front and Center” on Your Kindle Fire!

If you’re just putting your brand new Kindle Fire through its paces, we’ll be joining you and helping you to make the most of the experience, to protect your investment, and to make it even easier to use all the Kindle-friendly features to which you have grown accustomed here at Kindle Nation.

In fact, if you think Kindle Nation Daily has been a helpful website before, we think you’ll be amazed at well it works with the Kindle Fire.

Toward that end, let us encourage you to position Kindle Nation Daily front and center on your Kindle Fire home screen so it’s never far away when you want to check on the latest free and bargain Kindle books, tips, and news. It’s an easy process — just follow the steps below:

1. From the Kindle Fire home screen, tap “Web”

2. Using the virtual keyboard on the screen, type in the following abbreviated URL or web address

3. When the Kindle Nation Daily website comes up, tap the “Menu” icon at the bottom center, and select “Add bookmark” at the left among the options that appear near the bottom of the screen

4. Name the bookmark “KND” when prompted

5. Return to the Home page, and hold your finger down on the KND image in the carousel to add it to the Favorites that are displayed front and center on your Kindle Fire home screen

Once you’ve got Kindle Nation Daily where you want it on your Kindle Fire, you’ll find it amazingly easy to find anything on our website including news, tips, our magical free book tool that allows you to search and sort over 1200 freebies by cartegory, genre, date added, reading review rating and bestseller status, or our similar tools for Kindle Prime Eligible and quality 99-center titles!

And if you are on the fence about the Kindle Fire, well, we can offer two kinds of support:

  • First, we hope you will consider entering our Kindle Fire giveaway sweepstakes – we are giving away a brand new Kindle Fire every week!
  • Second, watch this website this week for plenty of information and a full-scale review about what the Fire does — and doesn’t have to offer.

With the Addition of Kindle Prime-Eligible Books for Free Reading, Kindle Nation Daily’s Magical Free and Bargain Book Search Tool Just Got Better!

Thanks to some around-the-clock work by our crack web-development and operations team, we are very excited to roll out a major expansion of Kindle Nation Daily’s magical free and bargain book search tool!

Now, in addition to being able to use the tool to search and sort free books and quality (4 stars or better) 99-cent books by genre/category,  date added, reader review rating, and popularity (bestseller status), you can conduct the same kind of search to find books that appeal to you among Kindle Prime-eligible books, which allow Amazon Prime members to download up to one such title per month at no additional charge. (For more information about Amazon Prime and your Kindle, please visit this link.)

Here’s how to use these expanded book tools to find the books you want to read at prices you can afford … including free!

1. Go to the main Kindle Nation Daily website.

2. Find the BEST DEALS: KINDLES AND KINDLE BOOKS tab in the white-on-charcoal menu ribbon near the top left (at the bottom of the screen shot just below)..


3. Hover your cursor above the tab so that the pull-down menus appear.


4. Hover your cursor above individual selections to extend the pull-down menus and tap or click to visit the page of your choice.


5. Visit the page of your choice to browse, search, sort and select the titles or other items of your choice. Please note that while Amazon Prime members may use this tool to browse, search, sort and select Prime-eligible titles, you must use your Kindle to find the specific Prime-eligible title in the onboard Kindle Store to initiate a free download.

Happy reading!

What is Amazon Prime, and Why It Matters to You as a Kindle Owner

By Stephen Windwalker
Posted November 5, 2011

We’ve been planning for a while to devote some serious space to introducing (or re-introducing) you to a nifty little Amazon program called Amazon Prime and how it can help you get the most out of your Kindle, and this week’s events elevated that plan to the level of top priority.

One of the things about which I constantly have to remind myself — especially when I am writing for the citizens of Kindle Nation — is that a lot of things that may be clear to me about Amazon and how it works may be worth some additional explaining for others. And, of course, on some things, I may just arrive at different conclusions than those at which many of our loyal, highly valued readers arrive. That, as they say, is what makes a horse race.

After all, I’ve been a very active Amazon customer for the past fifteen years, an Amazon Prime member since 2006, a Kindle owner since the Kindle first launched, and a participant in Amazon Marketplace, zShops, Amazon Advantage, and the Kindle and CreateSpace digital publishing platforms. When it comes to Amazon, I’ve been to night school.

Amazon Prime
Prime: It Keeps Getting Better

So, after five years of saving tons of money on free shipping (along with millions of other Amazon Prime members), I was pleased several months ago when Amazon began offering me — for the same $79 a year — a free “Prime Instant Video” library of thousands of movies of TV shows. And Thursday I was thrilled to learn of a new program where that same $79 would allow me one free download each month from among over 5,000 Kindle ebook titles including many current or former bestsellers and plenty of books priced at $9 or $10 and above.

But when Amazon issued a middle-of-the-night press release and reorganized much of its Kindle ebook database to launch its new Kindle Owners’ Lending Library program, there were plenty of Kindle owners who were not thrilled. For some people this was due to the fact that several websites including our own experienced a glitch for a few hours when titles from the new program were commingled with free titles, leading to bad customer experiences ranging from people being charged for books they thought were free to feeling like they were the victims of bait-and-switch tactics. (None of this was intentional, of course, but I am very sorry that it happened. It resulted from the perhaps unavoidable fact that Amazon rolled out the program without warning to affiliate websites, but the good news is that for any readers who were charged for a book today due to confusion between free books and the new Kindle lending library program for Amazon Prime members, Amazon’s Kindle customer support is always glad to provide a no-hassle return and refund within 7 days of your purchase. You can contact them via email or phone at http://amzn.to/tL7YwJ.)

But I will have to admit that it took me by surprise that, even after everything was going smoothly and seamlessly on everybody’s websites, there were still a vocal group of our Kindle Nation readers who felt the new program was confusing at best, and a rip-off at worst:

Jo wrote: “Some ‘lending library’ … you can only borrow one a month, that’s 12 a year. You have to be a Prime member to borrow books, that’s 80 bucks a year. 80 divided by 12 is 6.67 per book! Cheaper to buy some and be able to loan them to friends for free! Thanks for nothing Amazon…”

Elizabeth chimed in: “So much for the ‘library’ idea. Easier (and much cheaper) just to head to my local library. This is a rip off!”

“It is a bad idea Amazon…and you saw what happened with the banks,” said Sam.

Sandi asked “is that how so many customers that bought into the Kindle will now be treated? Are big businesses just not getting it? Follow the news on BOA and Netflix? I hope it ain’t so.”

Confusing? Yes, I’ll grant you that. Amazon could have executed a smoother program launch if:

  • it had avoided branding the new program with the “lending library” label in which it suffers by comparison with public libraries that do not charge dues and do not limit borrowers to a single title per month;
  • it had resisted the temptation to use a much larger font size for the “program” price so that customers’ attention would be drawn away from the details until they had already purchased and been charged for the book; and
  • it had shared details about the program with websites such as Kindle Nation Daily so that we could have played a helpful role in clarifying — and, yes, promoting — the program to our readers rather than scrambling to re-write bargain-searching code after the fact while, unfortunately, also posting some phrasing that contributed to the confusion. (Following Amazon’s lead, we made the mistake of referring to the program as Amazon’s “new approach to free books,” and we apologize for that.)

But, all that being said, I strongly resist the notion that either Amazon Prime or the new (and perhaps poorly named) Kindle Owners’ Lending Library program is a rip-off. In order to illuminate the benefits of Amazon prime, we’ll focus on the following:

Five Kindle Fire Accessories for Us, and a Few More That May Be for You


With fewer than 20 days left until Amazon ships the Kindle Fire tablet, we’ll promise to pay some attention in the days ahead to things that you can do to prepare for its arrival in your home and in your life. And the best place to start, despite the contented look on the face of the fellow who is flying his Kindle Fire naked at the right, is with the right accessories.

(If you’ve yet to order a Kindle Fire, the good news is that you can still place your order and have it by November 16 or 17. And of course there’s always our Kindle Fire giveaway sweepstakes, which are currently in Week #3 out of ten.)

There are three things that we think we’ll need, if “need” is the right word for items we never dreamed of a decade or so ago, in order to provide our new Kindle Fire with security and companionship. And then we’ll add two other less likely “accessories,” which will make sense to some of our readers but certainly not all. On each of these, we won’t hit you over the head with arguments as to why you need them — there’s plenty of information on their Amazon pages to decide without undue influence from us. It’s just that these are the specific things Betty and I have selected to go with our Kindle Fire.

The first two come from a new source of Kindle accessories, Amazon’s own AmazonBasics label for electronics, office supplies, and other products that the company manufactures itself. Each of these is available for pre-order, and fair warning: their Amazon pages do not specify that they will be shipped at the same time the Kindle ships.

The AmazonBasics leather folio with multi-angle adjustable stand is the perfect accessory for the Kindle Fire. The folio cover features grooves on the microfiber interior that offer multiple viewing angles to enable ease of use when typing email and hands free viewing of movies. Four corner elastics hold your Kindle Fire securely in place with a convenient elastic strap to keep the case open or securely closed.
There are clearly some good, if somewhat more expensive, alternatives to this AmazonBasics case, including a nice-looking MarWare case with several color options.
4.1 stars – 220 Reviews
The Sennheiser HD202II are closed, dynamic hi-fi stereo headphones. Good insulation against ambient noise and a deep bass response make them the ideal companion for DJs – or anyone who likes to listen to modern, powerful music without disturbing others. High efficiency drivers for maximum performance. Sennheiser HD202II Closed Back Headphones Features; Closed,dynamic, semi-circumaural stereo headphones; Earcups can be removed from the headband; Specially designed damping material ensures powerful bass response; Lightweight turbine diaphragms for low bass; High levels and crisp bass for modern rhythm-driven music; Extremely comfortable to wear due to ultra-lightweight design, even for extended listening; Replaceable leatherette ear cushions; Built-tough with a 2 YEAR warranty; Powerful neodymium magnets and lightweight diaphragms for high sound levels; Convenient belt clip for adjusting the cable length when listening on the go.
(Ed. Note: These headphones are my choice because I can’t abide earbuds. If you prefer earbuds, Amazon suggests these as being a good fit for the Kindle Fire.)

What? Am I really suggesting that you get a Kindle as an accessory for your Kindle Fire tablet? Yes, for the beach, the hammock, those times you just want to read and don’t care to hold something well over twice as heavy. Maybe you already have an e-Ink Kindle or prefer to wait for the Kindle Touch models that ship a week after the Kindle Fire. If not, the price is right for this incredibly light, small, and handy dedicated ebook reader.


But all that’s just us. Here are over 15 other “accessories” for which Kindle Nation readers have placed anywhere from one to a dozen or more orders this month:

What if you just paid retail for a Kindle Daily Deal title?

What if you just paid retail for a Kindle Daily Deal title? Each morning we post the latest Kindle Daily Deal from Amazon, and many of the offerings are popular books that you may well have purchased at full price in the previous week, which can lead to a special kind of buyer’s remorse. If that happens to you, it’s worth knowing that Amazon has a no-questions-asked return-and-refund policy for all Kindle content within 7 days of purchase. Just contact Kindle Support at http://amzn.to/mk1dda with the details to return the Kindle book so that you can download it again at a better price. (We suggest selecting telephone contact from your options in order to expedite the return so that you won’t miss the Kindle Daily Deal.)

And here’s today’s Kindle Daily Deal post….

Today’ Kindle Daily Deal:

You’ll beg the chef for more when you save 70% off the regular price of Anthony Bourdain’s memoir of “twenty-five years of sex, drugs, bad behavior and haute cuisine.”

Publetariat Dispatch: 8 Myths About Reading Books on Mobile Phones

Publetariat: For People Who Publish!
In today’s Publetariat Dispatch, Piotr Kowalczyk addresses common myths about using smartphones as e-readers.

According to Wikipedia there are 4.6 billion mobile phones in the world. It’s a huge number. But people don’t try to read books on them. In this post I’d like to address some of the most popular reasons, which prevent us from doing it.

The screen is too smallThis is true – if you still own a 5-year old phone with black&white screen large enough to show in full length only a phone number (if you’re lucky). But things change, and one of the quickest developing ones are mobile phones. More and more people buy smartphones. They have screens large enough to make their producers cry: “Hey you can even watch movies on this phone!”

I’ve heard many times that reading on a mobile phone is a disaster. Now try to watch a movie. It stops every 5 seconds, as it takes a lot of time to download it. THIS is a disaster.

Let’s compare sizes. For a book, you have an A5 format (average paper book) vs a phone screen. For a video, you as a reference we can use a 21″ TV screen. If we can shrink our video world that much, why we can’t do the same with books?

Another comparison. On average the screen of a smartphone has the width of a text column in a newspaper. If the size of a text field in a paper edition of The New York Times is not enough for you, then you can also complain about a mobile phone.

This is bad for eyesThis is truly mysterious point of view. If you read on your 21″ desktop computer monitor – this is bad for your eyes. But the smaller the device is, the less it affects your eyes.

The font is too smallThis argument comes usually with a first one, but I guess it’s also connected in some way with a general perception of what the e-book is. There are still a lot of people who think, that an e-book is a fixed pdf document, and that you need to scroll and zoom a lot to see anything.

It’s not true any more. More and more e-books are made with mobile devices in mind. They have a proper format (like ePub), which enables a user to change a font size, among many other features. That means you can enlarge a font to the size you want. Kid book size needed? There you go.

There are few books available

People with the knowledge of modern e-book formats, still think that the number of publications is very limited and they are hard to find.

The truth is that any major e-bookstore now offers books in mobile friendly formats. Do you have an account at Amazon? All books in Kindle e-bookstore are well readable on smartphones. That means you log in to your Amazon account from your cellphone and start reading an e-book in minutes. Same with Barnes&Noble or Borders. What’s more important, there are sites devoted to mobile reading, like Feedbooks or Wattpad. Go there and you’ll see how many good books you can download to your mobile phone – for free.

Extra effort is needed to get a bookIf you have a smartphone, you can easily turn it into an e-reader – I wrote a short post about it. What you need is to choose your favourite method. The most popular and the easiest way is to download an application. For iPhone OS you have Stanza. Free books for Android are available via Aldiko application. Kindle and Kobo have apps for both mobile OS-es.

Another way is managing and reading books via a mobile browser. This is what Google Editions is going to bring to an e-book world in the coming days. Reading books will be even easier. No special app needed, you’ll use your smartphone’s browser.

One thing is clear. You absolutely don’t need to learn anything about format-to-format conversions to start reading books on your mobile phone.

It costs moneyMost e-book reading apps are free of charge. What you need to pay for is books themselves. So if you think, that turning your mobile phone into an e-reader will cost you an extra money –  you’re just wrong.

What you may want to know is that there are two kinds of apps in the applications markets. One is a program to read and manage books downloaded to it. The other one is a book-app – a book sold as a separate application.

If you want to give the e-books a try at no cost the best way is to download Stanza for iPhone or Aldiko for Android. They both give you the access to free resources from Feedbooks – public domain books as well as new titles from self-published authors.

It’s inconvenient to manage a book librarySome of us think, that building a book library based on a mobile phone is a useless work. Managing all the books from a small device is hard to imagine.

You don’t need to assume that any more. With cloud-based services you can access your library from a lot of devices, like a computer, a tablet, an e-reader – and a mobile phone.

You don’t need to manage your library from a mobile phone – just pick up the most convenient device for that.

Phones will be replaced by better-suited devices anywayNot true. Tablets, e-readers and phones will be used simultaneously. I’m sure that with the availability of bookshelves in the cloud, anyone will want to have a comfort to access books from whatever device he’s got at hand. The big decision to make will be “tablet or e-reader”, but smartphones? We have them anyway, they can be easily turned into e-reading devices.

And they can be used to read books on the go, anywhere where there was no reason to take a bigger device – but there is time to read books.

This is a reprint from Piotr Kowalczyk‘s Password Incorrect.