Does anyone still use an actual Kindle? Rather than a Kindle app on a smartphone or tablet, I mean.
Please don’t email to tell me you do. It’s Friday, I’m still convalescing, and so have hopes of doing the minimum at the computer.
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Anyway, back to Kindles. Sales of this week’s new ebook have been good (‘good’ means dozens, not hundreds, thousands, or millions), and a percentage of ebook buyers request that I send ‘the Kindle version’ too.
Our ebook store’s system is set up so that ‘safe’ files, such as .pdfs, can be downloaded automatically from a link sent to the buyer on payment, or without payment if the price is set to £0.00 (there are a few, if you look through the Catalog.)
Which is very handy, and saves masses of work.
Or at least it would do if people would remember to actually do the download.
Or having done the download, and scrolled through the ebook in anticipation, actually SAVE A COPY SOMEWHERE SAFE.
That reminds me. Some unfortunate wrote this week that they’d lost their entire collection of our ebooks due to a computer malfunction.
Purchases went back years, and the person did not have a list of what had been lost. They’d also used different email addresses, so searching the ebook store’s records wouldn’t easily solve the problem. What could I do to help?
I hate it when this happens, which it does, maybe once every couple of years.
In all our marketing messages (including this article), there’s a section headed ‘How do I access my ebook?’, part of which says:
When your order is ‘completed’ (normally immediately after your payment), a download link will be automatically emailed to you. It’s valid for 7 days and 3 download attempts so please save a copy of the .pdf ebook in a safe place.
The purpose of that is twofold – I set a limit on the download so that people will actually do it.
In the past, before the time limit was introduced, people would get the email with the download link, click it a few times, then forget it.
Then, at some future point, they’d lose, or delete, the email(s). And at some point after that, maybe years later, they’d come back to me: “I bought an ebook in 2007. I don’t remember which one, and I no longer have the email. Can you help?”
Besides actually doing the download, buyers are also expected to SAVE A COPY IN A SAFE PLACE.
Define ‘safe’? A place in which you know for sure that you will be able to find it again when you need it, and without Daniel’s help.
Ideally a location that you will backup regularly, so it’s not just on your computer, or in your cloud account, but in both of those places.
OK, yes, I know… when you buy a Kindle ebook from Amazon, you’ll always have it. Even if you drop your Kindle in the toilet, even if civil war breaks out.
That’s also a marketing trick to make you Kindle/Amazon dependent.
That’s something that I, working from a laptop on my kitchen table, cannot or will not replicate.
I’m not Amazon, sorry, and don’t promise to be.
All that said, when people have problems with downloads – and it’s usually clients of yet another monster monoply, the helpless mewling kittens that are iPhone and iPad users – I stand ready to help.
Patiently. Without sarcasm.
“I clicked the link three times and nothing happened. Please fix it or give me my money back!”
That’ll be an iPhone/iPad user who doesn’t know that they needed to specify which app on their over-expensive, not-really-a-computer-because-it-doesn’t-handle-basic-tasks-like-automatically-downloading-.pdfs, should take charge of the task.
Want to download a .pdf on your iPad? Maybe an insurance policy? A bank statement? First you have to specify WHICH APP should deal with that file format. You could download a .pdf reader, for instance. Or use Apple’s Books app.
But you need to decide. First. Before clicking the download link. Or it will fail, and your device will blame us, rather than its designers.
Naturally, if iPhone/iPad users buy something from Apple’s own store, things will go smoothly. Of course they will.
It’s only when a customer with higher brain functioning decides to break out of Apple’s walled garden and download a (paid for or free) .pdf from an external source that, oh dear… it didn’t work!
Never mind, I reply. Sometimes within minutes, or an hour or two.
I’m ATTACHING your missing ebook to this email. SCROLL DOWN to find it. CLICK THE LITTLE PICTURE. It’ll open. Now SAVE A COPY SOMEWHERE SAFE.
And don’t delete this email, that way you’ll always have a copy, and won’t have to bug me again in a few years.
I’ve perfected the use of ALL CAPS (above) over years and years of writing instructions to people who don’t read them…
Where was I? Kindle versions.
Back in the day, the only file type that non-Amazon publishers could produce that you could put on a Kindle was a .mobi. Every other ebook reader on the planet used a different file type, .epub.
But Amazon was the monopolist, so we jumped through their hoop and produced both, the .mobi, and the .epub.
We have those ebook file formats for all except a few of our ‘easy readers’ (check the Catalog page).
We DON’T have them for our self-study workbooks, which are designed to be studied, not read in bed, so are .pdf only (.pdfs are printable…)
But then, last year, Amazon decided to join the rest of the world and use .epub. They announced that they would no longer permit their Kindle customers to email their Kindle .mobi format files they’d bought from outside vendors.
No problem, except that it remained/remains possible to transfer a .mobi file from a computer (a real computer, not an iPad or iPhone) to a Kindle. All you have to do is connect them up with the wire that came in the box with the Kindle. Most people don’t have that, but some do, and haven’t heard the news that .mobi files are passé.
So, in the end, when someone emails to ask for a ‘Kindle version’ (or better, adds a note to their order form), I send both file formats, along with instructions on how to use them.
That seems to work. No one ever comes back saying it doesn’t.
Takeaways from this rant?
- We have ‘Kindle versions’ of almost all of our ‘easy readers’. Check the Catalog page to be sure. For technical reasons, the automatic download is only the .pdf. For other versions, just ask. On the order form, or email.
- But once you have your ebook(s), please look after them, as at that point our responsibility ends. It’s like when you buy a paper book from a store – if you then leave it in your parked automobile, which is then swallowed up in a volcanic eruption, that isn’t going to be the bookstore’s problem. Right? Same thing.
Così. Let’s take that one more time, without the bullet points.
If you have a Kindle or a Kindle app on a smartphone or (horrors) an iPad, then do ask for the format you need.
If you have trouble downloading your ebook(s), help will be forthcoming. I’ll email them to you. That always works!
After that though, it’s on you.
P.S. New ‘easy reader’ ebook -25% – offer ends Sunday…
Here’s a final reminder about this week’s new ‘easy reader’ ebook Quando suonano alla porta which, until Sunday night, is discounted 25% compared to the normal ‘easy reader’ price of £7.99, to just £5.99.
After an evening of wine and streaming TV series, singleton Stefano is asleep on his couch, surrounded by books and pizza boxes. But at five a.m. the doorbell rings…
“Stefano! Stefano apri, ti prego!”
Di chi è questa voce? Chi è che batte con forza alla porta di casa mia?
“Stefano, sono Laura. Per favore, apri, è un’emergenza!”
- .pdf e-book (+ audio available free online)
- .mobi (Kindle-compatible) and .epub (other ebook readers) available on request at no extra charge – just add a note to the order form or email us
- 8 chapters to read and listen to
- Comprehension questions to check your understanding
- Italian/English glossary of ‘difficult’ terms for the level
- Suitable for students at pre-intermediate level or above
- Download your Free Sample Chapter (.pdf)
Check out the FREE sample chapter (.pdf) before you buy a copy, though. That way, you’ll know whether the level is suitable and that the format works on the device you intend to use it on.
How do I access my ebook?
When your order is ‘completed’ (normally immediately after your payment), a download link will be automatically emailed to you. It’s valid for 7 days and 3 download attempts so please save a copy of the .pdf ebook in a safe place. Other versions of the ebook, where available, cannot be downloaded but will be emailed to people who request them. There’s a space to do that on the order form – where it says Additional information, Order notes (optional). If you forget, or if you have problems downloading the .pdf, don’t worry! Email us at the address on the website and we’ll help. Also, why not check out our FAQ?
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