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.
Buy Quando suonano alla porta just £5.99 | FREE sample chapter (.pdf) | Catalog
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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Subscribing is FREE. Just add your email address here, then watch out for the ‘please confirm’ email.
Your next FREE bulletin of ‘easy’ Italian news will then reach you on Saturday. If you don’t see it, check your spam/junk folder…
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Moira P says
I have used a Kindle for years and still do, although e-books are probably the only reason I purchase from Amazon. I appreciate the Kindle’s functionality e.g., automatic links to dictionaries, ease of translating a phrase, highlighting passages or words, adding notes and exporting comments and highlights to a pdf on completion of the book. However I suspect other e-book readers have similar or maybe even better functionality. Just for now I have invested in the Kindle and my e-book library rests with Amazon as well as me!
I have also bought easy readers from the store as pdfs which I read on my PC, I never saw need to add them to the kindle.
Thanks for taking the time to comment, Moira!
Guilty as charged. I’m afraif I’m one of those Kindle users who ask for “the Kindle version” because I can’t make heads or tails out of those different formats. And I actualky send them to my Kindle because that’s the only screen device on which I can read longer texts comfortably. (After saving them in a safe place!)
So I’d like to thank you for taking the trouble of transforming the PDF files to epub format and sending them to people like me who ask for them. (I usually remember putting it in the order form’s comment box.)
Thank you very much, and thanks also for explaining abput those file formats.
Back to my reading now…
Prego! Don’t forget to listen, too.
Robert Skinner says
Your articles kill me, clearly you attract a customers whose behavior runs counter to the theories of “natural selection” and “survival of the strongest”. No, I’m not that clever and often run myself into an intellectual cul-de-sac BUT I then realise what an idiot I’ve been and sort it out using common sense. Anyway hope you’re improving – healthwise.
Common sense is common, but not universal…
Patricia Barber says
Buondi, If I put your ebooks on my kindle, will I have sound, too? Like Moira, I use my my Kindle for reading books, mostly from the public library, The onlineitalianclub summer history series comes printed out chapter by chapter and the sound is fine. I have the pleasure of reading and listening to each chapter in bed first thing in the morning but I read the supplemental references later., which I really enjoy. I download the ebooks I buy from you on my computer so I can both read and listen and even occasionally print one out. Sorry this is so long and thank you for the wonderful resources and entertainment on onlineitalianclub’s site, including your trice weekly missives. Patricia
“If I put your ebooks on my kindle, will I have sound, too?”
Probably not, Patricia, though perhaps it depends on the type of Kindle? I don’t have one, so don’t know.
Thanks for taking the time to comment!
Mrs Zsuzsanna Snarey says
On newer Kindles there is a possibility of listening on bluetooth but easy reading books use Soundcloud which is not on Kindle, so I don’t know!
Cherry Bingham says
I have managed to get Alexa to read Kindle books to me in Italian on an Android smart phone from my Kindle app. It seems to be authentic pronunciation but you have to get used to the peculiarities of the intonation.
One of the many advantages of Kindle is I can read my Kindle, usually at night (in bed, big print, no glasses, fall asleep and it turns itself off) and then pick up from where I left off (or fell asleep!) on my Kindle phone app during the next day whenever and wherever I want – and vice versa. Both Kindle and phone app invite me to carry on from where I last read on that device or – go to where I reached on the other device! I think it’s amazing and great that your ebooks can be read on Kindle – also books from liberliber.
I too love your articles. Get ’em told!
Kathleen Quinlan says
I use a Kindle every day and I also travel with it. I rarely read a book on my phone. I download the pdfs of your books to my computers and to my Kindle. I organize the books by difficultly level by adding the a1, a2 etc level before the title when I save the pdf. Thank you for providing a diverse selection of books.
Prego! You sound very organised, Kathleen!
Daniel, I hope your convalescence is going well. I know nothing of Kindles or indeed of smartphones which noone can do without these days. But my ipad was a little bit hurt by some of your remarks. It had no trouble downloading the latest book – and saving it in My Files. Indeed, I am a lover of the ipad and have had one since Steve added them to his Apple collection over ten years ago now. Great size for reading books. Easy to move around. And with the pencil, I can easily make annotations, colour coding them when I feel like it.
All true I’m sure, Yvonne. But iPads cost about ten times more than Kindles, more than an entry level laptop, too. I run my business using a laptop that cost about $400, for instance. And while Windows PCs do more or less everything, iPads often don’t. Clever people like you get the right apps for what they need. Less clever people just click things and then complain to me when they don’t work.
Gia Granucci says
Yes I use a Kindle.. The Paperwhite screen still is the best on the market.
It would be great to be able to download the ebooks to the kindle
You can load our ‘easy readers’ to a Kindle, either manually with a cable or by emailing them to your Kindle email address. People who ask for the Kindle-compatible files (while or after purchasing the default .pdf) get instructions on how to do this. Or check out the ebook store’s FAQ https://easyreaders.org/faq/.
Angelo Serra says
Daniel – I (think) you are doing well on your recovery. Hopefully you are in compliance with the doctors orders!
I am a bit of an odd duck when it comes to my eReaders. I have a Nook and a Kindle – both for outdoors reading and they are inexpensive enough that if they get damaged, it isn’t too much of a hardship. I also have a tablet that I have both the Kindle and Nook apps as well as the Media365 reader for any books that I cannot load into the other two formats, reading blogs, etc that I exclusively use when travelling or indoors. Being well versed in the eBook space, I indeed make backups and can sideload almost anything, unless it does not convert well (I use Calibre to manage my collection and to do the aforementioned blog pulls to load to my tablet.
I do feel your pain on this – some people are just not quite up-to-date on how to handle eBooks, let alone anything electronic. Maybe you can start leveraging AI to intercept those requests and start sending a standard reply?
You’re a real ebook fan, Angelo, which is very rare!
Not sure about your suggestion regarding using AI to deal with customers, though. I HATE those things. And I suspect that many of our customers only buy from us because they know their problems are dealt with by ‘real people’, albeit sometimes bad-tempered ones…
Lynelle McNiel says
Yes! I still use a real Kindle. I find it more “book-like”. And Daniel-I don’t know how you do it, but-you have the most entertaining and accurate (in my humble estimation) rants! That’s even true when I’m part of the group being skewered!!! (Apple users please stand up!). And thanks for sending me my Kindle version.
My wife was a huge Kindle fan, but sat on it or dropped it or something, so now uses the app on her smartphone. One less thing to carry around, she says.
Brenda Burton says
I was one of the first people to buy a Kindle, thinking what a great way to have my books at hand no matter where I was. It turns out the Kindle weighs a lot in my purse and is just not convenient for me. I downloaded the Kindle app to my laptop so I can read my books on it, but the Kindle itself is seldom used anymore just because of the extra weight. If I need a book to read while waiting at the doc’s office, I take a less-weighty paperback.
Lynne F says
Books, Kindle smartphones or computers, we are spoilt for choice when accessing reading material. I use them all
There is nothing like the smell and feel of a new book so yes I have hard copies, but these days they are usually limited to non-fiction as the bookcases are overflowing.
I have a Kindle, lots of books stored on there and only takes up the space of a small book, great for reading in bed, taking on holiday or in the garden as the pages don’t blow and the screen is good in the sunlight.
I download your e-books, along with other PDf books to my 🍎computer making sure they are stored in various places, the Cloud, the Books file and even email them to myself so they are not lost and as my smartphone is also an 🍎 I can access all on there if waiting for an appointment, a train delay etc. I know they are Apple !! but I have had no trouble downloading or opening them after purchase, they are always there immediately. It depends on what I am reading and where, as to which format I choose
I hope your recovery is continuing well.
Getting better by the day, Lynne, grazie!
Chris Maude says
All the best for your recuperation journey, Daniel. I recommend a glass of medicinal Chianti Rufina! Comunque – like others, I have a Kindle reader, but am more than happy to continue with reading the e-books as a PDF on my laptop. Alla tua salute! Chris