TKC 329 Sara Nelson

Sara Nelson, Headshot

Editorial Director at

Interview starts at 11:43

There are all kinds of books in the world, and there are all kinds of people in the world, and there are all kinds of things that people would love to judge you for. We all do it, to some extent I suppose. We judge somebody by the car they drive, too. There’s enough of everything to go around, in my opinion.


Amazon Echo

“The Washington Post Launches New Tablet App, Free for Amazon Fire Customers” press release – November 20, 2014

The Washington Post free app for Fire tablets

“Washington Post Releases Free App for Kindle, in First Collaboration with Amazon” by Ravi Somaiya at The New York Times – November 20, 2014

“Washington Post launches twice-daily tablet editions on Amazon Fire app” by Steven Mufson at The Washington Post – November 20, 2014

Tech Tip

Adjusting Fire tablet font size through accessibility controls

Interview with Sara Nelson

Amazon editors’ selection of 100 Best Books of 2014

All Our Names: A Novel by Dinaw Mengestu


2014 National Book Award winners

Redeployment by Phil Klay

41: A Portrait of My Father by George W. Bush


Whoosh! screen cleaner, and as seen on Revision3

Next Week’s Guest

Otis Chandler, co-founder and CEO of Goodreads

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TKC 328 Scott McNulty

Scott McNulty

Author of The Amazon Fire Phone

Interview starts at 23:07

I read an interview where some Amazon exec in Europe talked about how they are learning from it, and they’re going to take their lessons and apply it to their next iteration. So that seems to me that there will be another Fire phone out there—and I’ll probably buy it!



“Amazon and Hachette Resolve Dispute” by David Streitfeld at The New York Times – November 13, 2014

“Amazon and Hachete Reach Deal Over E-Books” at Hear & Now – November 13, 2014

Hugh Howey’s blog post on Hachette agreement – November 13, 2014

“ Should Stop Comparing the Fire Phone to the Original Kindle” by Evan Niu at The Motley Fool – November 7, 2014

Motley Fool Money podcast

Tech Tip

Amazon press release on new Kindle software – November 14, 2014

Kindle (7th generation) 5.6.1 software update

Kindle Paperwhite 2 5.6.1 software update

Kindle Voyage 5.6.1 software update

Interview with Scott McNulty

Scott McNulty profile at Linkedin

Scott McNulty’s blog

The Amazon Fire Phone: Master your Amazon smartphone including Firefly, Mayday, Prime and all the top apps by Scott McNulty

Amazon Fire Phone

Kindle Voyage


Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End  by Atul Gawande

Next Week’s Guest

Sara Nelson, Editorial Director at, discussing her team’s picks for The Best Books of 2014

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Amazon and Hachette Announce New Contract

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 11.39.44 AMAnd so it ends…


November 13, 2014 – Hachette Book Group and Amazon (AMZN) today announced that the companies have reached a new, multi-year agreement for ebook and print sales in the US.

Michael Pietsch, Hachette Book Group CEO said, “This is great news for writers. The new agreement will benefit Hachette authors for years to come. It gives Hachette enormous marketing capability with one of our most important bookselling partners.”

“We are pleased with this new agreement as it includes specific financial incentives for Hachette to deliver lower prices, which we believe will be a great win for readers and authors alike,” said David Naggar, Vice President, Kindle.

The new ebook terms will take effect early in 2015. Hachette will have responsibility for setting consumer prices of its ebooks, and will also benefit from better terms when it delivers lower prices for readers. Amazon and Hachette will immediately resume normal trading, and Hachette books will be prominently featured in promotions.

Congratulations to the negotiators on both sides who reached a deal after this long, very public ordeal. I couldn’t be happier. This is a good day for book lovers.

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TKC 327 Mike Langlois

Mike Langlois

Author of Reset: Psychotherapy & Video Games, 2nd Edition

Interview starts at 14:24

I think that kids that don’t get to play video games are missing out on whole strata of ways to negotiate a 21st century high tech world as well as peer relationships. And I don’t think it needs to be a “versus.” I love reading. And I think one of the things that’s really cool about the Kindle is that you can read on it and play video games on it, at least with the Fire.

Show Notes and Links:


Amazon Echo

James McQuivey interview on TKC 296 – March, 2014

“Your Voice Will Control the Future” by James McQuivey at Forrester – April 16, 2014

Amazon Prime Photos

“The War of the Words” by Keith Gessen at Vanity Fair – December 2014

Tech Tip

How to make a screenshot with Kindle Voyage – via Scott McNulty’s Blankbaby blog

Interview with Mike Langlois

Gamer Therapist: Psychotherapy Meets Web2.0 (blog)

Reset: Psychotherapy & Video Games,2ndEdition by Mike Langlois

Killer Covers

Second Life



Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2014

Best Books of November selected by Amazon’s book editors

Revival: A Novel by Stephen King

Scribd adds 30,000 audiobooks for subscribers

“Better Living Through Minecraft,” Mike Langlois’s panel schedueld for South by Southwest 2015


Katie Loss’s update on her son Eric’s adventures since returning from his solo circumnavigation which began today (November 7) in 2011. He is now captain of Pangaea Exploration’s Sea Dragon.

Next Week’s Guest

Scott McNulty, Mac expert and Fire phone expert. Author of The Amazon Fire Phone: Master your Amazon smartphone including Firefly, Mayday, Prime, and all the top apps

Music for my podcast is from an original Thelonius Monk composition named “Well, You Needn’t.” This version is “Ra-Monk” by Eval Manigat on the “Variations in Time: A Jazz Persepctive” CD by Public Transit Recording”.

Please Join the Kindle Chronicles group at Goodreads!

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TKC 326 Aaron Goldfarb

Aaron GoldfarbAuthor of The Guide for a Single Man and The Guide for a Single Woman

Interview starts at 19:11

It’s a lot of effort to get one book, but two simultaneous books, where you’re timing and syncing everything. It was just a huge challenge for the entire FG Press team, even beyond me writing the books.

Show Notes and Links:


Amazon’s press release announcing Fire TV Stick – October 27, 2014

Amazon Fire TV – $99

Tom Semple’s comment on the Fire TV Stick, compared with the Fire TV box

Motley Fool analysis of Fire TV Stick v. Google Chromecast – October 30, 2014

“Amazon CEO Bezos Faces Season of Worsts as Losses Mount” by Spencer Soper at Bloomberg Businessweek – October 24, 2014

“Amazon.bomb” by Jacqueline Doherty at Barron’s – May 31, 1999 (Behind paywall; try Googling “Amazon.bomb.”)

Kindle Scout opens for reader nominations

Magic Numbers: The Actuary’s Diary by Deb Hosey White – my Kindle Scout nomination

Tech Tip

Kindle Voyage 3G

Setting default device at Manage Your Content and Devices

Interview with Aaron Goldfarb

The Guide for a Single Man and The Guide for a Single Woman by Aaron Goldfarb

FG Press

How to Fail: The Self-Hurt Guide by Aaron Goldfarb – Audible Audio Edition, Kindle edition

The Cheat Sheet and Drunk Drinking by Aaron Goldfarb

The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists by Neil Straus

Aaron Goldfarb interviewed by Sandy Grason of FG Press

Music for my podcast is from an originalTheloniusMonk composition named “Well, You Needn’t.” This version is “Ra-Monk” byEvalManigaton the “Variations in Time: A JazzPersepctive” CD by Public Transit Recording” CD.

Please Join the Kindle Chronicles group at Goodreads!

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Amazon Introduces Fire TV Stick – $20 Off for Prime Members Today and Tomorrow

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 10.15.43 AMAmazon this morning introduced a competitor to the Chromecast media-streaming device that plugs into the HDMI port on your TV. It’s called Fire TV Stick, and if you are an Amazon Prime member you can buy it for $20 off today and tomorrow only–for $19 instead of $39 for non-Prime members. Fire TV stick will ship November 19.

Fire TV stick has four times the storage and two times the memory of Chromecast, Amazon says. Click here for the full press release.

It comes with a remote control, and you can use your phone as a remote with the free mobile app that includes voice search. I’m glad to see it will work right away with my Fire phone, but the app for iPad and iPhone is “coming soon.”

Fire TV stick arrives less than seven months after the introduction of Fire TV, which apparently has been a big hit. Amazon says Fire TV is the best-selling streaming media box at

I’ve ordered one and will tell you about my experience with it on an upcoming episode of The Kindle Chronicles podcast.


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TKC 325 Donald Katz


Founder and CEO of Audible, Inc.

Interview starts at 8:05

I think we’ve done a lot to change the quality of the performances, and  the perception of the performances in the entertainment, and the learning and the retention values and everything that causes people to want to read.

Show Notes and Links:


“Amazon Closes Muliti-Year Deal With Simon & Schuster, The Other Big Five Publisher It Was in E-Book Pricing Negotiations with” by Julian D’Onfro at Business Insider – October 20, 2014

“Amazon Deal With Simon & Schuster Raises Questions for Other Publishers” by Lynn Neary on National Public Radio – October 21, 2014

“Speculation on the Amazon-Simon & Schuster Deal” by Hugh Howey – October 21, 2014

“Amazon again delivers soaring sales but posts a huge loss” by Sarah Halzack at The Washington Post – October 24, 2014

“Amazon Down 10%: The Real reason why and how to trade it” by Jeff Macke at Yahoo Finance – October 24, 2014

Tech Tip

Using the Kindle for iOS app with an Audible title for near-immersion reading

Interview with Donald Katz

Ralph Ellison’s author page at Amazon

Whispersync for Voice at Audible

Audible’s commitment to Newark


Home Fires: An Intimate Portrait of One Middle-Class Family in Postwar America by Donald Katz

The Big Store: Inside the Crisis and Revolution at Sears by Donald Katz

Music for my podcast is from an original Thelonius Monk composition named “Well, You Needn’t.” This version is “Ra-Monk” by Eval Manigat on the “Variations in Time: A Jazz Persepctive” CD by Public Transit Recording” CD.

Please Join the Kindle Chronicles group at Goodreads!

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Trying the new Kindle Voyage glass screen in direct sunlight…

During our recent stay in Ocean Park, Maine, I took a review copy of the Kindle Voyage out to the beach on a sunny day to see if the micro-etched glass screen is as readable in sunlight as the plastic Kindle screens of yore. For the test, I put a Paperwhite and the Voyage side by side on a beach chair. You’ll see the result in this video.

If you are happy with your Paperwhite and have a slightly less obsessive love of new gadgets than I do, I can’t think of a reason to upgrade to the Voyage. It’s a sweet eReader, for sure. The improvement in readability because of the higher screen resolution is noticeable but not earth-shattering. The physical buttons are nice, but after a week of using the Voyage I am still tapping the screen to advance to the next page. I like the auto brightness controls on the built-in light. My favorite improvement is the smaller size and weight of the Voyage.

One thing that really bugs me is Amazon’s Origami Leather Case for the Voyage. Instead of opening like a book, it flips back like a reporter’s notebook pad. I’m not crawling into bed to take notes for a story. I’m in Book Reading Mode, like the old days when the physical thing was one of my favorite things in the world. I love the advances that Kindle technology have made possible in reading, but unnecessarily removing one of the touchable reminders of the book’s heritage seems perverse to me. I know the new cover makes a handy stand in portrait or landscape mode. But I don’t use my E Ink Kindles on a desk or table. I use them curled up before sleep or on the beach.

Luckily, I found a cover that opens the old-fashioned way and have it on order to replace the steno-pad cover. It’s available for $7.99 plus shipping from ACcase. I ordered one and will probably return the $59.99 Origami case.

Let me be clear: the Kindle Voyage is an impressive upgrade to the Kindle line, and I love how Amazon continues to invest time and money into dedicated eReaders. They do it for the love of it, in my opinion, and it shows. With the arrival of the Voyage, the Kindle lineup has three great price points and three good choices to consider for the very best in digital book reading.

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Fire HD 6 + Kindle (basic, Paperwhite or Voyage) = Reader’s Delight

After using a Fire HD 6 for a week or so, I have decided it’s the perfect reading complement to my E Ink Kindle, currently a Paperwhite but next I’m switching to the Voyage. Sometimes I prefer the sepia color of the Fire’s Kindle view, as well as the faster access to links or looking up information related to the book I’m reading. I also enjoy listening to the Classical for Reading playlist at Prime Music, while I’m reading a book on the Fire HD. You can’t do that with any E Ink Kindle in the current lineup, because they don’t have audio capability.

The Fire HD is also is a great way to watch movies or TV shows, though the audio is a little soft for noisy environments, like the cross trainer in our basement during aerobic workouts. All in all, this is a sweet new tablet in a size that recalls the shape of a paperback book. I love it.


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TKC 324 Peter Heller

Peter Heller

Author of The Dog Stars and The Painter

Interview starts at 13:42

Nobody, not even artists, understood art. What speed has to do with it. How much work it takes, year after year, building the skills, the trust in the process, more work probably than any Olympic athlete ever puts in because it is twenty-four hours a day, even in dreams, and then when the skills and the trust are in place, the best work usually takes the least effort. Usually. It comes fast, it comes without thought, it comes like a horse running over you at night.  (From The Painter)

Show Notes and Links:


Kindle Scout submission page

Kindle Press Submission & Publishing Agreement

New York Times Public Editor’s rebuke of David Streitfeld – October 4, 2014

“Amazon and its missing books” by David Streitfeld at the New York Times Bits blog – October 12, 2014

“Big Media in Support of Amazon” by Hugh Howey – October 16, 2014

“Don’t Worry. I’m Just Writing” by Hugh Howey – October 16, 2014

“Practically nobody’s buying Amazon’s Fire Phone (including Prime members?” by Lewis Wallace at the Cult of Android – October 15, 2014

Tech Tips

Whispersync for Voice

Interview witPeter Heller

Books on the Nightstand podcast

Peter Heller’s author page on

Hell or High Water 

The Whale Warriors: The Battle at the Bottom of the World to Save the Planet’s Largest Mammals

Sea Shepherd web site

Kook: What Surfing Taught Me About Love, Life, and Catching the Perfect Wave

The Dog Stars

The Painter

In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway

Peter Heller’s articles published by Outside Magazine

Jim Wagner, the Taos expressionist painter

Poetry by Peter Heller

Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana Jr.

Novels by Cesar Aira: An Episode in the Life of a Landscape PainterGhostsHow I Became a NunThe Seamstress and the WindThe Hare

Paolo Bacigalupi’s author page at


Home Fires: An Intimate Portrait of One Middle-Class Family in Postwar America by Donald Katz

The Big Store: Inside the Crisis and Revolution at Sears by Donald Katz

Mindjet for Android free mind-mapping app for Fire

Next Week’s Guest

Denver Donald Katz, founder and CEO of Audible, Inc.

Music for my podcast is from an original Thelonius Monk composition named “Well, You Needn’t.” This version is “Ra-Monk” by Eval Manigat on the “Variations in Time: A Jazz Persepctive” CD by Public Transit Recording” CD.

Please Join the Kindle Chronicles group at Goodreads!

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