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Monday, October 3, 2011

Some Kool-Aid is Cheaper Than Others

I take off a week and Amazon goes and gobbles up another piece of the universe. I have to hand it to them, their marketing team is the best I've ever seen.

Meanwhile, Barnes & Noble is caught with its panties around its ankles. How will they catch up? They've already taken too long as it is. 

I want competition. I want B&N, and Apple, and Google to give Amazon a run for its money. It's not healthy to have one behemoth cornering the market. It makes the consumer too dependent. Choice is good. But like Wal Mart, Amazon is creating deliberate loss leaders to get us in the door.

It's marketing genius. 

Greg has an iPad. He's been dying to buy me my own for months, but the price is prohibitive so I've resisted so far. Now that the Fire has come out, I'm not so sure I want an iPad anymore.

I'll probably wait until the second generation comes out, but I see a Fire in my future. It has too many of the things I want and at a price that even a frugalista like me can accept.

Apple isn't the only one with a Kool-Aid. Amazon's Kool-Aid is just as tasty, and cheaper too.

Facebook: Did Facebook shoot itself in the foot with their recent changes? I don't like that they feed me what they think I should be looking at based on their algorithms. They still run everyone's updates on the right sidebar, but it's smaller and harder to read.

My workaround: I created a new list and labeled it, 'ALL'. I put all my friends on it, and this is what I read instead of the original feed. It's pretty much like the old Facebook now.

Surgery sucks. Right now I'm in a brace from ankle to foot. I also have an electrical stimulator that shocks the knee three times a day. I look like a Borg--but I walk like one of those Imperial Walkers (as it's about to fall). Not pretty.

I tried to read blog posts while I was down, but it was too hard to read that many on my phone. I finally had to admit defeat and delete them from my reader.

Speaking of deleting... I can't remember what day this was, but I deleted 71 emails from my phone--by accident. Now I can't get them back. I thought I was deleting one message, instead I got them all. If you wrote me and I didn't answer, your email might've been in the pile I accidentally deleted.

We have a winnah! Joy Kenney correctly guessed the title to my new novella.

Congratulations, Joy! I'll be sending you books one and two (when it comes out).

And the name of the novella? 

Chain of Souls
Book Two


Darke Conteur said...

This is why you should never read emails by phone. I don't know how people can stare at that tiny screen for so long.

Many people are saying that B&N backrupsy has to do with Amazon, but I don't think so. I think it's the readers who fuelled this. Not that I'm blaming them, they just found a better way to get what they want, and that was a better varity of books at a better price. I know it's not their fault, they were only putting out what they were given.

The Kindle Fire does look good, but I'm with you. Going to wait until the next one comes out. You never buy first generation anything. Let them work the bugs out first, they buy it.

Don't even get me started on Facebook...

Marianne Arkins said...

Call me stubborn, but I will not ever buy any eReader from Amazon. I also don't buy books there, or anything else. Anyone with that much power is frightening, so I vote with my wallet. I'm only one person, but I AM one.

Maria Zannini said...

Darke: Ref: phone
For the first few days I couldn't bend my leg, so I was stuck with the phone as my only means of seeing what was happening in the world. From now on, I'll wait to read my email until I can be in front of a computer.

Marianne: I have another friend who was very vocal against Amazon. She had a lot of blog followers, including some big names and movers and shakers.

I don't know if it was coincidence, but Amazon started messing with her books' placement after a particularly hard-hitting blog post.

I admire her integrity, but in the long run I think it hurt her sales.

Sarita said...

I'm so glad you're on the mend. I've been thinking of you, and sending good thoughts your way. I hope they're helping!

I love the title of your new book. I had no idea, not even with all your clues.

julie fedderson said...

So glad you are in the healing phase, even if you are somewhat bionic right now. I agree I would like to see some friendly competition in the market to keep the offerings unique.

Krista D. Ball said...

I have no interest in Amazon's products. As a non-American, they don't offer the same number of books to us Canuckistanis. Also, they refuse to adopt/sell/support epub and pdf, so they have nothing I'm interested in.

I much prefer my Sony e-reader, which allows me to purchase from anywhere, including Kobo - where I can use Chapters gift cards (the Canadian big box bookstore).

So, that wipes Amazon out for me. I have no interest in Apple, since they are nearly as bad with their DRM and all that. I'll just wait to see what the latest Sony tablets turn out like. I'd rather spend $600 on a device that let's me use it the way I want to, not the way the company wants me to.

*This rant was brought to you by a computer geek and a letter Q.

Anonymous said...

Glad you're on the mend Maria.

I'm not interested in a Kindle but have to agree that Fire looks good.

Facebook...grrr. I'll have to try your workaround.

Meeting the Tarot Cards starts next week...just for you ;)

Angela Brown said...

LOL @ my guess that I'd given. For some reason, I was totally into the dress. This title, Chain of Souls, sounds sooo much better than what I tossed out there.

Okay, so now I'm ready to read it please, seriously, please!

Rula Sinara said...

Cool cover! I hope you recover quickly. Take care.

LD Masterson said...

I do the one woman battle against Amazon thing. I will always try to find another option, even if it's a little more expensive, before I break down and buy from the big A. Of course, my e-reader is a Nook.

Hope the knee is feeling a little better today.

Maria Zannini said...

Sarita: I'm just glad it's over. I was sick as a dog for the first few days. I didn't respond well to the anesthetic and pain meds.

Julie: Competition is crucial. It keeps all the players honest--or at least wary.

Krista: I've been interested in Amazon's latest forays into European markets. I suspect there is a lot more under the surface than we're aware of at present. If the other competitors don't catch up quick, we could all be in trouble.

Raelyn: I'll be headed for your blog soon. My blog hopping has been hit or miss. It all depends on what pops up in the reader the few times I've been on the computer.

Maria Zannini said...

Angela: One reason this particular model struck me was because there was a scene where she was wearing a white filmy dress. Having her blindfolded also makes the setting more creepy.

Rula: The worst is behind me--I hope. :)

Linda: I'm not a fan of corporate giants, but I have to admit their customer service is outstanding. I mean REALLY outstanding. I have never been treated so well by an online vendor.

jackie b central texas said...

Maria shame on you, do not admit to deleting emails just say the big bad phone "ate" them. LOL

Glad you are feeling more like human than a sick pup, know what you mean by not reacting well to the anesthetic and pain meds as I do not either and it compounds the problems caused by the surgery of course!

The "Fire" oh my does it not look sweet, however like you am going to wait and for sure never want an IPad as the cost is ridiculous and do not need it anyway as the little smart phone I am now carrying around is a handheld computer that is just as fast and can do pretty much the same thing for a whole lot less money. Plus I want what I got, an e-reader not a multi-media machine with whistles and bells will not use half the time.

You are right about CS at Amazon though, it is the BEST.

Take care and keep on trucking with your electronic shocker and other gadgets that are going to help you despite how ugly they may look.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

i still LOVE that cover! And i love it even more with the title now.
Also, your FB workaround is frickin GENIUS!
I, too, hate the market cornering Amazon does, and i hate that so many people just walk into it blindly. But mostly i hate that when i buy an ereader this winter, it will probably be a kindle

Barbara Ann Wright said...

Amazon does look a bit like Wal-mart, doesn't it? I hope you feel all better soon. But are you gonna go crazy from having to sit for so long?

Maria Zannini said...

Jackie: I really can't read on my phone for too long. It's just too hard on my eyes. But the navigation app on that phone is terrific. It has never failed me.

Sarah: Try the FB workaround and let me know if you find any flaws in it. So far it's worked fine for me.

Ref: Blindly
You're only blind if you buy the Kool-Aid without doing your homework. I am very critical of customer service and Amazon has gone above and beyond (so far).

Barbara: Ref: But are you gonna go crazy from having to sit for so long?

Honey, I'm already stir-crazy. I don't do well in captivity.

Dru said...

I'm glad that you are on the mend.

The fire looks good, but if it has the same display as the nook color, then that will be a problem for me when it came to reading books.

Maria Zannini said...

Dru: I think I'll probably only use the Fire to stream movies and for when I'm traveling. It'll be easier to surf the internet than on my phone.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I agree with needing the competition. We can't let amazon own the book world.

Annalise Green said...

I've been wondering how B&N is possibly surviving. I went there in the summer looking for a specific book, but it was only in hardcover, and RIDICULOUSLY expensive. I ended up buying a couple paperbacks, but that's because I get weak in the presence of books. A week later, I ordered the hardcover AND another hardcover on Amazon for nearly the same price it would have cost me in B&N. I have a special student thing where they don't charge me on delivery. Seriously, I want to support bookstores, but getting it from Amazon was cheaper and I didn't have to go anywhere. I don't have much money right now and I plan to do all my book-purchasing on Amazon or in used book stores.

Carrie Butler said...

Great title, and I wish you a quick recovery, Maria! :)

Shelley Munro said...

Maria, that shocky stuff doesn't sound very good to me, but as long as you're feeling better and on the road to recovery.

I don't like the Facebook changes either. They changed them while I was on holiday, and I still haven't got to grips with them.

Clarissa Draper said...

That sucks about your foot and knee. I hope you get better soon. And congrats, Joy, for guessing the title.

I agree that Walmart and Amazon are taking over. However, the problem is, Walmart and Amazon have the cheapest stuff. Walmart has really taken over but the good news is, they haven't really raised their prices. I hope amazon does the same.

Margo Benson said...

Sending all best wishes for your foot and knee.

Like you, I'll wait for a version of Fire further down the road. I haven't long had a Kindle and am not exactly Rockerfeller.

Facebook is driving me mad! The changes are ghastly - I hate feeling like like some faceless teenager is probably sitting gleefully watching us struggle and fume.

K.T. Hanna said...

Hope your foot and knee get better soon.

As for Amazon? I refuse to buy a kindle. I'll probably be left out in the cold in the long run, but my reasoning is this:

Borders closed. I enjoy actual bookstores. So I choose to support the Nook and buy my books through B&N simply because maybe, just maybe that might help keep them afloat a while longer and thereby hold off losing yet another physical bookstore chain.

Maybe it's like trying to stop a snowball, but damn it, I'll try.

I did exactly what you did for Facebook too :D

Shirley Wells said...

Sending all good wishes for your speedy recovery, Maria.

I have a love-hate relationship with Amazon. I long to hate them but then they send emails to people who've bought my books suggesting they buy the new one. Gotta love 'em for that.

I have a hate-hate relationship with Facebook. It confuses the hell out of me (which doesn't take much doing) and I rarely visit the place. Hate it.

Chain of Souls is perfect!

Madeleine said...

Oh dear I don't think you can retrieve deleted emails from the phone.
Your foot sounds like an ordeal. I guess it's all stamina building stuff and good research for a character with an injury or impedement. Hope it all heals quickly and well.
Congrats Joy Yeah!
Hugs x

Maria Zannini said...

Susan: It's not just books that concern me. Amazon has their fingers in a lot of pies.

Annalise: And this is what's happening over and over again. Most people aren't willing to pay more even if they hate Amazon's practices.

Carrie: Thank you!

Shelley: You'd be surprised how much that electrical current helps with pain. It's great.

Maria Zannini said...

Clarissa: Thanks for the good wishes. It's just my knee. They just have me trussed up like a turkey.

Margo: Hi, Margo! Nice to see you around again. I sometimes wonder how much older I'll get before I say, the heck with FB.

KT: I have a Nook too. I really like it. But I am in the market for a tablet and this is right up my alley.

Shirley: Exactly! I had completely forgot about that and you are absolutely right. They push our books.

Madeleine: It's just the knee, but I would always be a good character reference for impediments. LOL. Thanks.

Suzanne Brandyn said...

Hi Maria,
Glad you are on the mend. I too am thinking of buying an ipad but haven't the faintest idea of what one to buy. I might leave it for a while. :)

Elle Strauss said...

I have the same idea. iPad is more than I need, so I'm in line for a Kindle fire. I always wait for at least the 2nd generation. It's almost always worth it.

Maria Zannini said...

Suzanne: There's no doubt the iPad is wonderful. Greg loves his--and I steal it every chance I get, but to buy my own is too expensive.

Elle: I'm curious to find out what Amazon plans to add to the next Fire.

Joy Kenney said...

Oh yay! I just got back from vacation so I didn't see this post. I can't wait to read them!

My mom got a total knee replacement this year and she hated being stuck in bed almost as much as the pain. I hope your recovery is quick!

Maria Zannini said...

Joy: Congrats, hon. I sent you an email. Just let me know what format you prefer.