A Rambling Blog Post

It’s been a while since I have had a post that answered a reader question or just typed away at whatever came to mind, and I will try to do that in this post – longtime readers will remember what I used to call my “rambling” blog posts.  I have no set agenda and I never really know what I am going to say before I start banging away on the keyboard like I am right now. If you would like to write to me, my email address is michael at fkbt dot com (I write it out that way in a small effort to thwart the spammers in the world).

Organizing Books Into Categories

Here’s a summarized question I receive several times a month from various people:

Sometimes I forget to categorize a book into a collection, and when I finally do, (it can be months before I start to sort all the free book offers I get on various blogs and websites, and by then I rarely remember what I might have grabbed) I forget what category or genre it was to begin with, some books have only a sentence or two blurb or description and it is insufficient in telling me whether a story is a romance, sci-fi, fantasy, classic, mystery or fiction novel. I know you always have a tag that tells what category or genre a book belongs in, but the description in the Kindle store it does not mention the genre of the book in the book description. Is there anywhere else, any other site, any way at all, to check to see what genre a book is if I forget? Apart, of course, from checking your blogs archives, which is impractical, (it could take hours to find a specific book, and I really wouldn’t know what day or even month I bought it anyway) I have no other way to check if I forget what kind of book I bought.


The same thing happens to me – I will download several books to my Kindle, but when I pick up my Kindle I am ready to read and open up to the book I am currently reading. I don’t seem to get to the books I have downloaded until I finish my current read, then I hunt on my Kindle to figure out what to read next. I then remember I should start categorizing the new books I have recently added to my Kindle when I get them and not sometime after the fact.

Notice I said “should,” as a lot of times I don’t because I just don’t feel like doing it at that moment in time. Some people may call that procrastination (my wife would), but I will get around to it eventually.

The majority of the time, unless a specific book in the Amazon Kindle store is ranked rather high, you can’t tell what genre it is because Amazon doesn’t do that for the books not in the “Top Whatever” category it is. That’s been frustrating for me, and I am sure for more of you than just me, when I try to see what category it is directly from my Kindle or even going to the Kindle store.

The politically correct response should be do it shortly after downloading it to your Kindle to be on the safe side, but I tend to be realistic! My not-so-scientific method of categorizing books in this type of situation is fairly simple: I guess. Sometimes I guess correctly, and science fiction is usually a good example of something I can usually quickly categorize, but others I might struggle with.

The bottom line is if you don’t categorize them quickly, and you are unfamiliar with the author and his or her work, you may have to make a guess.

List of Free Kindle Books by Category

Earlier this week, I had a post about how I had updated the big list of all free Kindle books in the Amazon Kindle store; you can click here to see that post again. What I’ve tried to do is create shortlinks you can remember, or easily bookmark in your web browser, that lists the free book offers by genre / category. In addition to some of the categories you have seen before, I expanded the list quite a bit so you can drill down a little deeper into additional categories.

So many people hit that link right after I did that post it almost caused the server! The good news is, the server is ready to go – go ahead and click that link again to see the different free book offers in your favorite genre and let’s see if the server can handle the load. My technical expert, will shudder if she sees I have typed out that last option…


Free Book Offers and How Long They Last

Sometimes, as a quick example, I may say a book is free and you click on the book’s link on our site and you are redirected to the Amazon website and see the book is priced at, say, $3.99: that’s not free, and I said it would be! How can that happen?

That happens every once in a while as there are sometime glitches in the Amazon system: a free book run didn’t start as it was scheduled and I’ve also seen where a free book run started on schedule but somehow went back to paid status in the middle of the day. That drives the independent authors nuts, as they have probably told their circle of friends and the rest of the world their book would be offered for free. Some of these authors have paid other blog sites to promote their works and they are out some serious cash – sometimes for hundreds of dollars.

I, and the independent author, have no control over that aspect of it.

Sometimes books are listed as free in the Amazon USA site and not in other countries. Why does that happen? Your guess is as good as mine – when I talk to the authors about it, they are just as baffled because they didn’t put a restriction on the territories their works would be made available.

On rare occasions (I can think of seven times over the last year), I have had an author flat out tell me they changed their mind and wanted to revert back to paid status during a freebie promotion because they felt like they had given away too many books, plus they wanted to have a few sales while their book was in the public spotlight. The author ends up having a whole bunch of sales because people blindly clicked and got the book, not realizing it was back at paid status and their account was subsequently charged. Naturally, people get a little upset if that happens. I do.

On one hand, you can say it’s the reader’s fault because they should have verified the pricing was free before clicking the “buy” button on the Amazon website. I can agree with that on one hand, but on the other hand I’m a big believer if someone tells you they are going to do something (i.e., keep a book on free status for a certain period of time), they should keep their word. If I know someone pulls the switcheroo, I put them on a “permanently banned” list and you won’t hear about their stuff on this blog ever again. My wife says I hold grudges – I like to think of it as I don’t forget – but I don’t like being fooled multiple times…

If that happens to you – thinking a book was free and you clicked the buy button in error – you can get a refund from Amazon if you contact their customer service department. They are quick to give refunds.


The Weather

What does the weather have to do with a Kindle?  A lot!  Besides being dang hot here in Houston, most of the USA is once again right in the middle part of our normally hot summer and some areas are seeing extreme highs.  Seeing as how we’re now in July please make sure you are protecting not only yourself but your Kindle from the heat!  Prolonged periods of high heat could fry your Kindle and, besides the financial cost of replacing it, I would find it upsetting if my Kindle died while I was in the middle of a good book!

Sure, you can continue to use your Kindle outside, but don’t forget to bring it inside every once in a while where it is (hopefully) cooler than outside!

Anyway, looking at the word count on my computer for this post I seem to have rambled on a little bit more than usual. I appreciate you, and I hope each of you have a great weekend!