You might have seen some of the sales circulars and articles floating around, but I thought I would round up a few of the savings concerning e-reading-related matters. The sales kick in at various times over the holiday season, but at least some of them (such as the Fire HD 10 tablet for $100) started today.
(Check before you buy, and if you don’t see the right price yet, wait for it.)
- Echo Dot: $29.99 ($20 off)
- All-New Echo: $79.99 ($20 off)
- Echo Plus: $119.99 ($30 off)
- Amazon Tap: $79.99 ($50 off)
- Amazon Cloud Cam: $99.99 ($20 off)
- Fire 7 Kids Edition: $69.99 ($30 off), or two for $129.98 (an additional $10 off)
- Fire HD 8 Kids Edition: $89.99 ($40 off), or two for $169.98 (an additional $10 off)
- Fire HD 10: $99.99 ($50 off)
- Fire HD 8: $49.99 ($30 off)
- Kindle Paperwhite: $89.99 ($30 off)
- Kindle: $49.99 ($30 off)
- Kindle for Kids Bundle: $69.99 ($30 off)
- Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote: $24.99 ($15 off)
Amazon is also offering some kind of four-year early shopping window for customers who use Alexa voice assistant; that begins at 5 p.m. Pacific on Wednesday, November 22.
Another sale price I noticed is that Amazon’s marked $30 off the Motorola Moto X4 that I’ve been eying for my Google Project Fi service, bringing it down to $299.99. That’s tempting enough I might just go ahead and pull the trigger on it.
Some of those prices are terrific. If I weren’t having to drop $300 on a new phone, I’d certainly be snapping up that Fire HD 10. I’ve used the Fire HD 8 for a few weeks and find it to be the perfect size of tablet for carrying around in my backpack to surf the net and watch movies on in my spare moments.
Of course, these are far from the only good deals Amazon is offering on electronics and other items this season. But these are the ones e-book readers might find most attractive.
Not me. I’ve become a tech minimalist. Technology is too useful to waste money on.
1. I’m not replacing my 2012 Mac mini until Apple makes a decent desktop, which emphatically is not their clumsy, made for technophobes, all-in-one iMac. I want a desktop I can repair and upgrade not a silly toy.
2. I’m not buying a laptop because all I do with one is write in Scrivener and now that there’s a iOS version of that marvelous app, a laptop is unnecessary.
3. Both my iOS devices, an iPad 3 and an iPhone 5, have now slid off the iOS upgrade curve, so some apps won’t run on them. Does that matter? Not at present. When it does, I’ll look for a used or refurb version of the last good iPhone Apple made, the iPhone 6s or 6s+. Selling a smartphone without a headphone jack is a bit like selling a car without wheels. It’s really, really stupid.
4. I’m not upgrading my Kindle 3. First because I hardly ever read on it. Second because I see little reason to clutter my life a series of barely improved Kindles. I stick with a device until its so behind the curve, it’s a pain to use. Then I pay a bit more to get something that can serve multiple uses. What’s the use of a tablet, however cheap, if it doesn’t run Scrivener? Owning a tablet just to read books makes about as much sense as owning one care to go grocery shopping and another to go the the library.
By the way, if you’re a writer and use a Mac, Scrivener just came out with an exceptionally impressive 3.0 update. Scrivener has always been a marvelously adaptable tool for writers but suffered a bit from the just-a-tool syndrome. It worked well but wasn’t pretty. Now it is even more useful and is also gorgeous. After I upgraded it, I thought to myself, “This is what Good Apple was like years ago, creating useful and attractive hardware and software. It is not like the New Apple, which thinks its users are emoticon-obsessed twits with lots of money but no sense.”
There’s also a Windows version of Scrivener that the developer, who now heads a team, promises will eventually catch up with the Mac version. I’ve already mentioned the iOS version but alas, I’ve yet to heard any mention of an Android version. Maybe someday.
If you’re a writer who’s been using a traditional word processor—particularly if you’ve been using Word—you might want to check Scrivener out. There’s a 30-day free trial that’s not 30 days by the calendar but 30 days of actual use.
Why is Scrivener so special? An app like Word tries to do too much and what it’s most intended for, business letters and memos, is poorly suited for writers. Think of it as a Swiss army knife. It does a lot of things poorly. On the other hand, Scrivener is designed by a writer for writers. It’s like one of those marvelous tool cabinets with drawers filled with hundreds of tools perfectly designed for every task.
Don’t let all its features overwhelm you. Master the basic ones, mostly those revolving around the binder/outliner/corkboard and learn the others as they prove useful. Just plunge in and start writing chapters and scenes in any order that strikes your fancy. In Scrivener, rearranging them as your ideas jell is easy.
–Michael W. Perry, Inkling Books