The Secret to Highlighting on the Kindle Fire

Setting the record straight, maybe it’s my own fault my highlighting was lost. (See the immediate previous Kindle post.) Digging through the online “User Guide,” I discovered the following:

Using Highlights, Bookmarks, and Notes

“Annotations (bookmarks, highlights, and notes) that you make in Kindle books are stored in your Kindle Library on Amazon.com. Your Kindle must be connected wirelessly for your annotations to be saved.”

The above is from the Kindle Fire “User Guide,” under the section “Books: Reading On Kindle Fire.”

I believe it explains why I lost the highlighting I did as I was reading last night. Thinking that I was clever, I turned off the Wi-Fi last night to save battery life. The book is on my Kindle device, so I can read it without being connected to Wi-Fi. (Morale of this story: “Don’t think! It can only get you in trouble.”)

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Kindle Fire Highlighting Failure

I was planning to write an updated report on how much I’m enjoying my Kindle Fire. There was a learning curve when I first opened the box, but once I figured out a few basic functions, the Kindle became a breeze and a pleasure to use.

I’ve enjoyed browsing the Kindle store, and found a number of books I’ve been wanting to read. One is “Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy,” by MSNBC’s Christopher Hayes. (This “Twilight” isn’t about vampires.)

“Twilight of the Elites” is a great book, examining our collective loss of trust in virtually all the major institutions — the pillars — of society. In particular, Hayes analyzes how and why the “elites” who rule by virtue of “meritocracy” have failed us.

I’ve been reading the book for the past few evenings, highlighting many informative sentences using the Kindle highlighting function. This morning, I opened the book on the Kindle and found that all my painstaking highlighting is gone. The highlighting has disappeared!

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Kindle Fire — Power Failure In A Fancy Box

UPDATE, NOV. 16, 2012:  Happy to report that I’ve received two emails from Amazon in response to my phone calls. Bottom line:

“In order to resolve this issue please de register and re register your Kindle Fire HD to the same Amazon.com account. In order to De register and Re register please follow the steps:

Swipe your finger down from the top of the Home screen and tap More . . .”

I followed the directions and re-registered my Kindle, which wasn’t hard. Presto, my material was again visible on the carousel. Using the information I’ve learned in the last two days, I made sure everything was downloaded from the “cloud” to the “device.”

I also browsed through the apps store and downloaded several interesting apps. Most of them were free, and I paid 99 cents for one. The Kindle can do a lot of stuff, and I’m slowly learning how.  — John

END UPDATE

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WHAT COMES IN THE BOX?

I titled my first product review (of a digital camera) “Power In A Box.” The first and most important information I want to know when purchasing a new high-tech device is: WHAT COMES IN THE BOX?

Regarding the camera,the answer was: “Everything you need, and it’s a powerful product.”

Regarding the Kindle Fire, the answer is: “Not so much.”

In the photo above, you can see the fancy box for the Kindle Fire HD 7″ and EVERYTHING THAT COMES IN THE BOX. It’s exactly as stated in the small print on the back of the box:

“USB charging cable included. Ask for the Kindle PowerFast accelerated charging accessory for even faster charging times.”

This latest consumer technology is pretty much ready to go, right out of the box. Or so I thought.

I followed the directions on the black card you see in the photo above, which constitutes the entire written documentation and instructions included in the box.

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Ebook and Indie Book Self-Publishing Services, Confusing Choices

I’ve run across a handy chart comparing the leading Indie Ebook self-publishing services. It provides royalty rates for each service, but beware: Some services are free, but keep a percentage of the author’s gross sales. Others charge fees.

You might also want to start by reading the post, “Digital Book World Self-Publishing Guide,” which is very concise, but probably doesn’t include any new information. The accompanying chart, which I found most helpful, is here.  

I broke through the 50,000-word barrier on my WIP (that’s Work in Progress, for the uninitiated) a few days ago.   Continue reading

Writing My First Ebook, A Work In Progress

WORLD HEADQUARTERS OF ‘CONSTERNATION,’ THE BLOGGING, WRITING, AND EBOOK PUBLISHING CONGLOMERATE. Note the unfinished manuscript and miscellaneous research piled on the desk at the bottom left; various diabetes testing stuff on the top shelf, with the dictionary; a bunch of unpaid bills in envelopes on the shelf at top center; a few reference books and family photos on the same shelf to the right; and last but not least, my trusty but obsolete Apple laptop, sitting on a pile of phone books.

Hello again, patient readers. Yes, I’m guilty of neglecting this poor blog. My other blog is a virtual orphan.

My excuse: I started writing an Ebook around the first of November, and the project is about to consume me. Progress has been slower than my unrealistic expectations. I’ve been working almost constantly, sometimes forgetting to eat. Living and working in the same one-room apartment is not the ideal situation. It’s easy to lose perspective and hard to self-regulate. On the other hand, it helps me keep focused on the book.

To answer the obvious question: It’s a work of fiction, approaching novel length. It doesn’t fall into any particular genre. I’m hoping it will be a fast-moving, suspenseful story of political and economic crisis. That’s all I’m going to say about that for now.

Writing a book is more daunting than I thought.

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eBooks and Indie Books Might Be the Greatest Revolution Since Printing

Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of moveable type and the printing press, in the 15th Century, was the most revolutionary development (my opinion) in the history of technology, the history of communication, the history of everything.

Using moveable type, a printer created lines of words and sentences. Wikimedia Commons photo

Mr. Gutenberg could never have imagined offset printing, the printing revolution of the 20th Century, so he definitely would not understand or believe the advent of the eBook, which could be a defining revolution of the 21st Century.

After all the technological revolutions of my lifetime (** See “A Personal Perspective,” below), I do not understand — and can hardly believe — the sudden rise of the eBook. Nonetheless, this week I purchased my first eBook.

Just another stack of books. Wikimedia Commons photo

I had associated eBooks with the development of digital book readers, starting with Amazon’s Kindle. (The price of the Kindle has dropped like a rock as competitors emerged, putting the technology within reach of even frugal folks like me.) With a Kindle or one of its imitators, you can download books, newspapers, magazines, etc., and carry them around in a small, handheld device, to be read at will. Amazon boasts that the Kindle could hold a small library of books.     Continue reading