Did Amazon make a mistake?

‘I don’t have a Kindle, can I read your book somewhere else?’

When I published my books in Portuguese I received a lot of questions about how to read them. I thought that was a specific problem related to the market. In Brazil, Amazon is fighting heavily with the big publishers, which hold the market with iron fists. Because of the low level of education of the majority of the population there isn’t much pressure the consumers can apply to these publishers.

The answer is: YES, you can. Kindle is an App for iOS and Android, phones, tablets and computers can have it. Some of them aren’t very pretty or good, but reading a book in one means you can continue where you stopped in any other platform. Amazon also has a cloud reader, where you can read books online and doesn’t have to install or download anything.

When I started receiving the same question from friends here in Australia it surprised me. It made me consider if Amazon had adopted a wrong strategy when they released Kindle. I wonder if calling the publishing platform and their electronic e-reader — the actual equipment — by the same name was a mistake.

If Amazon had called Kindle just the publishing platform, the software, and called the equipment “KindleReader” or “Kindler” or even “Kindleroo” (like a kangaroo carrying its books, get it?); maybe they would have been even more successful.

It would be clearer to the consumer that Kindle is the platform, and therefore something you can get for any device and the equipment can be bought to read Kindle books. With that clarity a lot more people would have joined Kindle and then would benefit from the great variety, cheaper books, free offers and portability.

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Health Days

Rather than calling them Sick Days, we should have the benefit of Health Days. I have found that companies where people get sick all the time are the ones where people’s limits are frequently getting overstepped.

In this case, I think that is why we create disease, to create a physical manifestation to prove to our peers that we do need and deserve a break.
I have heard of a lot of people taking a “mental health day” but seldom you tell your employers what is going on.
We should be able to. Imagine a world where people are allowed to know their limits and before getting sick entering their boss’s office and saying: “I will take a health day tomorrow”.
How productive would that be?
The number of health days allowed could be the same as sick days but you know people would enjoy them much more and get less sick because it is much easier for the body to rest than to heal.
We would do things they love on those days rather than being unable to do anything and staying in bed and that would make them happier and therefore more productive at work.
It is a shift in perception and philosophy I hope to see or even create soon.

(Orble Votes: 30)

Great Pirate, Big Issue

There is an article inside the Big Issue magazine which is phenomenal. I have to confess I have bought the magazine a couple of times before to support “solutions to help homeless, disadvantaged and marginalised people positively change their lives”. But I had never read it until now.
It was a series of coincidences, or maybe fate, that made me read that article. I left the house a couple of minutes earlier, the moment I got to the stop the bus was getting there and even though it was a bit full, I took it. When I got to my destination, the bus stopped almost at the corner of the park which is unusual. I got the bus through the front squeezing myself in between the people and was almost spilled out, landing in front of the guy selling the Big Issue.
It wasn’t one of the most recognisable vendors they have; Sydney has a few I can now spot from the years I’ve been walking around. Some have specific looks and some specific chants for selling the product. When I landed on the man, he quickly offered the magazine and I just took it.
I’m not sure why, or even better, how. I had my iPad on one hand, one purse where I was trying to shove my iPad with the zipper half opened, still having the iPhone on my hands and another bag with my food and pretty shoes inside. I paid and him and he made a bit of fun of me. ‘Oh my God! So many things, there is the phone, the pad’ he said. I laughed and finally shoved the thing into the purse, the phone into the pocket and started skimming over the magazine while walking through the park.

Big Issue Vendor Sydney CBD


I pause here to ponder on a complete and spreadable insanity that seems to be taking us all over. Why couldn’t I wait and just walk for the four minutes and forty seven seconds it takes to get to work? Or seat down in the park to read as I was early? But I couldn’t, I had to shove some more information into my head in the couple of minutes I was walking like I had shoved the pad into the bag.
I was going through the magazine and landed on a page that had something about pirates.
I like pirates.
I started to read and laugh, from the start.
Because the bus came without a moment wasted in the morning and the traffic was blessedly light I was early to work and decided to get a toast in the cafe near the office and enjoy the reading.
The article was by Max Attwood, who is described as “a Melbourne-based comedian, actor and writer. (…) He tries to channel his laziness into creativity, but usually ends up eating biscuits instead” and his writing was simply brilliant.
It reminds me of the style of my favourite Brazilian writer, Luis Fernando Verissimo, the style being what we would call, in Brazil, a “chronicle”. We don’t seem to have a specific word here in Australia for this type of comedic writing about daily life style.
I was laughing so loud at the cafe the waitress – I refuse to call her a waiter to be politically correct, it was a lady waiter so pardon me if I will use the correct term, I don’t find or intend any offence to women – well, she got so curious when she came to deliver my toast that I showed her the cover of the magazine and said ‘ha ha, big issue, ha, very funny, great, ha ha’ I doubt she understood anything. It was a feeble attempt to explain if I couldn’t apologise for my loud and very indiscreet laugh.
It is this tale of a man who becomes a pirate. Modern days. Corporate world. I won’t say more, you have to read it. Buy the magazine if you can, it is a not for profit and will help the person you buy it from. “Pirates Don’t Need To” made my day. Thank you Mr. Attwood for writing this article rather than eating biscuits. Even though I’m pretty sure when you finished there were crumbles all over your keyboard!

(Orble Votes: 22)

Kindle and Ebooks: Amazon electronic books, everywhere, anywhere

Amazon instructions click here

I was surprised to hear from one of my friends that she didn’t know she could get Amazon e-books on her iPhone. I think people get confused with the name “Kindle” it is because it means a couple of things.

Starting from the start, Kindle is the name of the device, e-book reader Amazon has created. So it is a little equipment, in different models, where you can read electronic books. What some people don’t realise is that Kindle is also the name of the technology, the application or the software from Amazon that reads their format of e-books.

The Kindle apps are available for various devices: you can download it for your tablet, iPad, iPhone, Android Phones, Windows PCs, Mac computers, laptops and desktops. The best of all is that if the device is connected to the net, it automatically syncs notes, highlights and last-page-read between all devices.

I have a Kindle device, it is very light and doesn’t have backlight, so it is ideal for me to travel or read at night in bed. I have the kindle on my iPad, where I like to study or read during the day on my lunchtime. Then I have it on my mobile, to read on the bus when all the seats are taken. Finally it is on laptop to see any highlights when I’m studying a book and want to check my notes to write something about it. I also use it to check how my own books are going to look before publishing.

I also like Amazon because they have a lot of e-book titles and are constantly making promotions. It is much cheaper than buying the printed versions usually. There is a lot of free books too. They are great for the authors like me because they let us publish directly without needing a publisher, paying a high royalty rate and helping us in many ways to promote the books. I think they may have more titles than others because they offer advantages to the authors to keep them exclusive for 90 days and they make the process easy for us, the writers, it is all done online.
If you haven’t yet, try it out, you will experience a new world of possibilities opening up for you.

(Orble Votes: 24)

Creating an App, Learning to Meditate

My friend and I have created an iPhone app called Minute Meditation.
I find it funny the way things happen almost as by accident. I always thought myself to be too agitated to meditate. Didn’t ever believe I was going to be able to. But now…
My friend was feeling stressed a while ago and decided to go to this meditation retreat operated by Brahma Kumaris. She enjoyed it and came back with this technique of doing minute meditation. One minute per hour during some hours of the day. She said there was a website that reminded people but it wasn’t working.
I was having some ideas to create apps and we decided to try this one.
Being the writer of the duo, I was in charge of writing the descriptions and tutorials for the app and to do that I got from her a book and a CD.
I felt really inspired doing this. The idea of getting little pockets of peace to people’s day sounded great, and to really get into it I started reading the book and listening to the CD.
It got me. Now I know why I was driven to do this: to learn to meditate myself!
Our App is at the Apple Store and it is called Minute Meditation.
(Orble votes: 21)
PS: The app never worked so we had to pull it down. Read more at: http://taniacreations.com/2015/09/12/the-failed-minute-meditation/

New iPad, Simpler Life

Very simple indeed…

I remember a time when you went out the house and you were simply out. You couldn’t contact anyone, unless you were going to their house and ring the doorbell. Or poke someone unless you employed your actual fingers.
I can certainly see the disadvantages such as getting anxious because you are running late and someone else is waiting for you. I know, and many others.
None the less, sometimes I miss it. I’ve just gotten an iPad and the other day I had it out for a walk, as it was settled in my bag; my mind was thoroughly unsettled.
I kept thinking, what am I going to do once the bus arrive? Something on my phone? Or setup my new iPad? perhaps listen to some music? Or some podcast, an audio book or audio program? Or possibly read my Kindle? What if I don’t do any of those?
This morning I was admiring this girl seated beside me. She was just seated, looking to the front. Nothing else. Really, she didn’t move, didn’t fiddle with her phone, or checked her Facebook, didn’t have headphones on. I felt like checking her pulse.
This sensation of “wasting time” is hard to shake and has been assaulting me when I’m walking, waiting for a transport, actually commuting, or simply with a few minutes to spare between an activity and other.
And then I don’t know why I feel so tired…

On the other hand I went to a workshop on how to use iWork on the iPad yesterday. I’ve felt like someone who has been cutting things with a piece of rock for years and was suddenly given a sharp, stainless steel, knife. The tool was so superior to what I had before it was like a light was turned on. Now I really get why people buy Mac and felt I have a knew knowledge to fire the old debate within me.
I woke up at five am today thinking what I could actually do with the thing…
And then I don’t know why I feel so tired…

So life is getting simpler with all these new objects and possibilities of connections that we have. All I have to do when I get home at night is to put my stuff to charge: my mobile, the iPod, the iPad, the iPad key board, the pocket wifi and the Kindle; eventually my iPod speakers and the photo camera too. Simple isn’t it?
So I’m in bed and I realise one of the things is running out of battery and not charging overnight? What am I going to do if I have a moment on the next day and the battery is flat?! Do I get up and plug it in?
Tired…

Imagine I have released a new App for iPhones. My friend and I have developed it and it is called Minute Meditation App. More about that later.
So I had to register a few things on line to get it processed. You have to register in the Apple store then register a company with the taxation office than register that company for GST; answer some stuff about tax at the US, update your information, etc. To do that you need two things installed into your computer, and to install that you need a java something also installed to your computer and to run that you need an specific browser above a certain version. Then you get the browser installed, but each part of the process only functions with one browser, so I have Safari, Google Chrome, Explorer and Firefox open and to each installation I need only one of them functions. It was funny and bizarre, and sad and ridiculous, and absurd and unreasonable and yet wonderful. All at once. Because I kept saying:
“See and we say we are making life easier!”
To which my friend answered:
“Yeah, but in the past you would need to do all that in person and on foot.”
I keep wondering if they wouldn’t have made the process simpler because you had to be in person and on foot.
And then you could be walking to the official office, just by yourself, with nothing else to do other than carry the papers and get there…

In the end I feel technology is sometimes quite bittersweet!

(Orble Votes: 34)

You Can Always Ask it out Loud

I have a new temp job, just while the wind is floating my writing sails.
People keep asking me if I am enjoying it, and it is such a hard question!
It is an Ok job, at an Ok company. This is not exactly what inspires me, so I try to do the best that I can and enjoy the most possible. I certainly enjoy the feeling that I will never starve and feeling appreciated.
It is interesting interacting with new people and getting the feel of them and the funny things they say.

Today one of them said:
– Ok, our washing machine is running away.
– What do you mean?
– It is shaking and moving out of the door.
Next time I looked there were 6 scientists discussing the issue.

The other day it was a group of them looking at a construction site picture. I was working at the other side of the devider. I couldn’t see the picture but could hear the talk. I am still curious to know what made them talk in one conversation about:
– blue smurfs, corrosion, sexy movements, a dwarf tree, protected shoes and sports cars.

Today this work got me thinking about electronic conversations. I asked one of the people who a document that had arrived was for. He answered me:
– send an e-mail to everyone asking who is waiting for this.
I thought for a second. Stood in the middle of the office and asked out loud, no need for screaming it is not such a big place:
– Who is the document regarding such and such for?
A woman next to me claimed it!
So simple!

I miss my window, though…

(Orble Votes: 44)