The more things change, the more screwed up they get, too.

Amazon, yep going to talk about amazon some more. Let’s start with the kindle for pc; if you get the one that says kindle for pc WITH audio plug in then it has the ability to actually ‘read’ the book vocally to you, IF you have something like Narrator {and in my case also speakonia for further customization}. Sure, you can use kindle cloud, but it won’t do that part. If you use an android tablet or phone, and @Voice Aloud Reader for Android or various other available add-ons then you could listen as well. Not low vision or legally blind? Drive a lot for commute or do other things that you could be listening to a book during? Then you could try some of those. Yes, some of the newer kindles can do that type thing, and possible some of the newer readers, with the right extras, but in the end it’s saving the per book for adding audio or the audio only versions {and am NOT a fan, at all, of Audible}.

A while back my sister’s bank had a possible security breach, so they reissued all the cards with new numbers; that meant that my monthly kindle unlimited could no longer be billed to that, and since had had various other issues {getting billed for books that I KNEW had gotten on ‘freebie’ day and so on} just sucked it up and got a 6 month subscription another way. All was well, for a while. Then, I got sent a $1.00 {USD} gift card, with which to buy a particular book; but all 99 cent books in this state actually cost $1.09 with the tax and all, so the charge would not go through {no card for payment still attached, remember} but would also not let me cancel the order. So, after an online chat with amazon, instead of just being able to click a button to say cancel the order {no button anywhere to do that for that order} got the dollar back, but still no book. Okay, so the writer sends me a gift book, which I had already reviewed with my ku, but it wouldn’t show verified, and in fact wouldn’t let me see much of anything about the order at all. Turns out, if someone gifts you a book that it will never show up on your account in full {the order information} and that it will also never show up as ‘verified’ review, because technically you did not buy the book, although it was bought for you and should be verified but won’t be.

Now, I personally not only don’t pay particular attention to whether a review is ‘verified’ or not, actually rarely read reviews at all, but in my case I go every day to bookbub, freebooksy, a cozy site, and instafreebie, so some of these will never show up verified anyway. Also, Amazon has ‘vine’ reviewers that not only get free books for review but also other products and they are always considered verified, so what’s up with that crap. This, of course, was on top of me threatening to lead the way in a class action lawsuit due to amazon {at the time} having “Kindle Unlimited” at top AND at bottom, sandwiching in the buy price; even if you are not visually impaired, this is b.s. I suggested to them to check with their legal department and the ADA on this matter, never got a response at all {no surprise} but all the sudden things did change. Now between the Vine crap and the gift book not being ‘verified’ and that according to their own media, if someone spends over x amount of money {ever, it doesn’t expire from year to year} that ‘proves’ you are a real person and not a review click farm or whatever, but…I have spent over $250 each year for about 3 years and my reviews still do not show up verified, not for ku and not for any books that did not buy MYSELF and/or through Amazon.

Bigger name writers and publishing houses will not do kindle unlimited; the book {ebook} must be exclusive to Amazon for {at least, I think} 3 months, and ku ‘reads’ IF read all the way through are something like 30 percent for books priced 99 cents and about 70 percent or so for books priced 2.99, etcetera. So writers are caught between, not a rock and a hard place, but between amazon and amazon. How do you know a writer got paid for what your read on ku? You don’t; and not sure if they know much more. Oh, but I did have my roommate go get me an Amazon card for $25 at the Dollar General store {one of the very few places in this area that carry thing, Wal-Mart doesn’t, although some of the larger/chain stores may such as Walgreen’s etcetera. This is so the next book that one writer puts out, I will spend that $1 {plus tax} to buy the book to make it verified. And yes, I did notify her of what would happen/did happen when it was a gift book and not gift card, so NOT verified purchase for me {is for her, but writer’s can’t review their own books so useless to her, but she will get what I call ‘pennies’ for my reading it on ku}.

That card should last me quite a while, what with all the free book sites and such, plus the ARCs I do {Advance Reader Copy}. In the vernacular of kids these days, though, would like to say to Amazon…Don’t start nothing and there won’t be nothing. Of course this is being said about a company that no longer has a way to actually reach them via email, just an online form that supposedly {but rarely does} get an email response back from them, but more than likely will have that option grayed out to only let you choose online chat or call them directly {which is still better than looking the number up on the internet, since the number they put out is not the number you call any more, and if you are not in the States, then it could cost and then some}. I don’t dislike them as much as I do my ex-husband, but close.

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