Amazon teams up with Her Majesty’s Secret Service

No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to buy!

Good news for fans of Ian Fleming’s classic James Bond novels.  Yesterday, Amazon confirmed that they’ve entered into a partnership with Ian Fleming Publications to license North American publication of the original 007 novels for the next ten years, both print and ebook.

From the release:

“The agreement for the 14 classic James Bond titles includes the first  James Bond book in the series, Casino Royale (1953)–which will celebrate 60 years of publication in 2013–as well as Live and Let Die (1954); Moonraker (1955); Diamonds Are Forever (1956); From  Russia with Love (1957); Dr. No (1958); Goldfinger (1959); For your Eyes Only (1960); Thunderball (1961); The Spy Who Loved Me (1962); On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1963); You Only Live Twice (1964); The Man With The Golden Gun (1965) and Octopussy and the Living Daylights (1966). Since their first publication the books have sold over 100 million copies worldwide and have been the inspiration behind the world’s longest-running film franchise.”

Great news, especially for Kindle owners!

Of course, the Bond saga didn’t end with Ian Fleming’s death.  Several authors have since taken up the reins and one in particular has had his license renewed.  John Gardner wrote a further 16 Bond novels between 1981 and 1996 and Pegasus books began reissuing them as of October, 2011.

 No news yet (at least as far as I’m aware) of ebook versions.

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Steve Hockensmith’s Dog needs Ca$h!

Okay, I’ve never met Steve Hockensmith in person, nor his dog, but my experience is that he’s a pretty stand-up guy.  When I was complaining that I couldn’t get an advanced copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After, not only did he send me one, he autographed it.  When I joined twitter (begrudgingly) he became my one and only follower (so far).  When I put together a team of super-thieves for one last heist…wait, that wasn’t him… in fact, just ignore what I wrote.  No one knows who stole the Pink Panther that last time, least of all me. 

 Besides the generosity (and a deft hand with laser alarm systems), he’s a great author, especially if you’re a fan of mysteries with a touch–a heavy touch–of humour.

So, when he decided to try his hand at viral (well, lets call it medical) marketing, I said to myself, “oh yeah, I’m on-board.”

*note to Southern readers–“oh yeah” = Hellz Ya!” 

It also helps that he’s showcasing a new short story collection.  Last time it was, Naughty: Nine tales of Christmas Crime, available as a Kindle ebook, and well worth the $2.99.  Actually, at that price, it’s a steal!  (see what I did there?)  From poisoned Fruitcake (really, is there any other kind?)and those who re-gift them to Santa’s abduction by the Soviets back in ’63, you’ll find yourself amused, entertained, and generally satisfied.

This time, it’s My Dog Needs Surgery: The Book.  As he himself put it:

WorstTitleEver. 

 Then again, it does have a certain efficiency.  His dog literally needs surgery:

“Yes, the above-mentioned “someone in need” is my dog. Her name is Amy, she’s three years old and she has luxating patella. That’s bad knees to you and me. How bad are they? Well, they occasionally pop out and go for a jaunt around Amy’s hind legs, and that’s not good. As you might have guessed from the title of the book, there’s only one way to fix this little problem — surgery. Expensive surgery.”

What better way to pay for expensive surgery than quick cash?  Steve went back through the archives and hauled out a collection of seven of his previously released short stories, plus some (seven) essays he calls, “humorous”  (no, the air quotes aren’t sarcastic–if he says they’re funny, they’re funny) and packaged them up for the low, low price of 99 cents.

Hey, is there even a “cents” sign on a keyboard?  I’ve never had to use it.

Anyhoo–win, win situation.  If you get your copy, you get a pretty decent deal, and his dog gets that much closer to paying her HMO  (actually, I have no idea how that works).  I just downloaded mine–what are you going to do?

 

While we’re at it, if you really want to help, just take a look through his catalog of work, whether it’s the Holmes on the Range series or his zombie stuff.  I imagine any royalties will help.  You can look for updates on Amy and Steve here.

Brother can you spare a dime (novel)?

“Hey guy, can I borrow your copy of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo?”

“Um, no.  I bought it for the Kindle.”

“How about…”

“Nope. Kindle.”

“Well then, what about…?”

“Kindle!”

“Alright, I’ll be at the Library talking to that cute girl.”

I’ve had a Kindle for about eight months now.  I love it, it’s handy, and certainly saves a lot of space around the home office.  However, something has always annoyed me about their product.  You see, I love reading, talking about what I’ve read, and loaning out my favourite books to friends so they can enjoy them too.  Hard to do with a Kindle though.  At least ’til now.

Amazon has finally jumped on the bandwagon and relaxed their proprietary rules (somewhat).  Was it pressure from Google books?  Are they feeling the heat from Sony’s eReader?  Honestly, who cares?  It’s just nice to know that Kindle readers can now share content with their friends. As an aside, it’s also a great marketing tool for Amazon!

For their part, Amazon has made lending an book very similar to the library experience.  The lender can send an eBook to a friend for a period of two weeks, after which the recipient can no longer access the book.  Also, the lender of an eBook cannot access that book on their Kindle during the same time frame, just as if you were to physically loan out a book to a friend.

How does the recipient access their friend’s book?  Just download the Kindle app to your digital product of choice, whether iPad, iPhone, Android, Blackberry or PC/Mac.  The lender goes through a relatively simple process on their Kindle, and voila, they’ve loaned a book.

There are a couple of caveats:

  • Not all books are eligible to be loaned.  Amazon has left it up to the individual publishers to decide whether their material can be lent.
  • To read a loaned book, you must have the Kindle app.  (However, since it’s free, it shouldn’t be a big deal to download to whatever device you choose).
  • As of right now (January 2011), the lending option is only available in the United States. 

 Apparently the rest of the World will have to wait a bit longer.  Hmmph!