Tag Archives: Kindle

Is Your Kindle Reader Full?

A friend recently complained that her Kindle reader was full of books, and she was having to store them in her computer. I was surprised she did not realize that her Kindle need never be full, no matter how many books she buys.

Normally, your book is stored both in the reader (once the book is downloaded) and in the Amazon files (cloud). Removing the book from the device does not erase it from the cloud. It’s still your book and there for you to read again at any time.

Removing a book from your Kindle device is easy. I have an old Kindle Fire HDX, but other Kindle readers follow a similar procedure.

A book that is currently being read, shows up in the Kindle Carousel. When I’m done reading a book, I long-press on the book’s cover showing on the Carousel. A check mark pops over the cover, and a panel shows at the top of the screen.

The panel gives you options to “cancel, add, or remove.” I click on “Remove.” The next options that appear are “From Carousel” and “from Device.” I choose “From Device.”

This removes the book from both the Carousel and from the Kindle itself. Your book is no longer stored in your Kindle, but it is safely kept in the Amazon cloud.

You have not lost or erased your book. Any time you want to have it on your reader again, you click on “Books,” then “Cloud,” and select the book you want. It will once again load to your Kindle reader.

You can download your book and remove it from your Kindle as often as you want, as long as you have an Internet connection, of course.

Amazon will store the books you’ve bought from them for FREE. You can have thousands of books in the cloud and keep only those you presently want to read, stored in your Kindle.

If you check the product pages of all Kindle readers and Fire tablets, under the tab “Technical Details,” you will find the following statement: Free cloud storage for all Amazon content.

This means that any book you buy from Amazon will be stored in your cloud whether you’ve bought extra storage or not. The same is true for pictures taken with the device.

Book files are very small, and hundreds of them can be stored in a few gigs if the books have no embedded video, numerous images, or graphics.

Google the question, “How many books can be stored in one gigabyte?” You will get myriad answers. I looked at my Kindle’s storage and calculated that the average book in it takes about 3 Megs. One Gig equals 1024 Megs. Dividing 1024 into the averaged 3 Megs per book, gives me 341 books.

My very simplified method tells me that I can store 341 books in one Gig.  Of course, that’s a hypothetical statement that assumes I am only storing books that take up 3 Megs each. Some take less, and books with a high image content and embedded video take a whole lot more.

Four Gigs of storage space should hold approx. 1,365 hypothetical books at 3 Megs each. If your reader is also a tablet, and you are storing images, music, games, apps in your device, then the situation changes, and your device can get full very easily. The internal programs of the reader also take a big chuck out of the storage.

My Daniel’s Fork novel has 270 pages and takes 2.2 Megs. One could store 465 of them in one Gig or 1,860 in 4 Gigs. At this point, I should remind you that a reader sporting 4 Gigs of internal storage really has a lot less because its own programming takes space.

My Kindle Fire is old. It doesn’t have the option to add a microSD for extra memory. The newer Kindle tablets do, but not the dedicated readers. The Paperwhite has 4 Gigs capacity but no microSD slot.

If your Kindle reader is full, you can take an hour of fiddle time and start removing Amazon content and keeping it on the cloud. This frees reader space for your other content.

You also have other options such as buying cloud space from Amazon or storing in various other services such as a free Dropbox account.

If your only vice is books, and they only come from Amazon, then you need nothing else. To those readers who have thousands of books, I suggest keeping most of the Amazon-bought books in the Amazon cloud, and storing those bought or downloaded somewhere else in the Kindle itself.

For those of you also saving your library to your computer, I suggest that you keep a copy of it on a USB drive and update it often because hard drives do fail.

And yes, you can store books from other sellers in your Kindle, but that is a topic for another post. I imagine many of you know all this already, but for those of you who didn’t, I hope my post helped.

Buy the Cow!


Only a fool buys what he can get for nothing. Remember the old adage: Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? It still stands!

Recently, I tried to promote a short story that I offered as a free download. I found that most promo sites do not accept promos for short stories. In fact, most of the guidelines specify that books must be over 100 pages.

I messaged the admin of a well-known promo site. I asked if it was possible that they could offer a limited service for short stories. I believe there is a market for them, and many authors who hate to give away months of hard work, offer shorts instead.

I received a prompt answer from the site’s owner. He informed me that most readers did not read short stories. He knows that because he has been in the business for six years. He said that his customers expected free books, and that most authors had at least one free offering of a full-length novel.

Now, I had just read an article that stated that short reads are very popular right now. (See article.) The rise of the iPhone and tablet as reading tools has had a great effect on our reading habits because they are so convenient for reading short works. It also stated that the younger people love things they can finish while they ride the train or bus home, sit at Starbucks for a few minutes, or wait at a doctor’s appointment.

It seems to me that this site owner is doing what is best for his business, not mine. Of course he wants full free books. He also wants my money. He has a great business going. He gives away my product and charges me to do it! He buys nothing, stocks nothing, and pays nothing. If I am giving away my work, why does he not also give me a free ride? Why not make money out of advertisements or a minimal charge to the readers? But no, the cost must be all mine.

My opinion is that if a reader will like my writing, he or she does not need a full thirty chapters to do so. Normally, A few chapters into a book, I know whether to finish it or put it away. Everyone can download the 20% sample of my books at Amazon and Smashwords. If the reader is not hooked with that 20%, then he or she will never buy the book or the next.

A few years back, when the self-publishing craze was new, I read a free book by Monique Martin, fell in love with it, and have bought all her other books since. There were then only a few hundred authors giving away a first book as free. It was easy for me to find her.

Today, I do a search for free romance books, and I have to scroll through 100 plus pages of Amazon offerings. A quick search in Amazon using the words “Free books for Kindle” gave me 205,204 books! “Free romance books for Kindle” gave me 13,656 books.

Those are Permafree books. Those results do not include the temporarily free books on Kindle promotion. If your book is not in the first five pages of the search, it gets lost in the multitude.

I could no longer see the benefit in spending $100 dollars promoting my book in several sites to give away another $1,345.50 worth of my work, (450 copies at $2.99 each, downloaded for free) to make back $90 in residual sales. Meanwhile, the site owner makes a killing, and the readers stock piles of free offerings. Most are never opened.

Some people will quickly argue “exposure.” Exposure is the magic word that holds us all prisoners. It is the antidote to the poison. It is the word that holds the self-published author at bay, and keeps him feeding his life’s blood to the promotion sites.

My answer is that you can get a lot of exposure without giving your work away. But wait: we are already giving our work away when a reader downloads that 20% sample at Amazon or Smashwords.

When is enough, enough? When do we stop feeding the sharks, those lurking to snatch anything free with absolutely no intention of ever buying or even reading? (See this article.) When do we stop making money for others who have invested nothing in our work?

I have placed prices on everything I have on sale. Even my short stories are now priced at $1.99. I am giving away.

I now rely on my blog and author sites for that vaunted exposure. One thing I do believe is that I may have markedly fewer downloads, but because the reader paid something, he or she is more likely to open the book, to review, and to fall in love with my writing and buy the next book.