How to get email alerts for free Kindle books at Amazon, using IFTTT and top 100 free amazon lists

Update, December 1, 2013: Unfortunately Amazon removed the rss link for the top free book list, leaving only the rss link for the best seller list. Until we get a good alternative (working on it), I opted for a regular check at these amazon pages, for free Kindle books and also promotional deals:

    note: You can adjust to other Kindle departments in Kindle Store using the Department browser  on the left

Although there are many tools & sites for checking on free kindle books at Amazon I have settled on using IFTTT (the tool that reads “if this than that”) and amazon top 100 lists (particularly the top 100 free list), to build my personal “low cost”/”high value” kindle library.

So, anytime that a new free kindle book enter the top 100 lists I follow, IFTT sends me a mail, & “buying” the book is only two clicks away. Another advantage on using the kindle top 100 amazon lists is that you can configure for specific categories that interest you.

People sometimes ask me, why don’t you “download” the books…? Well, it’s illegal :), you certainly won’t find all the books, and that doesn’t compare to having the books in my official amazon account. Amazon bundles amazing services with its amazon kindle books, particularly highlighting (I talked about kindle highlight previously here) . That is the killer feature  for studying, business reading & personal development, I refer to my highlights a lot and having them properly backed up & accessible is really awesome .

So, here’s how to easily configure an IFTTT recipe to send you a mail anytime a new kindle book enters the top 100 free list for a category.

1-First, check the top free kindle page at amazon and browse (left side) to the categories that interest you. You can create an IFTTT recipe for each Amazon category. 

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2-On the bottom of the page copy the link address for the “RSS feed “, ex: Subscribe to: Top Free > Computers & technology”

ex: http://www.amazon.com/gp/rss/top-free/digital-text/156116011/ref=zg_tf_156116011_rsslink

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3-Now log in into IFTTT (or create an account first), then create a new IFTTT recipe:

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4-For the “this” part (trigger channel) of your recipe choose the “RSS/Feed” channel:

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5-On the trigger feed, choose “New feed item”

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6-On the feed URL paste the amazon RSS link you’ve saved from the top 100 free page:

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7-For the “that” part  (action channel) of IFTTT recipe choose the email action:

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8-As for subject &  body of the email that IFTTT will send you, you can use the default. No changes needed.

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9-Give a name to your recipe, as I follow several categories I name each one differently, and that’s done!

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Now you’ll just have to wait for your first IFTTT notifications right in your email inbox. As long as you have single click buy configured for your amazon account, “buying” the free books will be a two click experience. Click to open the link from the email, and click to buy.

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Note: You should always check the current price before buying, as sometimes the books are not free anymore by the time you check the email.

this book in particular is currently not free anymore :(

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but it was free at the time I bought it…

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So, that’s how I do it! to date I’ve built a reasonable library of more than 1.000 kindle books, the vast majority free at the time I bought them.  Including some best sellers, top rated books & even expensive book collections.

It’s been of huge value to me on several areas in my life.  That being the reason I am a really devoted amazon customer & fan! Amazon just rocks!

So really…What are you waiting for creating you amazon account and filling it with amazing content and kindle ebooks?

good kindle readings!

Related posts on Kindle

How to get email alerts for free Kindle books at Amazon, using IFTTT and top 100 free amazon lists

How to save 3000$ in ebooks :) ? Don’t have a kindle yet? Well…you should get one (…not necessarily buy one :) )

Kindle eBooks as a great Learning/Self Development platform

Fixing Amazon Kindle Daily Review page usability on touch enabled tablets – a case for “url site scripting” ;)

Rui

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Kindle eBooks as a great Learning/Self Development platform

Almost a year now since I got my first Kindle. :) Being a somehow frenetic reader way before ebooks, and although I still like to read “regular” books, I must confess that when it comes to learning&self development, ebooks & kindle are hard to beat!

Why is that? Well… lots of reasons, but for now I’ll focus on the  highlights & notes feature. It’s amazing as it allows you to really extract so much more value from ebooks & reading in general. Curious thing, I had never been an “highlighter”… and always left my books in a pure & “pristine” state.

So for the basics, you highlight & add notes on any kindle reader (I prefer the real Kindle to do this , although I sometimes use the free mobile reader, as I’m always switching between them both).

You can then return to the ebook, on any reader (mobile, cloud,etc) and see all the hightlights & notes you’ve made. It all syncs to your amazon kindle profile, so you also have a great backup.

 

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Kindle Mobile Reader – Book Highlights

 

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Kindle Cloud Reader – Book Highlights

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You can also review all your notes & highlights directly on the Kindle device, selecting  the My Clippings book (you can see it like a dynamic ebook on your device, collecting all you highlights & notes).

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My Clippings on Kindle Device

There’s also a .txt file available with the content if you connect the kindle to the desktop with usb.

But there’s a minor catch here, the "My Clippings file only saves the highlights you do on that specific kindle device. If you highlight on the android/iphone the notes won’t make it to the file. That can be annoying, specially when you switch kindle devices.

Anyway, there’s much more to that. All your highlights are also available online at your kindle profile page here. Like this:

imageKindle Home Page

From there you can go to any book and recover your highlights&notes, and also share them publicly.

 

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In one page you can see all you highlights & notes. A great starting point for building a quick personal  ebook. ;)

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with a little copy & paste, and minor editing you can get a pretty good ebook with all you preferred content, like this one wich contais all my notes, ever!:

 

 

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I even created a table of contents with one chapter for each book I’ve read. For periodic & quick recaps that’s amazing.

 

Amazon also got it right that we often buy books for learning & changing, not just reading, and there’s a specific feature that helps you to review & remember  your books highlights, its called the daily review. It will cycle trough all your finished books, periodically, and show all your highlights, one at a time.

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The daily review

You can also check other books highlights & posts… (Ferriss “on fire”, as always! :) )

 

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And follow some interesting fellows :)

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BTW, don’t miss this week free books. Just create your account and buy them “free” . :) Then, read them on free cloud/mobile readers. You don’t need to have a Kindle!

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So, that’s it for now, keep reading, and learning! :)

Related posts on Kindle

How to get email alerts for free Kindle books at Amazon, using IFTTT and top 100 free amazon lists

How to save 3000$ in ebooks :) ? Don’t have a kindle yet? Well…you should get one (…not necessarily buy one :) )

Kindle eBooks as a great Learning/Self Development platform

Fixing Amazon Kindle Daily Review page usability on touch enabled tablets – a case for “url site scripting” ;)

Rui

Fixing Amazon Kindle Daily Review page usability on touch enabled tablets – a case for “url site scripting” ;)

In a previous post (see Kindle eBooks as a great Learning/Self Development platform) I’ve shown how to get the best from Amazon’s Kindle Highlights feature. This feature and all the amazon highlight personal store features are probably the main reasons for not buying physical books anymore, except for a very few cases.

Anyway, I was using the daily review page occasionally on my laptop. Then I got the chance to start using a tablet to review my notes, and the page suddenly appeared much more interesting and useful.

Useful indeed, but not usable! as the small preview/next buttons are only at the top, and touching the flashcard or the page don’t jump to the next page as it should…

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Waiting for amazon to fix this… well, good luck! So, I was pleased to see that there were actually a pretty workable solution: just fixing the code inline, injecting an additional click handler directly! Amazon surely is using jquery right? Right indeed, they are!

How do you inject custom javascript behavior on a site? Well, easily through the address bar, just prefix your code with javascript: and you’re done! or off course you can try to spot a cross site scripting  flaw on amazon site… but  I doubt it would be an easy task. :)

So, go to the daily review page and just paste the following code in the address bar:

javascript:$(".reviewContentWrapper").click(function(e) {$(".nextReviewArrow").click();});

Nothing happens right? Well, just click the flashcard, your next flashcard should load automatically! Much better now! My fingers can finally rest from that “humongous” effort. :)

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Sure it works on iPad, just add a bookmark with the link. Every time you open /reopen the daily review page just select the bookmark. You won’t go anywhere, but the page will become far easier to use. As long you don’t close the page it will keep working, even when you choose to review another book.

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Not a permanent fix but a very usable one from my recent experience! ;)

 

Have fun!

Rui

How to save 3000$ in ebooks :) ? Don’t have a kindle yet? Well…you should get one (…not necessarily buy one :) )

Yes, I bet the title caught your attention right on. :) Well, anyway I thought today was a good time to recap that you can get all sorts of interesting ebooks from amazon, for free. Yes, I would also say that an actual Kindle device is a great tool IMO, but you have also the kindle free apps from amazon: ipad, iphone, cloud reader, pc, android… You just need and amazon account to get started.

btw, Please be advised that I am an enthusiastic amazon fan & customer. I do have a kindle keyboard, And, Yes, I regularly buy ebooks!

I actually find it difficult to have a good reason for not starting your own digital library right now…

Currently there is some kind of market place visibility war going on… authors & publishers need better rankings, visibility, one of the fastest ways to do that is to promo the books regularly… so regularly we monitor (thanks powershell, iftt & alerbox). :)

A few days ago I finally set up some powershell & ie automation to be able to compare all my orders (free and not free ones), with current prices and some other book information.

The results are interesting… (even taking into account that several of these books are clearly over priced… ) Got the results into Excel, and I was pleased to see, that at least, my book addiction didn’t reach my wallet! :)

Another side note, I usually follow only two/Three kindle categories, so this is just a small glimpse of the free content regularly available.

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Hoping that I didn’t mess anything up (and always remembering that data, like perception, is not reality!), but I double checked several items. Bet it’s at least approximate.

Off course Excel is a great tool for the stats but I couldn’t resist to get this data on a small tool I’m using for quick dataset analysis & visualization (based on ms pivotviewer). Maybe we can get this published through SmartPivot, how knows? :)

So, Right click my scrapped CSV where I collected order prices, current prices, stars, reviews, & book covers…

 

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And we get a much more expressive & interactive view of my digital library:

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Slice & dice, or kind of  :)

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Zoom it!

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Detail it:

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Unfortunately time to read is much harder to get these days, so most of this content still waits on my beloved kindle. But I can also say that I’ve read amazing books (at the time free), just a glimpse:

Critical Thinking Strategies for Success (Collection)

Do the Right Thing

Wired to Care: How Companies Prosper When They Create Widespread Empathy

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Final note, crossing my fingers that this won’t be the post that shuts the free content down! :)

By the way, this week pick. Bet it will last to next Monday only. ;)

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Now, go grab some reading! :)

Related posts on Kindle

How to get email alerts for free Kindle books at Amazon, using IFTTT and top 100 free amazon lists

How to save 3000$ in ebooks :) ? Don’t have a kindle yet? Well…you should get one (…not necessarily buy one :) )

Kindle eBooks as a great Learning/Self Development platform

Fixing Amazon Kindle Daily Review page usability on touch enabled tablets – a case for “url site scripting” ;)

 

Rui

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