Collections and Categories for Your Kindle Fire Books

This is a repeat for many of you (so you won’t hurt my feelings if you don’t read it), but this re-post is in answer to the many emails I have received over the past two weeks regarding the Collections App for the Kindle Fire.

Many people have asked me over the past year – including my own family – why I don’t read books very often on my Kindle Fire: I primarily read on my Kindle Keyboard or Kindle DX, although the Paperwhite is trying its best to take their places. The main reason was the Fire does not allow you to organize your books into genres / categories as all of the books are lumped together on one endless bookshelf after another on the carousel.

I’m not the only one who has a complaint or annoyance with this, as I can’t tell you how many discussion board rants and posts I have read of people wanting that functionality: it’s how I organize the 100+ books I have in my electronic “to be read” pile on my e-Ink Kindles and is something I consider a must-have with an e-Reader. I kept hoping Amazon would release a software update and implement the feature, especially with the new versions of the Fire that came out this past month, but they never did.

Well, I decided to bite the proverbial financial bullet and hired a group of talented app developers to design one for me –they came through, and now it is available in the Amazon App Store.

The first iteration of the app in late October / early November had some bugs to it that were problematic to a handful of users, and the negative reviews of the app piled on really fast. I am happy to say those first-generation bugs have been resolved and I appreciate the positive emails people have sent me saying how much they love it.

You can check the app out if you click here or type in http://smarturl.it/firecollections into your web browser.

 

 

What does the app do? It’s pretty straight-forward: the app will classify your books into your own categories and launch your book directly from the app so you can start reading. Here’s a look at how I have started to organize the “uncategorized” books on my Kindle Fire (there’s a lot of books to categorize on my Fire):

 

 

If you look at the picture, you’re able to see five categories I created, but if you were sitting in front of my Kindle Fire and swiped down the screen you would see others. The little icons on the shelf represent each book I have in a particular category – you can change the color of the book icon’s spine if you want if you want to further classify your category or if you want all of a particular category to be blue, red, green, etc. On my Kindle Keyboard there are 23 categories, and I imagine there will be something similar on my Kindle Fire HD when I am finished.

 

Moving books to categories is also easy – each book is initially put into an “Uncategorized” category until you tell the app where you would like for it to be placed. To move a particular book from the “Uncategorized” section, just tap the book’s icon and a new window like the one below will open:

 

 

From this screen, you would then tap the “Move to Category” line and put the book into whatever category you desire. Can’t make up your mind or decide where it should be? That’s okay – you can put a book in as many categories as you want. For example, I have many books categorized in both “Mystery” and “Thriller.” The key here is you as the user decide – not me or a random computer. If you change your mind on a category, or realize down the road you may have misspelled a category, you can either move the book to a different category or rename any of the categories.

Once you have created a category and put a book (or more) into it, you can check it out: the picture below is what I have started with the “Mystery” category on my Fire. I have a ways to go on finishing my uncategorized books!

 

 

Once you are in this category – or any other category within the app including the “Uncategorized” section – to get started reading just tap the icon of the book and the book will launch. And yes, for some of you who are wondering, while software limitations won’t bring them directly in to the app to look at, you can still see a book’s stock cover image once you launch the book!

I imagine my Fire will have a lot of books on it now, as I have a lot of things in the electronic “to be read” pile! In case I have too many to quickly find a particular author, title, etc., the app will sort them by various parameters like the author’s name or book title to minimize your time hunting and maximize your time reading.

Once you’ve finished reading for the day or that session, either leave a bookmark where you were reading, or tap the middle of your Fire’s screen once to bring up the menu at the bottom: make a note of your location or page number then tap the back arrow one time. A dialog box will then open up where you can type in the location or page number. Going back to your category screen, you will see the last location you just input (see the screen above – they all say Location 1 because they have not been read on the Fire I used to take screenshots). That way, you will know where you are in the book while perusing your categories.

Why is that important? The Kindle reader, when launched from the app, automatically goes to the first page vs. going to the last page read: that’s a block with the Fire’s operating system the technical team couldn’t overcome (and they tried mightily). Now that you know what page / location you last read, when the book opens just drag the book progress / slider bar at the bottom of the book’s opening screen (it opens up automatically when you open the book or tap the middle of the book’s page on your Fire) and quickly go to your page.

One final thing: rather than having to open up a new web browser or use the free app for the blog to see the free book offers and tips, if you have an available Internet / Wi-Fi connection you can access it directly from your Fire. Just tap the “Free Kindle Books and Tips Blog” icon at the bottom of the category screen and you can grab the freebies right there.

I tried to make it simple in the design – one app to categorize and read books, as well as the same app to read the blog.

No, unlike most of my other offerings and the original app this one is not going to be free: I need to pay for the programmers (they don’t work cheap) and remember, I’m still trying to see if I can make blogging a full-time enterprise. I’ve initially priced it at what I think is both economical for the user without trying to gouge anyone as well as at a price point where I think there could be some nice sales volume that will allow me to make a profit after I pay the programmers, Amazon takes their percentage, and the US government takes what they believe is their fair share. At just $2.99, I hope you will give it a try and, if you do, I believe you will get a lot of value out of it!

If you do like it, I would appreciate a positive / favorable review on the Amazon website. If you think I missed something in the design or there is something wrong, please shoot me a note (michael at fkbooksandtips dot com) as the technical team and I are already compiling a list of future enhancements. If you had previously reviewed it with the old version of the app, please consider modifying your review.

Here is the link again:

Click here or type in http://bit.ly/firecollections into your web browser.

 

If you have read this far, I appreciate it – thanks for sticking with me over the years! What started out as just a fun way to share the free Kindle books I heard or read about during the week with a handful of people a couple of years ago is slowly, but surely, growing and turning into something I hope can be a full-time job!

Have a great Christmas and New Year,

Michael Gallagher

 

 

Organize your books on your Kindle Fire with our updated Collections and Categories App! Click Here or type in http://bit.ly/firecollections into your web browser to get it now!

 

Want to have this blog sent wirelessly to your e-Ink Kindle vs. reading it on your computer? Try out the free two-week trial subscription! Click here for the Amazon page of the Free Kindle Books and Tips blog or type in http://www.tinyurl.com/fkblog into your computer’s web browser.

 

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Comments

  1. Beth Anthony says

    I sure wish they had a app like this for the ipad. ibooks is their app but it does not cross over to the kindle

  2. Penny Dotson says

    I'm still having problems adding books. When I click on "Add All" there are books listed that I have already categorized. I've been sticking with this app through all of the bugs, and believe me I've experienced them all. But I'm about ready to give up and finally write my first really negative review. I'm tired of going through all of my categories to delete duplicates. I have a first generation Kindle.

  3. Jack Seeley says

    This app doesn't work. I've tried to install it dozens of times. It always tells me there's a problem and try again later. I'm 70. How long do I have to wait for "later."?

  4. says

    I purchased the new App and it is fun to experiment with. This feature was really missed on this Kindle. My problem is remembering what so many of the books are about. When you post them as free or on sale, the description tells me if I want to purchase the book. Now I don't remember each of them and what collection to put them in. Is there a short cut to find out what the book is about so I'll know what to do with it? Now I'm having to open each book and read some.

  5. Jack Seeley says

    I think it's the first version. As best I can make out (tiny figures,gray on slightly darker gray) the Model # is D01400; FCC ID# is ZEV-1229.

  6. Jack Seeley says

    If you've saved your confirmations–I have a separate folder–you can click on the name which returns you to the page from which you purchased it. This carries a brief description. There's also a note at the top saying you've already purchased this book.

  7. says

    Can I use this for Android? It appears to say on Amazon that I can but your info doesn't say that. I would love to use it if it works but I don't want to buy it if it doesn't.

  8. Pamela White says

    Great app… so far, I just got it. I notice that it only shows the books that are downloaded to my Kindle. I knew I had tons more books than it was showing. I have so many that I have had to remove from Kindle in order to add more. Bummer.

  9. Crystal Navarro says

    How do you add books to it? I loaded it, and it only showed about 4 of the thirty books I have on the kindle!! I'd like them all to go in there and off my carousel. Please advise!

  10. Wendy Ford says

    HHm, I have even been able to organize my books to my satisfaction on my regular Kindle. I have a 3rd generation,.I have tried sorting my books in to categories but I still end up having the whole list of books.

  11. Carol Todd says

    Please adapt this for other tablets that use the Kindle reading app. I would love to have it on my Google Nexus.

  12. Victoria Flaherty says

    Is this app available for kindle on iPad? This app is badly needed! I have over 100 books and no way to categorized. Think you have a hit with this app. Hope I'll be able to use it on my iPad.

  13. Judy Graham Maurer says

    I just got this App and so far it is very nice. But is there a way to get a book's description so you know how to categorize it? Also, how do you edit a category name once you have created it. I made a spelling error and can't seem to change it.

  14. Barbara Sokolowski says

    I like this App, but I want to love it and I just can't. When it works its GREAT, but lately it does what it wants to do on its own. I usually let the books accumulate on my Kindle Fire HD before opening the app to install them. If I try to add several books at a time they do not scan in. Maybe one will or two, and the rest just disappear. I can't get them in my collections. Very frustrating!

  15. says

    I rebooted my Kindle Fire and they appeared. My only real dislike now is that you can't move multiple books at once. Once I get all my stored books categorized, it will be less of a problem since I just download a few a week.

  16. Beazley Carol says

    I've just purchased further free book but they are not being put into the uncategorized section what am i doing wrong!

  17. Beazley Carol says

    Ive just obtained free books but they are not being placed into the uncategorized section, what am i doing wrong!

  18. says

    I too have forgotten what category many of my books belong in. I've done searches on Amazon & the categories don't show up after purchase, nor is the info on the confirmation emails so I have no way of knowing. Also, some books – seems like the ones I have to pay something for- never show up on the app at all. So it would be nice if the app automatically placed the books in the appropriate categorie(s) in the first place rather than "uncategorized". We could add them to other categories from there if we wanted to.

  19. Judy Graham Maurer says

    Help! I purchased this App on Jan. 11, 2013 and yesterday it refused to open and said that I don't own it. I'm afraid to reinstall it for fear that I will have to add all my hundreds of books to the categories all over again. What can I do?

  20. Susan Graham says

    Judy, why don't you write to the guy who sends the blogs for the free kindle books? He might be able to help you with this.

  21. Bella Doerres says

    It is not clear how to add new books you download to the app. The books I have that were on my kindle fire loaded but I have added more and it is not clear how to add these new ones. Would appreciate info on how to add the newer books to it.

  22. Bob Hensley says

    I have about 300 books I obtained from Amazon. When I would load the Collections app it would scan and pick up any new books, and give me a load all button. It has quit scanning new books into collections. I have reset the kindle and the books show up on the carrosel and book list. Any suggestions?? Thansk

  23. says

    The Collections APP stopped allowing me to add new books. It claims there are no new books although they can be seen in the Kindle application. It seems to have failed about the same time Amazon loaded 7.3.0 to the Kindle Fire HD.

    Thanks…Ed

  24. Bob Hensley says

    I read on a blog Amazon updated the app without telling the najers if ut. Sounds like they will fix it.

  25. Sherry says

    My app quit working about 2 weeks ago…why? I’ve now got over 20 books that I can’t get to download into this app. Please explain what is going on.

    Thank you.

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  1. [...] Collections and Categories for Your Kindle Fire Books This is a repeat for many of you (so you won’t hurt my feelings if you don’t read it), but this re-post is in answer to the many emails I have received over the past two weeks regarding the Collections App for the Kindle Fire. Many people have asked me over the past year – [...] [...]

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