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Tag Archive | Amazon Prime

“Life Itself” Movie (2018), On Amazon Prime — Cerebral, Complicated, Yet Mesmerizingly Compelling.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.


Click image for IMDb.com listing.



This is the polar opposite of a mindless flick. It is not a movie that you should watch if you are not going to concentrate on it. Very clever and complex plot, some very profound dialogue sprinkled with brilliant humor. Keeps you guessing and intrigued.

I was not sure what to expect and what I got was nothing like what I would have ever expected. It was, in the end, awfully rewarding. Three very separate, but interwoven stories. How it all comes together is pretty amazing.

So, if you want a movie that will entertain through its cleverness this is for you. Pay close attention. Because, quite literally, ‘BANG’ — it is not what you expect.

Highly recommended, albeit with the caveat that this not going to be mindless flick. Even if you try switching off it will bring you rushing back … with a BANG!


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by Anura Guruge

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I Got A Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 Prime Lens For My Sony a7 II — Not Sure If I Am Blown Away.

by Anura Guruge


NO post-processing whatsoever.

Click pictures to ENLARGE.

Attribution WILL be enforced.









The biggest handicap I have with my full frame Sony a7 II (which I have now had for over a year) is the lack of any decent lenses. Now that I sold my Sony a6500, and the two kit lenses I got with it, (very quickly on eBay) I decided to treat myself and get this ‘new’ (i.e., released in February 2017) Sony full frame (FE) 85mm f/1.8. People have been raving about it and the reviews are gushing.

I got it today — from Best Buy! Amazon had it on a 2-month backorder!

Today, was not the greatest day to try out a new lens. We have had storms passing through all day and the rain has been constant. So, the light was not great.

I am NOT sure that I have been blown away. It is OK — but, doesn’t seem that much of an improvement on my Sony FE 24-240mm F3.5-6.3 OSS. Plus, the 24-240mm obviously covers that focal length, albeit at f/4.x. The 85mm is also definitely NOT for macro. Minimum focusing distance is nearly a yard.

So, not sure what to do. I can obviously return it.

Got a GREAT Lightning Deal (on Amazon Prime Day) on the Samyang 35mm f/2.8. I got it for $212! The regular price is $267. Supposed to get that on Friday. Let’s see how that performs.


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Check Categories ‘Sony’ & ‘Six Images’.


by Anura Guruge

Amazon Kindle Paperback Proof vs CreateSpace Proof.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE and study closely.


With this, my latest book, I ended up ordering proofs from both Kindle KDP and CreateSpace. Nothing to stop you from doing so. You can’t publish the book with BOTH — but I haven’t published it at yet! I am at the ‘order proof’ stage with both and that is perfectly kosher. I did this with my last book too — except at that juncture I couldn’t order paperback proofs from Kindle KDP. I got the proofs from CreateSpace and eventually published with Kindle! They are BOTH Amazon companies so it is by no means robbing Peter to pay Paul.

So, both proofs printed by Amazon — and they both came in Amazon Prime boxes.

But, can you tell the difference, and whose is whose. A very obvious difference right up front.

Yes, the KDP proof as the ugly ‘Not for Resale’ banner. CS has never done that. Instead, they print a BIG ‘PROOF’ on the last page.

But, also an obvious difference in the quality of the cover. You can tell even in these photos. The CS cover is brighter and more detailed. That is crazy.

CS proofs were published in Columbia, South Carolina; Kindle in Middletown, Delaware.


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by Anura Guruge


Amazon Kindle Paperback Option & Ordering Proof Copies.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE and study here. The order details from Amazon.


Click to ENLARGE. Click here to access: https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G202059560


The Amazon Kindle PAPERBACK program is NOT an oxymoron or an April Fool’s joke. It is now over a year old and I already published my last book, “Quick & Easy Meditation“, last September, in paperback and ebook form via Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). I had to jump through some hoops but I did manage to get it done.

Last September the KDP program did NOT offer the option of ordering PROOF copies. That was a bummer. But, I, a veteran self-publisher, CHEATED and got the proof copies I needed. I am NOT going to tell you hear how I did that! {Smile}

As of earlier this year KDP did start offering Proof copies — albeit in BETA test form, the whole paperback program a beta as well.

The KDP Paperback program is temperamental and has BUGS. You have been warned. More than likely it will object to your cover size even if you FOLLOWED their requirements!

Ordering Proofs is not straightforward either. You cannot do it right away. They send you a link via e-mail — and they tell you that it can take up to 4-hours to get the link. Then you have 24-hours to order the Proofs!

I got my e-mail in about 2 hours.

Your order through Amazon BUT it does NOT recognize PRIME! So, you have to pay for shipping.

Even though I ordered yesterday (i.e., June 30, 2018), I might not get the Proofs until July 10. That is crazy and unacceptable.

Anywho …. this is a heads up.

So, now the mystery is solved and the cat is out of the bag. My latest book is now at the galley proof stage.

Kind of funny, just in the last 2 weeks my wife and a friend both asked me whether I had stopped writing books! That was rather strange coming from folks who know me. If I am up and about, I am writing a book! That is how it goes. Yes, this book has taken me 9-months to write, but it is 475 pages in length and required extensive research. Just because I typically publish two books a year does NOT mean I have to always do so. {Smile}

So ….

More to come.


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by Anura Guruge


Publishing A Kindle Paperback! That Is Not An Oxymoron.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE and study here. Created by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE and study.


A Kindle PAPERBACK sure sounds like an oxymoron or an April Fool’s joke.

Kindle has become so synonymous with eBooks that it seems absurd to mention paperback alongside Kindle. But, as of early 2017 it has been possible to publish a paperback using the Kindle system, i.e., Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Now, as you can see from the 2nd figure, when you go to KDP to publish a title it asks you whether you want to publish a Kindle eBook, a paperback or both.

Earlier this week, as you can also see from that figure, I published my first Kindle paperback, viz. “Quick & Easy Meditation“. It was (the 2nd time around) fairly painless (and it was the 22nd book I have self-published).

What is incongruous, as I highlight in the 1st figure, is that Amazon currently offers TWO ways to publish a paperback, i.e., KDP and CreateSpace — both of which are fully-owned Amazon companies.

I had previously published 16 paperbacks (yes, 16) with CreateSpace — starting in 2008.

But, I, and others could see the writing on the wall when it came to CreateSpace. Amazon obviously wants KDP, which is tightly integrated into the Amazon ecosystem, to be the strategic arm for one to publish all books — eBook, paperbacks AND audio.

I have asked CreateSpace and they will NOT comment on Amazon’s intentions! They have told me, in writing, to ask KDP. That alone told me all I needed to know.

I have published over 20 Kindle eBooks too! So, I am not a stranger to either system.

KDP, as one would expect, works with the same printing dimensions and parameters as does CreateSpace. From what I can see, both KDP and CS use the same printing facilities in Middletown, Delaware.

On the 1st image I outline the main differences between the two — in terms of Pros and Cons.

Not being able to order author copies at cost is NOT a big concern for I. Why? Because I am Amazon Prime. So, I can have FREE 2-day shipping. CS charges for ALL shipping and their charges are NOT CHEAP and it can take a week or more. When I order direct from Amazon, as KDP expects you to do, I get royalties. IF I subtract the royalties and factor in the FREE ‘expedited’ shipping there isn’t much in the price difference — MAINLY because my books are CHEAP. And now the kicker. When I order from Amazon my rankings go up! Consequently, I have not ordered any author copies from CS for some time now. Getting printed proofs is also not an issue for I, since I know the ropes. I can get printed proofs at will! {Smile}

So, that is where we stand. As of now I do not see myself going back to CS. I will persevere with KDP.

Hope this helps.


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by Anura Guruge


Get A 10% (15% If Prime) Discount On Amazon By Getting A $100 Gift Card For YOUR Own Use!

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE. Check under Amazon GIFT CARDS.


I needed to buy a few things today (including a 72mm polarizing filter for my a7 II for shooting fall foliage) when I kept on getting this blue $10 off message next to the price.

So, I checked. It was poorly worded and ‘confusing’ to begin with. Kept on saying I had to RELOAD MY GIFT CARD BALANCE. But, it got me thinking.

I had $0 balance on my own personal ‘gift card’ — which is essentially another Amazon funding source. Amazon had loaded $1xx.00 onto it when traded-in my dreaded Sony Full-Frame FE 28-70mm zoom in mid-August, 2017. I had spent that all when I got my mitre/chop saw to do the rails on our deck. Hence, the $0.00.

But, here was the deal. Reload that ‘card’/account with $100 and I get another $10 as an additional bonus. So, $110 for $100.

Then it gets better IF you are Amazon Prime and use your ‘Amazon Prime Store Card’. You get $5 back as cash-back! S0, $115 for $100.

Yes, of course, I had to ‘pay’ Amazon $100 to get the $15 BUT it isn’t as if I was just giving them the money. I knew I would spend that $100 within the month.

So, I pulled the trigger. And it worked. $10 back at once, and $5 in my credit card account.

I like 15% discounts. Talking of which I had a 15% off coupon from Friendly’s the other day. Used that too. {Smile}


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by Anura Guruge

“Florence Foster Jenkins” (2016) — Hilarious, Nearly As Good As “The Producers”.

by Anura Guruge


Watch the trailer on YouTube.



Click to ENLARGE and read here. Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_Foster_Jenkins


Started watching it on Amazon Prime yesterday. It had been on my “Watch List” for quite awhile. I wish I had got around to watching it sooner. Exceeded all expectations.

Though it is indeed based on a real person and true story, it is hilarious. That it brings to mind “The Producers” (which I have seen on Broadway and on film) has to be the ultimate accolade.

The two leading stars, as you would expect, are immaculate. But, to I, the star of the show is the diminutive Cosme McMoon played by Simon Helberg. I don’t think I have seen him in anything before — but I am not good at ‘spotting’/recognizing/remembering thespians! I had to look him up. Appears that he is quite the guy, a professional pianist who had a karate black belt at 9. You will enjoy him.

It is available for free if you have Amazon Prime. Couldn’t find it on YouTube. I am sure you can find it on other streaming services.

Definitely recommended. Enjoy.


Related posts:
>> Dunkirk.
>> Ballerina.

++++ Search on ‘movie’ for many, many related posts >>>>


by Anura Guruge


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