Special Update to Kindle Nation Daily Free Book Alert for Friday, April 30: Swashbuckling Fantasy: 10 Thrilling Tales of Magical Adventure, a Sampler from Simon & Schuster

http://www.amazon.com/Swashbuckling-Fantasy-Thrilling-Adventure-ebook/dp/B003JTHWAK/?tag=ebest

Nothing’s been ordinary in the world of ebooks lately, but ordinarily, lately, when you see the line “This price was set by the publisher” on a Kindle ebook’s product page it is Amazon’s way of letting us know  that there’s bad news adjacent to it in the form of one of those special “agency price-fixing model” prices. $12? $15? One never knows.

But here’s a breath of fresh air! Big Six publisher Simon & Schuster has done some creative thinking about how to leverage the power of “free” in the Kindle Store and used the agency price-fixing model to try something new, with a substantial volume of freebies under the lusty title Swashbuckling Fantasy: 10 Thrilling Tales of Magical Adventure.

Just what do I mean by substantial? 

  • First, these are 10 tales by 10 authors each with her own substantial oeuvre of fantasy titles already, so of course the authors and the publisher are hoping that this process will work for them and lead readers to their other work in the same way that we have seen work so effectively with our own Free Kindle Nation Shorts program. The authors represented are Jane Johnson, Linda BuckleyArcher, Scott Westerfeld, Kai Meyer, Alan Snow, Anne Ursu, Obert Skye, Margaret Peterson Haddix, D.J. MacHale and Holly Black.
  • Second, for those of you who, like me, take a look at file size and “number of locations” in an ebooks metadata and free sample before committing to a book, you’ll recognize that the offering’s file size of 1320 KB and its 3,936 “locations” spell a book of significant size and virtual weight.
  • Third, my quick perusal of the full text indicates that, unlike many “sampler” offerings, these 10 tales appear to be just that — tales, self-contained short stories or novellas — rather than frustrating tastes of an excerpted chapter or two.

So, bravo, Simon & Schuster! This is just the kind of thing that the big publishers should be doing to experiment with and begin to figure out the retail marketing power of distinctive pricing and free-to-paid linkages, so we’ve got your back if some of the other agency price-fixing model publishers whine that you are engaging in competitive and adversarial behavior.

Indeed, I am so pleased to see this little development that I am not going to make any snide cracks in which I wonder archly how you can afford to offer this sampler free of charge what with the storage and fulfillment costs of ebooks!

For the rest of today’s Free Kindle Nation Daily Book Alert, please click here: http://kindlehomepage.blogspot.com/2010/04/kindle-nation-daily-free-book-alert-for_30.html

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4 Responses to Special Update to Kindle Nation Daily Free Book Alert for Friday, April 30: Swashbuckling Fantasy: 10 Thrilling Tales of Magical Adventure, a Sampler from Simon & Schuster

  1. Anonymous on April 30, 2010 at 6:55 am

    I "clicked" everywhere and could not get the free short "10 swashbuckling……." Why?

  2. Steve on April 30, 2010 at 7:07 am

    Why indeed!

    Thanks for the heads up, and we've fixed the glitch!

    Cheers,
    Steve

  3. Ginnia on April 30, 2010 at 9:08 am

    You mentioned looking at an ebooks "number of locations" in the metadata — where can you find the metadata of an ebook before buying? Thanks,

  4. Steve on April 30, 2010 at 9:13 am

    Great question, @Ginnia, and, alas, you've caught me in a gloss-over!

    Ordinarily, I find that downloading a free sample gives me almost exactly 10% of the locations in the full text. With a free book, however, there is ordinarily no free sample, but, then again, there is of course no cost.

    Hope that helps.

    Steve



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