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Rules are not made to be broken. But he will break them all in this heart-racing romantic thriller: BLOOD, LOVE AND LIES by Brooke Sivendra

All your favorite blue plate specials in one cookbook! The American Table: Classic Comfort Food from Across the Country by Larry Edwards

Thriller fans with a taste for politics will devour this exciting investigation into dangerous government overreach… Root And Branch by Preston Fleming

An alpha billionaire goes toe-to-toe with a smart, bold heroine in… His To Ravage: A Billionaire Romance by Emily Hale

Make Enterprise Great Again: The Gods Must Be Crazy!: Cradle of Communism to Catacomb of Capitalism: A Proposal to bring back the House of Roosevelt’s by EPM Mavericks

Desperate to save her parents from debtors’ prison, Esmay signs up as an alien mail order bride… Royal Alien Mate by Sue Mercury

What would you do with a new Kindle Fire? Or $50 Amazon gift card? Find out by entering the KND/BookGorilla giveaway! We find the BEST eBook deals like Starship Waking by C. Gockel

A spine-chilling tale of a girl imprisoned for more than a century, and the terrifying events that put her there… The Girl in The Locked Room: A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn

Her long-lost friend begs her to prove his innocence. But what if he’s a killer? The Fractured Man by Lisa M. Lilly

When Piper Townsend fell to her death twelve years ago, she took Trey’s secrets with her. He’s never trusted another woman. Until now… USA Today bestselling author Allie Boniface’s FINDING YOU

Annie must decide: Is another shot at happiness worth the risk? Camille Pagán’s ingeniously witty novel: This Won’t End Well

Grow your business with this definitive guide to driving growth and success: Marketing For Entrepreneurs and Small to Medium Businesses by Kelly A. Mahoney

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Around the Kindlesphere, April 30, 2010: Top Teleread Picks, $9.99 New Release Hardcovers, Kindle’s 2.5 Upgrade, The Kindle Chronicles Scores B List Talent, and Cisco’s Valet Hotspot

A big thank you and shout out to estimable Teleread editor Paul K. Biba for including two of my posts among his nine choices in his weekly round-up, “The Editor’s pick of the week’s top posts.” All’s fair in love and the ebook wars: one of mine (Summing Up the Last Week for Amazon: Phases I, II, and III of the Kindle Revolution Are Over, and Amazon Has Won All Three) was from Kindle Nation Daily and the other (High Quality free audiobooks can be read on app for iPhone/iPad) was from iPad Nation Daily. Here’s a rundown of Paul’s other top choices:

What else is going on in the Kindlesphere? Plenty, and here are a few nuggets that may be of interest:

  • It would be silly of me not to acknowledge that most citizens of Kindle Nation, myself included, have grown to prefer reading books on our Kindles, as opposed to other formats. However, sometimes we just want to read the book in whatever way it is available to us, right? So it’s worth mentioning that, while we may lament the current unavailability of Kindle editions of many Penguin/Pearson titles due to the difficult ongoing negotiations between Amazon and the Big Six publisher over the agency price-fixing model, it’s refreshing to find that Amazon is now offering a number of recently released Penguin and Viking hardcovers, including a few bestsellers, at the

    same $9.99 price to which we have grown accustomed for their ebook editions in the Kindle Store. We won’t try to figure out Amazon’s strategy here or to psychologize about exactly how the authors or publisher in question feel about it all, but here are some of the titles we’ve found: The Black Cat: A Richard Jury Mystery by Martha Grimes, Lies of the Heart: A Novel by Michelle Boyajian, The Secret Life of the Grown-up Brain: The Surprising Talents of the Middle-Aged Mind by Barbara Strauch, Miss Julia Renews Her Vows by Ann B. Ross, The End of Wall Street by Roger Lowenstein, This is Just Exactly Like You by Drew Perry, The Line by Olga Grushin, Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott, and Stuart Woods’ novel Lucid Intervals Most of these titles have been released this month, and our assumption is that Amazon is paying the publisher $12 to $15, or half of suggested list price, for each copy. Most forthcoming Penguin titles for release during the next few months are discounted more modestly for pre-order, at about $17.

  • We’ll be drilling down in detail soon on some of the elements in Amazon’s recent upgrade, but we like it, from the “Collections” folders to the larger snappier fonts to the social networking features to another element that should make for improvements in the delivery of blogs like Kindle Nation Daily to our loyal Kindle edition subscribers. That being said, of course there are other things we would have loved to see included, include the audible menuing accessibility features promised by Amazon for “the first half of 2010,” an extension of the Twitter and Facebook features to include Amazon’s own reading-oriented Shelfari and some kind of Kindle Store credit for Kindle owners whose social sharing leads others to purchase Kindle content or, for that matter, Kindle hardware and accessories. Of course we’ve been calling for that since early in 2008, so I’m just saying…. But I’ll choose to hope that these things are in the pipeline rather than seeing the glass as half empty.
  • Not to get too relentlessly self-referential in my Around the Kindlesphere round-up here, but I don’t think I’ve mentioned Len Edgerly’s excellent The Kindle Chronicles podcast in a few weeks, and more often than not it makes for 40 minutes of interesting, informative, easy-on-the-ears enrichment. Will that be true of this week’s show with yours truly as the featured guest?

    To quote a pop song that rather dates me (leave Donny & Marie out of this, I’m thinking Dale & Grace covered here by the King), I’m leaving it all up to you.

  • Okay, we know Jeff Bezos has got our backs when it comes to free wireless connectivity for our Kindles, but if you are an early adopter with an increasing number of computers, gadgets, and devices taxing your home or home office internet connection, you may be interested in a new Cisco Systems product line that is getting a big roll-out on Amazon’s website this week: Introducing the Valet Hotspot: Home Wireless Made Easy. Products like the iPad, the Ipod Touch, and the Roku system that so many of us are getting to bring Amazon’s Video on Demand to our TV sets are bringing some of us to the point where we have more connected devices than matching socks, or Tony Soprano. (Sorry, couldn’t make a decision). The concomitant device compatibility issues can sometimes lead to wifi drops and other problems, but Cisco’s Valet Hotspot promises to clean up and streamline all of this for us:

With the Valet Hotspot, home wireless has never been easier. Valet gives you the power to quickly and simply make your home wireless. The included Easy Setup Key gets you connected to the Internet in just a few minutes. Simple-to-use Cisco Connect software is included and lets you quickly link your other wireless devices and manage your home wireless with ease. Remember when going wireless required technical expertise and hours of effort? Not anymore–the Valet Hotspot just works. (Click on the link for a multimedia presentation!)

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

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

Kindle Nation Daily Free Book Alert for Friday, April 30: A Historical Romance by Mary Jo Putney, and Dozens More

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

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

After yesterday’s brief about faith-based freebies, I should probably point out that today’s addition to the free promotional book listings in the Kindle Store is, despite its title, not from a faith-based publisher.  Loving A Lost Lord is another historical romance title from Mary Jo Putney, set in Northern England’s “beautiful Hartley Manor” in the early 19th century and published by Zebra Books.

Loving A Lost Lord by Mary Jo Putney

 Meanwhile….

Here are our other updated free promotional listings in the Kindle Store as of April 30:

Milrose Munce and the Den of Professional Help by Douglas Anthony Cooper ($.01)
The Minister’s Wooing, a Penguin Classic by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Wounded Healer by Donna Fleisher 

4.6 out of 5 stars (8 customer reviews)
 
Scent by Clint L. Kelly (Author)

3.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
by Sandra Felton
4.5 out of 5 stars (8 customer reviews)
by Leslie Parrott
Saving Sailor: A Novel

Around the Kindlesphere, April 29, 2010: Non-Freebie Bestsellers, Faith-Based Freebies, Prices at the Time of Paperback Release, Brisk Online Sales, Kindle Rising in the Land of the Rising Sun?

By Stephen Windwalker, Editor of Kindle Nation Daily

© Kindle Nation Daily 2010
 
Not for nothing, but from Publisher’s Marketplace via The Independent, here are the top ten bestselling non-freebie books in the Kindle Store for the week ended April 27, 2010:

1. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson (2=position last week)
2. Caught – Harlan Coben (1)
3. The Girl Who Played With Fire – Stieg Larsson (3)
4. House Rules – Jodi Picoult (4)
5. Deception – Jonathan Kellerman (9)
6. The Help – Kathryn Stockett (6)
7. Every Last One – Anna Quindlen (new)
8. Deliver Us From Evil(re-entry) David Baldacci
9. Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand – Helen Simonson (8)
10. The Shadow of Your Smile – Mary Higgins Clark (7)

Meanwhile, it’s time to  clean out the top drawer of my desk here in the corner office at Kindle Nation headquarters….

  • Speaking of freebies and non-freebies, I’ve noted here a few times my anecdotal sense that religious publishers seem to have a passkey to the portals through which ebooks are offered free in the Kindle Store, but I have resisted drawing any harsh conclusions since I had not taken the time to assemble any real evidence. So I appreciate the rigor that Bufo Calvin has brought to a post at his I Love My Kindle blog, “Onward Christian Freebies.” Calvin drilled down on the breakdown of the 59 free promotional books in the Kindle Store a few days ago. “When I analyzed the books I came up with 41 from known faith-based publishers, 18 from other publishers,” he wrote. So, not to draw conclusions, but what’s up with that, Amazon? I mean, I’ve downloaded and occasionally even reviewed (positively) books from faith-based publishers before, and I have nothing in the world against them. I am fully prepared to grant the possibility that there may not be a level playing field when it comes to salvation, but I — and many other citizens of Kindle Nation — have called in the past for parity in the feature and pricing offerings available to publishers large and small, and it’s about time Amazon put this in place. Any publisher that agrees to play generally within Amazon’s preferred Kindle Store pricing framework of $2.99 to $9.99 ought to have equal access to a “dashboard” option of offering certain titles, up to a set percentage of that publisher’s titles, at a zero-price promotion for a limited and specified period of time. Treat us all the same, Amazon, and perhaps we’ll all get to the Promised Land together!  
  • And speaking of Kindle Store bestsellers, I noticed today that Pat Conroy’s novel South of Broad, one of the top non-freebies in the Kindle Store during the late Summer and Fall of 2009, is climbing the Kindle sales-rank ladder again as public awareness is stimulated due to the marketing of its paperback edition, which will be released next Tuesday, May 4. Years ago Herman Raucher’s film adaptation of The Great Santini (with Duvall and Danner) drove me to buy and read the book. I’ve been a multimedia Conroy consumer ever since, and in August I purchased both the Kindle and Audible.com versions of South of Broad. I won’t be buying the paperback next week, even at Amazon’s discounted price, but I do find it interesting to note that, by abstaining from other publishers’ collusive agency price-fixing model and allowing Amazon to put its unparalleled multi-format pricing experience to work on behalf of all, Conroy’s publisher (the Nan A. Talese imprint falls under Doubleday’s umbrella, and thus under Random House) is maximizing brisk online sales in four important formats. The hardcover is currently ranked #1,896 in Amazon’s main bookstore with its price discounted from $29.95 to $19.77, pre-orders of the paperback are at #760 with a price discounted from $16 to $10.88, the $9.99 Kindle Edition moved from about #500 to about #400 in the past 24 hours, and the unabridged Kindle-compatible Audible.com version is, I’m sure, still selling a few copies with a price discounted from $31.50 to $23.63. For Mr. Conroy, life is pretty good, and all the better because he’s not published by MacMillan, Hachette, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, or Penguin/Pearson, the five agency model price fixers.
  • Speaking of brisk online sales, someone bought a Kindle yesterday after visiting Kindle Nation Daily and clicking on a link to Amazon. This has happened five times this month, and since Amazon sends $25.90 to Kindle Nation Daily two or three months after each such occurrence (yep, that was a disclosure), it looks like I will be in good shape to pay the various monthly fees associated with Kindle Nation Daily in July. So, thank you! And it appears that my sales are just the tip of the iceberg for Amazon, since I see that as of this morning the Kindle is still Amazon’s #1 selling electronics item, and Amazon said in a release earlier this week that in fact the Kindle remains the #1 selling item, period, for Amazon. Other products worth noting among Amazon’s top 25 in Electronics as of this morning are the Kindle DX at #7, iPod Touch models at #2, #3, and #19, other iPods at #14 and #15, and an Apple mouse at #24. Among Amazon’s top 25 in laptops are iPad models (offered by third-party sellers at premium prices) at #1, #2, and #4, and these models also rank #12, #23, and #74 among Amazon’s top 100 in computers, where Apple is additionally represented by 8 Mac models in the top 40.
  • Finally, I’m sure that folks who understand the 21st century innovation of “cloud computing” far better than I would be quick to tell me that it would be a huge stretch to link this news release from Amazon yesterday to global Kindle expansion, but I’m not so sure. Amazon’s headline reads: Amazon Web Services Launches Asia Pacific Region for Its Cloud Computing Platform; Cloud pioneer now offers its suite of web services from new Singapore datacenters to serve customers desiring an Asia Pacific presence, and you can click on the title to read the entire release. After all, don’t clouds often bring rain? Perhaps I am out of my depth here, but Bloomberg Business Week did have an intriguing story last week about talks between Amazon and Kodansha ahead of a possible in-country Japanese language Kindle launch, and I’m paying close attention to all the tidbits I can find about Amazon actually allowing the Kindle to establish country-by-country international roots for three reasons: (1) the number of Kindle Nation readers beyond U.S. borders continues to grow dramatically; (2) it’s potential news; and ( 3) I have a small vested interest, in that my Asian publisher (Nikkei BP) is releasing its Japanese translation of my book The Complete User’s Guide To the Amazing Amazon Kindle in paperback in May and wants to follow up with a Kindle edition as soon as Amazon offers a Japanese-language Kindle platform.

A boy can dream, whether he’s Ash on a Pokemon quest in Japan or an author in Arlington on a quest for first-mover status in the Japanese Kindlesphere.

Kindle Nation Daily Free Book Alert for Thursday, April 29: Sith #4, Milrose Munce, Puritan Preachers on the Prowl, and Dozens More

The latest free promotional listings from the Kindle Store include one continuation of a series, one listing which my 11-year-old son (who has earned the nickname “Literal Boy”) would tell me does not belong here because it actually costs a penny, and one Penguin Classic that we mentioned yesterday.

Milrose Munce and the Den of Professional Help by Douglas Anthony Cooper ($.01)
The Minister’s Wooing, a Penguin Classic by Harriet Beecher Stowe 

Meanwhile….

Here are our other updated free promotional listings in the Kindle Store as of April 28:

Wounded Healer by Donna Fleisher 

4.6 out of 5 stars (8 customer reviews)
 
Scent by Clint L. Kelly (Author)

3.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews)
by Sandra Felton
4.5 out of 5 stars (8 customer reviews)
by Leslie Parrott
Saving Sailor: A Novel

Amazon Announces Long-Awaited Kindle Features Coming in May: Content Organization, PDF Pan and Zoom, Password Protection, More Fonts, Facebook & Twitter, Highlights!

What’s halfway between the Kindle 2 and the Kindle 3?

It’s the Kindle 2.5, a software update that will be coming in May to the Kindle and Kindle DX, with some of the most important features that we’ve been calling for since the first edition of The Complete User’s Guide back in early 2008, including an approach to the folders issue and the capacity for Kindle owners to network directly from the Kindle around what they are reading. Thanks to Paul Biba at Teleread for the heads up.

We’ll have more on these major developments in the next few days, but here’s Amazon’s announcement text directly from the Kindle Support pages:

Kindle Version 2.5 Overview

The 2.5 software update for Kindle and Kindle DX is coming soon. We are rolling out the new software update to a limited group of Kindle users and plan a broad release in late May 2010. Check back here for updates on the release schedule.

Here’s a list of the coming enhancements:

  • Collections: Organize your books and documents into one or more collections.

  • PDF Pan and Zoom: Zoom into PDFs and pan around to easily view small print and detailed tables or graphics.

  • Password Protection: Password protect your Kindle when you’re not using it.

  • More Fonts & Improved Clarity: Enjoy two new larger font sizes and sharper fonts for an even more comfortable reading experience.

  • Facebook & Twitter Posts: Share book passages with friends on Facebook and Twitter directly from your Kindle.

  • Popular Highlights: See what the Kindle community thinks are the most interesting passages in the books you’re reading.

     

Kindle Nation Daily Free Book Alert for Wednesday, April 28: "The Minister’s Wooing," and Dozens More

Wednesday morning’s latest promotional freebie in the Kindle Store seems at first like a bit of an outlier. It’s a Penguin Classic, The Minister’s Wooing, first published over 150 years ago by one of the bestselling American authors of all time, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and described thus on its Kindle page.

From the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a domestic comedy that examines slavery, Protestant theology, and gender differences in early America. First published in 1859, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s third novel is set in eighteenth-century Newport, Rhode Island, a community known for its engagement in both religious piety and the slave trade. Mary Scudder lives in a modest farmhouse with her widowed mother an their boarder, Samuel Hopkins, a famous Calvinist theologian who preaches against slavery. Mary is in love with the passionate James Marvyn, but Mary is devout and James is a skeptic, and Mary’s mother opposes the union. James goes to sea, and when he is reportedly drowned, Mary is persuaded to become engaged to Dr. Hopkins.With colorful characters, including many based on real figures, and a plot that hinges on romance, The Minister’s Wooing combines comedy with regional history to show the convergence of daily life, slavery, and religion in post-Revolutionary New England.

So, it may not outsell the latest teen vampire novel, but it looks like it may be an interesting read and the price is right. My interest is also piqued by the fact that it turns up free in the Kindle Store during (or after?) a period of apparently difficult terms negotiations between Amazon and Penguin’s owner Pearson PLC. I’m not certain of this, but this ebook version The Minister’s Wooing appears to be a relatively new addition to the Kindle Store, and has only been made a free lsting in the past few hours. It is also available free at The Internet Archive, but shows a digital list price of $16 and a quick check of Inkmesh shows its listings at several other ebook retailers (Powells, Kobo, Cooler, Cyberread and eBooks.com) priced in a range from $12.80 to $16. It is also free at the Barnes & Noble eReader Store, but unavailable at Apple’s iBooks Store.

Interestingly, Stowe’s most famous book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, is free at Amazon and several other commercial and free ebook venues, but the only version available at the iBooks Store is Simon & Schuster’s $5.99 listing.

No reason to make anything of any of this, but it leaves me wondering … if a favorable resolution with Penguin’s owners might lead to a large increase in nicely priced Penguin Classics backlist titles in the Kindle Store … and if an element of Apple’s agency model price-fixing arrangement might involve keeping some free public domain books out of the iBooks Store in cases where a commercial publisher has a more expensive alternative.

Meanwhile….

Here are our other updated free promotional listings in the Kindle Store as of April 28:

Wounded Healer by Donna Fleisher 

4.6 out of 5 stars (8 customer reviews)
 
Scent by Clint L. Kelly (Author)

3.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews)
by Sandra Felton
4.5 out of 5 stars (8 customer reviews)
by Leslie Parrott
Saving Sailor: A Novel