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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

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 The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

A time travel mystery adventure with modern twists: The Secret Lake by Karen Inglis

9-in-1 BOXED SET ALERT! These sexy vamps are dressed up and ready to thrill. Can you handle the ride? Eternal Bite: A Limited Edition Collection of Vampire Stories

Titus uncovers a plot to attack the nation’s capital with chemical weapons… Don’t miss Three Weeks in Washington: A Titus Ray Thriller by Luana Ehrlich

Lucie is thrown into a criminal conspiracy straight out of a gangster movie. If she isn’t careful, she could end up… sleeping with the fishes! Dog Collar Crime by Adrienne Giordano

Have you ever wished for a “How To” book on life? Wisdom Speaks: Life Lessons From Proverbs by Tim Riordan

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The Future is Here (Literally) – Kicking Off the Summer 2010 CLAWS 2 Blog Tour

Editor’s Note: It’s an honor to share the Kindle Nation Daily platform with Stacey Cochran. Not only is Stacey a distinguished novelist in his own right, but he has gone far beyond the call of duty in helping other fine writers to create connections with readers in the Kindle community and beyond. Also, let me hasted to add that Stacey led off his post with a very gracious, but totally unecessary, statement of personal appreciation. Since I didn’t want him to bury the lead, I took the liberty of moving it to the end of the post. –S.W.
 

by Stacey Cochran, author of CLAWS 2 
Does anyone doubt that the eBook revolution is here?

Last summer 2009, I published my novel CLAWS on Amazon Kindle. I had no idea at the time that I was embarking on a career breakthrough. For five years prior to summer ’09, I had been self-publishing via POD a series of novels and short stories. None of those sold well.

So I had no expectations that my Kindle books would do any better.

To date, I have had close to 40,000 Kindle downloads of my books. While the vast majority of these were for a freebie, I’ve managed to sell in the neighborhood of 10,000 copies of my books.

Again, does anyone doubt that the eBook revolution is here?




This summer I am embarking on a two-month Blog Tour to help promote my new thriller CLAWS 2.
A Blog Tour is the ultimate poor man’s way to promote his book. I love it. It completely fits in with my populist proletariat vision for entertainment. It’s extremely difficult to get mainstream media attention from traditional sources like national news, television, newspaper, radio without a major push from a major publisher, but a Blog Tour is a proactive way to help spread the word.

A Blog Tour gives the power to the author (or potentially indie filmmaker, musician, artist, etc.) to get “out on the road” and market and promote his/her work. It puts the power in the hands of folks like Windwalker, like Bufo Calvin, like Misty Baker, RJ Keller, Becky Sutton, Dawson Vosburg, Elisa Lorello, Kipp Poe Speicher, Zoe Winters, Scott Nicholson, the list goes on and on. It gives these folks the power to disseminate what is going on in the new world of eBook publishing and entertainment.

It is deeply satisfying to not be told no, but there’s more at stake here than me. We are part of a movement that is reconfiguring how traditional publishing finds new authors, publishes, distributes, and prices books. How cool is that?

I feel like I’m part of a revolution that says 1) we will not pay excessively high prices for books, that are 2) too formulaic, cookie cutter, and thus demeaning to audiences, and that 3) says we will not support a business model that is top-down, rather than grassroots up.

Any structure that puts all of its weight at its highest level is doomed to collapse… or it must reinvent itself. And I think this is what we’re seeing today.

So a Blog Tour represents to me a healthy, democratic entrepreneurial action. And every time you host an independent author on your blog or write a review (good or bad), you’re taking a stand that puts the power of your voice front and center.

I need two things, which is why I’m here today: 1) Blogs that are willing to host me on this Blog Tour, and 2) Reviews (good or bad) of my Kindle books.

If you would like to host me on my Blog Tour the next couple of months, drop me a line at http://staceycochran.com

If you would like to write a review or buy my eBooks, visit me on Amazon.com

As self-promoting as these two goals are, at its core they’re pure freedom in action. They’re a little man (me) taking a stand. It’s me saying that the voice of the people is what matters most. Not Big money. Not Big Power.

Viva la revolution!

We the people. We the people.

Say it out loud.


==================


Stacey Cochran is the author of CLAWS, The Colorado Sequence, Amber Page, The Kiribati Test, and now CLAWS 2. Visit him on the web at http://staceycochran.com.



(Thank you, Stephen, for allowing me to kick off my summer 2010 CLAWS 2 Blog Tour at the Kindle Nation Blog. I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity, as your blog and your readers hold a special place in my heart, mind, and thinking about the future of publishing.)

Kindle Nation Daily Free & Bargain Book Alert for Wednesday, June 30 – Say Goodbye to June and Say Hello to a New Rick Riordan Sneak Preview, Over 100 Free Promotional eBook Titles, Now Sorted by Category

If you’ve got a tweener or young teen in your household, then you’ve probably heard of Percy Jackson and Rick Riordan. And if that’s the case, the latest free title in the Kindle Store could be a big hit, even if it is billed as “just” a sneak preview….

But first, a word from … Today’s Sponsor


Today’s Kindle Nation Daily Free and Bargain Book Alert is sponsored by Stacey Cochran’s new thriller, CLAWS 2, just released for just $2.99 in the Kindle Store. Here’s the premise, which Emily Bestler (Dan Brown’s editor at Atria Books) called “a great premise for a thriller”:

Down on her luck and bankrupt, embattled wildlife biologist Dr. Angie Rippard accepts a long-shot assignment from the governor of Colorado to determine once and for all if grizzly bears are completely extinct in the southwest corner of the state. No one has seen a grizzly north of Durango since 1979, but the governor needs proof to halt development of a 6,000-acre ski resort that will devastate the natural resources of the region. What Angie finds will forever disrupt construction of the 500-million-dollar resort, and pits her against powerful political forces that will stop at nothing to see that her research never sees the light of day… even if it means hunting her to her death through the worst snowstorm ever seen in the mountains near Telluride.

Even better, it’s clear from my own reading and from the reviews you’ll find on the book’s Kindle detail page that Cochran is up to the task of fulfilling the promise of his premise. He’s a talented novelist, and whether you start with CLAWS, CLAWS 2, or one of his earlier books, please don’t be surprised if you find that you’ve added a new author to your must-follow/must-read list.

Each day’s list is sponsored by one paid title, and of course, we encourage you to support our sponsors. Some of these paid titles will be from our own Kindle Nation Daily press (an imprint of Harvard Perspectives Press), while others will be paid titles from other authors and publishers.

Interested in learning more about sponsorship? Just click on this link for more information:

Sponsor a Kindle Nation Daily Free Book Alert!

New Free Listings! 
by Rick Riordan
The Heroes of Olympus Book One: The Lost Hero, by Percy Jackson creator Riordan, is available for pre-order and will be released October 10 at a Kindle price of $9.99, so the usual free sample chapter is not available for another few months, but this is a fairly substantial preview (over 400 locations, or about 60% as long as Stephen King’s novella Blockade Billy).

Here’s a list of the categories in today’s Free & Bargain Book Alert:


Christian Spirituality & Christian Fiction
Science Fiction & Fantasy
Romance 
Erotica
Naughty Nooners — Erotica from Cerridwen Press
Scintillating Samples — Romance/Erotica from Cerridwen Press
Samples
Memoir, Biography, Personal Story
Writing and Publishing
Children/Young Adult/Teen
Contemporary Fiction
Nonfiction/Leadership/Change/Reference/Essay

Erotica
Peak Energy
Naughty Nooners — Erotica from Cerridwen Press
Scintillating Samples — Romance/Erotica from Cerridwen Press

Right on Schedule, Amazon Changes the Arithmetic of Publishing By Launching 70 Percent Royalty Option for Kindle Digital Text Platform

By Stephen Windwalker, Editor of Kindle Nation

Right on schedule, Amazon followed through today on the promise it made in January to offer a direct 70 per cent royalty option to authors and publishers who use the company’s Kindle Digital Text Platform. 

As we said here when Amazon made its initial announcement January 20, the effective doubling of direct author royalties is “a move that is likely to bring dramatic changes in the way that authors and publishers view their ebook publishing options.”

The 70 percent royalty option will also have an enormously beneficial effect for Kindle owners and other Kindle content customers, in part because it will further accelerate the velocity with which new content comes to the Kindle Store. Equally important, the conditions upon which eligibility for the 70 percent royalty option is based will be a powerful force in organizing Kindle content prices into a mandatory $2.99 to $9.99 price range and setting a maximum price ration of 4:5 between a qualifying Kindle book and “the lowest list price for the physical book.”

How big a change is the new royalty option? It’s more than just a matter of upgrading DTP royalties from their previous 35 percent level, although that’s nothing to sneeze at. Instead, Amazon vice president of Kindle Content Russ Grandinetti suggested in the January 20 press release, it has the potential, for authors and indie publishers, to transform the economics of trying to earn a living by writing and publishing:

“Today, authors often receive royalties in the range of 7 to 15 percent of the list price that publishers set for their physical books, or 25 percent of the net that publishers receive from retailers for their digital books. We’re excited that the new 70 percent royalty option for the Kindle Digital Text Platform will help us pay authors higher royalties when readers choose their books.” 

The stunning arithmetic involved here is bound to get the attention of well-established authors who have plenty of choices when it comes to publishing their books, because all of those choices, at present, involve far lower per-unit compensation. As always, the point where the rubber hits the road in these equations involves the number of units that becomes the multiplier for per-unit royalty rates, and more than a few mid-list as well as bestselling authors are likely to get out their pencils and try to calculate how important their publishers are in generating book sales.

In an interview last week on Len Edgerly’s The Kindle Chronicles podcast, Grandinetti directly questioned the roles both of publishers and of Amazon and its retail competitors as intermediaries in the changing worlds of publishing and bookselling:

“Any of us in this business, publishers and retailers, aren’t that necessary. Really the only things that you need are an author and someone interested in his or her work, and all of us in the middle have to figure out how to add value between those two parties….

“We’ve long said that part of our work is to become a more efficient retailer, a more efficient intermediary between suppliers, publishers, authors, and cusrtomers and I think we’re reasonably well known for working hard to lower prices for customers. But if we think about authors as our customers, then making it easier and more feasible for an author to sustain a living writing is a great way to make our store better and to grow our business, so taking some of the efficiency that digital book publishing affords us and passing some of that efficiency back on to authors is a really great way to let digital publishing and digital bookselling drive a better customer experience.

“There are myriad examples out there of authors how self publishing allows them to earn a better income at their craft. We’re happy to take advantage of it but I don’t think we’ll be the only ones. That’s just going to happen as the book business shifts more and more to digital,” said Grandinetti.

Under this new royalty structure, no DTP author with an understanding of the rules and of simple price-demand elasticity would ever price a book between $10 and $25, and few authors with any confidence in their product would ever price a book below $2.99. (This royalty structure does not yet apply to larger corporate publishers under the agency model, but they may create pricing trends that could affect all publishers, and Amazon has shown an interest in publisher parity and may try to move gradually in the future to bring larger publisher contracts into conformity with this structure.)

Here’s how royalties would play out at various price points, assuming a net delivery cost of 6 cents per unit:

Retail   Royalty   Net      Royalty
Price    Pct.      Delivery

                   Cost

$0.99    35.00%    $0.00    $0.35
$1.99    35.00%    $0.00    $0.70
$2.99    70.00%    $0.06    $2.03
$3.99    70.00%    $0.06    $2.73
$4.99    70.00%    $0.06    $3.43
$5.99    70.00%    $0.06    $4.13
$6.99    70.00%    $0.06    $4.83
$7.99    70.00%    $0.06    $5.53
$8.99    70.00%    $0.06    $6.23
$9.99    70.00%    $0.06    $6.93
$10.99    35.00%    $0.00   $3.85
$11.99    35.00%    $0.00   $4.20
$12.99    35.00%    $0.00   $4.55
$13.99    35.00%    $0.00   $4.90
$14.99    35.00%    $0.00   $5.25
$19.99    35.00%    $0.00   $7.00
$24.99    35.00%    $0.00   $8.75
$29.99    35.00%    $0.00   $10.50

Here’s the guts of the Amazon press release this morning:

70 Percent Royalty Option for Kindle Digital Text Platform Now Available
Starting today, authors and publishers can earn more royalties from every Kindle book sold

SEATTLE, Jun 30, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced that the 70 percent royalty option that enables authors and publishers who use the Kindle Digital Text Platform (DTP) to earn a larger share of revenue from each Kindle book they sell is now available. For each book sold from the Kindle Store for Kindle, Kindle DX, or one of the Kindle apps for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry, PC, Mac and Android phones, authors and publishers who choose the new 70 percent royalty option will receive 70 percent of the list price, net of delivery costs.
Delivery costs are based on file size, and pricing is set at $0.15/MB. At today’s median DTP file size of 368KB, delivery costs would be less than $0.06 per unit sold. For example, on an $8.99 book an author would make $3.15 with the standard option and $6.25 with the new 70 percent option. This new option, first announced in January 2010, will be in addition to and will not replace the existing DTP standard royalty option.

In addition to the 70 percent royalty option, Amazon also announced improvements in DTP such as a more intuitive “Bookshelf” feature and a simplified two-step process for publishing. These features make it more convenient for authors and publishers to publish using DTP.
“We’re excited about the launch of the 70 percent royalty option and user experience enhancements in DTP because they enable authors and publishers to conveniently offer more content to Kindle customers and to make more money from the books they sell,” said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President of Kindle Content.
DTP authors and publishers are now able to select the royalty option that best meets their needs. Books from authors and publishers who choose the 70 percent royalty option will have access to all the same features and be subject to all the same requirements as books receiving the standard royalty rate. In addition, to qualify for the 70 percent royalty option, books must satisfy the following set of requirements:

  • The author or publisher-supplied list price must be between $2.99 and $9.99.
  • The list price must be at least 20 percent below the lowest list price for the physical book.
  • The title is made available for sale in all geographies for which the author or publisher has rights.
  • The title will be included in a broad set of features in the Kindle Store, such as text-to-speech. This list of features will grow over time as Amazon continues to add more functionality to Kindle and the Kindle Store.
  • Under this royalty option, books must be offered at or below price parity with competition, including physical book prices.

The 70 percent royalty option is for in-copyright works and is unavailable for works published before 1923 (a.k.a. public domain books). The 70 percent royalty option is currently only available for books sold to United States customers.
DTP is a fast and easy self-publishing tool that lets anyone upload and format their books for sale in the Kindle Store (www.amazon.com/kindlestore). To learn more about the Kindle Digital Text Platform, visit http://dtp.amazon.com or e-mail dtp-support@amazon.com.
Kindle is in stock and available for immediate shipment today at http://www.amazon.com/kindle.

A Billion “Kindles”, with Kindle for Android Joining Kindle Apps for the PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and BlackBerry

(Editor’s Note: Please accept my apology for my failure to publish this post when it was originally written earlier this week, and to include it in yesterday’s weekly Kindle Nation email blast. I would attempt to explain the complicated set of trivialities that contributed to the omission, but that would serve no purpose but to further burden my already overstuffed folder of lame excuses. –S.W.)

Amazon announced yesterday oops, Monday that the long-awaited free Kindle for Android download is now available for direct download from the Android Market (use your Android smartphone or other Android device to go to the Android Market and type in “kindle.”) Click here for Amazon’s information page on the Kindle for Android device.

As has generally been the case with these Kindle apps for other devices, the app has been launched with some features ready and others in the works. Current features include the ability for customers to:

  • Access their library of previously purchased Kindle books storedon Amazon’s servers for free 
  • Synchronize last page read between their Kindle, Kindle DX, iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, PC, Mac, BlackBerry and Android-powered phone
  • Customize background color, font color, and font size to help ease eyestrain
  • Read in portrait or landscape mode, tap on either side of the screen or flick to turn pages
  • Adjust screen brightness from within the app to make reading easier

Features promised for Kindle for Android “in the near future” include full text search and purchasing of Kindle books from within the app.

Although there have been differences of opinion as to the meaning of comparative “installed base” numbers on the Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, and other platforms, it is clear that the Kindle is continuing to add significantly to the near universality of devices on which one can buy, read, and maintain a library of ebooks from the Kindle store. (The only reason I use the qualifier “near” is that neither Amazon nor competitors like Sony, Barnes & Noble, and Borders have demonstrated any interest in extending this kind of interoperability between the Kindle platform and other dedicated ebook readers.) There may only be about 4 million Kindles in use around the world, but there are well over a billion other devices which enjoy full Kindle platform functionality with Kindle apps for the PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry, and Android, and it is likely that we will soon see the Kindle software pre-loaded onto millions of these devices.

By the way, one thing that seems to create a lot of confusion about these Kindle device apps: not everyone understands that you don’t need a Kindle to be able to use one or more of the various device apps. You don’t. No Kindle Required. You could go through life without a Kindle, really. Although I’m not sure why you would want to do that.

On the other hand, one thing you still cannot do with Kindle for Android, Kindle for iPad, Kindle for iPhone, Kindle for BlackBerry or any of the sibling Kindle apps is read your Kindle blog and periodical subscriptions. Like Kindle Nation Daily, just as a for instance. But that may change soon, and here’s why we think so.

Click here for Kindle for Android help from Kindle Support.

Here’s the guts of Amazon’s press release announcing the Kindle for Android app:

Free Kindle for Android App Now Available
Amazon’s selection of free Kindle apps expands today to include Kindle for Android, giving readers the freedom and flexibility to read and sync their books across a wide range of devices

SEATTLE, Jun 28, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) today announced that its suite of free Kindle reading apps now includes Kindle for Android. Customers around the world can now download this free application from Android Market and enjoy Amazon’s vast selection of Kindle books on their Android-powered devices. The free Kindle apps allow U.S. customers to discover and read over 620,000 books in the Kindle Store – the largest selection of the most popular books that people want to read – including New York Times Bestsellers and New Releases from $9.99. Like all Kindle apps, Kindle for Android includes Amazon’s Whispersync technology, which saves and synchronizes a customer’s books and bookmarks across their Kindle, Kindle DX, BlackBerry, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Mac, PC, and now Android-powered phones so customers always have their reading material with them and never lose their place. Customers can learn more about Kindle for Android at http://www.amazon.com/kindleforandroid and can download the free app from Android Market.
“Our customers tell us they love the convenience of having their Kindle library with them everywhere and their reading synchronized across multiple devices,” said Dorothy Nicholls, director, Amazon Kindle. “With Kindle for Android, customers can choose from a vast selection of over 620,000 books to read on their Android-powered phone, no matter where they are – on the bus, waiting for a cab, or in between meetings. Kindle for Android and the rest of the free Kindle apps are the perfect companions for readers who don’t have their Kindle with them or don’t yet own a Kindle.”
Android-powered device owners can now take advantage of the features that customers love about Kindle and the Kindle app experience, including:

  • Search and browse more than 620,000 books, including 108 of 111 New York Times Bestsellers, plus tens of thousands of the most popular classics for free directly from their Android device. Bestsellers such as “Backlash” by Aaron Allston, “Big Girl” by Danielle Steel, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot, and “The Lost Symbol” by Dan Brown, and hundreds of thousands of other popular books are $9.99 or less in the Kindle Store
  • Read the first chapter of books for free before they decide to buy
  • Access their library of previously purchased Kindle books storedon Amazon’s servers for free
  • Synchronize last page read between their Kindle, Kindle DX, iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, PC, Mac, BlackBerry and Android-powered phone
  • Customize background color, font color, and font size to help ease eyestrain
  • Read in portrait or landscape mode, tap on either side of the screen or flick to turn pages
  • Adjust screen brightness from within the app to make reading easier

Several features will be added to Kindle for Android in the near future, including full text search and purchasing of Kindle books from within the app. Customers can learn more about the free Kindle for Android reading app at http://www.amazon.com/kindleforandroid and can download the app from Android Market.

Amazon, Kindle Stores Down and Out; Now Back Up

Update: Amazon website functionality appeared to be fully restored in late afternoon (Pacific time).

As you may have noticed, the Amazon website has been suffering from a pretty massive outage since early afternoon today (Pacific time). The following message on the Amazon Sellers Forum is the only official acknowledgment that I’ve seen. Although the weekly Kindle Nation newsletter is queued up and ready to send, we will hold it until the outage seems to be solved.

Greetings from Amazon,

We are currently experiencing an issue that is impacting customers’ ability to place orders on the Amazon.com website.

We are working to correct the issue and will continue to provide updates until service has been restored.

Regards,
Josh L.
Seller Support
Amazon Services

What Was Really Behind Last Week’s Dramatic Kindle Price Cut? Could It Have Been a Decline in Relative In-House Sales Ranking? Er, No….

  • Originally posted to Kindle Nation Daily 6.29.2010.

By Stephen Windwalker, Editor of Kindle Nation – © Kindle Nation Daily 2010

Reporters, pundits, and bloggers tend to see the world in terms of conflict. It makes it easier to organize information, and it certainly makes it easier to write headlines.

But even more than conflict, we like scoops, and I noticed something this morning that made me wonder if who attributed last week’s dramatic Kindle price cut (from $259 to $189) to a price war between the Kindle and the Nook or a death match between the Kindle and the iPad might have missed out on a scoop. Could the biggest “tell” about what really happened have been evident in an ever-so-slight change that turned up this week in the wording of Amazon’s own press releases. Here’s the tale of the text:

  • Last October, when Amazon lowered the Kindle’s price by $40 to $299 for the 2009 holiday season, the company began describing the device by saying “Kindle is the most wished for, the most gifted, and the #1 bestselling product across the millions of items we sell on Amazon.” That October 7 press release quoted CEO Jeff Bezos directly, and the statement, importantly, was cast in the present tense. In a previous releases in February 2009, the Kindle had been “the No. 1 seller in Electronics on the Amazon.com Web site,” so it was clear that it had moved up significantly in the company’s overall sales rankings across categories.
  • On November 30, 2009, another release said “Kindle continues to be the most wished for, the most gifted, and the #1 bestselling product across all product categories on Amazon.” The present tense was used again, and for a publicly traded company the penalties could be severe if there were fudging about what was meant by such a statement.
  • The same language, always in the present tense, continued to show up in Amazon’s Kindle-related press releases nearly every month through late 2009 and the first half of 2010, right up through a pre-Father’s Day release on June 15 that began “Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) today announced free expedited shipping for Kindle, Amazon’s most gifted, most wished for, and #1 bestselling product.”
  • Then in a release last Monday, June 21, announcing a new price cut to $189, the language changed ever so slightly, and the present tense was gone: “Since its release, Kindle has been the #1 bestselling product across the millions of items sold on Amazon.” In the two Kindle-related releases since, the line has not appeared in any form. H’mmmm.

Trained in close textual analysis in one of the finest English departments of the world, I wondered if I might not be on to something! Could the magic that I had honed decades ago in deconstructing the manuscript development of Lady Chatterley’s Lover be applicable to the creative work product of Amazon’s press office?

After all, might saying that the Kindle has been #1 over a period of years allow the company to accommodate individual weeks or months, more recently, when it may have slipped from that lofty position, while still maintaining the basic upbeat message?


In an appearance last week on Len Edgerly’s The Kindle Chronicles podcast last week, Amazon VP for Kindle Content Russ Grandinetti steered listeners away from the idea that the Kindle price cut was a response to Barnes & Noble’s having announced — just 7 hours and 15 minutes earlier! — that it was cutting the price of its Nook ereader from $259 to $199:

“I would encourage everyone looking at this to really pull back and look at the longer arc of our progress on Kindle,” Grandinetti told Edgerly. “One of the things we’ve done from the day that we started is to work to build efficiencies in the way we build the devices and pass them on in price to customers, so this is far from the first price drop that we’ve done and it’s entirely consistent with our strategy of offering people the best experience, and the best experience also includes price. We as a company always try to offer customer the best pricing, and Kindle is no different.”

While that all sounds like Amazon 101, and we all may have a tendency to take such corporate statements with some sodium or see them as misdirection plays from a company that tries assiduously to avoid discussing other companies’ products, there was little doubt that a price cut was coming sometime this summer for the current model of the Kindle.

The real question was when it would come, and it seemed no accident that, if the Kindle fell from its #1 in-house perch sometime after June 15, that fall may have driven the timing of the June 21 price cut more than any external force. 

Aha! What fun! All I needed was a comment from Amazon, so I sent off a query to a couple of contacts in the press office there.

“I’m wondering if you could give me any comments on whether the change in language reflected any change in the Kindle sales ranking across all Amazon categories,” I wrote. Maybe I’d hear back, maybe I wouldn’t.

It took Amazon spokesman Andrew Herdener less than an hour to get back to me.

I almost wish I hadn’t asked. There was no conflict, and even worse, there was no scoop.

Kindle *is* the #1 bestselling, most wished for, and most gifted item for two years running,” wrote Drew.

End of story, at least for now. But, truth to tell, I don’t regret that I asked, because while it’s fun to get the story first, it’s far better to get it right, and it’s frankly pretty amazing how much sloppy, seat-of-the-pants reporting and analysis we see in the gadget press with respect to the Kindle, ebooks, and the publishing world.

Meanwhile, whatever purposes the price cut may have had, it seems to be working just fine. At the risk of relying on anecdotal signals (as opposed to close textual analysis), let me just say that the signals we’ve been watching over the past week tell us that Kindle sales velocity since June 21 has been greater than at any time since January.

But we have no confirmation on that, and we won’t have any until Amazon announces its second-quarter earnings late in July.

And, speaking of fun, that day could be fun.

Kindle Nation Daily Free & Bargain Book Alert for Tuesday, June 29 – New Genre Fiction from Kensington, Pinnacle, and Zebra: Eternal Hunter, No Mercy, Tuscan Holiday, Lakota Flower, The Heir, and Over 100 Free Promotional eBook Titles, Now Sorted by Category, and a Truly Twisted “Today’s Sponsor”!

Four new Genre Fiction titles from Kensington, Pinnacle, and Zebra are free in the Kindle Store today!

But first, a word from … Today’s Sponsor


Today’s Kindle Nation Daily Free and Bargain Book Alert is sponsored by Android Karenina, the latest collaborative mashup by Ben Winters and Leo Tolstoy. If you’re wondering what great 19th century literature is coming to, the answer may lie in this new (June 8) release from Quirk Books by the co-author of Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. Library Journal called it “strangely entertaining, like a Weird Al version of an opera aria,” and Real Simple hailed it as “A Monsterpiece!” You can learn more about Brooklyn’s own Ben Winters here, and if you’re looking for more suggestions for a truly twisted summer reading list you may want to start with Seth Grahame-Smith’s bestseller Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Each day’s list is sponsored by one paid title, and of course, we encourage you to support our sponsors. Some of these paid titles will be from our own Kindle Nation Daily press (an imprint of Harvard Perspectives Press), while others will be paid titles from other authors and publishers.

(Interested in learning more about sponsorship? Scroll down to the bottom of this post to learn more.)

New Free Listings! 
(These are all romance novels.)

Here’s a list of the categories in today’s Free & Bargain Book Alert:

Nonfiction/Leadership/Change/Reference/Essay

Christian Spirituality & Christian Fiction
Science Fiction & Fantasy
Romance 
Erotica
Naughty Nooners — Erotica from Cerridwen Press
Scintillating Samples — Romance/Erotica from Cerridwen Press
Samples
Memoir, Biography, Personal Story
Writing and Publishing
Children/Young Adult/Teen
Contemporary Fiction

Mysteries & Thrillers

No Mercy

No Mercy – Thriller 

Nonfiction/Leadership/Change/Reference/Essay

Erotica
Peak Energy
Naughty Nooners — Erotica from Cerridwen Press
Scintillating Samples — Romance/Erotica from Cerridwen Press
Samples
Tumor Chapter 1


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