Kindle Nation WEEKENDERAll things Kindle, every weekend
January 22, 2012
in this issue
:: A Fresh Look at Kindle Store Prices Shows That Prices Are Falling, Yet Royalties are Holding Steady or Even Rising for Smart Authors
:: From Kindle Customer Service, and you probably already have the update: 6.2.2 - The New Kindle Fire Software Update
:: From the Kindle Nation Mailbag..."How Do I Count the Pages on a Kindle?
:: Kindle Nation Free Book Alert:...Over 1,900 Free Contemporary Titles on Kindle, Sponsored by Terri Wolffe's DESPERATE DESIRES
This week's Kindle Fire giveaway is sponsored by Matt Schorr, author of ELIJAH, with 100% Rave Reviews
Don't Forget! You Have Until Noon Monday (EST) to Enter This Week's Brand New KINDLE FIRE Giveaway Sweepstakes, Sponsored by Matt Schorr, author of Elijah
 
You may have noticed once or twice in the past that those crazy people at Kindle Nation Daily give away a Kindle Fire now and then.

Yes? And maybe you even entered the giveaway sweepstakes once or twice.

But you probably didn't win, right? (Unless you were one of the 14 lucky souls who did win.)

And maybe you didn't enter again. Because you never win anything?

That's what 12 of the 14 winners so far have told us, by the way: "I never win anything."
Click on the Kindle Fire to Enter!


But that time they did win. And not to put too fine a point on this, but so could you, because we are continuing our crazy ways and giving away a Kindle Fire every week for the rest of 2012!

So, it's up to you. It will take you about a minute a week to enter.  And if you never win anything, well, that seems to be one of the qualifications.

Check here for the details on this week's Kindle Fire Giveaway Sweepstakes.

Good luck!


And make sure that you pay it forward and sweeten your karma by downloading a copy of Matt Schorr's ELIJAH today!

 

A Fresh Look at Kindle Store Prices Shows That Prices Are Falling, Yet Royalties are Holding Steady or Even Rising for Smart Authors

By Steve Windwalker

A lot has changed since the last time we did a close analysis of prices in the Kindle Store, and most of it is for the better for the citizens of Kindle Nation, including both readers and authors.
PRICE BREAKDOWN ON KINDLE EBOOK CATALOG, 1.22.2012

So what do all those numbers mean for you and me?

There are now nearly 1.2 million titles available (plus millions more free public domain titles), and that's over 200,000 more than in May 2011. And thanks to fairly recent Kindle innovations like the Kindle Lending Library, KDP Select, and the Kindle Daily Deal, the pricing news is actually pretty good both for readers and for authors and publishers at the same time.

How could that be? Let's take a look at some numbers and patterns that stand out.
  • Amazon continued to deploy its relentless arsenal of promotional programs (Kindle Daily Deal, 100 Kindle Books for $3.99 or Less, Kindle Lending Library Free Borrowing, KDP Select Free Book Promotions, and more)  to push prices lower for readers. How much lower? The number of Top 100 Kindle Store bestsellers priced under $5 grew from 43 on May 17 to 59 today, and the number of Top 100 Kindle Store bestsellers priced above $10 fell from 35 to 30 in the same period.
  • Throughout most of 2011, these and other market forces had the effect of pushing indie and undiscovered authors to price their books lower, often with excellent results when the combination of price, quality, and effective marketing helped authors hit the sweet spot. Some of them reached the mistaken conclusion that they could only succeed if they priced their books at 99 cents, but it was certainly true that they generally experienced price friction when they chose to price titles above $3. As I told one author who couldn't understand why he wouldn't get very far pricing his literary fiction at $4.99, "Why don't you just put a sticker on the title that says 'Among the Highest-Priced Indie Titles!'?"
  • But underneath all of this, the most important shift of tectonic plates is that fewer authors than ever are bringing their books to traditional publishers, and those publishers are giving up bestseller list territory every month to indie or direct-publishing authors -- only four of the top 16 bestselling Kindle titles as of this hour are published by the Big 6 publishers whose agency model price-fixing scheme is under investigation on at least two continents.
  • As a result, even with lower retail prices, smart authors are earning higher royalties: an indie author pricing her book at $2.99 via Kindle Direct Publishing will earn about $2.04 per unit in royalties, but a traditionally published author whose publisher sets a book's price at $9.99 will receive only about $1.75 in royalties, and often less.
  • Meanwhile, the KDP Select program and its Kindle Lending Library component have scored a huge hit both with readers and with indie authors. The number of titles available in the Kindle Lending Library has grown from under 5,400 to over 87,000 since December 9 when Amazon launched KDP Select, and readers borrowed 295,000 of those "copies" in the last 3 weeks of December alone. Those free borrows nonetheless turned into $1.70 per borrow for participating authors, and to put it in perspective that prorated share of the $500,000 dedicated fund created by Amazon became 20 to 40% of the total ebook income for many indie authors and small press publishers.
  • Equally important, Amazon has effectively created a new and very different "bestseller list" for its 87,000+ Kindle Lending Library titles, one which has already proven to drive further sales by  helping to translate the popularity of KDP Select zero-price promotions into better discoverability and sales (which is especially important because freebies downloaded are understandably no longer part of the general Kindle Store paid sales rankings when a freebie reverts to paid status).
  • Finally, the success and structured visibility of the Kindle Lending Library actually supports higher Kindle Store prices. Why? Because it is clear that the higher the Kindle sale price of a reasonably popular title, the more people will be likely to borrow it (all other things being equal), so that participating authors and publishers may well end up with more overall transactions and higher overall revenues if they price a KLL-eligible title at $2.99 rather than 99 cents, and readers can still grab it free if they deem it worth one of their monthly KLL borrows. Nobody knows what levels of per-unit borrowing remuneration Amazon will fund in the future, but December's $1.70 per-unit level seems to support an overall pricing array that is within the comfort zone for all concerned (except
    Author Clint Arthur looked at the title he had chosen for this book, and pricing it at $97 made all the sense in the world
    Big Six publishers, who are leaving plenty of money on the table by refusing to participate in the Kindle Lending Library at significant levels), and sets up some almost arbitrage-like pricing decisions and opportunities for authors and publishers. The most interesting example I've found to date? Author Clint Arthur, who probably would accept being labeled as a bit of a hustler, has priced his very readable and inspiring, if immodestly titled The Greatest Book of All Time at $97.00. Perhaps he has priced it at $97 because that's what he feels "it is worth." More likely, he understands that such a price is likely to make it a no-brainer impulse "free borrow" for thousands of Amazon Prime members. That's why the book is currently in the Top 100 in Kindle Lending Library titles sorted by popularity, which in turn will generate more borrows (and some sales?). In any case, we'd estimate that Mr. Arthur's royalties are currently over $1,000 per week, which may, for him, make it the greatest book of all time.
From Kindle Customer Service, and you probably already have the update:
6.2.2 - The New Kindle Fire Software Update

We wanted to let you know that we've released a new, over-the-air software update for Kindle Fire. As with all of our free software updates, this will be delivered automatically to your Kindle Fire.

This update contains several performance improvements and additional features. First, we've made improvements to the graphics system. You will notice smoother rendering when performing common operations like pinching and zooming, panning and scrolling. Second, you will notice a new icon (four arrows pointing outward) in the lower right corner of the display. Tapping on this icon enables a full screen mode that maximizes the amount of the screen devoted to the web site. To exit full screen mode, you can tap on the up arrow at the bottom center of the display. We think you will find this new feature especially helpful when browsing with the device in landscape orientation.

We've also made it easier to turn Flash on and off. The "Enable plug-ins" setting in the browser settings has been changed to "Enable Flash." The Flash default is "Off" but if you'd like Flash to be turned on, it's easy to do - simply go to Silk settings and select "Enable Flash."

Finally, we've made a change to the way that the Kindle Fire communicates with the Silk acceleration servers when in cloud acceleration mode. To reduce overhead and speed up page loads, we've changed the way these communications are processed and will no longer use SSL by default. If you want to enable SSL for the communication between the Kindle Fire and the Silk acceleration servers, you can select the "Optional Encryption" setting in the browser settings menu. This change does not affect traffic to SSL (HTTPS) web sites; that traffic is routed directly to the those web sites and remains encrypted.

For more information about the software update, go to www.amazon.com/kindlesoftwareupdates.

 

Judi Coltman's In the Name of the Father is our new Thriller of the Week!


Liz's best friend rode off on a motorcycle when she was 16, and her body parts washed up on a beach days later.

Now on her own, Liz returns to make peace with the events of her 16th summer and finds the man she'd left behind when her parents sent her away for safety's sake. When another body turns up on a nearby roadside, Liz and John have to face the truth that the killer is still out there.

Watching.

Waiting for them.

 

From eBook Friendly's Piotr Kowalczyk
Detailed Report & Analysis: Top Self-Published Kindle Books, 2011

Will self-published books continue to expand? Is $0.99 price tag wearing out? Can we expect new success stories from independent authors?

Visit this link to see the full in-depth report


New iBooks Author Lets Anyone Create Stunning iBooks Textbooks
Apple Reinvents Textbooks with iBooks 2 for iPad

NEW YORK-January 19, 2012 (From a company press release)-Apple® today announced iBooks® 2 for iPad®, featuring iBooks textbooks, an entirely new kind of textbook that's dynamic, engaging and truly interactive. iBooks textbooks offer iPad users gorgeous, fullscreen textbooks with interactive animations, diagrams, photos, videos, unrivaled navigation and much more. iBooks textbooks can be kept up to date, don't weigh down a backpack and never have to be returned. Leading education services companies including Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill and Pearson will deliver educational titles on the iBookstore with most priced at $14.99 or less, and with the new iBooks Author, a free authoring tool available today, anyone with a Mac® can create stunning iBooks textbooks.

"Education is deep in Apple's DNA and iPad may be our most exciting education product yet. With 1.5 million iPads already in use in education institutions, including over 1,000 one-to-one deployments, iPad is rapidly being adopted by schools across the US and around the world," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "Now with iBooks 2 for iPad, students have a more dynamic, engaging and truly interactive way to read and learn, using the device they already love."

The new iBooks 2 app is available today as a free download from the App Store™. With support for great new features including gorgeous, fullscreen books, interactive 3D objects, diagrams, videos and photos, the iBooks 2 app will let students learn about the solar system or the physics of a skyscraper with amazing new interactive textbooks that come to life with just a tap or swipe of the finger. With its fast, fluid navigation, easy highlighting and note-taking, searching and definitions, plus lesson reviews and study cards, the new iBooks 2 app lets students study and learn in more efficient and effective ways than ever before.

iBooks Author is also available today as a free download from the Mac App Store and lets anyone with a Mac create stunning iBooks textbooks, cookbooks, history books, picture books and more, and publish them to Apple's iBookstore. Authors and publishers of any size can start creating with Apple-designed templates that feature a wide variety of page layouts. iBooks Author lets you add your own text and images by simply dragging and dropping, and with the Multi-Touch™ widgets you can easily add interactive photo galleries, movies, Keynote® presentations and 3D objects.

Apple today also announced an all-new iTunes® U app giving educators and students everything they need on their iPad, iPhone® and iPod touch® to teach and take entire courses. With the new iTunes U app, students using iPads have access to the world's largest catalog of free educational content, along with over 20,000 education apps at their fingertips and hundreds of thousands of books in the iBookstore that can be used in their school curriculum, such as novels for English or Social Studies.* The iTunes U app is available today as a free download from the App Store.

*Some content is available only for iPad.

Related:

Industry Responds To Apple's New Textbooks


 

The Kindle Chronicles TKC 181
An Interview With Kindle Nation Fave Catherine MacDonald of Booklending.com, and More!

Catherine McDonald of BookLending.com
Interview (Starts at 18:00) - Catherine MacDonald, founder of BookLending.com, spoke with me from Nova Scotia on January 16th about the impressive growth her site has experienced in its first year of operation. Click here for my interview with her a year ago, from the island nation of Malta.

 

Free Classics
Elizabeth and Her German Garden by Elizabeth von Arnim


Every Friday, Marilyn Knapp Litt, who blogs at ClassicKindle.com, brings us her recommendation of a free classic book to discover (or rediscover) on Kindle. Find more of Marilyn's recommendations at her blog, ClassicKindle.com, a guide to the best ...

 

Read more » 


 

Publetariat Dispatch:
Have You Bashed Your Indie Author Today?

In today's Publetariat Dispatch, we share a post from Dani Amore which originally appeared on her Goodreads blog on 9/21/11 and was reprinted on Publetariat in its entirety with the author's permission. If you read the headline above, you may think I'm going to launch into a rousing defense of indie authors everywhere. I'm...

Read more » 


 

Joe Konrath Sez:
Self-Pubbed Author, Beware

Follow Joe Konrath as he drinks beer for thirty days without eating any food ... but that's not what this post is about
Right now I'm looking at the Top 10 Kindle bestsellers in occult fiction.

Every one of them is self-pubbed. In fact, there are only three legacy authors in the Top 30. I count only ten legacy pubbed in the Top 100, and most are brand names.

That's... staggering.

It also doesn't bode well for legacy publishers.

Read more

 

Jenna McCormick's B Cubed One: Born is our new Romance of the Week!


BORN: Natural born humans are precious few and dwell in darkness.

BRED: Genetically engineered slaves who are the protectors of the Born.

BORG: The cybernetically enhanced enclave that split from the Born humans.

It begins with a child's prophesy and can only end when they unite....

Or die.


 

From the Kindle Nation Mailbag
"How Do I Count the Pages on a Kindle?"

Thanks to Kerry over at our Kids Corner sister site for a question that has been challenging Kindle owners of all ages ever since the first Kindle came out over four years ago:

 

My 8 year old daughter just ordered her own kindle! 3g one for 139.  Question: her school has a reading program, for every 5 pages of a chapter book (which she reads) you count one book.  How do I count the pages on a kindle?

Kerry

Originally, Kerry, the Kindle came out without reference to page numbers at all, because the fact that we can change our Kindle screen font size makes page numbers kind of meaningless. Instead, the Kindle uses the term "locations," to give you a rough idea of where you are in a book. It can be difficult for the kind of school-credit situation that you are describing, just as it is when trying to cite page numbers in an academic paper or to synch up with other members of a book group. 

 

Nothing is simple about this, but with a bit of work, your daughter and her teacher or school librarian could come up with a way of translating pages into locations.

 

You can find the number of total "locations" in a book, depending on which Kindle you are using, by checking at the bottom of the display or selecting "Go to" from the Kindle menu, and then selecting "Location." Some Kindle books have been synchronized with their print-version page numbers, and if that's true the task will be a bit easier.

 

With a book like our most recent Kindle guide, there are 184 pages in the print version and 3385 locations in the Kindle version, so if your daughter was reading it for fun (as unlikely as that is!), she would probably get about 5 pages of credit for each 75to 100 locations.


 

Kindle Nation Bargain Book Alert!
THE GAIA WARS, 36 Rave Reviews out of 40, Just 99 Cents and FREE to Amazon Prime Members Via the Kindle Lending Library!

The Gaia Wars

by Kenneth G. Bennett
4.5 stars - 40 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled

 

Here's the set-up:

Deadly secrets have been buried in the Cascade mountain wilderness for centuries. Hidden. Out of sight and out of mind.

 

Until today...

 

Warren Wilkes, age 13, doesn't like what a greedy housing developer has done to his peaceful mountain community, so he vandalizes the developer's property, flees into the wild, and stumbles upon an ancient human skeleton revealed by torrential rain. More than old bones have been exposed, however, and the curious artifact Warren finds makes him question his own identity, and his connection to an ancient terror. A terror destined to rise again and annihilate all that Warren loves. He must fight or see his whole world destroyed.


 

KND Bargain Book Alert:
Our Readers Can't Get Enough of Henry Mosquera's Sleeper's Run - Now $2.99 on Kindle!
  • Sleeper's Run by Henry Mosquera
  • 4.3 stars - 31 Reviews
  • Kindle Price: $2.99
  • Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled

Don't have a Kindle? Get yours here.   Here's the set-up: "'Sleeper's Run' may be a book that many will find so compelling that they will read it in one sitting. For me, the rapid pace of...

Read more » 


 

Kindle Nation Daily Bargain Book Alert:
Scott Sherman's First You Fall (Kevin Connor Mysteries) - 4.8 stars on 28 Reviews! - Just $2.99, and Free for Amazon Prime Members Through the Kindle Lending Library

  • First You Fall (Kevin Connor Mysteries) by Scott Sherman
  • 4.8 stars - 28 Reviews Kindle Price: $2.99
  • Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled

Here's the set-up: "Funny, intriguing, exciting - everything a great mystery should be" J.A. Konrath, author. "Fans will be anxiously anticipating Kevin's continued adventures." Phila. Gay...

Read more » 


 

Kindle Nation Daily Bargain Book Alert:
Susan Ee's Top-Rated Fantasy Novel Angellfall (Penryn & the End of Days, Book 1) - Just 99 Cents on Kindle!

 
  • Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, Book 1) by Susan Ee
  • 4.8 stars - 179 Reviews Kindle Price: 99 cents
  • Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled

Don't have a Kindle? Get yours here.   Here's the set-up: It's been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule...

Read more » 


 

Kindle Nation Free Book Alert:
Over 1,900 Free Contemporary Titles on Kindle!



As of this morning over 650 brand new freebies have been added to our magical free book search tool in the last 7 days....

SPONSORBut first, a word from ... Today's Sponsor

Amazon Reviewer Sharon P calls DESPERATE DESIRES "Explosive...sexy...and smart"
by Terri Wolffe
4.6 stars - 15 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here's the set-up:

The cunningly audacious Lady Lucinda Davenport is by no means a conventional woman. Smart and fiercely determined, she's more comfortable adding numbers than she'll ever be socializing with highfalutin members of the ton. When desperate straits force her into action to save her home and lands, she finds herself faced with only one option. Summoning every ounce of her courage, she sets in motion a wild and raunchy scheme that would set the ton on fire if they ever caught wind of her actions.

Lucien Brandford, fourth Duke of Carlsborough, is a dangerous man. Wealthy beyond imagination and handsome to a fault, the Duke is sought after by nearly every woman of the ton. Single, widowed, or married, ladies vie for his attention with cutthroat precision. But the Duke has no tolerance for the machinations of his title and fortune-hungry peers. He seeks his pleasure from women who require no commitment.

That attitude ensnares the Duke in Lady Lucinda's plan. Caught unawares, Lucien finds himself at the mercy of a bold and luscious woman whom he cannot decide if he wants to strangle or bed.

The sensual dance that follows between captor and captive as they engage in a volatile battle for control, culminates in a seismic eruption-both psychological and sensual. As tempers flare and sparks fly, an intense and erotic interlude of passion ensues.

The temperamental lovers soon discover what all the world knows: that in order to possess the love of a lifetime, they must submit to one another to conquer their own Desperate Desires.

Sensually spiced with a heavy dose of passion, this romantic bestseller comes complete with a memorable cast of characters. You won't want to put this one down! (54K words)

One Reviewer Notes:

Explosive...sexy...and smart, February 20, 2011

I loved this novella. Terri Wolffe captured the intensity, sexuality, and romance of Lucien and Lucinda. All the characters were complex and interesting. Beautifully written, this novella packs powerful punch and I can't wait to see more from Terri Wolffe. The storyline is sexy and smart. I strongly recommend reading if you want a sexy romp tale. Beware you'll want more!
Amazon Reviewer Sharon Patroni

About the Author

I am an avid reader, I have always enjoyed suspense, thrillers, some paranormal and
Author Terri Wolffe
horror, and of course, my very favorite: romance.

My list of cherished authors includes Susan Johnson, Elizabeth Boyle, Robyn Williams, John Connolly, Lee Child, Scott Turrow, John Grisham, Dan Mahoney, Steven Bochco and Phillip Margolin. But these are just a few.

If you purchased a copy of Desperate Desires, please accept my tremendous gratitude. In these times, when many of us are mindful of our budgets, I consider it a blessing whenever anyone gives of themselves. It is my sincere hope that you find Desperate Desires worth your money spent.

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Thanks for including us in your weekend, even if we arrived late!
 
Sincerely,
Stephen Windwalker