Weekender Logo
A Special Mid-Week Edition on the Winter 2012 Kindle Nation Citizen Survey! 

The Kindle Nation

February 22, 2012  

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Winter 2012 Kindle Nation Citizen Survey. A record 2,360 individuals took the time to share their views and experiences with the Kindle, and as promised we are devoting the lion's share of this special mid-week issue of the WEEKENDER to sharing what we've learned from you ... or, at least, a good chunk of it.
So let's get down to business. And, oh yes, we all know that figures lie and liars figure, so just in case you prefer a sea of numbers to the many nicely turned phrases that we have prepared for you below, well, here is a link to the complete survey results.  

 Kindle Nation Sounds Off on eBook Prices!

Over 60% of Survey Respondents Say That Big Publishers' eBook Prices Are Driving Them to Discover Indie Authors, and They Like What They're Finding



By Steve Windwalker


Readers are letting all of us know, more adamantly than ever, that Kindle store pricing is driving readers to change their reading habits, and indie authors whose ebooks are priced at reasonable levels are the beneficiaries of that movement. We asked survey respondents where they stood on this key statement, and the results were not even close:

Higher prices for new releases from the big publishers have driven me to try more and more indie authors, and I like what I have found

61% agreed with that statement, and only 14% disagreed. Just to make sure, we also flipped the statement:

Higher prices for new releases from the big publishers have driven me to try some indie authors, but I haven't found much quality there so I have gone back to paying higher prices

Only 7% agreed with that statement, and a whopping 65% disagreed.

While these two formulations certainly leave some significant number of our readers who are continuing to pay agency-model prices of $12-$15 for traditionally published bestselling authors, its clear that price-fixing publishers are giving up more and more of the real estate on the bestseller lists to indie authors: in recent weeks anywhere from 30% to 50% of the titles among the Kindle Store's Top 100 bestsellers have been by indie authors. That's a lot of money that has been removed from the table for publishers, but if this reader comment is any indication, they have only themselves to blame:


"I feel angry when publishers set prices for ebooks at the same or even a higher level. I often go to the library instead of buying the ebook. It's not that I can't afford it, I just think it is disgusting."


Who are indie authors? Over the past few decades we've grown accustomed to hearing about indie musicians and indie films, and in both of those cases the word "indie" has amounted to positive branding. But authors have had to overcome "the stigma of self-publishing," and it is only now, since the launch of the Kindle platform, that authors are beginning to feel the tables turning in their favor. Various labels such as "self-published," "direct published," and "independently published" may apply, but the basic unifying


So, how are readers making the decisions that have helped push indie authors like Darcie Chan and John Locke up the Kindle bestseller lists? Survey respondents told us, and we'll be happy to share it with you, so read on! 

A: Friends, Family, and Kindle Nation Daily!

Q: How Do You Find an eBook Worth Reading?


By Steve Windwalker


The times, they are a-changing, and many of the old sources of buzz and influence that used to push books up the bestseller lists are drying up.


Among our survey respondents, sources such as newspaper and magazines book reviews and mentions on the electronic media are less and less influential. Just 8% of our respondents are driven to buy ebooks once a month or more by these influences.


How about brick-and-mortar bookstores and libraries? You see a book on display there and download the ebook, right? Not so much. Only 9% of our respondents are driven to buy ebooks once a month or more by these influences.


Our friends, relatives, and colleagues have more influence in turning us on to great reading than the aforementioned professional gatekeepers:  11% of our respondents buy ebooks once a month or more based on their recommendations.


When a book does make it to the bestseller list, that ultimate kind of crowd-sourcing still makes a big difference: 17% of our respondents say that they buy ebooks once a month or more after noticing them on the bestseller lists.


What about a community such as Kindle Nation Daily? 33%  of our respondents are driven to buy ebooks once a month or more after learning about it on KND, and over half of those (19% of the total) say that they buy at least 25 ebooks a year based on KND recommendations, excerpts, or other posts. 


Well, how about that? All we can say is that it's nice to be part of the conversation.


 Who's Buying the Kindle Fire?

Vast Majority of Kindle Fire Owners Also Own eInk Kindles; Adoption Rate is Strongest Among Customers Who Spend Over $1,000 a Year on Amazon



By Steve Windwalker


Given how clear it is that Amazon sees the Kindle Fire as an all-purpose content delivery system that will connect the company and everything it sells with customers wherever they are situated, it's worth taking a look at who it is who's buying the Kindle Fire. 36.5% of the 2,357 survey respondents already own at least one Kindle Fire, and one out of 10 Fire households has already purchased multiple Fires.  

As we suspected when Amazon lowered Kindle prices across the board as it launched the Kindle Fire and a new suite of e-Ink models, a large and growing number of Kindle households are making both the Kindle Fire and eInk Kindles part of their household gadget arsenal. Of 860 respondents who own one or more Kindle Fire units:

  • 118 own at least one Kindle Touch;
  • 132 own one of more Kindle Basics; and
  • 562 own at least one Kindle Keyboard, Kindle DX, or earlier generation Kindle.

Although we did not ask any questions specifically about household income, it does appear that Kindle Fire owners skew slightly toward "having more stuff." 70% of Kindle Fire households own two or more automobiles, compared to 64% of respondents who do not have a Kindle Fire, and 59% of Fire owners have at least three televisions, compared with 53% of repondents who don't have a Fire.


Importantly for Amazon, it's clear that their best customers are buying the Kindle Fire in droves. 816 of our respondents said that they currently spend at least $1,000 per year on the Amazon web site, and 46.3% of these people said they own at least one Kindle Fire -- the largest Fire-eating percentage of any group that we surveyed. Here's how some other measurable groups, based on their own self-descriptions, compared with that 46% high-water mark or the 36.5% overall average for the survey:


  • Spend $1,000+ per year on Amazon - 46.3% own a Kindle Fire
  • Own at least 4 cars - 43.8% own a Kindle Fire
  • Have read at least one of Windwalker's Kindle guides - 41.9% own a Kindle Fire
  • Own at least 3 cars - 41.9% own a Kindle Fire  
  • Own at least 4 TVs - 40.9% own a Kindle Fire
  • Men - 40.3% own a Kindle Fire
  • Women - 35.9% own a Kindle Fire
  • Avid readers - 36.5% own a Kindle Fire
  • Avid movie fan - 38.3% own a Kindle Fire
  • Avid music fan - 35.7% own a Kindle Fire
  • Early adopters of new technology - 38.8% own a Kindle Fire
  • Frequently use Kindle while traveling outside the country - 36.1% own a Kindle Fire
  • Authors, publishers, and bloggers - 32.9% own a Kindle Fire 



 How Are Kindle Fire Owners Using the New Tablet?

Surprise! Kindle Fires Are Putting in More Hours as an eBook Reader Than Our eInk Kindles! Web Browsing, Game Apps, and eMail Top Other Uses



By Steve Windwalker


Although some of our Kindlesphere colleagues have tried to distinguish between the eInk Kindles and the Kindle Fire by saying that the eInk Kindles are for people who love to read and that the Kindle Fire is for people who like movies, music, apps, web surfing, etc., the survey says "au contraire." Reading ebooks is by far the most popular activity on both the Kindle Fire and the e-Ink Kindles, but the Kindle Fire actually appears to be getting more reading use than the eInk models:

  • 50% of Kindle Fire owners said they read ebooks on the device daily, and 18% often (2-3 times a week)
  • 37% of eInk Kindle owners said they read ebooks on the device daily, and 26% often (2-3 times a week)

The Top Ten List. So, we've established the reading ebooks is #1 in the hearts of Kindle Fire owners, but otherwise what's the order of popularity for the things that Kindle Fire owners like to do the most with their Fire tablets? Here's the full Top Ten, with percentages, respectively, of those who answered "daily" and "often" for each activity:

  1. Reading ebooks - 50% daily, 18% often
  2. Browsing the web - 39% daily, 23% often
  3. Playing game apps - 35% daily, 21% often
  4. Checking email - 34% daily, 17% often
  5. Shopping the main Amazon website - 14% daily, 18% often
  6. Using productivity apps - 15% daily, 13% often
  7. Reading magazines and newspapers - 12% daily, 12% often
  8. Watching video (TV or movies) - 8% daily, 14% often
  9. Listening to music - 8% daily, 14% often
  10. Listening to audiobooks - 2% daily, 3% often

The lower levels for the last six activities on the list might be seen by some as suggesting that they are just not very popular uses for the Kindle Fire, but it is very likely that these numbers would be seen by Amazon as indicators of tremendous future opportunities. Of course, they also speak volumes about the frequency with which various activities fit into any of our daily routines. For instance, even among the 343 of our respondents who answered both that that they own at least one Kindle Fire and that they considered themselves "avid movie fans," only 13.4% said they watch video daily on the Kindle Fire, whereas about four times as many said they read ebooks daily on the Fire.


Shopping the main Amazon Store on the Kindle Fire seems to be catching on, and it is likely to be an even greater part of Amazon's future business model. 816 of our 2357 respondents told us that they spend at least $1,000 a year on Amazon.com. Of those, 378 own a Kindle Fire, and 42.4% of those use their Kindle Fire to shop the main Amazon store.



Heads Up! Less Than Five Days Left to Enter This Week's Brand New KINDLE FIRE Giveaway Sweepstakes, Sponsored by Novelist Emlyn Chand, author of FARSIGHTED

Feeling lucky?


Did you win a Kindle Fire tablet this week?


If you are Anna Bakunowicz of Rockford, IL, you did. Anna won hers on Monday in last week's Kindle Nation Daily KINDLE FIRE Giveaway Sweepstakes, and when it arrives at her home tomorrow, she will become the 20th citizen of Kindle Nation to win a Kindle Fire from us in the past few months.


But we'd like for you to be one of about 50 people who will win one of these Kindle Fire tablets from us in 2012, and all you have to do is follow the extremely easy steps at the end of this post to have a great chance to win.


Like each one of our weekly sweepstakes, this week's giveaway is sponsored by a talented author who has proven to be a favorite with our readers. Farsighted author Emlyn Chand is springing for the Kindle Fire that could very well end up with your name on it, so it only makes sense to pay it forward and stimulate both your karma and your imagination at the same time by chancing $2.99 (and FREE for Amazon Prime Members via Kindle Lending Library) to grace your Kindle with a novel that has 108 out of 127 rave reviews from discriminating readers like us.


Here's the scoop on Farsighted:


by Emlyn Chand

4.2 stars - 127 Reviews

Kindle Price: $2.99

Or FREE via Kindle Lending Library 

Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled



Here's the set-up:


Alex Kosmitoras's life has never been easy. The only other student who will talk to him is the school bully, his parents are dead broke and insanely overprotective, and to complicate matters even more, he's blind. Just when he thinks he'll never have a shot at a normal life, an enticing new girl comes to their small Midwest town all the way from India. Simmi is smart, nice, and actually wants to be friends with Alex. Plus she smells like an Almond Joy bar. Sophomore year might not be so bad after all.


Unfortunately, Alex is in store for another new arrival-an unexpected and often embarrassing ability to "see" the future. Try as he may, Alex is unable to ignore his visions, especially when they suggest Simmi is in mortal danger. With the help of the mysterious psychic next door and friends who come bearing gifts of their own, Alex embarks on his journey to change the future.

"Psychic or not, you'll never see the end for this one coming! Emlyn Chand is pioneering 'the next big thing' for YA." - Emily Reese, author of Second Death

"Farsighted is an epic battle of good versus evil that moves at breakneck speed to a stunning and totally unexpected conclusion." - Terri Giuliano Long, author of In Leah's Wake

And here, just in case you forgot are the details on how to Enter Our KINDLE FIRE Giveaway Sweepstakes:

  • There's no purchase required, but we do need you to go to our Kindle Nation Facebook page and "Like" us if you have not done so already.
  • You'll need to do this on a computer rather than a smartphone, and you should give the page a few seconds to load, because for some reason it takes a little longer.
  • Then just follow the prompts to enter the sweepstakes, and you're done! 
  • Limit of one entry per weekly sweepstakes, but feel free to enter every single week!

Good luck! And happy reading!

Save 50% to 100% on Amazing Reads & Apps!

SPONSORThis Week's Newsletter Sponsor:

by Donna Huston Murray

"Murray's heroine, the plucky impulsive Ginger Barnes, is a full-time wife and mom who slyly reconciles her son to his failure to make the track team, gives affordable wine-and-cheese parties, walks the family dog, plants impatiens by the dozen, and housecleans for the elderly neighborhood eccentric. In School of Hard Knocks, the never-neurotic ever-resourceful housewife deals with a rash of bludgeonings (one fatal), financial hanky-panky, a series of anonymous threats, and the mystery of her hubby's inattentiveness. Familiar locales are well-observed and minor characters especially pungent."

--Amazon Reviewer WEB


by Donna Huston Murray
5.0 stars - 3 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here's the set-up:

Quiet Beech Tree Lane has suddenly become a lightning rod for crime. First, Ginger Barnes's friend is murdered by a home intruder. Thefts and threats and smashed mailboxes follow; but it's the mugging of elderly eccentric Letty MacNair that compels Gin to dust off her deerstalker. If an impoverished old woman qualifies as a target, anybody could be next.
[Author's note: The Letty character happens to be my favorite. Please let me know if you like her too.]


About the Author

Donna Huston Murray and her alter-ego, Ginger Barnes, are almost identical. Both love people, have an earthy sense of humor, and like to think they can fix anything. You can bet that if Gin hangs a chandelier or wrecks a faucet, Murray has done it, too. Fortunately, Gin is "taller, smarter, and braver," because she stumbles over dead bodies far more often than you might expect.


In addition to the seven Ginger Barnes Main Line mysteries originally published by St. Martin's Press, Murray has written for MYSTERY SCENE MAGAZINE, READER'S DIGEST, ECHELON, and REDBOOK. Her work can also be found in the Edgar-award winning companion book, THE FINE ART OF MURDER, and the LETHAL LADIES I and II anthologies by Berkley. Her most recent title, LIE LIKE A RUG, received a 4-1/2 star review from ROMANTIC TIMES magazine.


Murray's husband, Hench, is an educational consultant. They live outside of Philadelphia and have two adult children, Robynne, and Casey.


Each issue of the Weekender is sponsored by one paid title. We encourage you to support our sponsors and thank you for considering them.

Authors and Publishers: Interested in learning more about sponsorship? Just click on this link for more information.


THERE'S AN APP FOR THIS! Click on the image to get the Kindle Nation Daily app for the Kindle Fire absolutely FREE today! 



BRIEFSKindle Nation Briefs: News, Tips and Bargains









February 15, 2012

By Steve Windwalker

Amazon's Kindle Lending Library program for Amazon Prime members continued to grow robustly in January, with the number of KDP Select ebooks borrowed under the program growing to about 437,000, from 295,000 in December.

Based on January royalty reports posted today for KDP Select participants, Amazon will pay out just over $1.60 to KDP Select participants for each of their Kindle book units that were borrowed during January, from the $700,000 fund that Amazon established for the month. For many participating authors the Kindle Lending Library program now constitutes 20 to 40 percent of their overall Kindle royalties, and may well offset any loss of revenue from other retailers due to Amazon's controversial exclusivity requirement for KDP Select enrollment.


Titles available to Amazon Prime members through the Kindle Lending Library have grown from about 5,400 to over 106,000 since Amazon opened the program to indie authors and other Kindle Direct Publishing publishers via the KDP Select program on December 8. Although the vast majority of Kindle Lending Library titles are KDP Select titles, no figures have been made available from Amazon on participation or borrowing levels for larger, corporate piblishers. However, aside from the three titles in Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy, all of the 20 most popular Kindle Lending Library titles appear to be indie, KDP Select titles.


Amazon's Kindle Lending Library program allows Amazon Prime members to borrow up to one eligible title per month for free reading, with no fixed due dates. The program is the third and most recently added customer benefit for the $79-per-year Amazon Prime Program, along with free two-day shipping on millions of Amazon store items and free access to about 15,000 Prime Instant Video movie and TV titles. More information about Amazon Prime is available here.


The newer Amazon Prime benefits are especially well suited for Kindle Fire owners, since the Fire tablet is an instant delivery system for ebooks and video. However, it will be interesting to see if the dramatic initial growth of the Kindle Lending Library program can be sustained, and Amazon's funding pool for the slightly shorter February period has been set at $600,000.  For some significant number of people, the personal administrative demands of repeated monthly borrowing may prove to be too much of a hassle: the economic profile of Kindle owners has only partial overlap with coupon clippers or those who, in an earlier generation, collected S&H green stamps.

On the other hand, access to Kindle Lending Library eligibility and zero-price promotions (which were also rolled out for KDP authors and publishers on December 8), may be producing a counter-force against what some have seen as the downward spiral of Kindle Store prices for indie authors. Many authors who had previously thought it necessary to lower prices to 99 cents in order to get customers' attention are now doing well with a combination of slightly higher prices, free Kindle Lending Library offers, the occasional zero-price promotion, and marketing programs such as those offered via Kindle Nation Daily.



LAST CALL for this free excerpt from our Kindle Nation Daily Romance of the Week, Jackie Barbosa's THE LESSON PLAN (LORDS OF LANCASHIRE) - 4.5 stars and just $1.96 on Kindle! http://bit.ly/z0wdj6
Here's the set-up: 
Sometimes, love is the hardest lesson of all... 
Despite her imminent debut, Miss Winifred Langston has no interest in trying on expensive ball gowns, learning intricate dance steps, or perfecting the one piece she can play on the pianoforte. Freddie would rather don a pair of breeches and go target shooting, fishing, or horseback riding-astride-than be anywhere near a ballroom or high tea. Rather than waste the last few days of her freedom on such pursuits, she invites her two closest friends to join her in one final caper.

When Conrad Pearce learns of Freddie's plans, he decides it's past time to teach his younger brother's partner-in-crime a well-deserved lesson. But when he intercepts her, disguised as a highwayman, to demonstrate how dangerous and ill-advised her stunts are, he can't resist the sensual beauty hidden beneath the maddening tomboy's exterior. What began as one sort of lesson becomes quite another, as Conrad embarks on a comprehensive erotic tutorial of his surprisingly enthusiastic and adept student.

Now, he only has to convince the irrepressible Freddie to trade her breeches and madcap ways for the gowns and domesticity she despises.

Reader Comments

I loved this book. This was my first taste of Jackie Barbosa and I loved it. This book led me to quite a few more reads by this author and I was not disappointed, far from it. Freddie is a precocious tom-boy who likes her independence and Con is the older gentleman who wants to take it away. Into the story comes a sexy highwayman who doesn't disguise himself very well, and a steamy night in an abandoned shack. This book puts out, but leaves you wanting more. In this case that's a good thing.

- D. Castro, Amazon Reviewer, 5 Stars

A young heroine who is daring, irrepressible and beautiful. A British lord who is staid and responsible. They have secretly been eyeing each other for years. And now these perfect opposites are about to mate and set off fireworks. Perfect pacing for a novella, fun naughty sexual encounters...what more could one want to pass an hour or two? Highly recommended.

- Amazon Reviewer, 5 Stars


Kindle Nation Free Book Alert:
Over 3,000 Free Contemporary Titles on Kindle!


All Free Kindle Books 







Gay & Lesbian 




Mystery & Thriller  

Religious Fiction  


Science Fiction 




Advice & How-To 

Arts & Entertainment 

Biography & Memoir 

Business & Leadership 

Computers & Internet 

Cooking, Food & Wine 



Lifestyle & Home 

Parenting & Families 

Politics & Current Events 


Religion & Spirituality 





YA & Kids  




Click here to search and sort thousands of quality 99-cent titles by category!  




Click here to check out thousands of Kindle Prime-eligible titles available for free reading (limit 1 per month for Kindle Prime customers) by category! 


Please note: For the convenience of our readers, a Kindle book must maintain a rating of 4.0 stars or better on at least 4 reviews to be included in our Quality 99-Centers listings.  


1,000+ New Freebies Since Last Week!
But first ... a word from This Week's Sponsor!
by Donna Huston Murray
5.0 stars - 3 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled

Here's the set-up:

Quiet Beech Tree Lane has suddenly become a lightning rod for crime. First, Ginger Barnes's friend is murdered by a home intruder. Thefts and threats and smashed mailboxes follow; but it's the mugging of elderly eccentric Letty MacNair that compels Gin to dust off her deerstalker. If an impoverished old woman qualifies as a target, anybody could be next.
[Author's note: The Letty character happens to be my favorite. Please let me know if you like her too.]

Each issue of the Weekender is sponsored by one paid title. We encourage you to support our sponsors and thank you for considering them.

Authors and Publishers: Interested in learning more about sponsorship? Just click on this link for more information.




Thanks for making the Kindle Nation Weekender part of your weekend -- it's an honor to be included.


Stephen Windwalker

Kindle Nation Daily