Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Amazon's Two Kindle Bestseller Lists Now Running

The new dual-bestseller list system is now in place for Amazon's Kindle. Take a look at
this bestseller page to see how the lists run side by side. If you go to the main Kindle book page and scroll down, you'll see the "Too 100 Paid" bestseller list as the default. Just beside it is a button to click for "Top 100 Free" bestsellers. I predict this default format to the paid list will result in somewhat less publicity for those books that make it to the top of the free list, because their covers won't automatically be displayed on the main Kindle book page. How much less, I don't know.

Meanwhile the controversy continues for Christian freebies. You're apt to see quite a few one-star reviews simply because a certain novel wasn't labeled as Christian.

Meanwhile Publishers Weekly reports that e-book sales from thirteen reporting publishers rose 252% in the first quarter of 2010, to $91 million. The e-book increases were by far the biggest in the publishing industry for the quarter. Still, overall estimates put e-books at only three to five percent of total book sales so far. Experts in the industry predict that percentage will increase significantly in the next few years.

Between my husband and me, we've now become a three-ereader device couple. I bought Mark the original Kindle for Christmas when it first came out. Price: $400. Then last year at the Zondervan party at ICRS, all attending Z authors received the fabulous gift of a free Sony reader. Now I've just purchased the second generation Kindle for $259. I love the Sony. It's wonderfully small and light. So easy to slip into a purse for travel. But Amazon continues to feature far more free books, and its second generation device is more the Sony size. (I can't seem to use Mark's Kindle because he's always using it himself.) I figure 26 free books from now I'll have paid for the device. Plus for my business it's tax deductible.

One tip: if you're thinking about buying a Kindle, ask your friends with similar tastes in books if they'd like to buy one also. You can buy multiple Kindles on the same account and share books between these Kindles (typically one book can be shared among six devices on the same account at a time). With the right partners and shared purchasing among them, you'll make back your money on the device over time. At this point you can't share books with other Kindle accounts. Even Mark and I, together on a Prime Membership for Amazon but with different accounts, can't share our Kindle purchases. That's a pain and something I hope will change in the future. B&N eventually may push the marketplace to allow such sharing since it allows sharing with its own device, the Nook. But so far the Nook hasn't been much competition against the the Kindle. For more information on sharing Kindle books and the device in general, check out the support page on Amazon.


Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

I'll admit I don't understand how the technological changes will keep authors in business, but it seems to me this sharing aspect is bound to undercut an author's income. Consequently, I was surprised that you're hoping for changes that will make more sharing possible.

I can see that readers would like to get things for free. I can see that family units would like to be able to share books with one another as they would a physical book. But for the sake of the author, the lower cost seems to me a good reason to encourage friends to recommend books for purchase to their friends rather than sharing.

Maybe you could elaborate on your thoughts in a future post.


~ Brandilyn Collins said...

I would love it if everyone always bought their own books. But reality is, people share print copies all the time. Or they go to libraries and get them for free.

Authors always look to build their readership. If someone buys a Kindle and say, purchases one of my e-books, then shares that e-book with a friend who hasn't read me--I've just gained new reader. (Providing he/she likes the book, of course.)

Sharing will never be stopped. It will simply change in this e-book world. I don't mind looking out for readers and telling them how to save money. I believe as one gives knowledge/help away, it comes back to you.

P.S.--under the agency model for selling e-books, the author isn't receiving a lower royalty per book than she would from a print version--even if the e-book sells for less. In fact it can be more. And usually on Amazon the prices are pretty equal: $9.99 for an e-book and a discouted $10.30 or so for the print version.

Rachel said...

My dad bought a Nook last month while he was on vacation. I want one. I've played with the Nook and the new Kindle and vastly prefer the Nook. The fact that it has a user-replaceable battery is a HUGE plus. And the instant access to the free Google Books, since I'm primarily a historical writer.

I expect once the Nook is fully available at Best Buy and more people are aware of it, it will give the Kindle some serious competition. It has many features that are better than the Kindle, even though the battery life isn't quite as long.