Flash! Amazon adds 10,000 more free books, more news

Here’s a quick round-up of some stories before the daily post:

Amazon adds ten thousand more free books!

Kindle store freebies have been hovering about 7000-7500 titles for awhile.  When I checked on October 1, it was 7428.  Checking this morning, it is 18,546…more than double!  I haven’t checked out much what they are yet, but that’s exciting!  Check them out for yourself:

Amazon Kindle freebies 

Startup seeks to digitize “older” books

One of the common concerns people express about Kindle books is the relative parcity of books that are ten to thirty years old.  I refer to books published between 1923 and 2005 in the US as being “in the Well”.  I’ll do a whole post on that at some point, but those books would probably not have had e-book rights negotiated (so those rights would be with the author or the author’s estate), but are still under copyright.

I think publishers are converting the “backlist”, but that may mean a new negotiation, and that takes effort.  The new books have priority.

A new company, OpenRoad Integrated Media, has been formed to concentrate on converting those “Well books”.  It’s headed by a known publishing figure (Jane Friedman), has millions of dollars in funding, and has already secured the contract to publish Catch-22.  The plan is to really promote the books, almost as though they were new titles (since they are new to e-books).

I think this is a great thing, although I think what it will really do is spur the traditional publishers to lock down those rights.   It’s kind of like the old “cyber-squatters” to me.  People registered valuable website names, before the companies that would want them realized the value.  Then, the squatters sold the names to the companies that would want them.  I don’t think the tradpubs will let them get away with this for very long. 

Why would an author (or an estate) choose to sell the rights to the tradpub rather than the startup?  I think it makes sense that different formats of the book are available from the same place…just easier marketing.  It’s also a whole lot easier for accounting and negotiating…and I doubt most authors want to spend a lot of time and energy dealing with multiple companies.

New York Times article 

Kindle Nation survey

Stephen Windwalker asked his Kindle Nation readers some questions, and he’s reporting the results of the 1,683 responses. While it’s not scientific, it’s going to be interesting to see what people say.

P-book Price Wars!

There’s a huge price war going on in p-books for the holiday season, driving down the price to $10 for brand-new, bestseller hardbacks!  For example, the new James Patterson, I, Alex Cross?  List price $27.00…hardback at Amazon $9.00! Pirate Latitudes  by Michael Crichton?  Also $9!  Stephen King’s Under the Dome?  $35?  No way!  It’s also $9 (a crazy 74% off)!

These prices could change at any time, but for those of you still buying p-books, now’s the time! 

Here’s a search that may help:

P-book Price Wars!

This, by the way, is exactly what the p-book publishers have feared about setting the e-book prices at $9.99 for some books…driving down the p-book prices.  The fear is that people just won’t pay $25 for a hardback if this kind of thing enters the public consciousness. 

I Love My Kindle #1 blog in the Kindle store!

That ranking varies a lot (they update it every hour), but I was happy to see it.  :)  I didn’t think we’d beat the freebie from Amazon, but for a few hours yesterday, we did.  I say “we” because it’s you readers who are getting free trials and subscribing that make that rating.  Thank you!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

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