Kindle Indie Books, Look Inside for Kindle books

Kindle Indie Books, Look Inside for Kindle books

As a publisher who uses Kindle Direct Publishing, I get a newsletter from them, sometimes with interesting new information.

I do want to say initially that it sounds funny to say I am a publisher, since I have only (so far) published my own works. However, it is the act of making it available to the public that makes you a publisher. So, even though I think of myself as an author rather than a publisher, I do qualify as that.

The e-mail I got today had two things I think you’ll find interesting…and I suspect there may be a press release on them later.

Kindle Indie Books

This is something people have asked about many times…a way to identify books that have come through the KDP. That can be both because they prefer those and because they want to avoid those.

Amazon has launched:

Kindle Indie Books

It has a bestseller list, featured titles, new releases, categories, highly-rated…sort of like a subset of the Kindle store.

This does not preclude the indies from appearing side-by-side with the traditionally-published books…the books appear in both.

I suspect that some people may start using this regularly. The books do tend to be a lot cheaper…although if the Agency Model ends, that might, possibly, could be, who knows, change. ;)

This could also really promote indies, which I think is a good thing.

Search Inside

Search Inside is an Amazon feature that we’ve had for some time for some paperbooks. Amazon said:

”¬†Search Inside the Book is a program that lets you search and browse millions of books across With Search Inside, Amazon search results include matches based on every word inside a book, not just results that match the title or author of the book.”

I was testing it out on my titles. The way they say that, I would have expected the search to work from the searchbox at the top of the page in the Kindle store, but it didn’t.

Once I got to a product page, though, I could Look Inside the book. It seemed to pretty much just give me the sample online: it didn’t let me search it. My Active Table of Contents worked, but wouldn’t go beyond the sample length.

For the publishers who read this, here are the

KDP Frequently Asked Questions for Look Inside

It happens automatically, by the way, and you have to request to opt out of it.

Still, it’s interesting, and maybe more functionality is coming later.

Feel free to let me know what you think about these…I’m interested in your opinion of the Kindle Indie Store especially.

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

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4 Responses to “Kindle Indie Books, Look Inside for Kindle books”

  1. Raman Says:

    What determines the length of the preview? Some are long, some short. Can Author/Publisher have some choice?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Raman!

      I can tell you that for Kindle Direct Publishers, we aren’t given a choice as to where it stops. I believe it’s a percentage: five or ten percent, probably, and I think that is likely based on file size, not locations.

      One reason I say that about locations is that an image is only a single location, but it does seem like an image in the sample reduces the number of words.

      So, the basic thing that affects the length of the sample is the length of the book. I’ve recommended to publishers that they move supplementary materials (“about the author”, acknowledgments, other books in the series) to the end, in order to improve the sample.

      One nice thing, though: if you get an omnibus with several books in it, the sample may include one or more full books. :) Try this one, for instance:

      The Classic Mystery Collection (100+ books and story collections) [Illustrated]

      It’s possible that traditional publishers are able to set the length, but my guess is that they don’t have that power either.

      • Raman Says:

        You’re right! A rep from Amazon’s Kindle just got back to me –

        “We’re unable to change the amount of content that can be made available for a Kindle sample book. It is generated automatically, and represents approximately 10% of the book’s content.”

        I checked out that mystery collection. Must be one fat book!

        But, I still wonder…some previews barely get past the TOC. Could they be THAT short?

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Raman!

        Good, I’m glad you got confirmation.

        The mystery book would be fat, if it was physical…but it won’t have been physical. It is a lot of 0s and 1s, though. :)

        The key thing on your last question is that they said “content”, not length. Let’s say that a book has a frontispiece (a picture in the beginning). The picture could be easily a megabyte in size. An entire text novel is probably less than that (Amazon figures about 800KB). If you use your previous page button in a case like that, you may find a picture. So, the ten percent might include the picture and just a couple of “pages” of text.

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