Amazon adds author new book e-mails

Amazon adds author new book e-mails

When we get

Press Releases from Amazon

they are often about something big and grand and (perhaps to the dismay of investors) cost Amazon a lot of money. Acquiring new content licenses, for example, tends to get a press release.

Sure, that’s fine…everybody’s just lamenting the lack of content options, right? 😉 Just kidding…when e-books started out, that was the case, though. People were concerned that they didn’t have enough e-books available to them.

Now, I think many more people are concerned about figuring out which e-books to read. There are (literally, for the USA Kindle store) millions of options.

That’s why I’ve been recommending that Amazon work more on discovery:  that they find ways to let us opt into book recommendations…circles of friends, for example, and what they are reading…and perhaps, what they are finishing and how quickly they read it (as two new suggestions).

Actually, that might be an interesting statistic not just for circles. Show me a list of books that people have read the quickest (maybe with a formula taking book length into account). I do think that’s an indicator of reader interest in many cases.

However, there is an older-fashioned way to predict which books you’ll like, which I would guess goes back at least as far as the Neandertals and story telling.

The author.

We’ve recently seen how the revelation that J. K. Rowling wrote a book under a secret pseudonymThe Cuckoo’s Calling has increased the sales of what was already a well-reviewed book by (reportedly) hundreds of thousands percent.

That’s the strength of an author’s name.

There are authors where I always want to read what they’ve written. Even if the books aren’t always up to the same quality, there are certain people who are just interesting. 🙂

Well, I recently noticed something that people have been saying that they wanted for a very long time (I wrote about it almost three years ago, for example).

You can now go to an author’s Amazon central page and click a link to “stay up to date” by receiving e-mails when a new title is released.


Personally, I think that (along with the change that recently gave us access to back issues of magazines to which we’ve subscribed electronically for as far back as we have been subscribers) deserves a press release. 🙂

It clearly benefits readers, it clearly benefits Amazon…and it benefits authors, both traditionally published ones and brand new indies.

It also benefits publishers, by reducing their marketing costs.

Sure, it cost Amazon something to create it, but outside of that, it’s a win all the way around.

I’m going to be doing this with some authors, and I thought you might want to do it as well.

You can start with the

Kindle store author search

You can browse or search there…browsing might be good, in this case. As we all know, when we ask our memories to recall something, it can make it difficult for it to deliver. If I just ask you to name your ten favorite authors, a lot of people will sort of freeze up. There isn’t a specific “action result”, so your mind finds it a challenge to do. It’s different from looking at an animal and identifying it as friendly or fierce. That has clear benefits, and your brain is on it.

If I just sprung the “favorite authors” question on you out of the blue, part of what would happen is that your brain would try to figure out why you were being asked the question. What’s the possible threat? What’s the possible benefit? To put it more simply, “What are you up to?”

Browsing through authors will eliminate that issue of having to pull names out of the air.

Once you find the author, then click or tap on a book, then click or tap on the author’s name. You may see a choice to “Visit Amazon’s so-and-so page”.

However, I just looked for Loren Coleman on the author page with no results…which was also the case for yours truly. 🙂 That’s weird, because we both have Amazon Author Central pages (here is Loren Coleman’s Amazon Author Central page), and we both have the follow link.

Not sure why we don’t show up in the listing…Loren has p-books (paperbooks) in the store as well, so that’s not the break point.

Oh well…you can also search for your favorite authors in the searchbox at the top of an Amazon page.

Well done, Amazon! Nice to have a new free service available to us.

One other new thing, which I was seeing when I was researching for this post (but noticed a little while ago).

When I go to a category or do some (but not all) searches in the Kindle store, I now have two display options.

One is with Image results, which shows the covers with just a tad bit of text tiled on the page.

The other way is with Detail, which has more text, and the books are stacked vertically.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not very visually oriented. I much prefer the Detail listing, but the default is now Image. I’ll have to see if there is a way to change that.

When I was a manager, I would drive people nuts when they would come into me with this beautiful Excel chart that they spent hours creating, and I would say, “Can you just give me the numbers?”

The numbers made more sense to me. I remember somebody saying I wouldn’t be able to tell where the stand out elements were without the illustration. We flipped to a screen with just numbers, and I immediately pointed to something and said, “This one is too low.” That was the right answer, but the other person couldn’t see it. Just different brain styles…no big deal. 😉

I was having a discussion with somebody recently where they said they would get a 3% commission on $12,000. I said, “$360 is pretty good.” That person then had to do the math to see if that was right…and, by the way, I started to do it that way along with the other person. 🙂 I had done no process to get to that $360…it was the same thing to me as asking me what 2+2 is…I just knew the answer.

I said to myself, “One percent of $12,000 would be $120, times three is $360,” when I did it the “process way”.

That got me in trouble in high school. I remember turning in a math test, maybe five minutes after we started (I think we were probably supposed to take half an hour or something). The teacher asked me to show my work. I said, “I didn’t do any.” Teacher: “You didn’t do any?” Me: “No, I just knew the answers.” That didn’t go over well. 🙂 I had to go back and explain the process someone would use to get the answer…even though I hadn’t used it.

Incidentally, I don’t think I’m particularly good at math. I just sort of have a “random access” approach to a lot of things. I think I’ve told this story before, but my Significant Other wasn’t happy with this exchange:

SO: “Do you know where the 2002 taxes are?”

Me: “Yes. They are on top of the bookshelf under the window in the library, in the third pile from the left, about half way up next to something yellow*.”


I don’t remember the exact details, but that’s about how it went…and that’s where they were.

That may be why I like the organization of databases so much. I’m really good at remembering disconnected facts, but not good at things that require placement within a flow, like chronology and geography (it would be easier for me to remember the populations of countries than it would be to remember where they are in relation to each other). However, perhaps because it is different from the way my mind works, I love figuring out rules for databases and organization.

But enough about me…enjoy your author alerts! 😉

* Regular readers may be surprised that I used color to identify the location of the taxes. I do have some color vision deficiency, but I can see colors…just depends on the color and how rich it is. However, since I know other people use colors so much, I may overemphasize their use sometimes in talking to others…although I’m not sure that’s the case. I probably see yellow like most of you do. My color issues are “red/green”, so greens may look brown, that sort of thing

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


5 Responses to “Amazon adds author new book e-mails”

  1. Jennifer J. Martin (Gran Jen) Says:

    Bufo, back in the “old” days, before e-books, Amazon had something like this in a limited way. If you were looking at a book, there was a box on the right hand side of the page that when clicked, would sign you up to get “new book alerts” from that author. I used it a good bit, and then it just seemed to go away after a while. I will definitely use this. Thanks

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Gran Jen!

      I thought I had remembered that being around back then, but I knew this was a change in state. 🙂

  2. Linda Says:

    Hi, I believe that Ereaderiq lets us be notified of new author books. I enjoy your blog.

  3. Riva Says:

    Amazon lists the authors alphabetically by the FIRST name? Where did they go to school anyway? 🙂

    This is a neat feature though. I’ll have to check my favorite authors.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Riva!


      It’s more a matter of when the data fields were set up (1994?) for the publishers to use. If the author name was originally one field, it’s easier to sort by the first name. It can be tricky to parse names, especially when they have spaces in them…as an example, this one would really confuse a computer: Francois de Salignac de La Mothe-Fénelon.

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