Archive for the ‘Advice’ Category

Snapshot: November 1, 2016

November 2, 2016

Snapshot: November 1, 2016

Note: thanks to reader feedback, especially from Edward Boyhan, I moved the older data (generally, more than two years old) to a page (Historical Snapshot) rather than a post.

Summary:

We still have a good shot to break five million titles in the USA Kindle store by the end of the year. Prices (I have to run the price point analysis yet) are pretty steady. “Spanish edition” e-books in the USA Kindle store broke 200,000. I’ve added a measurement, which can happen when Amazon adds new features: the number of books available through Prime Reading (1,013 this first time). Overall, things continue to look good.

I generally run this information through eReaderIQ.com (it’s just easier than Amazon), and there are some vagaries in the searches (both there and on Amazon). I do try to run it the same way every time, so unless Amazon changes something, it should give you a pretty good idea. NOTE: I’ve changed this explanation from saying “Jungle-Search.com” to “eReaderIQ.com”. It’s the same people and I assume the results are the same. eReaderIQ is just for the Kindle, Jungle-Search does Amazon generally. eReaderIQ has a slightly better interface for the searches. This has also changed back to it being run through Jungle-Search, although I get to I through eReaderIQ.

Titles in Kindle Store

titlesinstore201611

November 1, 2016: 4,861,264
October 1, 2016: 4,790,218
September 1, 2016: number unavailable (Amazon has changed their search results): Update 4,742,587
August 1, 2016: 4,673,290
July 1, 2016: 4,606,532
June 1, 2016: 4,535,673
May 1, 2016: 4,466,976
April 1, 2016: 4,433,082
March 1, 2016: 4,356,852
February 1, 2016: 4,260,301
January 1, 2016: 4,168,071
December 1, 2015: 4,046,825 (note: as I projected, the USA Kindle store broke 4 million titles)
November 1, 2015: 3,961,896
October 1, 2015: 3,875,694
September 1, 2015: 3,799,009
August 1, 2015: 3,714,509
July 1, 2015: 3,636,269
June 1, 2015: 3,530,378
May 1, 2015: 3,457,009
April 1, 2015: 3,378,436
March 1, 2015: 3,288,124
February 1, 2015: 3,178,962
January 1, 2015: 3,104,677
December 1, 2014: 3,027,234
November 1, 2014: 2,958,430
October 1, 2014: 2,888,225
September 1, 2014: 2,801,221
August 1, 2014: 2,724,012
July 1, 2014: 2,655,727
June 1, 2014: 2,596,747 (2,597,112 for second run)
May 1, 2014: 2,576,453
May 16 2009: 284,491

Approximate average of titles added per day:

November 1, 2016: 2,292
October 1, 2016: 1,536
September 1, 2016: number unavailable (Amazon has changed their search results) Update: 2,235
August 1, 2016: 2,153
July 1, 2016: 2,286
June 1, 2016: 2,216
May 1, 2016: 1,130
April 1, 2016: 2,459
March 1, 2016: 3,329
February 1, 2016: 2,975
January 1, 2016: 3,911
December 1, 2015: 2,831
November 1, 2015: 2,873
October 1, 2015: 2,556
September 1, 2015: 2,726
August 1, 2015: 2,524
July 1, 2015: 3,530
June 1, 2015: 2,446
May 1, 2015: 2,619
April 1, 2015: 3,225
March 1, 2015: 3,899
February 1, 2015: 2,396
January 1, 2015: 2,581
December 1, 2014: 2,293
November 1, 2014: 2,265
October 1, 2014: 2,900
September 1, 2014: 2,491
August 1, 2014: 2,276
July 1, 2014: 1954
June 1, 2014: 655 (2nd run: 689)
May 1, 2014: 2,131

Magazines:

November 1, 2016: 1,175
October 1, 2016: 1,172
September 1, 2016: number unavailable (Amazon has changed their search results) Update: 975
August 1, 2016: 788
July 1, 2016: 758
June 1, 2016: 741
May 1, 2016: 714
April 1, 2016: 711
March 1, 2016: 699
February 1, 2016: 685
January 1, 2016: 684
December 1, 2015: 667
November 1, 2015: 646
October 1, 2015: 632
September 1, 2015: 638
August 1, 2015: 636
July 1, 2015: 632
June 1, 2015: 631
May 1, 2015: 630
April 1, 2015: 643
March 1, 2015: 647
February 1, 2015: 638
January 1, 2015: 638
December 1, 2014: 643
November 1, 2014: 646
October 1, 2014: 652
September 1, 2014: 652
August 1, 2014: 649
July 1, 2014: 650
June 1, 2014: 668
May 1, 2014: 671

Newspapers:

November 1, 2016: 158
October 1, 2016: 158
September 1, 2016: 159
August 1, 2016: 160
July 1, 2016: 166
June 1, 2016: 167
May 1, 2016: 168
April 1, 2016: 168
March 1, 2016: 172
February 1, 2016: 172
January 1, 2016: 169
December 1, 2015: 168
November 1, 2015: 168
October 1, 2015: 168
September 1, 2015: 172
August 1, 2015: 173
July 1, 2015: 173
June 1, 2015: 173
May 1, 2015: 172
April 1, 2015: 173
March 1, 2015: 172
February 1, 2015: 170
January 1, 2015: 175
December 1, 2014: 174
November 1, 2014: 174
October 1, 2014: 174
September 1, 2014: 175
August 1, 2014: 174
July 1, 2014: 175
June 1, 2014: 177
May 1, 2014: 178

Blogs:

November 1, 2016: 15,883 (ILMK rank: #10)
October 1, 2016: 15,864 (ILMK rank: #16)
September 1, 2016: number unavailable (Amazon has changed their search results) (ILMK rank: #10) Update 15,850
August 1, 2016: 15,792 (ILMK rank: #9)
July 1, 2016: 15,746 (ILMK rank: #8)
June 1, 2016: 15,708 (ILMK rank: #8)
May 1, 2016: 15,669 (ILMK rank: #14)
April 1, 2016: 15,351 (ILMK rank: I could not find a ranking for bestselling blogs)
March 1, 2016: 15,144 (ILMK rank: #9)
February 1, 2016: 15,156 (ILMK rank: #10)
January 1, 2016: 15,122 (ILMK rank: #8)
December 1, 2015: 15,071 (ILMK rank: #8)
November 1, 2015: 15,030 (ILMK rank: #8)
October 1, 2015: 14,983 (ILMK rank: #8)
September 1, 2015: 14,923 (ILMK rank: #8)
August 1, 2015: 14,883 (ILMK rank: #8)
July 1, 2015: 14,837 (ILMK rank:#8)
June 1, 2015: 14,768 (ILMK rank: #8)
May 1, 2015: 14,679 (ILMK rank: #8)
April 1, 2015: 14,648 (ILMK rank: #9)
March 1, 2015: 14,588 (ILMK rank: #8)
February 1, 2015: 14,419 (ILMK rank: #8)
January 1, 2015: 14,392 (ILMK rank: #10)
December 1, 2014: 14,337 (ILMK rank: #14)
November 1, 2014: 14,267
October 1, 2014: 14,189 (ILMK rank: #11)
September 1, 2014: 14,151 (ILMK rank: #12)
August 1, 2014: 14,089 (ILMK rank: #13)
July 1, 2014: 13,985 (ILMK rank: #13)
June 1, 2014: 13,924 (ILMK rank: #8)
May 1, 2014: 13,811 (ILMK rank: #10)

Percentage of books priced from one penny to $50 that are under ten dollars

October 2016 (taken November 1, 2016): 86.3% (3,940,811 of 4,567,105)
September 2016,(taken October 1, 2016): 86.2% (3,881,084 of 4,499,991)
August 2016, (taken September 1, 2016): number unavailable Update: $0.01 to $50=4,470,630 | $0.01 to $9.99=3,853,639 | 86.2%
July 2016, (taken August 1, 2016): 85.6% (3,800,960 of 4,441,416)
June, 2016 (taken July 1, 2016): 86.1% (3,747,972 of 4,606,532)
May 2016, (taken June 1, 2016): 85.6% (4,26,357 of 3,678,86)
April, 2016 (taken May 1, 2016): 85.2% (3,598,659 of 4,225,884)
March, 2016 (taken April 1, 2016): 85.4% (3,587,825 of 4,203,311)
February, 2016 (taken March 1, 2016): 85.2% (3,522,742 of 4,133,304)
January, 2016 (taken February 1, 2016): 85.2% (3,440,910 of 4,038,776)
December, 2016 (taken January 1, 2016): 85.0% (3,350,232 of 3,490,070)
November, 2015 (taken December 1, 2015): 84.9% (3,242,119 of 3,818,499)
October, 2015 (taken November 1, 2015): 84.7% (3,166,691 of 3,736,839)
September, 2015 (taken October 1, 2015): 84.8% (3,096,037 of 3,652,166)
August, 2015: (taken September 1, 2015): 85.3% (3,048,620 of 3,575,587)
July, 2015 (taken August 1, 2015): 85.3% (2,969,714 of 3,482,960)
June, 2015 (taken July 1, 2015: 83.9% (2,893,481 of 3,408,090)
May, 2015 (taken June 1, 2015): 84.7% (2,800,318 of 3,306,054)
April, 2015 (taken May 1, 2015): 84.6% (2,736,106 of 3,232,290)
March, 2015 (taken April 1, 2015): 88.4% (2,802,470 of 3,171,379)
February, 2015 (taken March 1, 2015): 88.3% (2,721,649 of 3,083,344)
January, 2015 (taken February 1, 2015): 88.4% (2,630,162 of 2,976,291)
December, 2014 (taken January 1, 2015): 88.3% (2,567,412 of 2,907,638)
November, 2014 (taken December 1, 2014):88.3% (2,506,715 of 2,838,606)
October, 2014 (taken November 1, 2014): 88.4% (2,451,370 of 2,774,474)
September, 2014: (taken October 1, 2014): 88.2% (2,387,727 of 2,707,622)
August, 2014: (taken September 1, 2014): 87.9% (2,304,717 of 2,621,516)
July, 2014 (taken August 1, 2014): 87.7% (2,232,131 of 2,544,623)
June, 2014 (taken July 1, 2014): 87.7% (2,172,079 of 2,477,343)
May, 2014 (taken June 1, 2014): 74.6% (294,759 of 395,137) | Second run (to account for possible Amazon glitching): 87.6% (2,121,022 of 2,422,630)

Percentage of books with a publication date of the previous month priced from one penny to $50 that are under ten dollars

Books for October, 2016: 87.1% (80,417 of 92,350)
Books for September, 2016: 84.8% (77,656 of 91,542)
Books for August, 2016: 85.6% (83,972 or 98,113)
Books for July, 2016: 88.6% (81,803 of 92,207)
Books for June, 2016: 93.2% (82,227 of 88,180)
Books for May, 2016: 93.1% (82,022 of 88,070)
Books for April, 2016: 92.2% (80,910 of 87,717)
Books for March, 2016: 94.% (95,732 of 101,747)
Books for February 2016: 95.4% (112,307 of 117,729)
Books for January, 2016: 94.2% (87,774 of 93,160)
Books for December, 2016: 94.9% (96,092 of 101,225)
Books for November, 2015: 92.6% (79,061 of 85,397)
Books for October, 2015: 92.2% (76,789 of 83,244)
Books for September, 2015: 92.7% (78,419 of 84,314)
Books for August, 2015: 94.2% (83,159 of 88,243)
Books for July, 2015: 94.3% (81,843 of 86,827)
Books for June, 2015: 94.0% (80,396 of 85,535)
Books for May, 2015: 93.5% (74,211 of 79,388)
Books for April, 2015: 93.3% (76,455 of 81,914)
Books for March, 2015: 93.6% (85,581 of 91,471)
Books for February, 2015: 94.7% (74,806 of 78,979)
Books for January, 2015: 94.6% (73,166 of 77,329)
Books for December, 2014: 95.1% (72,247 of 77,048)
Books for November, 2014: 93.2% (72,264 of 77,550)
Books for October, 2014: 94.0% (72,051 of 76,646)
Books for September, 2014: 95.0% (77,730 of 81,864)
Books for August, 2014: 95.8% (72,127 of 75,293)
Books for July, 2014: 95.8% (72,543 of 75,750)
Books for June, 2014: 94.4% (63,104 of 66,856)
Books for May, 2014: 81.4% (3,177 of 3,905) | 2nd run to account for Amazon possibly glitching: 94.7% (65,080 of 68,713)

Books in the Seventy Percent Royalty Range ($2.99 – $9.99)

November 1, 2016: 60.8% (2,956,217 of 4,861,264)
October 1, 2016: 60.6% (2,902,687 of 4,790,218)
September 1, 2016: number unavailable (Amazon has changed their search results) | Update on 9/3: 61.1% (2,897,126 of 4,742,587)
August 1, 2016: 61.2% (2,860,965 of 4,673,290)
July 1, 2016: 61.3% (2,821,664 of 4,606,532)
June 1, 2016: 61.0% (2,767,757 of 4,535,673)
May 1, 2016: 60.5% (2,704,477 of 4,466,976)
April 1, 2016: 61.1% (2,707,775 of 4,433,082)
March 1, 2016: 60.8% (2,647,699 of 4,356,852)
February 1, 2016: 60.7% (2,587,810 of 4,20,301)
January 1, 2016: 60.2% (2,507,452 of 4,168,071)
December 1, 2015: 60.5% (2,447,446 of 4,046,825)
November 1, 2015: 60.5% (2,398,461 of 3,961,896)
October 1, 2015: 60.3% (2,338,287 of 3,75,694)
September 1, 2015: 60.7% (2,306,295 of 3,799,099)
August 1, 2015: 60.6% (2,251,364 of 3,714,509)
July 1, 2015: 60.4% (2,195,452 of 3,636,269)
June 1, 2015: 60.5% (2,134,639 of 3,530,378)
May 1, 2015: 60.4% (2,088,376 of 3,457,009)
April 1, 2015: 64.1% (2,164,454 of 3,378,436)
March 1, 2015: 64.2% (2,111,025 of 3,288,124)
February 1, 2015: 64.3% (2,043,564 of 3,178,962)
January 1, 2015: 64.2% (1,992,162 of 3,104,677)
December 1, 2014: 64.2% (1,943,782 of 3,027,234)
November 1, 2014: 64.6% (1,909,982 of 2,958,430)
October 1, 2014: 64.3% (1,857,411 of 2,888,225)
September 1, 2014: 63.9% (1,778,889 of 2,801,221)
August 1, 2014: 63.6% (1,731,841 of 2,724,012)
July 1, 2014: 63.4% (1,684,876 of 2,655,727)
June 1, 2014: 8.7% (225,848 of 2,597,747) | second run to account for Amazon possibly glitching 63.4% (1,647,127 of 2,597,112)
May 1, 2014: 63.8% (1,644,029 of 2,576,453)

Books from one penny to $2.98

November 1, 2016: 21.1% (1,024,995 of 4,861,264)
October 1, 2016: 21.3% (1,018,083 of 4,790,218)
September 1, 2016: number unavailable (Amazon has changed their search results) Update 9/3: 21.1% (999,067 of 4,742,587)
August 1, 2016: 20.9% (977,901 of 4,673,290)
July 1, 2016: 20.9% (963,039 of 4,606,532)
June 1, 2016: 20.9% (947,387 of 4,535,673)
May 1, 2016: 20.8% (929,532 of 4,466,976)
April 1, 2016: 20.6% (914,517 of 4,433,082)
March 1, 2016: 20.8% (907,912 of 4,356,852)
February 1, 2016: 20.8% (884,290 of 4,260,301)
January 1, 2016: 20.8% (868,268 of 4,168,071)
December 1, 2015: 20.3% (819,885 of 4,046,825)
November 1, 2015: 20.0% (791,777 of 3,961,896)
October 1, 2015: 20.1% (780,371 of 3,875,694)
September 1, 2015: 20.1% (764,280 of 3,799,009)
August 1, 2015: 19.9% (739,684 of 3,714,509)
July 1, 2015: 19.8% (718,584 of 3,636,269)
June 1, 2015: 20.5% (685,609 of 3,350,378)
May 1, 2015: 19.3% (6,671,179 of 3,457,009)
April 1, 2015: 19.5% (657,728 of 3,378,436)
March 1, 2015: 21.3% (699,221 of 3,288,124)
February 1, 2015: 19.0% (603,638 of 3,178,962)
January 1, 2015: 19.1% (591,610 of 3,104,677)
December 1, 2014: 19.1% (579,121 of 3,027,234)
November 1, 2014: 18.8% (556,881 of 2,958,430)
October 1, 2014: 18.9% (545,350 of 2,888,225)
September 1, 2014: 18.9% (529,976 of 2,801,221)
August 1, 2014: 18.9% (513,541 of 2,724,012)
July 1, 2014: 18.8% (499,756 of 2,655,727)
June 1, 2014: 2.7% (70,679 of 2,596,747) | second run to account for Amazon possibly glitching: 18.7% (485,799 of 2,597,112)
May 1, 2014: 18.4% (474,202 of 2,576,453)

Price Point Analysis of New York Times Hardback Fiction Equivalents

November 1, 2016

14.99 13.99 14.99 14.99 14.99 12.99 13.99 13.99 13.99 13.99
13.99 13.99 14.99 11.99 13.99 9.99 13.99 13.99 14.99 12.99

Average: $13.89 (-.04) 1 title under $10

October 1, 2016

13.99 14.99 12.99 13.99 13.99 14.99 12.99 14.99 14.99 13.99
12.99 14.99 13.99 13.99 12.99 12.99 9.99 12.99 14.99 16.86

Average: $13.93 (+0.29) 1 title under $10

September 1, 2016

13.99 12.99 13.99 13.99 12.99 12.99 14.99 13.99 13.99 14.99
13.99 14.99 9.99 14.99 13.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 13.99 12.99

Average: $13.64 (-0.10) 1 title under $10

August 1, 2016

14.99 9.99 13.99 10.99 14.99 9.99 14.99 13.99 14.99 13.99
14.99 14.99 13.99 13.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 14.99 11.99 13.99

Average: $13.54 (-0.30) 2 titles under $10

July 1, 2016

14.99 13.99 13.99 14.99 14.99 12.99 12.99 13.99 14.99 14.99
14.99 13.99 13.99 14.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 13.99 12.99 9.99

Average: $13.84 (+0.45) 1 title under $10

June 1, 2016

14.99 14.99 12.99 12.99 14.99 12.99 13.99 14.99 14.99 10.99
13.99 12.99 14.99 9.99 12.99 14.99 12.99 13.99 12.99 8.99

Average: $13.39 (-0.10) 2 titles under $10

May 1, 2016:

14.99 12.99 13.99 13.99 12.99 9.99 13.99 13.99 12.99 12.99
13.99 13.99 12.99 $12.99 14.99 12.99 12.99 13.99 13.99 13.99

Average: $13.49 (+0.01) 1 title under $10

April 1, 2016

14.99 14.99 13.99 9.99 13.99 12.99 13.99 14.99 13.99 14.99
13.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 13.99 10.99 12.99 14.74 11.99

Average: $13.48 (+0.04) 1 title under $10

March 1, 2016

12.99 13.99 12.99 9.99 13.99 14.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99
13.99 12.99 13.99 10.99 14.99 14.99 12.99 13.99 14.99 13.99

Average: $13.44 (+0.17) 1 title under $10

February 1, 2016

12.99 13.99 12.99 13.99 13.99 9.99 12.99 N/A 12.99 12.99
12.99 13.99 14.99 12.99 12.99 14.99 N/A 12.99 11.99 13.99

Average: $13.27 (-.52) 1 title under $10

January 1, 2016

12.99 13.99 12.99 14.99 14.99 11.99 12.99 14.99 12.99 14.99
9.99 13.99 13.99 14.99 13.99 14.99 14.99 12.99 14.99 12.99

Average: $13.79 (+.70) 1 title under $10

December 1, 2015

13.99 14.99 12.99 14.99 12.99 14.99 13.99 14.99 10.99 12.99
13.99 9.99 11.99 13.99 4.99 14.99 11.99 13.99 14.99 12.99

Average: $13.09 (-.50) 2 titles under $10

November 1, 2015

12.99 14.99 14.99 14.99 14.99 13.99 13.99 12.99 11.99 14.99
13.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 14.99 9.99 12.99 13.99 12.99

Average: $13.59 (+.03) 1 title under $10

October 1, 2015

14.99 13.99 13.99 14.99 13.99 7.99 12.99 14.99 12.99 13.99
12.99 9.45 12.99 14.99 13.99 13.99 13.99 13.99 13.99 14.99

Average: $13.56 (+$0.72) 2 titles under $10

September 1, 2015

13.99 7.99 13.99 12.99 14.99 14.99 13.99 12.99 12.99 8.99
11.99 12.99 14.99 12.99 14.99 9.99 12.99 12.99 11.99 12.99

Average: $12.84 (+$1.33) 3 titles under $10

August 1, 2015

13.99 6.99 13.99 9.99 14.99 9.99 10.99 8.99 8.99 11.43
9.99 11.99 14.99 10.99 10.99 10.99 12.99 10.99 12.99 12.99

Average; $11.51 (-$0.62) 6 titles under $10

July 1, 2015

13.99 6.99 8.99 14.99 10.99 11.99 8.99 9.99 12.99 16.99
11.84 12.99 13.99 11.99 9.99 14.99 14.99 10.99 12.99 10.99

Average: $12.13 (+$0.16) 5 titles under $10

June 1, 2015

6.99 13.99 16.99 9.99 9.99 12.99 10.99 8.99 12.99 12.99
11.43 11.99 12.99 12.99 9.99 12.99 11.84 12.31 14.99 10.99

Average: $11.97 (+$1.69) 5 titles under $10

May 1, 2015

6.99 12.31 8.99 8.99 8.97 8.99 12.99 11.84 10.99 11.84
12.99 6.99 11.84 9.99 12.99 12.99 5.99 9.10 12.99 6.86

Average: $10.28 (-$1.40) 10 titles under $10

April 1, 2015

6.99 12.99 9.99 13.59 10.99 10.99 10.99 12.99 11.99 10.99
12.99 12.99 11.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 12.99 9.99 9.19 11.99

Average: $11.68 (+$0.57) 4 titles under $10

March 1, 2015

8.99 11.99 10.49 10.99 12.99 14.99 9.99 9.99 9.99 11.99
12.99 11.99 9.79 11.99 11.99 10.99 9.99 10.99 5.99 12.99

Average: $11.11 (+$1.34) 7 titles under $10

February 1, 2015

8.99 11.99 9.79 12.99 9.79 9.99 11.99 7.99 9.99 3.99
12.99 11.99 8.99 5.99 3.99 10.99 6.99 10.99 12.99 11.99

Average: $9.77 (+$0.11) 11 titles under $10

January 1, 2015

9.99 7.69 9.99 7.19 10.99 11.99 10.99 3.99 11.99 7.49
10.99 11.89 6.99 10.99 9.99 10.99 10.99 5.99 10.99 10.99

Average: $9.66 (+$0.09) 9 titles under $10

December 1, 2014

10.99 12.74 3.25 9.78 4.99 10.99 12.99 6.99 11.84 10.99
10.99 5.00 9.99 9.78 9.09 10.99 10.99 10.99 6.99 10.99

Average: $9.57 (-$0.65) 9 titles under $10

November 1, 2014

10.99 9.99 11.99 6.50 10.99 10.99 6.99 10.99 10.99 10.99
10.99 6.99 10.99 10.99 10.99 11.99 10.99 10.99 7.99 9.99

Average: $10.22 (-$0.86) 6 titles under $10

October 1, 2014

10.99 10.99 11.99 10.99 12.99 10.99 11.99 12.74 11.99 9.99
10.99 10.99 8.99 6.99 10.99 11.99 10.99 12.99 7.99 12.99

Average: $11.08 (-$0.43) 4 titles under $10

September 1, 2014

9.99 10.99 13.99 10.99 6.99 13.99 10.99 10.99 12.99 11.99
10.99 14.99 11.84 11.99 9.99 11.84 8.99 11.99 12.74 10.99

Average: $11.51 (+$0.56) 4 titles under $10

August 1, 2014

8.99 8.99 10.99 11.99 11.84 6.99 11.99 10.99 10.99 10.99
10.99 8.52 12.99 14.99 10.99 N/A 12.74 10.99 10.99 9.99

Average: $10.95 (+$0.30) 5 titles under $10

July 1, 2014

11.84 8.99 11.99 11.99 10.99 6.99 11.99 11.84 12.99 10.49
10.99 7.99 11.99 10.99 7.99 11.99 5.99 11.84 12.99 9.99

Average: $10.64 (+$0.22) 6 titles under $10

June 1, 2014

8.99 7.50 8.99 8.99 12.99 10.99 10.99 9.99 10.99 14.44
10.99 10.99 9.99 11.84 10.99 8.99 11.84 10.99 5.99 10.99

Average: $10.42 (-$0.16) 8 titles under $10

May 1, 2014

10.99 11.04 10.99 7.50 8.99 10.99 10.99 10.99 12.99 12.99
11.04 5.99 10.99 9.10 12.99 8.55 10.99 13.99 9.99 9.45

Average: $10.58 (-$0.27) 7 titles under $10

Textbooks in the Kindle Store

November 1, 2016: 59,790
October 1, 2016: 58,158
September 1, 2016: number unavailable (Amazon has changed its search results)| 9/3: 58,033
August 1, 2016: 64,027
July 1, 2016: 63,869
June 1, 2016: 63,301
May 1, 2016: 62,577
April 1, 2016: 61,867
March 1, 2016: 61,532
February 1, 2016: 60,985
January 1, 2016: 59,826
December 1, 2015: 59,953
November 1, 2015: 58,582
October 1, 2015: 58,203
September 1, 2015: 48,650
August 1, 2015: 48,063
July 1, 2015: 47,977
June 1, 2015: 47,388
May 1, 2015: 46,799
April 1, 2015: 46,482
March 1, 2015: 46,145
February 1, 2015: 46,265
January 1, 2015: 45,345
December 1, 2014: 44,787
November 1, 2014: 44,250
October 1, 2014: 43,910
September 1, 2014: 43,385
August 1, 2014: 42,643
July 1, 2014: 42,114
June 1, 2014: 40,810
May 1, 2014: 39,687

Free books (including public domain)

November 1, 2016: 88,973 (-1%)
October 1, 2016: 90,005 (-0%)
September 1, 2016: number not available (Amazon has changed its search results) 9/3: 90,180 (+3%)
August 1, 2016: 87,789 (-2%)
July 1, 2016: 89,564 (+5%)
June 1, 2016: 85,502 (-0%)
May 1, 2016: 85,895 (+3%)
April 1, 2016: 83,725 (-1%)
March 1, 2016: 84,422 (+2%)
February 1, 2016: 82,583 (-0%)
January 1, 2016: 82,656 (+2%)
December 1, 2015: 81,264 (+1%)
November 1, 2015: 80,629 (+1%)
October 1, 2015: 79,676 (+2%)
September 1, 2015: 77,976 (-1%)
August 1, 2015: 78,922 (+1%)
July 1, 2015: 77,735 (+1%)
June 1, 2015: 76,688 (-1%)
May 1, 2015: 77,248 (+3%)
April 1, 2015: 74,974 (-0%)
March 1, 2015: 75,030 (+2%)
February 1, 2015: 73,489 (+0%)
January 1, 2015: 73,041 (+13%)
December 1, 2014: 64,805
November 1, 2014: 63,897
October 1, 2014: 61,828
September 1, 2014: 61,787
August 1, 2014: 61,381
July 1, 2014: 60,103
June 1, 2014: 59,848
May 1, 2014: 59,957

Free books (without public domain)

November 1, 2016: 44,710 (-2%)
October 1, 2016: 45,792 (-0%)
September 1, 2016: number not available (Amazon has changed its search results) | 9/3: 45,975 (+5%)
August 1, 2016: 43,638 (-5%)
July 1, 2016: 45,814 (+11%)
June 1, 2016: 41,428
May 1, 2016: 41,755
April 1, 2016: 39,760
March 1, 2016: 41,277
February 1, 2016: 38,516 (-0%)
January 1, 2016: 38,550 (+4%)
December 1, 2015: 37,191 (+55%)
November 1, 2015: 23,872 (+2%)
October 1, 2015: 23,307 (+8%)
September 1, 2015: 21,575 (-3%)
August 1, 2015: 22,154 (+3%)
July 1, 2015: 21,572 (+4%)
June 1, 2015: 20,740 (-3%)
May 1, 2015: 21,362 (+9%)
April 1, 2015: 19,508 (+1%)
March 1, 2015: 19,232 (+4%)
February 1, 2015: 18,489 (+3%)
January 1, 2015: 17,983 (+5%)
December 1, 2014: 17,160
November 1, 2014: 16,735
October 1, 2014: 15,099
September 1, 2014: 15,190
August 1, 2014: 14,717
July 1, 2014: 13,300
June 1, 2014: 12,490
May 1, 2014: 13,191

Spanish edition books*

November 1, 2016: 201,195
October 1, 2016: 197,286 (+1)
September 1, 2016: number not available (Amazon has changed its search results) | 9/3: 194,747 (+0%)
August 1, 2016: 193,784 (+2%)
July 1, 2016: 190,183 (+2%)
June 1, 2016: 186,750 (+2%)
May 1, 2016: 183,132 (+1)
April 1, 2016: 180,538 (+2%)
March 1, 2016: 176,351 (+3%)
February 1, 2016: 172,246 (+5%)
January 1, 2016: 168,253 (+3%)
December 1, 2015: 163,218 (+2%)
November 1, 2015: 160,225 (+3%)
October 1, 2015: 156,158 (+2%)
September 1, 2015: 152,538 (+3%)
August 1, 2015: 148,388 (+4%)
July 1, 2015: 143,665 (+3%)
June 1, 2015: 139,519 (+2%)
May 1, 2015: 137,022 (+3%)
April 1, 2015: 132,496 (+3%)
March 1, 2015: 128,918 (+3%)
February 1, 2015: 125,505 (+2%)
January 1, 2015: 123,171 (+3%)
December 1, 2014: 119,963
November 1, 2014: 116,680
October 1, 2014: 113,491
September 1, 2014: 109,395
August 1, 2014: 101,643
July 1, 2014: 98,048
June 1, 2014: 95,632
May 1, 2014: 92,954

Books in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL)

November 1, 2016: 1,396,901 (28.7%)
October 1, 2016: 1,377,307 (+0%)
September 1, 2016: number not available (Amazon has changed its search results) | 9/3: 1,371,701 (+2%)
August 1, 2016: 1,338,554 (29.6%)
July 1, 2016: 1,340,583 (29.1%)
June 1, 2016: 1,298,473 (28.1%)
May 1, 2016: 1,262,989 (28.3%)
April 1, 2016: 1,277,964 (28.8%)
March 1, 2016: 1,250,894
February 1, 2016: 1,199,281 (26%)
January 1, 2016: 1,168,736 (28.0%)
December 1, 2015: 1,132,942 (28.0%)
November 1, 2015: 1,109,339 (28.0%)
October 1, 2015: 1,084,779 (27.9%)
September 1, 2015: 1,057,291 (27.9%)
August 1, 2015: 1,022,270 (27.5%)
July 1, 2015: 995,047 (27.4%)
June 1, 2015: 957,481 (27.1%)
May 1, 2015: 920,564 (26.6%)
April 1, 2015: 890,629 (24.3%)
March 1, 2015: 853,036 (25.9%)
February 1, 2015: 823,258 (25.9%)
January 1, 2015: 794,093 (25.6%)
December 1, 2014: 764,249 (25.2%)
November 1, 2014: 724,218 (25.1%)
October 1, 2014: 710,979 (24.6%)
September 1, 2014: 673,206 (24.0%)
August 1, 2014: 638,545 (23.4%)
July 1, 2014: 604,950 (22.8%)
June 1, 2014: 586,812 (22.6%)
May 1, 2014: 566,893 (22.0%)

Books in Kindle Unlimited

November 1, 2016: 1,423,511
October 1, 2016: 1,404,125 (29.3% of the total)
September 1, 2016: 1,387,593
August 1, 2016: 1,361,620
July 1, 2016: 1,340,737 (29.1% of total)
June 1, 2016: 1,311,185
May 1, 2016: 1,282,695 (28.7% of total)
April 1, 2016: 1,295,483 (29.2% of total)
March 1, 2016: 1,268,842 (29.1% of total)
February 1, 2016: 1,217,059 (28.5% of total)
January 1, 2016: 1,189,911 (28.5% of total)
December 1, 2015: 1,156,686 (28.6% of total)
November 1, 2015: 1,133,293 (28.6% of total)
October 1, 2015: 1,108,762 +2%) (28.6% of total)
September 1, 2015: 1,084,510 (+3%) (28.5% of total)
August 1, 2015: 1,050,688 (+3%) (28.3% of total)
July 1, 2015: 1,023,395 (+4%) (28.1% of total)
June 1, 2015: 984,701 (+4%) (27.9% of total)
May 1, 2015: 948,638 (+3%) (27.4% of total)
April 1, 2015: 918,839 (+4%) (27.2% of total)
March 1, 2015: 880,916 (+4%)
February 1, 2015: 850,027 (+4%)
January 1, 2015: 820,865 (+4%)
December 1, 2014: 791,011 (+3%)
November 1, 2014: 765,236 (+4%)
October 1, 2014: 733,167 (+5%)
September 1, 2014: 696,171 (+5%)
August 1, 2014: 661,111 (new measurement)

Books in Prime Reading

November 1, 2016: 1,013 (new measurement)

Books in the Kindle Matchbook program

November 1, 2016: 74,747
October 1, 2016: 75,067
September 1, 2016: number not available (Amazon has changed its search results) | 9/3: 75,242
August 1, 2016: 75,478
July 1, 2016: 75,794 (-0%)
June 1, 2016: 75,937
May 1, 2016: 76,194 (-0%)
April 1, 2016: 76,497 (-1%)
March 1, 2016: 77,175 (-1%)
February 1, 2016: 77,613 (-0%)
January 1, 2016: 77,877 (-0%)
December 1, 2015: 78,148 (-0%)
November 1, 2015: 78,422 (-0%)
October 1, 2015: 78,677 (-0%)
September 1, 2015: 78,940 (-0%)
August 1, 2015: 79,174 (-1%)
July 1, 2015: 79,656 (-0%)
June 1, 2015: 79,917 (-0%)
May 1, 2015: 80,311 (-0%)
April 1, 2015: 80,594 (-1%)
March 1, 2015: 81,045 (-0%)
February 1, 2015: 81,515 (-0%)
January 1, 2015: 82,228 (-1%)
December 1, 2014: 82,643 (+1%)
November 1, 2014: 81,969 (+81%)
October 1, 2014: 45,267 (-39%)
September 1, 2014: 73,820 (+8%)
August 1, 2014: 68,453 (+1%)
July 1, 2014: 67,466 (-1%)
June 1, 2014: 67,787 (-1%)
May 1, 2014: 68,240 (-16%)

Price Point Analysis

April 1, 2010 was “Agency Day”, when the pricing system for some of the largest trade publishers in the US changed. I’ve started tracking price points, to see how that is affecting things. These are not ranges: it’s how many books are at a specific price point.

11/2/2016
Total 4,863,729
Prime 4,569,483
Under $10 3,942,697
Price Point Count Percentage Diff
$0.99 590,896 12.15% -0.14%
$1.99 230,668 4.74% 0.05%
$2.99 892,564 18.35% 0.08%
$3.99 362,196 7.45% 0.06%
$4.99 270,058 5.55% 0.00%
$5.99 139,806 2.87% 0.04%
$6.99 90,844 1.87% 0.00%
$7.99 126,013 2.59% 0.00%
$8.99 71,962 1.48% 0.01%
$9.99 356,843 7.34% -0.02%
$10.99 33,001 0.68% 0.02%
$11.99 43,725 0.90% 0.00%
$12.99 33,898 0.70% 0.00%
$13.99 23,073 0.47% 0.01%
$14.99 40,183 0.83% 0.00%
$15.99 15,048 0.31% 0.00%
$16.99 15,156 0.31% 0.00%
$17.99 7,379 0.15% 0.01%
$18.99 8,059 0.17% 0.00%
$19.99 17,232 0.35% 0.00%
$20.99 2,665 0.05% 0.00%
$21.99 2,927 0.06% 0.00%
$22.99 4,260 0.09% 0.00%
$23.99 5,211 0.11% 0.00%
$24.99 11,000 0.23% 0.00%

10/1/2016
Total 4,790,218
Prime 4,499,991
Under $10 3,881,084
Price Point Count Percentage Diff
$0.99 588,648 12.29% -0.18%
$1.99 224,653 4.69% 0.33%
$2.99 875,028 18.27% -0.32%
$3.99 354,048 7.39% -0.13%
$4.99 266,028 5.55% -0.01%
$5.99 135,815 2.84% -0.09%
$6.99 89,542 1.87% 0.01%
$7.99 123,897 2.59% 0.00%
$8.99 70,532 1.47% 0.01%
$9.99 352,365 7.36% 0.00%
$10.99 31,758 0.66% 0.00%
$11.99 42,922 0.90% -0.01%
$12.99 33,394 0.70% 0.03%
$13.99 22,477 0.47% 0.01%
$14.99 39,529 0.83% 0.02%
$15.99 14,933 0.31% 0.01%
$16.99 14,867 0.31% 0.00%
$17.99 7,003 0.15% 0.00%
$18.99 7,829 0.16% 0.01%
$19.99 16,983 0.35% 0.01%
$20.99 2,639 0.06% 0.00%
$21.99 2,752 0.06% 0.00%
$22.99 4,276 0.09% 0.00%
$23.99 5,206 0.11% 0.01%
$24.99 10,825 0.23% 0.00%

8/1/2016
Total 4,673,290
Prime 4,441,416
Under $10 3,800,960

Price Point Count Percentage Diff
$0.99 564,512 12.08% 0.03%
$1.99 215,983 4.62% 0.03%
$2.99 865,582 18.52% 0.02%
$3.99 357,735 7.65% 0.02%
$4.99 258,868 5.54% 0.02%
$5.99 143,549 3.07% 0.02%
$6.99 86,956 1.86% 0.01%
$7.99 120,791 2.58% -0.03%
$8.99 67,036 1.43% 0.11%
$9.99 340,609 7.29% -0.01%
$10.99 31,839 0.68% -0.01%
$11.99 43,170 0.92% 0.10%
$12.99 28,881 0.62% 0.01%
$13.99 20,411 0.44% 0.03%
$14.99 38,284 0.82% -0.10%
$15.99 13,228 0.28% 0.02%
$16.99 14,674 0.31% -0.01%
$17.99 6,244 0.13% 0.01%
$18.99 7,055 0.15% 0.00%
$19.99 16,322 0.35% 0.02%
$20.99 2,484 0.05% 0.00%
$21.99 2,610 0.06% 0.01%
$22.99 4,466 0.10% 0.02%
$23.99 4,107 0.09% 0.00%
$24.99 10,627 0.23% 0.01%


9/1/2016
Total 4,742,587
Prime 4,470,630
Under $10 3,853,639

Price Point Count Percentage Diff
$0.99 591,306 12.47% 0.39%
$1.99 206,770 4.36% -0.26%
$2.99 881,283 18.58% 0.06%
$3.99 356,645 7.52% -0.13%
$4.99 263,638 5.56% 0.02%
$5.99 138,830 2.93% -0.14%
$6.99 88,366 1.86% 0.00%
$7.99 122,765 2.59% 0.00%
$8.99 69,196 1.46% 0.02%
$9.99 349,005 7.36% 0.07%
$10.99 31,536 0.66% -0.02%
$11.99 43,107 0.91% -0.01%
$12.99 31,596 0.67% 0.05%
$13.99 21,668 0.46% 0.02%
$14.99 38,116 0.80% -0.02%
$15.99 14,109 0.30% 0.01%
$16.99 14,584 0.31% -0.01%
$17.99 6,818 0.14% 0.01%
$18.99 7,355 0.16% 0.00%
$19.99 16,289 0.34% -0.01%
$20.99 2,559 0.05% 0.00%
$21.99 2,710 0.06% 0.00%
$22.99 4,298 0.09% 0.00%
$23.99 4,791 0.10% 0.01%
$24.99 10,719 0.23% 0.00%

8/1/2016      
Total 4,606,532    
Prime 4,361,423    
Under $10 3,747,972    
       
       
Price Point Count Percentage Diff
$0.99 555,258 12.05% 0.04%
$1.99 211,667 4.59% 0.02%
$2.99 852,080 18.50% -0.02%
$3.99 351,616 7.63% 0.04%
$4.99 254,338 5.52% -0.02%
$5.99 140,421 3.05% 0.01%
$6.99 85,088 1.85% -0.06%
$7.99 120,451 2.61% 0.10%
$8.99 61,016 1.32% 0.02%
$9.99 336,093 7.30% -0.05%
$10.99 31,772 0.69% -0.04%
$11.99 37,888 0.82% 0.00%
$12.99 28,219 0.61% 0.01%
$13.99 18,732 0.41% 0.00%
$14.99 42,554 0.92% 0.15%
$15.99 12,223 0.27% 0.00%
$16.99 15,085 0.33% 0.02%
$17.99 5,735 0.12% 0.00%
$18.99 6,838 0.15% 0.02%
$19.99 15,340 0.33% -0.03%
$20.99 2,270 0.05% 0.00%
$21.99 2,272 0.05% -0.01%
$22.99 3,487 0.08% 0.00%
$23.99 3,984 0.09% 0.00%
$24.99 9,788 0.21% -0.01%

6/1/2016
Total 4,535,673
Prime 4,296,347
Under $10 3,678,896
Price Point Count Percentage
$0.99 544,905 12.01%
$1.99 207,658 4.58%
$2.99 839,809 18.52%
$3.99 344,572 7.60%
$4.99 251,410 5.54%
$5.99 137,958 3.04%
$6.99 86,573 1.91%
$7.99 114,012 2.51%
$8.99 59,121 1.30%
$9.99 333,073 7.34%
$10.99 32,897 0.73%
$11.99 37,424 0.83%
$12.99 27,483 0.61%
$13.99 18,472 0.41%
$14.99 35,286 0.78%
$15.99 12,056 0.27%
$16.99 13,744 0.30%
$17.99 5,738 0.13%
$18.99 5,941 0.13%
$19.99 16,299 0.36%
$20.99 2,239 0.05%
$21.99 2,661 0.06%
$22.99 3,561 0.08%
$23.99 4,103 0.09%
$24.99 9,940 0.22%

Older data were drawn using http://www.jungle-search.com, newer data with http://www.ereaderiq.com (from the same people). There are a number of possible sources of errors (eRi, Amazon, me), but these are probably pretty good.

  • The free books referenced here are from the Kindle store: there are many other sources for free books
  • My search for textbooks definitely has false positives (books that aren’t really textbooks). I search for -domain (to eliminate public domain titles, which would be older books, generally) textbook. That would find a book about textbooks, for example
  • I searched for “Spanish edition” to find Spanish language books. That has some false positives as well
  • I look at price percentages of books in the range of one penny to fifty dollars, to eliminate freebies and limit textbooks
  • The price point analysis is for books at that specific price: it does not represent a range of prices
  • I compared the percentage of price points in the Price Point Analysis when I showed the difference…not the number of books
  • This information is based on what a United States customer sees

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :)

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

5 ways Amazon can improve e-book gift giving

September 3, 2016

5 ways Amazon can improve e-book gift giving

For about three years after the first Kindle was introduced in late 2007, Amazon didn’t have a mechanism for us to give Kindle books as gifts.

Customers talked about that a lot. After all, gifting books is great! In the paper days, I would buy a used copy of the first Doc Savage Bantam paperback, The Man of Bronze, pretty much whenever I saw it in a used bookstore. I wanted them so I could give them to people as gifts…and I did.

I would also buy other copies of some other books for the same reason.

One of our traditional baby gifts was the hardback of

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Suffice it to say, I love giving books!

Since we got Kindle book giving in November of 2010, I’ve given many gifts.

I like to do it at the holidays as small gifts.

I keep my eyes open all year for when books go on sale…and buy them for other people, either delaying the delivery for a gift giving occasion, or sending it “just because”.

I’ve given away copies of my sibling’s award-winning first novel

One Murder More (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

and Kris gave away copies through this blog as well (thanks, Kris!).

So, I do like and use Amazon e-book gift giving as it is.

However, I always think things can get better.🙂

With that in mind, I have a few suggestions for Amazon:

Multiple Recipients for the Same Gift

I’m not the only who wants to give the same book to a bunch of people at once. It could be promotional/celebrational, like we were doing with Kris’ book. It could be a book club, or a class in a school. It could just be enthusiasm. Several people in my family read the same Harry Potter book at the same time when it was first released…and I think one of us bought a few as gifts.

Right now, it takes me going back and forth from the gift page to the book’s product page. I’d love to be able to enter several recipients on the same page. I wouldn’t need to be able to put an individualized gift message on each one, although that would be a nice option.

Multiple Gifts for the Same Recipient

While there are book “bundles”, omnibus editions, I’d love to be able to buy a selection of e-books of my choice and have my recipient get one e-mail. It would be even better if I could mix e-books and other items…like maybe give a gadget and an e-book about how to use it. Maybe give a movie and the book on which it is based. I do assume that the recipient would have to be able to selectively accept and exchange them…somebody might own one of them already, for one thing. Still, this would be a lot of fun!

Re-Gifting

I think it would be really cool if, when I got a gift, I could choose instead of keeping it myself, to pass it on to somebody else. That might be because I own it, or just because I think someone else would want it more. It does cost Amazon a small amount to process each acceptance of a gift, but I think this would really market some books.

A Better Way to See Who Hasn’t Picked Up a Gift

It takes me too many steps to check on a gift. I have to go to the Manage Your Content page, then change Books to Pending Deliveries, then change Queued for Delivery to Gift Orders.

I want on that page just one click to see them so I can work on fixing the issue.

Gift Matching

This one is a little more out there, but I could see it working. Amazon could let publishers do it and/or they could do it themselves. It’s a promotion: you give a set number of a book as a gift (let’s say five) and the publisher or Amazon donates one to a public library, or a disadvantaged person. I understand that if they give it to a public library, it would likely be for maybe a year. I would certainly be swayed by an idea like this…I would give away more gifts to help other people get them.

Well, I said five, so there you go. I can think of other ideas, but I’d like to hear from you, too. What improvements would you like to see in Kindle book giving? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Do you have what it takes to be a Timeblazer?

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

Should Amazon do “On Deck” for books?

June 18, 2016

Should Amazon do “On Deck” for books?

Have you found yourself unexpectedly on a trip and realize you didn’t download a book to read to your Kindle?

Nah, probably not…if you are like most people, you probably have more than 100 on there.😉

However, you might not have one you particularly want to read.

Amazon recognizes that need for videos, and in a recent

software update for 5th generation Fire tablets (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

those devices got a feature called “On Deck”. The Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote (at AmazonSmile*) and the original Fire TV have already had something like it.

It downloads a video for you…something it thinks you might want to watch, like the next episode in a series you are watching.

I think this might work very well for books…after all, we read lots of series of books, too.🙂

The obvious place to do it would be with

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Based on what you are reading now, Amazon could download another book to your device before you finish, so it’s ready to go. The next book in a series is obvious, but it could also do one based on the same author or the same topic.

You wouldn’t be charged for it…if I was Amazon, I’d make an “On Deck” book not count against your ten borrows at a time you can have from KU.

You’d get one book at a time…if you chose not to read it (indicated by you starting another book), it could be replaced…again, automatically.

You could “thumbs up” and “thumbs down” the choices, but that’s not really necessary…if you read it, it’s a sign they made a good choice.

It also wouldn’t need to cost Amazon much at all. With KU books, the publisher doesn’t get paid the whole royalty just because it is downloaded…it’s based on what you read.

Yep, I think this could be great for many people, including publishers!

Naturally, I would want you to have the option to opt out of it. There are some people who really load up their Kindles, and others where connecting to the network can be an issue.

For people who don’t have KU, it’s trickier.

Amazon could still do it…downloading a free book for you based on what you are reading. However, that could have royalty implications.

No, it’s probably best as an inducement to get people to do KU…at least initially.

Another option would be to let you pre-authorize purchases. You could agree to purchase the next book in a series whenever it is released, or the next book from an author. I think that’s riskier, though…especially the author one. Authors sometimes write books which don’t really match up with the other books…and they might choose to follow a super successful book with a riskier one.

Still, I hope Amazon considers the idea! It helps Amazon and the publishers with discovery and predictability. It helps readers, again with discovery and with convenience.

What do you think? Does it sound like a good idea? Am I missing some reason you wouldn’t like it? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

 

Amazon@home

May 16, 2016

Amazon@home

I considered writing this as a humor piece, but I like the idea too much.🙂

I was reading about Amazon opening another college center (their seventh) at Pennsylvania University. Here’s one article on it:

CNET article Ben Fox Rubin

These aren’t college bookstores…they don’t have books.🙂 They are pick-up centers (and media centers…you can hang out and use Wi-Fi, try out Amazon hardware, that sort of thing).

The articles generally talk about Amazon getting closer to their customers…so I was thinking, why not give me a pick-up center at my house?

Right now, we don’t have Amazon items delivered to our house, due to a history of mail theft in our area (it has happened to us personally). We have them delivered to where my Significant Other works…which is a bit awkward sometimes. It can mean we get it a day later (it has to go through central receiving), and it’s obviously not good on the weekends.

We considered buying a locking mailbox, but they are pretty expensive.

What if Amazon sold you a mailbox just for their own deliveries? They could make it inexpensive, since they don’t have to profit on the box. If you were in a Prime Now city, you could get a delivery in an hour. It would be better for them, because they don’t have to gamble on you actually being there.

The other thing they could do very effectively is put something like a “dashback” button inside it for the delivery person. It would be like their

Dash buttons (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

where you just push a button to order something. Instead, the delivery person would push the button…and it would automatically e-mail/text you to tell your package had been delivered.

They could sell it in different sizes…maybe even a Block size where neighbors might go in on it for big deliveries (although that would complicate the dashback idea).

You could secure it by locking it down, or installing it in a wall (Amazon can help connect you to handypeople who could help you with that).

At some point in the future, this could also be accessible to drones (flying or ground delivery). They would have some way to unlock the Amazon@home box…although it has to be something that people couldn’t steal from it easily.🙂

Well, this is all just an off the cuff idea…but I like it.🙂

What do you think? Do you think this would work? What would you pay for it? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Oh, two quick follow-ups to recent stories: Amazon has confirmed for me that you do not need to certify a disability to buy their

Kindle Paperwhite Blind and Visually Impaired Readers Bundle – Includes Kindle Paperwhite with Wi-Fi and Special Offers, Kindle Audio Adapter, and $19.99 Account Credit (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

and their new Amazon Video Direct, which I wrote about here

Round up #140: Megapacks in KU, B&N’s future?

is a non-exclusive license, which is great! You can monetize your videos through YouTube or your personal website, and still offer them through Amazon!

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

*When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :)  This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

So, you want to be a blogger…

May 8, 2016

So, you want to be a blogger…

I recently had a conversation with somebody who was considering starting a blog, and that has come up from time to time.

I’m happy to give you what advice I can. I think I can reasonably say that I’m a successful blogger, although there are certainly people with more readers, and even more people who make more money at it. I’m not big on monetization: I have a full time job, so this isn’t paying the bills. I do want to make a certain amount to justify the time and energize I spend on it, and I do that. The subscribers (thanks, subscribers!), some of whom have been with me more than half a decade, really make it possible.

ILMK has been one of the top-selling blogs in the USA Kindle store almost from the beginning, although the audience of people who pay for a blog subscription is relatively small. I always like to recall the day I passed the Huffington Post and The Onion on the same day, and I’ve stayed above them since. Obviously, they have more readers and make money than I do.

For me, it’s not about making money…and that’s the first thing I’d say to anybody thinking about starting a blog…or any other project (I’ve taught project management). You need to decide how you’ll be able to tell it’s a success. That’s how you know where to put your energies.

  • Are you doing it to make money?
  • Are you doing it to promote a cause?
  • Are you doing it to improve your writing skills through practice?
  • Are you doing it because…you just have to do something creative?
  • Are you doing it to help people?
  • Are you using it to promote something else you are doing?

There could be other motivations, and it’s up to you what they are and how you will measure them. You can have more than one motivation.

For example, if you say you are doing it to help people (that’s one of my motivations), how will you know you’ve helped somebody? One way I can tell that is through the comments.

Once you’ve made that decision, you want to think about how much time, and perhaps more importantly, how much social energy you want to spend on it. I blog, but I don’t really do Facebook, because I don’t have the social energy left over for the latter. You can do the blog itself for free…I don’t pay for my WordPress.com blogs.  I could pay for a more robust blog,  but this one suits my purposes. It’s those energy and time costs that you need to consider.

Oh, and you need to decide on a subject area…but most people know that already.

At this point, you know what you want to do, how you’ll know if it’s a success or not, and how much time you are going to spend.

You are just about ready to start writing…but I do want you to think about how you are going to deal with comments. Will you allow them at all? I do…one of my favorite parts of the blog is the comments I get, especially when people respectfully disagree with me. I’ve learned a lot that way! Will you moderate them (review them before they are published)? If you don’t, you’ll have a lot of ads…I get (and reject) them every week.

Okay, start writing.🙂 I recommend that you write two weeks worth of the blog before you publish your first post. If you figure you are posting one post a day, write fourteen posts before you put the first one up. Two weeks is enough of a buffer so you won’t fall behind. If something else sparks you while you are in the middle of the fourteen, that’s fine…write  about that. You just don’t want to feel the pressure in the beginning, while you are finding your footing.

Part of writing the blog is thinking about the content. Will you just write articles yourself? Will you do interviews? Will you have guest writers? There are a lot of possibilities.

Now, pick a platform. As I mentioned, I use WordPress…it’s pretty simple to use,  and seems to work reasonably well and reliably. It’s been around for a long (knock virtual wood), which suggests stability for the future.

Perhaps part of that decision: if you are going to monetize it, how will you do that? Will you take paid advertising (like Google AdSense, or other ads)? I’ve chosen not to do that….if you ever see ads on the website, WordPress put them there, not me. :) Will you do paid subscriptions, perhaps through Amazon (that works well for me)? Will you ask for donations? Will you be an Amazon Associate, so you can get paid when people follow links from your blog and then buy something?

You’ll also have to decide how you will promote the blog. Social media? If you don’t have a Twitter account, will you start one? Will your blog have a Facebook page? Are you going to promote the blog by offering your expertise…if so, where?

Once the blog is running, how will you evaluate how it is doing and make adjustments in order to improve it? You’ll get stats…you’ll probably get so many of them that you can become addicted just to looking at them. I don’t pay much attention to those…I do look from time to time. If I was trying to make my living just on my blogs, I’d pay more attention to it. I do poll my readers from time to time…that helps.

One last thought: how will you make your writing good enough for what you want to do? I do get asked that one, although not always phrased that way. The most important thing about being a writer is writing.🙂 You become a better basketball player by playing a lot. You become a better writer by writing a lot. However, the second most important thing is reading. Writers read, it’s that simple. That doesn’t mean you are going to copy what someone else is doing, but you may find rhythms of speech that you like, and you’ll recognize what makes you feel good when you read it.

Don’t judge yourself too harshly. Writing a blog, especially a daily one, isn’t like writing a book. That would be like comparing your casual conversation to your doctoral dissertation.😉 They are two different types of communication. Some people may spend a week when writing a book on one page…and I write the equivalent of something like four pages a day. Naturally, it won’t be as polished…but for many blogs, that’s part of the charm. It’s more like a conversation than a lecture, and readers like feeling the spontaneity and emotion.

Well, I hope that helps! Blogging is a big part of my life, and helps fulfill it. I think it makes me a better person, which helps with my relationships, both at home and at work. When I help someone, that makes me feel good…and that’s a good influence on how I treat others.🙂

If you have more questions about blogging, or comments about what I’ve said (you may be wiser on part of this than I am), feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

*When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Advice to Amazon #2

January 4, 2016

Advice to Amazon #2

Who am I to offer advice to Amazon, one of the most influential companies in the world?

I’m a customer…like you.🙂

I like Amazon. I want them to do well. If I can suggest something that helps them, that’s a win-win.

If they don’t take my advice, that’s fine. They may know things about the situation I don’t know.

I do have an

Advice to Amazon

category on this blog, but I think it’s good to gather some of it together into a post from time to time. That also lets you comment on it.🙂

 In my first post in this series

Advice for Amazon #1

I made three suggestions:

  • Do a speed-reading display (that has recently arrived on some Fire tablets, in the for of “Word Runner”)
  • Do a Daltonizer (to change colors to help those with color vision deficiency like me. They haven’t done that yet…still wish they would)
  • Personalized coupons (discounts based on past buying habits…hasn’t happened yet)

Here are some more suggestions/advice:

Suggested feature: friendly names

I have made this suggestion directly to them, and I think it could be great for us and for Amazon!

We would be able to give “friendly names” to items we buy…”Pat’s vitamins”, “Fluffy’s toy”, “Bufo’s floss”, and so on.

One big application for that would be ordering through the

Amazon Echo (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

It would be so much easier to tell Alexa what to re-order that way.

This would also be “sticky” for Amazon…it would make people much more reluctant to shop somewhere else. In many cases, people probably wouldn’t even remember the actual names of the items.

Suggested event: Amazon event

I think I described this pretty well when I first suggested it, so…

“Amazon could host something in Seattle. They could show off new hardware, have Amazon KDP authors there, have developers of Amazon apps and Alexa Skills, do some international things, maybe show off the Prime Air drones…even Prime Now riders. 🙂 Wow, people would really talk about that! It could also counter some bad publicity, by letting people get behind the curtain a bit, and showing happy employees.”

I’d love to see them do this once a year…and I would totally want to go!

Suggested feature: digitizing service

There is still a lot of content out there which is in the public domain and hasn’t yet been digitized. There are also cases where someone has the rights, but only has paper editions.

Amazon could offer a digitization service.

People would send in something to be digitized, and they would attest that it was either public domain or that they had the rights to it.

Amazon would digitize it (they could invest in hardware/process which would make it relatively easy).

The owner could be required to add something to it to create a new copyright (illustrations, an introduction).

The item then appear in Amazon’s store. The owner gets a cut. Amazon gets a cut…and there is a period (maybe three months) of exclusivity for Amazon to sell it.

This is another one I think could be a very big deal…I think Amazon could do it safely, in terms of reasonably avoiding infringement.

Suggested feature: social playlists

I originally suggested this for Prime music, but it could work for videos and books (especially Kindle Unlimited), too.

Customers create playlists.

Other customers “like” them.

Ones with more likes are more visible.

I don’t think Amazon would even need to compensate the customers for that.

Ideas to producers marketplace

I think Amazon has really tried to get around the traditional content providers (at least to some extent) in the past year.

If you are able to create your own content, Amazon has a way for you to get distribution. You can put your blog into the Kindle store, you can put book into the Kindle store, and so on.

I’d like to see Amazon set something up where producers can connect with people who have ideas…and Amazon takes a cut for facilitating it, and again, could get a short term exclusive for selling.

Let me give you an example.

I have what I think is a good idea for an app (I’ve had it for years).

I think it would sell moderately well…no Angry Birds, but I do think people would like it.

I could write the content…but I’m simply not going to program it.

I used to teach programming, and I could learn it…but I’d rather just write the content, sell it to somebody to develop and distribute, and get royalties.

I’m sure many other people have ideas for apps…or TV series or movies or books.

Amazon wouldn’t work out the deals…that would be between the producer and the person who thought of it.

There would be reviews and ratings of the producers, to help people choose.

This one is a bit tricky, but Amazon could do it, I think.

This idea of “three month exclusivity” would make Amazon very attractive, and keep people visiting. The rights reversion would mean that the items would get to other stores…but as a secondary market.

I’m always curious what you think, and you are more than welcome to comment on this post. I’m also going to do a poll:

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Amazon device bestsellers: two things more popular than Kindles

August 24, 2015

Amazon device bestsellers: two things more popular than Kindles

Well, this was interesting!

Amazon has lists of the top 100 bestsellers in a lot of categories.

I’ve never noticed this before, but they have a category specifically for

Amazon Devices Top 100 Bestsellers (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Are there 100 pieces of Amazon-built hardware?

Absolutely!

There are a lot of varieties of Kindles and Fire tablets, for one thing…but that’s not the only thing.

In fact, the highest rated Kindle or Fire tablet is only number three right now.

Before I reveal which one that is, and where some of the other devices rank, let me just point out…eight years ago, there were no Amazon devices!

Prior to the first Kindle’s release in 2007 (on November 19), there was a lot of skepticism about Amazon introducing any hardware at all.

Amazon was a retailer: not a gadget maker.

The Kindle succeeded, and transformed the then tiny e-book market.

I would guess that now, many people would think of the Kindle as one of the first things that comes to mind when you say “Amazon”.

I was curious as to what was ranked where…and surprised to see two items ranked higher than any Kindle or Fire:

#1 Fire TV Stick (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

#2 Amazon Echo (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

The Fire TV Stick is an inexpensive streaming gadget: we use it in one of the rooms in our house…and we use the full-powered

Amazon Fire TV (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

in the other.

We’re watching the latter right now.

Which Kindle is the top-selling?

All-New Kindle Paperwhite, 6″ High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

I find the ranking fascinating:

  1. Fire TV Stick
  2. Amazon Echo (a relatively expensive nascent technology)
  3. Kindle Paperwhite 3 with Special Offers (the latest Kindle introduced)
  4. Mindle Touch (that’s what I call the 7th generation entry level Kindle…no lighting on this one)
  5. Fire HD 6″ (the least expensive Fire tablet)
  6. Fire HD 7″ with Special Offers
  7. Kindle Paperwhite 3 without Special Offers (the latest Kindle introduced)
  8. Amazon Fire Phone 32GB unlocked
  9. Fire HD 7″ without Special Offers
  10. Certified Refurbished Fire TV Stick

Where’s the top of the line EBR (E-Book Reader), the

Kindle Voyage (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

?

#15.

That’s right: the

Amazon Fire Phone (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

is selling better than the Voyage!

That doesn’t mean the Voyage is selling poorly…#15 is still pretty good.

They had a recent deal on the Fire Phone, which might have bumped it up…but it supports what I have been suggesting…that the Fire Phone isn’t done yet.🙂

I’m still thinking they might find a way to tie especially into the Amazon Echo…although when the Alexa Voice Service starts showing up on other devices (which will happen soon, I believe), it might be harder to make that a selling point.

It’s interesting: there are a bunch of Dash buttons in the top 100. I wouldn’t have thought those were doing much at this point.

None of this suggests any weakness for the Kindle EBRs or for the Fire tablets, in my opinion. It’s just a paradigm shift for me to think of that as not the whole of Amazon’s hardware business…and not even the leading component it of it (based on bestseller rank…more EBRs are sold overall, I’m sure, since there are so many models).

It’s very likely that we’ll see a refresh of the EBR/Fire tablet line announced soon…maybe in September, so not far away.

Of course, with all of this Amazon hardware, we may start seeing an Apple style announcement of lines. We could even start seeing some sort of developer meeting…even a Disney-style D23 type of event. Actually, that could really work!

Amazon could host something in Seattle. They could show off new hardware, have Amazon KDP authors there, have developers of Amazon apps and Alexa Skills, do some international things, maybe show off the Prime Air drones…even Prime Now riders.🙂 Wow, people would really talk about that! It could also counter some bad publicity, by letting people get behind the curtain a bit, and showing happy employees.

I would totally want to go!

What do you think? Surprised by the rankings? Do you think of the Kindle when you think of Amazon? Would you want to go to an Amazon Expo? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

 

 

AAP’s (Association of American Publisher’) 2014 report: the huge growth was in…

June 14, 2015

AAP’s 2014 report: the huge growth was in…

According to this

Publishers Weekly article by Jim Milliot

the AAP (Association of American Publishers) has released its final figures on book industry sales for 2014.

You can see a lot of the specifics in the article, and I don’t want to take too much away from that (I recommend you read it if you want to get a sense of the future-building trends).

I want to just highlight a couple of things.

First, there was generally growth. Oh, not across every genre and every format, but overall, the publishers grossed more. They also generally had higher unit sales.

The latter is probably the more important if you care about how many people are reading (or how much they are reading). If the public as a whole reads 100 books in one year, and 200 books in the next year, they read more books in the second year. Of course, I suppose that if the books were on average less than half as long, they’d be reading less.🙂

I always try to be careful about asking the right questions.

One of the things I do is “performance improvement”. I look at processes, and see what I can do to make it better.

I’ve had quite a bit of training on this, but I often find that it doesn’t really address the important question.

Let me give you an example.

I was given a sample problem.

A recreational tourist spot is concerned because people are catching fewer of a specific sportsfish. Before we go further, let me say that I am a vegetarian and don’t fish.🙂 However, that doesn’t mean I can’t address a hypothetical.😉

We were given specific figures for two years, and asked to formulate a proper “problem statement”.

Well, you could plunge right into trying to solve the problem of why they aren’t catching as many of that species. We were even given a guess by them, that it had to do with barbed hooks and catch and release.

They’ve told us “what’s wrong?” which is the first question we are supposed to ask.

However, my second question would always be, “What’s bad about that?”

That’s because I don’t want to waste time and effort “fixing the problem” if it isn’t really the problem.

Does the place really care if people aren’t catching as many of one type of fish?

Probably not.

They care if they are making as much money as they were.

They might assume that people are less happy, and therefore less likely to come and spend money.

What if, though, they are catching fewer of that fish…because they are catching more of another fish they like better?

What if they are spending more time (and money) in the resort arcade, and less time fishing?

That’s what you need to determine: what’s bad about that?

It might also be, “What would be good about that?” You are usually trying to remove something bad or add something good. The bad exists now; the good is an (currently non-present) aspiration. Of course, the good may be more of something they have now, but the volume they want doesn’t exist now.

What we often really trying to influence is how people feel about things, since that will tend to influence their behavior.

So, my guess is that publishers selling more units means that people are reading more books, and I think an increase will suggest that will happen more in the future…but I don’t know for sure.

The growth in gross could indicate more sales, but may indicate higher prices. Since the book sales were up 4.6%, and the unit sales increased a smaller 3.7%, that suggests that prices are rising faster than unit sales.

Second, there was a particular figure that was literally two orders of magnitude higher (the “tens” is an order of magnitude, the hundreds is another, the thousands is another…that’s pretty much the way it works) than any other figure in the tables in the article!

It is also, I think, highly significant.

“Trade books” are the books you would have bought in a bookstore: not textbooks and that sort of thing, but fiction and popular non-fiction.

Looking at “Trade Book Sales by Format”, comparing 2014 to 2013, the standout was a new category: e-book subsers (subscription services).

They went from .3 million dollars in 2013 to $13.5 million in 2014, a more than four thousand percent increase!

You might immediately guess that was due to the launch of

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

on July 18th of 2014, but it’s unclear if the AAP figures would be impacted that much by KU.

Indies (independent publishers, like me) make up the bulk of KU…and they aren’t members of the AAP.

However, even though none of the Big 5 (the larges US trade publishers: Simon & Schuster; Penguin Random House; Hachette; Macmillan; and HarperCollins) are currently participating in KU (I’m thinking that at least one may join before the end of the year, at least for some backlist titles), other traditional publishers are (Scholastic, for example, is both a member of the AAP and in KU).

The article says

“For both 2013 and 2014, estimates for the entire industry are based on actual sales supplied by about 1,800 U.S. publishers, from which AAP extrapolates by using a variety of sources to estimate sales for publishers that don’t report data.”

That means the AAP is at least guessing at the sales for the non-reporters.

My guess is that subsers are going to see even bigger growth in 2015 versus 2014.

Then, they may slow down.

I think they have a limited, but significant, appeal.

They are most cost effective for (in the aggregate for the user of the account) people who read a lot.

In the case of KU, you can have ten books out at a time. A family with four readers will tend to get more value out of KU than one person…unless that single person reads a lot, and the family doesn’t.

As a former brick-and-mortar bookstore manager, my guess (there is a lot of guessing, in this post)😉 is that the majority of books in a single year are bought by people who don’t buy a lot of books.🙂

That may seem odd, but look at it this way.

Let’s say that ten percent of the people are “serious readers”…they read a book a week.

We’ll work with a population of 100 people to make this easy.

The casual readers read…let’s go with four books a year.

The ten serious readers read about 520 books a year.

The casual readers read 360 books a year.

However…

At the holidays (including things like Mothers’ Day, Fathers’ Day, graduation, birthdays…) those casual readers buy books for the serious readers, and for other casual readers.

Hm…according to this

Bookmarket.com article by John Kremer

17% of the total books sold are given as gifts.

If my 880 books above represent 83% of the sales, that would make about 1,050 total (rough guess). Let’s make this easy…and say that half of the books are bought by serious readers.

I think the bigger market for subsers is serious readers…so based on all that geeky, highly speculative math stuff I just did😉 I wouldn’t expect subsers to get easily beyond 50%.

Regardless, that’s a lot of room for growth.🙂

You can give KU as a gift. If KU gets a Big 5 publisher, and/or people really start to perceive as being a good way to encourage kids to read (I’m hoping Amazon is working on marketing for that…showing a kid saying, “I can’t find anything to read I like”, that sort of thing), it could get higher.

I’d be impressed if the subser sales doubled next year, and were half again as high in 2017.

I’ll keep an eye on it…

What do you think? Will subsers continue to grow? Were my numbers above so speculative as to be silly?🙂 If you think so, what are your guesses? If we could include indies, how much would that change this? Would e-book growth be much higher? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Alexa, tell me a bedtime story (Audible comes to the Echo)

June 5, 2015

Alexa, tell me a bedtime story (Audible comes to the Echo)

Update: as June 23rd, the general public can now pre-order Amazon Echo (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) with an “in stock” date of July 14th.

Thanks to regular reader and commenter Harold Delk for the heads up on this!

Woo hoo!

This is something people with the

Amazon Echo

have wanted, and it’s another major new feature.

Your Echo (not yet available to the public on general sale, but a number of people have them, including me, when they opened it to invitation only sales) can now read you your Audible audiobooks!

Now, some of you might be surprised that I’m excited by that. Regular readers know I great prefer to listen to text-to-speech (TTS…software reading a book out loud to you) as opposed to audiobooks…unless I’ve already read the book.

For me, an audiobook is like a movie: it gives me someone else’s interpretations of the characters. Even when the person reading the audiobook is the author, I prefer to layer that onto the words myself.

Listening to TTS is, for me, like sight-reading…reasonably neutral. Yes, there are some mistakes (is “lives” the plural of “life” or a verb, for example?), but that’s akin to typos in a p-book (paperbook)…I do okay with those in both formats.

So, there are definitely times I might want the Echo to read me a book I’ve already read.

If you go into your Echo app (you probably have it on your phone, but you could be getting to it on a computer at http://echo.amazon.com), you’ll now see “Audible” as a choice in your menu.

“Audible” is an audiobook company, owned by Amazon.

Even though I’ve almost never bought an audiobook, I have 41 books there. That’s from free audiobooks, often that you can get because you bought the e-book.

If I want to hear Tim Curry reading A Christmas Carol, for example, I can now ask the Echo to play that for me.

This also works with Audible books you have with many books you may have borrowed from

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

This could work very well for kids, although I would use it as an adult.

These are the commands (maybe we should call those “requests”….commands sounds so…imperious)😉 you can do audibly with the Echo:

  • “Alexa (or “Amazon”, if you’ve chosen that as your wake word…more wake words may be coming…that’s going to be true for the rest of these requests), play the book [title]”
  • “Alexa, play the audiobook [title]”
  • “Alexa (or “Amazon”, if you’ve chosen that as your wake word…more wake words may be coming), play [title] from Audible”
  • “Alexa, (or “Amazon”, if you’ve chosen that as your wake word…more wake words may be coming), read [title]”
  • “Alexa, pause”
  • “Alexa, resume my book”
  • “Alexa, go back  [30 seconds]”
  • “Alexa, go forward [30 seconds]”

Skipping chapter is not currently supported by voice. You can skip chapters using the Echo app.

It will, by the way, know where you were in the book…even if you were sight-reading the e-book (if it’s Whispersync for Voice compatible).

By the time the Echo is released for general purchase (I’m guessing that’s in July), it will be quite impressive and even practical.

I guess I should say a quick word about what the Echo is. It’s an “ambient computing” device. You are using it somewhat like you would use Siri on your iPhone, but it’s always on and available. It can hear you quite well…across a room, perhaps in other rooms (and the latter definitely with an included remote).

Will it become part of your life?

I think so. It has recently been passing a test of that for me.🙂 I find myself wanting to use it when it isn’t available. In other words, I spontaneously see a use for it, not just when I see it or consciously think of it.

For example, I got out of the shower this morning, and wanted to hear the news. I’m away from my Echo right now, but I just wanted to say, “Alexa, what’s the news?” I would have heard a summary from several sources, some of it in recorded human voices, some of it via text-to-speech. Instead, I had to go into a different room and turn on the TV for CNN. That doesn’t sound like much, but it was an inconvenient time.

More than once, I’ve wanted to ask the Echo for weather information when it wasn’t available.

Oh, I’ve also now reordered something using the Echo. That worked just fine. It’s really a remarkable product:

Mint-X MX2427W40DS Plastic Rodent Raccoon Repellent Tall Kitchen Trash Bags, 13 Gallon Capacity, 24″ Width x 27″ Height (Box of 40) (at AmazonSmile*)

We have animals around our house. We aren’t in the wilds, we’re in a suburb…but there is open space not far from us. We don’t see raccoons at our house, for example, but they might get under the deck. All of this gets our terriers really going: that’s part of why we are having somebody do yard clean-up right now. That should reduce unwanted animals. Oh, and I just found out one of our neighbors had a  family of red foxes under their house! As the California drought continues, we’ll see a lot more of this…particularly, cougars in the suburbs.

This product is just like a regular kitchen garbage bag…but it smells like mint. The smell is somewhat strong at first, but not unpleasant.

We had a spot where there was a rat hole, and I tried a few things. Just sticking one of these bags in the rat hole worked! No sign of them at that hole again (which I had even covered up with aluminum foil previously, which often works…they chewed through that).

I was told what the cost of reordering the bags was going to be (you can currently only reorder Prime eligible products…not order something new, and not something which isn’t Prime) and could have declined. Interestingly, despite what I just said, this order wasn’t Prime…but had been last time, I think. It still ordered it.

Let me share with you a suggestion I’ve made to Amazon (through the Echo app), which I think could be huge for them.

I suggested that they let us give items we’ve ordered “friendly names”…”Pat’s vitamins”, “Mint garbage bags”, “Fluffy’s favorite cat toy”, and so on). That’s especially useful for the Echo, but would also be valuable for searching orders at the website

It would greatly add to “stickiness” for Amazon customers as well. You might not even remember the formulation of those vitamins (although it would give you the official name when you reordered it as part of the confirmation), which would make you less likely to want to go somewhere else. If you had one hundred of those (we could have that), recreating it would be a bear, even if another site allowed it.

I told them I’d like to be able to retroactively go back through my previous orders and add those names.

We’ll see if we get it.🙂

Until then, for those of you who can, enjoy your Echo reading you a book around the house!

Whoops, one last thing: at this point, the Echo doesn’t have a sleep timer…so if you start it reading a book and then fall asleep, I assume it would just keep going until the book finished.  I suspect a sleep timer is coming…

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Why the Big 5 should join Kindle Unlimited

April 5, 2015

Why the Big 5 should join Kindle Unlimited

I’ve been a happy member of

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

since it became available July 18th of last year.

There are a lot of things to recommend Amazon’s subser (subscription service), where you pay $9.99 for an “all you can read plan”.

I could easily recommend enough books to you that are part of the program right now that you could read (and enjoy) one every day for a year and still have plenty to go.

The biggest knock you’ll hear against it, though, is that it doesn’t have the best-selling books from the biggest publishers.

Actually, if you are talking about the Big 5 (the biggest “trade” publishers in the USA…trade books are the ones you would have bought in a bookstore, not textbooks and such), it doesn’t have their worst-selling ones, either.😉 None of the Big 5 is part of Kindle Unlimited, although some of them are participating in some other subsers (Macmillan, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster all have some of their books available through Scribd and Oyster).

I think that’s a mistake.

No, not just for me as a reader…I think it’s a mistake for the Big 5 publishers not to be part of Kindle Unlimited.

Part of it might be simple antagonism towards Amazon, I really don’t think that’s the deciding factor. While there are rumors that HarperCollins is considering pulling out of Amazon (something I consider very unlikely, for any length of time), they currently all do business with the e-tailer. It would be a rare publicly-held business indeed that would give up a bunch of business just because their company hadn’t gotten along with another company in the past…stockholders would not be happy.

I think it comes more from a fundamental misunderstanding of how consumers will use subsers…and KU in particular.

It’s reasonable that they would see subser use through the lens of current book buying; I just don’t think it is accurate.

Recently, in an excellent

The Bookseller interview by Fabrice Piault, translated by Barbara Casassus

Arnaud Nourry, Chief Executive of Hachette, discussed the future of publishing, and e-books in particular.

In expressing skepticism of subsers, Nourry said in part:

“This is why I have resisted the subscription system, which is a flawed idea even though it proliferates in the music business. Offering subscriptions at a monthly fee that is lower than the price of one book is absurd. For the consumer, it makes no sense. People who read two or three books a month represent an infinitesimal minority.”

I’m sure many of my readers fall into that “infinitesimal minority”, but it’s a mistake to think that is the only group served.

As a former successful brick-and-mortar bookstore manager, I think I have some idea about what motivates people to buy books.  I’m going to put forth five reasons here why I think the Big 5 should join KU…and I made a “shaky” “prediction” that at least one of them would by the end of this year.

1. Just because people use KU doesn’t mean they won’t buy other books

That’s my case. I read KU books, but I also read others. My guess is that for that small group of “serious” readers (you can also use the term “regular readers” or “habitual readers”…people who read way above the average…I might set it at fifty books a year, but even ten a year would be relatively high), joining KU may not even reduce the number of other books they buy. Many of them have never been able to afford all the books they possibly could want to read in a month…this would be a supplement, not a replacement.

2. You don’t have to put your frontlist in KU

This goes with point number one. Let people buy your Gone Girls and your Fifty Shades of Greys, until they drop out of popularity and become part of the “backlist”. That backlist right now, even though it may provide the majority of your income, doesn’t do it based on individual title unit sales. Many of your backlist would be far more likely to be borrowed than to be bought…and while the revenue might be lower, the volume could be considerably higher

3. “Casual readers” are “burst readers”

“Casual readers” are another group than “serious readers” (of course, there’s a third group…non-readers). They tend to read on specific  occasions…notably, going on vacation. They might even read (gasp) two or more books on a week-long trip, and then not read the rest of the year. Kindle Unlimited is not an annual membership…it’s month to month. Sure, if subsers didn’t exist, they might buy a book from you for that vacation…but since they do, why wouldn’t they pay $9.99 for a month and take care of ten (!) members of the family? Let’s say the whole Brady Bunch goes on vacation…two parents, six kids, and they bring Alice the housekeeper, and Sam, Alice’s Significant Other comes along, too. That’s ten people. Each one can read all the books they want. As they finish one book, they return it and start another one…and you never get over the ten at a time you are allowed to have. A “burst reader” (I just made that up) often wants to buy more than one book at that time. They also may not be that picky about getting that frontlist title…they might read genre books and classics, for that matter. Get those otherwise dormant titles moving!

4. It’s about discovery

Look, you are trying every which way to find ways for consumers to find your books. You are, rightfully, concerned about the reduction in the number of chain bookstores as “showrooms”. Subsers are going to be the new discovery engines…bigger, perhaps, than chain bookstores were. It’s not going to be hard to do this: put first titles in a series in the subser. Put short stories that supplement the series in the subser. That’s an important point: people won’t mind borrowing a twenty page short story, when they would never buy one that size. Get those serious readers hooked, and they’ll buy your other books! This is much cheaper than starting your own website or doing television advertising, or those other things you’ve been considering.

5. They don’t need to get whole books

This is a big, big factor why people will use subsers! They can get one recipe out of a cookbook, one “how to” out of a do it yourself book, one city out of a travel guide for a country, one exercise routine out of a workout book, and so on. They can bounce from book to book. This is new, and it will change things. Figure out how to make it equally valuable to get a lot of small things, rather than one big thing. Got a book out on all the baseball teams? Break it into one book per team…and get paid every time they borrow each “chapter”. Somebody will borrow a book on their favorite team, who wouldn’t buy a book on all the teams. You couldn’t sell them that way as p-books (paperbooks) in a brick-and-mortar, but you can easily do it in a subser.

That’s five.🙂

Consumers are creatures of habit. You know this already. People like to buy things where they’ve bought things before. This is especially true with Amazon, where they already have your financial information, and where many services tie your library together (notes, bookmarks, and so on). I think the value of subsers for consumers is there, and will be recognized. When they do want to buy books (including expensive p-books as gifts at the holidays), they are first going to turn to where they have been reading books…and if you haven’t been part of that, it makes it harder for them to think of you.

Publishers, let’s be honest: do I and my readers benefit if you follow my advice to join KU? Yes, they do. On the basis of the reasons above, though, I think it would also be a win for you. Let me read your ten, twenty, thirty year old titles in KU…and I’ll buy your new ones.

What do you think? Does this make sense for publishers? Will any of them do it…this year? Is this a way for them to make money from books which are going into the public domain (which starts happening again in the USA in 2019)? If you’ve joined KU, has it reduced your book purchases? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

 


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