Kindle Store needs Discoverability

The number of blogs in the Kindle Store has mushroomed from 1,400 (which is still being advertised) to over 4,000 in the 4 days that the Kindle Publishing for Blogs Self-Publishing Option has been in existence. At the same time, the number of kindle edition books is now at 275,000.

This amazing growth of books and blogs presents a few challenges -

  1. How do we find the content that appeals specifically to us?  
  2. How do we find new releases and rapid climbers in all the little niches we’re interested in?
  3. For publishers – Is there a way to not get lost in this deluge?
  4. For self-published authors – How do you reach the people who actually want to try out new books like yours?

Kindle DX will arrive in the summer and we will see the addition of huge numbers of textbooks and (hopefully) newspapers and periodicals. At that point we’ll have a full blown crisis.  

Content Creators have no Path to Success

Put your blog or book up on the Kindle Store – what’s next?

How do you reach the Kindle owners that would be interested in your content? Amazon can’t mention every new addition or every new release in its official blog. Neither can kindle blogs like this one.

There are 2,600 additions in the last 4 days to the blogs store – that’s nearly one every 2 minutes. Even if it goes down to 1 every 20 minutes, that’s still 72 new blogs a day.

There is no way for content creators to target or reach specific audiences, and things are just as bad on the other side …

Users can’t get to Content that Appeals to them easily

Is there a Mariners blog on the Kindle Store? What about something specific to San Francisco or traveling or cooking or neuroscience?

Would you just keep searching for different terms hoping to run into blogs you like? Or would you browse through 4,000 blogs?

What about after finding blogs – How do you know which one is good? Do you subscribe to each one?

Lets look at the options for finding and choosing blogs -

  1. Keyword search – rather random.  
  2. Price High to Low and Low to High don’t really work (everything’s $0.99 or $1.99). 
  3. Bestsellers is somewhat helpful – however doesn’t really go into niches well.
  4. Movers and Shakers is just one list for the whole Kindle Store.
  5. Ratings – when most blogs have just a few ratings, it’s hard to decide.
  6. There’s no indication of a blog’s popularity on the Internet.

There are similar problems with finding books. Self-published authors don’t have any store of their own – even if Kindle owners wanted to encourage authors who publish just for the kindle, there’s no path. 

Basically, Kindle Store is only useful if you already know what you want – its really difficult to find new content that you would like.

Kindle Store needs Discoverability, and Structure

The problem is that content is being added to the Kindle Store without enough thought put into how customers will find it, and how they’ll make a decision on buying it.

Entwined with the need for discoverability is a need for better structure – Whether Amazon realize it or not they are responsible for curation. They can’t just say – Here are 10,000 blogs. Knock yourself out.

Amazon need to consider users, and content creators, and find a solution. Ideally before we have 500K books, 100K blogs, and no way to find anything.

2 Responses

  1. Very true.

    In the meantime, some people who visit your blog regularly might not be adverse to a 99c /mo. delivery to their Kindle for the convenience of it.

    So, you would be the one driving the interest (which is keen, as these things go).on this one.

    But more than a few people have told me they’d easily pay 99c for blogs that they want to see daily, put on their Kindle, as they do toss 99c right and left for Apple apps on their iPods or iPhones, but going to $2 changes the picture for them drastically — one said it’s a real barrier.

  2. It’d be useful if we could totally exclude whole publishers. That way when some publisher spams the store with hundreds of public-domain texts, we could avoid them rather than having to wade through page after page.

    I’d block “Amazon Digital Services” first of all.

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