Ad Kindle takes #1, Saturday Kindle offers & deals

First, for your Kindle, an offer and some deals from the Big 6 publishers -

  1. Private Games by Tawny Taylor. Price: $0. Genre: Erotica, A Simple Board Game. Rated 5 stars on 4 reviews. Thanks to Happy Reader Joyce for pointing this out.
  2. The Mystery of the Big Ben by Fernando Trujillo Sanz. Price: $0. Genre: Mr. White vs Mr. Black, London Crime, A Sea of Intrigue.
  3. Black Order by James Rollins. Price: $1.99. Genre: American Special-Ops, Thriller, Return of the Nazis. This is the discounted version with a sampler of the NY Times Bestselling author’s forthcoming novel. The full-price version is $8.99 and rated 4 stars on 170 reviews.
  4. Angel’s Tip by Alafair Burke. Price: $1.99. Genre: Thriller, Woman Sleuth, Suspenseful. The full-priced version is $7.99 and rated 4 stars on 65 reviews. It’s got a Starred Review from Publishers’ Weekly.
  5. Bulls’ Island by Dorothea Benton Frank. Price: $1.99. Genre: Romance. Please keep in mind that this was a free offer in the past – so you might already have it. The full version is $7.99 and rated 3.5 stars on 73 reviews.
  6. The Scavenger’s Daughter by Mike McIntyre. Price: $1. Genre: Hard-boiled, Police Procedural, Self-storage Unit filled with Medieval Instruments of Torture. Rated 5 stars on 13 reviews. This is a limited time offer on a book by an author picked for Oprah’s Book Club (not for this book).
  7. Daring by Dee Davis. Price: $1.99. Genre: Elite CIA Unit under cover in the Ivy League, Romance, Adventure. This just seems to be a straight up deal before launch. 

Thanks to the Kindle owners sharing deals at the Kindle Forum Discounted Books thread for these deals.

Next, let’s look at Simon Wood’s charity promotion -

Last year, Simon Wood’s wife suffered a cancer scare and in her honor, he’s raising money for cancer research. In addition to taking part in a 100-mile sponsored cycle ride, anyone who purchases the ebook version of his thriller PAYING THE PIPER from Amazon, Amazon UK and Barnes & Noble during the weekend of May 14-15 – he’ll donate the royalties to the cancer clinics.

Alternatively, people can donate to the charity here: https://ssl.charityweb.net/echelongranfondo/napa/simonwood.htm

Paying the Piper is rated 5 stars on 20 reviews. It’s a Hard-Boiled Mystery.

Finally, a bit on the Ad Kindle and its ascent to best-selling Kindle status.

Ad Kindle is now the best-selling Kindle

Silicon Alley Insider somehow found the time (in between posting unsubstantiated rumors) to check Amazon Store rankings and figure out that the $114 AdKindle is the best-selling Kindle.

SAI writes about the AdKindle -

1) People don’t hate advertising as much as some Internet wonks think they do.

2) The $25 savings from the ad-supported edition matters to people.

3) Cheaper Kindles sell better than more expensive Kindles.

Yes, it probably does mean one or more of those things. It’s still not a good thing. It paves the way for advertising of other sorts. Screensavers today, in-between chapters tomorrow, and at the top of every page the day after.

My gut feeling is that it’s all about the low price and the way Amazon has phrased it – Special Offers sounds a lot less horrific than Advertising.

SAI suggests, and now it almost seems a given, that a $99 Ad Kindle is a virtual guarantee for this holiday season. I’d throw in a $125 or $150 Ad Kindle 3G to the mix. Perhaps even a $75 Super Ad Kindle which has ads in books.

14 Responses

  1. @switch11,

    I strong agree with your hunch that Ad Kindles impressive sales are in part the result Amazon naming it “Special Offers Kindle” rather than “Kindle with Advertisments”.

    In fact, I’d be willing to bet that a significant number of casual readers who’ve purchases it literally had no idea that it has ads. The term “special offers” make it sound like the Kindle itself is on sale — nothing about that phrase implies ads to the average Joe on the street. And there is absolutely no explicitly explanation on Amazon that “special offers” means ads.

    Yes, consumers who research before making a purchase, in addition to Kindle fantatics like us, certainly know that it has ads, but not all people fall into either of those categories. There are a lot of impulse buyers out there. My guess it that they didn’t even realize that “Special Offers” means ads.

  2. The naming has all to do with those sales. In fact, I find it quite remarkable and smart that amazon came up with something like this to “lure” people. However, I can’t blame them for it: they are a company that, no one can deny, is there to make money when it all comes down to it. If people are willing to spend their money fast without researching into what they are buying before, they deserve whatever they spend their money on.

    In fact, I wonder if the ads on their Kindle will make them impulse-consume even more stuff. Meh.
    I spent 2 weeks reading about eReaders before settling on the Kindle 3. Amazon’s description played no part in it: consumers reviews and opinions did.

    It’s how I came across this wonderful blog first! All the useful posts and comments from readers…. I can’t even begin to thank you switch11 for those btw.

  3. Switch11,

    Thanks so much for the mention. I really apprecaite the help.

    Simon

  4. Thanks for including The Scavenger’s Daughter,
    now #18 in Hard-Boiled, and #19 in Police Procedurals.

    Mike McIntyre

  5. “Yes, it probably does mean one or more of those things. It’s still not a good thing. It paves the way for advertising of other sorts.”

    As long as there’s an ad-free alternative, it’s no skin off my nose. (Or anyone’s.)

    “Screensavers today, in-between chapters tomorrow, and at the top of every page the day after.”

    Bring ‘em on. That’s the way it’s always been in magazines (in the days when popular magazines carried short stories). The ads didn’t interfere (much) with immersion in the reading experience–and the ads made it possible to buy the magazines cheaply. I (personally) would draw the line only as ads that flashed (or sang!).

    “My gut feeling is that it’s all about the low price and the way Amazon has phrased it – Special Offers sounds a lot less horrific than Advertising.”

    Amazon could (and should) defuse this imputation of dissembling by allowing buyers to “back out” of their KSO purchases by paying an “ad-free fee” of $25. It could be a menu option, to make it hassle-free.

    Similarly, it could (and should) allow current ordinary Kindle owners to go in the other direction and click a “Make Mine a Kindeal” menu option, in which case they’d be given a $25 book-purchase credit in exchange for opening their gadgets to ads & deal-offers.

    (Owners who would like to go further (i.e., who wouldn’t mind inter-chapter ads) could be offered a third menu option: to accept them in exchange for a second $25 credit to their account.)

    All these switches should be reversible indefinitely, up to some yearly limit.

    Amazon has avoided accentuating the negative by avoiding the word “ads.” But it could do better and accentuate the positive, by calling its ad-bearing gadget the “Kindeal.” Most Americans are bargain-hunters and deal-makers, not readers, and the availability of “deals” on a “reader” would be a feature to them, not a bug.

    Once having bought the Kindle, average Americans would gradually be seduced into doing more reading. There’s no other way to get “inside their guard” against book-larnin’. (I wonder if this is Amazon’s roundabout approach to the goal of a better-educated America—how “serpentine” of them!)
    =========

    Fantazy says: “It’s how I came across this wonderful blog first! All the useful posts and comments from readers…. I can’t even begin to thank you switch11 for those btw.”

    I agree–I can’t imagine how Switch maintains the quantity and quality that he does–in addition to his other activities.

  6. Personally, I’m one of the people that switches off the audio from TV during the AD, so I hope that when my K2 will broke I’ll still have the choice to buy an AD-free kindle.
    But a Kindle with AD in books….that really would be a nightmare! Please do not suggest it anymore, someone could be listening! Brrrrr! That gives me the shivers!!!!

  7. Crap! I hope that Ad Supported Kindle is available here in our country (Philippines) Ebook readers here are crap and the only chance you’ll get the kindle is thru the grey market

  8. So, should people by K-3 (wifi or 3G) or wait for an upgrade K-4 this summer or K-T (for tablet) this fall? Thanks.

    • Wait to see what Nook is released on May 24th.

      If more interested in tablet than eReader -> wait for Kindle Tablet.

      If more interested in eReader than Tablet -> buy whichever out of Kindle 3 and Nook 2 is better (find out on May 24th).

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