Thank You for an Excellent 2011, Kindle Free Books

Thank You for an Excellent 2011

Thank you very much for making this a great year for me and my team. Apparently, the Kindle Review blog got more visitors in 2011 than the Space Needle (Amazon isn’t the only one that can be vague and annoyingly obtuse).

We also had our Kindle Apps and Kindle Fire Apps do very well and that was in large part due to your support and you giving the apps a chance. Notepad for Kindle hit #1 in the entire store and Productivity Helper for Kindle Fire is currently at #23 in Amazon’s Android App Store.

The team at 7 Dragons and the team at Kindle Review really appreciate your time and support.

I do too. For a kid who moved around a lot when young and had books as the only best friends who didn’t disappear, it’s absolutely excellent to be able to write for people who love books and value what books have to offer.

Best Wishes for 2012

Hope 2012 is an amazing year for all of you and your families.

Hopefully the world doesn’t end (stupid Mayan prophecy) and no one drops Nuclear Bombs to send us into a post-apocalyptic world filled with cannibals and bereft of ice cream sundaes.

Free Kindle Books for December 31st, 2011

Once again, prices change all the time. Please check prices BEFORE buying. Please check that it is the Kindle retail price that is $0, and not the Prime price.

  1. The full list of new free kindle books at Amazon. 
  2. Evernight with Bonus Materials by Claudia Gray. Price: $0. Genre: . Rated 4 stars on 192 reviews. Harper Collins.
  3. The Blackgloom Bounty by Jon F. Baxley. Price: $0. Genre: War, Magic & Adventure, Epic Saga. Rated 4.5 stars on 41 reviews. 606 kb in size. Starred Review from Publishers Weekly.
  4. A King of Infinite Space by Tyler Dilts. Price: $0. Genre: Police Procedurals, Mystery. Rated 4 stars on 66 reviews. 276 pages. An AmazonEncore offering.
  5. Dead Angler (Loon Lake Fishing Mystery) by Victoria Houston. Price: $0. Genre: Women Sleuths, Police Procedurals. Rated 4.5 stars on 16 reviews. 276 pages. 
  6. Shakedown (Jack Davis Thrillers) by Joel Goldman. Price: $0. Genre: Hard-boiled, A Real Page Turner. Rated 4.5 stars on 7 reviews. 457 kb in size.
  7. The Devil’s Hour (Laura Cardinal Series, Book 3) by J. Carson Black. Price: $0. Genre: Thriller, Police Procedural. Rated 4.5 stars on 23 reviews. 261 pages. A very good indie author.
  8. Dark Side of the Moon by J. Carson Black. Price: $0. Genre: Police Procedural, Laura Cardinal. Rated 3.5 stars on 27 reviews. 559 kb in size.
  9. The Pirates of Savannah: The Complete Trilogy – Colonial Historical Fiction Action Adventure (Pirates of Savannah (Adult Version)) by Tarrin P. Lupo. Price: $0. Genre: Historical Fiction, Action Adventure. 545 pages. The author sets a new benchmark for just how long a title can be. Thankfully he refrained from including the color of the pirate’s hat or the name of his pet parrot.
  10. Roanoke (The Keepers of the Ring) by Angela Hunt and Angela Elwell Hunt. Price: $0. Genre: Family Saga, 1587 and Roanoke, Historical. Rated 4.5 stars on 28 reviews. 6800 kb in size. Tyndale Publishers.
  11. Bad Radio (The Emergent Earth) by Michael Langlois. Price: $0. Genre: Fantasy, Ancient Relics, Supernatural Opponents. Rated 5 stars on 14 reviews. Another of the author’s books, Walker, is free. That one sounds interesting too – it’s about a man who can walk between worlds.
  12. No Cure for the Broken Hearted by Kenneth Rosenberg. Price: $0. Genre: Fiction, Romance, Except to Fall in Love Again. Rated 4 stars on 24 reviews. 279 pages.
  13. Death Keeps Secrets – The Story of Amber, Nazis, and the Men Who Discovered the Truth (The OK Club Series) by Thomas J. Guest. Price: $0. Genre: Historical Fiction, Crime, Mystery. Another author allergic to brevity. Rated 5 stars on 2 reviews. 295 pages.
  14. Squirrel Cage by Cindi Jones. Price: $0. Genre: Medical, Professionals, A Life-long secret. Rated 5 stars on 7 reviews. 225 pages.
  15. My Blood Runs Blue by Stacy Eaton. Price: $0. Genre: Action, Romance, For Adult Audiences. Rated 4.5 stars on 22 reviews. 209 pages.
  16. Across A Moonlit Sea (Pirate Wolf Series) by Marsha Canham. Price: $0. Genre: Here there be Pirates, High Seas Adventure, Action & Adventure, Swashbuckling Romance. Rated 4.5 stars on 21 reviews. 406 pages.
  17. Uranium Daughter by Chinle Miller. Price: $0. Genre: Adventure, Utah, the 1960s Uranium Boom, A Story of Love and Betrayal. Rated 5 stars on 3 reviews. 350 pages.
  18. Silver Storm (The Raveneau Novels #1) by Cynthia Wright. Price: $0. Genre: Historical Romance, A Privateer Rogue, A Young Innocent. Rated 5 stars on 9 reviews. 536 kb in size. Originally published by Ballantine Books.
  19. Dust by Arthur Slade. Price: $). Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Spine-Chilling Horror, Multi-layered. Rated 4.5 stars on 27 reviews. 362 kb in size.
  20. Bound to Love by Sally Clements. Price: $0. Genre: Romance, I feel like there’s a Tower between us, Wouldn’t want to be around when that woman gets angry. Rated 4.5 stars on 5 reviews. 412 kb in size. A controlled, self-reliant and scarred security analyst has to rely on an impulsive, spirited goldsmith. What could go wrong?
  21. Ladies in the Parlor by Jim Tully. Price: $0. Genre: Not exactly an upstanding Chicago Establishment. Rated 5 stars on 1 review. 166 pages. A banned book back from the dead in ebook form.

Finally, we have three books from Stephen E. Ambrose for $1.99 each as our Kindle Daily Deal:

  • American History Books from Stephen E. Ambrose. Undaunted Courage: Meriweather Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West, Crazy Horse and Custer: The Parallel Lives of Two American Warriors, and Citizen Soldiers: The U.S. Army from the Normandy Beaches to the Bulge to the Surrender of Germany.

Free Kindle Books for End of Year, End December 2011

Here are some of the picks from today’s free kindle books.

Please check the prices BEFORE buying – prices change all the time.

  1. The full list of new free kindle books at Amazon. 
  2. Maids of Misfortune: A Victorian San Francisco Mystery by M. Louisa Locke. Price: $0. Genre: Historical Mystery. Rated 4 stars on 36 reviews. 338 pages.
  3. Saying Goodbye to the Sun by David McAfee. Price: $0. Genre: 1986 NYC, Vampires, Horror. 478 kb in size. David McAfee is a really good indie author. His book 33 AD was one of the best books I read in 2010. Hopefully this is very good too – at $0 it’s not exactly a big risk.
  4. Embers of Hope, Flickers of Passion by Kristen James. Price: $0. Genre: Contemporary Romance, Fiction. Rated 4.5 stars on 2 reviews. 156 pages. If it were titled just ‘Embers of Hope’ that’d be OK – However, it’s hard to take a book seriously when it’s title is cliche title overload. Let’s just go all out and rename it to ‘Embers of Hope, Flickers of Passion, Sparks of Love, Blazes of Lust, Bonfires of Vanity, Infernos of Deceit, Conflagrations of Desire’. See, that isn’t so difficult.
  5. Knighthorse: Books One and Two by J. R. Rain. Price: $0. Genre: Tough & Sensitive Investigator, Superb Characters, Unique Mystery/Thriller. Rated 5 stars on 5 reviews. 266 pages.
  6. Chasing Rainbows by Kathleen Long. Price: $0. Genre: Very Funny, Touching, Poignant, Fiction. Rated 5 stars on 11 reviews. 265 pages. Love the title. It’s a relief this author didn’t follow the example of our first author and change her title to ‘Chasing Rainbows, Following Butterflies, Finding Pots of Gold, Fighting Leprechauns, No Punches Below the Belt you Green Oaf’. Poignant – such a beautiful word. Just the saying of it conveys what it means. You could take a kid raised by wolves and have her say ‘poignant’ and she would perhaps feel what it meant just in the saying of it.
  7. Setup on Front Street (Key West Nocturne Series) by Mike Dennis. Price: $0. Genre: Suspense Thriller, Psychologically True Characters, Key West Noir. Rated 4.5 stars on 13 reviews. 275 pages.
  8. Riptide (The Jake Lassiter Series) by Paul Levine. Price: $0. Genre: Hard-Boiled, Mystery Series, Suspense. Rated 4.5 stars on 5 reviews. 392 kb in size. I find it strange when movies talk about ‘Oscar Nominated’ actors and authors describe themselves as ‘Nominees for Prize X’. You either won it or you didn’t. Soon authors will start writing – Almost Nominated for a Grammy. This book was so good it almost won a grammy for best imaginary soundtrack. It was even considered for a Nobel Prize in Physics for most creative use of paper to create thought waves.
  9. Freeze by Daniel Pyle. Price: $0. Genre: Occult Horror. Rated 4 stars on 10 reviews. 141 pages.
  10. Pool of Lies by J. M. Zambrano. Price: $0. Genre: Women Sleuths. Rated 4.5 stars on 4 reviews. 212 pages.
  11. Stirred (Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels Mysteries) by Blake Crouch and J. A. Konrath. Price: $0. Genre: Mystery Series, Suspense Thriller. Rated 4.5 stars on 87 reviews. 508 pages.
  12. Fall: The Last Testament of Lucifer Morningstar (The Fall Trilogy: Book One) by David Scott Hay. Price: $0. Genre: Contemporary Fantasy. Rated 4 stars on 19 reviews. 161 pages.
  13. Integrated Intuition: A Comprehensive Guide to Psychic Development by Rhiannon Paille. Price: $0. Genre: Psychic Development. Rated 5 stars on 7 reviews. 414 kb in size.
  14. Quantum Physics, Near Death Experiences, Eternal Consciousness, Religion, and the Human Soul by William Bray. Price: $0. Genre: Quantum Theory. Rated 4 stars on 11 reviews. 338 pages.
  15. The Holy Bible: HCSB Digital Text Edition by B&H Publishing Group. Price: $0. Genre: The Bible, The Most Popular Book in the World. Rated 4 stars on 38 reviews. 1072 pages.
  16. Wedding Bell Blues by Ellie Ferguson. Price: $0. Genre: Police Procedural, Women Sleuths. Rated 4 stars on 6 reviews. 268 pages.
  17. The Evolution of a State or Recollections of Old Texas Days by Noah Smithwick. Price: $0. Genre: Old Texas, Don’t Mess with Texas. Rated 5 stars on 12 reviews.
  18. The Stolen Kiss (Book 3 of The Secret Trilogy) by Francine Saint Marie. Price: $0. Genre: Gay & Lesbian. Rated 5 stars on 7 reviews. 287 pages. The tagline is – Some Things You Just Can’t Borrow. Someone should tell the woman on the cover that clothes you most definitely can borrow.
  19. The Ghost Hunter, a Paranormal Romance (The Hunter Series) by Lori Brighton. Price: $0. Genre: Fantasy Romance. Rated 3.5 stars on 34 reviews. 458 kb in size.
  20. Attorney’s Run (A Nick Teffinger Thriller) by R. J. Jagger. Price: $0. Genre: Thriller, Teffinger, Blondes on the Run. 420 pages. Rated 4.5 stars on 19 reviews. Wish authors gave their protagonists names that were more interesting. This is published by the ‘Thriller Publishing Group’ – no confusion about its identity, no danger of permanent amnesia. Who Am I? You are Thriller Publishing Group. Oh, I remember everything now.
  21. It would be really interesting to draw two sets of connecting lines. A blue set of lines that links all the good indie authors who are in communication with each other. A red set of lines that links all good indie authors that are reading up the same publishing blogs like J. A. Konrath’s. It just seems that there’s an approximation of a Master Mind/Think Tank where the best 100 or 200 indie authors are all interacting with each other and coming up with the best strategies in a sort of hive mind. It just seems incomprehensible that so many of the indie authors seeing top 100 and top 200 ranks are collaborating and using the same strategies – but they are.
  22. The Secret of the Scarlet Stone (A Gabby Girls Adventure Novel, Book 1) by T L. Clarke. Price: $0. Genre: Girls & Women, Adventure & Mystery. Rated 4 stars on 10 reviews. 244 pages.
  23. WordPress Themes – the Top Rated and Most Useful Themes by Lambert Klein. Price: $0. Genre: Make Your WordPress blog look prettier. Rated 5 stars on 4 reviews.
  24. Cursed by Scott Nicholson and J. R. Rain. Price: $0. Genre: Occult Horror, Woman Sleuths. Rated 4.5 stars on 9 reviews. 323 kb in size.
  25. Daughter of Time: A Time Travel Romance (The After Cilmeri Series) by Sarah Woodbury. Price: $0. Genre: Historical Fantasy. The author apologizes for not being able to fit more details into the title. Her Publishers wouldn’t let her include a list of the 10 most frequently used alphabets. Rated 4 stars on 21 reviews. 319 pages. A very nice cover despite the amateurish type font.

That brings us to today’s Kindle Daily Deal:

  1. The Giver (Newbery Medal Book) by Lois Lowry. Price: $0.99. Genre: Fantasy, Receiver of Memories in a perfect world, Disillusionment with an outwardly utopian world, Children’s Books. Rated 4.5 stars on 3,409 reviews. 204 pages.

Always a pleasure to see a great book for the Kindle Daily Deal. Not sure what’s wrong with Amazon. Atwood yesterday and a Newbery Medal Book today. Has it forgotten all its Encore authors and all its small partner Publishers? Is it now going to focus on quality instead of taking over Publishing?

Thoughts on the randomness of free kindle books, 20+ free kindle books

First, some free kindle books. Warning: Prices change. PLEASE check the price BEFORE buying. Also, Amazon lists the Amazon Prime price in large size and below that the real size in fine print. So, if you aren’t Prime-handcuffed to Amazon, then please check the non-Prime price.

  1. The full list of new free kindle books at Amazon.  
  2. Ryan’s Return by Barbara Freethy. Price: $0. Genre: Romance. Rated 4.5 stars on 27 reviews.
  3. The First Excellence – Fa-ling’s Map (Li Fa-ling Mystery Series) by Donna Carrick. Price: $0. Genre: Mystery, Excellent, Historical, Thriller. 376 pages. Rated 5 stars on 17 reviews. 376 pages. Superb Indie author – according to the reviewers. Wise men say … only fools rush in. But I can’t help fa-ling in love with this book.
  4. Drummer Boy: A Supernatural Thriller (Sheriff Littlefield Series) by Scott Nicholson. Price: $0. Genre: Suspense Thriller, Ghosts. Rated 4.5 stars on 37 reviews. 362 pages. All around in my hometown … they’re trying to track me down.
  5. Right Ascension (Edge of Apocalypse) by David Derrico. Price: $0. Genre: Technothriller, Thriller, The Year 3040, Mankind’s Place in the Universe. Rated 3.5 stars on 61 reviews. 216 pages.
  6. Sundial (Light Bringer Series) by C. F. Fruzzetti, M. I. Pearsall. Price: $0. Genre: Science Fiction, A Teenage Girl who’s Special. Rated 5 stars on 31 reviews. 330 pages.
  7. A Bella Street Mystery: The Secret Formula by Clare Havens. Price: $0. Genre: Women Sleuths, Fun Read, Fast Paced, Thriller. Rated 5 stars on 6 reviews. 168 pages.
  8. Vegas, Baby (Soul Searchers Series: Book 2) by Sandra Edwards. Price: $0. Genre: Romantic Suspense. Rated 4 stars on 13 reviews. 235 pages.
  9. Double Tap: The Lost Coast & Paris is a Bitch by Barry Eisler. Price: $0. Genre: Short Stories, Prequels to The Detachment. Around 40 pages each.
  10. Instant Karma: The Gateway to Your Destiny by The Angel of Good Fortune. Price: $0. Genre: Short Book on Instant Karma, Are You Ready. No reviews.
  11. Mighty Hammer Down (Legend of Reason Series) by David J. Guyton. Price: $0. Genre: Epic Fantasy, Political Drama, Gods and Wars. Rated 4 stars on 48 reviews. 404 pages.
  12. Note to Self: Don’t title the post ’20+ Free Kindle Books’ before actually going through the lists and seeing whether it’s a good day or not. Starts with Barbara Freethy and then drops off a cliff.
  13. Florida Heatwave by Michael Lister. Price: $0. Genre: Crime Stories.
  14. Locked Doors: A Novel of Terror by Blake Crouch. Price: $0. Genre: Police Procedural. Rated 4 stars on 27 reviews. 332 pages.
  15. The Art of Zen Meditation by Howard Fast. Price: $0. Genre: Zen.
  16. The Trophy Hunter by J. M. Zambrano. Price: $0. Genre: Woman Sleuths, When Big Game isn’t a Big Enough Thrill. Rated 4.5 stars on 7 reviews. 216 pages.
  17. Beatrice Beecham’s Fearsome Feast by Dave Jeffrey. Price: $0. Genre: Mystery, A Town of Secrets, A Girl who Loves Cooking, A CookBook and a Cry for Help, Fun & Intelligent, Adventure. Rated 5 stars on 7 reviews. 276 kb in size.
  18. Wolf’s Rite by Terry Persun. Price: $0. Genre: An Ad Exec, A Spiritual Awakening, Mystical Native Americans, Don Draper Meets Native American Wisdom. Rated 5 stars on 4 reviews.
  19. The Patriot Paradox (The Reluctant Hero Series, Book One) by William Esmont. Price: $0. Genre: Thriller, Technothriller, Conscience can be a Killer. Rated 4 stars on 38 reviews. 270 pages.
  20. Mirror Maze – A Norwegian Man’s True Story of Five Years in Mexican Prisons by Tom Brungar & Lisa Walker. Price: $0. Genre: True Story, Might be set for the Big Screen. Rated 4.5 stars on 9 reviews. 176 pages.
  21. The Peak Interview: New Insights into Winning the Interview and Getting the Job by Bill Burnett. Price: $0. Genre: Job Hunting. Rated 4.5 stars on 15 reviews. 174 kb in size.
  22. The Lost Ark by J. R. Rain. Price: $0. Genre: A Lost Professor, The Lost Ark, The Greatest Archaeological Discovery of all time. Rated 3.5 stars on 22 reviews. 371 kb in size.
  23. Be The Monkey – Barry Eislar & Joe Konrath Conversate by Jack Kilborn the Imaginary. Price: $0. Genre: Writing Skills, Monkeys & Frogs. 100 pages. Rated 5 stars on 14 reviews.
  24. Heaven’s Fire (Fairfax Family Series, Book 2) by Patricia Ryan. Price: $0. Genre: Historical, Romantic Suspense. Rated 5 stars on 20 reviews.
  25. The Gospel of Thomas: The Enlightenment Teachings of Jesus by Robert Wolfe. Price: $0. Genre: New Testament, Church History. Rated 4 stars on 4 reviews. 308 kb in size.
  26. Shot of Tequila by J. A. Konrath. Price: $0. Genre: Women Sleuths, Mystery. Rated 4.5 stars on 25 reviews. 270 pages.
  27. The Oil Market Czar by Gideon McLane. Price: $0. Genre: A CIA Analyst, A MI6 Engineer (Scottish), A Russian FSB Investigator, A Chinese Intelligence, The Oil Mafia. 148 pages. A Thriller. Do all the rivers of oil flow to the Sea?

We have a really great book for the Kindle Daily Deal:

  1. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Price: $1.49. Genre: Literary Fiction, Science Fiction, A Fable for the Near Future, A Society where Women are tightly controlled, Atwood, Amazing. Rated 4 stars on 696 reviews. 325 pages. Haven’t read this one but have read Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood and Margaret Atwood is a special writer.

Next, a random guess at why Amazon likes random free books.

Random Free Books are like Slot Machines

  1. It’s Human Nature to like surprises.
  2. Anything is better than being bored to death by sheer predictability.
  3. Randomness provides that.
  4. Randomness in rewards provides that too.
  5. Amazon could easily have done genre specific email listings of free kindle books. It hasn’t because that would take away the surprise and take away the going to Amazon part. If a romance novel lover got a daily email listing the 3 very good free romance novels every day – She wouldn’t go to Amazon that day to search for more. Probably not.
  6. Amazon could easily have done quality control for free kindle books. It hasn’t because rewards are most satisfying if you put effort into it.
  7. Slot Machines = Rewards + Unpredictability. That’s exactly what Kindle Free Books are – rewards + unpredictability.
  8. Chances are – people would get tired of free kindle books if it was a guaranteed amount of good free kindle books per day. The terrible stuff makes the good stuff more appreciated. The working hard to scan through books make readers appreciate the books they do find to their tastes more. If you took 10 minutes to find a 4-star rated Science Fiction novel, then that’s going to seem more of a find than something in your email inbox that took you 5 seconds.
  9. Chances are – Amazon thought long and hard about how to set things up so that the free kindle books offered by authors turn into a random reward situation and also get people visiting Amazon more and more.
  10. At the end of the day – it’s free books. All that jazz about not looking a gift horse in the mouth.

Paradoxically, it’s in Amazon’s interest to make the process of finding free kindle books you like both unpredictable and not so straightforward. It might have planned it out or it might have stumbled into it. Whichever the case, it would be madness for Amazon to fix the problem since it leads to Kindle owners spending more time at Amazon.com and buying other things. It’s a treasure hunt run in a mall – the mall has no incentive to organize it in your back yard instead.