Speaking of #3 on the bestsellers list brings us to a potential Kindle Store improvement.
The Case to add a Top Grossing Kindle Books List and/or a Paid Books List
Playing around with the recent addition of the Top Grossing Apps List in the iPhone and it makes a ton of sense to include such a list in the Kindle Store.
With iPhone Apps you now have –
Top Paid Apps
Top Free Apps
Top Grossing Apps
New and Noteworthy
In the Kindle Store we have –
An overall Bestsellers list.
Movers and Shakers
How New Releases (which isn’t very up to date).
The single Bestsellers list does not work.
Lets look at what we had on 29th September –
51 free books in the Top 100 bestsellers.
1 book at 1 cent.
2 books that are less than $5.
And what we have today –
8 of the top 10 bestsellers are free books.
47 of the Top 100 are free books.
There’s one 1 cent book.
This obviously is an unfair rating because an Author selling a ton of books at $9.99 deserves a much better ranking than a public domain book getting downloaded at $0. For that matter, an author selling a book at $2.99 and one selling a book at $9.99 are generating completely different amounts of revenue and there ought to be a list to show that.
All Amazon has to do is –
Add Top Paid Books Lists as a separate list.
Add Top Paid Book Lists for each category.
Add a Top Grossing List.
It would be nice to get a Top Independent Authors List too.
Will Amazon add Paid Bestseller Lists?
It’s hard to say. At some point of time they’ll have to.
Until then we’re taking some deserving authors and hiding them from readers.
Books on the Knob had the scoop on this – Oprah is giving away a PDF copy of ‘Let the Great World Spin’ by Colum McCann. It’s a free download for 48 hrs starting August 3rd, Monday, 11 am.
What Oprah has to say –
On Monday, August 3, 2009, Random House will offer Colum McCann’s new novel, Let the Great World Spin, as a free download for 48 hours exclusively on Oprah.com. The book will be available for download from 11 a.m. ET Monday until 10:59 a.m. ET Wednesday August 5, 2009.
Oprah.com membership will be required to download your copy.
First, lets look at two free books in Kindle format you can get from Feedbooks –
Gone by Bryan W. Alaspa. For some strange reason he’s only got it on Feedbooks.
Beautiful Red by M. Darusha Wehm. Someone is actually illegally selling this book in the Kindle Store and the author is in the process of getting it removed from there.
Next, let’s look at something called the World eBook Fair. This site usually has a $8.95 a year membership (a devilishly brilliant idea) based off of free public domain books. From July 4th until August 4th, they have all their books free in PDF format –
Their biggest source, The Internet Archive, is something you can access directly to download text versions that don’t need conversion for Kindle 2.
The World eBook Fair site itself. Its confusing – just scroll down to reach the search fields. The books are all in PDF format.
Finally, two kindle deals I’ve mentioned before (however the official Kindle blog is referencing the second in a post of its own so it might be worth a second look) –
Malcolm Gladwell Vs Chris Anderson on Viability of Free
Though I’m firmly on the side of Malcolm Gladwell i.e. free is not a viable model, the actual behavior of authors trying to get attention in the Kindle Store seems to be tending towards –
Do anything to get attention and a competitive advantage – to the point of giving away books for free.
If it weren’t for Amazon’s $1 price limit, every independent author would be giving away their books for free. And every publisher would be introducing 2-3 day free offers and withdrawing them as soon as the books hit the top 25 in sales rank.
Very large markets in general, and the Internet in particular, create a few conditions –
A huge customer base which is very tempting.
An opportunity for People to give away their valuable products for competitive advantage.
An opportunity for People to give away their products because of their belief systems.
Everyone being forced to compete under this system.
Its creating a downward pressure on prices and its going to start affecting book prices more and more in the coming years.