Kindle Oprah update – Dickens is Pick 65, Kindle Oprah thoughts

We’ve suspected the Kindle will be starring in the Oprah Winfrey Show tomorrow alongside Jonathan Franzen and Oprah’s 65th Book Club Pick.

What we probably didn’t expect is for the $7.99 Kindle Oprah Book Club selection to turn out to be a public domain book. It’ll actually be a combination of two Charles Dickens classics (Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities). It’s a special version with a $20 paperback discounted to around $13 and a $8 Kindle edition.

After the great expectations created by the secret $7.99 Kindle Edition of the 65th Oprah Book Club selection it’s a bit of a disappointment to find out it’s a combination of two freely available public domain books.

Associated Press spoil the surprise and temper expectations

Associated Press has revealed the pick ahead of schedule -

  1. The AP actually bought a copy of the new Dickens special edition with the Oprah book club logo on the cover. 
  2. It’s published by Penguin and is 800 pages long.
  3. No comments from Oprah though her website recommends Dickens’ ‘David Copperfield’.

The Associated Press notes that Oprah has picked Anna Karenina and East of Eden in the past so picking a public domain book isn’t a complete shocker.

Kindle Oprah thoughts

  1. On the one hand it would have been pretty cool to say the Kindle edition is just $7.99 while the paperback is $13. It being a public domain book takes away a little bit of the lustre.
  2. On the other hand being able to say you can get these Dickens books on your Kindle for free is great.
  3. If you bought the book as a blind preorder (like me) you might want to cancel and get the free versions instead – A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations are both available for $0.
  4. A Tale of Two Cities was added on December 1st which adds even more fuel to the Kindle Oprah fire. Amazon must be expecting a Kindle mention on Oprah if it just added the free version a few days ago.
  5. Wonder why Amazon waited so long to get Oprah’s recommendation for the Kindle – If it happens on Monday, that is. We’re already well into the holiday season. In 2008 having it at the end of October helped Kindle sales the entire holiday season.
  6. It’s interesting that the Kindle might need Oprah’s recommendation to re-establish itself as the reading device of choice. It’s still the best device for reading – It just seems the recent entrants and the Press have managed to steal away the limelight.
  7. Amazon has been making quite an effort recently – retail availability, adding lending, TV commercials, Kindle reading apps. Now the Oprah Show magic. Makes you wonder exactly how well Nook is doing and what impact the iPad has had.

Tomorrow, we’ll find out from the way Oprah talks about the Kindle what Amazon’s situation is (at least we’ll get a rough idea) and also exactly how Amazon is trying to position the Kindle.

Oprah Kindle – Oprah #65 on Kindle for $7.99, Oprah Kindle Redux

The Kindle price for Oprah’s 65th Book Club selection is $7.99 - You can preorder it already at the Kindle Page. The paperback is $13.60 (ISBN: 9780142196588).

That’s the biggest sign yet that another Oprah Kindle endorsement might be on the way to help the Kindle and Amazon.

The Kindle 3 was looking all set for the holiday season but now there’s analyst speculation that 1 million Nook Colors might sell by end 2010 and iPad vs Kindle comparisons are being brought up. Basically, it’s a repeat of the climate in 2008 when multi-purpose devices were being flogged by the Press as the better choice for reading.

Perhaps the only person who can fight off a ravenous Press is Oprah and it’s looking increasingly likely that Oprah will again endorse the Kindle.

Update: At the official kindle forum a user is saying she saw a preview of the show with Oprah waving around a graphite Kindle – 50% it’s her telling people what they’re getting for free, 50% it’s Oprah bestowing Kindle with love and her recommendation.

Sign 2: December 6th Oprah Show audience got Kindles

We’ve covered how audience members got Kindles from Oprah during the taping of the December 6th Oprah Show.

Why would Oprah give Kindles right before the Holiday Season? Would she give Kindles without endorsing them as the best eReader?

Just the fact that she’s handing out Kindles is a big, big publicity coup for Amazon. All Oprah has to do is add on ‘The new Kindle is my favorite device for reading. Now it’s just $139′ and Kindles will sell out.

Sign 3: Oprah’s endorsed the Kindle before

Oprah endorsed the Kindle 1 in 2008 when it was over $300 and just beginning to catch on. At the time there was talk of her being good friends with Mr. Bezos and being genuinely excited about the Kindle.

It should be just as true today – If anything, a $139 Kindle WiFi and 9% market penetration for ebooks are far more exciting than a $300+ Kindle 1 and 2.5% market penetration.

It’s commitment and consistency too – If Oprah’s already endorsed the Kindle at $350 it’s very easy for her to feel it’s an even better recommendation at $139 with the new eInk Pearl screen and features like text to speech.

Sign 4: Recommending Kindle fits in perfectly with Oprah’s 65th Book Club selection

Rumors are that Oprah’s 65th Book Club selection will be revealed on the December 6th Oprah Show. It’s published by Penguin. The show will feature Jonathan Franzen and this would be the perfect time to bring up an Oprah Kindle recommendation.

  1. Here’s the 65th Book Club selection – and the new Kindle is the perfect device to read it on.
  2. This is Jonathan Franzen and he’s sold over 350,000 ebook copies of Freedom – most of them to Kindle owners.
  3. Kindle WiFi is just $139 – the perfect gift for yourself or for the book lover in your life.

You know what makes for an interesting conspiracy theory – that the $89 Black Friday Kindle 2 deal was a test to see demand for a $100 Kindle WiFi. Perhaps that would be part of the Oprah endorsement too.

Let’s take another quick look at our Sign #1.

Why would Oprah #65 be $7.99 on Kindle and Oprah also be giving away Kindles?

We’re seeing a lot of coincidences here -

  1. Oprah’s going to announce her 65th pick and also give away Kindles on the same day. 
  2. The paperback price for her 65th pick is $13.60 while the Kindle edition price is just $7.99. It’s a book published by Penguin (an Agency Model Publisher) - There has to be something up for the Kindle edition to be $5 cheaper than the paperback.
  3. Oprah’s endorsed the Kindle before.
  4. An author who has sold 350,000 eBook editions of his recent release just happens to be on the show.
  5. It happens to be the best possible time for the Kindle to get Oprah’s blessing.

The Kindle is quite likely to get a huge endorsement from Oprah on December 6th and Oprah’s Kindle recommendation will probably help sell a million Kindles or more by end 2010.

Free on Kindle – 3 Books, BOGO offer

4:14 pm Update: Kindle Buy 1 Get 1 Free book offer – Buy Brian Haig’s Secret Sanction and receive a free download of Mortal Allies.

August continues to see free kindle book offers.

Free Books for Kindle – 3 from Suvudu Free Library

Suvudu Free Library has said it’ll release 3 free books on August 3rd -

On Monday I will be updating the Free Library with three new titles, one of which is easily one of my favorite novels.

The ones available now are -

  1. Brass Bed by Jennifer Stevenson.
    Brass Bed - Free for Your Kindle

    Brass Bed - Free for Your Kindle

     

  2. Update: Unfortunately, it seems that The Briar King and Queen of the Orcs which we’ve talked about before are the other two free Suvudu books.

The Suvudu gentleman thinks The Briar King by Greg Keyes is one of the best books he’s ever read. And the reviews certainly indicate that. And you have Queen of the Orcs: King’s Property as the third free book from Suvudu.

Another free book from Oprah

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.

Another free book from Oprah

Another free book from Oprah

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.

Oprah Kindle Effect = Kindle Out Of Stock, 2-3 weeks delay.

Nov 5th update: Stephen Windwalker has recently posted that sales of his Kindle Help Book increased by a factor of 5 after the Oprah Kindle effect – I can confirm that traffic on this blog increased by a factor of 4 (it’s still triple what it was pre-Oprah), and number of people clicking through to the Kindle page – well, the Oprah Effect has resulted in an increase by a factor of 20. Since the 24th, on average, more than 20 times more people have visited the Kindle product page – that’s what Oprah has done for the Kindle.

There’s also an AdAge study about the Oprah Kindle effect that has some interesting numbers – 467% increase in number of people searching for ‘kindle’.

Original: Wow – I’d forecast that 105,000 or so Kindles would get sold in the week or so after Oprah’s Kindle recommendation, and also written that a good test of the Kindle Oprah impact would be whether the Kindle gets sold out or not - well the Kindle is out of stock - with 2-3 week delays! I was going to buy a Kindle (and ship it out to a friend so he can bring it with him to Canada), except I can’t – Kindle’s Out of Stock.

Amazon shows a 2-3 week delay in shipping. If you don’t mind waiting, you still have till end of Nov 1st to use kindle coupon: OPRAHWINFREY and get $50 off the Kindle. I’m going to buy one nevertheless (Edit: Just did – hadn’t factored in taxes - i’ll probably buy Kindle 2 too, when it comes out). I hope Amazon specifies a release date for Kindle 2 soon.

Oprah Effect = Kindle Out of Stock

Oprah Effect = Kindle Out of Stock

Amazon should send Oprah the biggest bouquet of flowers they can find. Even in the economic downturn a recommendation from Oprah = Kindle sold out. The Kindle Oprah coupon ends end of day, and it’ll be interesting to see whether November is a slow month for Kindle sales based on the huge sales in the last week of October.

Oprah Kindle effect – Oprah, Kindle $50 off coupon have huge impact

This post discusses the Oprah Kindle impact – if you’re just looking for the Kindle, you can buy the Kindle at Amazon

Nov 5th update: Oprah’s Kindle endorsement has had a huge impact. Recently there have been a few doubters. Mark Mahaney has said that Oprah’s recommendation will not have any impact on Kindle sales. This doesn’t make sense to me – Oprah has sold out the Kindle and you’re saying there’s no Oprah Kindle effect? I think he’s definitely wrong about Oprah having no material effect on the Kindle. Here are a few data points (the article addresses some of them in detail) -

  1. AdAge says searches for ‘kindle’ increased by 467% the day of Oprah’s recommendation.  
  2. Stephen Windwalker (who sells a kindle help book) says he saw sales increase five fold.
  3. This blog’s traffic increased four fold, and more than 10 days after Oprah’s Kindle endorsement, traffic is still triple. Oprah related search terms are one of the biggest sources of search engine traffic for my blog – even 10 days after Oprah’s recommendation. 
  4. AdAge also says that number of visits to Amazon increased by 6%. That’s 6% more total visits to Amazon.  
  5. If you search for kindle on google, recommended searches are ‘oprah kindle’ and ‘kindle reader’. And before the 24th, the term ‘oprah kindle’ didn’t even have any meaning.  
  6. Over 50 newspapers and 100+ big blogs have written articles about Oprah and the kindle i.e. Oprah kindle effect articles, Oprah has no imact on kindle sales articles, every sort of Oprah article you can imagine. All of it is more publicity for the Kindle.
  7. Also, hundreds of bloggers and deal sites have written about Oprah, Kindle $50 off coupon, etc.  
  8. The single biggest piece of evidence is that Oprah sold out the Kindle. Think about that – Amazon has faced the Kindle being sold out on launch and then constantly being out of stock for 3-4 months afterwards. They knew Oprah was going to talk about the Kindle in advance - they must have prepared for higher sales. Despite Amazon’s preparation with extra stock etc., Oprah’s Kindle endorsement sold out the Kindle.

There is no doubt that Oprah has had a huge measurable impact on the Kindle. It’s definitely in Amazon’s favor to keep Kindle sales, and Kindle sale trends secret – helps them competitively, keeps Kindle Buzz going, and creates interest in general. My biggest takeaway from the Oprah + Kindle saga is that if I had a book related product, the single best thing I could do is get an Oprah endorsement.

Oct 31st evening Update: Google HotTrends for the 24th (the day Oprah talked about the Kindle and the Oprah Kindle coupon was revealed) shows ‘Amazon Kindle’ interest as ‘Volcanic’). There’s a list of terms further along in the article.

Oprah Kindle Recommendation Impact.

We’re now a week into the Oprah Kindle recommendation and Ithought it’d be useful to see the impact it has had. Starting off with Google Trends (and limiting to the US) -

Kindle Oprah Effect

Kindle Oprah Effect

Please Note: Results for ‘kindle’ could possibly be a little misleading since there might be some searches for ‘kindle’ that are not related to the amazon kindle.

Oprah’s impact on the kindle is highlighted by the facts that -

  1. Searches for ‘kindle’ have spiked and hit their highest point since the initial launch of the Amazon Kindle, and if I’m reading the Google trends graph correctly are half of the highest point.
  2. Searches for ‘amazon kindle’ have also spiked and hit their highest point since the launch.
  3. An obviously Oprah related term ‘kindle oprah’ has spiked out of nowhere and has hit more searches than ‘amazon kindle’ normally gets.

Looking at just the last 30 days for kindle and Oprah related keywords, gives us -

Oprah Kindle Effect - 30 Days

Oprah Kindle Effect - 30 Days

There are almost as many people searching for ‘kindle oprah’ since oprah’s recommendation as ‘sony reader’. And since Oprah’s recommendation, ‘kindle’ and ‘amazon kindle’ both dwarf ‘sony reader’. Please, once again, note that ‘kindle’ encompasses searches not related to the amazon kindle (and i’m not sure of a way to filter those out).

Also I see a lot of new keywords with people using terms like oprah new gadget, oprah’s favorite gadget, oprah coupon for kindle, etc. So the graphs above probably don’t fully capture Oprah’s huge impact on the Amazon Kindle.

Amazon Kindle interest spikes on 24th due to Oprah – makes Google HotTrend list.

A really good way to gauge the level of attention Oprah brought to the Kindle is the fact that ‘Amazon Kindle’ was a hottrend on Google Trends for the 24th, with interest level listed as ‘volcanic’. These were the hot trends for the day -

Oprah kindles Amazon Kindle

Oprah kindles Amazon Kindle

Notice that 4 out of the 21 hot trends for the day are kindle related. Also, Oprah does consitently have this effect. A few days ago some millionaire named Gurbaksh Chahal was on the Oprah show and he was a hot trend for a few days too.

Kindle Oprah Recommendation Vs Oprah’s Kindle Coupon

An interesting question that comes up is what impact the kindle coupon had. First let’s look at Google Trends -

Kindle Oprah search terms

Kindle Oprah search terms.

This obviously shows that either there is very little awareness that there’s a kindle coupon available courtesy Oprah (kindle coupon: OPRAHWINFREY, $50 off, valid till Nov 1st), or that more people are searching for Oprah + Kindle terms. I’ve put in Kindle Books just as a reference.
Personally I think that Oprah caused a huge impact in Kindle interest and intention to buy, and that the coupon really helps cement the purchase decision as well as convince some people who were on the fence.
Oprah Kindle Effect triples traffic to this Blog
I’d already written that traffic quadrupled. However, as opposed to the Google Trends graphs above, traffic on my blog has not seen as much of a decline. After two days of quadruple traffic, traffic has been between 3 to 3.5 times the normal amount. I think this captures the fact that the Kindle Oprah effect is even higher than what the Graphs above show. Anyways, traffic graph for thekindle.wordpress.com -
Orah Kindle Effect on this Blog.

Oprah Kindle Effect on this Blog.

In terms of daily traffic, assuming normal daily traffic was x, traffic the day before Oprah’s Kindle show was 2x, and then 4x, 4x, 3x, 3x, 3x, 3.5x, 3x. There might be a sharper fall off after the coupon ends on November 1st. Note that the last day shows lower traffic – however it’s ongoing so traffic might reach the level of the previous day.
Day to Day Oprah Effect

Day to Day Oprah Effect

Finally, you can use kindle coupon: OPRAHWINFREY and buy the Kindle. It’s valid till Nov 1st.
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