7 Kindle thoughts, 5 Kindle Book Deals

First, for your new Kindle, here are 7 Kindle Book Deals.

I Am Legend (Richard Matheson Series) by Richard Matheson. Price: $2.99. Genre: Horror, Post-Apocalyptic, Short Novel, Classic Vampire Novel second only to Bram Stoker’s. Rated 4 stars on 617 reviews. Starred Review from Publishers Weekly. The book on which the I Am Legend movie was based.

Robert Neville has witnessed the end of the world. The world’s population has been obliterated by a vampire virus, though Neville has somehow survived. As he toils to make sense of it all and protect himself against the hounding vampires who seek out his life force, Neville embarks on a series of projects to discover the source of the plague and hopefully put an end to the vampires.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith. Price: $1. Genre: Classic Sacrilege, Pride and Prejudice Inspired, Zombies with Sensibilities. Rated 4 stars on 101 reviews. The author is an Edgar winner who was probably black-mailed into writing this. 288 pages.

Alternating Current by Octavio Paz. Price: $2.99. Genre: Nobel Prize Winner 1990. It’s a collection of Essays – Literature, Art, Drugs, the murder of God, ethical and political problems. 226 pages. Note: You can get the paperback from sellers at Amazon for less.

Swimming with the Dead: An Underwater Investigation (Hannah Sampson Mysteries) by Kathy Brandt. Price: $1. Genre: Mystery, First in a Series, British Virgin Islands, What Lies Beneath. Rated 4.5 stars on 17 reviews. 282 kb in size.

Significance (A Significance Novel) by Shelly Crane. Price: $1. Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Twilight Number Four. Rated 4.5 stars on 101 reviews. 595 kb in size.

Maggie is a seventeen year old girl who’s had a bad year. She was smart and on track but then her mom left, her dad is depressed, she’s graduating, barely, and her boyfriend of almost three years dumped her for a college football scholarship. Lately she thinks life is all about hanging on by a thread and is gripping tight with everything she has. Then she meets Caleb.

That’s it for the deals. Now some Kindle related musings.

7 Kindle Thoughts

Kindle Fire’s biggest source of referrals might be other Kindle product pages

Whichever Kindle Product Page you go to, whether Kindle 3 or Kindle 4 or Kindle Touch or Kindle Fire, there is a strip at the top that shows every Kindle. Just one of those Kindles has a bright color screen – You get 5 black and white screens showing text and 1 bright color screen showing Mad Men and Angry Birds and beautiful book covers.

Wonder how much of a difference that strip makes. It’s unfortunate that Amazon doesn’t include the ‘People Who Saw This Item Went on to Buy’ section for Kindle product pages (they do for books).

Kindle Fire’s $199 price is around $100 less than what anyone thought

In all the conjecture about Kindle Fire (though everyone was calling it Kindle Tablet or Hollywood Tablet then) there was never anything (to the best of my memory) that mentioned $199. $300 and $350 were mentioned with the general consensus that $300 would make Kindle Fire a good, competitive option.

$199 is a really low price – regardless of whether or not Amazon subsidizes it (in my opinion it does – by at least $75). $199 kills every other Android Tablet instantly – unless those Tablets see drastic price cuts. Quite a few are already seeing $100 to $200 price cuts. $199 forces B&N to make Nook Color 2 either very compelling or as cheap.

Amazon has given B&N the opportunity that B&N gave it in 2009

In 2009 B&N announced Nook in October with a feature-set that blew away the Kindle. Better screen contrast (by a bit), PDF support, lower price, memory card slot, replaceable battery, ePub and library book support, LCD screen at the bottom for browsing covers.

The mistake was announcing it early enough to give Amazon the opportunity to fight back – Amazon added PDF support, cut the price, and did a lot of other improvements. By the time Nook was released it had gone from ‘best eReader’ to ‘perhaps the second-best eReader’. Then the press went to town on it for its ‘sluggishness’ and it also sold out of stock way too early.

That’s the memory that keeps coming back to me from 2009 – Wondering why on Earth B&N would show its hand so early.

This year, Amazon has announced the details of its Tablet a month and a half in advance. It’s also announced details of Kindle 4 and Kindle Touch a month and a half in advance.

If B&N has a solid Nook Color 2 (it probably does) and if B&N is willing to compete on price (which it probably isn’t willing or able to do) it could steal the Holiday season. The most interesting question for Kindle Fire vs Nook Color 2 will be – Is B&N willing to match Amazon on price?

For a company that won’t reveal Kindle sales figures, because of the supposed advantage it would give competitors, Amazon sure wasn’t hesitant to reveal details of the Kindle Fire early.

Both the new Kindles and their prices are major surprises

Good ones. Getting two Kindles in parallel to the Kindle Fire is amazing.

Kindle Touch with Ads for $99 is at a very tempting price.

Kindle 4 with Ads for $79 is almost unreal. Really hard to believe Amazon could get a Kindle done for $79 without sacrificing the eInk Pearl screen or the reading experience.

This pretty much squeezes out all the smaller players. B&N can still compete – if it chooses to do so. Sony might probably give up. Kobo will probably still fight. Don’t see how smaller companies have any chance when there is a $79 Kindle available.

Kindle Daily Deal = 365 bestsellers a year

Almost every Kindle Daily Deal book goes to #1. Does that change the value of being a bestseller? What about other ramifications?

What happens when eBooks are 80% of the market. Then Amazon could literally decide which books sell. It puts ‘Top 10 Kindle Daily Deals’ and ‘Top 100 Kindle Bargains for the Month’ and those books ALWAYS outsell all the others.

Take today’s book – Eye of the God. It’s gone from #114,592 to #1. It jumped over 114, 591 other books. Did it deserve to? Should one ‘Daily Deal’ mention have this much influence?

There’s an unreal amount of power being concentrated in things like the Kindle Bestseller Lists and Kindle Daily Deal. Same for B&N’s lists and daily ‘cheap find’.

We are seeing the rise of two companies that will dominate Publishing to an unbelievable extent.

The Race to Zero

8 of the Top 20 bestselling books are $2 or $1. The #2 Book is there only because it was Kindle Deal of the Day yesterday and was $2.

In 2008, for an aggregate ranking of the whole year, there were just a few books (less than 5) priced at $1 in the Top 100. Now we have 8 books priced at $1 or $2 in just the Top 20. And 32 of them in the Top 100.

32 of the Top 100 books in the Kindle Store are at $1 or $2.

What about free books?

We used to have 2 to 3 free books a month. Now, in October alone, we’ve seen 84 offers. Let’s put that in context:

There were more free kindle books offered in the first 8 days of October 2011 than in all of 2008.

There’s no escaping it. We are on a path towards zero and there’s nothing to stop us. Amazon can sell people a lot of other things. It has no reason to worry. Authors, on the other hand, can’t exactly sell readers a pair of blue jeans.

We are 5 weeks away from the launch of Kindle Fire

Here are some of the things we can expect in the interim -

  1. Nook Color 2 announcement.
  2. Perhaps a premium Nook Color 2 version.
  3. Kobo Tablet announcement.

That’s just from companies making eReaders (Sony’s Tablets were released in early September).

There are probably a lot of other companies getting ready to release tablets of various sorts. Companies like Asus and Acer.

Kindle Fire is going to face a lot more competition than people realize. It’s started a race amongst Android Tablets that threatens to burn a lot of Tablets and Companies to the ground.

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