Oprah Kindle – Dec 6 may be Oprah Kindle day

It seems the Kindle 3 and Kindle WiFi may be set to receive a little help from Oprah – just like the Kindle 1 did in 2008.

It’s a pretty big deal. 

Oprah Kindle – Dec 6 Oprah show might star Kindle

Samantha at the official Kindle Forum talks about being in the audience for the December 6 Oprah show and the entire audience getting free Kindles from Oprah.

Oprah gave the entire audience kindles on her show that will air on December 6th. I am so thankful that I was in the audience!

There might be zero truth to the claim but notice how she’s not adding on anything extreme – No Kindle 4 that talks back to you, no Kindle Phone with gesture recognition. It’s so simple it’s likely to be true – Oprah gave out Kindles and the show is airing December 6th, 2010.

There might even be more – Oprah will almost certainly endorse it as her favorite gadget and/or her favorite gift recommendation.

What would an Oprah Kindle endorsement mean?

You could make a strong argument that Oprah’s Kindle recommendation in 2008 helped transform Kindle 1 into a huge success. Given the increase in interest, traffic, and sales (the Kindle 1 sold out and stayed sold out until the Kindle 2 came out) it’d be hard to deny that Oprah’s Kindle recommendation was one of the most pivotal moments in the life of the Kindle.

An Oprah Kindle recommendation in 2010 would have an even bigger impact since the Kindle WiFi is now $139 and much evolved - a lot more people are going to be persuaded by an Oprah Kindle endorsement in 2010 (if it happens, that is).

What might happen?

Note: This is ALL speculation. 

  1. Oprah might endorse the Kindle 3 or Kindle WiFi as her ‘new favorite gadget’ – She did it for the Kindle 1. This is extremely likely.
  2. Kindle 3 and Kindle WiFi, which are already out of stock in the US, might be completely sold out soon after the Oprah Kindle recommendation. That’s what happened in 2008. This is quite likely.
  3. There might be, though it’s extremely unlikely given Kindle demand, an Oprah Kindle discount code. In 2008 there was a $50 off discount code. It’s extremely unlikely but if there is a Kindle Oprah discount it is likely to be much less – perhaps $15 or $25 off.
  4. Interest in the Kindle will spike. In 2008 searches related to the Kindle spiked 487% after the Oprah Kindle mention. Here’s a post from 2008 discussing the Oprah Kindle effect. This is almost guaranteed
  5. Oprah might recommend the Kindle WiFi as a great gift for the people you love – give them the gift of reading, give them a Kindle. That would have even more of an impact than a simple ‘my favorite gadget’ endorsement.

Oprah and Jeff Bezos are supposed to be good friends. That may or may not be true – However, Oprah’s Kindle endorsement on December 6th (if it happens) would be the best Christmas present Mr. Bezos could hope for.

Oprah recommending Kindle WiFi makes a ton more sense than Oprah recommending Kindle 1

Oprah Kindle 2010 makes a lot more sense than Oprah Kindle 2008 did -

  1. At the time of Oprah’s Kindle recommendation in 2008 the Kindle was $359 and the Oprah Kindle discount of $50 made it $309. Now the Kindle WiFi is $139 – that’s around one-third the price of the Kindle 1 and very close to the magic $100 figure.
  2. Oprah took a virtually unknown device and made it a known. There must have still been a lot of people who were not convinced. Right now a lot of people are on the verge of buying a Kindle or are deciding between Nook Color, Nook, Sony, iPad, iPod, and Kindle. Oprah’s recommendation will make a lot of them decide to go with the Kindle.
  3. At $139 the Kindle WiFi is a great choice for a gift. The $300+ Kindle 1 was probably too expensive for most people’s Christmas gift budget.
  4. Kindle WiFi and Kindle 3 have improved a lot since the Kindle 1. It’s a much easier sell if the device has a WebKit browser, text to speech, and up to a month of battery life.
  5. Kindle Store and Kindle WhisperNet have evolved a lot since 2008. Oprah can point out things like syncing across devices, 700 thousand books, and the various Kindle Apps for PCs, Macs, and other platforms.

If Oprah recommends the Kindle on December 6th, 2010 the Kindle may very well see the sort of sales spike all device manufacturers dream of.

A potential Oprah Kindle recommendation would explain why Kindle is sold out outside of US and UK. Amazon is probably saving up all its Kindle stock for the Oprah Kindle endorsement on December 6th.

Oprah Kindle, Ellen Nook

Apparently product launches are not the only thing Barnes and Noble is capable of messing up. There was a Nook giveaway on the Ellen Show today – except, there were no Nooks – only gift certificates.

We shouldn’t feel sorry for the audience as in addition to the Nook gift certificate they got a PowerMat, a MiFi, and perhaps best of all a Nokia netbook and a Palm Pixi.

Ellen was so into the Nook she held it upside down -

nook on ellen, oprah endorses kindle

Not exactly a ringing endorsement is it?

Perhaps she thought the Nook was supposed to have a smiley face and shutter shades.

Here’s what Ellen said -

This light weight Nook is an ebook reader that can carry up to 1500 books … and can download newspapers and magazines.

It’s not even in stores yet but thanks to Barnes and Noble you all get a $300 gift card to order.

Is that it?

  • Mr. Bezos lines up an interview and a hearty endorsement for the Kindle from Oprah (she called it her favorite new gadget and said that it had changed her life).
  • All B&N can do is get Ellen to hold up a Nook upside down?

Ellen has also endorsed the Sony Reader in the past and no one seemed to notice or care.

As you can imagine there is very little coverage and if it weren’t for TechFlash in Seattle wouldn’t have found this. TechFlash fail to notice the upside down endorsement.

The official Nook Blog not only fail to notice the upside down Nook, they actually have it as the picture for their blog entry.

As far as Nook availability, a forum user at the official Nook Forum claims that customer service told him that Nooks will be shipping on the 7th and reaching on the 8th – that’s Tuesday of next week., Hopefully we start getting some descriptive, detailed nook reviews then.

By the way – If waiting over a month for the Nook isn’t your cup of tea, the Kindle is available now.

Oprah, Kindle 3 Release in November – Prediction

Here’s why a Kindle 3 release and another Oprah Kindle endorsement are pretty likely this year -

  1. It’ll be 9 months since the Kindle 2.
  2. The Kindle 2 was supposedly delayed from an original October/November 2008 scheduled release date.
  3. Oprah Kindle worked once.  And by worked we mean Kindle sales sky-rocketed and the Kindle was sold out for most of the holiday season.
  4. Supposed great rapport between Jeff Bezos and Oprah.  
  5. An early release of Kindle 3 would be a huge advantage for Amazon over current and upcoming competitors.
  6. Amazon knows very well that this holiday season might determine who wins the long term battle for the future of publishing.
  7. Amazon also knows that as Publishers get more options they will try to create a level playing field for eReaders and wrest back control of publishing. The Kindle’s window of opportunity is rapidly closing and it needs to get as much market share as it can in the next 1 to 2 years.  

Thoughts – Oprah Kindle 3 endorsement likelihood

There is a lot more Kindle and ereader awareness this year. That’s on the positive side. The negative changes are -

  1. Users getting overwhelmed by sheer number of product offerings. 
  2. The promise of the Apple eReader. 
  3. Lots of negative attacks by the main stream bloggers and media.
  4. Sony pushing open formats and free google books and free library ebooks.

Basically, users are overwhelmed by the options and confused by the attacks on the Kindle. There are three ways to counter this -

  1. Letting users use the Kindle in person. Hence, the recent Amazon note on trying out Kindles for 30 days. 
  2. Endorsements of friends and family who own a Kindle. 
  3. Endorsements of trusted people.

One or more of these factors is enough to overwhelm 10 anti-Kindle articles complaining about DRM and ePub and other things end users don’t really care about.

However, one or more of these factors is needed. The most scalable option for the Kindle would be to get endorsements from people who are trusted, and whose endorsement would hold a lot of weight -

  1. Perhaps send out free kindles to President Obama’s family.  Michelle Obama or one of the Obama girls using a Kindle would instantly double sales.
  2. Perhaps get an endorsement from a pastor like Joel Osteen. 
  3. Gurus with followings like Anthony Robbins. People pay $10,000 for his ‘shallow hal’ conferences - surely $299 for a Kindle is doable.
  4. Get big name authors and journalists on-board.
  5. Another natural candidate is Tyra Banks who is also earning a following with her talk show.
  6. Perhaps Bill and Hillary Clinton.

While these are all good options and options that should be exercised, the trump card is still Oprah.

Except perhaps for President Obama, no one has the pull of Oprah – Why change a winning strategy?

An Oprah Kindle 3 endorsement is very likely - my money’s on November 2009, despite all of Amazon’s protests that there is no Kindle 3 this year.

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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