The Birth of the Kindle Amazon Writing

The 10th birthday of the Kindle was on Sunday, which has been met with all sorts of retrospectives. Getting less coverage is that it’s also the tenth anniversary of Amazon’s self-publishing platform. In this excerpt from the forthcoming third edition of Let’s Get Digital, I argue that the real revolution is something else again which is also ten years’ old this month: the Kindle Store itself, which didn’t just open up publishing by allowing anyone to sell their books, it also democratized which books get recommended. I’ll be posting in more detail about the launch, and the two books on marketing which will follow. Digital 3 won’t be available as a free update like last time, as that caused way too Read More…

The Only Rule Amazon Truly Cares About Bewares

On Monday, I found out that some bug hit a German e-book site causing the reactivation of long-dead listings, including one of mine, putting myself and some other authors in breach of KDP Select"s exclusivity rule. Amazon pounced into action and cancelled my Countdown deal which was scheduled for this week, screwing up a carefully planned promotion. And despite pledging to resolve the matter and restore the promo, Amazon has not done so. I"m going to go through what happened in detail so you can be sure that I acted correctly at all points – because there is a lot of shadiness going on at the moment – but feel free to skim some of the details if you wish. Read More…

The Great Amazon Hysteria… Part 31

Are you scared yet? Because you should be scared. Something really bad is about to happen. It affects all of us. Our livelihoods are at risk. The ability to support our families. It’s just over the horizon. It could happen any minute. It’s coming for all of us! WE ARE DOOOOOOOOOMED. Ahem. I’ve been around for long enough to know that authors can be a skittish bunch. Probably something to do with our over-active imaginations, with an assist from that old writers’ favorite: the whiskey brunch. More seriously, we are going through a period of unprecedented change so it’s perfectly normal for people to be a little fearful. I think the disruption we are all experiencing is greater than that Read More…

Amazon Throw Down The Gauntlet: Four New Devices, Basic Kindle $79, Tablet $199

In a very slick presentation in New York this morning, Amazon announced details of four new devices, surprising everyone with their aggressive pricing. The basic Kindle (now without a keyboard) will retail for $79 (with Special Offers, $30 extra without). It’s a new model, faster page-turns, slightly smaller (same screen), black and white e-ink, wifi, one month-long battery life, and is 30% lighter than the Kindle 3, weighing a remarkable 6 ounces (that’s 170g for my metric peeps). It will hold 1,400 books. The Kindle Touch is priced at $99 (again, without Special Offers for $30 more), same e-ink, same wifi, and despite the touchscreen, is lighter than the Kindle 3. It has a two month battery life and holds Read More…

E-reader War Heats Up. How Can You Profit?

The big players are already jockeying for position in advance of what promises to be a bumper holiday season for e-reader, tablet, and e-book sales. All the major manufacturers are expected to release new e-readers and tablets including Sony, Apple, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. In addition, there are expected to be a range of devices from a selection of manufacturers tied to the Google platform. While users of one device aren’t necessarily chained to the retailer’s e-bookstore, customers will tend to do most of their shopping there because it’s just easier. The one major exception to that trend was Apple.

Amazon Rakes In More Cash, And Spends It Wisely

Amazon announced its Q2 results yesterday, and the growth was stunning – net sales were up 51% on 2010, topping out at $9.91bn for the three month period ending June 30. Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said that “low prices, expanding selection, fast delivery and innovation are driving the fastest growth we’ve seen in over a decade.” He also noted that the Kindle 3G with Special Offers (priced at $139) quickly became their bestselling Kindle. As usual, no exact numbers were given. Those deep pockets just keep getting deeper. But what are they doing with the money? Despite this staggering growth, profits are down 8% on the same period last year. Why? Some of the details from Amazon’s press release Read More…

E-Reader War Heats Up and Amazon Launch New Imprints

Now that Transfection has flown the net, we can get back to business. Tomorrow, I will continue my free guide to self-publishing with a section on pricing. Today, I want to look at some of the big news stories of the last week or so. The E-Reader War Hots Up On Monday, Canadian upstart Kobo launched a new touchscreen e-reader for the tasty price of $129.99. It only weighs 200 grams (take that, iPad!) and uses the same e-ink technology as the Kindle (easy on the eyes, can be read in sunlight). It can store up to 1,000 books (and can be expanded to 30,000 with memory cards).

Why Traditional Publishers Will Go The Way Of Travel Agents

Over the last six weeks or so, we have examined the various aspects of the publishing industry, and assessed how the different parts are functioning (or in most cases, malfunctioning) in the face of the changes brought about by the internet. As any travel agent will tell you (if you can find one), the internet is an unstoppable force which revolutionizes every single business it comes into contact with. In publishing, change hasn’t seemed as quick, but the internet has been quietly eating away at all the pillars of traditional publishing.

Amazon: E-books Outselling All Print & Ad-Supported Kindle Is Top-Seller

On the same day that the American Association of Publishers (AAP) announced a rebound for print in March, and that e-books had dropped back to third place (behind trade paperback and hardback), Amazon declared that they were now selling more e-books than print books. Yesterday, I covered the limitations of the AAP figures, namely that they only include a small number of publishing houses, they ignore more e-focused small and independent presses, and they don’t include self-publishers.

Amazon: E-books Outselling All Print & Ad-Supported Kindle Is Top-Seller

On the same day that the American Association of Publishers (AAP) announced a rebound for print in March, and that e-books had dropped back to third place (behind trade paperback and hardback), Amazon declared that they were now selling more e-books than print books. Yesterday, I covered the limitations of the AAP figures, namely that they only include a small number of publishing houses, they ignore more e-focused small and independent presses, and they don’t include self-publishers.

Free Kindle E-book Competition Giveaway

You guys all like free stuff, right? Today I am giving away 25 free copies of my new e-book IF YOU GO INTO THE WOODS. The rules are simple. All you have to do is tweet the following phrase, or put it as your Facebook status. I want a #free #kindle copy of IF YOU GO INTO THE WOODS by David Gaughran so bad that it hurts http://amzn.to/mueQgC Easy, isn’t it? You must include the link to the Amazon page for your entry to count (try and include hashtags if on Twitter).

My Fifteen Minutes of Fame: Sales, Bestseller Charts & Mistakes

Yesterday I officially launched my first e-book: If You Go Into The Woods. If you haven’t heard already, you can read more about that here. Sales First off, I want to thank everyone that bought a copy. Sales were brisk throughout the day (and I even sold a few while I was asleep – can’t do that in a bookstore!). I have access to hourly updates on sales, and it was very exciting to watch my little book struggle out of the self-publishing soup and race up the charts.

My Fifteen Minutes of Fame: Sales, Bestseller Charts & Mistakes

Yesterday I officially launched my first e-book: If You Go Into The Woods. If you haven’t heard already, you can read more about that here. Sales First off, I want to thank everyone that bought a copy. Sales were brisk throughout the day (and I even sold a few while I was asleep – can’t do that in a bookstore!). I have access to hourly updates on sales, and it was very exciting to watch my little book struggle out of the self-publishing soup and race up the charts.

If You Go Into The Woods – On Sale Now For 99 Cent

I have some exciting news. I set up my own publishing company – Arriba Arriba Books – to publish my short stories as e-books for $0.99 each. You can read them on your laptop, computer, iPhone, smartphone, iPad, or e-reader. The first release – IF YOU GO INTO THE WOODS – is available now from Amazon. I have a special deal to kick things off – two stories for the price of one – both creepy tales set in a world that’s not quite right. Here’s a quick taste of what you get for $0.99: 

Will 99-Cent E-Books Destroy The World As We Know It?

There are a lot of people getting worked up about cheap e-books. But I am here today to tell you the sky isn’t falling. Let’s rewind. When an author or publisher uploads their work to Amazon (and the rest of the e-tailers), they are free to choose the price that they sell at. With most companies, the minimum price you can sell at is 99 cents. Until recently, only a small portion of writers were choosing to sell their work at this price, mostly new writers, without an established audience, hoping to build a following. On paper, that’s a good strategy, although other writers have complained that this was a race to the bottom, and that they were being priced Read More…