Thursday, December 23, 2010

Kindle Nation

Kindle Nation has been a friend of this blog for a long time. Stephen Windwalker is tireless in his efforts to promote the Kindle and ebooks, and he's graciously featured and showcased many of my titles over the past two years.

Many authors have asked me what they can do in order to promote their ebooks. I can testify that appearing on Kindle Nation has helped boost my sales.

Here's Steve to explain what I'm talking about:

Over Two-Thirds of Our Kindle Nation Sponsors Climb into the Top 3,000 Overall, and Sponsorships Are Available

By Steve Windwalker, editor of indieKindle and Kindle Nation

The peak annual period for shopping in the Kindle Store begins at around 5 pm Eastern on December 24 and continues for the next two weeks, and as it approaches we've been paying close attention to the results that Kindle Nation Daily sponsors have been getting in their efforts to connect with more Kindle readers. Our December 2010 Kindle Nation Sponsorship Results spreadsheet is available for all to see and has now been updated through December 20. Here are some of the benchmarks:
  • 14 out of 55 sponsoring titles overall have climbed into the top 1,000 in Kindle Store sales rankings
  • 29 out of 55 sponsoring titles overall have climbed into the top 2,000 in Kindle Store sales rankings
  • 37 out of 55 sponsoring titles overall have climbed into the top 3,000 in Kindle Store sales rankings, including

  • 8 out of 8 Free Kindle Nation Shorts sponsors/excerpts
  • 18 out of 21 daily Free Book Alert sponsoring titles

  • Among titles priced at $3.79 and up, 4 out of 9 have climbed into the top 5,000
  • Among titles priced at $0.99, 15 out of 17 have climbed into the top 2,100
  • Among titles priced at $1.99, 2 out of 2 have climbed into the top 1,500
  • Among titles priced at $2.99, 18 out of 29 have climbed into the top 3,000
Finally, 10 out of 18 of our newer and less expensive Ebook of the Day sponsoring titles have climbed into the top 10,000, but we're working to strengthen the presentation on this and we see progress: 3 of the last 4 have climbed into the top 5,000, 2 of them into the top 2,000.

I personally don't believe much in advertising, but I do believe in connecting, and I see these sponsorships as a way of connecting with readers who are engaged and responsive.

What might an author or publisher get from sponsoring Kindle Nation, other than a warm fuzzy feeling for helping a hard-working guy like me?

There's never a guarantee of success, and definitions of success can vary widely among authors and publishers. But if you have written or published a book of real distinction and you want to increase exposure and connect with more readers, we work hard to help you in that effort. We have over 10,000 regular readers between our several platforms, and we often refer to Kindle Nation readers as the greatest readers in the world. If I had to describe their reading habits, I couldn't do it, but I can tell you that as readers they are prolific, savvy, price-conscious, ecumenical with respect to genre, and they don't care for trashy books, trashy covers, and trashy reviews (I know, because I've written a few!).

I hope that helps.

Currently there is availability in early March for daily Free Book Alert sponsorships and Free Kindle Nation Shorts excerpt sponsorships, and in January for eBook of the Day sponsorships. We continue to offer a Silver package that knocks $10 off the price of a combo of the daily Free Book Alert sponsorship and the Free Kindle Nation Shorts excerpt sponsorship. See our sponsorship info page for more information and sign-up.

19 comments:

CJ West said...

Steve,

Great service you are running for writers and readers. I'm looking forward to my sponsorship in February.

Indies, if you haven't sponsored Kindle Nation Daily yet, what are you waiting for?

CJ
The End of Marking Time
Free from authors@22wb.com

Layton Green said...

I signed up a few days ago . . . looks like a great service, and looking forward to seeing the results.

D.D. Scott said...

Thanks for sharing Kindle Nation Daily info, Joe!

I'm sooo looking forward to my Kindle Nation Daily "bump" on January 27th and 29th!!!

Can't wait to see my MUSE THERAPY: UNLEASHING YOUR INNER SYBIL on Stephen's fabulous spreadsheet!

And thank you, Stephen, for doing such an amazing job with Kindle Nation Daily! You rock!

I've downloaded three of the books recommended this week alone!

Happy Holidays --- D. D. Scott

Karly Kirkpatrick said...

That's a great site! Definitely considering participating! I've noticed they do a similar book of the day ads on Kindleboards as well that I've considered. Has anyone found that to be successful in getting more sales?

I'm doing a free promotion on my blog for authors called Bookaday, similar concept, only I don't have quite as many followers as Kindle Nation. I do reach thousands through FB and Twitter though. Stop by and check it out! January is pretty much closed out, but accepting for any open dates and February. www.karlykirkpatrick.com

And Happy Holidays, Joe, thanks for being such a trailblazer...you even made it into my book's acknowledgements. Your wisdom is SO appreciated!

Shelley said...

I still can't figure out what any of this means although it sounds like a great idea--but for now, I'm going off-topic to alert people that in today’s HuffPo, Al Franken has an alarming article on how the FCC is now making rulings that threaten net neutrality for getting sites like this one on mobile broadband devices. The FCC is also not banning the “paid prioritization” that could let corporate blogs buy the fast lane, putting our sites in the slow.

The outcry from independent websites was crucial a few days ago in improving the FCC ruling. But we need to stay alert and inform each other as new threats come up. We need a community of Paul Revere web bloggers.

Steve said...

Joe, thanks for this post and all of your years of advice and encouragement. My first thriller, Prophecy of the Medallion, went live on Kindle two days ago. I'll check out Kindle Nation Daily.

Anonymous said...

Just be warned, the word on the street is that KND isn't as effective as it used to be and it's very expensive now. Many people get a temporary boost, but not much more. Some don't even get much of a boost, but that may be due to their books, covers, genre, etc. It's still one of the better opportunities out there, but don't go into it with huge expectations.

David Wisehart said...

Congrats, Steve.

You're getting some terrific results for many of your authors, and are to be roundly commended.

Of course, results vary, and that's to be expected. Cover art, title, genre, price, and so forth are beyond the control of the sponsoring site.

What you do is put people's books in front of your large and very targeted audience. Whether that audience ultimately chooses to buy or sample the book is another matter. ("You can lead a horse to water," etc.)

I think sponsors should look at their Kindle Nation sponsorships as an experiment, a chance to test their work with a large audience of dedicated Kindle readers. If the target audience doesn't buy, it's perhaps worth tweaking the cover, price, product description, title, etc., or to write the next novel with the last book's results in mind.

Thank you, Steve, as always, for your groundbreaking work.

David

Daryl Sedore said...

I signed on about two weeks ago.

Stephen was so helpful as he personally emailed me, after my interest was expressed, to discuss options.

Thank you Stephen and thank you Joe.

Daryl

Joe Konrath said...

Some don't even get much of a boost, but that may be due to their books, covers, genre, etc.

It still comes down to a good book, a good cover, and a low price. All the ads in the world won't help you sell a crummy product.

Christy Pinheiro said...

Another awesome source for Kindle reviews is Red Adept. She's very influential as well.

For those of you who need to get reviews, I do host a list of book reviewers on one of my a websites

. None of the book reviewers charges a fee to review.

Burritoclock said...

I clicked just to check out the site, looked around at a few articles.

Clicked on the book of the day, ended up buying it.

Reviews, description, cover. It all comes down to those things in that order. I know that's been said before, but you can't stress it enough.

This is a way to get people TO LOOK at those things.

Gary Ponzo said...

Kindle Nation has made a big difference to me. My first ad took my novel from 15,000 to 250 on the overall Kindle list in several hours. Since then the residual effect has kept in within the 2000 mark regularly.
I do agree though, make the product worthy or it's a huge waste.

Derek J. Canyon said...

Thanks for the info about Kindle Nation's offerings, Joe. I'll check them out. Coincidentally, I blogged about my efforts with paid advertising last night (not very successful yet).
Blog post: Is it worth spending $$ to advertise a self-pubbed ebook?

Jamie Sedgwick said...

This looks like a great marketing opportunity. I don't have the $$ for it right now but I'm putting Kindle Nation on my list for later. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

L.J. Sellers said...

I have to point out that the Kindle Nation newsletter is a great publication and worth receiving just for the information.

MeiLin Miranda said...

My KND experience was horrible. I didn't even make back half of what I spent on the ad, and I've got a strong, professionally produced book with near-universal good reviews (from people I'm not even related to or friends with :) ).

The copy Steve wrote was downright embarrassing; *I* wouldn't have bought the book with that description. I was extremely disappointed, because I've heard so much about the great experiences other writers have had with KND.

Just wanted to put it out there that it doesn't work for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Those interested in pursuing this option should be aware of a couple things:

(1) Although they claim otherwise, Kindle Nation's spreadsheet of results is cherry-picked.

(2) You have virtually no control over how your book will be presented.

There's not much you can do about Kindle Nation misidentifying the genre of your book in the blurb they write (as happened with me). But although they request a full copy of your book, I'd recommend not actually doing that. Remove your table of contents, copyright notice, acknowledgments, or any other text which occurs before the first line of your book.

See, all they do to generate the Kindle Nation free sample is dump your file into their file viewer. A quick spot-check of their spreadsheet (cherry-picked as it may be) indicates weaker performances from books which don't have the first line of the book appear on the front page of that preview.

Between the weak blurb, misidentified genre, and poor preview provided by Kindle Nation, our sponsorship had very poor results. In fact, the sponsorship had absolutely no impact on our sales -- despite having a well-reviewed, well-priced book in an award-winning series.

I may try again with the lessons we've learned from this experience. But they were expensive lessons that could have been avoided if Kindle Nation operated in a more professional manner.

Pamela Vasquez said...

How would Kindle nation help an author whose publisher set the price of their kindle edition at $12.99? Would it be much of a benefit when it appears that the pricing is everything as far as ranks/success rates go? I am curious bc my husband is an author but his publisher set his price so we have no flexiblity there.