Sunday, 16 January 2011

Great Kindle Deals - Issue 59 - 15th January 2011

Hello, hope you're having a great weekend and welcome to another edition of Great Kindle Deals filled with lots of news this week, reader emails and great kindle deals. Remember to send me your comments, suggestions and ideas to - or if you've found a bargain email me too!

1. Kindle book lending club - Although Kindle lending is not yet available in the UK, the US have had the feature enabled now for a couple of weeks and a Kindle lending group has been created by Catherine McDonald. "The Kindle Lending Club" at is a fantastic start up which aims to match up kindle borrowers and lenders. The site hopes to make money from referral fees if users buy a book. There is no charge to be a member or to lend or borrow a book, select a book that you wish to lend or borrow, enter  a email address and you're done! The website's Facebook page has over 5000 "Likes" in less than a week. Hopefully something similar, or this very website, will be around when lending finally reaches the UK. The same restrictions are in force by Amazon - users may lend a book once to one person for up to two weeks. After the two weeks the book cannot be lent again. What are your thoughts on the idea? Is it stealing from the writers and publishers?

2. Tesco's book sales rising - Although specific figures for books have not been revealed, Tesco said: "we saw strong category growth in toys, books and gaming." Total sales increased by 4.2%, with like-for-like sales up 0.6%.

3. 18.9% of number 1 seller digital - HarperCollin's number one seller "Shatter the Bones" has proved the potential of the e-book market, as almost 18.9% of sales were digital copies. The e-book was priced at £4.99 whereas the paperback with an RRP of £14.99 sold at an average price of £7.37.

4. UK Kindle store passes 530,000 books - This week the UK kindle store passed 530,000 ebooks making it larger than ever, however it is still trailing behind the US store which at the moment has over 800,000 books - 50% more than the UK store.

5. Three Kindle million selling author - The third Kindle book to sell 1,000,000 kindle copies has been anounced - Nora Roberts. Her 74 books has sold an average of 13,500 copies each amounting to over 1 million sales. The other two authors were Stieg Larsson with just 3 titles and James Patterson who also happens to have 74 titles - maybe that's the magic number?

6. Amazon UK non-lighted covers causing problems: 

David Ludlow from expertreviews writes:
"Amazon customer services in the UK have told us that the Kindle leather cover problems, which cause the eReader to reboot and do other strange things, is caused by the plastic clips on the standard case.

The lighted leather case, which uses metal clips in order to conduct power from the Kindle to the light is immune to these problems...

As such, will credit affected users with the £50.99 required to buy the Lighted Leather Cover (UK US) instead.

From our experience, the process is a painless one.  Just make sure that you phone the UK phone number, as the US site will attempt to refund in dollars instead of pounds."

7. Kindle apps updates - Kindle apps for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad have been update with new features:

  • Instant word lookup
  • Finish downloading a book in the background
  • Support for some non-Amazon book files
  • Zoom has been improved
  • A new book indicator

Reader email:
Some emails are edited for brevity.

Glad to see you are up and running again!

You mentioned Waterstones in this week’s news...I thought you would be interested in what I read in the Times on Sunday 9th Jan.
They reported that according to Bookseller magazine that Waterstones’ book sales fell 0.4% in the 5 weeks to Christmas (their biggest problem is clearly the HMV side) but are at risk from the downloading and internet book sales. Amazon apparently have about ¼ of the British book market, neck and neck with Waterstones. However Amazon’s growth has vastly outstripped the high street rivals recently. The former owner of Borders said that the e-book revolution is only just starting to have an impact. Supermarket chains are also hitting them hard.

I must say I am surprised; with all the doom and gloom around Waterstones I thought the situation was  more terminal but clearly the potential growth is nil and must reduce. I was also surprised that the Amazon market share isn’t greater and Waterstones MUCH lower. And surely the supermarkets and independents can’t cover the remaining 50%-nor would I  have thought book clubs would take up a huge percentage either!"                                                                   --Caroline Sanders

That's some very interesting news and interesting to see that Waterstones is still doing remarkably well, but as you say potential growth is very low, I expect to see Amazon's market share increase rapidly in the coming years especially with more people going online and the proliferation of e-readers. Thanks for your email Caroline.

NB: A report from June 2010 says profits were down 70% to £2.8 million. Waterstones is estimated to have lost £2million in sales from the snowy conditions over the Christmas period. 20 Waterstones stores will shut this year.
Free books:
A few more free Kindle book have been added this week for your reading pleasure:
1. William Walker's First Year of Marriage
Rated 4.5/5 stars average from 22 reviews
Synopsis: "William Walker has just married Isabel, the girl of his dreams. The happy couple live in a small flat in north London while William labours away at his magazine job, revelling in his recent promotion from a column for which he was required to taste different brands of cat food to more dignified reportage. So far, so perfect.But William has a Bridget Jones-ish knack for messing up the happiest of situations – he can’t help shouting at the obnoxiously precocious work experience girl and has an embarrassing tendency to forget names of women he has previously tried to sleep with. It doesn’t help that Isabel’s creepy best friend Alex is very obviously in love with her. Nor that Saskia, a vixen-ish old flame of William’s, has just moved in downstairs. As Alex slithers his way into Isabel’s heart, Saskia seems intent on resuming relations with William – or at least giving Isabel that impression.Increasingly beset, increasingly unlucky and increasingly hilarious, William battles his way through a series of comic disasters that threaten to destroy his relationship and reduce him to a state of sad bachelorhood – a fate, he soon realises, worse than death."

2. A lesson in Passion
Rated 5 stars, 1 customer review
Synopsis: "Ginny has a successful career, nice home and good friends. The only thing she's missing is love. Her past attempts at dating always seem to end badly, until a friend recommends some romance novels. Meant to be instructional, Ginny laughs off their usefulness.
Ian is a powerful Scottish laird, living in Medieval times. As the new leader of his clan, he is honor bound to make decisions that benefit his people. Tough, but fair, Ian has made a name for himself among the clans of the Highlands.
A freak accident leaves Ginny in a world within herself, the world of the romance novel heroine. Fighting off an evil band of Lowlanders, Ginny meets her hero, Ian, powerful laird of the clan McKenna. Ginny soon realizes she is in the body of an Englishwoman and is being forced to live with the McKenna clan.
Ginny assumes she must fall in love to move out of this world and back into her own. So before her hero can marry another, she schemes to win him back and hopefully reach her goals."
I hope you enjoyed this edition of the newsletter, see you next week!

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