Wednesday, May 12, 2010

iPad Nation Daily Free Book Alert for Wednesday, May 12: AmazonEncore Provides a Portal to Future Reading Delights with Eric Kraft's The Static of the Spheres, and a Pre-Order Blockbuster from Steve Martini

Today's newest addition to the ranks of free iPad-compatible promotional titles in the Kindle Store marks the first time, to my knowledge, when Amazon has offered a freebie on book published by AmazonEncore, their own in-house publishing imprint. And with Eric Kraft's The Static of the Spheres, Amazon is living up to one of the most exciting and challenging promises of the Kindle for iPad platform and also of its AmazonEncore initiative by providing us with a delightful free introduction to a fiction writer who is new to many readers but will keep us coming back. I "discovered" this free promotion last night around 7 p.m. after walking up to my local indie coffee shop with my iPad. When I saw that it was only novella-length I decided to give it an immediate read, and I'll just say that (1) I'll be reading more by Kraft and his protagonist Peter Leroy today and tomorrow and all weekend; and (2) my initial notion that I was reading some quirky memoir about short-wave radio was quickly swept away. Bravo!

So, again, here are links to a dozen nicely priced Eric Kraft offerings, beginning with the the free Kindle edition of The Static of the Spheres:

The Static of the Spheres by Eric Kraft (Kindle Edition - July 5, 2009) - Kindle Book
Buy: $0.00
 Product Details
The Fox and the Clam by Eric Kraft (Kindle Edition - Aug. 31, 2009) - Kindle Book
Buy: $1.00
The Girl with the White Fur Muff by Eric Kraft (Kindle Edition - Feb. 18, 2010) - Kindle Book
Buy: $1.00
Take the Long Way Home by Eric Kraft (Kindle Edition - Mar. 14, 2010) - Kindle Book
Buy: $1.00
Call Me Larry by Eric Kraft (Kindle Edition - Mar. 4, 2010) - Kindle Book
Buy: $1.00
My Mother Takes a Tumble by Eric Kraft (Kindle Edition - June 14, 2009) - Kindle Book
Buy: $1.00
Do Clams Bite? by Eric Kraft (Kindle Edition - June 17, 2009) - Kindle Book
Buy: $1.00
Life on the Bolotomy by Eric Kraft (Kindle Edition - June 27, 2009) - Kindle Book
Buy: $1.00
The Young Tars by Eric Kraft (Kindle Edition - Mar. 4, 2010) - Kindle Book
Buy: $1.00
At Home with the Glynns by Eric Kraft (Kindle Edition - Mar. 15, 2010) - Kindle Book
Buy: $2.99
Where Do You Stop? by Eric Kraft (Kindle Edition - Mar. 23, 2010) - Kindle Book
Buy: $3.69
What a Piece of Work I Am by Eric Kraft (Kindle Edition - Apr. 29, 2010) - Kindle Book
Buy: $5.59


Here are our other updated free promotional iPad-compatible listings in the Kindle Store as of May 12:

Tuesday: Steve Martini's Shadow of Power Free Pre-Order with Bonus Material

by Steve Martini - Pre-order for May 25, 2010 Release

Kindle Price: $0.00 & includes wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
Sold by:HarperCollins Publishers

This price was set by the publisher

Text-to-Speech: Enabled

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 655 KB
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books (May 25, 2010)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
Monday: Four new Christian titles hit that sweet zero-price promotional spot in the Kindle Store to begin the new week, and a couple of them look pretty interesting. All are text-to-speech enabled, which means that you have your Kindle read them aloud to you, or try out yesterday's Kindle Nation Daily Tip to set up hands-free reading with automatic page turning.

Prayer by Philip Yancey

A Proper Pursuit by Lynn Austin

  Colters' Wife, an erotic western romance novella by Maya Banks. Banks is a good example of a prolific author who has hit the sweet spot and found her own connections with readers with her nicely priced Kindle offerings, including Amber EyesStay With Me, Seducing Simon, Reckless: A Red Hot Summer Story, Sweet Seduction, Sweet Persuasion, Sweet Surrender, Love Me, Still, Brazen, Be With Me, The Tycoon's Pregnant Mistress, and her Unbroken series (Understood (Unbroken Book 1), Overheard (Unbroken, Book 2), and Undenied (Unbroken, Book 3)).
Breach of Trust by DiAnn Mills

Snow Melts in Spring by Deborah Vogts

 Tender Graces by Kathryn Magendie

by Martha I. Finney and Duncan Mathison

Swashbuckling Fantasy: 10 Thrilling Tales of Magical Adventure, a Sampler from Simon & Schuster

Nothing's been ordinary in the world of ebooks lately, but ordinarily, lately, when you see the line "This price was set by the publisher" on a Kindle ebook's product page it is Amazon's way of letting us know  that there's bad news adjacent to it in the form of one of those special "agency price-fixing model" prices. $12? $15? One never knows.

But here's a breath of fresh air! Big Six publisher Simon & Schuster has done some creative thinking about how to leverage the power of "free" in the Kindle Store and used the agency price-fixing model to try something new, with a substantial volume of freebies under the lusty title Swashbuckling Fantasy: 10 Thrilling Tales of Magical Adventure.

Just what do I mean by substantial? 
  • First, these are 10 tales by 10 authors each with her own substantial oeuvre of fantasy titles already, so of course the authors and the publisher are hoping that this process will work for them and lead readers to their other work in the same way that we have seen work so effectively with our own Free Kindle Nation Shorts program. The authors represented are Jane Johnson, Linda BuckleyArcher, Scott Westerfeld, Kai Meyer, Alan Snow, Anne Ursu, Obert Skye, Margaret Peterson Haddix, D.J. MacHale and Holly Black.
  • Second, for those of you who, like me, take a look at file size and "number of locations" in an ebooks metadata and free sample before committing to a book, you'll recognize that the offering's file size of 1320 KB and its 3,936 "locations" spell a book of significant size and virtual weight.
  • Third, my quick perusal of the full text indicates that, unlike many "sampler" offerings, these 10 tales appear to be just that -- tales, self-contained short stories or novellas -- rather than frustrating tastes of an excerpted chapter or two.

So, bravo, Simon & Schuster! This is just the kind of thing that the big publishers should be doing to experiment with and begin to figure out the retail marketing power of distinctive pricing and free-to-paid linkages, so we've got your back if some of the other agency price-fixing model publishers whine that you are engaging in competitive and adversarial behavior.

And, of course, we still have dozens of other freebies in the Kindle Store, in case you've missed any of them.

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