Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Kindle Book Swap Groups, Kindle Publishing Guide, Android Apps Pricing Model

A FEW WEEKEND STORIES, while I was away

With the fast proliferation of sites for Nook and Kindle book-lending and borrowing, eBook Exchange offers something different in that this new site lets Kindle & Nook owners "swap e-books and "help kids while doing so."

 With the book-lending programs (however limited they are) now available at both Barnes & Noble and Amazon,  Tainted Green's Kathryn Robbins asks,

' But what if you could share your e-books outside your circle of friends and benefit children's literacy programs? eBook Exchange hopes that their used e-book idea can change the marketplace and help literacy programs aimed at kids.

  eBook Exchange is a hybrid of a second hand bookstore and library.  Kindle or Nook owners can use their sharing feature to share any number of their titles online.  According to their site, titles can be shared for free or borrowers may pay a fee that goes to childhood literacy programs.  Cheapskates will love the fact that the fee is essentially optional; if they score a title they are encouraged, not forced, to pay.  The company says that one hundred percent of their profits in 2011 will go to charity. '

I guess how "profits" are calculated is key, depending on what they expense, but it sounds promising.  See eBookExchange's page to read how this would work, but both will use the ebook lending functionality put in place by the two online book stores.

The earliest lending sites have geared up, the most successful one, at Facebook, needing to branch out in the last week to its own site because Facebook's setup was not able to handle the level of interest.

Here are a few that have been checked out by news sites, the one getting by far the most publicity being the mentioned lending club originally at Facebook and now at Kindle Lending Club, run by Catherine MacDonald, who has made an effective opening page showing current activity and a FAQ that explains how the club works.

  An article at ReadWriteWeb gives background, mentioning that her project management experience helped her acquire $12,500 in "angel investment" to build a web team to handle an interested Facebook membership of now 6,200+ people.  The new beta website had almost 800 members in the first two days or so and almost 2,000 books offered for lending already.
  Bear in mind that many are finding that the books they're most interested in don't have lending approved by the publishers (not even for a one-time ever loan).

Starting up at the same time, and announced on the Amazon Kindle forums were Books for my Kindle, blog.bookborrowr.com, Goodreads' Kindle Lending, and eBookLending Library.com, the latter putting out a press release that wound up in some news stories but, at only 64 members tonight, doesn't have nearly the volume of Kindle Lending Club.

A Kindle forum thread actually discusses concerns by members that these clubs may have been a concern of publishers after watching the Nook club that is active and it's easier to understand, they say, why there was a limit of one loan per book.  Lending physical books to friends is an old concept and a long-time natural activity, but a focus on only trading over speedy Internet organizations on a continuing basis is likely not appealing to publishers or authors.

  But probably until Amazon ever decides to make public library borrowing possible, there'll be a lot of interest in this.  It's difficult to argue with business success when you read of book companies that are losing money and putting themselves up for sale or headed toward bankruptcy as we've been reading.  I do want the e-book market to stay strong and also competitive.

Business Insider's Dylan Love has written a clear guide to publishing your book on Kindle.  I know some talented, creative people interested in doing this, and this is one of the more streamlined guides I've seen.

Econsultancy.com's Patricio Robles writes about a brewing controversy among the developer community over a pricing program for Amazon's Android apps store that differs from the model for Apple's.

Referencing a Google drawback as perceived by some Android app developers, Robles sees Amazon as relatively attractive to developers right now.  But a clause in its developer agreement is causing controversy -- Amazon reserves the right, when developers suggest pricing for their apps, to sell the app at a discount — or even give it away for free, according to Technologizer's Ed Oswald.  The developer would receive 70% of the selling price, or 20% of the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), whichever is greater, and Oswald considers it a "raw deal." But is it?, asks Robles.

  Citing Amazon's expertise in the area of pricing, Robles feels they may be better positioned to get the price right, and they would be motivated since they receive 30% of sales.

That's the latest column about a conversion to e-readers and specifically the Kindle (usually the case), written by Nicole L.V. Mullis for BattleCreek Enquirer, someone who loves "...feeling a story's weight in my hands.  I listen for the creak of book spines and appreciate the subtle scent of ink on paper.  I'm not Kindle's target market."

 Her children were pretty sure she'd like one despite her strong disinterest, so they sprang one on her with a two-week 'warning' so that she might get used to the idea :-).
' This was a screen?  It looked like black ink on parchment. '
  This thing is the book junkie's iPod. '

  You can read more of her reactions and reasons at her article.

Kindle 3's   (UK: Kindle 3's),   DX Graphite

Check often: Temporarily-free late-listed non-classics or recently published ones
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.
UK-Only: recently published non-classics, bestsellers, or highest-rated ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

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  1. Thanks for this info - I look forward to checking out ebook exchange. I am a member of the Kindle Lending Club but have only managed to borrow one book even though four times I've clicked on borrow when it said books were currently available. (I've lent out three through them.)

    So far my absolute favorite is booksformykindle.com - everyone is very speedy about borrowing and lending books (the longest I've had to wait was 2 hours after requesting a loan) and you can set up alerts to let you know if new books are available in your genres.

  2. Anonymous, (though I'd rather have some kind of name with a recommendation and non-recommendation of sites),

    Thanks for the info on your favorite group and why, as well as why not for the more publicized and active one, the latter making it tougher to get what you want probably).

    The alerts you can set up must be a very useful feature.

    I can see why publishers will worry that this competition between sites for swapping books can take attention from browsing the store to buy e-books though.


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