Thursday, June 2, 2011

SUNSHINE DEALS - Amazon & publishers test lower pricing for 2 weeks


Paid Content's Laura Hazard Owen reports on Amazon's quiet launch of the Sunshine Deals program, a two-week promotion, pricing over 600 books "from numerous bestselling and award-winning authors" on sale for $0.99, $1.99, and $2.99

  Side note: Temporarily free Kindle books out in the last 24 hours will be found in the current free-book links in the bottom links-box.  This special promotion that Amazon and some publishers are experimenting with lasts until 11:59 PM June 15, 2011, PDT.

The promo is being run not by individual authors or publishers but by Amazon in collaboration with book publishers, per Paid Content.

The books on sale fall into the following categories set by Amazon:

  . Customer Favorites: Reviewed with Four Stars or More
  . Editors' Picks
  . Mysteries and Thrillers
  . Literature and Fiction
  . Nonfiction
  . Health, Body and Mind
  . Romance

They already have a "Bestsellers" list for the Sunshine Deals.

On the right-hand column of the Sunshine Deals page, they include other genres or sub-genres:
  . Business and Investing
  . Teens
  . Children's Books

SPECIAL LINKS for Specific Pricing on Sunshine Deals
$0.99,   $1.99, and $2.99

Owen writes that as far as Paid Content.Org can tell, no e-books published by the Big6 publishers using Apple's "Agency" model (which sets fixed prices for their e-books at all online stores allowed to sell their e-books) are included in the sale.  At the time she wrote her article June 1, in the afternoon:
' The books included in Sunshine Deals are all from small- to mid-sized publishers like Candlewick, Bloomsbury, Sourcebooks, and Tyndale House.   Also included is Open Road Integrated Media’s edition of William Styron’s Sophie’s Choice.  Chelsea Handler’s My Horizontal Life, published by Bloomsbury in 2008, is currently the bestselling Sunshine title.

Most of the titles are at least a year old.  However, Amazon is offering Sunshine Deals for pre-order on two romance books published by Sourcebooks: Soldier by Grace Burrowes, which will be released June 7, and Wish You Were Here by Philippa Ashley, which will be released June 14.

Most book publishers have little experience experimenting with e-book pricing or marketing books directly to customers.  We’re guessing that this promotion is serving as a test case for them to try out a range of low prices, particularly on older e-books (or, as in the case of the two books above, on books approaching their publication dates).
  Update: This is correct.  Sunshine Deals is “an opportunity for publishers to test compelling pricing coupled with on-site merchandising,” Sarah Gelman, PR Manager at Amazon, told us. “We’re excited about the number of publishers who are participating.”

'... If the books in the Sunshine Deals promotion do well, we may see more publishers offering sales on their e-books—or working with Amazon to run more promotions.  (It’s unlikely that we’ll see any data from Amazon or the publishers themselves on how well the books sold. But we’ll be watching the Amazon Kindle bestseller list to see how many Sunshine Deals titles cross over onto it.) '

So, for those of you who are looking for more reasonable pricing on contemporary books that have been popular as print books, take a look at this particular sale, and if you're interested in any of the books included and you feel the price is fair, this is one way to let them know, since it will have a larger effect than a mere boycott of higher pricing or insistence that we'd buy contemporary books (rather than waiting only for free ones) if the pricing made sense for us.

In the meantime, for the ongoing free ebooks, do check the following links often:
Temporarily-free books -
- USA: by:
NEW: Last 30+ days  May 2011
   Publication Date   Late-listed
   Bestselling   High-ratings

UK: PubDate   Popular
What is 3G? and "WiFi"?
Highly-rated e-books under $1
Most Popular Free K-Books
U.S. & Int'l (NOT UK):
   Top 100 free
   Top 100 free
USEFUL for your Kindle (U.S. only, currently):
  99c Notepad,   99c Calculator,
  99c CalendarPro,   99c Converter

Kindle 3's   (UK: Kindle 3's)   K3 Special ($114)   K3-3G Special ($164)   DX Graphite

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  1. It seems many of the books are the first in a long series, with the rest of the books from the series not included in the sale.

    I suppose it's a good move: hook the reader with an almost free first book :)

  2. Bought a couple to support the idea, thanks for the heads up! I really think that revenues will be higher when prices are lowered, I actually didn't buy a kindle earlier this year because of the difference between kindle prices for the Netherlands and Amazon UK paperbacks which I can order with free shipping. Finally did buy one because of it's advantages over paper books but I'm sureI would spend more on kindle books if they were priced lower.

    It does seem that some publishers don't allow this sale outside the USA though, while most are available for me to buy (albeit at 2.45-2.75 more than the 0.99-2.99 sale prices), some are not available at the sale price, like Jill Mansell's "Miranda's big mistake" which is in the sale's bestseller list at 0.99 but shows up in my kindle at 8.58 instead of 3.44 like some others. Would have bought it at the sale price without a second thought but not now.

    Hope this is the first step towards better ebook pricing!

  3. The deals need to be broken down into narrower categories. "Non-fiction" is far too large, as is "Literature and Fiction."

    Online stores, including Amazon, play this trick all the time. They think showing you more choices than you want or ask for will increase sales. It just irritates me and makes me less likely to come back. If Sunshine had categories I actually like, I'd bookmark the pages and check them every day. Not so these long lists.


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