Friday, October 29, 2010

PayPal is down and out in Paris, London, and everywhere else

Brad McCarty seems to have the scoop at The Next Web. Unfortunately this outage may temporarily impede sponsorship transactions.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

New sponsorship opportunities allow us to open up the calendar a bit with some lower price points

As you may have noticed, our Kindle Nation Daily sponsorships have been so effective and popular that we are currently scheduled well into January for daily options and well into May for weekly options. I'm very attentive to the need to keep a delicate balance between the desire to provide helpful connections between readers and writers and the need to provide readers with the full range of useful content that drives them to take time to read and/or subscribe to Kindle Nation in the first place.

That being said, we've created some new options that open up new sponsorship opportunities for authors and publishers, and the calendar is currently wide open! They are listed on the sponsorship info page here and included on the PayPal pulldown menu, but here's a quick summary:

* 1. Our relatively new sister site, Planet iPad, is growing by leaps and bounds. Its readership and impact, for now, is just a fraction of Kindle Nation's, but it has doubled in the past ten days and under the editorship of Tom Dulaney is already pushing 20 percent of the levels that it has taken Kindle Nation nearly two years to reach. We've just set up a one-day Planet iPad Free Book Alert Sponsorship that is priced very low and the calendar is wide open.

* 2. At Kindle Nation, we've added Option 6 - eBook of the Day Sponsorship - 1 Day, a package that includes several elements:
  • a one-day Planet iPad Free Book Alert Sponsorship;
  • a small linked mention of title and author near the top of the Kindle Nation Daily website for at least 18 hours;
  • a single "Kindle for the Web" sample post on the Kindle Nation Daily website at some time between noon and 8 pm Eastern, with brief linked mention of title and author;
  • one Facebook status post and one Twitter tweet linking back to the "Kindle for the Web" sample post; and
  • one left sidebar "eBook of the Day" ad on the Kindle Nation Daily website for at least 18 hours, with linked title, author, and cover art.
Note: To reap the full benefits of Option 6, you'll want to make sure that your ebook is compatible with the "Kindle for the Web" sample feature, which you can see in this recent Kindle Nation post on Paul Levine's novel Reversal. If you want to check with me on compatibility, send me a simple query with your ten-digit ASIN in  the subject line of your email.

*3. Since the weekly email blasts on which Gold Sponsorships are partially based are sold out until mid-May, we've added a new "Option 5 - Silver Sponsorship" package which allows you to save $10 on a package consisting of Options 1 and 2. Options 1 and 2 are both daily events and there is availability beginning in mid-January for each.

Please keep in mind that everything I've said about availability here should be taken as a snapshot based on the status of things before I send out this newsletter.

A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats in Joe Konrath's Marina

It takes more than just a pretty face to launch a thousand ships these days, and the same goes for a dozen bestsellers. As I write these words on the morning of October 28, Joe Konrath has 5 of the top 17 titles on the Kindle Store Movers + Shakers List, which by definition also means that he has at least 5 titles in the Top 400 overall in the Kindle Store.

How does he do it? He's not just the hardest working man in the book business, he's also, by my lights, the smartest.

Every author and every publisher would do well to go to school on the very specific steps that Joe takes to cross-pollinate his various titles and brands with his other work and even with novels by other authors. And Joe makes it easy to learn with excellent posts like this one on his blog, A Newbie's Guide to Publishing. If you have a Kindle, subscribing to the Kindle edition to have his frequent posts pushed directly to your Kindle will probably be the wisest use you could ever make of 99 cents a month.

By the way, the same principles of cross-pollination also work well in association with Kindle Nation Daily sponsorships. Authors like Paul Levine and L.J. Sellers have seen a powerful "halo effect" benefit where a sponsorship for one title also paid off dramatically for other books or series. In cases like these, the author has a distinctive brand, a number of highly regarded books, and a willingness to price creatively for maximum marketing impact.

Pricing Your eBook For Best Results

It's not my job to tell you how to price your book for the Kindle Store, but I don't mind working overtime to share a little experience. Long story short: $2.99 is the sweet spot, 99 cents can be a very powerful lure in a "loss leader" kind of way, and anything over $4 or $5 is likely to have a chilling effect on your sales and royalties if you are an indie author. Am I say your book is worth any less than Fall of Giants? Hell, no. I'm just reminding you that your royalty payments aren't just based on A, they are based on AxB, where A is the royalty per book and B is the number of books sold.

My primary concern here, of course, is that I want to see our authors succeed with their sponsorships. And if you've been seeing dozens of other authors' books climb from #100,000 to the top 1,000 in the sales rankings, and your $7.99 novel only makes it into the top 15,000, I'm just saying: it wasn't because I said nicer things about someone else's book.

(And yes, if you are wondering, you can click on the cover image to download a copy of my book on ebook pricing to your Kindle or just about any other device for $2.99.)

Every now and then we have an unexpected opening.... Let me know if you are interested!

Occasionally there are events that unanticipated sponsorship openings in our calendar, often with pretty short notice. When that happens, I send out a brief email describing the sponsorship availability and the price, with a request that interested parties get right back to me right away. I try to handle such events as efficiently as possible on a first-come, first-served basis. If you would like to receive an email from me when these openings occur, please send an email to with the following in the subject line:

unexpected sponsorship opening