Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sales Reporting, Indie Stores, and Cloud Readers (Oh My!)

I wasn't going to post a blog today (the day job is seriously kicking tail this week), but there are a few developments in the indie world that should be mentioned.

First, the KDP Reports (what indies use to track their Kindle sales) are down, and have been since 7 or 8pm Eastern on Wednesday. No, the bubble hasn't "burst." My rankings are still consistent, meaning that ebooks are selling, they're just not showing up on the reports yet. Fingers crossed that whatever the glitch, it's fixed soon. 

Another development: Mr. Klein pointed out to me this morning that indies now have their own store on Amazon. It can be accessed by going to the Amazon "ebooks" page and clicking on the "Kindle Indie Books" link in the left-side toolbar under "Popular Features." You can check it out here.

This can be good, or it can be really, really bad. It's good if it gives indie writers more exposure. Right now it's focusing on books with 4-star rankings or higher (and probably a certain number of reviews). Cross My Heart is featured on the Teen page right now. (I'd imagine the pages will rotate titles, and there are murmurings on the KindleBoards that if you already own the title, it won't appear on the page.) HOWEVER: this can be really really REALLY bad if Amazon decides to segregate indie titles from mainstream titles (i.e. taking them off the "traditional" bestseller lists, taking them off traditional "customers who also bought" lists, etc.). Part of the reason I had such an incredible June is because I ranked between numbers 1-3 on Sarah Dessen's "Also Bought" list when she was promoting What Happened to Goodbye.

I don't *think* Amazon would segregate us, because, quite frankly, it's making a LOT of money off indie authors. You don't really want to piss them off, but that's just my opinion. Also, this is the main reason Barnes and Noble's PubIt is so inferior to Kindle Direct Publishing.  Indies are in their own store, and even with an "Also Bought" list, indies don't get the same recognition on that they do on Amazon. Think about it. Last month I sold 2,936 Amazon US copies of Cross My Heart vs. 142 on BN. Who has the better business model? Yeah.
So . . . for now I'm going to keep the positive attitude. Amazon is on our side, and sales will be reporting again soon.

Finally, Amazon introduced its new Kindle Cloud Reader. Cool right? Do you know why? A few weeks ago indies were concerned because readers wouldn't be able to access their books via Kindle apps for their Apple products (iPads, iPhones, etc.). Amazon just pushed Apple out of the way with this new download. You can read more about it here and here. A special thanks to David Gaughran and Jim Bronyaur for doing the dirty work for me.

So . . . that's what's going on. I'm doing my best to stay on top of things, so if I hear of any "Breaking News" I'll try to post an update. :)