Episode 21 – New Genres, E-Readers and Pay-Per-Click

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Bryan pushed through his sore throat to chat about this week’s news with Jim on our 21st show. Before we got to our exclusive story about Amazon’s KDP advertising program, we discussed tips on keywords, nonfiction primers for fiction books and a marketing plan that takes an hour a day. We also chatted about responses to last week’s preorder question. Other stories included Kindle Unlimited going international, the total number of books on Amazon, Sports Illustrated’s writing evaluation methods, the success of the New Adult genre and the growth of tablets compared to e-readers. Our Question of the Week: How do you read? Do you use an e-reader, phone, tablet, paperback, audio or something else and why?

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What You’ll Learn: 
  • How authors are planning to use KDP’s preorder feature
  • Why covers, keywords and genres matter when selling books
  • How to use non-fiction to increase your fiction sales
  • What you can do with an hour a day to improve your marketing
  • How Amazon plans to expand Kindle Unlimited
  • The number of books authors are publishing every hour on Amazon
  • What criteria Sports Illustrated is using to assess its writers
  • More details about Amazon’s KDP advertising program
  • How New Adult is making a big splash online and in stores
  • Why e-readers may be on the decline
Question of the Week: How do you read? Do you use an e-reader, phone, tablet, paperback, audio or something else and why?

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  • If the book is expensive, I get it at the library (yep, some people still use those 🙂 Otherwise, I have a Kindle Fire. When I read on my Macbook Air, I just download the Kindle app. I rarely buy paperback b/c I don’t want more stuff in my house.

    • Bryan

      Libraries?! 🙂

      I hear you on the too much stuff front. My wife and I just got a new bookcase because I’d filled the old one.

  • Shen Hart

    I read on a kindle. Paperback books are often uncomfortable to read after a while as they hurt my (small) hands. I’m not keen on tablets and a phone is far too small. The kindle carries hundreds of books without taking up much room or weighing very much. That means that I can take thirty or more books with me when I travel and not worry.

    • Bryan

      Agreed, Shen. I love my Kindle, though I do find myself going with the similarly lightweight Audible app on my phone these days :).

  • I read most on my kindle – it’s the best thing for the job because it’s light. I also read paperbacks (gifts, my wife’s bookclub books) and sometimes read on iPad when I find I’ve got some time when commuting. If i had an iPad mini, I can see how that might make the kindle redundant, but now I’ve got the kindle, I’ll keep using it. I haven’t read on my phone, I think it’s just too small – but as I’ve got other options I haven’t pushed it.

    • Bryan

      I don’t love the reading experience on the iPad mini, but I would be interested in e-ink on a phone. There are some cases that have e-ink built in, almost like a second screen on the back. I think that could make Kindle obsolete (most won’t mind the size).

      Thanks! 🙂

  • TheCreativePenn

    Hi guys,
    I currently read on my Paperwhite at night, and my iPhone Kindle app while out and about.

    Just on the future of ebooks – check out Kindle 8 format http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1000729511
    This looks very cool and means that ebooks may become beautiful sooner than later. I think this will become more important as people shift off plain e-readers onto tablets. I’ll be looking at how to use that format in the next year.
    Hard core readers, like me and Bryan and others, are a very small % of the market after all.

    • Bryan

      Thanks, Joanna :). I’ve heard about K8 format for a while. Do folks actually use it? I’d love to hear about your experiences once you try it out.

      Oh yeah, we’re definitely on a reading pedestal ;).

  • I love my Kindle Fire and I chose it over any other tablet because I’m more interested in using it for reading than anything else. It’s cool that I can check my email and get online with it, but all I really care about is that it’s a light device that holds thousands of books that I can read day or night. I just need to get the new one with longer battery life. 🙂

    • Bryan

      They’ve roped you in, Stacy! 😉

      You know what I use tablets for? Cooking in the kitchen! I love that I can kind of position them wherever there’s a bit of space.

  • Leslye PJ

    I’m on my fourth Kindle – a Paperwhite. I was an early adopter (and broke one) but I’ve upgraded as new features were added. I really feel the eye strain when I try to read on my iPad. I occasionally read on my iPhone when I’m out and about, I love that the Kindle app synchs my place, but I’d never want to read for a long period of time on either Apple device. I hope e-readers stay around for a long time – either that or tablets add an e-paper mode that reduces eye strain.

    • Bryan

      I’m sure they’ll be around… it just might take a little hunting on eBay to find them! Thanks for commenting :).

  • Douglas Dorow

    I am an ebook convert. It is my preferred format to read. Rarely read paper books and will listen to podcasts (Sell More Books Show or non-fiction audio books when I’m out walking the dog or driving).

    I read on my kindle PaperWhite at night (love the back lighting so I can read in bed without disturbing my wife).

    Then I utilize the syncing to read on my iphone kindle app if I’m out during the day with some downtime or on my PC if I’m working and researching some reference book. Last is my ipad, rarely use it.

    Keep up the great work with the show.

    • Bryan

      Thanks, Douglas! Wow, you have several backups if anything goes down :).

      I’m a big fan of the Kindle backlighting as well.

  • Adam Causton

    I read on a Kindle Paperwhite, ipad and my Samsung Note 3. The fact that it only has a single purpose is what makes it my preferred device, but I only tend to use it at night or on holiday.
    Regarding tablet/smartphone reading, there is a special edition of the Kindle app specifically for Samsung devices which you currently have to download via the Galaxy app store. It wouldn’t surprise me if newer samsung devices have this pre-installed…you also receive a few ebook every month (from a choice of four random titles).

    • Bryan

      Very cool. Thanks, Adam! Have you been taking advantage of the free ebook?

      • Adam Causton

        Yes, I only discovered the app recently, but I’ve picked up “Deviants” by Maureen McGowan, and “The last block in Harlem” by Christopher Herz.
        EE my mobile network provider also gave away free ebooks recently, many of the included titles were charting in the Kindle UK Top 10 by the end of the day.

        • Bryan

          I heard about that! Glad you’re getting some books out of the deal :).

  • Brittany Gulbrandson

    I have both a Kindle and a Nook, and read most of my books on those. I prefer the e-readers because of the lack of eyestrain – I sit in front of a computer screen all day so I don’t need any more help there. However, I also have the Kindle and Nook apps on my phone, which means I can sneak a few pages of whatever I’m currently reading whether or not I have my dedicated e-readers handy.

    • Bryan

      Thanks, Brittany! I love using the Kindle app as a digital cookbook :).

  • ingridkvhardy

    I have a Kobo Aura (and love it), a Kobo app on my phone (prefer the reader), and also read paper books. As long as I have something to read, I don’t care what format it is. As an author, I’d love to figure out great ways to get images into ebooks in an easy way for the readers to see.

    • Bryan

      I’ve never used the Kobo app. How is the interface?

      What genre do you write in? Is it picture heavy?

      • ingridkvhardy

        Personally, I like the app on my android. It is actually easier to shop for books on the app than on the website (in my opinion). I just got an older BlackBerry phone, however, and there is no Kobo app for that… 🙁 Screen is too small anyway. But the reader is great and I bring it everywhere anyway.

        I write mainly short stories in a mix of genre – horror, romance, speculative, sarcastic (yes I think that is a genre… :-p ). My first book (collection linked by theme) is not picture-heavy but the follow up novel will be. It will be a challenge to find a workable way to get images to be friends with the different formats. I’ll probably blog about the disaster of it (giggle).

  • Non-fiction I tend to read on my iPhone. I don’t know why, but for some reason I have a hard time getting into fiction when reading it on my phone. Fiction I tend to listen to on audiobook, or occasionally I’ll read a paperback, but with my limited time these days I don’t read many paperbacks. I love the convenience of audiobooks though.

    • Bryan

      I think it’s because flow is so important in fiction. Non-fiction you can take in a small point and get distracted and it still works.

      My love for audiobooks continues to grow with each passing day :).

  • Hey guys! I read my stick-rubbing Kindle when I’m on the road and print books when I’m home. I prefer reading paperbacks. In fact I love the feeling of print and it easier on the eyes. Plus the battery never runs out. My Kindle is for books that are expensive in print, or the ones I may not read again. If I love a book alot–I will buy it in print. I do have bookcase overload, but a trip to the second hand bookstore takes care of that. Lots of people still read print. I like having both.

    • Bryan

      The battery on my paperbacks keeps running out ;).

      I agree, it’s good to have both.

  • I had one of the first Kindles available in Canada, with the 3G internet connectivity. Nice feature. But eventually I switched to reading on the Kindle app on the iPhone, and that is where I do most of my reading now.

    My boss initially had a Sony reader (I *told* him to get a Kindle!) and after several repair fiascos, switched to a Kindle, and that was how he read most of his books (even though he has an iPhone and an iPad 2). However, his Kindle died last week, and he went to Staples to get a replacement. He looked first at the $99 model, then at the fancier Kindle tablets, then thought if he was going to get a tablet, he should get one that was compatible with the apps that he was already using, and within five minutes had talked himself up from a $99 Kindle to an iPad mini. It looks like it has replaced both his Kindle and his classic sized iPad.

    • Bryan

      An early adopter! Ah, yeah, tough to beat the convenience of the phone reader.

  • Hedonist Six

    Hiya! Dunno if it’s just me, but this and the previous episode for some reason don’t download in my podcast app no matter what I try. It seems to think the episode link in the feed is blank so it can’t find the mp3 file… As I said, if that’s just my phone messing up, please ignore this comment…

    • Bryan

      Can you try it on another device? This is the first comment we’ve gotten about this. Maybe our podcast host was down when you tried?

      • Hedonist Six

        OK this is so weird. I’ve had this problem for over a week but now after knowing it IS just me, I tried with another app and it’s working fine. All the other podcasts in the old app work fine though… I guess I should complain to them instead 🙂 Sorry about that.

        • Bryan

          No, that’s ok! Glad you got it to work.

  • Craig A. Price Jr.

    I’ve never been able to afford an ereader, but I did upgrade phone to acatel one touch 5″ screen and I read on here. I’d like a fire, but until I make more writing, I don’t think I can convince my wife to get one. She stole my tablet for Netflix so I never get to use it to read like I wanted. :p

    • Bryan

      Been there 🙂