Kindles – they’re good for you

Ever since I got my first Kindle I fell in love with it. What was most powerful about the whole experience was the e-ink screen which reminded me of my beloved Psion 3 series which I wrote my first short stories on. It’s just feels less intimidating for the eyes than for example an iPad or Samsung Galaxy tablet and I like that it only has one proper use for it – to read books on. This makes you less distracted than with tablets and lets you focus on the reading.

But not everybody believes in e-readers and e-books. Lenah was kind of hard to convince for example, but I think I have convinced her now that we have decided not to have so much clutter in our lives. We both love books, but they to take an awful lot of space and although they look nice in a bookshelf, you rarely read them twice.

And that’s where a Kindle comes in handy. You can store all your books in one space and when you travel, which you should if you’re a sensible person, you don’t need to run around bookstores when you’ve finished a book! Just go to the Kindle store and buy one or read the next one in your collection.

So although you miss the feeling of holding real paper, there are loads of advantages to owning a Kindle.

Since I’m a cheapskate when it comes to buying gadgets (I prefer spending my money on travel and food), I have the cheapest Kindle, which costs only 89 dollars. Although there are more fancy Kindles out there like the Kindle Paperwhite or Kindle Fire, this is more than good enough for me (but I would rather buy a Kindle Fire than an iPad for example). Below you see why it’s so good:

Benefits of owning a Kindle (I ripped this off of Amazon.com)

  • Less than 6 ounces – lighter than a paperback, fits in your pocket
  • 15% faster page turns
  • New darker, hand-tuned fonts for easier reading
  • Reads like paper with no glare, even in bright sunlight
  • Download books in 60 seconds with built-in Wi-Fi
  • Holds over 1,000 books – take your library wherever you go
  • Massive book selection. Lowest prices. Over a million titles less than $9.99
  • 180,000 Kindle-exclusive titles that you won’t find anywhere else, including books by best-selling authors such as Kurt Vonnegut
  • Supports children’s books and includes new parental controls

Does owning a Kindle mean you have to stop reading printed books? No, you should obviously do both. But it’s a great complement to printed books and the ideal travel partner. And if I can get Lenah to want one, I’m sure you can find it useful too.

And remember, you don’t need a Kindle to read Kindle books. You can use whatever gadget you have, your computer, your iPad or your mobile phone. Just download your free Kindle app.

The power of free – tips on Amazon Kindle Select

Trying to “make it” as an indie author as taught me a lot about the power of the word FREE. The reason is that with Amazon Kindle Select you can run promotions where any of your self-published books are free for a set number of days. The idea is for the book to climb the many top lists on Amazon so that it gets maximum exposure. The “only” thing Amazon asks of you is that your book is exclusively published with Amazon for a three-month period.

I’ve tried free days on Amazon Kindle Select quite a few times now with some success and found it to be one of the most powerful marketing tools an indie author can find. When I’ve run it for The Wake-Up Call I’ve had up to 26 000 downloads in two days. This helped the book to climb the top lists and to my amazement it managed to reach #4 in Contemporary Fiction and #1 in Humor. Since the book stays for some hours on the top list even after the promotion is over, this will obviously net quite some sales as well.

That was the most successful Kindle Select Promotion I ever ran. Other times, it’s been decent to completely pointless. The success of your promotion depends on a number of things:

1. The days you choose. Weekends are rarely good, because people tend to do other things than browse for free e-books.

2. That the book has a decent rating. Less than 4 star reviews in average will be less effective.

3. That you do your homework and make sure to advertise the book everywhere you possibly can. There are loads of free book promotion websites out there. I will list some below.

4. That you use all your communication channel in getting out the message. Social media can be very effective and Twitter has done wonders for me in the past.

5. That your book has a good looking cover (people are very visual) and an interesting description.

6. That the first pages of your book (what readers usually sample) really hook the reader.

7. That your book is placed in the right category for it. Categories like Mystery and Thrillers is extremely competitive, but maybe you have a smaller niche that is easier to reach out through? This means it will be easier for you to climb to #1 on the Amazon top lists.

The reason I started writing this post is that I’m now trying two free days (3rd and 4th of April) on Amazon Kindle Select again to see if it can do any wonders for my recently published novel “Hollywood Ass.”

I have done some promotion, but sadly the book is yet to have a review so I’m not sure it will get enough downloads to make a difference. But as an indie author you have to try your best and see what works.

Sites where you can promote your books (to be updated):

Digital Book Today
The Kindle Book Review
World Literary Café
Freebooksy
Author Marketing Club
Bookbub
BookDaily.com
Ereadernewstoday
Booktweetingservice
Free Ebooks Daily
Kindle Nation Daily
Centsiblereads
Kindle Mojo
Kindle Book Promos
Book Goodies
Bookdealhunter
Zwoodlebooks

Some useful twitter hashtags courtesy of Jeff Bennington:

  • #kindle #kindlefire #ebooks #FREE #mustread #goodreads #greatreads #freeebooks #Kindlefreebooks
  • #AmazonPrime #Kindledeals #kindledeals
  • @FreeKindleStuff @FreeReadFeed @free_kindle @Freebookdeal @freebookpromos @freebooksy
  • @KindleBlaze @KindleBookBlast @KindleBookKing @KindleDaily @Kindlbookreview @digitalBKtoday
  • @KindleFireDept @KindleEbooksUK @KindleFreBook @KindleFreeBooks @KindleFreeStuff @KindleKing
  • @KindleSurprise @KindleUS @KindleUK @KindleDE @KindleES @Kindle_Max @kindle_mojo @Kindlefreebies
  • @Kindlestuff

The Wake-Up Call is FREE and HOT :)

Today is the second day of The Wake-Up Call being free and after one day I’ve already had 13000+ downloads, which I’m very happy with. Just hope the readers like the story as well. I woke up to the nice news of being #1 in Contemporary Fiction and #6 in Kindle Books. Thanks everyone for helping me boost the book. Sorry about any spam or unintended bragging, but an independent author needs every little help he/she can get 🙂

Now I can just hope the reception will be equally good for my next novel, Hollywood PA.

So what’s that Kindle thing?

Okay, this is a disclaimer that this post is all about me selling the Kindle. If you’re not at all interested in e-books or e-readers, please read some other post 🙂

You’ve heard about it, you’ve read about it and you’ve probably wondered “is this thing for me?” – it’s the Amazon Kindle and it’s an absolutely revolutionary way of reading books. This is something you can get into even if you’re a print-book nostalgic like myself, much thanks to the E-ink screen that lets you read in broad daylight (much unlike the glare-prone iPad for example, although I still think the iPad is a pretty amazing product in its own right).

Another thing I really like about the Kindle is the built-in dictionary and the possibility to make notes in the books and also that you can bring as many books as you like with you. This is especially useful when traveling of course.

So you’re stoked and now you really want to look into this Kindle thing…well, there’s actually only one place where you can buy it and that is on Amazon.com

Amazon is the world’s largest online store and was founded by Jeff Bezos in 1995. Amazon.com started as an online bookstore, but soon diversified, selling DVDs, CDs, MP3 downloads, computer software, video games, electronics, apparel, furniture, food, and toys. The flagship product of Amazon.com is their own product, The Kindle e-book reader.

The Kindle is an amazing product for its price, at the time of writing listed at 139 dollars and 189 dollars with built-in 3G. You can carry countless books with you, use the pre-installed dictionary to look up words instantly and the e-ink screen will prevent any kind of glare or tired-eyes syndrome.

Here’s Amazon own list of specs for the Amazon Kindle:

All-New, High-Contrast E Ink Screen – 50% better contrast with latest E Ink Pearl technology
Read in Bright Sunlight – No glare
New and Improved Fonts – New crisper, darker fonts
New Sleek Design – 21% smaller body while keeping the same 6″ size reading area
17% Lighter – Only 8.7 ounces, weighs less than a paperback
Battery Life of Two Months – A single charge lasts up to two months with wireless off
Double the Storage – Up to 3,500 books
Books in 60 Seconds – Download books anytime, anywhere
Free 3G Wireless – No monthly payments, no annual contracts
Built-In Wi-Fi – In addition to the 3G wireless, you can connect to Wi-Fi hotspots
20% Faster Page Turns – Seamless reading
Enhanced PDF Reader – With dictionary lookup, notes, and highlights
WebKit-Based Browser – Free 3G web browsing (experimental)

Although I love my Kindle and think it’s essential for reading more and enjoying reading more (I bring it with me to the gym every morning), there might be a reason you don’t want one (you might already have an iPad for example) all you need to do is to install Free Kindle Reading Apps or use the Kindle Cloud Reader which enables you to get to your Kindle library from any digital device with an Internet connection. All the Kindle apps and the Kindle Cloud Reader are free of charge and easy to install and use. There’s simply no reason for you not to try them out and start reading digitally.

Everyone can read an Amazon Kindle book

You’ve heard about it, you’ve read about it – it’s the Amazon Kindle and it’s an absolutely revolutionary way of reading books. This is something you can get into even if you’re a print-book nostalgic like myself, much thanks to the E-ink screen that lets you read in broad daylight, much unlike the glare-prone iPad for example (I still think the iPad is a pretty amazing product in its own right though).

Another thing I really like about the Kindle is the built-in dictionary and the possibility to make notes in the books and also that you can bring as many books as you like with you. This is especially useful when traveling of course.

But enough about the Amazon Kindle (you can read more about why I love it so much here).

If you for some reason don’t want to buy a Kindle (you might already have an iPad for example) All you need to do is to install Free Kindle Reading Apps or use the Kindle Cloud Reader which enables you to get to your Kindle library from any digital device with an Internet connection. All the Kindle apps and the Kindle Cloud Reader are free of charge and easy to install and use. There’s simply no reason for you not to try them out and start reading digitally.

And when you’ve installed the app of your choice, make sure to check out my book The Wake-Up Call!

The Wake-up Call: The cover

Here’s the preliminary cover art for my upcoming novel The Wake-Up Call, designed by talented designer Joakim Wiborn. The book is about New York advertising mogul Jack Reynolds’ quest for love; from family, friends, and of course from girls (well meeting girls is not a problem, the problem is meeting the girl). Jack has worked hard all his life to reach the top in the advertising world, only to realize it’s pretty lonely up there.

After a breakdown during a second date with a girl he doesn’t particularly care for, Jack decides to try and reconnect with his father. But instead he connects with his father’s young girlfriend and soon finds himself in a web of complications that leads him to reconsider his life completely.

The Wake-Up Call is set in New York, Miami and Mexico and takes the reader on an emotional journey into the heart and mind of a lost middle-age man.

To be released in a not too distant future on Kindle  (Amazon), Nook ( Barnes and Noble), and other e-book formats.

My favorite book on writing…

Is On Writing by super famous thriller writer Stephen King. King is often taken very lightly in “serious” literary circles, but although his subject is most often horror and thrillers, a genre disliked by literary award committees, there’s no doubt that he’s a great writer who knows how as well as anyone how to tell a story. It’s just that his stories are a bit on the gory side sometimes.

I actually think King’s writing are at his best in his short stories like The Shawshank Redemption, with no supernatural themes in it.

On Writing is recently released in its 10th Anniversary edition called On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft and it’s a fantastic memoir of a great writer and at the same time a manual on how to become a good writer. I really recommend it.

You can buy it here in Kindle format, Hardcover, Paperback or Audio CD. Every purchase through this link will give this blog a few cents in support. Thanks.

Shutter Island

I’m currently reading the Kindle version of Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane. It’s made into a movie by Martin Scorsese, featuring Leonardo Di Caprio in the leading role. It’s a great book and movie and I really recommend it.

You can check out more books from thriller writer Dennis Lehane here.

The Daily Carrot Principle

I’m currently reading a book about recognition as a powerful management tool on my Kindle. It’s called the The Daily Carrot Principle and it’s written by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton (where do people get these cool names?).

Quoting from AmazonFrom the authors of the smash bestseller The Carrot Principle comes an inspiring and lively page-a-day guide to harnessing the remarkable power of the carrot—taking yourself and your team to new heights of success in work and life.Based on their twenty years of experience teaching leaders at Fortune 100 companies, as well as one of the largest research studies ever conducted on workplace satisfaction, Gostick and Elton share a wealth of wisdom about simple but amazingly effective ways to boost your productivity and work satisfaction by setting clear goals, communicating effectively, building trust, and offering recognition in ways that make others feel appreciated and motivated.

I really enjoy the book and it’s easy to understand the value of recognition and to be specific, concise, and generous with the feedback to your employees.

I’ve been reading a lot of management books over the years and many of them do trend to drag on and on without really saying anything new. The Daily Carrot Principle focuses on a topic that can be used as much in your daily life as in the business world and does it in a very reader friendly and constructive way. The book truly demonstrates recognition as the accelerator to the four basics of leadership; goal setting, building trust, communication, and accountability.

Recommended.