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June 11, 2009

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Kindle Store Data Point

For the record: It takes about 25 sales to make it into the top 10 best-selling “technothriller” list in the Kindle store. (Technothriller!)

Question for you: Any blogs or boards where you think I ought to be promoting this? Kindle-centric blogs… book blogs with a penchant for new forms… hubs for short fiction? Just curious. Leave a comment or email me, robin at snarkmarket.

While I’m writing: Gotta give manifold props to John August, whose Kindle short story The Variant was what convinced me to put Penumbra on the Kindle as well. He’s also written up some observations of the Kindle market as a whole, and the general takeaway seems to be: The numbers are all really low. The best-selling books in the Kindle store sell around 500 copies a day. And okay, that’s actually a lot. But it’s not iPhone-scale at all, and of course the numbers drop off steeply from there. How many Kindles are there in the world? Less than a million, right? It’s still a tiny universe.

Posted June 11, 2009 at 2:43 | Comments (5) | Permasnark
File under: Books, Writing & Such, Briefly Noted


I love my Kindle, but we're definitely in the VHS-Beta what will win stage of the eReader, especially with Simon & Schuster's announcement that they're going to publish on Scribd. Sometimes I feel as though I'm carrying around an Apple Newton.

Heh heh -- totally agree. It is going to look like a strange beige relic very soon.

I think Scribd is one of the most exciting phenomena to happen to reading on the 'net in a long, long time.

Wait -- I want to hear a bit more about this. What's exciting about Scribd's new store? I kinda saw the news and went "eh"; what am I missing?

The store -- eh. But people uploading and sharing their stuff -- awesome. It's like YouTube for books! I mean, it's great that people are sharing/selling "official" content in the same sense that it's nice that all of Michael Jackson's videos are on YouTube... Cake, but not exactly the point.

I've downloaded hundreds of ebooks on Scribd, maybe even thousands, and read from as many more online. Some of them are digital originals, some of them are official e-books, some of them are cheap-o text files, and some are laboriously scanned PDFs of things so out of print you can't even find them in university libraries.

There are a thousand and one stupid little sandboxed digital humanities archives that could go live to everyone in a SECOND if they got on Scribd.

Finally, Scribd and Amazon, from completely different ends, are quietly pushing Google and other players towards a marketplace where you can do ANYthing with books from any portal: search, read, rent, and buy. An honest-to-goodness ecosystem for electronic books, starting from the web-browser on your laptop, not anywhere else.

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