It is an oft repeated statement that in this age of digital media, electronics has changed nearly every aspect of our lives, including the way we communicate, the way we write, and even the way we read.
Smartphones have replaced the old phones, and kindles, and tablet readers have converted many old-fashioned book readers to e-book readers and many authors into self-published authors. The devices that brought e-books into the mainstream are book readers like Amazon’s Kindle or Barnes and Noble’s Nook.
Kindle is by and far the most popular e-book readers and is one of the Amazon’s best-selling products. The word Kindle means ‘to ignite’, hence it is an apt metaphor for the intellectual enlightenment associated with reading.
The first Kindle that was launched in 2007 was not particularly attractive, but with it Amazon had achieved something spectacular that people had not imagined before. The entire Amazon bookstore was integrated directly into the device, which became immensely popular and sold out within hours. For the first time, you could have almost any book, within seconds, no matter where you were.
The 7th generation Kindle launched in 2014 (Kindle Paperwhite) is a great device for anybody who wishes to try out e-book readers. The new Kindle Voyage, is still better as it replicates the real paper experience on an electronic display.
With Kindle, all your library is contained in a single device that you can easily carry along, besides saving the paper on books. While there’s still skepticism about self-publishing, one of which is that ‘no one would ever take you seriously, if you are a self-published author’, but statistics say otherwise.
Amazon, largest print book retailer in the universe, sells far more digital books than they do print. An article in Forbes mentioned that Amazon paid $450,000 a year to a self-published author. This, of course, would be more of an exception than the norm, but so would be the case with traditional publishers.
The difference between self-publishing and traditional publishing is that you no longer have to follow the same path through the publishing world. However, the onus of marketing the book lies entirely on you.
To help self-published authors with marketing their book Amazon recommends free giveaways as a promotional tool, and it’s one that many try. Though it may seem counter intuitive to give away your book for free as you make no money out of it, however it does help it spreading the word of mouth and in getting reviews that are a must for promoting a book.
Authors can use Amazon device brands to advertise their books by displaying the book on an Amazon device by following Tagging and Framing Guidelines.
In September 2015, Amazon launched its Kindle Unlimited service in India, which allows users to access to unlimited books for Rs 199 per month. It is like borrowing from a library, wherein at any given point of time you can store 10 titles in your kindle reader. A six-month subscription works out cheaper at Rs 999, while an annual subscription is even more cost effective at Rs 1799.
And no, you don’t need a kindle device to read the e-books. While e-books are best read on Kindle devices, the e-books can also be accessed and read on your PC, laptop, Mac, smartphones and tablets.
Amazon’s objective is to get more and more people to read the e-books by making the books discover-able while reducing price barriers and making the entire experience seamless.
From my own experience with publishing on Amazon, I can say that while writing and publishing are the easier parts, one has to be consistently persistent with marketing the book. Free promotion days are a great way to collect reviews on Amazon and have helped me to garner these reviews.
For some of you who would like to download ‘Lei: A wreath for your soul‘ but could not do so during the promotion, I will schedule another promotion, when I will give away the book for free.
If you would like to receive the notification for the dates when the book is available for free download, in exchange of a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads, please let me know in the comment below.
** Amazon, Kindle, and Fire and all related logos are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.
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