How would you like to have all your summer reading sorted, as well as discover new authors you might not otherwise have read? Every day from now until Tuesday 23rd May 2017, the team at the website Authors Cross Promotion are running a competition. By entering here, you could win one of two “grand basket” prizes of twenty-five eBooks, or else a runners-up prize of one eBook from the list – including my own book, A Way from Heart to Heart. With so many authors taking part, there are high chances of winning at least something, so click on the link or the image below – and good luck!
The website Authors Cross Promotion has become one of my favourite sites to visit. It’s a great place for both authors and readers alike, and Amy Vansant – the author who runs it – is friendly and approachable, and full of new ideas.
Besides being full of resources for indie authors, Authors XP lets readers know of discounted books and also offers readers the chance to choose from a selection of books to read and review. I offered my novella The Scottish Diamond up for review last year and gained some lovely reviews, as well as made connections with readers around the world which have lasted ever since. If you’re interested in becoming part of their read and review team, click here for details.
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Yesterday Amazon launched a new weekly bestseller list called Amazon Charts. The list is in two parts – one part shows the top 20 books (including audio-books) sold that week, and the second part shows the top 20 books being read (or listened to) the most. Knowledge of “books being read” is where Amazon has the advantage over lists like The Sunday Times or New York Times bestseller lists. Amazon monitors everything it can from your Kindle and adds the info to its databases. They know how many pages of a book you read, whether you finished it, and how long it took you.
At the time of writing this article, Paula Hawkins’ new novel Into the Water is number seven in the charts, and has the tag “All Ears”. This means more people are listening to the book than are actually reading it, which is interesting. What fascinates me the most is that Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Wings and Ruin has been tagged “Unputdownable”. By analysing their data, Amazon have worked out that readers are finishing this book more quickly than any others on the chart.
The ability to analyse readers’ data in this way seems amazing to me. And not only are Amazon producing this chart every week, they are also now offering free books, magazines, and short stories to Amazon Prime Readers.
Some people worry that Amazon has a massive monopoly on the reading market, and now – with its own imprint and Amazon Prime – is able to promote its own books at the expense of other publishers, and especially at the expense of indie authors. This might be true, but on the other hand they have made books accessible to a far wider range of people (my 90-year-old mum, for example, who can’t get to the library or shops as easily as she used to, swears by her Kindle and Christmas shopping on Amazon). They’ve also enabled writers to reach a much wider audience through their self-publishing program, and some writers have found massive success with Amazon who would otherwise have remained unpublished.
I’m interested to see what books will actually be in the top 20 Read list and top 20 Sold lists when it comes to Christmas. Are people reading the books they get given? This list might be able to tell us!
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What do you think of Amazon’s new charts? And Amazon Prime Readers? Do you think Amazon has an unfair monopoly, or that they provide an excellent service for readers?
If you have any comments at all, I’d love to hear from you. And good luck if you enter the AuthorsXP competition!