Among the many advantages to owning a Kindle is the fact that there are thousands of books available cheaply or for free. Even that is an understatement. No matter what your tastes, chances are good that there is something in the Kindle Store that you will enjoy for $2.99 or less. The only question is how to find it. Especially in light of the recently publicized issues with increasing Kindle Store Spam, the question of proper filters becomes important.
Right now, it is easy to find the top selling Kindle Editions, whether they be paid content or free. The algorithm might be a bit odd, but the results are right there on the front page of the Kindle Store. We also get the occasional special promotion and a list of some of the most popular selections from some category in the store. Pretty much what you might expect. Nowhere do we have a list of Kindle Deals or anything similar. I think we need one.
I’m not talking about just a category that lists all of the cheap or free Kindle eBooks, of course. Not only would the sheer size of such a list make it almost as unmanageable as looking through a complete listing of the Store’s content, but it would include the sort of things that we need to filter out. A deal isn’t really a deal unless you’re getting good value for your money. That excludes the spam, plagiarism, and any number of other things that are inherently hard to automatically sort through. So, how does one define a “deals” category?
At the very least, breaking it free from anything in the way of human interaction, it should be simple enough to set it to filter for a set maximum price, minimum number of sales/reviews, and possibly include some method of prioritizing recent price drops. In the end, I don’t think this is the answer, though. What is needed is an actual person, or persons, to make the judgment call. There is a good chance that the Kindle Sunshine Deals experiment was meant in part to test the waters for this very concept. It works because you’ve got affordably priced eBooks that have made it through at least some degree of scrutiny before being included. In the case of Sunshine Deals, they’d passed through the hands of a publisher, but that doesn’t need to be the only channel available for something like this.
Probably, talking about this will turn out to be a moot point. I anticipate at least some shift in perception among publishers once the results of the Kindle Sunshine Deals promotion have been more thoroughly reviewed. More affordably priced eBooks, yes, but also better publicizing of those eBooks that are priced low enough to be noteworthy. It isn’t enough to just throw up a book and price it at $2.99, as many authors new to self-publishing for the Kindle have found. You have to get word out there and make sure that customers know that there are deals to be had and value to be found.