Martin Walker: “Bruno, Chief of Police”

The “Bruno, Chief of Police” series is set in deepest rural France, and Martin Walker’s love and knowledge of the area shine through. He describes a France populated by real people, trying to maintain their way of life despite a constant battle with the bureaucrats from Brussels attempting to enforce their rules of homogeneity. It’s beautifully written with insights into the changing way of life, the politics, the history, the people. Makes you want to go there. I’ve just finished the 2nd in the series, and it’s just as good. “Bruno, Chief of Police” is only £1.80 as an ebook; why not try it today? Check the ebook prices at...

Countdown to CrimeFest #1: Quentin Bates, “Frozen Out”

I’m going to CrimeFest at the end of May, really looking forward to it. I love reading good international crime fiction and this has a great lineup. I’m going to feature a few of the attending authors, and say just why I like them. So here goes with the first… Quentin Bates is a new discovery for me. I’ve just finished “Frozen Out”, a series set in Iceland. I visited Iceland once and found it a fascinating country. The geology, the people, the language, the food; everything was very foreign to me. This book described very well what I remember about the country, but as well as that, it was a very good police detective story. Good plot, good characters, good background info – excellent! And I love the backdrop of the economic meltdown we’ve just lived through. It’s only £2.56 at Amazon (5 Mar 2013) so why not try it? It’s worth it…...

New Release: v4.3.0

I’ve just uploaded a new release to the Luzme website (v4.3.0). What’s New? Watch Author for new books If you want to know when your favourite author is releasing a new book, just add them to your AuthorAlert list. We’ll tell you about their new releases. Add next book in series to your Watchlist Now, when you remove a book from your Watchlist, you can choose to add the next one in the series. New Bookstores O’Reilly PragProg And various bug fixes Please keep the good ideas coming at https://luzme.uservoice.com (or just mail me directly)....

New Release: v4.1.0

I’ve just uploaded a new release to the Luzme website (v4.1.0). New: Much faster login time (hopefully you’ve seen the dreaded “Gateway Timeout” for the last time!) Sorting and filtering in watchlist Order by author, title or date you started watching the book Filter by author or title Better support for phones and tablets In the New Year, I’ll be working on speed improvements. If there’s something that really bugs you because it’s just too slow, please let me know. Please keep the good ideas coming at https://luzme.uservoice.com (or just mail me directly)....

Looking at the Bookseller Top 50 with an ebook eye

Last week, I looked at the UK Kindle Top 50 chart, and saw some evidence that unless you’re willing to cut your price to just about free, then you’re unlikely at present to get your ebook into the UK Kindle Top 50. So if the Kindle chart is little more than a vanity metric, what can we learn from the more mainstream bestseller charts in the UK? I decided to look at the Bookseller Top 50. Out of these, I’ve chosen to ignore the Annuals since these are mostly unavailable in ebook format. So the 50 becomes 39. There seems to me to be very little correlation between this chart and the Kindle one. For example, the Bookseller No. 1 is the “Diary of a Wimpy Kind: The Third Wheel”. This doesn’t even make it into the Kindle Top 100, languishing instead at #1150 (although the hardback is #2 in Amazon’s standard book chart). Similar story for Nigel Slater’s “Kitchen Diaries II”: #39 in the Bookseller Top 50, #2283 in Kindle Store, but the hardback’s #6 at Amazon. I wonder how Amazon calculate their Kindle chart; is it just units shifted which affects the rank? or does price get taken into account in some way. It seems that today’s publishers need completely different strategies for targetting the top of the physical and ebook bestseller lists. Now, let’s look at availability and price. Could you buy all these Bookseller bestsellers for your ereader, if you wanted to? Amazon have a reasonable coverage, with 33 out of the 39 books available. At the other end of the spectrum is Sony, who...

Rachel Willmer is a panellist at Futurebook conference

I’m delighted to announce that I’ve been invited to take part in the Futurebook Conference in London, 3rd December 2012. I’m on the panel for the “Pricing strategies and experiments” session, and will be sharing the stage with notables such as Mike Tamblyn from Kobo and Orna Ross from the Alliance of Independent Authors. As part of my preparation for this, I’ll be producing a series of blogs about various aspects of ebook pricing, so please look out for...

Must you price-slash to get into the Kindle UK Top 10?

Here’s a graph of yesterday’s Top 30 Kindle bestsellers in the UK. A spread of prices as you’d expect, mostly below £5, with just one with a £9.99 price (the new Ian Rankin book, “Standing in Another Man’s Grave” by Ian Rankin). Then I wondered, “that’s what the prices are now but I wonder what they were previously”. Here’s the same books, but instead using the lowest price they’ve had over the previous week. And you can see that all of the Top 10 have been offered with a price below £1 over the last week. Which makes me wonder, is it possible to get a book priced with a sensible price into the Top 10 without this fierce price...

New Release: v4.0.1

I’ve just uploaded a new release to the Luzme website (v4.0.1). The main new feature is the addition of support for Amazon India; the other major changes are all ‘behind-the-scenes’ so you shouldn’t notice them. Please keep the good ideas coming at https://luzme.uservoice.com (or just mail me directly). cheers...