I just checked, and Amazon Publishing has already posted four new “Kindle First” advance copies of books it will officially publish in a month. If you are an Amazon Prime member (if not, why not?), you can choose one of them for free. Without Prime, the selection will cost you $1.99.
Amazon announced Kindle First on November 1st, and on the first day of each month there will be a new set of four books to choose from. When I spoke last week with Jeff Belle, vice president of Amazon Publishing, he said the new program is off to a strong start and that each month Amazon will offer a mix of genres to appeal to as wide a segment of readers as possible. This month’s picks are in women’s fiction, thriller, romance, and young adult. Here are the titles:
Soy Sauce for Beginners by Kristin Chen (women’s fiction).
The Widow File by S. G. Redling (thriller).
Sweet Nothings (A Sugar Springs Novel) by Kim Law (romance).
Timebound by Rysa Walker (Young Adult).
Each book listing includes a note from the Amazon Publishing acquiring editor, which is a nice touch. You get to see what it was about these books that prompted someone to go to bat for the author and the book, to get it published in the first place.
“I’ll admit it,” Carly Hoffmann, one of this month’s featured acquiring editors, wrote, “finishing Kirstin Chen’s debut novel, Soy Sauce for Beginners, made me sad. Not because the ending was unhappy, but because I had to say good-bye to Gretchen, the protagonist.”
From last month’s Kindle First selections, I chose J.R. Rain’s The Silent Echo, an offbeat murder mystery in which the P.I. is dying as he solves a series of grisly crimes. I liked the originality of the premise a lot at the beginning, but by the end I had grown weary of the protagonist’s bitter attitude toward friends, life, and death. Your results may vary, and I know from Jeff Belle that J.R. Rain has a strong following. Terry Goodman, the acquiring editor, describes Rain as “being one of the friendliest, most down-to-earth people you’ll ever meet.” So maybe Jim Booker is a kind of alter ego. In any event, I didn’t feel as if I’d wasted my time reading the book, so I’m ready to jump in with another advance reader copy from Amazon Publishing.
You can sign up for an email announcing the four Kindle First selections each month. My email arrived thismorning at 3:02 a.m. Eastern Time, so someone in Seattle must have hit or preset the send button at just after midnight on the first day of the month.
If you can tell a book by its cover, I think will choose Soy Sauce for Beginners for my next Kindle First selection. It’s a beautifully designed cover, and the title is beguiling enough for an open-minded guy to take a chance on women’s fiction.
Here’s the setup: “Gretchen Lin, adrift at the age of thirty, leaves her floundering marriage in San Francisco to move back to her childhood home in Singapore and immediately finds herself face-to-face with the twin headaches she’s avoided her entire adult life: her mother’s drinking problem and the machinations of her father’s artisanal soy sauce business.” Sounds tasty!