The Kindle Indie Bookstore launched yesterday

What with all the excitement yesterday over the Kindle Cloud Player, it seems that everyone may have missed one of the Kindle’s other new features.

Amazon reorganized the Kindle Store yesterday and launched a new section. Kindle Indie Books is going to highlight a limited selection of title published via KDP.  Books will be chosen for this section through automated techniques and then selected by hand by the editorial staff. The Indie Store is currently limited to 7 of the genres and categories offered by the Kindle Store; according to the FAQ they are the more popular genres.

This doesn’t look like much, but that depends on how you see it. Amazon just launched a store section that emphasizes their direct partners. It doesn’t look like Indies who publish through sites like Smashwords will be included, and that could have some interesting long term effects.

Yep, this is an incentive to deal directly with Amazon, and that means cutting out a middleman. Clever, no?

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. fjtorres11 August, 2011

    Clever? Maybe.
    It’s certainly an interesting experiment. Amazon is, in effect setting up a curated book club section, no?
    Might be more effective as an active “push”-type promotion, though–say, via newsletter subscription–than a passive Indie corner.

  2. karen wester newton11 August, 2011

    Curious in a couple of ways. One is that Amazon has gone to some trouble to make KDP indie books NOT identifiable as such in the regular store. This takes the opposite approach. I agree that this is an incentive to go direct with Amazon, but I think the control over the ebook format is so much better if you create your own Mobi/PRC format file than if you let Smashwords do it, that this is not even needed. I like Smashwords, and I don’t see any downside to publishing with them, too, but I would not recommend going to the Kindle store via Smashwords.

  3. Jason Matthews11 August, 2011

    I think you have the wrong hyperlink posted. Didn’t you want this one for the Kindle Indie Books page? –

    Even though most of the forum regulars harp on Indies, the term has a certain charm and is becoming trendy. Readers just want better gatekeepers for the best Indie books.

    I agree with Karen, Smashwords is great but Indies should upload to Amazon directly via KDP.

    1. Nate Hoffelder11 August, 2011

      So I did. Thanks!

  4. Scath12 August, 2011

    Just a note: Smashwords hasn’t yet shipped any ebooks to Amazon.

    Even so, I agree that you should upload directly to the KDP, at least for titles $2.99-$9.99 that receive the 70% rate.

    Over or above those price points, you can receive 60% going through Smashwords, instead of 35%, which might be something to think about.

    1. Nate Hoffelder12 August, 2011

      This has come up before, and one thing I do know is that there are ebooks from Smashwords in the Kindle Store. It might not be fully enabled, but I have seen listings that show Smashwords as the source.

  5. Jason Matthews12 August, 2011

    Smashwords has been a distributor to Amazon Kindle for a long time. I always “opt out” of Smashwords distribution for my books to both Amazon and Barnes&Noble (use Pubit there), and “opt in” for all the other retailers including Apple, since I don’t have a Mac. Jobs is weird about that fact.

    1. Nate Hoffelder12 August, 2011

      Can I ask why you opted out of the Kindle Store?

  6. RM Doyon23 August, 2011

    For independent writers like myself, this cannot be anything but good. However, I would like the opportunity to submit my book for your readers to judge. I would ask you, politely, to review your submissions policy.

    Thank you,
    RM Doyon
    Author, Upcountry

    1. Nate Hoffelder23 August, 2011

      MobileRead would be a better place for this. I’m not set up for it, really.


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