Free R&D for Authors

by Corina Koch MacLeod

In an interview with Len Edgerly, creator of the Kindle Chronicles podcast, author Scott Stratten suggests that authors who publish on Amazon are not making use of the “free R&D” available through the Kindle platform.

Free R&D? Where do I sign up?

Authors know that in order to succeed in self-publishing, they need to create connections with their readers. The point of creating these connections is to understand your readership. If you know who your readers are, you’ll know better how and what to write for them.

And that’s where that bit of free R&D comes in.

Do you ever use the highlights feature while reading an ebook on a Kindle or with a Kindle app? It’s great, isn’t it? You can highlight a passage, a beautiful turn of phrase, or even a part you’d like to remember or go back to, and the Kindle universe will store those highlights for you. You can then access them from your e-reader with one tap if you want to see them all in one place.

Highlight feature on Kindle for PC

You will also find these highlights in your account.

Amazon highlights aren’t just for readers. Authors can also access them,too. Did you get that? As an author, you can see what parts of your book your readers are highlighting. Amazon only displays “popular highlights”— highlights created by three or more readers. You can see an example here. You won’t always know who highlighted the passage, though.

If readers have made their notes public (readers need to turn on this setting in the Your Books section of their Kindle accounts), authors can have access to that information, too.

Does this make you nervous as a reader? A discussion for another time, perhaps. For now, you can see Amazon’s FAQs to see how they handle reader notes and highlights.

If you take the time to analyze your readers’ notes and highlights, you’ll have a view into what resonates with them. And the cost? A bit of your time.

Are you making use of Amazon’s notes and highlights features for R&D? If you are, tell us about it.

And now you have two uses for Amazon’s note and highlights features. Remember, you can also use notes and highlights to help you proofread your book before you hit Publish.

Image by ardlefin.

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