Kindle Unlimited is only available in the US at the moment.
As an established author I have my opinions on the matter.
My understanding of KU is that a reader can pay a monthly fee and then can *borrow* as many books as you like.
An author gets paid if the reader gets past a percentage (10%, 20% ?) of the book.
So I have three choices:
1. Do nothing, and see what happens to my sales.
2. Leave Amazon altogether and make my books only available at say, ARe, or B&N
3. Sign up to have Amazon sell my books exclusively (no more Sony, B&N, direct sales etc)
Can I afford to not use Amazon? Would people buy my books if I ONLY used ARe? Or Only had them on my own Love Lane site? Would people even find them on my own site?
So many questions. I am likely to go with option 1. I hope that the KU books don't swamp all the other MM books to the point no one actually finds my books and those of other non-KU authors.
However, some questions come to mind about how this could affect independent authors in general:
What would my readers do if I restricted selling my book JUST to Amazon? Would that be fair? (Answer: I don't think it's fair!). I have established myself as an author who sells across all outlets. I know some authors only sell on Amazon, but I can't, and won't go back on the precedent I have set.
Will the Kindle Unlimited books dominate the top 100 best sellers, thus hitting those of us who don't use the service? (Answer: Probably, yes, which means non KU books may just sink).
Should I put an older book, say for example, Gallows Tree, to KU only and see how it affects the sales? If I did this would it make readers signed up to KU want to go out and buy my books elsewhere? Or should I try it with a new book?
As a fairly established author I hope to hell I can ride the wave. But what about new authors? Does this mean that they really only have the one option? Kindle or bust?
Or should I bother at all?
I spend £600 a year on books (so hubby reliably tells me)... as a reader I would benefit from this. As a reader of MM I probably wont. A lot of independent publishers will avoid this. Also I can't see the likes of DSP and TB going this way, as they sell the books on their own sites which immediately makes them ineligible for the KU programme... I think.
This is a good quote from an article by David Byrnes on why he has his music taken down from that famous music sharing place, Spotify (which incidentally I pay for each month and listen to all kinds of music! The irony...)
"But the arts “streaming” phenomenon, which now appears inevitable, does come at a price that no one seems willing to pay. And when it rolls all the way down, it inevitably hits the creators, especially those who don’t have the time and space to write your next favorite books, songs, and scripts. It is not a world without entertainment, but it’s one nearing all-or-nothing status. And that’s a problem." (http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelhumphrey/2014/07/18/david-byrnes-warning-about-kindleunlimited-from-last-october/)
What do you think? Are you an author who is worried about KU? Or are you happy to use KU? As a reader will you be interested in signing up to KU?
And last of all... a useful analysis of RJ Scott sales by outlet...
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