Kindle Unlimited

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.

*So confused*

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." (

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...

Click to enlarge


  1. erg! something else i have think on, and since im a newbie it could break me not joining, but i hate the idea of even going on Amazon, tho i know im gonna have to.
    Thanks for these post, they are truely helpful.

    1. No worries... Amazon is by far my biggest market... :)

  2. I never buy from Amazon. Yes, I have a Kindle and do all of my reading on it, but buy the majority of my books from ARE. I was shocked to see your chart and now realize the importance of your decisions to be made. Good luck and rest assured you will not lose me either way. (I know that's a hug weight off your mind. ROFL )

  3. Eeeep, kind of worrying :( Amazon are kind of evil, imho!!!

  4. I generally buy all my books from Amazon (US). For me, I buy gift cards to get perks & load tons of them to make purchases & it's just easier to sync my purchases from there across devices for ease in reading. I found your works (& other now-favorite m/m & ménage writers) there & would miss you if you were gone. However, after investigating the Unlimited book list, I have no interest in subscribing, both because there are limited choices in my select romance genres, but also I don't think it's fair to the authors to basically get short-changed on profits.

  5. I buy books from all over... I've read many posts on this and have decided that if we get the choice in the UK I will not subscribe. I like to own my books, I like to re-read books.
    Before e-readers if I borrowed a book from the library that I really enjoyed I bought the book for my collection. The same would happen here. I may as well just keep buying.

  6. I don't buy ANY of my books from Amazon, too limiting with the azw file format, I happily buy from Love Lane, or aRe

  7. I have a kindle and I used to buy all my books from Amazon however I now also buy books from an Author's publisher (eg DsP, Wilde City etc), or from a self-publisher directly (eg JCP) as well as ARe (love the buy 10 get 1). I am an Amazon prime member and I found that monthly fee has been well worth it. However, I am holding off on signing up for KU until I get a better feel for what books will be available. I am concerned that the choices may be too limiting.

  8. This is so complicated and will take time to sort out, to see what happens to authors. It looks like royalties for borrows are about two dollars each this month. What will happen in future...remains to be seen. I have some books exclusive to Kindle, and some of them have taken off with the borrows (well, for me, not compared to superbly selling authors!). But anyway, it'll be interesting to see what happens.

    I have been subscribed to Scribd for a while now, and some of your books are available there to be read, but you supposedly get full royalties. I've read several there. I've enjoyed it. Right now I'm using the Free trial period to try the Kindle Unlimited plan as a reader. But I have to make my budget work and it may eventually be a choice between Scribd or Kindle Unlimited. But they each have different books. And then there's the books that aren't on either, that I *have* to buy anyway....

    I am not too worried, because I think things will even out and authors will choose what's right for them. Personally I'm trying to decide what to do with my next release right now!

  9. I only use Amazon cause for this tech challenged person it's the easiest. I don't use Amazon Prime & will not use Kindle Unlimited cause I want the author to get the most money for their book.

  10. I also have a kindle and buy my books mostly on Amazon, ARE and directly from the publisher sites, including your Love Lane Books. I checked out KU and it's an intriguing idea since I spend a ton of money on books but I did not find many of my fave m/m authors participating. It is important to me that the authors receive the same royalties as they would if I had bought the book outright so I have not signed up for the trial version yet - waiting to hear more from users and authors first. Regardless, I would not use this service for your books RJ since I own most of yours and love to re-read them so it would be important for me to buy them outright. :)

  11. All the publishers has a link to put books on the kindle. I have a kindle but I also have books that I read just on a laptop or PC

  12. I have a Kindle and a Nook and usually buy directly from Love Lane as I like the different formats. Love Lane is easy to use. I have to pay sales tax on Amazon so it can be more expensive for me but I will not turn down a good sale from them!!. I also buy from ARe when there are sales/rebates, otherwise, I tend to buy directly from publisher's sites. Amazon is limiting if you use both Kindle and Nook. I looked at KU and the choices did not grab me. My tbr list is so big anyway by the time I get through most of it, the choices at KU may be a lot better.

  13. I do buy alot from Amazon but I also try to buy direct from Love lane for your books i like that i can get them sooner in most cases and would prefer to cut out as much of the middle man is possible

  14. The majority of my orders are from Amazon (so easy to point and click) but for some time now have been ordering directly from publishers and self-published authors (including Love Lane when there is a new release) as the titles don't appear on Amazon right away many times and because of discounts (plus if I decide to switch devices, hello Calibre). I have a tendency to compare prices to see where there are variations including when titles are free (which Amazon likes to still charge when Smashwords and ARe have them listed as free) and take it from there. Have no plans to try out KU.

  15. I'm going to throw my 2 cents in, too. :) For me, it's not worth it to get kindle unlimited. I get many of my books from the library (DSP and Riptide both send many books to my library). I already have Amazon Prime and get to read one book a month for free. That covers many of the books I don't find at the library. The rest I buy. I will admit to waiting for sales before I spend money. Most of the time. Sometimes, I just can't wait. Again, I just buy those books. I did check out some of the books on KU and found a few I would read. Not enough to justify taking that money out of my book buying budget, though. Not sure this will help with your decisions, but I want to share. I've seen so many articles on KU lately, and they range from "squee" to "be gone devil". I'm going to pass on KU.

  16. I buy books from everywhere. And for me, I like to keep my books, so borrowing them won't work for me.

  17. I do not have a kindle, so if you make your books exclusively on Amazon, I would no longer be able to read them. I thought about switching to Kindle, but I have over 1300 books on epub that I would never be able to read, so not worth it. I hope you don't take that option but you have to do what is best for you.

  18. I never buy from Amazon unless I really have no other option and even then I'm more likely to put off buying the book until I forget about it. The new Men of Halfway House by Jamie Reese is a case in point. It's gone from being one of the books I was eager to get hold of to going far down my list because it is only available at Amazon, ibooks and B&N. My TBR list is long enough without it and if I miss out on a great book that's my loss.
    Plus I'm a keeper. I love to keep my books. Only the really dire ones get deleted from my Kindle. I used to borrow books from the library and then go out and buy my favourites. Where's the logic in that. Might as well just have them from the get go now the only space they take up is in a grey plastic slip of a thing and a file on my laptop!