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Kindle Unlimited and why you won’t find my books in this program.

by on November 21, 2014

A few months ago Amazon rolled out another program. As a hybrid author (I self publish books as well as publish through small presses) I received several e-mails touting the beauty of joining the program. I absorbed what was sent to me, talked to other authors and came to a conclusion, in my husbands words, it was suspect. Too many promises of how wonderful it would be. One particular phrase came to mind. All that glitters is not gold. Me being me decided to wait and watch.

Don’t get me wrong there are staunch supporters of KU and opposition who hold just as much conviction when it comes to discussing KU in the authors world. Personally I have decided it is not for me and honestly never will be. Allow me o tell you why.

Amazon did something amazing years ago buy giving indie authors a way to promote their work and find readers while the large publishing houses shut us down. For that alone I will always be an Amazon supporter, however I cannot get behind KU (Kindle Unlimited because it is the total opposite of what Amazon started all those years ago.

From a readers perspective it is fantastic and as a voracious reader I know exactly why. pay ten dollars a month and borrow as many books as you can can as long as you want to read to your content. In this economy every penny counts , so yeah, the concept is ingenious. The potential to read is quadrupled, as a greedy reader it is the perfect solution to my never ending desire to consume the written word.

As an indie author – I’m screwed.

Put simply, as an author KU wants to put us all in one big pile whether we worked hard for our readership and developed a fan base, No matter if we cared about our intellectual property and took the time to have it edited and made sure the cover art complimented what we worked so hard to write.  Well – to put it nicely there are some authors that do always put the work into their books and decided hey I got an idea wrote a short story and boom self pubbed it on Amazon without care, as long as they get compensation for it. Yep, every author.writer gets plopped together and we are supposed to share the profits of a portion of this ten dollars a month from x number of readers who have joined the program. From that stand point alone it isn’t fair or worth it.

I worked hard to develop a fan base, talking to any reader who wants o speak with me, answering every e-mail that is sent to me. I put thought into contests and join blog hops to meet new readers. I drive, fly, catch the train, whatever to visit outside venues for book signing in a continual effort to grow and be seen. I have give away’s to thank the reader for taking the time to open my book let alone read it.  Then when it comes to actually publishing my own book…

Let me break it down for you. The average cover for me can run anywhere between 80 to 200 dollars. Editing, depending on the length of the book can run between 275. and 900.00 bucks. Formatting to place with different distributor  – 25.00 to 100.00  all out of pocket upfront expenses for an indie author before book one is ever sold.

Along comes Joe Blow who finds wrote a book, didn’t take time to clean it up, slaps a cover on it and uploads it to KU to sell.  I’m supposed to share my profits with them. Because my readers came to KU to find my books and Joe there has brought absolutely nothing to the table. I think not.

Or how about us authors who choose not to join the KU bandwagon. Some of us have taken deep losses in revenue and readership because KU books are promoted first whether they are again good or not and those of us that aren’t in the program are pushed way down so far that eventually you will get tired of scrolling before you ever find our books. In other words if a reader isn’t looking for you you may never get found.

Are there pluses to the program. Sure, for new authors, it will get you noticed since your book becomes prominent. If you didn’t have a fan base, you may be able to build one of the other well known authors who are part of KU. Don’t get me wrong there are some diamond in that muck pile the authors are being thrown into and if the reader/author is lucky that book will be6 found. For me tough the cons outweigh the pros and I a a little fish in the shallow end of the pond.  🙂

Anyway, if I rambled a bit sorry. These are my thoughts and personal opinions, agree or disagree let me know I love a good and thoughtful discussion. Have a great day. Talk to you later.

Kass.

Sorry – I forgot to add that once you join KU as an author it limits your profits because you are expected to leave your book only in KU for 90 days limiting your revenue capabilities and if for some reason you forget to remove the book from the program after the 90 days you are automatically re-enrolled.

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One Comment
  1. I like the way you broke it down and I definitely don’t think it’s fair that someone who hasn’t worked as hard on their book to polish gets a share of the profits.

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