Monday, 21 July 2014

Read my books with Amazon's Kindle Unlimited

There's a new way to buy and read e-books. Last Friday Amazon launched its Kindle Unlimited subscription service in the US (only, for now) where readers can upload as many books as they wish for just $9.99 per month (that would be about £7.50 in the UK). This service seems a good deal for readers like me, who can consume 4-5 books per month (and download at least twice as many). What's more, to launch the service, Amazon are offering it free for the first month.

But what about authors? On the face of it, the Kindle Unlimited service could be good news to writers too. Especially for us indie writers who have published their works exclusive through Amazon. The rights and wrongs of this one channel publishing can be discussed, but for me, it's all about the balance between time I spend writing versus time spent doing publishing and marketing tasks. Listing my novels on KDP Select means that I do not have to format my ebooks for several platforms, or check several channels for sales, or worry about pricing issues across several sites. Plus the majority of ebook sales across the world are made via Amazon (a figure as high as 90% was quoted to me recently). Like it or not, Amazon is the leading ebook seller at the moment.

As I am already a KDP Select author, I am automatically listed on the present lending service which Amazon runs and where readers can download a free book per month. My books will also be automatically listed for this new Kindle Unlimited subscription service. 

In the indie authors' online community the general reaction to this new service has been mixed. Many just do not know what will happen but, being that I am an optimist, I can see several benefits.

For one, a new service will increase reading and ebook purchasing. Merely the launch of a new service, and the positive publicity involved in its launch, will increase book sales on Amazon, which is good news for me. (I know, I know, it goes against the grain to admit that one online bookseller giant is good news, but unfortunately for us KDP Select writers this is the case).

Amazon has said that each 10% read of any book which has been downloaded under the unlimited service will count as a sale, as opposed to the mere download of a title, as happens now.  If this 10% also works in the all important algorithms, this is even better news for mid-list writers like me. (This 10% is also about the same length as is offered as a free sample at the moment, without this sample download showing up on any statistics, as far as I know) For any 10% read of my books, I get a share of the total Amazon global lending fund, which for July stands at $2 million. I've calculated roughly that I could earn even more per book then the 70% I do now. So that's all good too.

Can it be, that both readers and writers will win from this new Kindle Unlimited Subscription Service?

We'll wait and see. In the meantime, if you are in the US and have taken advantage of the Kindle Unlimited service, you can find my books on it. Just click here!

For more on this new Amazon book subscription service, read this excellent blog post by David Gaughran here.

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