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Kindle Unlimited

Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Devor, Jul 18, 2014.

  1. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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  2. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

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    It's not all books. Our little, tossed-out-there-on-a-lark, 9-page short story is one of their "600k Available Titles."

    As an author, given that they so-far seem to count a book (or what not, I don't even know) as "read" at 10% I think is a good thing especially for authors who have works appearing in anthologies. So far, that little bit is promising.

    As a reader, it's not all books and it's just getting off the ground... so I'm not jumping in the pool just yet.
     
  3. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    I don't read fast enough in order to pay 9.99 a month. It also looks like they're only choosing certain titles. It reminds me a little bit of that old service where you could get as many CDs as you wanted if you paid some kind of fee. I think it'll be a good idea, but I hope they include trad and indie stuff across multiple genres in order for it to be appealing to me.
     
  4. psychotick

    psychotick Auror

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    Hi,

    I'm still trying to work out how it's different from Amazon Prime.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  5. wordwalker

    wordwalker Auror

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    I don't think they're "choosing" titles for it, they're entering everything that's on the KDP Select plan. So for authors it's an escalation of the "to Select or not to Select" choice.
     
  6. stephenspower

    stephenspower Inkling

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    it's pretty bare bones right now, but they're trying to compete with oyster and scribd before they get too much of a foothold. i would estimate that in 3-5 years time subscription revenue will be 25% of all book revenue, especially for genre titles. i also think that in order to maximize the number of titles that people read in a month to get the $10's worth, there will be a boom in shorter books, the agatha christie-length airplane reads that you can kill in 3 hours.
     
  7. Graylorne

    Graylorne Archmage

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    It's what wordwalker says; as a self-publisher you must enroll in the KDP Select plan to be eligible.
    I'd rather spread out. Now I'm at KDP and also at Smashwords with all its channels, including Oyster and Scribt. I'm not ready to give that up and 'sell' myself to Amazon.
     
  8. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

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    Just a head's up, in case you haven't heard, but there's been some issues with Scribd and their practices in recent months.

    Writer Beware®: The Blog: Scribd's New Ebook Subscription Service: Partnering with Publishers, Profiting from Piracy
     
    PaulineMRoss likes this.
  9. soggymuse

    soggymuse Dreamer

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    Amazon is also apparently very shady:

    I don't know how accurate the latter is because I haven't looked at Kindle Unlimited myself, but I thought I'd pass it on so authors can double-check before signing up for a potentially damaging service.
     
  10. PaulineMRoss

    PaulineMRoss Inkling

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    I've been following the furore about KU over on the KBoards, where a lot of very astute self-publishers hang out. My impression is that folks who have good sales outside Amazon are incensed about KU, and folks who are already in are quietly pleased about it. That suggests that it's going to be a reasonable deal for (some) authors, at least in the short term. At the moment, there's a lot of volatility as readers sign up for the free month's trial and start downloading their maximum ten books, so sales are down and non-KU business is down, and rankings are shooting up and down. That will all settle down in two or three months.

    The problem with it is an ideological one. When an author uploads a book for sale on Amazon, the author has full control over the price. With a subscription system, Amazon determines the return the author gets. Up to now, it's been reasonable (around $2 per borrow, pre-KU, and unknown for KU but likely to be similar). But in the future Amazon has the power and the right to vary that. Plus, you have to sign up exclusively to Amazon, which is restrictive.

    I don't think it's the end of civilisation as we know it, but it'll be interesting to see how it all pans out.
     
    soggymuse and acapes like this.
  11. MichaelSullivan

    MichaelSullivan Maester

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    So here's the big story about Kindle Unlimited. It is the first time I've seen Amazon treat self-published authors as second class citizens, and I'm pissed about it. Why do I say this. Well consider how authors are in KU and paid.

    • Distribution - self-published athors have to be exclusive with Amazon. Traditionally published titles can be in KU and any other venue including Oyster and Scribd.
    • Payment - Self-published authors get a % of a poll set by Amazon. Traditional publisehd titles are paid as if a full sale were made...in both cases the reader has to read 10%.

    Self-published authors should be outraged...but aren't. The reality is Amazon is giving them a short shift because they will "take it." Traditional publishers would NEVER go into KU with the terms that self-published authors are submitting to. Bottom line...self published authors are subsidizing the better terms that traditional is getting.
     
    TWErvin2 likes this.
  12. stephenspower

    stephenspower Inkling

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    I agree with you, Michael, that self-published authors are getting shafted. KU is clearly an attempt to get in front, however, awkwardly the coming rise in streaming books. Oyster and Scribd are just the vanguard. No one, would join, though, if it were just self-pubd authors, so Amazon has to negotiate favorably with traditional publishers. It will be intersting to see how the Oysters pick up the slack with self-pubd authors, perhaps by picking up some of the biggest (if they haven't already).
     
  13. MichaelSullivan

    MichaelSullivan Maester

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    There are plenty of Self-published authors all ready on Oyster and Scribd. It's only those that are in KU (which requires exclusivity) that can't be on those platforms. Normally they do so through smashwords or Direct2Digital.
     
  14. Snowpoint

    Snowpoint Sage

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    I have never bought an e-book, or a self published book. I'm looking at this and thinking: "I'm not willing to pay $3 for book that might be bad, but maybe I am willing to pay $10 to scope out few dozen authors and find some I like."

    I'm not exactly part of the e-book demographic, but I think this might turn people who are normally unwilling to try e-books (me) into someone willing to give them a shot.
     
  15. stephenspower

    stephenspower Inkling

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    Check this out: Kindle Unlimited "Bestseller" List Encourages Exclusivity, Works Against Independence

    I'm not sure you need a subscription to read it, but here's the upshot:

     
  16. Trick

    Trick Auror

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    Apparently Amazon wasn't making enough money already. I was looking forward to publishing on kindle and now I'm far more leery. I may avoid it altogether now.
     
  17. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    I do love my Kindle and read on it regularly. But I won't be getting the KU. Its a great idea for readers but it does seem unfair to authors who have their works on the listing. At least authors are being given a choice to sign up for it or not. It will be interesting to see how this all develops over the next few months, but I will say its disappointing to see Amazon sell their books for pennies. Writing is hard work and authors should receive appreciation for the stories they share with the world. I say no bueno, Amazon.
     
    Trick likes this.
  18. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Authors don't have to take part in KU just because they're selling on Amazon, however. If you're self-published you have to be part of Kindle Select, right? So just don't sign up for that.
     
  19. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

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    There's some interesting analysis of Kindle Unlimited from super star indie author Hugh Howey on his website. Of particular note, the first comment on the post has this to say:

    We certainly live in interesting times.
     
  20. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    The first thing that occurred to me when I saw the announcement for KU was that it targets the same audience subset that self-publishers do. People who read a lot, people who take risks with their reading, people who explore things out of the norm. This is going to make it easier for them to do that.

    It cuts some of the risks involved for readers. I think it's going to be good for the industry.
     
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