Writer. Adventurer. Currently working on The Dreamless City, a series of steampunk novels and short stories.
Amazon did a thing. Let’s talk about it.
I don’t want to debate whether or not this is good or evil because it’s not going to change what Amazon has done or will do in the future. I just want to focus on what this means to readers and to authors.
Readers can start a 30-day free trial of Kindle Unlimited and read over 600,000 titles. All of the KDP select titles are included. If you download a book “with narration” feature, you will be able to listen to the audiobook version for free as well, but you’ll need to pull it to the device you want to listen on. It won’t download automatically.
If you read a lot of indie-published books, then Kindle Unlimited is made for you. $9.99 would cover 3 books at $2.99 each or 10 books at $0.99 or 1 book at $5.99 and 3 books at $0.99. If you read a $2.99 book per week, I think this price point seems reasonable.
It is important to remember that you are subscribing to a service that makes these titles available to the reader. You aren’t actually buying the books. But then again, Amazon already made it clear that that we are leasing these books and not actually buying them.
Authors will be paid the equivalent of one ‘borrow’ when a customer meets two criteria: Downloads the Kindle e-book -and- reads past 10% of the e-book. I have heard that a borrow has equated to approximately a $2 royalty in the past.
Many customers, probably me included, will be trying out Kindle Unlimited in the near future. These new customers probably won’t be buying books except through Kindle Unlimited while they remain in the program.
To participate in Kindle Unlimited as an author means enrolling in KDP Select, which means that your e-book edition will be exclusive to Kindle. Your e-book can’t be published through Nook, Kobo, Smashwords, your own website in PDF, or anywhere else in electronic format as long as your book is enrolled in KDP Select. This exclusivity persists for 90-day periods.
There’s a lot of great thoughts roaming the blog-o-verse and forums about Kindle Unlimited. Here’s some of the more insightful ones I enjoyed:
Kindle Unlimited – Hugh Howey
Kindle Unlimited: The Key Questions – David Gaughran
To Kindle Unlimited, And Beyond – Chuck Wendig
Kindle Unlimited – Some Early Results – Neil Stephenson
Kindle Unlimited – Michael Underwood
Kindle Unlimited is Not a Library Card – Marie Sweetman
So what do you think about this? Will this be beneficial for readers? What will authors need to do differently?