24 July 2014

Kindle Unlimited?

So...someone asked me if I was going to jump on the new Kindle Unlimited bandwagon, and I decided to share my opinion openly. And that opinion is? Since you have to put the book in Select, it's really no good for authors...or readers, in general. Sure, it's good for a select group of Kindle owners, but it's not good for the rest.

You see, Select requires you to sell the ebook NOWHERE else, not even your own sale site. I'm sorry. KDP is ONE SITE. It's a big seller, but cutting off all my other sale sites, including my own, where I make MUCH more money per sale, is not going to happen. I tried it once...long ago, and I proved it doesn't work well for me. What you gain from Select does not make up for the lost distribution and sales percentages from cutting off all your other sites. Hate to say it this way, but I have two other distribution channels (BESIDES my home site) where I make more money per sale than Amazon gives you. I have an established audience who expect to purchase my books at certain sale sites. Forcing them to all go somewhere some don't want to is counterproductive to me, and cutting off other distribution is counterproductive as well. From that POV, it is not good for authors/publishers to include themselves, in general. It's okay if Amazon is all you do to sell, but if it's not...

Additionally, KDP is one format (well...two, since Mobi and PRC work natively on most Kindle units, Amazon's format is just juiced up Mobi, since they bought the Mobi platform, and PRC is just another form of Mobi). I sell my books in 9 formats, to appeal to a wide range of readers. All the numbers I have say there are three MUST-HAVE formats that account for well over 90% of ebook sales (Mobi/PRC, ePub, and PDF). The other forerunner is HTML, but I choose to offer the lesser-known formats as well. If the book isn't available in ePub, PDF, or the lesser formats, there are a lot of readers who simply will not buy it. In fact, there are some who will purposefully pirate it, if it's not available where they want to buy and in the format they want to buy it in.

Amazon's mindset seems to be... "If it's not available on Amazon and isn't available in our native format (that we own), it's not worth reading." I'm sorry, but I cannot agree. The point is to be accessible to as many readers as I can, not to cut my chances of that and cause readers to be disgruntled.

So...no, I will not be engaging in this service.

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