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Writing Process & Programs > Kindle Unlimited, or not?

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message 1: by David (new)

David Green (chasdgreen) | 3 comments As a brand new author, launching my first book, there are a lot of choices I've had to make.
One of these was whether to tie myself in with Amazon and add my book to the Kindle Unlimited pool.
I'm glad I did. My book has only been on sale a week and, already, over 37% of my readers have obtained the book via Kindle Unlimited.
I suppose it's a case of "It doesn't cost me any more to read this first book from an unknown author so 'why not?' "
What are other people's experiences?


message 2: by Phillip (new)

Phillip Murrell | 360 comments I recently had a good run of consecutive days with a few hundred pages each. Normally I get what appears to be one or two people reading all three books straight. Either that or I have a ton of book clubs who collectively give up after the first chapter. Bottom line is I love having my books in KU.


message 3: by Anna (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 528 comments Yes, KU usually pays me more than sales!


message 4: by Tomas, Wandering dreamer (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 671 comments Mod
Yeah, I think that the "it costs me nothing to stop reading if it fails" is the big benefit of KU that means people using it can give a try to anything they stumble upon if they have enough time.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

I decided as a first time author to go with KDP select for my eBook and I'm happy so far. I like the idea that I get paid for pages read in the Kindle Lending Library. Nice concept.


message 6: by Martin (new)

Martin Wilsey | 447 comments KU is a great revenue stream that would go untapped if avoided. I also have a small framed poster with QR Codes so KU readers can hit the book at book signings. They love it!


message 7: by L.K. (new)

L.K. Chapman | 147 comments It usually works out that I make about the same each month from KU as I do from sales, so definitely worth it for me at the moment.


message 8: by Donna (new)

Donna Johnson-Klonsky | 25 comments Martin wrote: "KU is a great revenue stream that would go untapped if avoided. I also have a small framed poster with QR Codes so KU readers can hit the book at book signings. They love it!"

Thanks for the insight.


message 9: by Donna (new)

Donna Johnson-Klonsky | 25 comments Phillip wrote: "I recently had a good run of consecutive days with a few hundred pages each. Normally I get what appears to be one or two people reading all three books straight. Either that or I have a ton of boo..."

Thanks for the feedback.


message 10: by Frank (new)

Frank Kelso (frank_kelso) | 31 comments I agree with all above. KU revenue usually close to sales revenue.
Only makes sense to pick up money on the table as long as Amazon shares.


message 11: by Wanjiru (new)

Wanjiru Warama (wanjiruwarama) | 193 comments If I go with Kindle Unlimited, does that mean I can't pub with another entity like Draft2Digital? I now advertise on Kdp's product ... and Smarshwords. Thanks.


message 12: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Howie (rebeccahowie) Wanjiru wrote: "If I go with Kindle Unlimited, does that mean I can't pub with another entity like Draft2Digital? I now advertise on Kdp's product ... and Smarshwords. Thanks."

If you're with KDP select you can't publish your book anywhere else, so Draft 2 Digital is out, but if your book is just listed with Kindle, you can list your book on other sites.


message 13: by Tomas, Wandering dreamer (last edited Jul 20, 2018 11:54AM) (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 671 comments Mod
To be more specific, you can't publish anywhere else for that format. If you have the e-book in kindle unlimited, you can't publish e-book version anywhere else but "dead tree editions" (paperback/hardcover) would not be limited by that if I got it correctly.


message 14: by Wanjiru (new)

Wanjiru Warama (wanjiruwarama) | 193 comments Tomas wrote: "To be more specific, you can't publish anywhere else for that format. If you have the e-book in kindle unlimited, you can't publish e-book version anywhere else but "dead tree editions" (paperback/..."

Thanks. Now the question is - would it be beneficial to advertise a new book with Kindle (no select - I've gone thru it and haven't made a ripple) and also with D2D? Comments?


message 15: by Eileen (new)

Eileen Iciek | 120 comments One determinant is where your book has stronger market potential. Amazon's use in other countries varies - for example, Kobo seems to be more popular in Canada. And my books aren't available as e-books on Amazon in at least a couple of countries (Germany and Turkey, for some unknown reason).

So if you expect that there could be strong interest for your books in countries other than the US and UK, you might want to see what e-book seller is most popular in those countries.


message 16: by Wanjiru (new)

Wanjiru Warama (wanjiruwarama) | 193 comments Eileen wrote: "One determinant is where your book has stronger market potential. Amazon's use in other countries varies - for example, Kobo seems to be more popular in Canada. And my books aren't available as e-b..."

I thought the 2 books I have on Amazon would do well on the international. markets, but that hasn't turned so. I set up author pages in Uk Germany and France but that hasn't helped. Perhaps there is something I'm not doing.


message 17: by Tomas, Wandering dreamer (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 671 comments Mod
Just a blind shot, it might be a language matter. I am from central (or east, depending on how you see it) Europe but buy e-books from US Amazon even though Germany is the closest one. Reason: to be sure I get the book in English and not German (which I know only basics) and because I have a better idea how USD converts to my currency than GBP for that matter.

Maybe those who'd go to GER or FR Amazon would go there if they were looking specifically for these localizations? (Books translated to that language)
Again, just a shot in the dark.


message 18: by Shabana (new)

Shabana Mukhtar (shabanamukhtarofficial) My experience is that KU is earning me more royalty than the sales.


message 19: by Kevin (new)

Kevin C Hensley I’ve had a decent amount of downloads when I offered my book free for a day, but not a single KU read yet. I suppose it’s normal to have none when my book has only been out for 2 weeks?


message 20: by Haru (new)

Haru Ichiban | 255 comments Just a related comment, I offered the first edition of my book for free to test the waters a long time ago, and a lot of people who downloaded it were from Japan (points at own name). So yes, I think location may matter.

My actual customers were from .com, and, strangely, India.


message 21: by Shintaro (last edited Aug 08, 2018 11:10AM) (new)

Shintaro Mofujin (shinmofu) | 3 comments Assuming that you don't want to publish in other places, Unlimited can be quite nice especially if your book is lengthy. As a new novelist, I find that the majority of my revenue comes from people reading via Unlimited, but your experience may differ. Good luck with your book!


message 22: by Micah (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 1042 comments I've published a novel, a novella, two short stories, and a collection with a novella, novelette (and the two separately published short stories) and put them all on KU to begin with. Had zero reads. Now that was several years ago, so things might have changed. I then took them off that and published them through Smashwords to get them on other platforms.

I'll probably do the same again (begin on KU and drop it if/when the sales don't justify the exclusivity) with the books I have in the works. My sales are so low it hardly matters. Pretty much all sales on my older material have stopped by this point.


message 23: by Marie Silk (new)

Marie Silk | 606 comments Congratulations on your new book, David!

For me, KU royalties make up 1/3 to 1/2 my ebook earnings. It's going to be different for everyone and depend on factors like genre, promotion frequency, whether it's a series, length of book, price of book, etc. My books are in a series so readers often read from Book 1 to Book 7 on KU. It's not unheard of for readers to even purchase an ebook after reading it on KU so they can own it permanently.

I experimented with publishing wide earlier this year only to discover that the sales potential on all the other platforms combined (Google, Kobo, Smashwords, BN, iBooks, etc) didn't hold a candle to my books' performance on KU. Also I appreciate the ability to schedule free promotions and Kindle Countdowns with Select.

I hope all continues to go well for your books :).


message 24: by Ben (new)

Ben Cass (bencass) I published my debut novel with KDP Select a month ago. I figured I would try Kindle Unlimited for the first three months and see how that went, and if I don't like it, I can always leave Unlimited and distribute through Draft 2 Digital.

I've had several days in KU with pages reads around 600, which is almost double the length of my book. I wish they'd tell me if that's two people reading and finishing, or 60 people reading 10 pages and stopping, or....it's annoying not knowing.

It's only been a month, so we'll see if I stay. I did sell 180 copies during a free promotion, but nobody has reviewed it, so I have no clue if they read it or not.


message 25: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4283 comments Mod
Ben wrote: "I published my debut novel with KDP Select a month ago. ... I did sell 180 copies during a free promotion, but nobody has reviewed it, so I have no clue if they read it or not. "

It sounds like you're doing pretty well. Give people time. It could be months before they read it. Not everyone reviews, either.

Bottom line: You're getting sales. That's great. Some people will read it, some will not. Some will love it, some will not. Some will review, most will not.


message 26: by Shabana (new)

Shabana Mukhtar (shabanamukhtarofficial) Dwayne's right - give people time. That's what I have learned so far. It happens, just way too slow for our liking / expectations.

I read somewhere that only 1-1.5% of sales result in a review. Now do we include free promotion as sale? Maybe, or not. Sometimes, I download free books and forget. I guess most of others do the same. I have learned to almost ignore the free downloads. Then suddenly I notice a review on GR, and that feels like bonus.
God bless with patience to all of us craving reviews ;)


message 27: by Ben (new)

Ben Cass (bencass) Dwayne wrote: "Ben wrote: "I published my debut novel with KDP Select a month ago. ... I did sell 180 copies during a free promotion, but nobody has reviewed it, so I have no clue if they read it or not. "

It so..."



I got an email the other day from somebody who bought the book and loved it. They said I need to "hurry up" with the next book because they're dying to see what happens next!

For me, that email validates everything, and I consider my book a success. I'm approaching my writing (which is a hobby) the same way I approach my full-time career as an educator. Some people love me, some people don't. Even if only one student walked out of my class feeling like I made a big difference in their life...so be it. That's still one life changed for the better. So, I figure even if only one person likes my book and wants to read more, that's still one person who was absorbed enough in my little world to have fun.

Fortunately, I've had dozens and dozens of students who loved me, and more than one reader who's loved my book, so it's all good. I'm not letting myself worry and stress about sales. I'm curious more than anything, but I'm just working on the next one. (If I don't finish it soon, my sister-in-law is going to drive down here and chain me to the computer until I do! She's already made that threat! LOL)


message 28: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Milos | 2 comments I distribute through a number of platforms, so I can't register for it. I also heard a number of horror stories from fellow authors about them losing their books when sales were really good, review issues, etc through Amazon so I chose not to go exclusive and access KU.


message 29: by Kaylee (new)

Kaylee Dolat | 91 comments So, from what I'm understanding, you could publish with KDP for ebooks and apply for the Unlimited program.

CONS:
-You can't list the ebook with another company (??)
-Readers may eventually get to your book
-They may only read a few pages and then quit

PROS:
-You can still have the print book listed with someone else
-You get paid per page
-Easier to market as free with Unlimited at book signings with a QR code.

Please correct me if I'm wrong. I'd like to try this out for some short stories to pair with a book series I'm getting published.


message 30: by Jenna (new)

Jenna Thatcher (jenna_thatcher) | 132 comments Kaylee - put simply, yes.
Personally, I like KU for now. When I have 10, 20, 30+, then I might need to revise things, but for now, most of my money comes from KU.


message 31: by Zita (new)

Zita | 5 comments I'm in KU. I've had an equal number of purchases and downloads, so I'm not sure what to think. I'll probably stick with it for a while longer.


message 32: by Kaylee (new)

Kaylee Dolat | 91 comments Jenna wrote: "Kaylee - put simply, yes.
Personally, I like KU for now. When I have 10, 20, 30+, then I might need to revise things, but for now, most of my money comes from KU."


Thank you! I think I'll step out of my comfort zone and try it out.


message 33: by Lila (new)

Lila Diller Okay, I'm going to show my ignorance here, please be kind. :) Does signing up for Kindle Select automatically put it in KU? If not, how do you get it set up in KU, and is it always "Free in KU"? Thanks in advance from this newbie.


message 34: by Tomas, Wandering dreamer (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 671 comments Mod
As for KU: it's subscription-based offer for readers: they can read any number of books that are part of it for some monthly fee ($20 or something?), think of it like unlimited library pass (so nothing paid for a specific book but you never own any book).
Some money from it (not sure if percentage or fixed amount) is then split between authors of books that are part of it, possibly by pages read.


message 35: by Lori-Ann (new)

Lori-Ann Claude | 76 comments When you set up the book in KDP, you choose in the set up whether or not to enroll in KDP select. That will make the book available in KU.

Books in KU for readers who subscribe to KU are "free" (if you ignore the monthly fee they pay). That is, they can read an unlimited amount of books for a monthly fee.

Royalties are paid out to authors based on the share of page reads they got compared to the other authors enrolled in KDP select. Each month, Amazon provides the global fund of the previous month that serves to calculate royalties.


message 36: by Lila (new)

Lila Diller So every time I see an author say "99cents on Kindle or Free on Kindle Unlimited," that means it's always free to those who already have a KU subscription, then, is that right?


message 37: by Lila (new)

Lila Diller Thanks a lot, Tom and Lori-Ann!


message 38: by Lila (new)

Lila Diller Jack, I'm right there with you. I started out going wide and used Draft2Digital to distribute to Kobo, B&N, plus several other sites. So I didn't put my first book on Select. But I just went back to check and I still have never had a single sale from any of the other retailers. Fortunately, I only needed to delist my book at one place (D2D). I would recommend that if you decide to go wide, you should stick with a place like D2D that allows you to distribute all over at once place. Since my second & third books are in Select and I've gotten a few KU royalties, I decided to go back to just Amazon for everything. We'll see if it helps to have my entire series in KU.


message 39: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy Bennett (alysblugwn) | 47 comments I've published three novels so far, and KU is by far my largest source of revenue. People read one book and then go back and read another. Right now for this month, all three of my novels are just about even in pages read in KU. It works for me!


message 40: by Kaylee (new)

Kaylee Dolat | 91 comments Dorothy wrote: "I've published three novels so far, and KU is by far my largest source of revenue. People read one book and then go back and read another. Right now for this month, all three of my novels are just ..."

Which is awesome to know and was a huge point of discussion at my writer's group last night.

A few of the older authors in my group had tried this program when it was first released and said a lot of erotic romance writer's would rule the charts and it wasn't paying out to others.

So, it's interesting to see all the success stories pouring in. I don't like the idea of Amazon having a monopoly on my book distribution, so I'll probably keep my series in expanded distribution with Ingram and other POD services. But, this would definitely be awesome for the shorter Kindle stories or easy lighthearted romances that I can't bring myself to sell print copies of. Good info!


message 41: by Colleen (new)

Colleen M Tice (mrscolleenmticeauthor76) | 2 comments David wrote: "As a brand new author, launching my first book, there are a lot of choices I've had to make.
One of these was whether to tie myself in with Amazon and add my book to the Kindle Unlimited pool.
I'm ..."


I have published my first novel with Kindle unlimited also, it seems to be okay. Although I don't know what I am doing wrong because I am trying to get my readers to leave reviews so others can find it and check it out. My Book is Brooklyn Love by Mrs. Colleen M. Tice it is about Suicide Awareness, Love, hope, survival and family issues, a roller coaster of emotions for a young woman to learn how to stand on her own two feet. To realize she is a strong individual and she can be anyone and anything she wishes to be.


message 42: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy Bennett (alysblugwn) | 47 comments I haven't found that Kindle readers are as accustomed to leaving reviews as purchasers of paperbacks are. Most of my Amazon reviews came from folks who bought the paper and only one or two from Kindle readers. I don't know if my experience is similar or different from other authors, but I just throw it in as one writer's experience.


message 43: by Colleen (new)

Colleen M Tice (mrscolleenmticeauthor76) | 2 comments thank you, i have asked my paperback buyers to leave reviews also just waiting lol.


message 44: by Eliza.D (new)

Eliza.D Eliza.D | 6 comments Catherine wrote: "I distribute through a number of platforms, so I can't register for it. I also heard a number of horror stories from fellow authors about them losing their books when sales were really good, review..." this info is most helpful, im a new author looking in to all this and wondered where to register and who to go with. as a reader I love ku. I do look for free books sometimes and even though I may not have read them yet, I will and I always review and post of good reads too. for a first book I don't want to limit myself to ku if I cant sell elsewhere, so much to look in to, that's for the advice x


message 45: by Jeff (new)

Jeff Walker (jetplague) | 33 comments The best thing to do is not limit yourself to just one platform. KU is actually not that bad as I thought it would be. In a way, you still can earn (not as much mind you) but each “lending” they do contributes and gains potential readers. Kindle, paperback, audio....all should be considered when creating your book for wide use.


message 46: by Lori-Ann (new)

Lori-Ann Claude | 76 comments Just keep in mind that Amazon does have the biggest market share of eBooks. Yes, there's an exclusivity. It has to be weighed against the likelihood of "your particular book" doing better in other platforms than it would in KU. That takes experimentation.


message 47: by John (new)

John | 55 comments Tomas wrote: "Just a blind shot, it might be a language matter. I am from central (or east, depending on how you see it) Europe but buy e-books from US Amazon even though Germany is the closest one. Reason: to b..."

I'm from Denmark where we don't have a local Amazon store. There's a lot of Kindle books I can't buy from other European stores, so I always use amazon.com for kindle shopping. Maybe that explains some of the "missing" European sales.


message 48: by Ann (new)

Ann Shannon | 24 comments Catherine wrote: "I distribute through a number of platforms, so I can't register for it. I also heard a number of horror stories from fellow authors about them losing their books when sales were really good, review..."

Catherine, could you please say more about how fellow authors "lost their books when sales were really good, review issues with Amazon." What happened? How can an author lose their book with Amazon?


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