What is it with Kindle Unlimited (KU)? For a while there, Amazon took serious action to take out the trash. Not surprisingly however, because of the serious money involved, the bad actors are back.
It’s obvious that for anyone with a bent mind, KU has many opportunities to con readers, and steal from Amazon, as well as stealing from authors who do the right thing.
What’s a hardworking author to do? Do you keep your books in Select?
Kindle Unlimited has been kind to authors
David Gaughran, in Kindle Unlimited – A Cheater Magnet, gives an excellent overview of the problems with KU.
He also points out that KU has been kind to authors, for:
Democratizing publishing. Opening up distribution. Giving us access to readers in unprecedented ways… (and for) building a recommendation engine which was (largely) agnostic, one which allowed any book, by any author or publisher, at any price, to be the one recommended.
If you’re a new author KU helps you to kickstart your self-publishing career.
If you’re a new author, KU helps you to build an audience
For new authors KU offers benefits, with little downside.
With millions of books in the Kindle Store, and many thousands of new books uploaded each month, a new author gets swamped in the tsunami of content. When your first book is in KU, it’s free to subscribers, so you get readers.
For authors who already have a publishing catalogue, the picture’s much less clear.
Established author? Publishing your books everywhere takes time
We all have the same 24 hours each day, so the challenge for an established author is, do the benefits of KU outweigh the risks?
When you enroll in Select, and give Amazon an exclusive on your book for three months, you upload your book to one location, and promote one page: your book’s product page on Amazon.
Should you opt to go “wide” however (publish everywhere you can), you’ve now got several product pages you need to promote. Your book’s available on iBooks, Nook, and wherever else, and you need to work out how to reach those readers.
It takes time to target your audience on each book retailer.
So, you need to weigh the time and energy publishing everywhere takes, and the potential loss of income, with the potential for an enhanced income, a few months from now.
I wish I had a simple answer; I don’t.
Whichever option you choose, maintain your courage and confidence, and keep writing and promoting your books. Onward!
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