Saturday, July 26, 2014

Kindle Authors Worry 'Kindle Unlimited' Will Kill Indie Publishing

Headline: "OMG, here comes Kindle Unlimited!"

Found and followed by 17,000+ indie authors in the KDP Forums.

Here's the link:

I had stayed away from KDP Select for more than a year, and after Amazon rolled out it's new $9.99 a month all-you-can-read ebook subscription service, I winced too.

However, I thought I'd test the waters, and I enrolled my most recent book, "How To Make Easy Cash With Old Magazines," which has had good reviews and steady sales. Since it has promotional ties into my bestselling book about making money online selling used books, I thought it would be worth an exclusive deal with KDP Select through this October to gauge the effectiveness of KU.

Back to Forums:

Author reaction ranges from panic to outright joy.

Even though there seems to be a very good chance that royalties from the KDP Global Fund will be barely sufficient to deliver the average $2-per-download royalty KDP authors had grown accustomed to over the recent past.

Each author will earn a share of the global fund proportional to the number of times his/her Kindle book is downloaded and read at least 10% (example:  a 200 page ebook requires reader to finish 20 pages before the author earns money.)

But to me, the math doesn't seem to add up.

For instance, if 1 million readers subscribe and each downloads an average of 5 books each month, that is 5,000,000 books.

The global fund is currently set at $2 million.

Two million dollars divided by 5,000,000 downloads equals $ .40 each.  Gulp. A far cry from the $2 authors have enjoyed for each book borrow in the Kindle Owners' Lending Library (KOLL) through Amazon Prime up to this point.

And, that's what the fretting is all about.

I don't blame them.

I guess only time will tell if this subscription model will work (survive) because Amazon rolled it out without much notice to authors, and publishers had to request to opt-out of the program once it launched... because Amazon rolled all KDP Select books into the program.

I welcome all comments on this. And I'll keep an eye on the Forums to see what other authors are reporting, too.