Kindle Unlimited

Now Kindle Unlimited?

Hmm… We had Kindle Select. Now we have Kindle Unlimited. I was a somewhat early adopter of Kindle Select. I did one round when it first came out… I think? I’m pretty sure, at least.

If I recall, Kindle Select didn’t benefit me much at all. I think it made a slight blip. Over all, I think it was more of a wash, since I had to unpublished my books from other sites.

The Great Kindle Select Ploy

Quite a few authors hopped on the Kindle Select bandwagon. I don’t know so much these days. I believe the popularity of Kindle Select was a result of old ways of doing things.

Prior to Kindle Select, there was a period of about a year that Amazon did this free-book matching thing. Oh… it was wonderful. I think I was offering Brandon’s Story for free on other sites at the time. Amazon only gave self-publishers the option to price their books at $0.99 back then.

Then one day, I woke up and found my little unknown book had been downloaded for free 100s of times. I don’t remember how far up the ranks it rose, but it was in the top 10 for quite some time. It was glorious. Even though I wasn’t making money on my free book, my poor, struggling Shadow Cat was bringing in quite a few sales. Not get rich sales, but enough sales to make me smile. 🙂

Later, I noticed I was receiving sales for Brandon’s Story too. It was still free, but once in a while it’d get some paid hits. It occurred to me, that not only was my free book popular… but it also had potential for some earnings of it’s own. So… I put a price tag on it.

And people purchased it! I rode those sells out for quite a few weeks.

So when authors who hadn’t been as lucky as I’d been during those freebie days saw Kindle Select being offered (includes 5 days of free promotions), many jumped at the chance. However, when everyone is doing it, it becomes a lot less effective. Plus, 5 days of promotions doesn’t really give a book a chance to establish itself. Add that to the fact, Amazon started tweaking their algorithm to give less weight to free books, and it becomes a not so worthy system.

The New Game

So now we have this new feature… Kindle Unlimited. It’s actually a part of Kindle Select. It gives readers access to 600K+ worth of books, books which are enrolled in Kindle Select. In the past, Authors were paid when readers downloaded their book for free through the Amazon Prime program. Authors got a piece of the big pie… each download was worth a certain percentage of the pie. If 100 books were downloaded the month, and 3 of them were yours, you got 3% of the pie. Of course, far more than just 100 book were downloaded each month… I’m just throwing out easy numbers. If I’m not mistaken, readers were limited one free book a month.

With Kindle Unlimited, readers can download an unlimited number of books a month. Authors still get a piece of the pie. However, a reader needs to cruise through about 10% of the book for the author to get credit.

Dare Reena Try it?

For those who don’t know. Book promotion is an ongoing thing for authors. If the author doesn’t promote the book (and keep writing), their books get forgotten. Stop pointing fingers at me!

I’ve been out of the game for going on 2 years? Wow! Time flies. As expected, my book sales have dropped DRASTICALLY. I used to stalk the online book stores to see how much money I’d made that day. Now, I check every few months. I still receive monthly royalty checks, along with the notices that accompany them. Half the time, I don’t even bother to see how much it is. I’m lucky if it’s enough to buy my husband and me a dinner (no tip). haha

So when I got the email today about Kindle Unlimited, I started calculating. Should this barely known and forgotten author hop on the Kindle Select bandwagon to enjoy the benefits of Kindle Unlimited?

I don’t know…

What’s This Exclusivity Thingie?

The big drawback to participating in Kindle Select is the exclusivity clause. In order to participate, I’d have to take all the versions of my book off the other sites. Hmmm….

I scrolled through my ever so limited collection. Which book was I willing to sacrifice? At first, I thought Brandon’s Story! Yes… that’s the one. It’s a pretty good loss leader. I started surfing where Brandon’s Story was on sale and realized I also have it packaged in a combo set. If I put Brandon’s Story up, I’d also have take down the combo package from other sites. If I took the combo down, then it’d make sense to add it to the Kindle Select program too. And if it’s there, then Regina’s Story would be there too. Putting either of the first two books meant I’d have to unpublished 3 books.

I didn’t like that. I faced the same situation with the Injustice is Served series. Boo! I also didn’t like the idea of unpublishing Shadow Cat or I Loved You First.

I was just about to throw in the towel and say screw you Amazon, when I saw my unloved Unprotected story. It NEVER garnished much attention. It’s so lonely… not a part of a series… no future… It is what it is.


So at last, Amazon caught me. I unpublished all the versions of Unprotected and enrolled it in Kindle Select. For those who have Amazon Prime and you want to use your precious one free book on Unprotected, it’s there for you! For you Kindle Unlimited folks who can download to your hearts content, pick up Unprotected. It’s a short read.

On a  Side Note

As I was visiting my KDP dashboard, I noticed another feature… the ability to offer electronic versions at a discount to individuals who’ve picked up the print version. I enrolled both Shadow Cat and I Loved You First into it.

As a reader, I never liked the idea of paying full price for electronic versions. If the electronic version was the same price as the print or similar, I’d purchase the print. Not that it was more convenient. It’s just that, it just didn’t jive with me… why would a virtual copy be as pricy as a print copy. There’s no printing or shipping involved.

So! For those who have my print version, you can now snatch the digital version at a significant discount. Hmm… let me see… Ah! Yes. It seems I’ve priced my digital version at the grand price of FREE, if you’ve already purchased the print version through Amazon.

I wish I had known that option was available sooner. I would have enrolled long ago. *blows air kisses* Thank you! Thank you, my loyal supporters!

Anyway, I can’t say how long the free price will last. I have moments of greediness.

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0 thoughts on “Kindle Unlimited

  1. Reena I did not do Kindle Select and won’t do the new one. Partly this is because I like to see a bit of competition to try, however feebly, to keep them nonest, and partly because, further to that, it looks to me that this new feature is really a response to Smashwords doing better and beginning to provide part a as it were. I don’t know if this is true. Anyway I’m definitely not a starter.

  2. Ah… that’s interesting. I’ve been so out of the loop, I had no idea Smashwords had beefed up it’s game. If I hadn’t had Unprotected, I wouldn’t have enrolled in Kindle Select. My other works would have been too much of a sacrifice, despite low sales. 🙂

    We’ll see what kind of results I get with Unprotected. Thinking about it, heavily promoting a book would likely be more beneficial than entering Kindle Select. I think Kindle Select is tailored for the lazy self-publisher and/or the bewildered self-publisher. 🙂

    I’d like to take my worst selling book (Unprotected) and make it into my best selling book on Amazon. I know participating solely into Kindle Select won’t cut it. I’m going to take this opportunity to learn, and hopefully, find effective ways to market my other works.

    Seriously, though. What I really need to do is just write and publish more. Now that I’ve come out of the slump (I hope), it’s time to get stuff out there.

  3. Maybe it is just wishful thinking on my part about Smashers, though I get more downloads and visits than I used to, but not sales. I don’t do any marketing apart from a blog that is probably more offputting to potential readers of my books than an advertisement. You blog is like a beacon of light while mine is a shrouded bushel. I keep saying to myself that I am going to do some marketing but never do; it’s not a sense of entitlement. I don’t think, “I am terrific and people should be reading me and if they aren’t there’s just something rotten in the state of Denmark etc”. I just know that other people work really hard at marketing and it and don’t get far. It’s a crowded market place and I’m part of the crowd. What I do is write my stuff and hope that one day people will come to it. So far this has proven untrue in spades. I have seven books out there and hopefully later this year will add an eighth, and maybe one day I’ll crack it…ha…

  4. Well done on getting your books written and out there, Steve.

    My blog is far from the happening place. However, there is a one-time thing you can do to help increase your exposure.

    Make sure your profiles, including website, are complete on various sites (goodreads, amazon, smash words, etc.). It’ll help people find you easier and might generate a little traffic to your blog.

    I honestly didn’t know you had a blog. When you leave a comment, there’s no link for your name. If you’re big into commenting on blogs, it may be to your advantage to add your website to gravatar. It’s an easy way to allow people to click back to your blog after reading one of your comments.

    I’m going to try a few paid advertisements. If I gather the motivation, I might share my results.

  5. Good to see a blog from you 🙂

    I’m going to give it a miss myself because I don’t have any books to sacrifice (the problem of only working in one universe) but will be interested to see your results. I do better on B&N (through smashwords) myself, but then I hear that it is a genre thing, LOL!

  6. It’s odd, Joleene… A few days after I enrolled, I was already regretting it. Haha nothing amazon did, just started thinking what difference did enrolling do? After all, it’s not like amazon is going to give me any special spotlight for joining, and it’s really marketing efforts which make a huge difference. I’m going to blame it on a brain fart. Or… I was looking at the date and see that’s about the time I probably started having some mental issues. Whatever… I’m back to reality again. No big deal though. At my age, three months is a blink… Almost.

  7. LOL! Yeah, Amazon pretends that by enrolling it will somehow make your book more discoverable, but they don;t do any real advertising for you. it’s like the free days on KDP select – the people who cash in on those are people who then run their butts off advertising on websites all over. One guy I knew spent 300$ total listing his free book… if we’d put that same time/money into advertising it when it’s not free our sales would increase, and we’d be more likely to have the people who bought it actually read it and maybe even review – most free books I think go to hoarders. (I’m one myself). It’s not like the old days where a free book guaranteed you thousands of downloads without lifting a finger.

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