One thing that’s always bothered me about ebooks is that on Amazon, they’re nearly as expensive, and sometimes more expensive than buying a printed book. “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” will cost you $19.99 as an ebook but only $23.95 in hardcover. Maybe that’s part of the reason people haven’t abandoned print books altogether.
To combat the cover price problem, Amazon has launched Kindle Unlimited. For only $9.99 a month, you can read as many of the available 600,000 books as you can squeeze in. You can even listen to the audio versions.
I have to say it. . . it’s Netflix of books. I dig it.
Now, 600,000 is a lot of books but it’s not every book on the site. My favorite author John Sandford isn’t included in the deal and neither are books from several other large publishers. That’s good news for the self-published writer and marketer who wants to sell via content creation.
When you self-publish on Amazon you can choose to be part of the Kindle Select program. This is the program that allows Amazon Prime members to rent your book for free. Instead of getting your usual royalty on purchase, Kindle Select authors get a percentage of the allotted pot for that month.
I’m a Kindle Select author and I was notified this morning that I’m automatically now a part of the Kindle Unlimited program. This means even more people will have the option of reading my book for free. That’s good. I want people to read my book. What’s bad is I still want to make money.
To give everyone a kickstart, Amazon added $800,000 to July’s fund raising the Kindle Select author pot to $2 million. That means, if readers download books from 2 million different authors in July, we each get $1. I’ve “sold” two books under the original program but haven’t seen my royalty check on that yet so I have no idea how much I made on each. (Amazon’s reporting leaves something to be desired.)
Bottom line is that this is good for content producers. It’s especially good for marketers who are more interested in promoting their brand or product through ebooks than on making royalties. If you aren’t producing content, why aren’t you? (Looking at myself in the mirror as I say this.) It’s an excellent way to spread the good word about your company and now that millions of people will be able to read your book for free (ish) . . .
Wait a minute. . . people reading your content for free. . . that’s not Kindle Unlimited, that’s blogging.
Maybe I need to give this a little more thought. . . .