Short Stories and Kindle Unlimited

I’m sure many of you have already heard about Kindle Unlimited.  For $9.99 a month, you can download an unlimited number of eBooks to your Kindle every month.  But what does this mean for indie authors?

Kindle Unlimited for Indie Authors

Well, it seems that there’s a pool, and self-published authors receive a share of that monthly pool, and from what I’ve read, it’s around $1 or $2 per book downloaded, as long as the reader read more than 10% of the book.  It is not based on the price of your book.  For authors of more expensive books, this would seem like a big disadvantage.  If your book is only 99 cents, then it may be advantageous to use this system.  However, if you want your book to be a part of Kindle Unlimited, it must be a part of KDP Select, which means you can only publish through Amazon.

I’ve read some accounts of how this is affecting sales rankings, since the number of titles on this new system are limited in number.  Titles that aren’t doing well normally may benefit from an increase in their ranking, which could encourage regular sales.  Titles that are already selling well would see an increase, too.  But we can’t be too optimistic yet.  It may also be bad for indie authors.  They may get paid less in the end.  We have to wait and see.

Now, imagine if you have a collection of short stories for sale.  It would be far more profitable in KU if you split them up and have them all available for downloading individually.  You’d get a better share of the money, and may make quite a bit more.  This could be good for short story authors.

So, this leads me to another thought.  I am thinking about some short stories I’d like to write.  I’d sell them for 99 cents each, and if I entered KDP Select for these titles, I may make significantly more income from them.  Correct me if I’m wrong, please.  I’ve read a lot of conflicting information about this, unfortunately.  There’s a lively discussion on Hugh Howey’s website here.

Short Stories

The short story idea I have is science fiction, and all about the solar system.  The stories take place on different worlds, and are both standalone and linked in some way.  Now, my thoughts have been about the kind of story they are.  One one hand, I could write them as serious hard sci-fi with quite a bit of suspense.  On the other hand, I could write them for young readers and make them more fun and educational.  I’m a strong proponent for science education for children, and I’d like them to find science interesting and fun.  This is one way to help kids find an interest in space and astronomy.

What do you think?  More adult stories or children’s stories?  Or maybe even both?  Leave me a comment, please.

7 thoughts on “Short Stories and Kindle Unlimited”

  1. I’ve never done KDP select, but I hear a lot of good and bad things about it.

    Maybe the best thing is to give it a trial with one book, see how it goes and then make a decision for future books? 🙂

    1. I don’t think I’d go through with it with a regular book. Probably doesn’t pay enough, but who knows? Another downside of KU is that it discourages free days or promos.

  2. Amazon will have to come up with some new promotional tool for us. The free days won’t be as useful now. Ebooks have seen the rebirth of short stories, and I think you’re smart for doing this. I wouldn’t limit the experiment to kids only. Maybe try one for adults and one for kids and compare.

    1. I was thinking of parallel series, one for kids, one for adults. The kids one would be shorter, but a fun (and educational) adventure. Since I studied astronomy in university, I could use this in my writing. The adults one would also be adventurous, but much more suspenseful and have far more serious themes.

  3. I think you have a point about the accessibility of science fiction to children. I know most of my young life I veered far from it because, while I love(d) science, I didn’t love its hard-and-fast, hard-to-understand language.

    Science fiction for adults relies a little too heavily on the diehard fans of it – those who are already well-versed in the theories and hypotheses it bases its universe around. So while there needs to be good adult sci-fi, if there’s an opportunity to reach younger audiences with more appealing, yet no less engaging sci-fi, then have at it!

    1. Thanks. I loved sci-fi when I was a kid, often watching Star Trek. I loved movies about space, especially. I devoured anything scientific I could get my hands on, so I read the encyclopedia a lot.

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