Kindle Unlimited a Bust?

It seems I’ve been hearing a lot of reports from authors on their blogs about how they’re now losing a lot of profits from their book sales on Kindle Unlimited.  Despite money being injected into the system by Amazon, the number of books keeps increasing and they get lost in the crowd.  New York Times has an article all about this.

So, is it worth going into Kindle Unlimited?  I had some hopes before that it could generate sales.  But if the amount of money being given to authors for borrows is getting smaller and smaller, there seems to be no benefit for them.  Now down to $1.39 from $1.80, it seems anyone selling a book worth more than $2 is now losing money.  Imagine those selling for $9.99!

I can see it being worth using in one case, and I will be giving it a try when I have my solar system short story series ready for publishing.  I’d be setting the price at $0.99 each, which means that I’d only get 35% royalties from Amazon (so about $0.35 each).  But with Kindle Unlimited, it would be approximately 4 times as much.  That’s a big difference!  And my series will be 9 books long, so for a regular customer, that would be $8.91 for the customer and $3.12 paid to me if a customer buys all books.  Through Kindle Unlimited, I’d get $12.51 at the current payment rate if they downloaded all 9 books.  Not bad at all!

Now, I won’t use this system for full-length novels.  It’s not worth it.  I want to sell them elsewhere, as well.  KU requires you to sell exclusively at Amazon.

What do you think about how Kindle Unlimited is going?  Any of you trying it?

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2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

It’s here! But I cheated and got it early.  I love getting these reports around the new year.  Some interesting things are that I’m on a streak of well over 200 days of posting, and my number one commenter is Sierra, as she almost always is every month.

Click here to see the complete report.

Book Review – Seeds of Earth

Seeds of EarthSeeds of Earth

Author: Michael Cobley

Series: Humanity’s Fire #1

Genre: Science Fiction

Published 2009

Review Copy: Paperback bought new

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5

Goodreads Description

The first intelligent species to Earth attacked without warning, and only three colony ships escaped. 150 years later, planet Darien hosts humans at peace with indigenous scholarly Uvovo. Buried on the forest moon are secrets of an epic battle between ancient races. In a galactic war, what will Uvovo choose, when their nature is revealed, and the enemy comes?

Review

Seeds of Earth is the first novel in the Humanity’s Fire series by Michael Cobley.  It’s a space opera that takes place mainly on one planet, as well as several other locations in the galaxy.  Seeing that it was endorsed by Iain M. Banks, I had high hopes for this.  I wasn’t completely satisfied, unfortunately.

The premise is interesting, though not very original.  Humans have a colony on a planet, studying the history of the indigenous species, and going about their lives in their Scottish/Russian/Scandinavian society.  With the threat of war because of a powerful alien species claiming the planet, it looks to be a very tense book.  There’s a lot of politics, fighting, and even some romance and adventure.  Sounds great, doesn’t it?  The story actually is interesting, and I enjoyed that aspect.  However, there was something missing.

The characters were a varied bunch, but I had some major issues with them.  Greg Cameron seems to be the main protagonist, but there are several.  He’s a nice guy, a good archaeologist, and a very standard lead character who doesn’t show much personality. Catriona is his love interest.  She’s a super-intelligent scientist who shows more personality than Greg.  Then there’s Greg’s uncle Theo who is the rebellious sort and shows probably the most interesting personality of the entire cast of characters.  Also, we have Cheluvahar, Greg’s Uvovo friend.  He’s a native of the world, and they are an interesting species.  Very friendly character.  Ambassador Robert Horst provides a major part in the story, and he has a rather strange obsession with his dead daughter.  He’s not very compelling, though.  And finally, we have Kao Chih, who’s from another human colony, and he’s making a rather haphazard journey across the stars to get to Darien.  He’s kind of naive, but overall likeable.  Unfortunately, I found that most of the characters were two-dimensional.  They lacked depth.  I had no attachment to even one of the characters.  That was disappointing.

The setting is good.  Darien is a reasonably well-developed world, as is the history of the Uvovo.  I’m interested in that more than the characters.  The history and the politics of the aliens in this book is done well.  However, I got a feeling similar to that of Ringworld from the aliens.  They were a bit goofy or cheesy.  It worked better with Ringworld because of the free-spirit kind of culture of the hippie movement that was going on at the time, but it doesn’t quite feel right with this book.  It doesn’t feel like the hippie movement, which isn’t my point, but the goofiness wasn’t sitting right with me.

There was plenty of action, which didn’t disappoint me.  The technology was interesting, as well.  The theme of anti-AI was present here, as this is a common theme in science fiction.  I can understand the motives in this case.

Overall, it was a solid start, though the lack of good character development holds it back from being very good.  It was decent.  I enjoyed it, though.  I would give it a rating of 3 out of 5.  It’s recommended for anyone who likes science fiction with the threat of war or highly destructive ancient weapons.  I’m looking forward to the next book.