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?

14 thoughts on “Kindle Unlimited a Bust?”

  1. I’m giving Kindle Unlimited a try with a few of my ebooks. But they haven’t been on KU for long, and I have seen just a small uptick in sales through KU. I figure that I’ll give it a try to see if it helps readers discover my books, since their risk is nothing in trying out a new author if they don’t have to pay for the book. Not sure if I’ll keep the books on KU after 90 days, so I’ll have to see what changes it brings…

    1. Yeah, that is one way to look at KU. It’s possible it could be used just to generate interest. I think for popular books, it’s not a good idea, though. There will be a loss of profits.

      1. I’ve been reading about that loss of profits — the New York Times has a good article about that. I think I’ll use KU for a little bit, and then probably jump ship after awhile.

        1. Yeah, me too. I plan on compiling all the parts of my short stories into one book in the end, anyway. Then it’ll be on all eBook platforms plus Createspace.

  2. I think the KU is best for those with a long series of books. Lets the reader catch up esily. I’m not self-published so I can’t participate but was interested in your view. Thank you for following my blog

    1. No problem. Thanks for the comment. I can see that KU would be best for series, though low priced series. If they’re popular series, it could result in a big loss of profit.

  3. I have no intention of signing on with KU, nor do I have any intention of being exclusively an Amazon author. I love having my book(s) available on as many platforms as possible.

    Plus, most of the copies of my books that are out there weren’t sold, so the royalties thing is a little important to me.

    And there’s another reason I just forget.

    1. Do you remember that forgotten reason?

      Like I said, I’d only use KU for that one series. Other than that, I’ll go for all platforms, as well as Createspace.

  4. I don’t have any books published yet, but if I did I’d be really hesitant to use Kindle Unlimited, because of only being able to sell through Amazon. I also can’t imagine using it as a reader (I like to buy books individually and have access to any book I want), but perhaps if I tried it out my opinion would change. As far as subscription services go though, I love Audible for audiobooks. It works quite differently to Kindle Unlimited: it doesn’t give you unlimited audiobooks, just 1 book per month, and you have to buy any extra books if you want them (at a discounted price), but it’s still worth it because buying audiobooks individually would be way more expensive, and you can return audiobooks you don’t like. I’m not sure how the Audible model works out for authors though in terms of return… would be interesting to find out.

    1. I haven’t really thought much about audio books. I’m personally not interested in listening to a book. I prefer having a book in my hands or occasionally on my phone. I’ll have to look into Audible, though. It’s one way to sell books.

  5. Right now, I’m in Kindle Unlimited because my first two books are cheap, so why not? I might have to think about it when I put the third book out though, since I’m setting a higher price point.

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