Jump to content

Disclaimer



Photo

Amazon is adding 6 months of Free Kindle Unlimited to all newly purchased Kindles


  • Please log in to reply
34 replies to this topic

#1 AQCrew

AQCrew

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • 2,740 posts
  • Literary Status:industry insider
  • LocationPacific Islands

Posted 26 November 2014 - 03:47 PM

Wow.

 

https://www.amazon.c...viglink20273-20

 

 

$99 all-new Kindle plus 6 months of unlimited reading (KindleUnlimited)

 

For those of you who might be thinking about self-publishing, this is likely one more reason to put your book into Amazon's KindleUnlimited program for the first 90 days of its release.

 

For those of you are are already self-publishing and you're wondering how KU is going to continue to affect your sales (and/or borrows), this is going to be a big headwind or tailwind, depending on if your book is in KU or out of KU.

 

Many big name indie authors who were given the luxury of having books in KU while still having their books being sold/distributed by other retailers will now be forced to decide -- all in or all out.  Many are choosing all out.

 

That's going to also affect sales & borrows going forward into the future...



#2 Guest_AWExley_*

Guest_AWExley_*
  • Guests

Posted 26 November 2014 - 04:03 PM

I'm watching this with interest and how it might change the publishing landscape. KU works if you have a book selling at a lower price point, but why would you want anything priced over $2.99 in it? A number of indies are complaining about KU eating into their sales and also lends are going down. Could be due to people downloading their maximum but haven't got around to actually reading yet, like people would download heaps of free books but never read them?

 

Jane Friedman made an interesting comment, in an interview with Digital Book World about KU/KDP: 

 

I think Amazon will keep tinkering with KDP Select to either get more authors to sell exclusively with them or possibly decrease authors’ earnings if they’re not in KDP Select.

 

Link to the entire article, http://www.digitalbo...-jane-friedman/



#3 AQCrew

AQCrew

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • 2,740 posts
  • Literary Status:industry insider
  • LocationPacific Islands

Posted 26 November 2014 - 04:26 PM

I'm watching this with interest and how it might change the publishing landscape. KU works if you have a book selling at a lower price point, but why would you want anything priced over $2.99 in it? A number of indies are complaining about KU eating into their sales and also lends are going down. 

 

Yeah, here's the rub.  KU has changed EVERYTHING.

 

So mega-successful indie author who were used to selling at $3.99 and $4.99 last year are finding themselves in a completely different sales landscape now.

 

What Amazon has done is basically increase the competition 10x because now KU readers can load up on "free" books and there is very little incentive for them to buy books at a higher price point unless they are completely in love with an author's work.

 

It used to be the case that book #5 in a hot series that resolved the major cliffhanger in Book #4 was enough to get readers to pay $3.99 or $4.99 upon its release.

 

Now, there is SO much more reading competition because of KU that it's going to affect everyone in a staggering way -- both indie and traditionally published authors.

 

Plus, indies who have relied on the "free first book in a series" to drive all their sell-through to their next book aren't going to get the same bang for their buck anymore.  Without constant advertising, free book downloads are going down, and sell-through rates are going down. Yes, all because of how KU is affecting readers and their reading habits.

 

We are also seeing bloggers complain about KU causing a decrease in their Amazon affiliate revenue because readers are borrowing books rather than purchasing them.  This last 6 months have been an anomaly because of the fact that big named authors haven't had to choose to be in or out of KU.  They've had the privilege of having both.  

 

Come January 2015, that's going to change for many, many, many of these same authors who are choosing to stay out.  We think they're going to be shocked to find how much it's going to crush their sales.  And bloggers -- in turn -- are going to continue to be hit.  We have not relied on the blogger scene to gain exposure for our books.  Authors who do are going to be affected...

 

We are not coming down for against KU -- (*unless you are coming to the self-publishing scene as a complete newbie, and then we do suggest that you put your first self-published book into Kindle Select because there's too much to learn otherwise and the risk/reward of not knowing anything about the ins and outs of the scene will mean that it's better for you to benefit from being exclusive to Amazon).  

 

We are simply watching and reporting from a business view-point what is happening.

 

This is no small change in the publishing landscape.  This is HUGE.  



#4 Guest_AWExley_*

Guest_AWExley_*
  • Guests

Posted 26 November 2014 - 04:47 PM

 

 

This is no small change in the publishing landscape.  This is HUGE.  

 

Agree 100% . Makes it hard to know which way to jump though.

 

At the moment I have a 99 cent, 100 page novella in KU because it makes financial sense. I receive $1.30 (or so) per lend as opposed to 30 cents per sale. But I wouldn't want my $3.99/$4.99 novels in there as royalties take a hit. Although I have little choice for some works and have noticed my publisher moving a lot of their titles into it which I don't necessarily agree with.

 

I do wonder what 2015 will bring. Will Amazon cut royalties from 70% to force indies into KU? Even though Amazon is 90% of my sales I am nervous about having all my eggs in their basket and think the time has come to seriously investigate other markets. Or alternatively, you write shorter works specifically for the KU market. Big changes are coming and personally I want to try and situate myself in the best position to ride it out.



#5 AQCrew

AQCrew

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • 2,740 posts
  • Literary Status:industry insider
  • LocationPacific Islands

Posted 26 November 2014 - 04:57 PM

I do wonder what 2015 will bring. Will Amazon cut royalties from 70% to force indies into KU? Even though Amazon is 90% of my sales I am nervous about having all my eggs in their basket and think the time has come to seriously investigate other markets. Or alternatively, you write shorter works specifically for the KU market. Big changes are coming and personally I want to try and situate myself in the best position to ride it out.

 

Personally, we are building our mailing list and Facebook page like crazy.  Priority number one.  You want to build a fan base and build it as soon as possible, and we are re-investing the large majority of profits from our books into this priority.

 

We think if you can learn how to upload directly to iBooks -- that's a good thing to know.  It's not an easy thing to do or learn and it requires a Mac, so there's an inherent barrier of entry, but if you can do it yourself vs. going through Smashwords or D2D, that's going to help you if you're out of KU.

 

You should keep an eye out for authors who are selling directly from their websites, they might help change what is "in vogue" on that front or start the next incentive-based norm that helps drive readers to directly download from their website over Amazon.  

 

Pay attention what's happening in your genre.  Self-publishing is very genre-specific right now, despite the fact that KU is affecting everyone is such a massive way.  It's a strange irony and dichotomy. 



#6 Darke

Darke

    ~Official AQC Cookie Provider~

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,489 posts
  • Literary Status:self-published, unagented
  • LocationCanada
  • Publishing Experience:I have several short stories published with online magazines such as Bewildering Stories and Aphelion, and part of the 7DS anthology SLAYERS. I have six books in a paranormal series self-published, and as of 2015, I write articles for Gaiam TV. See my blog for more details.

Posted 26 November 2014 - 05:31 PM

You should keep an eye out for authors who are selling directly from their websites, they might help change what is "in vogue" on that front or start the next incentive-based norm that helps drive readers to directly download from their website over Amazon.  

 

I would LOVE to know how to do this. Offering the books right on my site, in any format, I think is way better. 


~I am neither an author nor a writer; I am a storyteller with good grammar.~

darkes_cover_4_sparkletn.jpg Book2TN.jpg darkescovenwtTN.jpg demonthumbnail.jpg 4311642f-9dfa-4c08-ac6d-a6979476c6ce.jpg

 

 3e1a6d8e-6529-475b-b08d-34d575e93531.jpg


#7 Guest_AWExley_*

Guest_AWExley_*
  • Guests

Posted 26 November 2014 - 05:34 PM

We think if you should keep an eye out for authors who are selling directly from their websites, they might help change what is "in vogue" on that front or start the next incentive-based norm that helps drive readers to directly download from their website over Amazon.  

 

 

 

Ditto what Darke said ^^

 

I keep an eye on my website traffic via Google analytics and use it to tinker with my site. Given my traffic I would love to be able to have people purchase direct, rather than sending them off to Amazon  :smile:



#8 Darke

Darke

    ~Official AQC Cookie Provider~

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,489 posts
  • Literary Status:self-published, unagented
  • LocationCanada
  • Publishing Experience:I have several short stories published with online magazines such as Bewildering Stories and Aphelion, and part of the 7DS anthology SLAYERS. I have six books in a paranormal series self-published, and as of 2015, I write articles for Gaiam TV. See my blog for more details.

Posted 26 November 2014 - 05:39 PM

I don't think I would ever become exclusive with Amazon, not even for a short period of time. I sell ibooks in Japan, where I don't on Amazon, and have had downloads on my free book via Google play in countries where Amazon isn't. 


~I am neither an author nor a writer; I am a storyteller with good grammar.~

darkes_cover_4_sparkletn.jpg Book2TN.jpg darkescovenwtTN.jpg demonthumbnail.jpg 4311642f-9dfa-4c08-ac6d-a6979476c6ce.jpg

 

 3e1a6d8e-6529-475b-b08d-34d575e93531.jpg


#9 AQCrew

AQCrew

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • 2,740 posts
  • Literary Status:industry insider
  • LocationPacific Islands

Posted 26 November 2014 - 05:46 PM

I don't think I would ever become exclusive with Amazon, not even for a short period of time. I sell ibooks in Japan, where I don't on Amazon, and have had downloads on my free book via Google play in countries where Amazon isn't. 

 

Darke, we saw a tip from an indie author who said he added keywords at the end of his book's description on Google Play, and he went from selling $40/month to $400/per month.  Now, was that complete hyperbole or was it a valid tip?  Hard to know because we're not on Google Play right now, but it's one of many, many, many, tips we have filed away.  

 

There are many "things" that writers can do, but they are either choosing not to do them because they don't know about them, or because they have dismissed them because they don't think it's worth the effort or the money.  

 

The marketplace is huge.  Ebooks are still in their infancy.  It's a big big world.  Selling books in Japan is pretty darn cool.



#10 AQCrew

AQCrew

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • 2,740 posts
  • Literary Status:industry insider
  • LocationPacific Islands

Posted 26 November 2014 - 05:53 PM

I would LOVE to know how to do this. Offering the books right on my site, in any format, I think is way better. 

 

Theoretically, if you have access to put <html> code on your own website's pages, you could do it now through PayPal. You receive payment for the book, and then the customer receives the mobi file via the customer's kindle account.

 

It's not all that elegant though, and likely what's going to happen is that a third-party developer is going to see a need for something elegant that helps authors sell directly to Kindle customers from their websites, and you're going to get something that everyone starts using along the lines of a "rafflecopter" widget/app.

 

And when everyone starts using it and the customers grow accustomed to using it, you're going to see buying patterns change.  But in the meantime, there are a thousand ways to weather the storm, but be realistic about the fact that you are riding out a storm that has wiped away cities as you know them.



#11 Darke

Darke

    ~Official AQC Cookie Provider~

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,489 posts
  • Literary Status:self-published, unagented
  • LocationCanada
  • Publishing Experience:I have several short stories published with online magazines such as Bewildering Stories and Aphelion, and part of the 7DS anthology SLAYERS. I have six books in a paranormal series self-published, and as of 2015, I write articles for Gaiam TV. See my blog for more details.

Posted 26 November 2014 - 05:57 PM

The marketplace is huge.  Ebooks are still in their infancy.  It's a big big world.  Selling books in Japan is pretty darn cool.

 

I thought so too, and I have a few things in the pipeline, one of which, I hope, will boost me even more.  


~I am neither an author nor a writer; I am a storyteller with good grammar.~

darkes_cover_4_sparkletn.jpg Book2TN.jpg darkescovenwtTN.jpg demonthumbnail.jpg 4311642f-9dfa-4c08-ac6d-a6979476c6ce.jpg

 

 3e1a6d8e-6529-475b-b08d-34d575e93531.jpg


#12 Guest_AWExley_*

Guest_AWExley_*
  • Guests

Posted 26 November 2014 - 06:07 PM

Theoretically, if you have access to put <html> code on your own website's pages, you could do it now through PayPal. You receive payment for the book, and then the customer receives the mobi file via the customer's kindle account.

 

Unfortunately my best selling series is tied to my publisher, so while I could theoretically do it now, I suspect they would object  :wink:  I have seen mention of third party software that adds a store front to your website and it's certainly something I will keep an eye on.

 

Like Darke I have a few things in progress that I hope will help me weather the storm. One of the things I am looking at is author branding and making that stronger. I have projects that are abandoned as I don't think they will add to my brand, but one I will serialise on Wattpad as an experiment.

 

As you point out Crew there are so many things writers could do, but some authors seem to lament a drop in sales while continuing to do the same things over and over. The big advantage of being indie is the ability to adapt and try new initiatives. I completely agree that we need to investigate other markets and I intend to explore that with my future works.



#13 AQCrew

AQCrew

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • 2,740 posts
  • Literary Status:industry insider
  • LocationPacific Islands

Posted 28 November 2014 - 10:48 AM

We finally had a chance to circle back and read Jane Friedman's post:

 

http://www.digitalbo...-jane-friedman/

 

 

 

The launch of Kindle Unlimited (KU) raises some significant questions for authors who have been selling their ebooks exclusively through Amazon’s KDP Select program. Do KU and Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL) lends cannibalize sales, or offer additive income? Will there continue to be a declining payout for KOLL/KU lends? Perhaps authors will start using KDP Select only for titles that serve as marketing and promotion tools—to cast a wide net for new readers willing to pay for other work.

 

So these are the same general questions we see everyone batting around online, but we're concerned that authors are missing the deeper analysis on what's truly going on here.

 

Yes, everyone wants to know if KU pay-outs will continue to decline -- going from $1.80 for July, now to $1.33 for October -- but nobody is talking about the fact that you have an uneven playing field right now since so many traditional authors and big name indie authors were allowed into KindleUnlimited without pulling their books from other distribution channels.

 

That is huge.  HUGE.  

 

Come 2015, these same authors are being forced to choose -- but really, we don't even know that's exactly true because it seems as if Amazon is cutting different backdoor deals with different authors and the terms of those deals are confidential, and so you're not going to even be hearing about it in your usual cyber-loops.  

 

But for the sake of argument, think about what's going to happen when all these authors -- who are mad now that they're only getting $1.33 per borrow rather than 70% of a $3.99 sale -- pull their books out of KU?  

 

The consequences are completely unknowable.

 

Secondly, we keep seeing this question: does KU lead to the cannibalization of sales.  In other words, if you're in KU, does that mean a reader will choose to "borrow" your book rather than buy it.  Are readers choosing to borrow the book, when in the past, they would simply buy it for $3.99.  That's the question, right?

 

Really, we don't think that's the real issue at stake here.  The real issue now is the fact that a huge percentage of Amazon readers -- a number that is unfathomable and unknowable -- has just been given the chance to "rent" books rather than buy them -- across the board.  

 

So sales across the board are going to naturally go down, right?  It's not about cannibalization of an author's individual sales.  It's about a complete change in how the reader is allowed to access and read ebooks.



#14 AQCrew

AQCrew

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • 2,740 posts
  • Literary Status:industry insider
  • LocationPacific Islands

Posted 28 November 2014 - 10:56 AM

 

Like Darke I have a few things in progress that I hope will help me weather the storm. One of the things I am looking at is author branding and making that stronger. I have projects that are abandoned as I don't think they will add to my brand, but one I will serialise on Wattpad as an experiment.

 

 

We know very little about the internal dynamics of Wattpad.  Definitely report back....



#15 Guest_AWExley_*

Guest_AWExley_*
  • Guests

Posted 28 November 2014 - 02:09 PM

We know very little about the internal dynamics of Wattpad.  Definitely report back....

 

Will do. Once I start posting the story on Wattpad I'll create a new thread to keep track of statistics.

 

Wattpad is very teen focused and 1D Fanfic is hugely popular there (it was 1D fanfic that cracked 1 billion reads and scored a significant book deal for the author) but I have nothing to lose by trying something different over there.



#16 Jean Oram

Jean Oram

    Your friendly, neighborhood, all-purpose moderator

  • Super Moderator
  • 9,301 posts
  • Literary Status:published, self-published, in-between agents
  • LocationCanada
  • Publishing Experience:New York Times bestselling romance author. Independent author with traditional publishing experience. Everything from magazines to newspapers to short stories to novels.
  • City (optional):C-eh?-N-eh?-D-eh?

Posted 28 November 2014 - 02:10 PM


 

Come January 2015, that's going to change for many, many, many of these same authors who are choosing to stay out.  We think they're going to be shocked to find how much it's going to crush their sales. 

 

I've heard a few bestselling names in romance say that being in KU has kicked their sales BIG time. One author dropped out and saw her sales spike the next day. One author, after the program rolled out, saw her sales tank by 25% in that 24 hour period.

 

I think KU is going to be better for the new and still building author. But the big names...not so sure. Especially since the latest royalty rate was something like $1.33/book, which as you point out, is significantly less than what they normally get.

Plus, some readers are a bit ticked that authors aren't getting paid what they feel they should get and are therefore dropping out. It will be interesting to see what happens, that's for sure.

 

And asking big name authors to choose exclusivity? Wow.


I love connecting with and helping other AQCers outside this forum as well. You can find me all over the place!

If you are looking for more about writing, you may find my blog helpful, as well as my Twitter feed:

*The Helpful Writer *Twitter

If you are a parent, you might be interested in my ideas on growing happy, healthy kids who'll thrive in this ever changing world (includes crafts, activities, games, articles, and fun!):
*Twitter *Blog *Pinterest *Facebook

 

I write stuff (www.jeanoram.com)

 


#17 Darke

Darke

    ~Official AQC Cookie Provider~

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,489 posts
  • Literary Status:self-published, unagented
  • LocationCanada
  • Publishing Experience:I have several short stories published with online magazines such as Bewildering Stories and Aphelion, and part of the 7DS anthology SLAYERS. I have six books in a paranormal series self-published, and as of 2015, I write articles for Gaiam TV. See my blog for more details.

Posted 28 November 2014 - 02:26 PM

And asking big name authors to choose exclusivity? Wow.

 

 

They won't do it. Kindle and the mobi format is not the big player in many overseas markets, and for them to cut out a large market, namely all epub outlets...it would be a horrible career move on their part. 


~I am neither an author nor a writer; I am a storyteller with good grammar.~

darkes_cover_4_sparkletn.jpg Book2TN.jpg darkescovenwtTN.jpg demonthumbnail.jpg 4311642f-9dfa-4c08-ac6d-a6979476c6ce.jpg

 

 3e1a6d8e-6529-475b-b08d-34d575e93531.jpg


#18 Guest_AWExley_*

Guest_AWExley_*
  • Guests

Posted 28 November 2014 - 05:11 PM

There's a thread on the K-Boards discussing the effects of KU. HM Ward lost 75% of her income to KU. Now that's... huge... she's a very popular/NYT/USA today bestselling author.

 

http://www.kboards.c...c,202571.0.html



#19 AQCrew

AQCrew

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • 2,740 posts
  • Literary Status:industry insider
  • LocationPacific Islands

Posted 28 November 2014 - 05:46 PM

 

I think KU is going to be better for the new and still building author. But the big names...not so sure. Especially since the latest royalty rate was something like $1.33/book, which as you point out, is significantly less than what they normally get.

And asking big name authors to choose exclusivity? Wow.

 

We need to clarify this point: because it's an extremely complex one.  It's not that big name authors are being asked to choose exclusivity on the whole -- but per book and definitely for new releases.  Definitely, the big name indie authors -- like H,M. Ward, for example -- were wooed into KU without being forced to pull their books out of other distribution channels.  Now, six months after KU has rolled out, these same indie authors are being forced to choose which titles they want to keep in KU -- and which titles they want out.

 

For many indie authors who have relied on writing a series to generate their staggering success and popularity, this is a bit of a problem because their first book of their series can't be free on Amazon AND be in KU.  Plus, how do you tell your enormous fan base who you have built across ALL platforms -- and internationally, to Darke's point -- that you're releasing your next book exclusively with Amazon?  That's an extremely difficult business conundrum -- pitting customer satisfaction against an author's sales potential.

 

On the traditional side, it's even more complicated because Amazon cut different deals with different publishers (AND in some cases, different deals with authors -- per title).  And it is our understanding that -- until recently -- they were paying out the retail price of every book for every borrow.  In other words, Life of Pi isn't getting paid $1.33 per borrow -- they're getting something closer to their standard negotiated royalty rate under the terms of whatever deal they agreed to when Amazon courted them into KU.

 

So essentially, when Amazon rolled out KU, there were three tiers with different payment structures for those authors with participating books in KU: 1. traditionally published books getting basically full retail royalties for every KU borrow; 2. big name indie authors who were getting the standard monthly KU pay-out for borrow BUT who weren't being forced to pull their books from competing distribution channels, and 3. all the rest of the indie authors who had to choose from the beginning -- in KU or out -- and then suffer the consequences.

 

But really, we have now heard and come to realize THAT is an extreme over-simplification of what's been going on, and indeed, there are so many different deal terms and deal structures flying around behind the scenes that it's almost comical.  

 

Then, you complicate things further when you look at recent PublishersMarketplace deals... there are a shocking number of "digital first/digital only" deals being made by agents, and who are they selling these digital rights to...? Kindle First and Kindle World, Montlake Romance, Lake Union, Thomas Mercer -- in other words, all to Amazon's own publishing imprints.  

 

And even more shocking is the fact that we look up several of the other "small" presses that we've never heard of who are buying these digital rights and what do you find out?  They're ALL Amazon imprints.  Skyscape?  One agency we just researched has almost all of their YA and MG deals funneling to Skyscape.

 

And what's going to happen with these authors' books.  They're most certainly going to be released exclusively through KU.

 

The consequences of that?  You tell us.



#20 Darke

Darke

    ~Official AQC Cookie Provider~

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,489 posts
  • Literary Status:self-published, unagented
  • LocationCanada
  • Publishing Experience:I have several short stories published with online magazines such as Bewildering Stories and Aphelion, and part of the 7DS anthology SLAYERS. I have six books in a paranormal series self-published, and as of 2015, I write articles for Gaiam TV. See my blog for more details.

Posted 28 November 2014 - 05:55 PM

Crew...that's frightening.  :blink:


~I am neither an author nor a writer; I am a storyteller with good grammar.~

darkes_cover_4_sparkletn.jpg Book2TN.jpg darkescovenwtTN.jpg demonthumbnail.jpg 4311642f-9dfa-4c08-ac6d-a6979476c6ce.jpg

 

 3e1a6d8e-6529-475b-b08d-34d575e93531.jpg





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users