This was originally in my newsletter, but based on the feedback, I realized I should share this more generally.
Oh, to Return Or Not?
I um’ed, I ah’ed, and I asked you all for your two cents on the subject of Kindle Unlimited. It was an insightful process, particularly breaking down all the business implications for myself.
Unlike back in December 2016, a month before the Amazon Incident (see my Youtube videos regarding that) which had me rip my books out of KU when all was said and done, I was only considering putting The King’s Horse and another upcoming series in. The intent would be to connect with readers who only live in the KU realm, getting fans, and hopefully they’d come and discover my other stuff too. That said, I wanted to know a few things
1. How many people who were likely to read my books, were really there?
2. The cost/benefit and implications of doing it. More importantly, had they changed since I last looked at things.
3. What does it take to rise above the noisy hoards of authors in there fighting tooth and nail for attention?
I mentioned before that a lot less of you guys are in KU than I thought. On the other fronts, I found some good, articulate articles of people who pulled the rip-cord and got out because they found it was eating them alive. And then, I took a closer look at some of the people claiming to be making a mint. Not every can be, and in particular, not everyone who’s bragging on certain FB groups could be coming anywhere close to what they’re claiming.
Now regarding that last statement, I want to clarify something. I believe some of these people are making the 10k/month they are claiming, BUT how much are they spending on advertising? In at least a few cases, I found someone revealing they actually lost money last month. Imagine earning $5k, but having spent $6k on advertising. It’s not the -$1k that terrifies me, it’s the idea of risking $6k for “roll the dice and see what comes up.”
While I want to pay the mortgage each month with my books one day, I’m in this for the long haul. And that mentality, means I always put my readers first and foremost. Some of you told me how you wouldn’t buy a book on THE GREAT AND EVIL ‘ZON if they were the last source of reading material on the planet (you have wills of steel). So does that mean that I should cut these people off? On the flip side, do I drive myself crazy getting my books on every platform, everywhere? What about the idea that my book is worth $3.99 BUT it’s okay if you only pay me $0.45 because that’s what Amazon decided it was worth? That sort of feels like I’m not only getting screwed, but the reader who bought my book might not be feeling so happy either.
Thinking of readers first, 99.9% of my books sell on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks and GooglePlay (my books are returning here in the next few weeks, we’re on it), so that’s what I’m going to support and that’s it. Oh, plus a new ‘buy direct’ option.
This decision ALSO had another effect, which was to allow me to get clarity how I can deliver some really cool value through Patreon. Stay tuned on that front.