2017 has been the year of changes for me. It’s the year I decided to leave the company that was designing and editing my books and go my own way. The year I learned to format. The year I joined a book set for the first time. And the year I learned more than I ever thought I would about the book world. It’s the year I also realized that Kindle Unlimited is no longer for me. I’ve been a bit ambivalent about it for a while, but during this past year, it has become increasingly apparent that Kindle Unlimited is failing authors. The payment per page continues to fall, the influx of fake books (literally fake books that are a jumbled mess and ran through click farms to grab the largest slice of the Kindle Unlimited payment pie) that Amazon continues to fail to address, which shortchanges readers and cuts the amount paid out to actual books and their hardworking authors even more. Combine all of the that with the fact Amazon forces an author to be exclusive to them in order to be a part of Kindle Unlimited and the whole thing creates a stranglehold on authors.
Unfortunately, what wasn’t too bad of a deal in the beginning for authors has become an avenue of reach that many can no longer stomach. I am one of the many who are leaving Kindle Unlimited. It’s no longer a viable option for me. And so wide I go. I just got the entirety of Dragon’s Call uploaded to Draft2Digital. It takes a few days for them to reach all sales channels, but through that, my books will be distributed to iBooks, Nook, Kobo, Scribed, and several other sales outlets. It evens allows libraries who loan digital books to purchase mine at a reduced rate. My books will still be available to buy on Amazon, I will just no longer have all of my eggs in one basket. I think that myself, as the author, as well as my readers will be better served this way.
I do apologize to any Kindle Unlimited readers that were hoping to grab my books on there. But I work too hard and put too many months of work into each book to give them away for pennies. Unfortunately, this also means that promotional sales will be far fewer and farther between given that Amazon makes it so Countdown Deals and Free days are also locked in the realm of what is called, Select. And you can only be in Select if agree to sell you books exclusively on Amazon.
Don’t get me wrong, I still appreciate Amazon for the platform they offer. But the extra stuff like Select and Kindle Unlimited (which you can only be in if you are in Select) are no longer programs that actually offer authors anything of value. If, in future, Amazon reworks Unlimited and takes away the exclusive requirement, I will take another look at the option. But it will take a major overhaul.