Kindle Unlimited was worth a try, but after 12 months, no thank you.
As with all new ideas, it takes some time to decide if it works or not. But after trying it, here is my Kindle Unlimited review.
In the case of Kindle Unlimited book (KU) and KENPC page reads, I have to say that I am, to invent a word, quite underwhelmed after twelve months.
The basic problem I have with KU is that it grossly undervalues the price of an ebook. Readers have unlimited access to so many books, so of course, they save money on all the titles available.
A great deal for readers, but what about authors?
For an ebook that retails at say, $3.99, the return for a full read on KENPC is around $1.35. Also, keep in mind that this miserable return varies each month depending on how much money Amazon allocates to the pool for KU.
That’s one hell of a discount bordering on robbery! On top of that, KU readers can pick and choose at a whim, and skim.
So many page reads I have gained have been for only a few pages of a Kindle book, which could easily have been read in the freely available preview read or with Prime reading.
Quite honestly, can you give back a hamburger after two bites and only pay for what you ate? No way.
From my experience, having my books included in KU is not far removed from offering free ebooks.
Amazon has around a million ebooks available on KU for a very cheap Kindle Unlimited subscription of $9.99 per month, which is close to free access to as many ebooks as one can try.
A few pages here, a few pages there, until a reader finds a book they like.
As an author, I have to say no to this pick and choose, because I can, technique.
A reader has plenty of opportunities to assess an ebook before purchase through reviews and preview reads.
Buying an ebook should not be a ‘try before you buy‘ or ‘take one bite‘ experience.
I’m sorry, but if a reader wants to read one of my ebooks, paying for it on the Amazon Kindle Store is the customary way to reward my efforts.
So with this said, you will understand why I am exiting KDP Select and Amazon exclusivity, and returning all my ebooks to open publishing.
If Amazon gave me the choice to easily opt out of Kindle Unlimited but stay in KDP Select, I might have taken a different approach, but clearly, Amazon wants cheap KU ebooks for any reader who wants more than a book a month.
Sure, I know that I can contact Amazon and jump through a few hoops and have my ebooks removed from KU, but quite honestly, I can’t be bothered.
I want out of exclusivity that keeps changing the rules and varying my royalty rate each month.
Kindle Unlimited is great for a voracious reader who likes to read on the cheap, but for an author, it’s not such a great deal.
So it’s goodbye to KDP Select for me and back to open publishing on all available retailers.
It will take a couple of months to get all my ebooks out of Amazon exclusivity, but I am heartened already by the fact that with only a couple of ebooks that I now have available through Draft2Digital on Apple B&N, Kobo and others, I am starting to see sales rolling in.
Thank you Kindle Unlimited, it was nice knowing you, but you are definitely not my cup of tea.
Further reading: Kindle Unlimited Has A Problem – It Can’t Count