Author Topic: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)  (Read 139095 times)  

Online thesmallprint

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Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
« Reply #150 on: July 16, 2014, 01:54:53 PM »
My brain is a single-track dust road. The brain of Jeff Bezos is an eight-lane highway. Nevertheless, here's my guess at what JB is up to here:

Prime
Increasing Prime membership is Amazon's top priority. In December last year, JB talked of the 'tens of millions' of Global Prime members. It's notoriously difficult to get sales data from Amazon, but my guess (based on my own buying behaviour) is that Prime members buy a very high percentage of all their purchases from Amazon. The Prime add-ons are secondary to the benefit of free fast delivery of pretty much anything you want.

Amazon have precious data from their two companies, Goodreads and Audible. They know how many people hungrily consume books, and their preferred format. JB will have a very good idea as to how many extra Prime members he'll get from this audience, along with their likely lifetime spend on all Amazon purchases.

Self-publishing
Despite media-bias, the line between traditional publishing and self-publishing is becoming more blurred. Books like Wool, FSOG etc., are helping breach that perception border in the public mind. An unlimited digital library of books will, like any market, gradually find its own shape and books will be borrowed on the basis of popularity rather than provenance.

Select
You won't be in that library unless your books are in Select, imo. This bolsters another part of JB's multi-faceted business plan to remove as much digital content as he can from competing channels. And we're not just talking about the likes of B&N here - this kills books in Google Play and Apple. Those channels dry up while Amazon grows. Not only has content disappeared outside Amazon, other ereaders become obsolete, pushing their producers closer to doom.

Unlimited subscriptions will finish off Scribd and others in that line. And I suspect that JB has a plan to kill off the book business affiliates like Bookbub - quite what that plan is, I don't know, but KU might be a strand in that strategy.

Authors
As for authors, I doubt we are different from apps developers in the minds of many. We could indeed all end up with a dollar a borrow (in fact, come 2020 we might be calling a dollar a borrow the 'good old days'). But the swollen market of buyers/readers this concept delivers might well see many self-publishers making an awful lot of money; especially those with a book series running into double numbers.

Marketing
Think of the data we'll get to help hone our individual markets...if more than x% of readers don't get past the first 10% of a title, well, you won't be wasting time on anything like that again.  I believe we will be provided with tons of other data from this venture, which will allow us to refine target markets.

I hope this goes ahead. Partly through my fascination as to how it will all turn out, partly because I've always believed that books will do much much better for their authors as low-cost/high-volume entertainment than any other way.

It's an uncertain but hugely exciting time to be a writer. I'm of a generation who was lucky enough to see many of the sporting greats, and some wonderful actors and singers. I count myself privileged to still be around to see what the genius that is Jeffrey Preston Bezos will do next.

Online Jim Johnson

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Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
« Reply #151 on: July 16, 2014, 02:00:50 PM »
It's an uncertain but hugely exciting time to be a writer.

That's the bottom line, really. Good stuff.

Roll with the flow or get buried. As Bezos himself said, "Complaining is not a strategy."

Offline Saul Tanpepper

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Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
« Reply #152 on: July 16, 2014, 02:01:24 PM »
...I suspect that JB has a plan to kill off the book business affiliates like Bookbub - quite what that plan is, I don't know, but KU might be a strand in that strategy.

I'm not convinced Amazon sees BookBub as a competitor. I, at least, don't understand the thinking behind this idea. Why would they want to drive a company which drives customers to their site out of business?
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Offline MJWare

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Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
« Reply #153 on: July 16, 2014, 02:04:10 PM »
I woke up this morning to check this thread and I was like,
"Oh MY GOD--Look What I've done. If Amazon didn't hate me already, they are going to now!"

Oh, well, it's not like I'm making much $$$ anyway =-)

My big question is: Why did Amazon take down the signup page?

Was this suppose to go live? Was it a test? It doesn't seem like Amazon to put something like this out without thinking it through. I remember when Amazon tested free--they paid me and a lot of other authors thousands for the free downloads--all as part of a test.  Just seems strange it was only live for a couple hours?
« Last Edit: July 16, 2014, 02:06:35 PM by MJAWare »

Offline Herc- The Reluctant Geek

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Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
« Reply #154 on: July 16, 2014, 02:12:08 PM »
Daniel, Scribd has maintained that shorter works are growing in desirability (vs data from Smashwords that longer works are more favored - who knows exactly!), and that they would be favored by younger busier readers commuting etc.

Subscriptions actually, I believe, as per my own use as a reader in Scribd and viewer in Netflix, remove all pricing/value perception, and encourage exploration, which Amazon emphasized and has (had?) on the promo that's disappeared : Freedom to Explore.

That being the number one reason I've listed on my blog posts and comments as to why my wife and I have come to value Netflix so much, and are beginning to enjoy doing so with Scribd and Oyster - and maybe very soon, Amazon.  :)

Scribd also limit the shorter works they include (nothing under 5000words at all, and only 15,000w or more if priced over $0.99. Most of my stand alone study guides aren't in Scribd (2500 words or so), and neither are my longer, article length works because they are $2.99 and about 10K words. And to further complicate things, Scribd does not offer any erotica. 

So there is plenty for Amazon to exploit work with when dealing with the upstart. And Oyster got off to a slow start, and has a very limited distribution (no PC interface - android and iOS only, and android is very new).

The bull has just entered the china shop...
« Last Edit: July 16, 2014, 02:35:42 PM by Herc- The Reluctant Geek »

Offline adanlerma

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Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
« Reply #155 on: July 16, 2014, 02:13:03 PM »
  Just seems strange it was only live for a couple hours?

That's all it took, my guess, question answered.

The web is a-fire (no pun intended)  :)
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Offline Hugh Howey

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Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
« Reply #156 on: July 16, 2014, 02:13:07 PM »
I woke up this morning to check this thread and I was like,
"Oh MY GOD--Look What I've done. If Amazon didn't hate me already, they are going to now!"

Oh, well, it's not like I'm making much $$$ anyway =-)

My big question is: Why did Amazon take down the signup page?

Was this suppose to go live? Was it a test? It doesn't seem like Amazon to put something like this out without thinking it through. I remember when Amazon tested free--they paid me and a lot of other authors thousands for the free downloads--all as part of a test.  Just seems strange it was only live for a couple hours?

Did you see that you got KBoards mentioned on Engadget?! :D
 
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Offline richard.r.fox

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Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
« Reply #157 on: July 16, 2014, 02:14:59 PM »
Folks,

My rampant speculation:

KU will be part of Prime. Prime has oodles of movies/TV/music to stream, why not books? Another feather in the Prime hat to get people into Amazon's Hotel California of goodness (Yes, metaphor overload).

Amazon will get into Bookbub like paid advertising. Why give Bookbub that money and affiliate fee? Joe Konrath said he's working with Amazon on paid advertising. My guess is Amazon Bookbub.

Now, I'll go back to making Marge Simpson worried sounds and freaking out.

Edit: Hold me, Hugh Howey!
« Last Edit: July 16, 2014, 02:16:33 PM by richard.r.fox »

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Online Jim Johnson

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Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
« Reply #158 on: July 16, 2014, 02:17:02 PM »
Did you see that you got KBoards mentioned on Engadget?! :D

And TIME. :)

Offline adanlerma

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Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
« Reply #159 on: July 16, 2014, 02:18:56 PM »
Scribd also limit the shorter works they include (nothing under 5000words at all, and only 15,000w or more if priced over $0.99. Most of my stand alone study aren't in Scribd, and neither are my longer, article length works because they are $2.99 and under 10K words.

I knew about the nothing under 5000 words (unless free), but didn't about the rest, thanks!
Thrillers merge with family fiction. | The Samantha (Sam) Lacroix series.
Short story prequel: Dirty Sixth Street, Austin | Short Novel: One Night in the Hill Country
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Codename:Chandler Kindle Worlds short: An Unforeseen Afternoon
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Offline adanlerma

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Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
« Reply #160 on: July 16, 2014, 02:21:48 PM »
Folks,

My rampant speculation:

KU will be part of Prime. Prime has oodles of movies/TV/music to stream, why not books? Another feather in the Prime hat to get people into Amazon's Hotel California of goodness (Yes, metaphor overload).

Amazon will get into Bookbub like paid advertising. Why give Bookbub that money and affiliate fee? Joe Konrath said he's working with Amazon on paid advertising. My guess is Amazon Bookbub.

Edit: Hold me, Hugh Howey!

I'd much rather this go Prime (open market) than Select (exclusive).

And yeah, my thoughts too, why pay BookBub?

Give a 10x better rate too  :)
Thrillers merge with family fiction. | The Samantha (Sam) Lacroix series.
Short story prequel: Dirty Sixth Street, Austin | Short Novel: One Night in the Hill Country
Jack Daniels Kindle Worlds short: An Unforeseen-Conventional Morning
Codename:Chandler Kindle Worlds short: An Unforeseen Afternoon
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Offline MaryMcDonald

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Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
« Reply #161 on: July 16, 2014, 02:24:43 PM »
That. That would be very bad. They've been hounding me to put something in Select for a while now. :/ The word from the herd is the lending pool money is going up, not down. The problem for me is that I'm getting more than $2 on most of my titles, net, without the added 10% rules. That's silly. You only get it if the reader doesn't get interrupted when they 1st open the book? I always get interrupted, especially at the start of a book.

PS, I hate Scribd. They've been one of the biggest PITAs with piracy, meaning I've sent them a bajillion take down notices and my books keep popping up over there anyway. They're still wearing eye patches imho.

PPS, Amazon- tell authors what you're doing. We're not stupid and some of us may actually support the changes if we knew what they were. My minion, dude, we just talked about this. :( I know u r gagged and it's not your fault, but OMG. For the love of Pete! Give us a little notice. As a reader, this is AWESOME. As a writer, it's scary and I hope Hugh is correct that the subscription payments will offset the increase in lends.

PPSS, 10% in 1 sitting is STUPID. What's considered 1 sitting? I'm assuming you have til the screen goes to sleep. Babies, life, phone calls - dudes, dumb rule. A guy made this rule, I bet.

Okay, I'm done. Maybe. I might come back later if another rant strikes me.

I'm understanding 10% for the first time to mean that subsequent re-reads wouldn't get paid. I hope it doesn't mean all at one sitting.

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Offline adanlerma

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Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
« Reply #162 on: July 16, 2014, 02:25:34 PM »
do they think that random pricing gives some perception-of-value effect?

I think, like Netflix, the customer is no longer aware, or cares, if the DVD (book) was $1, $5, $10, or more.

That's the lure, it's all part of the subscription. One can explore.

What's the text on the image for Kindle Unlimited?

Freedom to Explore.

# 1 Reason.
Thrillers merge with family fiction. | The Samantha (Sam) Lacroix series.
Short story prequel: Dirty Sixth Street, Austin | Short Novel: One Night in the Hill Country
Jack Daniels Kindle Worlds short: An Unforeseen-Conventional Morning
Codename:Chandler Kindle Worlds short: An Unforeseen Afternoon
Queen, the Serial Novel
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Offline wtvr

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Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
« Reply #163 on: July 16, 2014, 02:34:46 PM »
I think, like Netflix, the customer is no longer aware, or cares, if the DVD (book) was $1, $5, $10, or more.

That's the lure, it's all part of the subscription. One can explore.

What's the text on the image for Kindle Unlimited?

Freedom to Explore.

# 1 Reason.

Yeah. It really makes you think that maybe Bezos really *does* have a plan for what he thinks books should cost, across the board.

Offline Mark Dawson

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Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
« Reply #164 on: July 16, 2014, 02:34:56 PM »
I count myself privileged to still be around to see what the genius that is Jeffrey Preston Bezos will do next.

Splendid analysis. It's a lot of uncertainty, and at a time when I'm very close to junking the FT job with two kids under three, but Amazon have done nothing to self-publishers (yet) other than usher in the golden age of storytelling and make my long cherished dream a reality.

Bezos has earned the benefit of the doubt.

Offline A.A

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Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
« Reply #165 on: July 16, 2014, 02:38:58 PM »
I want to feel positive about this, but inside I'm all:


Online Jim Johnson

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Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
« Reply #166 on: July 16, 2014, 02:39:35 PM »
Yeah. It really makes you think that maybe Bezos really *does* have a plan for what he thinks books should cost, across the board.

I think that's clear from the royalty structure on KDP. I'm confident Amazon knows what they're doing when they offer 70% on prices between 2.99 and 9.99.

Online thesmallprint

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Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
« Reply #167 on: July 16, 2014, 02:42:26 PM »
I'm not convinced Amazon sees BookBub as a competitor. I, at least, don't understand the thinking behind this idea. Why would they want to drive a company which drives customers to their site out of business?

Because every purchase a person makes (on books or any other product) after clicking through from bookbub, costs Amazon an affiliate commission payment. If all books are exclusive to Amazon, readers don't need a middle man. Also, if authors are happy to pay to promote a book, why wouldn't Amazon provide that service?

Offline Herc- The Reluctant Geek

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Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
« Reply #168 on: July 16, 2014, 02:42:35 PM »
Amazon is just reacting to developments in written literature in a way that Blockbuster didn't to changes in video distribution, or Yahoo didn't to changes in social media. They seem to be the only big corporation that is sensitive to the market and can react appropriately.

In one way, it's a good thing, in another, not so good. Companies like Smashwords, D2D, Scribd, and Oyster are going to get trampled and may never reach their full potential, which is a shame.

 

Online thesmallprint

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Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
« Reply #169 on: July 16, 2014, 03:04:38 PM »
Splendid analysis. It's a lot of uncertainty, and at a time when I'm very close to junking the FT job with two kids under three, but Amazon have done nothing to self-publishers (yet) other than usher in the golden age of storytelling and make my long cherished dream a reality.

Bezos has earned the benefit of the doubt.

Thanks, Mark. Judging by your reviews, you'll have no trouble making a living. Great covers, too. Good luck

Joe

Offline Jan Strnad

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Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
« Reply #170 on: July 16, 2014, 03:10:00 PM »
I'm really trying to figure out how this works to our advantage.

Voracious readers will glom onto KU as a godsend. If you want to sell to the people who read the most, you'll be doing it for cheap, and you'll be losing the epub crowd entirely (assuming that Amazon insists on exclusivity).

If you decide to keep your prices "high," and you want to sell on other outlets, you lose the voracious Kindle readers.

A $10/month subscription price puts downward pressure on individually priced books. If a person is even a moderate reader--say, a book a week--they're going to take a dim view of paying more than $2-3 for an ebook that isn't in the KU program.

I don't see how a subscription service does anything for discoverability. People can't buy/borrow/rent/pirate a book they don't know exists, and a subscription program doesn't do anything in itself to bring a book to the forefront. The best tool I've found for making my work discoverable is putting it on sale, but that avenue closes off when the book is available for "free" all the time as part of a subscription plan.

I'd really like to hear how the KU program helps us self-publishers.


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Offline Michael Kingswood

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Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
« Reply #171 on: July 16, 2014, 03:14:48 PM »
Now if Amazon offered some sort of BookBub service to Select?  That might be a game changer.

And if Amazon gets into advertising and hurts BookBub, the best site we have for promotion wouldn't be as effective.


Um....they already do.  Always have.  Amazon routinely picks out books to recommend and sends emails to customers recommending them.  So....


What exactly are you looking for/what are you worried about?


????
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Offline richard.r.fox

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Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
« Reply #172 on: July 16, 2014, 03:17:51 PM »

Um....they already do.  Always have.  Amazon routinely picks out books to recommend and sends emails to customers recommending them.  So....


What exactly are you looking for/what are you worried about?


????

Author's pay Bookbub to get on the mailing list. We don't have that opportunity with Amazon...yet. I would pay big bucks to goose the Amazon database to put my books under the nose of "also bought" readers.

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Offline Jan Strnad

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Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
« Reply #173 on: July 16, 2014, 03:19:05 PM »

Amazon routinely picks out books to recommend and sends emails to customers recommending them.

That's it... AMAZON picks. You can't buy an ad. Bookbub is selective, but at least approachable.

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Offline Daniel Arenson

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Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
« Reply #174 on: July 16, 2014, 03:19:32 PM »
I'm seeing opinions ranging from "This is the indie apocalypse!" to "We survived the Lending Library, we'll survive this." I say let's wait and see. We still don't know much.