Poll

If KU died tomorrow would indie authors be better off?

Yes - KU is bad for Authors overall
73 (68.9%)
No - KU is good for Authors overall
33 (31.1%)

Total Members Voted: 106

Author Topic: If KU died tomorrow (Would it be good for Authors - Poll)  (Read 2000 times)  

Offline C Winters

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If KU died tomorrow (Would it be good for Authors - Poll)
« on: June 13, 2018, 07:47:52 AM »
This question is about how authors feel about KU in 2018 and how it affects indie publishing and authors as a community overall.

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Re: If KU died tomorrow (Would it be good for Authors - Poll)
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2018, 07:52:31 AM »
Really needs a third option: "Does KU have a neutral effect on authors" -- something like that.


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Re: If KU died tomorrow (Would it be good for Authors - Poll)
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2018, 08:06:34 AM »
KU is not going anywhere. It is way too valuable for boosting the rankings of Amazon Publishing books and provides the basis for Prime Reading.


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Offline C Winters

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Re: If KU died tomorrow (Would it be good for Authors - Poll)
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2018, 08:24:03 AM »
Really needs a third option: "Does KU have a neutral effect on authors" -- something like that.

If you feel that way then just vote for good.

Offline C Winters

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Re: If KU died tomorrow (Would it be good for Authors - Poll)
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2018, 08:29:36 AM »
KU is not going anywhere. It is way too valuable for boosting the rankings of Amazon Publishing books and provides the basis for Prime Reading.

It's not going anywhere? When? In 2018? In 2028? In 2058? Be specific. This poll isn't about whether KU is going. This poll is about if authors believe KU is benefiting Indie authors and publishers overall. With all the conflict happening regarding scammers, retroactive KU reads removal, author account terminations and general devaluation of books, it makes sense to be clear on where authors stand collectively on this issue.

Offline L_Loryn

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Re: If KU died tomorrow (Would it be good for Authors - Poll)
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2018, 08:37:08 AM »
It's warm in here...


If in an alternative universe where tomorrow KU was canceled, it would hurt the authors doing well in KU. It would be neutral for the authors outside of KU (neutral, possibly good).

I can't say "overall" because, well, if an author lost a LOT of income overnight, it can take a long time to recover from that kind of loss. So overall, it could ruin some authors' livelihoods.

Offline Cassie Leigh

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Re: If KU died tomorrow (Would it be good for Authors - Poll)
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2018, 08:37:25 AM »
If you feel that way then just vote for good.

Agree with Dpock about a third option but since you didn't give one...


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Re: If KU died tomorrow (Would it be good for Authors - Poll)
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2018, 08:44:22 AM »
Yeah, so, a binary poll is, as a rule, not highly informative. 

I would suggest a Likert scale for polls.  Example:

Please select the item that best describes your answer to this question:  If KU was no longer available, would Indie authors be better off?

1 - Yes! KU is an abomination and should be banned immediately.
2 - Yes. Indie authors, overall, do not benefit highly from KU.
3 - Not sure.
4 - No. In the overall, KU is good for Indie authors.
5 - No! Indie authors need the exposure KU provides.

Just my thoughts on the polls...

Cheers,
Ruairi
« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 08:45:56 AM by Ruairi »


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Re: If KU died tomorrow (Would it be good for Authors - Poll)
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2018, 08:47:27 AM »
It's not going anywhere? When? In 2018? In 2028? In 2058? Be specific. This poll isn't about whether KU is going. This poll is about if authors believe KU is benefiting Indie authors and publishers overall. With all the conflict happening regarding scammers, retroactive KU reads removal, author account terminations and general devaluation of books, it makes sense to be clear on where authors stand collectively on this issue.

If you don't like KU then leave it, but even if every indie author followed you out the door it is still going nowhere as it is too important for promoting Amazon Publishing and selling Prime accounts. I left KU over Page Flip. **** happens and afterwards its best to learn not to step in it again. On the other hand Prime Reading is the main reason I let my Prime please come back trial turn into a yearly paid account. If Prime Reading became purely trade publishing I would still find it a good enough incentive to stay in Prime despite never getting anything delivered from Amazon. That and 2 quid a month off my Music Unlimited subscription.


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Offline C Winters

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Re: If KU died tomorrow (Would it be good for Authors - Poll)
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2018, 08:53:28 AM »
Yeah, so, a binary poll is, as a rule, not highly informative. 

I would suggest a Likert scale for polls.  Example:

Please select the item that best describes your answer to this question:  If KU was no longer available, would Indie authors be better off?

1 - Yes! KU is an abomination and should be banned immediately.
2 - Yes. Indie authors, overall, do not benefit highly from KU.
3 - Not sure.
4 - No. In the overall, KU is good for Indie authors.
5 - No! Indie authors need the exposure KU provides.

Just my thoughts on the polls...

Cheers,
Ruairi

Obviously the removal of KU would be good for some authors and bad for others. This isn't about how many authors benefit from KU vs how many don't. Nor is it about how many author ARE in KU vs how many who aren't. This is about the industry of indie publishing and being an indie author and whether the KU Program, as it stands in 2018, is having a positive effect OVERALL on authors, or a negative effect.

If you want to sit on the fence on this issue, I'm sorry, but that is not a very helpful contribution to this discussion.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 08:56:43 AM by C Winters »

Offline C Winters

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Re: If KU died tomorrow (Would it be good for Authors - Poll)
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2018, 08:56:11 AM »
If you don't like KU then leave it, but even if every indie author followed you out the door it is still going nowhere as it is too important for promoting Amazon Publishing and selling Prime accounts. I left KU over Page Flip. **** happens and afterwards its best to learn not to step in it again. On the other hand Prime Reading is the main reason I let my Prime please come back trial turn into a yearly paid account. If Prime Reading became purely trade publishing I would still find it a good enough incentive to stay in Prime despite never getting anything delivered from Amazon. That and 2 quid a month off my Music Unlimited subscription.

It's not about liking or disliking KU. It's not about what plans Amazon have in future for the program. It's about whether you feel it's having a positive or negative effect on indie publishing.

Offline Elk

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Re: If KU died tomorrow (Would it be good for Authors - Poll)
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2018, 09:00:56 AM »
The poll needs a third option: It depends.

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Re: If KU died tomorrow (Would it be good for Authors - Poll)
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2018, 09:05:58 AM »
I would say it depends on what killed it. Context matters. Context ALWAYS matters.

If Amazon killed KU and replaced it with something more equitable to indies, that would be amazing.

If Amazon killed KU and replaced it with something worse, that would be horrible.

The answer, therefore, depends on what brings about the death of KU. If you are taking some fantasy "Amazon just shuts KU down tomorrow with zero explanation or recourse" there is no scenario where that is not bad. Not because KU is GOOD, but because it would introduce massive uncertainty in the marketplace. It would also cause a huge consumer backlash from all of those subscribers that use it. You can't just close something down in 24 hours and not have a backlash.

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Offline C Winters

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Re: If KU died tomorrow (Would it be good for Authors - Poll)
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2018, 09:06:10 AM »
The poll needs a third option: It depends.

On what

Offline C Winters

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Re: If KU died tomorrow (Would it be good for Authors - Poll)
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2018, 09:10:06 AM »
I would say it depends on what killed it. Context matters. Context ALWAYS matters.

If Amazon killed KU and replaced it with something more equitable to indies, that would be amazing.

If Amazon killed KU and replaced it with something worse, that would be horrible.

The answer, therefore, depends on what brings about the death of KU. If you are taking some fantasy "Amazon just shuts KU down tomorrow with zero explanation or recourse" there is no scenario where that is not bad. Not because KU is GOOD, but because it would introduce massive uncertainty in the marketplace. It would also cause a huge consumer backlash from all of those subscribers that use it. You can't just close something down in 24 hours and not have a backlash.

We're just talking about what would happen to Indie Publishing if we were to carry on tomorrow without KU. Not because Amazon created another program. Not because (Insert made up scenario). No need to overthink. Just answer the question are indie authors overall better off with KU or without

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Re: If KU died tomorrow (Would it be good for Authors - Poll)
« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2018, 09:17:13 AM »
We're just talking about what would happen to Indie Publishing if we were to carry on tomorrow without KU. Not because Amazon created another program. Not because (Insert made up scenario). No need to overthink. Just answer the question are indie authors overall better off with KU or without

You are obviously trying to force a specific answer for your own agenda. You CANNOT answer the question without thinking about the context under which that would happen, and I already answered why. Seriously, the very question is a MADE UP SCENARIO because Amazon is not closing KU tomorrow. The question, therefore, cannot be answered intelligently without context.

Now if you just want unintelligent answers from people who don't think, that is another story entirely...

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Offline Bill Hiatt

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Re: If KU died tomorrow (Would it be good for Authors - Poll)
« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2018, 09:22:10 AM »
If you don't like KU then leave it, but even if every indie author followed you out the door it is still going nowhere as it is too important for promoting Amazon Publishing and selling Prime accounts. I left KU over Page Flip. **** happens and afterwards its best to learn not to step in it again. On the other hand Prime Reading is the main reason I let my Prime please come back trial turn into a yearly paid account. If Prime Reading became purely trade publishing I would still find it a good enough incentive to stay in Prime despite never getting anything delivered from Amazon. That and 2 quid a month off my Music Unlimited subscription.
It's certainly an unlikely scenario for every indie author to leave KU--but if such a miracle did happen, it would kill KU almost immediately. Most trad pubs haven't jumped on the KU bandwagon, and Amazon imprints by themselves don't furnish enough books to satisfy the appetites of many KU subscribers. I'm sure Amazon would find some other way to promote its imprints.

Prime reading is important to Amazon, but its existence isn't dependent on KU. It can still invite authors to participate without need all the other KU mechanics to be in place.

That said, since indie authors are not going to exit KU en masse--if that were going to happen, I suspect it would be in progress at this very minute--KU isn't going anywhere for the foreseeable future.


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Offline C Winters

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Re: If KU died tomorrow (Would it be good for Authors - Poll)
« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2018, 09:23:24 AM »
You are obviously trying to force a specific answer for your own agenda. You CANNOT answer the question without thinking about the context under which that would happen, and I already answered why. Seriously, the very question is a MADE UP SCENARIO because Amazon is not closing KU tomorrow. The question, therefore, cannot be answered intelligently without context.

Now if you just want unintelligent answers from people who don't think, that is another story entirely...

I'm absolutely not trying to force specific answers. What I want is to know the truth. I want to know exactly how authors are feeling about the KU program in 2018. There are SO MANY threads about problems with KU, Amazon hurting innocent people that I'm just wondering if everyone is happy about putting up with this. If they are, then I expect them to come and voice their opinion. A lot of authors feel so powerless though by KU, that even here, we have authors not even entertaining the question of whether KU is good for authors or bad. They just accept it as is. We may not have much power, but at least we can ask each other how we all feel on this issue.

Offline Bill Hiatt

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Re: If KU died tomorrow (Would it be good for Authors - Poll)
« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2018, 09:30:15 AM »
We're just talking about what would happen to Indie Publishing if we were to carry on tomorrow without KU. Not because Amazon created another program. Not because (Insert made up scenario). No need to overthink. Just answer the question are indie authors overall better off with KU or without
I don't know about overthinking, but I believe KU might have worked better if a little more thinking had gone into its design in the first place.

It's pretty easy to tell from the numerous KU threads that there is no consensus among indie authors on whether KU is good or bad in general. Many people react based on whether it is good or bad for them, a natural response. Knowing in an absolute sense whether it's good or bad for indie publishing in general requires a large amount of data that we don't have. We have various philosophies, a little data, some educated guesses, but not enough concrete information.

If the question were, "Is KU well-run?" the answer would be a resounding no. I think virtually everyone agrees that the program is poorly run. Whether some of its problems are inherent to the subscription model or whether a better system could be designed is a question that interests me more. Unfortunately, that kind of discussion is unlikely to produce results without more data.


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Offline Bill Hiatt

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Re: If KU died tomorrow (Would it be good for Authors - Poll)
« Reply #19 on: June 13, 2018, 09:34:13 AM »
I'm absolutely not trying to force specific answers. What I want is to know the truth. I want to know exactly how authors are feeling about the KU program in 2018. There are SO MANY threads about problems with KU, Amazon hurting innocent people that I'm just wondering if everyone is happy about putting up with this. If they are, then I expect them to come and voice their opinion. A lot of authors feel so powerless though by KU, that even here, we have authors not even entertaining the question of whether KU is good for authors or bad. They just accept it as is. We may not have much power, but at least we can ask each other how we all feel on this issue.
It's definitely an important question. As I've said, I'm not sure any indie author has the data necessary for more than speculation.

Of course everyone isn't happy about putting up with the system as is. Some people are content in that the system works well for them. Even many of those people have said that the moment Amazon sends a threatening email or does something odd with their page counts, they'll be gone. As others have said, I'm not sure a binary is going to capture all the nuances.


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Re: If KU died tomorrow (Would it be good for Authors - Poll)
« Reply #20 on: June 13, 2018, 09:34:28 AM »
KU closing would be crippling for a lot of authors who focus on racking up page reads. I'm confident I would hang in there, but my income would probably stop by 50-75% immediately. And I make a point of pricing higher. Authors who price at .99 would be in a bad place.

Long term, I'm not sure. KU works really well for me. It's a great tool for series writers. It does undervalue books, but it also makes it way easier for readers to try new authors.

It would be good for non KU authors and bad for KU authors. Long term, it's hard to say how those KU authors would adapt and how KU readers would react.

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Re: If KU died tomorrow (Would it be good for Authors - Poll)
« Reply #21 on: June 13, 2018, 09:39:33 AM »
If KU died tomorrow...that is a very immediate/short term scenario.  I believe it would be terrible for many authors.  The ones who depend on KU for the bulk of their earnings and all the authors who are wide and would be flooded with competition from the now-defunct KU authors.

There is no scenario that I can think of where this would be "good" for authors.  Not if it happened tomorrow.

If Amazon said they were phasing out the KU program in six months, it would still be a huge shift in the marketplace and many authors would not recover.  I don't know why everyone is so concerned with the what if scenarios, but ANY huge and immediate shift in a market can be detrimental to most businesses. 

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Offline C Winters

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Re: If KU died tomorrow (Would it be good for Authors - Poll)
« Reply #22 on: June 13, 2018, 09:41:38 AM »
I don't know about overthinking, but I believe KU might have worked better if a little more thinking had gone into its design in the first place.

It's pretty easy to tell from the numerous KU threads that there is no consensus among indie authors on whether KU is good or bad in general. Many people react based on whether it is good or bad for them, a natural response. Knowing in an absolute sense whether it's good or bad for indie publishing in general requires a large amount of data that we don't have. We have various philosophies, a little data, some educated guesses, but not enough concrete information.

If the question were, "Is KU well-run?" the answer would be a resounding no. I think virtually everyone agrees that the program is poorly run. Whether some of its problems are inherent to the subscription model or whether a better system could be designed is a question that interests me more. Unfortunately, that kind of discussion is unlikely to produce results without more data.

Is there really not a consensus? Because I wasn't aware. Specifically, I didn't know how many authors were in favor of KU and how many who weren't in favor. Having your books in KU doesn't mean you're in favor of the program. You might know the exact statistics about what percentage of authors are Pro KU and what are Anti or whatever, but I had no clue, and I read these boards every day, so that means heaps of other authors also have no clue. In any event, I just thought I would ask.

This isn't a question of how well KU is run, it's a question of whether authors would be better off if KU didn't exist. The comparison isn't to KU working as it currently is vs working better in favor of authors; the comparison is to whether KU working as it currently is vs there is no KU at all.

« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 09:43:42 AM by C Winters »

Offline AuthorX

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Re: If KU died tomorrow (Would it be good for Authors - Poll)
« Reply #23 on: June 13, 2018, 09:43:23 AM »
KU makes up 60% of my income, but I think the market would be better overall if KU doesn't exist.

The only people I think it would really hurt is the brand new author with no catalog. KU readers do not hesitate to borrow and take a chance on a new author with a single book, but they are more cautious to buy.

If you've got a back catalog, even if KU makes up most of your income, those readers have to go somewhere. I'm certain my sales would skyrocket if there was no KU and so would any other KU authors. For a month or so $0.99 cent authors would hurt while they adjust their pricing and KU readers adjust to buying books again, but once they start pricing appropriately, I don't see them losing too much of their income. They'll just get way more sales at $2.99 or whatever.

With that said, as long as KU exists, I'll probably stick with it. It works well for me.

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Re: If KU died tomorrow (Would it be good for Authors - Poll)
« Reply #24 on: June 13, 2018, 09:45:31 AM »
There is no scenario that I can think of where this would be "good" for authors.  Not if it happened tomorrow.

It would be good for some and bad for others, just like the introduction of KU and the change from KU1 to KU2.

Overall, I'd say it would be good for more authors than it would be bad for. But I know enough about economics to realise that eliminating the price mechanism in a market is rarely a good idea, and inevitably leads to the kind of problems we see with KU unless the market is well-policed to keep out those who'll take advantage of it.

« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 09:47:13 AM by Edward M. Grant »