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Authors' Forum => Writers' Cafe => Topic started by: MJWare on July 16, 2014, 01:54:03 AM

Title: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: MJWare on July 16, 2014, 01:54:03 AM
Looks like Amazon just started (at least I've never seen it before) Kindle Unlimited: $9.99 for unlimited access to Prime books?

Anyone know how we are going to get paid for these books? Is it just like another borrow? I can't imagine it would be, or they'd loose money on the deal?

(My Select title seem to be auto-enrolled)

UPDATE: The original link has been removed, so here's a cached copy (thanks to Julie):
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:6jL66Zad7zIJ:www.amazon.com/gp/kindle/ku/sign-up/ui/rw/about+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

UPDATE 2: Here's a link to the KindleUnlimited Youtube ad (thanks to Karen McQuestion):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnVNbYdo2FU

UPDATE 3: It looks like the service is really live now:
https://www.amazon.com/Kindle-eBooks/b/ref=ARRAY(0xa6e16ea0)?_encoding=UTF8&ie=UTF8&node=9578129011&pfShowFeatures=&ref_=ku_lp_rw_dp_pb&ref_=ku_lp_rw_dp_pb&tag=viglink20273-20
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Herc- The Reluctant Geek on July 16, 2014, 01:57:04 AM
Do you have a link or something? This is a game changer if it's real. All I can find is Kindle Freetime unlimited, which is for kid's books.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Elizabeth Ann West on July 16, 2014, 01:57:26 AM
Look like someone doesn't like Scribd
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: MJWare on July 16, 2014, 01:57:47 AM
Do you have a link or something? This is a game changer if it's real. All I can find is Kindle Freetime unlimited, which is for kid's books.
Yeah, that might be helpful!
https://www.amazon.com/Kindle-eBooks/b/ref=ARRAY(0xa49855e8)?_encoding=UTF8&ie=UTF8&node=9578129011&pfShowFeatures=&ref_=ku_lp_rw_dp_pb&ref_=ku_lp_rw_dp_pb

Looks like it includes some audiobooks too.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Herc- The Reluctant Geek on July 16, 2014, 02:03:52 AM
OMG. The people at scribd and oyster just got reamed. It was always going to happen once the all you can read services got going, but I thought Amazon would just buy them out.

d*mn. I wonder if it's open to indies, and what the royalties are.

Can someone with books in prime see if their books are available through unlimited. Us non-US folk can't use it yet.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: DTW on July 16, 2014, 02:07:46 AM
Brilliant.

Also, the ADSers are going to lose their rectal matter over this.  Should be extremely amusing.

+1, big fan, would like again.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: MJWare on July 16, 2014, 02:08:55 AM
It looks like the only book I have that's included in the program is my title In KDP Select.

Honestly, if it pays the same rate, I'll put a couple more books into Select.

There's only 600,000 titles available now, but  it's not only indies.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Herc- The Reluctant Geek on July 16, 2014, 02:18:31 AM
Scribd and Oyster are tiny by comparison and I've gotten good numbers from them. Amazon Unlimited has the potential to be HUGE.

 All the book nuts will take out a membership and gorge till their brains pop, which makes Select pretty much a necessity for those wanting to turn a dollar.

Wow. Just wow.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Zelah Meyer on July 16, 2014, 02:50:46 AM
Currently, Scribd pay full purchase price for a read.  Amazon don't pay full purchase price for a borrow.  I'm surprised that they have auto-enrolled people without telling them the terms for this, unless they're planning to pay the same as they do for a borrow.  Though, how they figure that out if the way of calculating the pot split has changed, I don't know.

I'm up for multiple outlets, so if it were open to non-select authors then I'd sign up.  But since, to be honest, I can't think of subscription services without thinking of musicians being paid cents (or fractions of cents) per play, subscription makes me a little bit twitchy.  So, I'm definitely not going to go exclusive for it!*

I'll be watching this with interest though to see what it does to the market.

*To be honest, I would avoid exclusive like the plague anyway.  To give one company 100% of your business is to give them 100% control over what they decide to pay you!

Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Frank Tayell on July 16, 2014, 02:52:11 AM
The Monthly sales widget has changed. It's got a KU/Koll column now.

As a reader, I'm a bit miffed that this is only available in the US.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: WasAnn on July 16, 2014, 02:56:17 AM
It looks like the book I released yesterday is in it as well. Also, WOOL Gathering is on page four of the hits so that might be good for NaNo Young Writers, since that is the charity we're giving the money to!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Frank Zubek on July 16, 2014, 02:57:21 AM
a few questions...
Is this going to replace Prime?

Or be an additional service? ( I doubt a portion of even the most active readers will want to spring for an additional 9.99-- Netflix got stung a few years ago when they split up the DVD home delivery and the streaming services. Of course, they have since then recovered from that but it was ugly for a bit)

A number of readers still enjoy getting a portion of their books for free and throwing them on their To-Be-Read pile ( a number of them never get around to reading everything ON that pile but they enjoy the fact they were able to get a huge pile of freebies. I doubt they'd spring for 9.99 a month_)

I wonder if was born, developed and approved from the Hachette event?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Colin on July 16, 2014, 02:59:51 AM
Look like someone doesn't like Scribd

I was thinking the same.
 :)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Scragga on July 16, 2014, 02:59:58 AM
Amazon will need content to make this work, so they'll need to match scribd, at least in the begining. How it changes from there, only time will tell.

One problem I can see is that the pool of cash for select may need to be spread further, which will reduce the $/borrow people get at the moment.

I would say that this means Scribd and oyster were more successful than expected and forced Amazon's hand.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: MitchHogan on July 16, 2014, 03:14:19 AM
So peoples books have been auto enrolled and they've no idea what the terms are or how they'll be reimbursed? I'm surprised they have not communicate to authors how this will work.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Colin on July 16, 2014, 03:18:09 AM
Quote
So peoples books have been auto enrolled and they've no idea what the terms are or how they'll be reimbursed? I'm surprised they have not communicate to authors how this will work.

Exactly.

It would have be nice if they'ed given authors and e-publishers a bit of a warning. I'm going to be extra busy updating guides and I expect a minor deluge of emails from my 100+ authors asking what does Kindle Unlimited mean. It doesn't look very professional to have tell them that I have no idea.. not until Amazon give the heads-up. :o

Oh well....
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Colin on July 16, 2014, 03:24:44 AM
Just checked on several browsers and the "Kindle Unlimited" link is no longer showing. Maybe they're doing a bit of live testing and they will announce/explain their plans.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: ricola on July 16, 2014, 03:38:42 AM
This is going to be bad.  I hope it fails.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Lady Vine on July 16, 2014, 03:52:56 AM
I can't see them paying borrow royalties on these books, so that's even less money going to the author on books over $2.99.

Well, it's not my problem. As long as they keep this exclusive to Select, they can knock themselves out.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Ann in Arlington on July 16, 2014, 04:15:46 AM
So peoples books have been auto enrolled and they've no idea what the terms are or how they'll be reimbursed? I'm surprised they have not communicate to authors how this will work.

My guess is that part of your publishing agreement addresses their legal permission to include your books in such a program.  If I was an author, I'd go read that right now and if I don't want to be part of this program, I'd find out if there was a way to opt out.

I know a LOT of readers who are going to really really like this!  FWIW, though, I'm not seeing much of anything on the page linked. So it's not a full-fledged program offered to all customers yet.

My guess is it's an expansion of the Kindle Owners Lending Library and that Prime members will get it for a lower monthly subscription price than non-prime folks.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Herc- The Reluctant Geek on July 16, 2014, 04:22:46 AM
It looks like they've pulled the page, but now we know it's coming. Wow. Times, they certainly are a changin', and fast.  :o
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Quiss on July 16, 2014, 04:32:05 AM
My guess is that part of your publishing agreement addresses their legal permission to include your books in such a program.  If I was an author, I'd go read that right now and if I don't want to be part of this program, I'd find out if there was a way to opt out.

This. If this is an extension of what we signed up with in terms of KOLL, Amazon doesn't have to check with us about anything.
In that case, these unlimited borrows will just share the KOLL monthly pot of cash. So if this program takes off in a big way, each share of that will shrink accordingly. Welcome to the 15-cent royalty.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Herc- The Reluctant Geek on July 16, 2014, 05:06:18 AM
But then people will simply not put their books into KULL and the scheme will collapse. They will need to at least offer 35% until Scribd and Oyster die. And if Apple or Google sees a gap, they could start up their own.

I wonder what the big 5 publishers think of this. It must look like madness from their point of view.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Frank Zubek on July 16, 2014, 05:15:03 AM
I wonder what the big 5 publishers think of this. It must look like madness from their point of view.

I think the old guard at the paper boy club in New York are scared. And of course that gets passed down to the many authors who have contracts with them.
Fear, unfortunately, has a way of stalling the inevitable. History itself proves that.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: sarahdalton on July 16, 2014, 05:36:08 AM
This is going to be bad.  I hope it fails.

Me too. I hope they all fail to be honest, even though I have my books opted in to ScribD and Oyster. The thought of books being turned into Spotify... those tiny royalties... it scares me.

Time to get that mailing list built up!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Quiss on July 16, 2014, 05:48:54 AM
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0703/quiss/memes/tumblr_n2niz26js41r5zq6ao3_250_zpsdd803798.gif)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: jackz4000 on July 16, 2014, 05:49:41 AM
Big pubs wouldn't touch it with a pole and since we have no details yet? I don't like the sound of it though. Spotify= here is your 12 cent royalty. Ugg.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: AnthonyJMelchiorri on July 16, 2014, 05:50:17 AM
I know there's already been some talk of this, but this affects my decision of whether or not to go into Select. Previously, I was all about spreading my works out to various vendors to ensure I didn't have all my eggs in one basket. Now, I'm wondering how popular a program like this will be at Amazon. If it sucks the life out of normal sales because most Prime users are utilizing the unlimited borrows program and more people that aren't in Prime join it to take advantage of the program, it might be time to reconsider joining Select.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: penrefe on July 16, 2014, 05:53:02 AM
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0703/quiss/memes/tumblr_n2niz26js41r5zq6ao3_250_zpsdd803798.gif)

It's funny, as I was reading this thread, my mind went here:
(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-mB2Cx3d05u4/UOoAHp1BU0I/AAAAAAAAFBc/SWdJcAmH7Vk/s1600/troy-barnes.gif)

What have I walked into?!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Zelah Meyer on July 16, 2014, 05:53:11 AM
I wonder if this is one of the stumbling blocks in the Hachette negotiations?  I would think that Amazon would want the big publishers' books listed in something like this. 

Edited to add:  At the very least, they might want a clause about being allowed to offer the books via the program if the publisher offers books via similar programs (Scribd, etc.) elsewhere.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Paul K on July 16, 2014, 05:58:53 AM
Huh... interesting. If it's stupidly popular and pays well...
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Bards and Sages (Julie) on July 16, 2014, 06:03:01 AM
This is the cached page from Google: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:6jL66Zad7zIJ:www.amazon.com/gp/kindle/ku/sign-up/ui/rw/about+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: ricola on July 16, 2014, 06:05:14 AM
It's even worse for audiobook people.

Of course it won't pay well.  That's sort of the point.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Bards and Sages (Julie) on July 16, 2014, 06:09:01 AM
It's even worse for audiobook people.

Of course it won't pay well.  That's sort of the point.

Considering that ACX already reduced the royalties and has 100% control over the sale price, you can darn well bet audiobook people are going to get 100% screwed on this. They already discount audiobooks to oblivion.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: sarahdalton on July 16, 2014, 06:14:24 AM
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0703/quiss/memes/tumblr_n2niz26js41r5zq6ao3_250_zpsdd803798.gif)
;D ;D
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: ChelseaAuthorPromotions on July 16, 2014, 06:54:04 AM
Okay when I first read this board I was like hmm..probably wouldn't use this service (as a prime member/reader) I don't even use my own borrow one free book a month. Probably because I can never find it on my PC and my Fire is the 1st generation and its a hassle to find it :P

However, from that cached link above

Enjoy unlimited access to over 600,000 titles and thousands of audiobooks on any device for just $9.99 a month.

I would totally sign up for the audiobooks. I get super busy and have less time to read than I used to....I normally pick my author favorites that I've read on audio book (in case I get distracted while listening, I'm not completely lost).  But yeah, I'd totally sign up as long as they had a decent mix of audio books.... So as a reader I'm screaming YAY! But, as a writer with several works planned I'm cringing with the rest of you.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Wansit on July 16, 2014, 07:00:57 AM
I would be in just for the audiobooks...started listening to my own at the gym. Hooked. As an author - I want to see what this can do for the audio market.

(http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/51/ae/b1/51aeb1c900203afd7c3fd360ef6acff7.jpg) (img via Dear Author)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Dalia Daudelin on July 16, 2014, 07:03:37 AM
I'm hoping and praying this is another loss leader and Amazon will pay us full price... or let us opt out.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Colin on July 16, 2014, 07:10:46 AM
This is one of those speculative threads where we're all trying to second guess what the royalty deal will be with Kindle Unlimited. Online speculation or 'e-speculation' is understandable when we're being kept in the dark, but when it becomes premature e-speculation, this could be problematic. 
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Jash on July 16, 2014, 07:17:35 AM
This is one of those speculative threads where we're all trying to second guess what the royalty deal will be with Kindle Unlimited. Online speculation or 'e-speculation' is understandable when we're being kept in the dark, but when it becomes premature e-speculation, this could be problematic.

It was (briefly) in the Select FAQs this morning. So it's only kind of speculation. From memory:

Books in Select will automatically be enrolled. Like the KOLL you won't be able to opt-out if you're in Select.
You will be payed if you someone reads 10% or more of your book.
The payment will come out of the same KOLL fund, just as if it was a borrow.

There was no mention if they would be increasing the fund or not.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Jan Strnad on July 16, 2014, 07:19:50 AM
If you look at the books offered (thanks to Julie's link) you'll see the pages labelled "KU Test."

This looks to me like a mock-up of a potential service, meaning that:


This idea can't come as a surprise to anyone! We know that streaming is the Next Big Thing. The KOLL was a toe in the water. There are lots of writers who would gladly take that few cents per book if it means exposure. The only question is, "When will it happen?"
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: geekgrrl on July 16, 2014, 07:21:00 AM
http://the-digital-reader.com/2014/07/16/amazon-launch-new-ebook-subscription-service-called-kindle-unlimited/#.U8aKKY1dXgZ
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Wansit on July 16, 2014, 07:26:02 AM

  • It may not happen
  • They're seriously thinking about it.


I'm not so sure if it's a question of IF. It was live this morning and it looks like they already have rights to Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.

I guess it would be easier if people could SEE what is right?

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:6jL66Zad7zIJ:www.amazon.com/gp/kindle/ku/sign-up/ui/rw/about+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

(http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/3d/6f/49/3d6f49516aa118f15a10651d886a58d5.jpg)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: bonbon foofoo on July 16, 2014, 07:26:51 AM
If they pay a decent royalty, this could be awesome. It would mean an end to complaints about serials because they'd pay their $9.99 fee and would be able to read all they want. I'm also lazy, so it could give me a reason to not have to put my books in other venues. To make it work, they'd have to make it work for us. They do need content. It's most likely that they would increase the fund.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Colin on July 16, 2014, 07:27:28 AM
It was (briefly) in the Select FAQs this morning. So it's only kind of speculation. From memory:

Books in Select will automatically be enrolled. Like the KOLL you won't be able to opt-out if you're in Select.
You will be payed if you someone reads 10% or more of your book.
The payment will come out of the same KOLL fund, just as if it was a borrow.

There was no mention if they would be increasing the fund or not.

If they don't increase the KOLL fund, they won't be able to stop Scribd - a sleeping giant that I'm e-speculating will be a big threat to Amazon.

Edited to order minor word disorder.  :)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Jash on July 16, 2014, 07:27:59 AM
(http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/3d/6f/49/3d6f49516aa118f15a10651d886a58d5.jpg)

And I thought I had a big monitor!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: AnthonyJMelchiorri on July 16, 2014, 07:28:27 AM
It was (briefly) in the Select FAQs this morning. So it's only kind of speculation. From memory:

Books in Select will automatically be enrolled. Like the KOLL you won't be able to opt-out if you're in Select.
You will be payed if you someone reads 10% or more of your book.
The payment will come out of the same KOLL fund, just as if it was a borrow.

There was no mention if they would be increasing the fund or not.

If your memory is correct, it would be great if that also meant that, though you couldn't opt-out if you're in Select, you could opt-in if you aren't in Select. Crossing my fingers that that is the case.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Atunah on July 16, 2014, 07:31:38 AM
I am a very happy Scribd subscriber. I looked at the cached links Julie posted and to be honest, it isn't in any way a danger to Scribd if that is what will be in KU. Content is king and no offence, I wouldn't pay $9.99 a month for pretty much only self published titles and then the amazon imprints. That's is what is in the KOLL right now. I am working my way through the Amazon Montlake titles each month with my Prime.

On Scribd I get HarperCollins, Kensington, Simon and Schuster, Sourcebooks, Open Road Media, Diversion Books, DreamSpinner, etc. In addition to many self published titles through Smashwords and D2D.

I browsed through the selection on that link and I could barely find stuff I either didn't already own free, or already have read through my KOLL. I would have to read 4-6 book a month on the service to make it a good deal. I have no lack of selection on Scribd.

But I'll keep my eye open and if they can get some big publishers it would be a competition. But considering how the relationship between Amazon and some publishers is, that is highly unlikely.

But overall I have seen a huge interest of readers in these services.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Mark E. Cooper on July 16, 2014, 07:35:16 AM
As for opting in or out, that is taken care of. In Select or out of Select. But what of audio? I am exclusive with ACX which means I'm screwed... maybe   ???  Because Amazon can do what they like with price for 7 years. Just as with Whisper Sync, they "could" add my audio to this and maybe pay me $2 a borrow or a lot less?? instead of $7.04 as now. All speculation of course, but my graph briefly showed the blue KOLL line labeled as KOLL/KU so I don'tthink its much of a stretch to believe the borrow pot will be shared with KU. Maybe Amazon will double the size of it to cover the rush. Who knows?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Mark E. Cooper on July 16, 2014, 07:38:46 AM
I am a very happy Scribd subscriber. I looked at the cached links Julie posted and to be honest, it isn't in any way a danger to Scribd if that is what will be in KU. Content is king and no offence, I wouldn't pay $9.99 a month for pretty much only self published

Wouldn't unlimited audio books tept you?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: PamelaKelley on July 16, 2014, 07:40:55 AM
I am a very happy Scribd subscriber. I looked at the cached links Julie posted and to be honest, it isn't in any way a danger to Scribd if that is what will be in KU. Content is king and no offence, I wouldn't pay $9.99 a month for pretty much only self published titles and then the amazon imprints. That's is what is in the KOLL right now. I am working my way through the Amazon Montlake titles each month with my Prime.

On Scribd I get HarperCollins, Kensington, Simon and Schuster, Sourcebooks, Open Road Media, Diversion Books, DreamSpinner, etc. In addition to many self published titles through Smashwords and D2D.

I browsed through the selection on that link and I could barely find stuff I either didn't already own free, or already have read through my KOLL. I would have to read 4-6 book a month on the service to make it a good deal. I have no lack of selection on Scribd.

But I'll keep my eye open and if they can get some big publishers it would be a competition. But considering how the relationship between Amazon and some publishers is, that is highly unlikely.

But overall I have seen a huge interest of readers in these services.

Atunah,

As a reader and user of Scribd, do you find that you are now spending less money actually buying ebooks? Or are you just reading more? I'm curious how services like scribed will affect buying habits.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Atunah on July 16, 2014, 07:46:16 AM
Wouldn't unlimited audio books tept you?
I am not a audiobook user much, just a handful so far and the same thing applies there, content. I browsed through but didn't really see much in the genres I read. Its a small selection of the KU selection basically.

I am not trying to denigrate self publishers or anything, but if they want to get a lot of reader to sign up, they need the big names. How many times to people complain about Netflix when they don't have a lot of new big studio movies on the service. $10 a month is a nice chunk to ask for and people want some selection for that. And if I can get that from other services, Scribd and maybe Oyster than they will go there. Only advantage I can see is being able to use an e-ink device to read the titles.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Colin on July 16, 2014, 07:46:55 AM
Speed readers will do well out of Scribd. Scribd will make their profits from those who don't read so fast. Or adjust the subscription/reduce the royalty if they get too many wild word munchers!

 :)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Wansit on July 16, 2014, 07:48:24 AM
Looks like everything already in Whispersync automatically goes to Unlimited

(http://media-cache-cd0.pinimg.com/736x/e2/c3/c6/e2c3c66d31a1aa2a8e948b9d1b986077.jpg)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: VydorScope on July 16, 2014, 07:49:37 AM
As reader - I would be tempted by this. I pay Netflix for the same kind of service already.

If this is Select only, than I am locked out at this stage in my career. I really hope it is not select only.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Mark E. Cooper on July 16, 2014, 07:50:42 AM
Looks like everything already in Whispersync automatically goes to Unlimited

(http://media-cache-cd0.pinimg.com/736x/e2/c3/c6/e2c3c66d31a1aa2a8e948b9d1b986077.jpg)

If WS is how they get audio into KU then I'm OK as i fixed mine already, but we will have to see.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: bonbon foofoo on July 16, 2014, 07:52:21 AM
I like the idea, personally. If they come close to the sales royalty rate and increase the fund, I'd be very tempted to put my newest titles in there. Let's face it, it's Amazon. Most people are buying there already. Purchases upload directly to their Kindles. We have no idea what books they will be able to get into the program. And many speed readers read a lot of self published titles already. I'd like to try it if the terms are right.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Usedtoposthere on July 16, 2014, 07:53:49 AM
Guess now we know why all those big-name indies' books are suddenly available to borrow via Prime. (Remember that flap, couple weeks ago?) Sounds to me like they're rolling out this program, and that we'll be hearing something very soon. Probably no coincidence that it coincides with the release of the new Kindle Fire phone, too. Amazon is clearly trying another big move.

All my books are currently in Select, so I'll just wait for the announcement and see what the terms are, give it a month or so to see what happens, and then decide what to do. The soonest I could switch to wide distribution is end of August anyway. Plenty of time to see the early results and judge for myself, since I can't imagine the announcement/full roll-out of the program is far away.

I've had people borrow a book and then go back to buy it, by the way. Or, of course, borrow one at a time, or borrow one and buy the rest. Borrowing is like permafree--lets somebody try you out. But unlike permafree, people can use it on any book (that's in Select). If you have series books that can stand alone, that can be a very useful feature. My borrows are pretty spread out amongst my books.

I've been getting borrows at about 15% of total units sold for quite a while now. I'll be interested to see if the new program is in addition to that, replaces that (if the KOLL will go away entirely now), if it's revenue-neutral for me or revenue-enhancing. Easy enough to see, with the sales/borrows data we have in the reports.

My totally uneducated guess is that the KOLL won't go away, that this will be an additional deal that people can add on. Amazon clearly wants to grow the audiobook market, too, and that makes a lot of sense as a subscription service. How many books do you listen to over and over? And yet an Audible subscription is expensive. I know I only have a handful I listen to multiple times.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Atunah on July 16, 2014, 07:55:50 AM
Atunah,

As a reader and user of Scribd, do you find that you are now spending less money actually buying ebooks? Or are you just reading more? I'm curious how services like scribed will affect buying habits.
I actually dropped one of my out of state paid library card in favor of Scribd. Its more of a shifting of reading. Plus Scribd got Simon and Schuster titles that the libraries never had so I was ecstatic when they got them on board.

So its more the library loans that got shifted to Scribd and I finally get to read some titles I have put on hold because of price, namely S&S titles. I curbed some of my buying this year, but not because of Scribd, more to catch up with what I already own.  :P

And just so it doesn't seem like I won't read any SP titles, I now have access to titles that are in the KOLL on Amazon and I have read some that are on Scribd because they aren't in the KOLL program. Like Kristen Ashley titles for example.

I look at who would use such a service. Would be voracious readers I guess. Scribd has done one thing totally right, the are going straight for voracious readers especially romance readers. Its a romance reader heaven really.  ;D

I still buy books, although a bit less. But not because of Scribd like I said. So for me, its just a shifting away from one thing and towards another. If I find an author or books I like on any place, be it KOLL, library or Scribd and I want the newest of that author, I still buy it.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: JuliMonroe on July 16, 2014, 07:56:04 AM
Atunah,

As a reader and user of Scribd, do you find that you are now spending less money actually buying ebooks? Or are you just reading more? I'm curious how services like scribed will affect buying habits.

I'm not Atunah (obviously), but I am a user of Scribd, and yes, the amount of money I spend on ebooks is less. One interesting "side effect" is that I'm now more publisher conscious. When I see a book I'm interested in, I now check the publisher. If it's HC, S&S, Kensington or Open Road, I immediately go check Scribd to see if it's available. If it is, I add it to my reading list and don't buy it. I also don't check out books from the library from those publishers either. Since HC distributes expiring books to libraries, my fellow patrons probably appreciate that. :)

There's enough in Scribd to keep me reading the rest of my life. The only reason I don't go all-in with them is because I can't read their books on my Kindle Paperwhite. If I could, my book buying would go down to only those few "must-read" authors who are with other publishers.

Mind you, if I did go all-in with them, I might single-handedly put them out of business. I'm also a journalist, and I've interviewed/talked to the folks from Scribd several times. In the last phone conversation, they asked how many books I had read in Scribd this year. When I told them, there was a VERY long pause. I swear I could hear "bad trombone" in the background.

Edited to clarify that I can't read Scribd books on a Paperwhite.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Bards and Sages (Julie) on July 16, 2014, 07:56:09 AM
I find it funny that when Smashwords auto opts in people for a new distribution channel, there was a mass freak out, despite the fact that you could go unclick the box and opt out of any channel at any time. Amazon auto opts in people, and offers no way to opt out, and there is barely a blink.

But yeah, I'm pretty sure audiobook people are going to get screwed, unless they are going to add audiobook people to KOLL, which I don't forsee happening due to the way the ACX deals are structured.

In fact, this would sort of be shooting Audible in the face, isn't it? Audible is $14.95 a month and you only get ONE free audiobook. This is $9.99 and you get unlimited content? Most customers aren't going to make a differentiation between "owning" the audiobook through Audible and "borrowing" it through Unlimited, since in general people don't listen to audiobooks over and over and over.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Bards and Sages (Julie) on July 16, 2014, 07:57:59 AM
There's enough in Scribd to keep me reading the rest of my life. The only reason I don't go all-in with them is because I can't read their books on my Kindle.

Scribd has a Kindle app.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 16, 2014, 08:00:46 AM
KOLL is a 'free' service that comes with a Prime membership, right? I wonder if KU would be an additional $9.99 a month as part of Prime, or if Prime/KOLL and KU are separate services.

As an Amazon customer, I haven't gone with Prime yet, so I don't have access to the KOLL. If I could get KU without Prime, I'd be all over it, IF the terms are favorable to authors.

One KOLL borrow a month is too limited for my rate of reading, but $9.99 a month for unlimited reading is great, especially if I'm able to share that subscription with my fiancee (presumably using the same device?).
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Avis Black on July 16, 2014, 08:04:49 AM
I tried KOLL to get borrows for my MM Romance titles, and discovered that demographic of reader does not join Prime.  MM Romance is more the 'broke student' demographic, and they simply don't buy the tons of stuff from Amazon that would make free shipping attractive.  But 'broke student' happens to be Scribd's natural demographic.  What's more, if Amazon keeps the royalty at 2 dollars, it's not worth my while to join the new service.  Scribd and Oyster both pay a lot more.

I think Russell Blake complained a while back he finally concluded that KOLL cannibalized his regular sales, and he got tired of the lower pay from readers who would have just bought the book outright and paid him a better rate.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Jash on July 16, 2014, 08:05:39 AM
I actually dropped one of my out of state paid library card in favor of Scribd. Its more of a shifting of reading. Plus Scribd got Simon and Schuster titles that the libraries never had so I was ecstatic when they got them on board.

Simon and Schuster, also known as the company that the trades are reporting that Amazon is in negotiations with at the moment. Gee, I wonder what they're about :D From a purely financial standpoint Amazon can obviously match Scribd (and Oyster) in terms of what they're willing to pay to get people on board. This would obviously be a big score for them. I think the main thing this service would have going for it above and beyod Scribd is that they'll be able to integrate it into Kindle interface which will give them exposure to a hell of a lot of readers that have never heard of Scribd.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Jash on July 16, 2014, 08:13:33 AM
I find it funny that when Smashwords auto opts in people for a new distribution channel, there was a mass freak out, despite the fact that you could go unclick the box and opt out of any channel at any time. Amazon auto opts in people, and offers no way to opt out, and there is barely a blink.

This might have something to do with the fact that the news is literally hours old, nothing has been confirmed yet.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: JuliMonroe on July 16, 2014, 08:23:33 AM
Scribd has a Kindle app.

Sorry, I should have specified. I can't read Scribd books on my Kindle Paperwhite.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: ChelseaAuthorPromotions on July 16, 2014, 08:28:43 AM
Sorry, I should have specified. I can't read Scribd books on my Kindle Paperwhite.
Yeah I was just reading on their site...If you have a Kindle Fire you are good but regular e-ink readers are a no go...which is too bad...when I'm being voracious with my reading I prefer my regular Kindle 3rd generation over the computer like screen of my Kindle Fire.

My totally uneducated guess is that the KOLL won't go away, that this will be an additional deal that people can add on. Amazon clearly wants to grow the audiobook market, too, and that makes a lot of sense as a subscription service. How many books do you listen to over and over? And yet an Audible subscription is expensive. I know I only have a handful I listen to multiple times.

I agree with this. I have tons of audible books but there are only about 4-6 authors books that I currently listen to over and over. I'd certainly appreciate being able to opt in or out and listen to unlimited. I have netflix too but honestly neither my kid nor I have watched anything on there in months but I still keep my subscription because somehow my disabled neighbor has access to it and I don't want him to lose out. I had to cancel my audible because 2 audio books for $22.95 a month just isn't affordable to me and since audio books are my poison lately its not worth it. I just re-listen to the ones I own/love for now.



KOLL is a 'free' service that comes with a Prime membership, right? I wonder if KU would be an additional $9.99 a month as part of Prime, or if Prime/KOLL and KU are separate services.

As an Amazon customer, I haven't gone with Prime yet, so I don't have access to the KOLL. If I could get KU without Prime, I'd be all over it, IF the terms are favorable to authors.

One KOLL borrow a month is too limited for my rate of reading, but $9.99 a month for unlimited reading is great, especially if I'm able to share that subscription with my fiancee (presumably using the same device?).


Not sure, I'm on a Student Prime but if you tell me where to go I can take a peek. I know that my mom recently signed up for Prime and she's paying full price but she's able to do 5 memberships for the Free Shipping, though I have no clue if that covers Amazon's new music feature, Kindle Library etc. I asked but she didn't know. I did notice on my own discounted student membership that I didn't have the option to "add" anyone. I wouldn't mind canceling mine and signing up with hers if I could get the music/movies still. Though the movies is unfortunate as Amazon Prime on my television I can't filter out "free" only and its difficult to find only free movies/shows unlike Netflix where everything is free.
I find it funny that when Smashwords auto opts in people for a new distribution channel, there was a mass freak out, despite the fact that you could go unclick the box and opt out of any channel at any time. Amazon auto opts in people, and offers no way to opt out, and there is barely a blink.

But yeah, I'm pretty sure audiobook people are going to get screwed, unless they are going to add audiobook people to KOLL, which I don't forsee happening due to the way the ACX deals are structured.

In fact, this would sort of be shooting Audible in the face, isn't it? Audible is $14.95 a month and you only get ONE free audiobook. This is $9.99 and you get unlimited content? Most customers aren't going to make a differentiation between "owning" the audiobook through Audible and "borrowing" it through Unlimited, since in general people don't listen to audiobooks over and over and over.

Not sure it would be shooting Audible in the Face since I'm pretty sure Amazon bought out Audible (notice you can sign into your audible account with your amazon information?) I thought Goodreads might have been bought out by Amazon too...Not 100% sure but over the last few years I've been thinking WOAH Monopoly... The problem with that though is then you are on Amazon's terms for all their sites and there's no strong competition to take them down. Like Kalypso said most folks are getting their books through Amazon. (Goodreads, Audible, Amazon, Amazon Publishing, Amazon Fire phone, Ereading Devices etc).
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Hugh Howey on July 16, 2014, 08:29:22 AM
It was (briefly) in the Select FAQs this morning. So it's only kind of speculation. From memory:

Books in Select will automatically be enrolled. Like the KOLL you won't be able to opt-out if you're in Select.
You will be payed if you someone reads 10% or more of your book.
The payment will come out of the same KOLL fund, just as if it was a borrow.

There was no mention if they would be increasing the fund or not.

I would think the fund would be increased by the subscriber funds. I worry about the "borrow" payout going down to something closer to $1.00. That would be bad.

I'm nervous about all subscription models after keeping a close eye on the music industry.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Jan Strnad on July 16, 2014, 08:37:46 AM
My first take on the news, subject to change by the end of the day:

http://onelasttime.org/spotify-books-coming-amazon/ (http://onelasttime.org/spotify-books-coming-amazon/)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Mandy on July 16, 2014, 08:39:15 AM
I wonder if KU would be truly unlimited, as in all the Kindles under my account being able to borrow their own ebooks?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Jash on July 16, 2014, 08:45:20 AM
I would think the fund would be increased by the subscriber funds. I worry about the "borrow" payout going down to something closer to $1.00. That would be bad.

I'm nervous about all subscription models after keeping a close eye on the music industry.

I'm a little nervous about subscription models too. Especially given an infrastructure where it can be a one-click(r) thing offered at the checkout to someone about to buy a book.

The music industry/Spotify stuff is a whole can of worms in itself. Although, a lot of the criticism of it comes from a single article and subsequent infographic that were way off the mark, forcing Spotify to respond with more detail about how payments actually work. A lot of it also comes down to the deals the artists have with their labels. Although the silver lining with Spotify is the pool they pay from is directly linked to number of subscribers... which fits with your statement here. So probably nothing you didn't already know.

Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: JuliMonroe on July 16, 2014, 08:56:52 AM
I would think the fund would be increased by the subscriber funds. I worry about the "borrow" payout going down to something closer to $1.00. That would be bad.

I'm nervous about all subscription models after keeping a close eye on the music industry.

You know what's funny, Hugh. It doesn't matter which side of the Indie/Trad pub debate you're on. Everyone (on all sides) is suspicious of subscription models. Either for the reason you mentioned or because of concerns of long-term viability. I include myself in that, and I love Scribd as a reader. I know they are losing money on readers like me. However, it does seem that it's an almost inevitable wave which could, potentially, do more to "devalue the book" than indie pricing ever did. I hope it won't, but I'm watching the developments carefully.

Has anyone done a study pointing to the effect Netflix has had on the DVD industry? I think it's a more accurate model than music. I can listen to a song multiple times in a day, but I'll probably only watch a particular movie or read a particular book once.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Bards and Sages (Julie) on July 16, 2014, 08:57:32 AM
This might have something to do with the fact that the news is literally hours old, nothing has been confirmed yet.

Since when has lack of confirmation ever prevented a freak out on the internet? :o ;D
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Quiss on July 16, 2014, 08:58:31 AM

This idea can't come as a surprise to anyone! We know that streaming is the Next Big Thing. The KOLL was a toe in the water. There are lots of writers who would gladly take that few cents per book if it means exposure.

Well, that's dandy. So self-publishing returns to the days of vanity publishing?
There are a huge number of authors who pay bills with their work. Like Hugh says, what'll happen when the KOLL share drops to a buck or even less?
The readers certainly won't care.

I suppose we should be a little less smug about all those trade publishers getting shafted by the Big 5.  We're about to get our turn, methinks.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: ABBradley on July 16, 2014, 09:14:08 AM
I think a reading requirement might allay a lot of fears about royalties being reduced to a slap in the face. How many people read more than 10% of a freebie? Do freebie users actually read more than 10% of each book they download in a month, or do authors tend to use freebie users who don't often finish books to juice their ranks?

I'm betting Amazon has extensive data on all of this. Hopefully, they'll have some sort of rollout explaining it to authors before it actually goes permanently live. Depending on what they say, I might actually be interested in opting into the program.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 16, 2014, 09:15:32 AM
Oh goodie. The rich, heady poison of Select rolled into the smooth, great tasting neurotoxin of subscription services.

Most of the words I have for this would be censored by the forum software.

Subscription/stream-on-demand services are bad for everyone even if the consumers don't notice it at first. Basically, it's a scheme to make sure you never own any piece of entertainment and keep paying for it over and over again forever. And also so they can pay the content creators less and less for it. Also forever.

I keep hoping that content purchasers will eventually take notice of this and revolt because the way things are structured, the creators don't have that much of a choice.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Mark E. Cooper on July 16, 2014, 09:15:38 AM
Since when has lack of confirmation ever prevented a freak out on the internet? :o ;D

Hah! Its more likely due to the fact authors have no choice but to take this... at least until their 90 days are up. Its not exactly something most can urgently do anything about. The SW thing allowed them to take some sort of action.

Besides, these things usually cause a groundswell of angst that eventually subsides and we all make a few changes in our businesses and move on to the next thing. The audio book problem "may" only effect whisper sync titles. It may not as well of course, but if it does that is something fixable.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 16, 2014, 09:16:59 AM
Oh and in case anyone was wondering where the reporting slowdowns of the past two weeks were coming from... TADA!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: wtvr on July 16, 2014, 09:22:51 AM
I have 4 books under 3 pen names in Select. Only one of those books shows up under KU (using the search function).
No idea what that means. If it means anything.

I'll keep my doubts to myself at the moment, but it seems like this might be a terrible thing for established indies, and a FABULOUS thing for those struggling to get a foothold. New market - first mover advantage! WOO!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Quiss on July 16, 2014, 09:23:16 AM
I keep hoping that content purchasers will eventually take notice of this and revolt because the way things are structured, the creators don't have that much of a choice.

Not so sure about that. There's a whole new generation of content users that view content as disposable. The cozy idea of vast shelves of much-loved books doesn't even enter into their minds.  Didn't take long for gamers to make the switch.
Libraries would be more popular if you didn't have to actually walk/bike/drive there. Well, now you don't.

Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Jash on July 16, 2014, 09:26:48 AM
There are a huge number of authors who pay bills with their work. Like Hugh says, what'll happen when the KOLL share drops to a buck or even less?

If not When. But what percentage of your income comes from KOLL shares? For me such a drop wouldn't have much of an impact.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 16, 2014, 09:33:52 AM
Not so sure about that. There's a whole new generation of content users that view content as disposable. The cozy idea of vast shelves of much-loved books doesn't even enter into their minds.  Didn't take long for gamers to make the switch.
Libraries would be more popular if you didn't have to actually walk/bike/drive there. Well, now you don't.



See, games I get. You rarely replay a game.

And it isn't about ownership (it is for me, but not for them) so much as being suckered into paying for the same thing over and over again. I had a rule back in the day of rental stores: if I was going to rent a movie three times for a totally of $6, I'd just pay the $10 and buy the damn thing because otherwise, I was being a chump.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Quiss on July 16, 2014, 09:34:05 AM
If not When. But what percentage of your income comes from KOLL shares? For me such a drop wouldn't have much of an impact.

It would if readers quit buying books and start renting them in unlimited quantities.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: wtvr on July 16, 2014, 09:35:03 AM
If not When. But what percentage of your income comes from KOLL shares? For me such a drop wouldn't have much of an impact.

I don't see the logic behind this happening any time soon. Zon has to get big names and publishers in there, or it will flop. Big names won't go for 12 cent royalties without a guarantee. At the outset, it will have to be something comparable to what it is now - or possibly even better?

Historically, Zon has been willing to defer profitability in order to acquire market dominance. Why wouldn't they do that here?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Quiss on July 16, 2014, 09:35:47 AM
See, games I get. You rarely replay a game.

Say that to the suckers who keep paying to get another level or two for Candy Crush  ;D ;D ;D

I'll be over there:
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0703/quiss/memes/hide-under-desk_zps07e25dbb.jpg)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Edward M. Grant on July 16, 2014, 09:38:54 AM
If not When. But what percentage of your income comes from KOLL shares? For me such a drop wouldn't have much of an impact.

It will, if anyone can borrow your books an infinite number of times for $9.99 a month.  Clearly this is Amazon's response to Scribd, but Scribd's business model never made sense to me; I don't see how they can pay me $2.99 every time someone reads one of my novelettes, but only charge $8.99 a month.

My guess is, it will flop because no trade publisher will want to put new books in there, though perhaps they'll be happy to release backlist books that way.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Colin on July 16, 2014, 09:42:57 AM
It will, if anyone can borrow your books an infinite number of times for $9.99 a month.  Clearly this is Amazon's response to Scribd, but Scribd's business model never made sense to me; I don't see how they can pay me $2.99 every time someone reads one of my novelettes, but only charge $8.99 a month.

Quoting myself - sorry.
Quote
Scribd will make their profits from those who don't read so fast. Or adjust the subscription/reduce the royalty if they get too many wild word munchers!

Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Quiss on July 16, 2014, 09:44:34 AM
Oh and in case anyone was wondering where the reporting slowdowns of the past two weeks were coming from... TADA!

Heh, yeah. My dashboard graph, the report generated from that page and the actual Month To Date all have different opinions about what I've sold today.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Atunah on July 16, 2014, 09:46:43 AM
I have been renting, not owning content since the days of VHS, Beta and Video 2000. Yes, we actually had 3 formats to deal with in those early days. So not owning content is not anything new. We also paid a small fee for library books then.
I was one of the first to jump on Netflix when it was available so as not to have to drive to the video stores anymore.

I pay out of state libraries to loan digital books. I don't own those either. We had for a while a Sirius subscription, so didn't own that music either.
None of this is new. Books are entertainment. If I owned every book I have ever read or want to read, I'd need to win the lottery and buy a house. Doesn't mean I never owned VHS tapes, cassette tapes, books, etc. I just don't need to own everything I consume. I buy what I want to rewatch again and again, same with books.

I don't re-read most fiction books I read. Otherwise I'd never get through my TBR.  ;D

People didn't stop buying DVD's because of Netflix. People didn't stop buying books because of libraries, loaning, paperbackswap etc. People didn't stop buying music because of music services.

I haven't stopped buying books because of Scribd. If anything, it makes me read authors and books that I had on lists like "wait for loan". Now I pay to read those with my subscription fees.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: wtvr on July 16, 2014, 09:47:32 AM
It will, if anyone can borrow your books an infinite number of times for $9.99 a month.  Clearly this is Amazon's response to Scribd, but Scribd's business model never made sense to me; I don't see how they can pay me $2.99 every time someone reads one of my novelettes, but only charge $8.99 a month.

My guess is, it will flop because no trade publisher will want to put new books in there, though perhaps they'll be happy to release backlist books that way.

The reason Scribd can do that is a) their distribution costs are ridiculously low and b) all subscription models are based on a high rate of "breakage" where people just don't use the service to its optimum level. There really aren't all that many people devouring 2 books a day, for months on end. Breakage for things like product rebates can be upwards of 65%, which is why any company would bother. I wonder what Zon's percentage will be.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 16, 2014, 09:47:45 AM
Say that to the suckers who keep paying to get another level or two for Candy Crush  ;D ;D ;D

I'll be over there:
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0703/quiss/memes/hide-under-desk_zps07e25dbb.jpg)

'Games', I said, not digital meth.  :p
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 16, 2014, 09:52:08 AM
People didn't stop buying DVD's because of Netflix. People didn't stop buying books because of libraries, loaning, paperbackswap etc. People didn't stop buying music because of music services.

I haven't stopped buying books because of Scribd. If anything, it makes me read authors and books that I had on lists like "wait for loan". Now I pay to read those with my subscription fees.

Here's the thing though. In a few years, you're not going to have a choice. Subscription services are essentially money for nothing continually while actual ownership is a one time transaction. Businesses have vanishingly little reason to actually let you keep stuff anymore.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Edward M. Grant on July 16, 2014, 09:53:38 AM
There really aren't all that many people devouring 2 books a day, for months on end. Breakage for things like product rebates can be upwards of 65%.

We're not talking about 2 books a day. If someone reads one book a week, and Scribd pays me $2.99 each time, they're making a significant loss on that reader.

In the long run, either they'll have to increase fees, or reduce royalties, or go bust.

(Unless I'm mistaken about the royalties, so far I've only seen partial reads, which seem to pay cover price * percentage read).
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Atunah on July 16, 2014, 09:58:08 AM
Here's the thing though. In a few years, you're not going to have a choice. Subscription services are essentially money for nothing continually while actual ownership is a one time transaction. Businesses have vanishingly little reason to actually let you keep stuff anymore.
Nah, not buying that. No pun intended.  :P.

Businesses want you to do both, rent and own. Just like always. Humans like to own things. I think we are horders at heart.  ;D

And like I said, I don't need to own or want to own every entertainment I consume. I always consume more than I own. That is the advantage of it.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Jan Hurst-Nicholson on July 16, 2014, 10:00:54 AM
It looks like they've pulled the page, but now we know it's coming. Wow. Times, they certainly are a changin', and fast.  :o

I can't find it anywhere either  :(
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Bards and Sages (Julie) on July 16, 2014, 10:02:49 AM
(Unless I'm mistaken about the royalties, so far I've only seen partial reads, which seem to pay cover price * percentage read).

You don't get paid cover price. You get paid your normal royalty. So if the royalty is 60%, you would get $1.79 on a $2.99 book. And then only if it is an actual 10% read. And from previous threads, Scribd seems to very strictly enforcing the 10% so no encouraging people to download and just "click" through the pages until you reach 10%. There is some sort of algorithm at work to confirm reads.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Quiss on July 16, 2014, 10:09:56 AM
You don't get paid cover price. You get paid your normal royalty. So if the royalty is 60%, you would get $1.79 on a $2.99 book. And then only if it is an actual 10% read. And from previous threads, Scribd seems to very strictly enforcing the 10% so no encouraging people to download and just "click" through the pages until you reach 10%. There is some sort of algorithm at work to confirm reads.

Heh, I can't even convince my readers to leave a review, never mind click through a book they're not going to read.
Can't people just borrow a book and then download it to their computer? Not sure how the borrow-thing works.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Usedtoposthere on July 16, 2014, 10:13:09 AM
I think it's easy to freak about about changes, but the fact as, as I think Joe Nobody said just yesterday, everything changes so fast in the ebook world. And as I've said myself in the past, the advantage we have as indies is that we can turn on a dime and change along with it. We're sleek little motor launches. The big ships are making their wide, sweeping turns that take them months or years, and--boop!--we've already pulled a 180 and are headed in a new direction!

I'm just going to wait and see, figure out what my own best move will be given what happens, and make that move. And keep working on the new book! That's all of our best hedge, I think--new content. Which is another thing we can do much faster. Go, us.

/cheerleading
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: wtvr on July 16, 2014, 10:14:25 AM
^^ That! yes!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Edward M. Grant on July 16, 2014, 10:14:45 AM
You don't get paid cover price. You get paid your normal royalty. So if the royalty is 60%, you would get $1.79 on a $2.99 book.

Mine are coming through Smashwords, so I presume it's using whatever royalty percentage they agreed. I'll have to look at the numbers more closely.

But, even at that rate, if someone reads one book a week and I get $1.79 for each of those, Scribd is making about $1 a month from that reader. One extra book a month and they're making a loss.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: wtvr on July 16, 2014, 10:21:34 AM
Here's an article from late last year that says Scribd has 2% of their subscribers reading more than 10 books a month. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/25/technology/as-new-services-track-habits-the-e-books-are-reading-you.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

They don't say what percentage are reading 0.

Aside: It would be very interesting to know if Zon will introduce percent-read into rankings, suggesting that a fully-read book is better than a 10% read book.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Douglas E Wright on July 16, 2014, 10:31:00 AM
Here's a story I found. http://gizmodo.com/amazon-is-prepping-a-kindle-unlimited-book-rental-ser-1605911418
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: JuliMonroe on July 16, 2014, 10:31:14 AM
Heh, I can't even convince my readers to leave a review, never mind click through a book they're not going to read.
Can't people just borrow a book and then download it to their computer? Not sure how the borrow-thing works.

Nope, they can't download to a computer. You can read in your browser on a computer or download to a tablet/smartphone. However, you can't get it off your tablet. It's hidden in an archive file somewhere. I spent a significant amount of time trying this after I read a scare article about how subscription services will increase piracy because ZOMG! people will download hundreds of subscription books and upload them to pirate sites. Or maybe it was download hundreds of books with their free trial month. Something like that.

Nate at Digital Reader and I spent much of a morning trying to get a book out of Scribd, and we couldn't do it. Not saying it *can't* be done, just that two tech-savvy people couldn't do it. Which we agreed meant that the danger was over-rated.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 16, 2014, 10:31:38 AM
This was in the Publisher's Lunch newsletter. I just got my email copy:

http://lunch.publishersmarketplace.com/2014/07/amazon-prepares-kindle-unlimited-subscription-offer-probably/

Quote
As we have reported previously on multiple occasions, Amazon has been talking to publishers about an ebook subscription offering for some time now -- and a cached version of a page that was put up recently and then taken down confirms the basic details. "Kindle Unlimited" is the name of the program, which promises "unlimited access to over 600,000 titles and thousands of audiobooks...for just $9.99 a month."

That cached page prominently promotes big series -- Lord of the Rings; Harry Potter; and The Hunger Games. Amazon already had a big, direct license for Harry Potter for Kindle Owner's Lending Library. The company had previously offered Hunger Games for borrowing through the Kindle Owners Lending Library, though they did so without any specific permission from Scholastic, which was paid full price on each lend. Scholastic spokesperson Kyle Good confirms to us that it is "the same situation" for Kindle Unlimited -- Amazon informed Scholastic they would be including the books in this program and "they have the right to do it" under their current contract, though there was "no new negotiated deal" specifically covering this usage. As with KOLL, Scholastic will get paid their full wholesale price every time one of their ebooks is opened by a Kindle Unlimited subscriber.

Other wholesale-basis publishers who declined Amazon's offers to authorize participation have reported the same thing as Scholastic: That Amazon told publishers the etailer has the right to include ebooks in the initiative without permission, as long as they pay for each open as a regular sale. Offers made to publishers to directly authorize participation were similar to the way existing subscription programs such as Oyster and Scribd operate, where the publisher is paid full price after a certain specific percentage of any book is read.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt titles beyond just Lord of the Rings are featured prominently on that cached Kindle Unlimited page (including ebooks by Jumpha Lahiri, Margaret Atwood, and Jonathan Safran Foer) and more HMH titles can be found in KU catalog search, creating an impression that the publisher is participating directly. From a quick search of the available catalog, the program also seems to include books from some other publishers known to have directly agreed to participation in KOLL, such as F+W. It appears that you can search a KU Test catalog and/or a KU search box for now.

Reports on the Kindle Boards discussion forums indicate that Amazon automatically enrolled the 500,000 or more self-published books in the KDP Select program, which seems to account for the bulk of the titles on offer. So it's not clear yet how significantly the Unlimited catalog might differ from the KOLL catalog. On author forums, they were expressing uncertainty about how KDP Select authors will be paid. It could be that they continue to receive a pro-rated share of a pool of amount determined by Amazon, which is how the KOLL "borrows" work, or Amazon might have a different compensation program in mind that they have not explained yet to authors. One person did post having seen something in the FAQ that was also taken down. By their account, it said: "Books in Select will automatically be enrolled. Like the KOLL you won't be able to opt-out if you're in Select. You will be payed if you someone reads 10% or more of your book. The payment will come out of the same KOLL fund, just as if it was a borrow. There was no mention if they would be increasing the fund or not."

Agency Lite publishers we were able to reach this morning declined to comment on the coming program. From our previous queries, we do not know of any of those five publishers that accepted Amazon's offers. HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster are the only two of the Big Five currently participating in competing subscription programs. In the past, full agency contracts were known to prevent an offer like this without the publisher's direct consent. It's less clear to us whether that is the case under the newer agency contracts as modified by the consent decrees.

It's also not clear when Amazon will officially announce and launch the program. The company did not respond to our requests for comment. Some publishers told us weeks ago they were told the announcement was coming within days. Other publishers tell us they were notified just recently that the launch is due soon.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: wtvr on July 16, 2014, 10:33:58 AM
Something kind of funny.... Searching "test" under KU brings up only 4 books. One is fiction: "Diary of a Wimpy Kid." That is published by Abrams, which is is distributed by.... HACHETTE.  :D  :o

Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Colin on July 16, 2014, 10:35:21 AM
(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-UVPRtV0rhgI/U8a3RGDVOLI/AAAAAAAABCA/l-gJpJs-j1E/s1600/hardcoverstack.jpg)

Sorry Hugh, but it had to be done!   :D
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Dalia Daudelin on July 16, 2014, 10:41:08 AM
Just got this from KDP support:

Quote
Hello,

Thanks for contacting us.

I understand that you'll like to know how royalties work for Kindle Unlimited.

When a Kindle Unlimited customer chooses your book for the first time and reads more than 10% of it, or a KOLL user downloads it, their choice qualifies toward royalty payment for you. Customers can always read your book again, as many times as they like, but that won't qualify toward your royalty payments. You can even choose your own book and receive one royalty payment—as long as you're reading it only for the first time, and read more than 10% of it.

These requirements apply to books in both the Kindle Owners' Lending Library and Kindle Unlimited.

To learn more about royalties:

https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=AI3QMVN4FMTXJ

I hope this helps. Thanks for using KDP.

Interesting that they're okay with us choosing our own book. I wonder if this will factor into our rankings.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: RBC on July 16, 2014, 10:42:56 AM
Well this is insane.. As a reader, I love it, as someone who works with authors.. this is scary [crap]!

As mentioned, subscriptions can work in Music industry because people listen to music for hours every day. So the plays add up to billions and billions. In a way, it's even fair that the songs that get listened to most will earn most. But for books, like DVDs it's different.

The only positive is that it might actually increase the amount of readers overall if this is made to be very easy to read and consume.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: WDR on July 16, 2014, 10:54:27 AM
Well…

Until I see some numbers offered up by Amazon for what they are wiling to pay authors for their participation, I really can't say anything outside of pure speculation and opinion. I'm not even exactly sure where to start or go with my opinion on the matter. Until then, I've got lots of random thoughts:

What are the terms on which I am paid? Am I paid once when one reader reads my book and that is it? The reader reads my book as many times as they want in perpetuity? That is a purchase, as far as I am concerned, I should be paid my full sales share in that event. As a subscription service, I would assume that each time a book is read, a little something is paid to the author. Of course, that won't be the full sales share, but it shouldn't be microscopic, either. Amazon has to make a profit to make a subscription service work, but they can't starve out the author at the same time.

Will there be a limit to how many times an individual may read any one given title? That would make it profitable for both Amazon and the author. The reader can read as many titles as they want, but only ONCE per each title. If they want to read it again, they'll have to buy it. That would work for me. That means I would get paid twice per each ebook sold: once when the reader samples my book and the second time when they come back to buy it. It would be like getting paid a bonus.

It appears that the books listed are Kindle Select only. That makes sense to test the program from Select titles, anyway. When the service becomes live, will it be part of or be replacing the Kindle Select Lending Library? Or will this be a new service? If it is a new service, will it be open to all authors or will authors have to sign up for Kindle Select? I'm not sure I'm willing to close off my sales channels like that.

Kindle Select is great when you are an author with a dedicated following. You are guaranteed that they will borrow your book—and you get paid for that—and then they will most likely buy the book later on. So you get paid twice for one book. But if you are a new author with no following, you will get screwed royally for three months if a popular author releases a book at the same time you did. With only one or two free borrows per month available from the KOLL, [most of the time] a reader will go for the sure thing rather than take a chance on an unknown.

If Kindle Unlimited is open to all authors with no exclusivity limitations, I might participate and allow my titles to be included in the program.

My last thought: this cuts "whales" out of the picture.

A whale in casinos is someone who gambles a large amount of money each time they come for a visit. What a whale loses at a casino more than offsets the cost of food, rooming, and even perks such as limo pick up at the airport, car rentals, tickets for shows, etc. So, whales get all this stuff for free.

So, a "whale" to the book industry is one of those people who reads voraciously on the order of three or more books per week. These people see a book, they buy it. These are the people who will jump on a brand new book from a brand new author immediately on its release. Might take them a couple of years before it comes up on their reading list. By my estimate, between 15%–20% of the copies sold of my own book were to whales.

The flip side is, whales often don't or won't read any given book twice. A whale might spend $9 per day on books. So, $9 per month means they can read all the titles they want at a much reduced budget. That means if a whale borrowed my book and I got paid a few pennies for that borrow, I will probably never see the sale. So if my above estimate is true, I could see a potential 15%–20% reduction in early sales of my books. That could hurt.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: abishop on July 16, 2014, 10:59:57 AM
People didn't stop buying DVD's because of Netflix. People didn't stop buying books because of libraries, loaning, paperbackswap etc. People didn't stop buying music because of music services.

DVD sales are definitely declining as Netflix gains market share (http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304887104579306440621142958), though much of that may be moving to digital purchases.

And sales of music have been in decline for years.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Usedtoposthere on July 16, 2014, 11:06:30 AM
DVD sales are definitely declining as Netflix gains market share (http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304887104579306440621142958), though much of that may be moving to digital purchases.

And sales of music have been in decline for years.
On the other hand, people are buying more books with the advent of ebooks. Especially the kind of reader (like me and many of my friends) who used to get books at the library, or the romance readers who'd buy boxes of paperbacks at yard sales. Could it not be that subscription services and the popularity of reading on devices (like smartphones, for younger people) might cause people to read more, and more widely? I know that both my adult (twentysomething) sons read a lot--and a lot of classics, to my shock, partly because they're free. One son just read Don Quixote, War and Peace, and Moby Dick. I've never read any of them!

It's just different, that's all. And the way we'll be paid in the future is probably different. Anyone who relied mostly on royalties from sales of their paperbacks from their traditional publisher might have reason to be very nervous, but I'm not so sure we do. Unsettled, maybe.

Personally, when I look at the net effect of all this recent change? Not a doubt in my mind that it's a win, for me and for most of us. Nobody wanted to spit at my books two years ago. Now? Different story. All thanks to ebooks, and, yes, thanks to Amazon. I'm not the only one. How many of us would be published if not for this revolution? But the revolution's still in its early changes. Adapt or die, that's the bottom line. We can adapt. We're lucky. We're the mammals in the undergrowth, peering out at the dinosaurs out there. The mammals survived.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: SummerNights on July 16, 2014, 11:08:41 AM
Quote
You're eligible for royalty payment from Kindle Unlimited each time a new customer reads more than 10% of your book for the first time. A customer can read your book again as many times as they like, but you will only receive payment for the first 10% read.

It may take months for a customer to read more than 10% your book, but no matter how long it takes, you'll still be paid once it happens. This is true even if your KDP Select enrollment period has lapsed, and you chose not to re-enroll.

Doesn't that pretty much mean it will only be available for Select books?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: RBC on July 16, 2014, 11:11:49 AM
DVD sales are definitely declining as Netflix gains market share (http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304887104579306440621142958), though much of that may be moving to digital purchases.

And sales of music have been in decline for years.

Newest laptops don't even have DVD ROM anymore so they will be dead in 2 years. Some will keep DVD players but they might become same thing as music fans who collect Vinyls.

And while sales of music had declined, music consumption actually grew and bloomed too. These two aren't 100% correlated.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Quiss on July 16, 2014, 11:16:47 AM
Doesn't that pretty much mean it will only be available for Select books?

Would seem to be Select. So Amazon's inventory would look a whole lot different than Scribd's.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Usedtoposthere on July 16, 2014, 11:18:33 AM
I'm guessing it's a Select thing mostly, but look at the big-name Indie authors who recently became available through the KOLL, and, as others have pointed out, titles like Harry Potter that have always been available--whichever authors/publishers Amazon made a deal with, to have their books available. I'm thinking that pool might grow. They want to rival Scribd.

I'm not personally a huge Scribd fan, as they had pirated copies of a couple of my books up on their site with hundreds of downloads recorded. Seems any user can put a book up there, and Scribd doesn't seem to do any kind of checking at all as to whether that book is actually free or eligible for their service. I'm guessing that won't happen with Amazon! Thank goodness.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 16, 2014, 11:21:47 AM
I'm guessing it's a Select thing mostly, but look at the big-name Indie authors who recently became available through the KOLL, and, as others have pointed out, titles like Harry Potter that have always been available--whichever authors/publishers Amazon made a deal with, to have their books available. I'm thinking that pool might grow. They want to rival Scribd.

I'm not personally a huge Scribd fan, as they had pirated copies of a couple of my books up on their site with hundreds of downloads recorded. Seems any user can put a book up there, and Scribd doesn't seem to do any kind of checking at all as to whether that book is actually free or eligible for their service. I'm guessing that won't happen with Amazon! Thank goodness.

Personally I like the idea of a non-Select only Amazon subscription service, but to be fair, Scribd has taken quite a few effective (at least for my titles) regarding protecting them. At least as far as I know  :)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: GP Hudson on July 16, 2014, 11:33:04 AM
I wonder how Kindle Unlimited will affect services like Bookbub?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Domino Finn on July 16, 2014, 11:34:30 AM
I'm a bit unsure of any subscription model, of course, but it's the way digital content is moving. Television and music has already gone this way. Perhaps Amazon fought it as long as it could, but if sites like Scribd are gaining ground, it would be irresponsible of Amazon (as a business) to not stay ahead of the curve. So I hope Amazon does right by authors and keeps royalties high.

However, and this is where Amazon can choose to be nice or not, I really hope this program is opt-in for non-Select authors. A program like Kindle Unlimited will lower normal book sales a bit, that much is clear. If non-Select authors are fenced out of this program then this is putting authors between a rock and a hard place. Specifically indie authors. So I hope Amazon does right by us.

On the plus side, this is almost like perma-free from the perspective of the reader, while the author still gets paid, so getting reads should be easier.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Usedtoposthere on July 16, 2014, 11:39:10 AM
I'm a bit unsure of any subscription model, of course, but it's the way digital content is moving. Television and music has already gone this way. Perhaps Amazon fought it as long as it could, but if sites like Scribd are gaining ground, it would be irresponsible of Amazon (as a business) to not stay ahead of the curve. So I hope Amazon does right by authors and keeps royalties high.

However, and this is where Amazon can choose to be nice or not, I really hope this program is opt-in for non-Select authors. A program like Kindle Unlimited will lower normal book sales a bit, that much is clear. If non-Select authors are fenced out of this program then this is putting authors between a rock and a hard place. Specifically indie authors. So I hope Amazon does right by us.
But why on earth would anyone choose to be in Select, if there weren't real benefits to it? Amazon has to offer something, something valuable, in exchange for exclusivity. "Free" and Countdown alone sure won't do it, because you can of course do better with permafree on the other sites, and Countdown's value is limited too (let's just say it works a whole lot better in conjunction with BookBub). Borrows, right now, are one of the main reasons I'm in. If there's a new subscription service, staying in Select might just get a whole lot more attractive. But it would have to be exclusive to Select members, or ... no. There'd be no point.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Quiss on July 16, 2014, 11:40:33 AM
However, and this is where Amazon can choose to be nice or not, I really hope this program is opt-in for non-Select authors. A program like Kindle Unlimited will lower normal book sales a bit, that much is clear. If non-Select authors are fenced out of this program then this is putting authors between a rock and a hard place.

Select is already a little short on incentive. Without the KOLL, what is there?
70% in Mexico or Japan where I never ever sell any book?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Jan Hurst-Nicholson on July 16, 2014, 11:49:10 AM
I get more for borrows on my boks than for sales, so anything that encourages borrows (if it's at the same royalty as KOLL) will be a plus for me  ;D
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: dmac on July 16, 2014, 11:51:28 AM
I was concerned about the subscription model, but as someone explained to me how places like Scribd/Netflix could stay in business, I think this will be fine. Depending on the fine print (as it always does), this could be a boon for authors. Most people will sign up because it is Amazon, but not everyone will take advantage. If everyone did, then Netflix and buffets everywhere would not be in business.

Let us wait and see what Amazon has up their sleeves. No use getting reactionary (pro or con) over it until then.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Olivia Jaymes on July 16, 2014, 11:57:12 AM
I agree that Select is short on incentive.  I had my first book in it and was getting what I thought were a decent amount of borrows (about 100 per month).  Once I went on to other platforms, that number didn't look all that great anymore.  Plus, I got hammered by my Nook readers.  They were not happy and I heard about it. 
Now if Amazon offered some sort of BookBub service to Select?  That might be a game changer. 
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 16, 2014, 12:04:32 PM
I get more for borrows on my boks than for sales, so anything that encourages borrows (if it's at the same royalty as KOLL) will be a plus for me  ;D

Yeah, the royalty rate-structure will be very important. Plus, as dmac below says, "the fine print."  :)

Personally, rather than a pool to be paid from, as is currently done via Select, I'd prefer how Scribd and Oyster pay. And truthfully, several other major non-domestic players getting ready to enter the US market. That's a royalty rate based on retail price up to a set amount.

But we'll see  :)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: wtvr on July 16, 2014, 12:06:29 PM

Now if Amazon offered some sort of BookBub service to Select?  That might be a game changer.

Oh, now you're talking!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 16, 2014, 12:08:08 PM
Select is already a little short on incentive. Without the KOLL, what is there?
70% in Mexico or Japan where I never ever sell any book?

Very true! Be interesting what Amazon will (if all is true, which I think it is) offer.

I still like the idea of non-exclusive for being in the subscription program, but something for those wanting to be exclusive.

Or, based on market share anyway, and reader-buyer preference, maybe Amazon won't need or want exclusive anymore, plus having a big pot to pay from.

So many possibilities - this will have to be a movie someday, streamed on Netflix and Amazon of course  :)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 16, 2014, 12:11:00 PM
Now if Amazon offered some sort of BookBub service to Select?  That might be a game changer.

Sounds interesting, how might that work? I haven't used BookBub and am not in Select, so sorry for what might be an obvious answer, thanks Olivia.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: wtvr on July 16, 2014, 12:19:05 PM
Regarding exclusivity, Zon benefits greatly by ruthlessly stripping their competitors of the content they need to stay in business. Unless you're Big 6(5), or a bestseller, I doubt they'll waive that. Why would they?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: H.M. Ward on July 16, 2014, 12:22:16 PM
I worry about the "borrow" payout going down to something closer to $1.00. That would be bad.


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.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Olivia Jaymes on July 16, 2014, 12:28:50 PM
Adanlerma,

Amazon has all the data it needs to know how to direct your advertising to the readers most likely to buy your book.  Currently, Bookbub (for a fee) will send your book info to its subscribers - broken out by sub-genre.  They make money on affiliate fees and we make money selling a boatload of books.  Win-win. 
I've wondered why Amazon doesn't see this potential revenue stream?  Perhaps it's simply too small?  Probably.  They know who has looked at my book page, who has purchased some of my books, and who has purchased books like mine.  If they offered a service to those in Select - for a fee - that would target those readers I would be all over that.  That might be worth giving up the other avenues of revenue. 
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: GP Hudson on July 16, 2014, 12:36:35 PM
I don't understand what the logic is behind the 10% in one sitting rule. If someone reads 10% of your book they read 10%, what difference does it make if it is in one sitting or five? I don't get how they came up with this?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Daniel Knight on July 16, 2014, 12:37:19 PM
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.

Holly, there was another quote that Stella posted (not sure of the original source) that said that the 10% could be read over many months - so it doesn't have to be in one sitting. I think maybe you were confused by what the rep said about reading the book for the first time. I think the implication wasn't that it had to be in one sitting but just that you only get paid for the the first time through the book (regardless of how many reading sessions that is).

So a person can read the first 5% in one sitting, then another 5% in another session, then the payment is triggered. Then they can continue to read through to the end of the book. If they start over and cross that 10% page count threshold again - it doesn't trigger another payment.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 16, 2014, 12:38:19 PM
I don't understand what the logic is behind the 10% in one sitting rule. If someone reads 10% of your book they read 10%, what difference does it make if it is in one sitting or five? I don't get how they came up with this?

Doesn't sound like there is a 10% in one sitting rule.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: SummerNights on July 16, 2014, 12:41:10 PM
Holly, there was another quote that Stella posted (not sure of the original source) that said that the 10% could be read over many months - so it doesn't have to be in one sitting. I think maybe you were confused by what the rep said about reading the book for the first time. I think the implication wasn't that it had to be in one sitting but just that you only get paid for the the first time through the book (regardless of how many reading sessions that is).

So a person can read the first 5% in one sitting, then another 5% in another session, then the payment is triggered. Then they can continue to read through to the end of the book. If they start over and cross that 10% page count threshold again - it doesn't trigger another payment.

Oops, here's the source: https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=AI3QMVN4FMTXJ (https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=AI3QMVN4FMTXJ)

 :)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 16, 2014, 12:56:08 PM
Adanlerma,
If they offered a service to those in Select - for a fee - that would target those readers I would be all over that.  That might be worth giving up the other avenues of revenue.

Ahh, thanks Olivia. And if Amazon were collecting a fee from authors and not paying a referral fee to an outside source like BookBub..that $ could cover a lot of stuff  :)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Quiss on July 16, 2014, 01:01:33 PM
Like someone else highlighted earlier, this little gem seems really bizarre:

Quote
...each time a new customer reads more than 10% of your book ...  A customer can read your book again as many times as they like, but you will only receive payment for the first 10% read.

WTH does that mean? If they can read it as often as they want it's the same as OWNING it. 
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Olivia Jaymes on July 16, 2014, 01:04:47 PM
Technically, if I borrow a Prime book currently I can read it as many times as I like.  I just can't get a new one the next month until I return the other one.  Perhaps, the new program will work like this?  You can't get another book until you return the old one.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Jan Strnad on July 16, 2014, 01:08:27 PM
It sounds as if KU and KOLL are essentially being merged, which means that they have to add to that $1.2 million pot if KU is at all successful. I wonder if they'd add the $10 monthly subscriber fees or be stingy about it.

Otherwise you'd see that royalty go down, down, down to next to nothing.

Also, as just noted above, it'll be interesting to see if people can have more than one book at a time in their KU library.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Daniel Knight on July 16, 2014, 01:17:07 PM
Like someone else highlighted earlier, this little gem seems really bizarre:

WTH does that mean? If they can read it as often as they want it's the same as OWNING it.

Except, the customer would only have this feature while they maintain their subscription. I understand your perspective as an author though, since we only get paid once. But I'm guessing this is probably a low frequency use case. How often do readers read the same book again (over any short period of time)? And when they do - they don't typically have to pay for it again anyway.

I think the bigger question remains is what will that first time borrow royalty rate be.

Looking at the upside, this program could be a big boon for writers of shorter stories (like myself). With the current Lending Library I doubt many readers use their single borrow on short stories. With Kindle Unlimited they wouldn't feel this restriction. It could remove the pricing/value perception problem short story writers often face.

If the payment for Kindle Unlimited turns out to be based on sale price of the book, then you can set your price at $2.99 + and get a decent royalty, even though the reader is only paying their subscription fee. On the other hand, if it is based on a split pool like the Lending Library, then you can have the price set at $0.99 to encourage sales, but still get a higher payment through the Kindle Unlimited program for borrows.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 16, 2014, 01:19:08 PM
Like someone else highlighted earlier, this little gem seems really bizarre:

WTH does that mean? If they can read it as often as they want it's the same as OWNING it.

Only as long as the reader is in the subscription program, more like a lease; same as Scribd.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 16, 2014, 01:26:43 PM
WTH does that mean? If they can read it as often as they want it's the same as OWNING it. 


No, it's just the same as you not getting paid again and them paying forever. Zon-Zon gets their $10/month no matter what.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 16, 2014, 01:36:26 PM
Technically, if I borrow a Prime book currently I can read it as many times as I like.  I just can't get a new one the next month until I return the other one.  Perhaps, the new program will work like this?  You can't get another book until you return the old one.

Some services, and I may have this mix-up, like Oyster allow 10 books checked out at a time, while Scribd allows 20. If I have this wrong, someone please correct me, thanks!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Saul Tanpepper on July 16, 2014, 01:37:40 PM
Yes! So many questions...
  • Does the book have to be exclusive for us regular, mortal indie types?
  • Is the payment based on list price?
  • Is there a word-count limit?
  • Will percentage-read data figure into bestseller algorithms?
  • How will KU borrows affect placement on other bestseller lists?
  • Will this change the growing reader backlash against serials?
  • What will the effect be on newbies (like me)? Is this another boom?
  • How much will we be paid?
  • When does it start?
  • Can you opt out? Can you opt IN, even if you're not in Select?

The mind reels!

And will we see a rash of short stories being published into KU and priced at $9.99 solely to reap high royalties?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Quiss on July 16, 2014, 01:38:01 PM
On the other hand, if it is based on a split pool like the Lending Library, then you can have the price set at $0.99 to encourage sales, but still get a higher payment through the Kindle Unlimited program for borrows.

And this, btw, was never fair to those who do offer higher-priced books.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 16, 2014, 01:38:18 PM
With the current Lending Library I doubt many readers use their single borrow on short stories. With Kindle Unlimited they wouldn't feel this restriction. It could remove the pricing/value perception problem short story writers often face.

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.  :)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: wtvr on July 16, 2014, 01:43:15 PM
And will we see a rash of short stories being published into KU and priced at $9.99 solely to reap high royalties?

That is *exactly* what we would see. So... I doubt it. Probably we are looking at flat rate, with secret separate negotiations for Big 6 and bestseller indies at higher price points.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 16, 2014, 01:50:19 PM
Yes! So many questions...
  • Does the book have to be exclusive for us regular, mortal indie types?
  • Is the payment based on list price?
  • Is there a word-count limit?
  • Will percentage-read data figure into bestseller algorithms?
  • How will KU borrows affect placement on other bestseller lists?
  • Will this change the growing reader backlash against serials?
  • What will the effect be on newbies (like me)? Is this another boom?
  • How much will we be paid?
  • When does it start?
  • Can you opt out? Can you opt IN, even if you're not in Select?


LisaGloria, you hit it dead on -

Those are the bottomline make or break questions whose answers to we're all waiting on  :)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Saul Tanpepper on July 16, 2014, 01:53:20 PM
That is *exactly* what we would see. So... I doubt it. Probably we are looking at flat rate, with secret separate negotiations for Big 6 and bestseller indies at higher price points.

Yes, I can see where this might force Amazon not to royalty match as if a subscribed read were a purchase. How then do they remain competitive against the other services for content when Scribd and Oyster offer 70%? The 70% royalty subscription model, which eliminates cost from the equation for subscribers and encourages authors to list at higher prices, may actually do what Amazon has supposedly been trying to discourage suppliers from doing: increase ebook prices.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Marian on July 16, 2014, 01:53:45 PM
Adanlerma,

Amazon has all the data it needs to know how to direct your advertising to the readers most likely to buy your book.  Currently, Bookbub (for a fee) will send your book info to its subscribers - broken out by sub-genre.  They make money on affiliate fees and we make money selling a boatload of books.  Win-win. 
I've wondered why Amazon doesn't see this potential revenue stream?  Perhaps it's simply too small?  Probably.  They know who has looked at my book page, who has purchased some of my books, and who has purchased books like mine.  If they offered a service to those in Select - for a fee - that would target those readers I would be all over that.  That might be worth giving up the other avenues of revenue. 
Amazon doesn't treat all writers equally. Some authors would be allowed to advertise and others wouldn't stand a chance. I've had a nightmarish time with KDP, and I know that others have as well. We'd be left out. And if Amazon gets into advertising and hurts BookBub, the best site we have for promotion wouldn't be as effective.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: thesmallprint 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.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Jim Johnson 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."
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Saul Tanpepper 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?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: MJWare 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?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Herc- The Reluctant Geek 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...
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma 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)  :)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Hugh Howey 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
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: richard.r.fox 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!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 16, 2014, 02:17:02 PM
Did you see that you got KBoards mentioned on Engadget?! :D

And TIME (http://time.com/2992348/amazon-appears-to-be-testing-all-you-can-read-kindle-ebook-subscriptions/). :)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma 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!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma 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  :)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: MaryMcDonald 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.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma 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.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: wtvr 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.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Mark Dawson 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.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: A.A on July 16, 2014, 02:38:58 PM
I want to feel positive about this, but inside I'm all:

(http://weknowgifs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/sheldon-breathing-into-bag-gif.gif)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Jim Johnson 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.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: thesmallprint 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?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Herc- The Reluctant Geek 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.

 
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: thesmallprint 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
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Jan Strnad 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.

Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Michael Kingswood 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?


????
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: richard.r.fox 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.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Jan Strnad 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.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Daniel Arenson 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.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Michael Kingswood on July 16, 2014, 03:20:23 PM
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.

But not just any author can get in Bookbub, and not whenever they want it.  They are choosey, just as Amazon is.  But Amazon doesn't charge us to be choosey.  So...

Yeah, not seeing the difference really.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Michael Kingswood on July 16, 2014, 03:21:29 PM
That's it... AMAZON picks. You can't buy an ad. Bookbub is selective, but at least approachable.

Either way someone else is picking. 

*shrug*

Try sending Amazon some emails requesting more exposure.  Could work.  Maybe not.  But they don't charge us money for it, so...  ;)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Michael Kingswood on July 16, 2014, 03:22:35 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.


Word.

Wild speculation, wailing, rending of garments, and gnashing of teeth is premature.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: BillKosl on July 16, 2014, 03:24:00 PM
Living here in Omaha, I just had to get my hands on "Business Adventures" recommended by Old Man Buffet and the Gates boy. I saw the promo on my new Kindle late last night and started my 30-day free trial and downloaded said book. Got the confirmatory email with the wonderful surprise that I would be getting a complimentary 3-month Audible subscription.

Contacted Mayday, where the rep and the supervisor said that I was referring to unlimited free time for children. Went to the Twitter and @KindleHelp finally told me that the "test" was kaput. I still have the free book.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: wtvr on July 16, 2014, 03:25:41 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.

How about: We are cannon fodder. Let's get this party started!  :D
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Karen_McQ on July 16, 2014, 03:29:11 PM
My apologies if someone already posted this, but now there's a Youtube video for Kindle Unlimited: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnVNbYdo2FU (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnVNbYdo2FU)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: BillKosl on July 16, 2014, 03:43:11 PM
"Could Penguin Beat Amazon at Book Subscriptions?" http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-07-16/could-penguin-beat-amazon-at-book-subscriptions (http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-07-16/could-penguin-beat-amazon-at-book-subscriptions)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Nicole Ciacchella on July 16, 2014, 03:44:14 PM
I'm still not sure how to feel about this. I need them to define what they mean by "royalty". Are we talking the same royalty I get when I sell a copy of my book, or are we talking a sliding scale depending on how much money they put into the fund? Like Hugh, just thinking about subscription services makes me feel kind of anxious.

I doubt this slip was accidental as I'm sure they're trying to create buzz. I just wish they would have let us authors in on it first.

From a reader standpoint, though, I'd be all over this. I typically read 100+ books a year and I'd definitely try out a wide variety of books that I might not otherwise read. That could be good for authors, as long as the royalties are fair. I'm a Prime member and usually use my KOLL borrow, but given how much I read, getting one book a month has a negligible effect for me.

Add me to the list of people who'd love to see Amazon offer authors more marketing options. I've paid for ads on a variety of sites and would definitely be interested in marketing through Amazon. I love that they send e-mails to me with suggestions and would love to see them carry this sort of thing further.

Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: wtvr on July 16, 2014, 03:51:30 PM
Does anyone know what that 600,000 number represents? I'm sure it's a threat to scribd and oyster, but what portion of Select does it represent? And if there are more than that in Select - a million? Why didn't it say a million?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 16, 2014, 03:53:08 PM
I'd definitely try out a wide variety of books that I might not otherwise read...

That's the big plus for me as a reader and a writer. Experienced it via Netflix (as a viewer) and have found it explosive for me as a reader on both Scribd and Oyster.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Bob Stewart on July 16, 2014, 04:02:33 PM
I have no idea how this will settle out, or who it will be advantageous for, etc., but I really don't think it's worth getting worked up about. What the lay of the land will be in 2016, or 2015, is anyone's guess. And trying to predict how books will be sold in 2020 would most definitely be a mug's game, for us and for Bezos.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 16, 2014, 04:05:39 PM
"Could Penguin Beat Amazon at Book Subscriptions?" http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-07-16/could-penguin-beat-amazon-at-book-subscriptions (http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-07-16/could-penguin-beat-amazon-at-book-subscriptions)

Interesting article, whole other element I didn't even know about.

Anyone any idea what titles they control that might be a big draw?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: dmac on July 16, 2014, 04:10:53 PM
While we are speculating about anything and everything, it pays to keep in mind that Amazon is about expanding their footprint. If there is no incentive for authors to sign up, then authors will not sign up.

See: Select. (I know many have issues with it, but it is still a very viable way to introduce a new author to a mass audience in a very short time. I am proof of that, and so are many others.)

There must be some incentive to pull authors away from Scribd and other channels with a similar distribution model. Anything that authors see as losing them money will not cause them to sign up. I am sure Amazon is fully aware of this and it will reflect in their incentives.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Herc- The Reluctant Geek on July 16, 2014, 04:17:23 PM
We operate in a very fluid environment. Big changes can happen fast. The best that we can do is keep writing and getting good quality material out there. Everything else is, as they say here in Oz, urinating into the wind...
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: MJWare on July 16, 2014, 04:19:18 PM
Did you see that you got KBoards mentioned on Engadget?! :D
And TIME (http://time.com/2992348/amazon-appears-to-be-testing-all-you-can-read-kindle-ebook-subscriptions/). :)

Dear Amazon,

Let me publicly apologize for inadvertently spoiling--please don't ban my account--the announcement of your exciting, and wonderful new program, Amazon Unlimited. Which I am positive will be wildly successful--please don't ban my account--for both readers and writers.

As a show of my sincerity--please don't ban my account--I would like to offer my first-born son to work in one of your huge, but employee friendly warehouses, where I am sure he will have the opportunity to learn valuable job skills.

In close, I hope you accept my sincere regret for letting the cat out of the bag--please don't ban my account--and that you don't harbor any ill feelings toward me.

You sincere and humble servant,
MJ Ware
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: wtvr on July 16, 2014, 04:23:30 PM
Sorry, too late. Drones on their way.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: GP Hudson on July 16, 2014, 04:27:15 PM
The way Amazon made their free promo less effective suddenly makes more sense.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Scott Reeves on July 16, 2014, 04:37:20 PM
Speaking as a reader, here is why I think this is a good thing. I browse the kindle store daily, or every few days, and constantly download samples of books I might be even slightly interested in reading. The only problem is, I rarely actually read those samples, because I don't want to begin sampling the book until I can actually BUY the book if I like it. I don't want to read a bit and then have to stop until I can buy the book. I'm on a limited book budget, and if there are books higher up on my "want to read" list, then the lower books are going to miss out until they work their way upwards. Thus, every day there are samples accumulating in my kindle app that I will probably never get around to reading OR buying.

Kindle Unlimited will change that. If I have unlimited access to any book, the "wait until I can afford it" barrier is removed. I'll start reading those samples, and if I pass the 10% mark, the author gets a payment. It's like being in a humongous library. I check out books in the library that I would never even consider paying for in a bookstore. And I actually read them. Just like on Netflix. I watch movies and TV shows on Netflix that I would never have watched if I had to pay for them individually.

So when the writer side of me looks at how the reader side of me views Kindle Unlimited, he thinks it's a good thing for writers.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Ava Glass on July 16, 2014, 04:52:16 PM
Scribd's sub service apparently doesn't include (http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,187921.msg2674355.html#msg2674355) erotica and very short works due to the payout system. Does Kindle Unlimited have similar restrictions?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: MaryMcDonald on July 16, 2014, 04:53:13 PM
I wonder if this is why royalties from ACX were cut? I'm not really sure how it fits into the mix and it may be unrelated--just something that crossed my mind. I wonder how they will pay for audiobooks listened to in KU? I mean, two dollars split between author and narrator isn't that great, but maybe there will be a big increase in listens? And how are they choosing audiobooks to include in the library? Do the ebooks have to be in Select? Do they have to have whispersync? Two of mine have whispersync, two don't--but they are all part of a series, so that could stink for listeners.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: WDR on July 16, 2014, 04:56:06 PM
If someone is going to buy your book, they are only ever going to buy it once.

So, if I am going to get paid the same proceed share from a regular sale when someone reads 10% of my book via the Kindle Unlimited, then I can be happy with that. In fact, I would encourage such a program. (But if I am paid a lesser share of the sales proceeds, then I'd be upset, because the program just cost me a portion of my income.)

That reader can then read my book as many times as desired, because in my mind (and bank account) it is the same as if they purchased my book.

Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Perry Constantine on July 16, 2014, 05:05:54 PM
Here's the thing though. In a few years, you're not going to have a choice. Subscription services are essentially money for nothing continually while actual ownership is a one time transaction. Businesses have vanishingly little reason to actually let you keep stuff anymore.

Agreed. Even when you buy a digital product, you aren't buying the product, you're buying a license. A license they can screw with any time they like. In the long run, this kind of thing is bad for consumers, bad for content creators, and only good for the guys at the top of the food chain. I've said before there will probably come a time when Amazon starts undercutting indie writers to maximize their own profits. I fear this is the beginning of that.

An unlimited subscription service and the same royalty rate won't be sustainable. The rate will drop.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: wtvr on July 16, 2014, 05:11:17 PM
An unlimited subscription service and the same royalty rate won't be sustainable. The rate will drop.

Of course it will drop. There will probably be a decent start point to gain traction, and then it will inexorably slide toward exactly what you're afraid it will be.

Don't let that stop you from getting in on the boom, though. And when you strike Texas Tea, do a little jig alla way to the bank.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Colin on July 16, 2014, 05:21:22 PM
In the style of Ali G: Dis 'as caused massive speculation across da nation.



Good night fellow speculators.   :)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Hugh Howey on July 16, 2014, 05:22:11 PM
Here's something I would like to see added to any subscription service: Complete transparency to the reader on how much they just contributed to the author, with a "Tip" button at the purchase point and also upon completion of the book. No pressure, just the ability to support writers after each read.

I'd use that button, as a reader.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: MJWare on July 16, 2014, 05:24:28 PM
I wonder if this is why royalties from ACX were cut? I'm not really sure how it fits into the mix and it may be unrelated--just something that crossed my mind. I wonder how they will pay for audiobooks listened to in KU? I mean, two dollars split between author and narrator isn't that great, but maybe there will be a big increase in listens? And how are they choosing audiobooks to include in the library? Do the ebooks have to be in Select? Do they have to have whispersync? Two of mine have whispersync, two don't--but they are all part of a series, so that could stink for listeners.
Not that it necessarily means much, but last night my one audiobook was not listed. Might be something we'd need to opt into, but that's just a guess
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: MJWare on July 16, 2014, 05:27:32 PM
Living here in Omaha, I just had to get my hands on "Business Adventures" recommended by Old Man Buffet and the Gates boy. I saw the promo on my new Kindle late last night and started my 30-day free trial and downloaded said book. Got the confirmatory email with the wonderful surprise that I would be getting a complimentary 3-month Audible subscription.

Contacted Mayday, where the rep and the supervisor said that I was referring to unlimited free time for children. Went to the Twitter and @KindleHelp finally told me that the "test" was kaput. I still have the free book.
Let me get this straight, you signed up last night and today they've canceled your service? Crazy.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 16, 2014, 05:27:41 PM
Here's something I would like to see added to any subscription service: Complete transparency to the reader on how much they just contributed to the author, with a "Tip" button at the purchase point and also upon completion of the book. No pressure, just the ability to support writers after each read.

I'd use that button, as a reader.

Takes me back to my waiter days  :)

BTW, how many sigs we got now on that petition?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 16, 2014, 05:44:32 PM
Here's something I would like to see added to any subscription service: Complete transparency to the reader on how much they just contributed to the author, with a "Tip" button at the purchase point and also upon completion of the book. No pressure, just the ability to support writers after each read.

I'd use that button, as a reader.

Pay What You Want pricing should be an option on every platform.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Joliedupre on July 16, 2014, 05:46:51 PM
My books won't be priced higher than $2.99.  So for me as a Select person, if Amazon doesn't lower the royalty on a borrow, this is good news.  I'll wait for Amazon to give me the offical information.  Anything else is just speculation in about 100 different ways, all of which I have little time for.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 16, 2014, 05:47:00 PM
Don't let that stop you from getting in on the boom, though. And when you strike Texas Tea, do a little jig alla way to the bank.

There's not likely to be a boom for us. And if this is Select-only for the cannon fodder, one would be strapped in for 90 days of bust trying to get in on it. No thanks.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: wtvr on July 16, 2014, 05:58:48 PM
There's not likely to be a boom for us. And if this is Select-only for the cannon fodder, one would be strapped in for 90 days of bust trying to get in on it. No thanks.

Why not? The last 2 years were already an indie boom. This is a new part of market they want to dominate... no boom this time? Why do you think so?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Victorine on July 16, 2014, 06:01:27 PM
Living here in Omaha, I just had to get my hands on "Business Adventures" recommended by Old Man Buffet and the Gates boy. I saw the promo on my new Kindle late last night and started my 30-day free trial and downloaded said book. Got the confirmatory email with the wonderful surprise that I would be getting a complimentary 3-month Audible subscription.

Contacted Mayday, where the rep and the supervisor said that I was referring to unlimited free time for children. Went to the Twitter and @KindleHelp finally told me that the "test" was kaput. I still have the free book.

**Waves to Bill from Seward, NE**
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Perry Constantine on July 16, 2014, 06:23:14 PM
Of course it will drop. There will probably be a decent start point to gain traction, and then it will inexorably slide toward exactly what you're afraid it will be.

Don't let that stop you from getting in on the boom, though. And when you strike Texas Tea, do a little jig alla way to the bank.

Supporting a platform that will further undercut me in the future for some immediate gain doesn't strike me as a very good long-term strategy.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: wtvr on July 16, 2014, 06:29:13 PM
Supporting a platform that will further undercut me in the future for some immediate gain doesn't strike me as a very good long-term strategy.

Do you have another long-term strategy?

Having my distributor open up a new market is just about the most exciting thing I can think of, as a content producer.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Jan Strnad on July 16, 2014, 06:37:18 PM
But is it a new market? Or does it merely cannibalize the existing market and pay us lower royalties?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Herc- The Reluctant Geek on July 16, 2014, 06:42:17 PM
Supporting a platform that will further undercut me in the future for some immediate gain doesn't strike me as a very good long-term strategy.

How can you have a long term strategy in this environment?

All we know for sure is that Amazon needs content, which is why they insist on exclusivity. Everything else, up to and including the possibility that Amazon will go bust in the near term, is uncertain.

The only positive thing we can do is create more content while it is so valuable. There may indeed come a time when there is too much content and we return to the bad old days when the robber barons could exclude writers from the market because they were having a bad hair day, but until that day comes, we should be writing as fast and as well as we can.

We should be writing as if there is no tomorrow because, for those of us who want to write for a living, there might not be!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Quiss on July 16, 2014, 06:56:09 PM
But is it a new market? Or does it merely cannibalize the existing market and pay us lower royalties?

Yeah, this.
Maybe some folks here are watching more movies than before, but Speed isn't competing with 600,000 other movies. Speed has made money in the box office and the actors got paid. Speed is a backlist item.
Without price (freebies, specials, countdown) as a marketing tool, the only way to promote unknown books in KU is via categories, maybe keywords. Or by paying for advertising.
I'd be willing to put money on the likelihood that the authors will end up with the short end of the stick.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 16, 2014, 07:31:26 PM
Do you have another long-term strategy?

Having my distributor open up a new market is just about the most exciting thing I can think of, as a content producer.

If getting in on it requires select, it's a severe limitation of your channels to use it.

Otherwise, any temporary gain you get from this will be basically making sure the future you only gets paid a pittance when, as you already said, it goes down.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: AJStewart on July 16, 2014, 07:41:45 PM
I can't help thinking there is a 2 tier system in the making, because that's what I see with video. I have both Netflix and Amazon Prime, and I only really keep Netflix for the kids programs that my son can watch without being brainwashed by junk food ads. Both these services offer big catalogs but that are primarily backlist or the old "made for TV" type movie (with the odd top liner but not many). If we want to watch a new release movie on the weekend we stream it through Amazon Instant Video and pay for it.

Scribd seems the same as Netflix, big list, not many current releases from what I see (eg no Lee Child, Dan Brown I saw some older stuff, not Da Vinci or Inferno), so lots to choose from but if you want the latest from your fav author, you have to buy it, and Scribd even has those buy links. Perhaps Amazon will do the same. For unknown authors it might be a case of permafree becoming KU and then not having your latest and best in KU, so readers who really like your work will have to buy those.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: GP Hudson on July 16, 2014, 07:50:17 PM
I can't help thinking there is a 2 tier system in the making, because that's what I see with video. I have both Netflix and Amazon Prime, and I only really keep Netflix for the kids programs that my son can watch without being brainwashed by junk food ads. Both these services offer big catalogs but that are primarily backlist or the old "made for TV" type movie (with the odd top liner but not many). If we want to watch a new release movie on the weekend we stream it through Amazon Instant Video and pay for it.

Scribd seems the same as Netflix, big list, not many current releases from what I see (eg no Lee Child, Dan Brown I saw some older stuff, not Da Vinci or Inferno), so lots to choose from but if you want the latest from your fav author, you have to buy it, and Scribd even has those buy links. Perhaps Amazon will do the same. For unknown authors it might be a case of permafree becoming KU and then not having your latest and best in KU, so readers who really like your work will have to buy those.

That makes sense. I just hope it doesn't end up training people not to use the buy button.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Victorine on July 16, 2014, 07:57:28 PM
I imagine Amazon will allow us to opt into the library, like we do for everything else. The question will be, will it be worth it?

Netflix is great, but of course you can't get every new movie on there. Otherwise no one would go see new movies, or buy them on DVD. Amazon knows this. They want to make more money, not crash their ebook sales. They're going to be smart about how they do this, I'm sure.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 16, 2014, 08:04:09 PM
I can't help thinking there is a 2 tier system in the making, because that's what I see with video. I have both Netflix and Amazon Prime, and I only really keep Netflix for the kids programs that my son can watch without being brainwashed by junk food ads. Both these services offer big catalogs but that are primarily backlist or the old "made for TV" type movie (with the odd top liner but not many). If we want to watch a new release movie on the weekend we stream it through Amazon Instant Video and pay for it.

Scribd seems the same as Netflix, big list, not many current releases from what I see (eg no Lee Child, Dan Brown I saw some older stuff, not Da Vinci or Inferno), so lots to choose from but if you want the latest from your fav author, you have to buy it, and Scribd even has those buy links. Perhaps Amazon will do the same. For unknown authors it might be a case of permafree becoming KU and then not having your latest and best in KU, so readers who really like your work will have to buy those.

I haven't had any reason not to have my current titles on Scribd and Oyster.

I get paid on a read, just like a buy. Same amt, or close.

And what I've read is big publ have been adding more current titles as they see that's the case, ie, same as a sale.

I just finished 3rd bk in the Stefanie Plum series from Janet Evanovich. Not a current title, but not in the first batch of titles Scribd first had.

For me, Scribd has done as well as most of the major etailers.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: dianasg on July 16, 2014, 08:21:57 PM
My sister and I were talking about this today, and I brought up Spotify because I know she uses it. She says she's aware the artists get paid very little, but also said she'd discovered a lot of newer, indie artists through the platform's recommendation engine. (Her exact words were "But it tells me, if you like Ed sheeran, try these!") She says she listens to the new artist until she learns a lot of the songs, then buys the whole album on iTunes.

She listens to music the way readers here at KB fly through books. I think these subscription services are probably most useful to authors for discoverability, sort of like how many use free now. Like a 'Try before you buy' thing. As with free, the author doesn't (or won't, in time) make much.

So what one might do is write a short novel set in the world of one of their series, then put it in KU as a way to catch new eyes, and draw people into reading more stories set in that world. Loss leader, etc etc.

At first I thought, if readers pay for this, will they ever pay for a book again? And the answer is of course - just like how the existence of a gazillion free books doesn't mean people don't still buy books. Someone tell me if my logic is totally flawed here! :)

Vaalingrade makes some darn good points, though.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: jimkukral on July 16, 2014, 08:33:53 PM
Me too. I hope they all fail to be honest, even though I have my books opted in to ScribD and Oyster. The thought of books being turned into Spotify... those tiny royalties... it scares me.

Time to get that mailing list built up!

Yep. Amazon is great, but they don't share the customer information with us. Now that's a feature I'd like to have. This new thing will flush out like everything else. It'll be awesome for some, and others not so much. Wait and see is the mantra.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: VEVO on July 16, 2014, 08:47:37 PM
Kindle Unlimited will be more like Netflix than Spotify

Spotify:  99% of the music a typical customer is looking for (very few holdouts).  Many don't buy music anymore since Spotify serves all their music needs for $9.99 a month. 

Netflix:  maybe 25% of new movies and tv shows that a typical customer is looking for.  Which mean that typical customer will be much more likely to buy movies, rent movies, subscribe to Hulu, subscribe to cable TV to supplement their viewings. 

Like the Netflix customer, Kindle Unlimited customer will also buy books because of the many holdouts.   

Basically, if a typical reader read 10 books a month, that person might only read 5 books from Kindle Unlimited, the other 5 books are from purchase.

5 books a month = $9.99 x 70% royalties = $1.4 royalties per book.

If the ratio is 4 books a month with Kindle Unlimited, 6 books a month from purchase, then

4 books a month = $7 royalties  = $1.75 royalties per book




Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Mark E. Cooper on July 17, 2014, 12:17:53 AM
My sister and I were talking about this today, and I brought up Spotify because I know she uses it. She says she's aware the artists get paid very little, but also said she'd discovered a lot of newer, indie artists through the platform's recommendation engine. (Her exact words were "But it tells me, if you like Ed sheeran, try these!") She says she listens to the new artist until she learns a lot of the songs, then buys the whole album on iTunes.

She listens to music the way readers here at KB fly through books. I think these subscription services are probably most useful to authors for discoverability, sort of like how many use free now. Like a 'Try before you buy' thing. As with free, the author doesn't (or won't, in time) make much.

So what one might do is write a short novel set in the world of one of their series, then put it in KU as a way to catch new eyes, and draw people into reading more stories set in that world. Loss leader, etc etc.

At first I thought, if readers pay for this, will they ever pay for a book again? And the answer is of course - just like how the existence of a gazillion free books doesn't mean people don't still buy books. Someone tell me if my logic is totally flawed here! :)

Vaalingrade makes some darn good points, though.

This is my current thinking as well. Will I put any of my current books into Select to get into KU? HELL NO! I would lose all traction in my other channels just at the point they are paying off. Will I put a new release for my series in it? HELL NO! My readers would go ape[crap] if they are forced to use Amazon exclusively.

But would I write a special funnel book and put THAT in? Hell yes! A book like that to lead readers into your existing paid for series would be gold. Its basically a permafree book on crack! The reader gets an almost free book and Iget paid. How much? We don't know, but I don't get paid for permafree now except in promo credits (sort of) that pay off when readers follow through and buy the sequels.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Colin on July 17, 2014, 12:27:43 AM
This is my current thinking as well. Will I put any of my current books into Select to get into KU? HELL NO! I would lose all traction in my other channels just at the point they are paying off. Will I put a new release for my series in it? HELL NO! My readers would go ape[crap] if they are forced to use Amazon exclusively.

But would I write a special funnel book and put THAT in? Hell yes! A book like that to lead readers into your existing paid for series would be gold. Its basically a permafree book on crack! The reader gets an almost free book and I get paid. How much? We don't know, but I don't get paid for permafree now except in promo credits (sort of) that pay off when readers follow through and buy the sequels.

Nicely put, Mark.

I would say this is probably the best advice for those who have a series of books.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Lady Vine on July 17, 2014, 12:28:43 AM
They're probably going to do what they should have done a long time ago: give the sale price on borrows of books below $2.99. That will free up quite a bit of money to begin with. And then offer 40-50% on titles over $2.99 as an incentive, because, well, authors have been accepting $2 on their more expensive titles for awhile anyway, so this will be an improvement.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Amanda M. Lee on July 17, 2014, 12:36:28 AM
I don't see how we can say it's a good or bad thing until we know the specifics of it. I'm not going to freak out until I know.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Caddy on July 17, 2014, 12:54:58 AM
This is my current thinking as well. Will I put any of my current books into Select to get into KU? HELL NO! I would lose all traction in my other channels just at the point they are paying off. Will I put a new release for my series in it? HELL NO! My readers would go ape[crap] if they are forced to use Amazon exclusively.

But would I write a special funnel book and put THAT in? Hell yes! A book like that to lead readers into your existing paid for series would be gold. Its basically a permafree book on crack! The reader gets an almost free book and Iget paid. How much? We don't know, but I don't get paid for permafree now except in promo credits (sort of) that pay off when readers follow through and buy the sequels.

I was thinking the same. Also, if you have a series and the first is perma-free, people will still download the perma-free. And, if they like the first book, a certain percentage (just like now) will buy the rest of the series. None of those need to be in this program, including the perma-free. Why would putting a book in this program be any more enticing to a reader than a free book? Maybe I'm not thinking clearly and missing the "fear" issue here. It IS 3am so I could be.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Colin on July 17, 2014, 12:57:47 AM
I don't see how we can say it's a good or bad thing until we know the specifics of it. I'm not going to freak out until I know.

I think for people like Mark, who has a series of books which he could promote via a 'funnel book' on KU, it could be good - regardless of the royalty rate.

For others it's probably best to take a chill-pill and wait and see!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: books_mb on July 17, 2014, 03:01:15 AM
It sounds good so far. 600,000 titles (including 7,300 audio books) for 10 $, plus reading on iPad and iPhone (their Kindle Unlimited hipster ad shows both). Should bring in enough customers to make up for the decrease in royalties (which I assume will happen?). Getting paid once the reader goes past 10 % also sounds like a fair deal. If trad publishers resist this, it will be even better for indies. I'm sure Amazon thought this through and draws the right conclusions from their tests. They want to dominate the market and they can't do that by ******* their authors. They have to stay attractive to both customers and authors.

But it sucks that I had to hear this from the mass media. An email from Amazon would have been nice.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: B.A. Spangler on July 17, 2014, 03:17:22 AM
Just a matter of time before Amazon offered a subscription based model.
And as Amazon changes (as the industry changes) we'll have to adjust and change with it.

A funnel book is a great example of connecting to readers in a changing delivery model. Now I need to go write one.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Jash on July 17, 2014, 03:43:04 AM
But it sucks that I had to hear this from the mass media. An email from Amazon would have been nice.

It hasn't even been announced or confirmed yet. Everything is speculation based on a couple of pages that were temporarily available yesterday either by accident or an intentional leak that was supposed to look accidental.

Not saying Amazon will send you an email if/when they decide to announce this, but you're not really hearing about it from the mass media. The mass media is hearing about it from us!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: David Beers on July 17, 2014, 03:52:57 AM
http://www.spotifyartists.com/spotify-explained/

The reason artists receive so little from Spotify is the way their contracts are negotiated.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: CristinaRayne on July 17, 2014, 03:55:51 AM
I just hope we'll be given the choice to opt in without having to be in Select.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Colin on July 17, 2014, 03:57:27 AM
...you're not really hearing about it from the mass media. The mass media is hearing about it from us!

The mass hysteria!

 :P :o :)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: drno on July 17, 2014, 04:19:52 AM
Guys, I don't think you get what amazing things are happening. I've read all the posts and most are about what will happen to indie income?

BOOM TIMES FOR INDIES!!!!

Two reasons: 1: Scribd  exists. Amazon as a company has to react to that challenge. Amazon reinvented book publishing and selling. They put the big book stores out of business. They do not want an upstart like Scribd to do the same to them. There are indies here on Kboards, who have books on Scribd and they like the income. So the model itself works for indies. What does it matter whether Scribd does it or Amazon?

2: Amazon is not trying to get their beaks into more indie money, not even your money Hugh Howey  ;). They are after a ten billion dollar industry. The Libraries of America. Librarians are the ones, who will feel the pinch, not us indies. I spent a lot of time in libraries as a kid. Goooo Librarians!!! As a grown up trying to make a living as an indie writer, my books are not in the libraries, so "Booooo" to you librarians. Librarians are trying to make a living, but so am I. Come on! Besides Amazon didn't start the library fight, Scribd did. Blame them!

If we get the tens of millions of Americans visiting libraries to come over to Kindle Unlimited, how is that bad for us indies? How is having tens of millions of new readers looking for our books bad for us indies?

BOOM TIMES GUYS!!!! JUST THINK!!!!

CALL TO ACTION: remove your books from all non-Amazon platforms and put them in Select. We must make this thing work.

During the fight with Hachette, when Stephen King and James Patterson wanted readers to boycott Amazon and get Washington involved, Amazon was on the ropes, almost defeated, it was indies Hugh Howey and Joe Konrath organizing the indie writers to counter their nonsense that helped Amazon back on its feet, able to fight another day. Amazon knows this. They are not trying to short change indies. We're in this together. They scratch our backs, we scratch theirs.

We are at the moment getting a slice of the cake that traditionally the big publishers were splitting with million selling writers. With Kindle Unlimited we get some of that 10 billion dollar library money!

BOOM TIMES!!!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Mark E. Cooper on July 17, 2014, 04:36:07 AM

What does it matter whether Scribd does it or Amazon?

Oh me me me! I know the answer to this one! Amazon requires exclusivity, Scribd doesn't.

Quote
CALL TO ACTION: remove your books from all non-Amazon platforms and put them in Select. We must make this thing work.



ROFL
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Ann in Arlington on July 17, 2014, 04:49:59 AM
FWIW.

This reader is not likely to pay extra for the subscription service. Won't say "won't", but I know me, and it's not likely. :)

Yes, I use my monthly borrow as a Prime member, and if this service is free to me as a prime member already (even if maybe more limited than the full service) I will very likely try to use it to the extent I'm allowed. I have Prime mostly for shipping -- the free book borrow a month is icing on the cake as is the free forever book a month via the Kindle First program. Which, I note, is available to non Prime members as well for $1.99; most books in the program will be released at $3.99 or $4.99.

I do use my county's public library -- usually for books that I'm pretty sure I'd like to read but not sure I want to pay for . . . so, for example, I have several on my wait list that have come out recently at much higher purchase prices -- like $10.99 to $13.99. I want to read them, but don't need to own them at that price.

Here's the thing. . . . . I can do math with the best of 'em, and it's really going to come down to me working out about how much I spend AND read a month anyway and looking at whether books I'd really want to read are in the program.

For example, I don't spend more than $ 4 or $5 for most books.  Sometimes up to $7 or $8 but only rarely do I spend $10 or more.  Additionally, I don't think I average more than 2 or 3 books a month and there are some months -- like when I'm in the midst of tax season, that if I read 1 I feel like I've done well.  It's not that I don't read a lot, it's that I read other stuff too -- like I get the paper every day, there are magazines, and I usually have several books going at once. But I probably only read for an average of a couple of hours a day most of the time and I tend to like longer books. So that's the money.

The other thing is, even if I go back and really analyze things and find that, hey, I do read a lot more than I think I do so a flat $10 or so a month might be worth it: Do They Have The Books I Want To Read?  That's a major question.  If I'm paying $10 a month to get all I want, but what I want most is not in the program and I'm having to spend to get it anyway, or borrow from my county library, I'm not saving money.

So . . . . . for me . . . . I'll want to see how it all works and what the costs involved might be and do an analysis of my reading habits.  I'm fortunate that I have the discretionary income, but even if I had to stop buying books TODAY, I've got enough in my account to last me years. Plus, I rarely spend 'real money' on Kindle books -- I keep a gift card balance which I started for convenience but it's been, literally, years since I had to buy myself a GC to keep it topped up. The balance now has all come from birthday/christmas presents, affiliate payments through a friend's site that I help him with, turning in loose change to coin star, and points from my Amazon credit card. When that balance gets low, I stop buying for a while.

I have been a member of some of the old 'book a month' clubs -- Mystery Guild, etc. I could always find some books for my first bargain set, and usually had no problem buying the one or two I needed in the next year to stay in good standing, but then it would get to where I didn't have the time, or maybe the inclination, to search for something every month so unless the featured books looked good, I just tried to remember to send the card back with a 'no thanks.' And usually cancelled after a few months of having forgotten and having had not-really-wanted books show up on my doorstep. ::) I feel like that's where I'd end up -- spending $10 a month but not really using the service.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Ann in Arlington on July 17, 2014, 04:52:09 AM
What does it matter whether Scribd does it or Amazon?


From a reader's perspective, Scribd won't work for me, were I so inclined. Oyster neither. Because both require apps on a tablet.  I can't put a book on my eInk kindle, which is my preferred reading device.  With an Amazon program, I could.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: heynonny on July 17, 2014, 05:31:22 AM
As someone noted upthread, this is all about shoring up the desirability of Amazon Prime, especially as they've increased the price of participation.

Outside the indie book bubble, to the average person Amazon is a big ole oligarichal meanie trying to screw authors and publishers. I doubt Amazon at this point and time wants to get into another  p*ss ing contest with authors by offering unfavorable terms, thereby confirming their worst fears and throwing gas onto the fire. Yet. Eventually they'll tinker with the profit margins if the program proves successful.

Subscription services are the future. Yes, it sucks for the artist, but its the way people are consuming entertainment now. I'm surprised Amazon hasn't already created a program for books.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Quiss on July 17, 2014, 05:46:28 AM
CALL TO ACTION: remove your books from all non-Amazon platforms and put them in Select. We must make this thing work.
BOOM TIMES!!!

Dude. Seriously. B&N is rocking my world right now and Amazon hasn't even bothered to send an email.
Wait. And. See.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Quiss on July 17, 2014, 05:49:41 AM
5 books a month = $9.99 x 70% royalties = $1.4 royalties per book.

You're not seriously expecting to receive 70% royalties, are you?  :o

Can someone describe how Netflix works in terms of gaining visibility?
How do the more obscure movies get found? Do people just look for the titles/directors/actors they already know or heard of, or do they use categories or keywords to find new stuff? Do reviews matter there?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Ann in Arlington on July 17, 2014, 05:55:30 AM

Outside the indie book bubble, to the average person Amazon is a big ole oligarichal meanie trying to screw authors and publishers.


I'd say that, to the average person, Amazon is a huge internet retailer with generally very good prices and reliable delivery, where you can get just about anything you want . . . that amazing hot sauce you found in a grocery store on vacation on the other side of the country that they don't sell here, strings for your six stringed tenor ukulele, or a specialty switch that lets the lights in your cupboard go on when you open the door.

The average person isn't paying any real attention to any of the kerfuffles and brouhahas. They don't have any real interest in the issues the authors and publishers think about. They just want to know if they can keep getting what they want cheaply and efficiently.

When this Kindle Unlimited thing goes live for real, I expect they'll have a fair number of takers . . . . .
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Betsy the Quilter on July 17, 2014, 06:03:42 AM
You're not seriously expecting to receive 70% royalties, are you?  :o

Can someone describe how Netflix works in terms of gaining visibility?
How do the more obscure movies get found? Do people just look for the titles/directors/actors they already know or heard of, or do they use categories or keywords to find new stuff? Do reviews matter there?

I don't know about "gaining visibility" :D but I can tell you how I use Netflix and Prime Video.  Sometimes I search, but more often I just browse through "new releases" and recommendations based on my viewing.  I tend to watch new stuff, some I've never heard of, more than seeking out new hot stuff.  Though I do some of that, too.

Betsy
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 17, 2014, 06:30:24 AM
From a reader's perspective, Scribd won't work for me, were I so inclined. Oyster neither. Because both require apps on a tablet.  I can't put a book on my eInk kindle, which is my preferred reading device.  With an Amazon program, I could.

Ann, with Scribd (and not trying to chg your mind) one can also read online direct. Also a tablet is not required, one can use a smart phone, or any computer, even the Kindle Fire (I use all of those).

But you're right re the eInk Kindle, not positive, but I don't think the Scribd app will work there.

Also, have been getting into what libraries offer more and more recently, and some of the programs and delivery systems that OverDrive and Baker & Taylor are offering the libraries are getting better and better.
http://blogs.overdrive.com/front-page-library-news/2014/06/26/overdrive-to-present-20142015-ebook-lending-roadmap-at-national-library-conference/

For me, I'm just amazed how much has changed as I grow into my 60s  :)

And I remember when that small oval b&w tv was a big deal!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 17, 2014, 06:37:55 AM
You're not seriously expecting to receive 70% royalties, are you?  :o

Can someone describe how Netflix works in terms of gaining visibility?
How do the more obscure movies get found? Do people just look for the titles/directors/actors they already know or heard of, or do they use categories or keywords to find new stuff? Do reviews matter there?

Quiss, I get 60% (70 - 10% to Smashwords) at both Scribd and Oyster.

My wife and I have used Netflix since the mid 2000s, and our way of finding new stuff has changed the last few years. At first of course we wanted anything recent we'd missed at the movies. Still do that somewhat, but very little. Categories seems to have worked best for us right now. Searching mysteries we can across really old (70s) BBC stuff with Helen Mirren, then mysteries series from Australia like the Miss Fisher tv series, and odd titles we'd never heard of that we felt comfortable trying because we knew we wouldn't be buying something we'd either have to return or keep but not like.

Reviews have mattered much much less. The simple (good or bad) one liners are meaningless. Mean spirited or super rah-rah stuff the same way, unless accompanied with samples from the work.

Anyway, all just interesting times. We try to roll with the changes. In our 60s, my wife and I have learned to enjoy many of the new tech & digital stuff, but still like some of the old.  :)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Jan Strnad on July 17, 2014, 07:00:21 AM
Can someone describe how Netflix works in terms of gaining visibility?
How do the more obscure movies get found? Do people just look for the titles/directors/actors they already know or heard of, or do they use categories or keywords to find new stuff? Do reviews matter there?

NetFlix has great algorithms. They come up with categories such as "goofy movies" and "raunchy movies" and "because you watched Breaking Bad" and "20th century period movies" and "critically acclaimed comedies" that present movies I'm not familiar with. I like that their thinking goes beyond the usual categories of "thriller" and "romance" to try to zero in on qualities that make TV shows and movies appealing to individuals.

And my wife and I can have separate lists and recommendations on the same account.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: GP Hudson on July 17, 2014, 07:22:21 AM
I was thinking a bit more about the 10% requirement. If someone buys a book and the beginning is a little slow, they'll likely wade through it in hopes that it will pick up because they paid for the book.

Now with a subscription model what motivation is there to keep reading? None. So if your books do not hook the reader right away they won't make it to 10% and you won't get paid.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 17, 2014, 07:26:52 AM
I was thinking a bit more about the 10% requirement. If someone buys a book and the beginning is a little slow, they'll likely wade through it in hopes that it will pick up because they paid for the book.

Now with a subscription model what motivation is there to keep reading? None. So if your books do not hook the reader right away they won't make it to 10% and you won't get paid.

Koko, the inverse (converse?) for me anyway, has been that unless the book is really not for me, chances are, when the mood strikes me, I'll take another peek into that book, and see if I've changed my mind (diff mood, etc). I've done this with quite a few books on Scribd and Oyster. Only a bare few were either left off w/out hitting the 10% (which pays out as a browse), or dropped a little further in the book.

But, that's me. I imagine it can also work just as you describe.

All part of having a work avail for many folk, I think.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: GP Hudson on July 17, 2014, 08:11:45 AM
Koko, the inverse (converse?) for me anyway, has been that unless the book is really not for me, chances are, when the mood strikes me, I'll take another peek into that book, and see if I've changed my mind (diff mood, etc). I've done this with quite a few books on Scribd and Oyster. Only a bare few were either left off w/out hitting the 10% (which pays out as a browse), or dropped a little further in the book.

But, that's me. I imagine it can also work just as you describe.

All part of having a work avail for many folk, I think.

Yeah I was just reading a craft book where the author was talking about strong openings. He was talking in terms of agents and editors and how busy they are and how important it was to grab them early to have a chance of them reading further. It made me think of the 10% requirement and how it can be an artificial slush pile.

If you are not getting paid because readers are not hooked before that 10% mark you will likely eventually be weeded out. Not to mention the algorithms that will be built in to make the books where people read past the 10% mark more discoverable.

Hooking a reader early has always been important, but I think with KU it is going to become a lot more important.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 17, 2014, 08:23:49 AM
Now with a subscription model what motivation is there to keep reading? None. So if your books do not hook the reader right away they won't make it to 10% and you won't get paid.

I do this already by downloading the sample of a book before buying. The sample is approximately 10% of the book (though a lot of books have a bunch of wasted-space front matter, so you don't always get 10% of the prose). If the sample doesn't grab me, I don't buy the book. There are far too many books to try out to waste time on one that might get better.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: wtvr on July 17, 2014, 08:42:36 AM
After sleeping on it, I'm still thoroughly enthused about this. I understand all the posts of concern, but for us noobs it's as though you all were already boarded on the giant cruise ship "Amazonia," and we were running along the dock with manuscripts spilling out of our luggage yelling, "Wait up! Come on, guys!"

But wait! New the new cruise ship "Unlimited" just docked! ALL ABOARD!  ;D
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 17, 2014, 08:58:42 AM
After sleeping on it, I'm still thoroughly enthused about this. I understand all the posts of concern, but for us noobs it's as though you all were already boarded on the giant cruise ship "Amazonia," and we were running along the dock with manuscripts spilling out of our luggage yelling, "Wait up! Come on, guys!"

But wait! New the new cruise ship "Unlimited" just docked! ALL ABOARD!  ;D

 :) Based on my experience, as a reader and writer, on Scribd and Oyster, I feel "can" be a good thing, definitely  :)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Ann in Arlington on July 17, 2014, 09:00:05 AM
Ann, with Scribd (and not trying to chg your mind) one can also read online direct. Also a tablet is not required, one can use a smart phone, or any computer, even the Kindle Fire (I use all of those).


Oh, yeah. I know all that.  I was using 'tablet' in the generic sense -- could include apple, android (including Fire), windows. I have Fires, a phone, a windows tablet, laptop and desktop based computer. FWIW I can't think of much less satisfying than reading on line while sitting with a laptop or at my desk. ::) I use the phone rarely -- only when nothing better is available, and I use my Fires occasionally.  But, while I could d/l the Scribd app and read books on my Fire, my preferred reading device is my eInk kindle and Scribd titles will NOT work on that.  I even signed up for the free six months when they offered it -- I'm willing to try things -- but when I found it wouldn't work on the PW, I've basically done nothing with it because it doesn't work for me.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 17, 2014, 09:00:31 AM
http://www.spotifyartists.com/spotify-explained/ (http://www.spotifyartists.com/spotify-explained/)

The reason artists receive so little from Spotify is the way their contracts are negotiated.

So if that's what they got, then a group that don't get to negotiate at all and actively reject the concept of banding together for collective bargaining purposes would get...

Man, we are going to have to pay Amazon each time someone reads our books by this rubric.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 17, 2014, 09:03:39 AM
I do this already by downloading the sample of a book before buying. The sample is approximately 10% of the book (though a lot of books have a bunch of wasted-space front matter, so you don't always get 10% of the prose). If the sample doesn't grab me, I don't buy the book. There are far too many books to try out to waste time on one that might get better.

Just hasn't been my experience with Scribd and Oyster, Jim. There are so many good books, by so many unknown or relatively known writers, that I have found myself going back to quite a few books that intrigued me within the 10%, but just didn't have time for then.

Scribd lets me place up to 20 (I think) books in my library for access anytime. Right now I have one book open in my iPhone, another in my Kindle app on the same phone, another on my Kindle Fire, and one in my browser (I can see the tab as I type.)

Subscription plans, including hopefully via Amazon, change that do or die approach.

That's why Amazon's ad read : Freedom to Explore.

It's a nice change.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 17, 2014, 09:04:22 AM
After sleeping on it, I'm still thoroughly enthused about this. I understand all the posts of concern, but for us noobs it's as though you all were already boarded on the giant cruise ship "Amazonia," and we were running along the dock with manuscripts spilling out of our luggage yelling, "Wait up! Come on, guys!"

But wait! New the new cruise ship "Unlimited" just docked! ALL ABOARD!  ;D

But instead of sailing under whatever name the SS Gimmick is pulling into port with right now, you should take a few short trips on the Cheap Marketing ferry and the Networking With Fellow Authors party yacht first.

Once you're read for the commitment of a cruise, the SS Prudently Diversified is always going to have fewer MSRA outbreaks and backed up sewage lines.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 17, 2014, 09:06:48 AM
Oh, yeah. I know all that.  I was using 'tablet' in the generic sense -- could include apple, android (including Fire), windows. I have Fires, a phone, a windows tablet, laptop and desktop based computer. FWIW I can't think of much less satisfying than reading on line while sitting with a laptop or at my desk. ::) I use the phone rarely -- only when nothing better is available, and I use my Fires occasionally.  But, while I could d/l the Scribd app and read books on my Fire, my preferred reading device is my eInk kindle and Scribd titles will NOT work on that.  I even signed up for the free six months when they offered it -- I'm willing to try things -- but when I found it wouldn't work on the PW, I've basically done nothing with it because it doesn't work for me.

Gotcha, I understand. My wife still prefers, # 1 - a physical book, and # 2 - her second generation b&w Kindle with a little light clipped on it.  :)

Tell you what I'm dreading, tech wise, is folk reading out in pubic via holograms!

Potentially fun and social, probably intrusive as heck  :)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: wtvr on July 17, 2014, 09:17:29 AM
But instead of sailing under whatever name the SS Gimmick is pulling into port with right now, you should take a few short trips on the Cheap Marketing ferry and the Networking With Fellow Authors party yacht first.

Once you're read for the commitment of a cruise, the SS Prudently Diversified is always going to have fewer MSRA outbreaks and backed up sewage lines.

HA!  ;D Well said, well said. I hear everything you're putting out there. Somebody has to be the canary in the... cruise ship. I volunteer, is all. You make a lot of great points.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Colin on July 17, 2014, 09:23:58 AM
But instead of sailing under whatever name the SS Gimmick is pulling into port with right now, you should take a few short trips on the Cheap Marketing ferry and the Networking With Fellow Authors party yacht first.

Once you're read for the commitment of a cruise, the SS Prudently Diversified is always going to have fewer MSRA outbreaks and backed up sewage lines.

But don't go overboard.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 17, 2014, 09:25:04 AM
Thanks. It's just that I was where you are not too long ago. Everything looks awesome and promising and it's full steam ahead until oh god, it's not anything like you thought it would be and now it's taking you months to extricate yourself and reorient toward a better... well not 'more stable' but at least 'less unstable' business model.

Trust me, I lost sooo much time and money by not watching at least a few people who can absorb the damage of a fall take the leap first.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 17, 2014, 09:27:01 AM
You may be right about banding together for collective bargaining purposes. I haven't agreed such a thing is necessary for indies in the current climate, but with this KU subscription service I can see the little guys (i.e. us) being left out of the discussion with no voice at the table.

My problem though with unions is that they are a gatekeeping entity. I self-publish to avoid the know-betters who decide what the public will read and what they won't.

How do we form a union without it becoming just another body of people telling indie authors they're not worthy because of x y and z? Becoming a union member requires you jump through certain hoops to be accepted and have your rights collectively bargained for - but in terms of us self-publishers how do you do it without becoming the very thing most indies wish to avoid like the plague?

These are honest questions here - no snark intended - I am genuinely curious about what is and is not possible. Thanks. :)

Maybe as minimal an entry requirement as possible? Just guessing ideas, but that the person has self-published one title? Period. With proof, like a link to an existing item page on any major site (etailer, subscription service, library, etc)?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 17, 2014, 09:33:40 AM
My problem though with unions is that they are a gatekeeping entity. I self-publish to avoid the know-betters who decide what the public will read and what they won't.

See here's the awesome thing about unions no one bothers to talk about because they're so anxious to talk about corruption like it's inevitable: You can benefit from on in your industry without being part of it.

Say an Indie Writers' Guild forms tomorrow and implements a 'No kwards allowed' policy because... reasons. Say they then successfully negotiate with Amazon to if not pony up a better fund for KU, then to add Pay What You Want options so people who really like your books can still give you more money if they like you.

Everyone would get them, not just the Guild, assuming the Guild is chartered under the idea of improving contracts for indies.

If you live in America, this is how we ended up with things like overtime pay, lunch breaks, and the new and exotic 'not being locked inside burning buildings' laws and the ones where they couldn't make children crawl into coal seams or run under the decapitating arms of looms to pick up dropped detritus. These weren't things that were freely given, they were forced concessions.

Edit: As for forming a broadly beneficial union, it's all in the charter. If you prohibit accepting terms exclusive to the union and maintain membership purely through internal perks, you limit the major excluding problem by making exclusion a non-injurus issue.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: KZoe on July 17, 2014, 09:53:33 AM
Kindle Unlimited will be more like Netflix than Spotify.

I hope not. I think a Netflix-like model would be disastrous for most writers.

Netflix:  maybe 25% of new movies and tv shows that a typical customer is looking for.  Which mean that typical customer will be much more likely to buy movies, rent movies, subscribe to Hulu, subscribe to cable TV to supplement their viewings. 

Like the Netflix customer, Kindle Unlimited customer will also buy books because of the many holdouts.   

I disagree. DVD sales are down a whopping 28% from last year. The lack of selection on Netflix isn't fueling DVD sales. If anything, it's pushing people to similar services (Hulu, Amazon, cable tv) and piracy. Digital movie/show sales, btw, account for around 10% of entertainment sales. They're on the rise but not filling the gap between DVD sales and streaming.

It's also important to note that Netflix has lost around 2,000 titles just in the last year as contracts with distributors have ended and have not been renewed. Though some of those titles weren't not profitable for NF and they let them go, many titles were not renewed because the distribution deals with distributors/content providers could not be negotiated. It's worrisome when studios/distributors/content providers choose to opt out of a popular service due to financials.  What if Amazon started dropping books that weren't performing well for their services? What if Amazon pushed out some 3rd party content providers (authors) in favor of promoting their own imprints as Netflix has done with their original programming?

Maybe Netflix isn't the best example?   :)







Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Sapphire on July 17, 2014, 09:59:19 AM
I, for one, have never and will not now pay any entity to negotiate for me. Do I think a group of independents can influence? You better believe it! But no to an organized entity, whether you call it a union or another name.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Colin on July 17, 2014, 10:22:05 AM
...  What if Amazon started dropping books that weren't performing well for their services? What if Amazon pushed out some 3rd party content providers (authors) in favor of promoting their own imprints as Netflix has done with their original programming? ...


Amazon already push ebooks from publishers that they own.

I often check out the publishers of the books offers they send by email - an increasing proportion of them are now from the Amazon stable.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 17, 2014, 10:37:29 AM
I, for one, have never and will not now pay any entity to negotiate for me. Do I think a group of independents can influence? You better believe it! But no to an organized entity, whether you call it a union or another name.

Somewhere, an Amazon executive is spontaneously doing the cabbage patch and doens't know why...
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 17, 2014, 10:46:16 AM
Amazon already push ebooks from publishers that they own.

I often check out the publishers of the books offers they send by email - an increasing proportion of them are now from the Amazon stable.

I didn't realize it'd gotten that far away from the spread of titles, thanks.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Colin on July 17, 2014, 10:52:54 AM
I didn't realize it'd gotten that far away from the spread of titles, thanks.

It's getting more so every day. A few self-published/indie authors get a mention, but not as many as a year or so back.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Quiss on July 17, 2014, 10:58:25 AM
I, for one, have never and will not now pay any entity to negotiate for me. Do I think a group of independents can influence? You better believe it! But no to an organized entity, whether you call it a union or another name.

Ah, those good old pre-Union days...  :P
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0703/quiss/Album1/800wi_zpsca688a59.jpg)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Colin on July 17, 2014, 11:07:47 AM
Ah, those good old pre-Union days...  :P
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0703/quiss/Album1/800wi_zpsca688a59.jpg)

Thanks Quiss. You're a mine of information.  :)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 17, 2014, 11:57:45 AM
If you want it to be non-exclusionary, be there when the charter is written and make sure it's not written.

Also, sorry for the America thing. I meant it in terms of I'm pretty sure other nations managed to invent worker's right without having to strangle them out of the robber barons. We perfected exploitation technology long before we discovered decency sometime in the mid-1960's. It (decency toward the working class) then became lost technology somewhere around 2005.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: dmac on July 17, 2014, 12:09:45 PM
A good model that would benefit both Amazon and authors is to have a window for releases, similar to how movie studios do with theatrical releases and the time before they show up on DVD, cable, Netflix, etc.

This would allow authors to have their older titles/backlist in front of customers, while still being able to sell their newer titles for listed price. Your fans will not wait 6 months for a book to show up on KU, but you will get a lot of new fans through KU.

Of course, we do not know the details, but this type of model and release window would be very good for all parties, I think.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 17, 2014, 12:19:43 PM
Crushing your fellow man into a delicious paste that perks up your money sandwiches is universal.

This is why I get so annoyed at people personifying and the empathizing with corporate entities.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Edward M. Grant on July 17, 2014, 12:21:59 PM
Just a suggestion, but could we maybe cut the politics and get the thread back on topic?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Colin on July 17, 2014, 12:25:46 PM
Hey! we in the UK invented the robber baron thing;  then we turn our backs for a few (historical) minutes and what do you know...the Americans steal our ideas. Outrageous!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: ChristinePope on July 17, 2014, 12:25:57 PM
Just a suggestion, but could we maybe cut the politics and get the thread back on topic?


Thank you.

A good model that would benefit both Amazon and authors is to have a window for releases, similar to how movie studios do with theatrical releases and the time before they show up on DVD, cable, Netflix, etc.

This would allow authors to have their older titles/backlist in front of customers, while still being able to sell their newer titles for listed price. Your fans will not wait 6 months for a book to show up on KU, but you will get a lot of new fans through KU.

Of course, we do not know the details, but this type of model and release window would be very good for all parties, I think.

I quite like the sound of that.  :)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Colin on July 17, 2014, 12:28:29 PM
Thank you.

I quite like the sound of that.  :)

Yes. Let's get back to the needless speculation - the facts will surely follow... :P :o
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: dmac on July 17, 2014, 12:29:51 PM
Yes. Let's get back to needless speculation until we know all the facts... :P :o

That is preferable to injecting one's politics into every discussion, no? Which is not to say you are, as I have not read the entire thread, but it seems there are Kboarders who cannot veer away from politics regardless of the topic.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Colin on July 17, 2014, 12:31:31 PM
That is preferable to injecting one's politics into every discussion, no?

I didn't notice that politics were being injected into every discussion.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: dmac on July 17, 2014, 12:36:16 PM
I didn't notice that politics were being injected into every discussion.

You win.

I am moving on.

Please do likewise.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Colin on July 17, 2014, 12:38:45 PM
You win.

I am moving on.

Please do likewise.

Please realize that these threads have a life of their own and - like any conversation - sometimes stray from the original subject.

Chill man!   :)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: richard.r.fox on July 17, 2014, 12:57:14 PM
KU could serve as a funnel or breadcrumb for the new hotness. While I don't have much history of sales or a variety of titles to look at, I imagine something like this:

An author puts the first three novels of their series into KU and keeps the fourth book out, and at full price. Once the fifth book is published, the fourth book slips under the waves and into KU. The KU books slosh about and find new readers, who glom onto the non-KU titles.

My concerns with KU:
Exclusivitiy-While I didn't get a chance to check, seems books on Scribd/Oyster were available on KU. Can I/we put our work on all three sites simultaneously?
Rankings-If readers get past the pay threshold, how would it affect rankings? Does it count as a sale?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 17, 2014, 01:20:28 PM
Yeah, if we can't talk about all possible responses if this thing goes all Spotify on us, then what good is even talking about it at all.

Hey it's a new thing. Let's not react in any way at all.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 17, 2014, 01:23:26 PM
My concerns with KU:
Exclusivitiy-While I didn't get a chance to check, seems books on Scribd/Oyster were available on KU. Can I/we put our work on all three sites simultaneously?
Rankings-If readers get past the pay threshold, how would it affect rankings? Does it count as a sale?

Richard, do you remember any of the titles dual listed? Thanks!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Colin on July 17, 2014, 01:31:49 PM

.... Let's not react in any way at all.

No comment.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: drno on July 17, 2014, 01:35:00 PM
After sleeping on it, I'm still thoroughly enthused about this.
But wait! New the new cruise ship "Unlimited" just docked! ALL ABOARD!  ;D

I agree with you. Kindle Unlimited is a new library system. The indies, who are making a living now don't want to change the status quo. They are pinching pennies. They don't wanna see what's happening. How many indies have their books in libraries? None! The old library system is keeping us out. On purpose! Who are they to tell millions of library patrons they can not read my books? The ones, who come across them like them. I have practically no returns. If Amazon wants to create a new library system and allows me to put my books in front of tens of millions of former "old library" patrons, why would I say no? Indies could double, triple their incomes with this new library system. For a lot of us it could mean writing full time, instead of having to work other jobs to make ends meet. I want some of that 10 billion dollar Library cake. Let those old library types try and keep us out of their libraries. We will build our own! Kindle Unlimited. Boom times for indies!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: richard.r.fox on July 17, 2014, 01:36:21 PM
Richard, do you remember any of the titles dual listed? Thanks!

I was late to the party and didn't have the chance to check. But with 600k on KU, 500k on Oyster and 400k on Scribdd, I'm sure there's some overlap. There would be a collective "Ah, c'mon!" if Amazon told Indies that KU = Select only, but didn't pass on the same restriction to other publishers. 
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: MaryMcDonald on July 17, 2014, 01:44:37 PM
I agree with you. Kindle Unlimited is a new library system. The indies, who are making a living now don't want to change the status quo. They are pinching pennies. They don't wanna see what's happening. How many indies have their books in libraries? None! The old library system is keeping us out. On purpose! Who are they to tell millions of library patrons they can not read my books? The ones, who come across them like them. I have practically no returns. If Amazon wants to create a new library system and allows me to put my books in front of tens of millions of former "old library" patrons, why would I say no? Indies could double, triple their incomes with this new library system. For a lot of us it could mean writing full time, instead of having to work other jobs to make ends meet. I want some of that 10 billion dollar Library cake. Let those old library types try and keep us out of their libraries. We will build our own! Kindle Unlimited. Boom times for indies!

I sure hope this comes true. I have thought of several scenarios--one like yours and another one not so great. (second tier with indies being the equivalent of 'straight to video' movies.). I think I'll try to stay positive and hope yours is the more accurate scenario.  :) Without any other facts, there's nothing I can do anyway and why worry, right?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: farrago on July 17, 2014, 01:46:17 PM
I just clicked on the link and six of my titles are there. Three are indie, three are not. Is that for real? And the other buzz is that Amazon is in negotiations to buy S & S. Wow!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 17, 2014, 03:19:38 PM
I just clicked on the link and six of my titles are there. Three are indie, three are not. Is that for real? And the other buzz is that Amazon is in negotiations to buy S & S. Wow!

I thought the test sites were gone, do you have that link? Thanks!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 17, 2014, 03:21:34 PM
I sure hope this comes true. I have thought of several scenarios--one like yours and another one not so great. (second tier with indies being the equivalent of 'straight to video' movies.). I think I'll try to stay positive and hope yours is the more accurate scenario.  :) Without any other facts, there's nothing I can do anyway and why worry, right?

It's been working real well on Scribd so far, 60% royalty regardless of price, no exclusivity.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 17, 2014, 03:22:52 PM
I was late to the party and didn't have the chance to check. But with 600k on KU, 500k on Oyster and 400k on Scribdd, I'm sure there's some overlap. There would be a collective "Ah, c'mon!" if Amazon told Indies that KU = Select only, but didn't pass on the same restriction to other publishers.

That's for sure, thanks Richard.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: drno on July 17, 2014, 04:04:58 PM
I sure hope this comes true.  I think I'll try to stay positive and hope yours is the more accurate scenario.  :)

I'm not the only one saying that with Kindle Unlimited Amazon is building a new library system. 

http://www.extremetech.com/internet/186412-amazons-kindle-unlimited-service-could-be-the-digital-library-weve-always-wanted

And as we indies are currently excluded from the old library system, I only see good things happening for us indies. Why would I let Stephen King and James Patterson make millions on the back of the 10 billion dollar a year library system, just because their publishers have bought all the shelf space, like they bought all the shelf space in book stores? They want to keep us indies out of the book shops and out of the libraries. Amazon built a new book store for us. They now want to build a library for us. Boom times for indies!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Perry Constantine on July 17, 2014, 04:07:19 PM
Can someone describe how Netflix works in terms of gaining visibility?
How do the more obscure movies get found? Do people just look for the titles/directors/actors they already know or heard of, or do they use categories or keywords to find new stuff? Do reviews matter there?

Speaking from my own perspective, I never read the reviews on Netflix. Mostly I browse Netflix on my Apple TV or iPad, where the reviews don't appear, so I just look through the sub-categories and recommendations and read the descriptions.

See here's the awesome thing about unions no one bothers to talk about because they're so anxious to talk about corruption like it's inevitable: You can benefit from on in your industry without being part of it.

Say an Indie Writers' Guild forms tomorrow and implements a 'No kwards allowed' policy because... reasons. Say they then successfully negotiate with Amazon to if not pony up a better fund for KU, then to add Pay What You Want options so people who really like your books can still give you more money if they like you.

Everyone would get them, not just the Guild, assuming the Guild is chartered under the idea of improving contracts for indies.

If you live in America, this is how we ended up with things like overtime pay, lunch breaks, and the new and exotic 'not being locked inside burning buildings' laws and the ones where they couldn't make children crawl into coal seams or run under the decapitating arms of looms to pick up dropped detritus. These weren't things that were freely given, they were forced concessions.

Edit: As for forming a broadly beneficial union, it's all in the charter. If you prohibit accepting terms exclusive to the union and maintain membership purely through internal perks, you limit the major excluding problem by making exclusion a non-injurus issue.

I've been completely onboard with the idea of some sort of guild or union for indies ever since you first mentioned it. The more you talk about it, the more convinced I am.

And as we indies are currently excluded from the old library system, I only see good things happening for us indies. Why would I let Stephen King and James Patterson make millions on the back of the 10 billion dollar a year library system, just because their publishers have bought all the shelf space, like they bought all the shelf space in book stores? They want to keep us indies out of the book shops and out of the libraries. Amazon built a new book store for us. They now want to build a library for us. Boom times for indies!

Because Amazon isn't a library. It's a corporation with bottom line profits as the ultimate goal. When you give exclusivity to Amazon, you give them more power over the market. That's power they can use to muscle out the competition. When there's no competition, see how great those boom times are.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 17, 2014, 04:48:47 PM
As mentioned below, we need a fully functioning library, one that puts indies on par with other authors in terms of accessibility. And, as also mentioned, inversely, libraries are not corporations.

In regard to the over 20,000 local libraries and communities of readers our work could interface with directly, getting OverDrive, and possibly Baker & Taylor, to not segregate self-published works off the main landing search field page, would be HUGE.

After nearly two months of opting all my titles to libraries via OverDrive through Smashwords, not one single title is discoverable or searchable in my town of Austin.

And as much as I like Scribd and dearly believe in its subscription model, and despite my positive anticipation of an Amazon subscription service that's non-exclusive, neither is a public library. Those are complimentary but different functions.

An indie guild, or union, or loosely structured association, may be the only thing that keeps reading from the control it's been under for a long time.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Quiss on July 17, 2014, 08:25:52 PM
I think they just pulled all Select titles into KU
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Lisa Grace on July 17, 2014, 08:28:03 PM
I saw this yesterday, but I'm so busy getting a book up and out, I haven't really thought much about it yet, as to whether it will hurt or help me. I have books in Select, and I have the majority that are not, so I'm not sure how I feel. I guess it depends on how many of their customers take them up on it, and how many borrows I get.
I can't see myself enrolling more than one or two of my books in Select, as I like being available more places than just Amazon.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: wtvr on July 17, 2014, 08:28:41 PM
I think they just pulled all Select titles into KU

Sorry, I should have said I only had 1 in there yesterday when I checked, even though I had other Select titles. Now they are all there, along with my author pages. Not sure what it means, just that the page is active and changing.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: dmac on July 17, 2014, 08:41:17 PM
I think they just pulled all Select titles into KU

I think that is what happened. I have two titles that are not in Select and they are not on the list, but all the Select titles are. I do not suppose it means much since it is not live. Perhaps they are just looking for titles to populate the list during their test, and something in the agreement allows them to use our titles as guinea pigs. :)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Andie on July 17, 2014, 09:58:48 PM
All of my Select titles are on there, too. Including erotica titles.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: MJWare on July 18, 2014, 12:38:51 AM
It's Baackk!
https://www.amazon.com/Kindle-eBooks/b/ref=ARRAY%280xa6e16ea0%29?_encoding=UTF8&ie=UTF8&node=9578129011&pfShowFeatures=&ref_=ku_lp_rw_dp_pb&ref_=ku_lp_rw_dp_pb

Just went to check my ranking before heading off to bed. I'm guessing the turned it live at midnight (PST). It will be interesting to see if it's still here tomorrow morning!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Amanda M. Lee on July 18, 2014, 12:44:09 AM
All my titles are there and I'm fine with it. Until I have a reason, I'm not going to complain. As a reader? I'm totally signing up for it. I read 3-5 books a week. It won't stop me from buying other books. It might introduce me to things I wouldn't have necessary read before, though.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Herc- The Reluctant Geek on July 18, 2014, 12:55:20 AM
It's Baackk!
https://www.amazon.com/Kindle-eBooks/b/ref=ARRAY%280xa6e16ea0%29?_encoding=UTF8&ie=UTF8&node=9578129011&pfShowFeatures=&ref_=ku_lp_rw_dp_pb&ref_=ku_lp_rw_dp_pb

Just went to check my ranking before heading off to bed. I'm guessing the turned it live at midnight (PST). It will be interesting to see if it's still here tomorrow morning!

Was it the whole thing? I only get the search function. Don't tell me they've made the KU propaganda US only? Poot!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Mark E. Cooper on July 18, 2014, 01:06:52 AM
I'm not the only one saying that with Kindle Unlimited Amazon is building a new library system. 

http://www.extremetech.com/internet/186412-amazons-kindle-unlimited-service-could-be-the-digital-library-weve-always-wanted

And as we indies are currently excluded from the old library system, I only see good things happening for us indies. Why would I let Stephen King and James Patterson make millions on the back of the 10 billion dollar a year library system, just because their publishers have bought all the shelf space, like they bought all the shelf space in book stores? They want to keep us indies out of the book shops and out of the libraries. Amazon built a new book store for us. They now want to build a library for us. Boom times for indies!

A library system would be good, but this "seems" to be a library system only for Select books, which means it isn't one... a library I mean.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Amanda M. Lee on July 18, 2014, 01:12:15 AM
Oh, I honestly believe that it's only going to be for Select authors and big time sellers. I think Amazon wants to get as many people in Select as possible. I'm still in Select (I love the money too much to break away right now). The indie publishing world is interesting. Nook looks like it is on the verge of collapse and Apple is a competitor -- but a small one (despite the name). I will be intrigued to see where this goes. Maybe I'm an optimist, but I honestly believe it's going to be more money in my pocket. I see it going like Select does now, for the most part. Instead of one borrow a month, though, there will be no limit. Amazon isn't going to let someone download 600 titles in a month and then opt out. Instead, you're going to be able to borrow a book. Finish it. And then immediately go to another book and borrow that. It will take a while to build up the readers. I'm kind of excited. I already border on four figures a month for borrows. I think this can only help someone like me. For those who don't go through Select, it will be even more interesting. I'm interested in seeing how things go for them. I'm not making any decisions about my titles until I see some anecdotal evidence either way.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: tknite on July 18, 2014, 01:18:05 AM
It's Baackk!
https://www.amazon.com/Kindle-eBooks/b/ref=ARRAY%280xa6e16ea0%29?_encoding=UTF8&ie=UTF8&node=9578129011&pfShowFeatures=&ref_=ku_lp_rw_dp_pb&ref_=ku_lp_rw_dp_pb

Just went to check my ranking before heading off to bed. I'm guessing the turned it live at midnight (PST). It will be interesting to see if it's still here tomorrow morning!

And it appears to be working. I just signed up for my free trial and borrowed a book.

I guess tomorrow we'll see the rush to figure out what the royalties are.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Jash on July 18, 2014, 01:20:34 AM
Quote from: Select  FAQ
Can I enroll my book in KDP Select without participating in Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle Owners' Lending Library or vice-versa?

No. Only books enrolled in KDP Select are eligible to be included in Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle Owners' Lending Library. All KDP Select-enrolled books with US rights will be automatically included in Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle Owners' Lending Library.

(c&P from FAQ, bold is mine)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Amanda M. Lee on July 18, 2014, 01:24:21 AM
I signed up for the free trial and it did let me order two books right away. That's a little disheartening.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Amanda M. Lee on July 18, 2014, 01:39:02 AM
The line on my graph that used to read "borrows" now reads KU/KOLL units. Just FYI. Anyone not in Select have a new line on their graph? I'm just curious.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Amanda M. Lee on July 18, 2014, 01:42:34 AM
Here is the "agreement" for signing up: Kindle Unlimited Terms of Use

Last updated July 18, 2014

Welcome to the terms of use (“Terms”) for Kindle Unlimited. These Terms are between you and Amazon Digital Services, Inc. and/or its affiliates (“Amazon.com”, “We” or “Us”) and govern our respective rights and obligations. Please note that your use of the Amazon.com website and your Kindle Unlimited membership are also governed by the agreements listed and linked to below, as well as all other applicable terms, conditions, limitations, and requirements on the Amazon.com website, all of which (as changed over time) are incorporated into these Terms. If you sign up for a Kindle Unlimited membership, you accept these terms, conditions, limitations and requirements.

Amazon.com Conditions of Use
Amazon.com Privacy Notice
Kindle Store Terms of Use
Audible Service Conditions of Use
The Program

As a member of Kindle Unlimited, you may read Kindle books and listen to Audible audiobooks from a designated list of titles an unlimited number of times for so long as you are a member of the program. From time to time, we may add or remove titles from the program and we make no guarantee as to the availability of specific titles or the minimum number of titles available. The program is currently only available to United States customers. If your membership ends, you will no longer have access to the titles you selected from the program.

Fees and Renewal

The membership fees for Kindle Unlimited are stated in our Help pages. From time to time, we may offer different membership terms, and the fees for such membership may vary. Membership fees may be subject to tax and are non-refundable except as expressly set forth in these Terms.

We only accept credit cards for payment of your membership fees. Please do not sign up for the program with a debit card. Also known as a “check” or “ATM” card, a debit card typically has the word “debit” printed on the face of the card.

Unless you notify us before a charge that you want to cancel or do not want to auto renew, you understand your Kindle Unlimited membership will automatically continue and you authorize us (without notice to you, unless required by applicable law) to collect the then-applicable membership fees and any taxes, using any credit card we have on record for you.

If all credit cards we have on file for you are declined for payment of your membership fees, your membership will be canceled unless you provide us with a new credit card. If you provide us with a new credit card and are successfully charged before your membership is cancelled, your new membership period will be based on the original renewal date and not the date of the successful charge.

Membership Cancellation

You may cancel your membership by visiting Your Account and adjusting your membership settings. If you cancel your membership, you will not receive a refund of any membership fees already paid. When your membership is cancelled, the titles you have selected from the program will be removed from your account, devices and applications.

Restrictions

We reserve the right to accept or refuse membership in our discretion. You may not transfer or assign your membership or any Kindle Unlimited benefits. We may take reasonable actions necessary to prevent fraud, including placing restrictions on the number of titles that can be accessed from the program at any one time.

Promotional Trial Memberships

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Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Roz Marshall on July 18, 2014, 02:11:22 AM
I've only read the first few and last few pages of this thread, so please forgive me if this has already been answered - but, am I right in thinking that, as  authors, Amazon hasn't communicated directly with us about this (yet)?

My books are in Select, and when I click the link I see them in the 'recommended for you' section with 'Kindle Unlimited' above them, so they're obviously in it.

It would be nice to know what the payment to us would be; tho' the fact that the KU/KOLL borrows are lumped together in the Reports makes me suspect it will be the same payment for all?

Also, as a Brit, I can't find anything about KU on the UK site, but my UK month-to-date report has the same KU/KOLL heading (as do DE etc) so do you think that means it'll be coming out over here? As a reader, I think I'd be interested - I used to use the local Library a lot until I got into eBooks and started working from home (so I'm not near the library v often).
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Julia Kavan on July 18, 2014, 02:20:07 AM
Apologies if someone has already posted this - the KDP Terms of Service have changed to include Kindle Unlimited:

"2.3 KDP Select Fund. We will establish a fund on a monthly basis and you will be eligible to earn a share of that fund for each of your Digital Books included in the Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Owners’ Lending Library Programs. You will earn a share of the monthly fund, calculated as the number of qualified reads of your Digital Book through Kindle Unlimited plus the number of qualified borrows through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library as a percentage of the number of total qualified reads and borrows of all KDP Digital Books. This share is your total Royalty for customer access to your Digital Book through the Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Owners’ Lending Library Programs. For example, if the fund for a particular month is $1,000,000, your Digital Book has 1,000 qualified reads through Kindle Unlimited, 500 qualified borrows through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, and there are 300,000 total qualified reads and borrows for all participating Digital Books in that month, your Digital Book will earn $5,000 ($1,000,000 x 1,500/300,000 = $5,000). We will determine in our sole discretion the criteria for determining which customer events qualify for this calculation. A maximum of one event per customer account will qualify for each Digital Book. We may publically announce the top Digital Books, including the author, publisher, number of qualified reads and borrows, and KDP Select fund royalties earned."

Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: CristinaRayne on July 18, 2014, 02:22:32 AM
The line on my graph that used to read "borrows" now reads KU/KOLL units. Just FYI. Anyone not in Select have a new line on their graph? I'm just curious.

I'm not in Select and my graph has the KU/KOLL units line, too. I sell well on other channels so there's no way I'm going to pull my books and enter them into Select, but as it's looking like this is going to be a Select-only deal, I'm kind of miffed.  >:(
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: LovelyDesignStudio on July 18, 2014, 02:25:27 AM
All my titles are there and I'm fine with it. Until I have a reason, I'm not going to complain. As a reader? I'm totally signing up for it. I read 3-5 books a week. It won't stop me from buying other books. It might introduce me to things I wouldn't have necessary read before, though.

Yes it's back and I'm very excited. I just signed up for the 30 day free trial. Sad part is I only have one book in the kindle unlimited. I only have one book in select which is where they pulled my book from, but this is about to change. I'm definitely going to look into the terms and conditions of Kindle Unlimited and write up a plan to write and publish more books for KU over the weekend.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: LovelyDesignStudio on July 18, 2014, 02:32:13 AM
Just borrowed my first book on my Kindle Fire.  :) It's an SEO book that I've been dying to read, but I had to keep my choices limited because of the one book borrow per month with Prime. Now that I've started the Kindle Unlimited free trial, it looks to me like everything that was listed as Prime is now listed as Kindle Unlimited. If I could just find the terms and conditions on KU or more information about listing titles....
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Pamela on July 18, 2014, 03:05:26 AM
Amazon is being very smart.  They have all the big name writers in the program, and they certainly don't require them to be in Select.  And they have all the indie authors who are in Select.  Select authors are automatically excluded from the Scribd or other libraries.  If the program is successful they will be taking business from the competition.

My problem is that you have to be in Select.  That's pretty heavy handed of Amazon.  They don't require the big name writers who sell in many other markets to be in Select.  So Indies are being punished, or at least Amazon's prejudice is showing it's ugly head.   I don't have any books in Select now, so I'll just have to wait and see how it goes.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Herc- The Reluctant Geek on July 18, 2014, 03:25:52 AM
Amazon have just put a little blurb about Unlimited on our Bookshelf, which gives the option to get out of select early if you don't want to participate in the new program.

Quote
Kindle Unlimited is a subscription service currently available to customers in the U.S. With Kindle Unlimited, customers can read as many books as they like and keep them as long as they want for a monthly subscription fee. Any customer can subscribe to Kindle Unlimited. They don't need to be Amazon Prime members, they simply need to pay the subscription fee.

If you have a book enrolled in KDP Select, it will automatically be enrolled in Kindle Unlimited. It will also remain enrolled in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, which is currently available to Amazon Prime customers in the U.S., UK, Germany, France, and Japan.

In order to be eligible to be included in Kindle Unlimited you must meet the KDP Select requirements and enroll your book in KDP Select.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: D-C on July 18, 2014, 03:29:46 AM
I've only read the first few and last few pages of this thread, so please forgive me if this has already been answered - but, am I right in thinking that, as  authors, Amazon hasn't communicated directly with us about this (yet)?

My books are in Select, and when I click the link I see them in the 'recommended for you' section with 'Kindle Unlimited' above them, so they're obviously in it.

It would be nice to know what the payment to us would be; tho' the fact that the KU/KOLL borrows are lumped together in the Reports makes me suspect it will be the same payment for all?

Also, as a Brit, I can't find anything about KU on the UK site, but my UK month-to-date report has the same KU/KOLL heading (as do DE etc) so do you think that means it'll be coming out over here? As a reader, I think I'd be interested - I used to use the local Library a lot until I got into eBooks and started working from home (so I'm not near the library v often).

Roz, it's not available for UK customers - yet. And yes, I believe KU & KOLL payments will be the same - until I hear otherwise.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: LovelyDesignStudio on July 18, 2014, 03:32:43 AM
Amazon is being very smart.  They have all the big name writers in the program, and they certainly don't require them to be in Select.  And they have all the indie authors who are in Select.  Select authors are automatically excluded from the Scribd or other libraries.  If the program is successful they will be taking business from the competition.

My problem is that you have to be in Select.  That's pretty heavy handed of Amazon.  They don't require the big name writers who sell in many other markets to be in Select.  So Indies are being punished, or at least Amazon's prejudice is showing it's ugly head.   I don't have any books in Select now, so I'll just have to wait and see how it goes.

Exclusivity remains the same as Kindle Select. bummer :-(
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Mark E. Cooper on July 18, 2014, 03:58:15 AM
I'm not in Select and my graph has the KU/KOLL units line, too. I sell well on other channels so there's no way I'm going to pull my books and enter them into Select, but as it's looking like this is going to be a Select-only deal, I'm kind of miffed.  >:(

Don'tbe miffed! You're just being greedy  :P Select people get KU and we get Scribd and Oyster. That's only fair, right?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: EC on July 18, 2014, 04:05:26 AM
I haven't read the whole thread - things seem to be moving quickly.

I'm a UK based author - all my books are in select - I can see KU is only available in the US - so I'll take it my US customers will be able to access my titles via KU on .com?

I'm asking as I can't see any form of notification against my books on .com - I'm a bit lost.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: EC on July 18, 2014, 04:07:49 AM
Well, I'm disappointed that it's Select exclusive but I can hardly say I'm surprised. Select needed something big to lure people back to it/attract new people, and if Unlimited takes off, it really, really is a big deal.

I'm not too worried though, not now I've had time to think about it properly. People aren't going to stop buying books. I think it will make having a perma-free/loss leader first book all the more essential for those wanting to catch eyes of readers who aren't in Select, though.

I'll watch and wait for a few months. A program like this doesn't boom overnight--it grows over time. And over time, I plan to have even more backlist that I can experiment with.

So... who's going to dip their toes in the water first? ;)

Would you now be shocked if Zon wipe out the free titles in a few months to promote this programme?   

After all, free is against Zon T&C
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: EC on July 18, 2014, 04:33:23 AM
You know, I was going to put that in the post myself. I do wonder. I hope not, but I suppose we'll see. Interesting times!

It's a definite game-changer. Interesting times.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Renata F. Barcelos on July 18, 2014, 04:41:34 AM
Well, I have a new title to publish this month, so I'm now toying with the idea of putting this one on Select and try the new waters. It's a novella that I intended to make perma-free anyway, so...

I don't sell that much in other places, but what gives me the creeps about Select is that I can't even send my own book to reviewers unless I buy it and send as gift. This  p*ss es me off to no end.

I'll think about it until the release.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: dmac on July 18, 2014, 04:46:21 AM
It seems like small titles that usually sell for .99 cents may be the real beneficiary here, no?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: D. Zollicoffer on July 18, 2014, 04:57:23 AM
Will this hurt perma-free books? Not sure why, but downloads of my free book hit an all-time low yesterday.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 18, 2014, 05:04:36 AM
It's Baackk!
https://www.amazon.com/Kindle-eBooks/b/ref=ARRAY%280xa6e16ea0%29?_encoding=UTF8&ie=UTF8&node=9578129011&pfShowFeatures=&ref_=ku_lp_rw_dp_pb&ref_=ku_lp_rw_dp_pb

Just went to check my ranking before heading off to bed. I'm guessing the turned it live at midnight (PST). It will be interesting to see if it's still here tomorrow morning!

Link is working this morning. Looks much like how Scribd & Oyster have their landing page set up, looks really good so far. But is it exclusive?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Herc- The Reluctant Geek on July 18, 2014, 05:08:29 AM
Will this hurt perma-free books? Not sure why, but downloads of my free book hit an all-time low yesterday.

It's only a few hours old, so I don't think it's had an effect yet. Don't forget that people on this board are hyper-sensitive to changes at the mighty Zon. Most of the rest of the world doesn't know it's happened yet.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Mark E. Cooper on July 18, 2014, 05:09:24 AM
Would you now be shocked if Zon wipe out the free titles in a few months to promote this programme?   

After all, free is against Zon T&C

I wouldn't be shocked, I would be setting all my freebies to $0.99, or adding a new funnel book to Select, OR both.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 18, 2014, 05:18:56 AM
Amazon is being very smart.  They have all the big name writers in the program, and they certainly don't require them to be in Select.  And they have all the indie authors who are in Select.  Select authors are automatically excluded from the Scribd or other libraries.  If the program is successful they will be taking business from the competition.

My problem is that you have to be in Select.  That's pretty heavy handed of Amazon.  They don't require the big name writers who sell in many other markets to be in Select.  So Indies are being punished, or at least Amazon's prejudice is showing it's ugly head.   I don't have any books in Select now, so I'll just have to wait and see how it goes.

Yeah, exclusive would be a problem for me, might be ok or great for others.

And "if" there is a favoritism deal going on for name or higher selling authors, or as someone else posted yesterday - less and less indies are being featured in the email promos, then I'm better off being able to be in Scribd and Oyster and OverDrive, not to mention the other big etailers.

But I'm not an all or none person, and when I have my next short ready, I may try it in Select, and see how it does. Quite frankly, and I've never said this before, I've tried Select three times over the last few years, but minimal to terrible results. Now I'll take that as being me, ie, the attractiveness and quality of my work, that's on me.

But if I'm not on a level playing field in terms of being able to sell my work on other platforms (and others are), or how or if I'd ever be promoted, then, for me, that's not good. This becomes too much like what's being complained about the big publishers.

And there will still be hundreds of thousands of folk who won't have access to all the titles that are on Oyster and Scribd and elsewhere. Except, if true, those given special status. It would feel too much like what's being done to self-published titles' discovery to libraries via OverDrive.

I also know, this can change. Amazon may tweak or change its requirements.

Amazon is the best there is for customer service and trust.

It doesn't need exclusivity.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: N. Gemini Sasson on July 18, 2014, 05:21:11 AM
It's only a few hours old, so I don't think it's had an effect yet. Don't forget that people on this board are hyper-sensitive to changes at the mighty Zon. Most of the rest of the world doesn't know it's happened yet.

Jimmy Fallon mentioned it in his monologue last night. He described it as Netflix for books.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: B&H on July 18, 2014, 05:42:43 AM
Here's the problem as I see it with the business model for authors.

Amazon have set it up as an all you can eat buffet for 9.99 - including audiobooks which has to be a terrible deal for audiobook authors given how much they cost to produce versus ebooks unless Amazon is planning to offer a premium uplift for audiobooks.

So assuming Amazon wants the same cut out of the subscription it takes from books at 30 percent then that leaves 6.99 approx in the kitty for the 'fund'.

If they are running it the same way as KOLL then they divide the total fund by the number of reads that month then you have no way of knowing from one month to the next how much each 'read' is worth to you as an author, and it is fairly obvious it is going to cannibalise your sales of that book since if someone is a subscriber unlike their capped KOLL borrow they have no reason to pay for your books.

Amazon is relying on the 'gym' membership model that the low consumption users effectively subsidise the high consumption users, but since the fund is fixed I don't think that will work out for books on such a low tariff - gym's have fixed costs that have to be paid so it doesn't matter if 10 people or 100 people are using the kit, books however have a cost per unit so every additional read is going to dilute the price per read.

Given the rate some genre readers get through books they are going to have the best deal on earth here - in my opinion the people who are going to do worse out of this deal are romance writers since their readership is the heaviest consumers, and if there is a huge chunk of books in this then they have very little reason to pay for books outside the scheme. They will easily consume more than 6.99 worth of books in a month so it is definitely going to cost those authors money, but the net effect will hit other authors in less read genres since the 'overconsumption' in romance will dilute the payments to other genre writers who can't make it back on volume since there isn't a big enough readership to support it.

Lets be realistic, the amount of reading time people have is fairly fixed, so this isn't a nil-sum game - reads generated out of KU are going to take sales out of paid.

We could easily see a situation where the volume of reads is so high that the payment falls from the typical rate of a KOLL borrow into 30-50 cents a book - if you have a fund of 6.99 and an average reader goes through a couple of books a week then you are looking at most 70 cents - which effectively means anyone with a sale price greater than 1.99 is going to get hit hard by this. Of course if readers absolutely gorge - they only have to read 10 percent so even abandoned books are going to count as reads and 'dilute' the fund then the figures are going to be even worse. The fact that Amazon haven't put a floor under the price paid per read or given any indication of how much you will earn per read makes me very skeptical this is a good deal for authors.

Of course for new writers trying to build an audience they might want to jump on it thinking it will give them a leg up, but the problem is you are curating an audience from the buffet menu not a la carte, I suspect once you are in you will trap yourself in it, and the more readers consume the less you are going to earn.

Things I can see happening:

Since you get no price benefit for longer works this is a boon for novella writers. You'll get the same borrow price as if you were writing a 250K epic. So why invest time and money in writing longer work for the same return? Novella sales if anything are likely to go up with this because readers no longer have a cost attached to each book and can just grab whatever takes their fancy, since you are only getting 35 cents a read you're likely to make more money through KU than sales, which makes the problem above worse - if you can rip through 6 1 hour novellas in the time of one full length book you are getting 6 times the borrow funds that one full length book writer gets - reducing the per read fund even further.

What amuses me is that if a trad publisher said to authors 'we're going to enrol all your books in a scheme and not tell you how much you will earn per 'sale/read' there would be something approaching a riot in the literary world.

Personally I find the idea of putting my books in a sales channel where I have zero control from one month to the next how much I'm paid per unit consumed is a complete non-starter.

Readers can consume books much faster than we can write them, all you can eat for 9.99 is less than the cost of 1 NYT bestseller on release. For anyone with books in this scheme if the subscriptions take off it will simply destroy your paid sales, since there is zero reason why anyone would buy your book if they can get it on their subscription.

Only benefits I can see - KU replaces permafree - first in series goes in,rest paid - unfortunately I see a lot of 1 star review potential from disgruntled KU readers who can't get the rest of the series on KU - they paid their subscription so they will expect all your books to be in.

Luckily it is only US at the moment so won't affect my predominately UK sales. But I think subscription services are great for readers, but the people pushing them have the same disregard for authors right to a living wage the trads have. They just seem the benefits to them and their consumers, not their content providers.

Unlike spotify we can't make back income from lost royalties by going on tour and charging 300 USD a ticket and selling T-Shirts, and unlike Netflix we didn't get a 15 USD a ticket cinema run before we went to subs, once our books are read they hold no further value.

I suspect in a few years time we'll look back and remember the glory days where you could actually charge a sales price for a book and get 70 percent. Those who do 10,000 KU borrows a day might have a fighting chance but earning out at 35 cents - 75 cents a reader is going to take a awfully long time.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Colin on July 18, 2014, 05:46:12 AM
It seems like small titles that usually sell for .99 cents may be the real beneficiary here, no?

It might be good for the first book in a series if they decide to end perma-free.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Quiss on July 18, 2014, 05:54:24 AM
Lets be realistic, the amount of reading time people have is fairly fixed, so this isn't a nil-sum game - reads generated out of KU are going to take sales out of paid.

THIS

Since you get no price benefit for longer works this is a boon for novella writers.

I wonder if the get-rich-quick crowd will start deluging KU with short stuff pulled together in a big hurry (my apologies for authors of quality novellas) in order to get higher royalties for their 99-centers. This could cause a backlash from readers who will end up seeing KU as a swamp of backlists and poor quality with the odd gem thrown into the mix.

The possible end of permafree is the worst case scenario here.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: HSh on July 18, 2014, 05:56:19 AM
Exciting!  I will be trying their free trial soon.  Problem is, I'm already on Scribd, and if I like them both that's 19.00 a month--or else I have to pick one!   :o  Scribd doesn't have read aloud features or narration, though.  On the other hand, will they have much in my preferred genre? 

I did a search for KU books in my genre.  Two of my stories showed up on the first couple of pages.  One was a bestseller, the other was one I did a big free run on a bit ago.  They're both pretty visible right now.  I wondered why they were still doing pretty well when some of my newer releases were tanking!

I wonder if this, short term, will be another game changing reason to be KDP exclusive, at least for now.  I seem to get better traction with KDP, and that's important to me right now.  And the surge or borrows from new people checking out the service could be important financially.  Hm.

Guess we'll see what happens.  :-)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 18, 2014, 06:00:06 AM
Here's the problem as I see it with the business model for authors...

Luckily it is only US at the moment so won't affect my predominately UK sales. But I think subscription services are great for readers, but the people pushing them have the same disregard for authors right to a living wage the trads have. They just seem the benefits to them and their consumers, not their content providers.

Unlike spotify we can't make back income from lost royalties by going on tour and charging 300 USD a ticket and selling T-Shirts, and unlike Netflix we didn't get a 15 USD a ticket cinema run before we went to subs, once our books are read they hold no further value.

I suspect in a few years time we'll look back and remember the glory days where you could actually charge a sales price for a book and get 70 percent. Those who do 10,000 KU borrows a day might have a fighting chance but earning out at 35 cents - 75 cents a reader is going to take a awfully long time.

Josef, those are really good points.

But...Scribd and Oyster and the new digital lending at libraries (via OverDrive and Baker & Tayler), not to mention the coming of txtr, 24Symbols, and others, means -

It's already happening, just outside Amazon. Amazon is simply responding as necessary.

Hundreds of thousands of folk are already doing subscriptions at the services listed above, and, at least according to articles I've read, growing hugely each month.

The task is, for authors to somehow have enough clout to say, to any service : don't exclude me but let other authors list elsewhere; pay me a fair amount; be transparent - give me the read and views data (ala Scribd).

Hugh Howey and Joe Konrath are right, authors, esp self-published authors, are going to need some sort of unity, even if loosey goosey.

And keeping your rights to your content will be even more important than ever.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Navigator on July 18, 2014, 06:00:43 AM
I feel like Zon is shooting themselves in the foot by requiring the books be in Select (or at least for indie authors). But maybe writing a 12-15k word stand alone novella or two specifically for KU could be worth it.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Ann in Arlington on July 18, 2014, 06:02:47 AM
Several have suggested putting, say, the first of a series into Select so it can be in KU.

Here's a thought: It seems to me those who sign up for KU will be those who read voraciously. Like, a book a day. If they like your book they're going to want more. BUT, they may also have a limited budget -- which is why the $10 per month price is attractive to them.  I'm not certain those folks will go outside KU to find and read your subsequent titles, even if they really really like your book.

I'm contemplating trying it for a month free, as a reader.  For sure, I'll be looking for books that are priced higher so I get the most bang for my buck. With KOLL, I generally borrow books that are at least $3.99 or $4.99.  That gives me the best deal. KU will work a little differently but I still think I'd be more attracted, for $10 per month, to books priced higher.  The ones that are 99 cents, I'll not borrow that way, but buy straight out. If they look good enough. Or I won't because, honestly, I could read for years without ever buying or borrowing another book! :o

I've no idea if I'm likely to be typical in this . . . . . I simply offer the observation.

As a reader, I'd definitely like to see more of the 'big names' from big publishers in the program. The bottom line for all readers deciding whether to pony up will be whether or not what THEY want to read is available.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: dmac on July 18, 2014, 06:03:29 AM
I feel like Zon is shooting themselves in the foot by requiring the books be in Select (or at least for indie authors). But maybe writing a 12-15k word stand alone novella or two specifically for KU could be worth it.

Serials with cliffhangers could also really benefit. Why not just cut up a 100K novel into 10 parts? Make 10 times as much... Seems like a no-brainer...
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: ShaneJeffery on July 18, 2014, 06:04:26 AM
Josef Black = Comment of the thread.

What is the benefit for KU to authors who are selling? HOW does this guarantee more income, since it means less money per book bought? In some very real scenarios put forth - WAY LESS MONEY.

Then ask this - What is the benefit for KU to authors who aren't selling? Where's the visibility??? With permafree you at least have the free store. If Amazon are getting rid of free, then that's a storm of visibility driven to the earth.

10 percent read is far more ambiguous than an actual sale. I'm not going near it.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: bonbon foofoo on July 18, 2014, 06:04:39 AM
But maybe writing a 12-15k word stand alone novella or two specifically for KU could be worth it.

That's exactly what I was thinking. I think serials might be very popular under this model, and I'm thinking of starting a new one just to experiment with it.

I just had to sign up for the free trial. As a reader, it's freaking fantastic. I read a lot of beginnings of books that I abandon because I get bored. This way the authors will be getting paid anyway. I like that.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: dmac on July 18, 2014, 06:07:43 AM
Josef Black = Comment of the thread.

What is the benefit for KU to authors who are selling? HOW does this guarantee more income, since it means less money per book bought? In some very real scenarios put forth - WAY LESS MONEY.

Then ask this - What is the benefit for KU to authors who aren't selling? Where's the visibility??? With permafree you at least have the free store. If Amazon are getting rid of free, then that's a storm of visibility driven to the earth.

10 percent read is far more ambiguous than an actual sale. I'm not going near it.

I see some really bestselling titles on KU at the moment. A.G. Riddle, Hugh Howey, Suzanne Collins, etc. I will be interested to see if they are still there a day or a week from now.

This really does seem like something authors need to pick and choose very carefully. Longer works do not seem to benefit here. My books are all over 400 pages and sell consistently for $3.99. If I am getting, say, $2 a book instead of my $2.70 because people are no longer buying, I lose .70 cents for every "borrow." Granted, KOLL does much the same thing, but that is limited to only one borrow per month, so it is manageable. This, on the other hand...

I do not know. I will have to wait and see what happens a month from now, perhaps longer.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 18, 2014, 06:09:18 AM
The possible end of permafree is the worst case scenario here.

Quiss, I have 6 free titles on my other outlets. On Scribd, a reader doesn't have to have an account to read the free items. They can thus sample both the service and my work. I seem to be getting a nice # of folk to do that.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: JuliMonroe on July 18, 2014, 06:16:57 AM
Sales of the first book in my series have gone way down, though the other two are selling well. I haven't been Select until now, but I've been thinking about doing something different to boost that first book, which is a novella and $.99. Since it's selling even worse on other platforms than on Amazon, I'm not sure pulling it and making it Select for 90 days will hurt it much at all. I know I'd lose the non-Amazon reviews, but there aren't many, so again, not a big deal. In fact, if I did well enough on borrows/Unlimited, it could be a really good thing since I think I'd make more per borrow/qualified read than I'm currently making on purchases.

Any thoughts. Am I missing something obvious, or does this sound like a decent strategy?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Quiss on July 18, 2014, 06:21:34 AM
Quiss, I have 6 free titles on my other outlets. On Scribd, a reader doesn't have to have an account to read the free items. They can thus sample both the service and my work. I seem to be getting a nice # of folk to do that.

I appreciate your cheerleading for those of us who have a glum view of this, but you're missing a number of points.
Already, two posts above have proven the point about people slamming shorter works into KU.  Another has again underlined the very serious issue about visibility. Ann, too, mentions that she'd start off with the big titles.
So, yeah, losing permafree will hurt a lot of authors. But I think we always knew that it wasn't a long-term strategy.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Jash on July 18, 2014, 06:22:54 AM
It seems like small titles that usually sell for .99 cents may be the real beneficiary here, no?

Quite likely. Especially serials. I think erotica could do very well out of it too.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Scott Reeves on July 18, 2014, 06:23:39 AM
Here's the problem as I see it with the business model for authors.

Amazon have set it up as an all you can eat buffet for 9.99 - including audiobooks which has to be a terrible deal for audiobook authors given how much they cost to produce versus ebooks unless Amazon is planning to offer a premium uplift for audiobooks.

I don't think the audiobook selection on Unlimited is going to be very large. I actually WANT my audiobooks in Unlimited, but as of this morning, they aren't, even though my ebooks are, and they're whispersynched. I've started digging on how to get audiobooks into the program, and what I'm finding so far is that it appears only a very select few audiobooks are/will be in Unlimited. The only "Books with Narration" seem to be mostly Amazon imprints, like 47Noth and Thomas & Mercer. I don't think they're drawing any audiobooks from ACX as of now.

Here is an exchange I'm currently having with KDP:

Original email:

Quote
Subject: Audiobooks and Unlimited

Hi,
 
I have several audiobooks on Audible through ACX, and I've noticed that none of them are available in the new Kindle Unlimited program. All my ebooks are in Select and thus in Unlimited. Is there a way I can opt the associated ACX audiobooks into Unlimited?
 
 Thanks!

Response from KDP:

Quote
Hello,
 
 As you're inquiring about your audible content you would need to reach out to the correct team to assist you.
 
 While Audible.com is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amazon.com, it operates as an independent site.
 
 If you have an existing audiobook in Audible’s store, you can reach an Audible.com customer service representative via phone or email by visiting their website:
 
 http://audible.custhelp.com/
 
 If you do not yet have an audiobook version of your book and want to learn more, check out the Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX) website here:
 
 http://www.acx.com/
 
 I hope this helps. Thank you for publishing with Amazon KDP.

My response:

Quote
Hi,

Actually, I'm sort of not inquiring about Audible content. I'm inquiring about an aspect of the Kindle Unlimited program, namely the Kindle Unlimited with narration. Where does the narrated audiobook portion of certain Unlimited ebooks come from, if not from Audible or ACX?

Any information is appreciated.

I'll let you know when I get a response.

But my guess is, very few audiobooks are going to be available through Unlimited. Either that or they're still working out the royalty details. But for those worried about their ACX audiobooks getting shafted on royalties - I don't think there is anything to worry about.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: dmac on July 18, 2014, 06:25:42 AM
Well here is something interesting. I still have a couple of books in Select, the others having expired (and I chose not to renew), and just now, at 8:00 a.m. my time, the two remaining books have already netted 10 KOLL/KU. I usually average 20-25 for the day. It is very rare for sales/borrows this early in the States, so I can only assume this is the KU effect...only 8 hours in...
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: B.A. Spangler on July 18, 2014, 06:26:11 AM
This may have already been covered here, but I wonder if having a title in KU will impact eligibility for promotions on sites like BookBub.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Mark E. Cooper on July 18, 2014, 06:30:05 AM
Serials with cliffhangers could also really benefit. Why not just cut up a 100K novel into 10 parts? Make 10 times as much... Seems like a no-brainer...

This is VERY insightful. Proper serials basked briefly in the limelight but then readers stopped buying them and bought box sets or full seasons instead. The SPP guys have mentioned it more than once how readers now wait to buy the full season.

BUT... KU is going to revive the original intention of the serial beyond any doubt. Take the full season out of Select but keep ALL individual episodes in=PROFIT
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: jamielakenovels on July 18, 2014, 06:33:21 AM
Here's the official announcement  about Kindle Unlimited, if you haven't read it already: http://lunch.publishersmarketplace.com/2014/07/kindle-unlimited-officially-launches/

and here's the press release from Amazon: http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=176060&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1948786&highlight=

Kindle Unlimited Officially Launches; KDP Select Authors to Share Another $800,000 for July

by SARAH WEINMAN on JULY 18, 2014 in ENEWS
Amazon officially announced and made live its Kindle Unlimited subscription program, which was previewed earlier this week and which we have written about extensively already. Notably, the announcement does not specify which publishers have opted in by specific agreement (as opposed to having Amazon include some of their books without direct consent; we already reported on the example of Scholastic's Hunger Games series). Like competing services, Amazon is offering a 30-day trial period (which will likely be a more expensive promotion for Amazon than their smaller competitors. A KU subscription also includes up to three free months of an Audible subscription. Participants can "keep up to ten books at a time and there are no due dates."

Amazon updated their official KDP Select terms as well. Per our previous reporting and inferences, KDP Select authors (the ones who grant Amazon exclusives on their ebooks) have been included automatically -- also without telling (or asking) authors ahead of time: "All books enrolled in KDP Select with U.S. rights will be automatically included in Kindle Unlimited." So the vast majority of the "over 600,000 books" in the program are the more than 500,000 KDP Select titles.

Self-published authors must join KDP Select to participate, and they will be paid the same way they are compensated for Kindle Owners Lending Library "borrows": Everyone gets a pro-rated share of a monthly pool of cash, set at Amazon's sole discretion. For now, Amazon has increased the July pool from $1.2 million to $2 million. While for now Amazon counts a "qualified read" for KDP authors as the first time someone reads more than 10 percent of a title, the posted terms say that Amazon can change their minds at any time: "We will determine in our sole discretion the criteria for determining which customer events qualify for this calculation."
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Bards and Sages (Julie) on July 18, 2014, 06:34:36 AM

BUT... KU is going to revive the original intention of the serial beyond any doubt. Take the full season out of Select but keep ALL individual episodes in=PROFIT

Doesn't this violate the exclusivity of Select? It was my understanding that works in Select cannot appear in full in digital format ANYWHERE, including in other collections. I'm had all sorts of problems with authors who expected me to pull back issues of the Quarterly off the market so they could put the stories in Select, specifically because they were told by Amazon that if the story was already available digitally anywhere, it can't be considered exclusive.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: dmac on July 18, 2014, 06:37:37 AM
Doesn't this violate the exclusivity of Select? It was my understanding that works in Select cannot appear in full in digital format ANYWHERE, including in other collections. I'm had all sorts of problems with authors who expected me to pull back issues of the Quarterly off the market so they could put the stories in Select, specifically because they were told by Amazon that if the story was already available digitally anywhere, it can't be considered exclusive.

Is this not how those massive box sets are, though? A lot of those titles are available for free elsewhere, but bundled together in one big box set in Select?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: abstract on July 18, 2014, 06:42:58 AM
Also, as a Brit, I can't find anything about KU on the UK site, but my UK month-to-date report has the same KU/KOLL heading (as do DE etc) so do you think that means it'll be coming out over here?

In France, media are saying that it will be available on Amazon FR in September or October (right at the time of the Rentrée, the start of the new publishing season in litterary fiction, that should be fun). So my guess is it should be available in the other Amazon sites too (or they do it for France only, just to thumb their nose at the government and their law prohibiting free shipping ;D ).
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: C. Gockel on July 18, 2014, 06:50:51 AM
Quote
Doesn't this violate the exclusivity of Select? It was my understanding that works in Select cannot appear in full in digital format ANYWHERE, including in other collections.

It does violate the terms of Select.

I'm still waiting to see how this shakes out and how it will affect my business. Amazon might change some of the terms of select to make Unlimited more attractive to authors (and therefore readers).
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Avis Black on July 18, 2014, 06:51:36 AM
I've put a few titles in as an experiment, but frankly, I still think the math is on Scribd's side.  Potential English-speaking readers world-wide total over a billion.  Scribd already offers subscriptions to that audience.  Amazon's potential readership is more limited.  Also, Scribd and Oyster are paying 60 percent of the cover price, and Amazon looks like they're trying to keep the payouts what you'd get for KDP, which is around 2 dollars per title no matter what the cover price or length.  Your 9.99 dollar title will give you the pay of your 2.99 title.

I could see rotating titles back and forth between the various subscription services every few months to make sure you cover your entire potential audience. 

I also suspect that certain genres may become more popular on one subscription service than another.  If, for example, science fiction writers realize they're being read more on Scribd, they may concentrate over there in a block that ends up luring more and more SF readers away from Amazon's service because readers would have to go to Scribd to find the good stuff.  A 'block' of good authors in one genre all posting on just one subscription site wields real power.  I'd suspect authors would head for where the better payment is, once they do the math and experiment a bit with the various sites.  If Amazon's maximum payout is still just 2 dollars, Scribd and Oyster would gain writers who'd like to see a bit more money than that for their titles.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Iwritelotsofbooks on July 18, 2014, 06:51:57 AM
I know Amazon just bumped up the global fund to 2 million for July, but I hope they go much higher for August.  As is, the Fire phone is releasing in America on July 25th, and in conjunction with this program, there will most likely be a huge influx. 
I agree with the other posters saying novella length work and serialization could be huge for this. 
Looking through the list, most of the top 100 is part of this program whether by choice or not. I heard a rumor earlier that Amazon can include any big name book it wants as long as they pay full royalty.  That should draw in a lot of consumers. 
My general take is the borrow figure will go down from $2/borrow to maybe 50 cents or $1/borrow, but you'll get 2 or 3 times as many borrows in any given month. 
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: jamielakenovels on July 18, 2014, 06:52:18 AM
Eventually if Kindle Unlimited takes off (and it will) then they'll roll it as part of Kindle Prime for an additional $5-10/month.  Then I hope they increase the money pool because imagine if 100,000 authors are trying to get a piece of $2million.  What about people like HM Ward who make that much probably a month and if all their fans switch to Kindle Unlimited, won't that affect her paycheck?

Since you get paid if someone reads just 10% of the book then won't shady authors just download each other's books (or have autobot accounts do it), "read" 10% of the book and then get paid?

If it takes off won't the other eBook outlets be forced to create an unlimited program of their own? And how will this affect book stores when someone can get eBooks for next to nothing will they have incentives to buy paper books?

How long before the Big 5 who are not willing participants yet be pressured to be part of the program when people prefer to just use Kindle Unlimited rather than "pay" for books?

When will Amazon get Stephen King and the other brand name authors to write exclusives for Kindle Unlimited?

I think it can be a great opportunity, but it raises a lot of questions. I'm excited to see how this turns out.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Scott Reeves on July 18, 2014, 06:57:35 AM
Following up a previous post, here is the reply I received from KDP regarding audiobooks and Unlimited, in case anyone is interested:

Quote
I understand you have the audio edition of several of your books submitted through ACX and would like to have them enrolled in Kindle Unlimited, I'll be glad to explain this to you.

In such case, I'd like to kindly highlight that Kindle Unlimited is currently available only for eBooks, published either through Kindle Direct Publishing and enrolled in KDP Select, or other platforms that have decided to become part of the program. If the Kindle title has a paperback or an audio edition, these two versions wouldn't be included in Unlimited, for Unlimited is for Kindle eBooks only.

If your customers wanted to get your book through unlimited, they may absolutely do so if it's enrolled in Select and if they're subscribed to the Unlimited program! Even so, to get another edition such as a paperback or an audio version, they would have to purchase it separately as the royalties are distributed on different platforms, and they may later synchronize the audio edition with the digital one.

Currently on KDP we don't have much information about how Audible, ACX or other Audiobook platforms work, so I won't be able to give you much detail on that, and that's why gently recommend you to contact either Audible or ACX. Still, when it comes to Kindle books, you can be sure your titles will be part of the Unlimited program while they are enrolled in Select as this library subscription has been designed exclusively for Kindle publishers.

I hope this information helps clarify your questions a bit better! Please remember you can always count on us by either replying to this e-mail, or visiting our Contact Us page as you just did!

Thanks for being part of KDP!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: ricola on July 18, 2014, 06:59:24 AM
Saying that this is good for authors because it brings "exposure" is like saying that piracy is good for authors because it brings "exposure."

NOW do those of you who are still sensible have some idea of why I'm rooting for Hachette?

This will gut the incomes of independent authors if it works.  If you participate voluntarily, you're joining in on cutting your own throat.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: dmac on July 18, 2014, 07:04:18 AM
Saying that this is good for authors because it brings "exposure" is like saying that piracy is good for authors because it brings "exposure."

NOW do those of you who are still sensible have some idea of why I'm rooting for Hachette?

This will gut the incomes of independent authors if it works.  If you participate voluntarily, you're joining in on cutting your own throat.

There is a gaping hole in your logic -- pirates will pay you nothing. KU will at least pay you something.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Quiss on July 18, 2014, 07:08:02 AM
My general take is the borrow figure will go down from $2/borrow to maybe 50 cents or $1/borrow, but you'll get 2 or 3 times as many borrows in any given month.

How is this a good thing? Where are those readers going to come from?
People are talking as if KU will magically generate hundreds of thousands of new readers. 
A number of existing readers will borrow more than they buy, and that will come at the cost, to authors, of losing revenue on paid books. So instead of 70% on $3.99, you get 50 cents. Congratulations. There is no guarantee that readers will even find your KU title so you'll get those 2 or 3 times as many borrows.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Avis Black on July 18, 2014, 07:09:27 AM
Saying that this is good for authors because it brings "exposure" is like saying that piracy is good for authors because it brings "exposure."

NOW do those of you who are still sensible have some idea of why I'm rooting for Hachette?

This will gut the incomes of independent authors if it works.  If you participate voluntarily, you're joining in on cutting your own throat.

Scribd and Oyster are paying 60 percent of the cover price.  Hachette doesn't pay any of its authors that good a royalty.  And for Harlequin writers, the latter being part of a Hachette subsidiary, even Amazon's 2 dollar royalty may be a better deal than what Harlequin pays (or not pays, depending on all those thievish clauses in their contracts).
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Mark E. Cooper on July 18, 2014, 07:11:39 AM
Doesn't this violate the exclusivity of Select? It was my understanding that works in Select cannot appear in full in digital format ANYWHERE, including in other collections. I'm had all sorts of problems with authors who expected me to pull back issues of the Quarterly off the market so they could put the stories in Select, specifically because they were told by Amazon that if the story was already available digitally anywhere, it can't be considered exclusive.

I meant withdraw the full season entirely. Send it back to draft.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Jash on July 18, 2014, 07:12:16 AM
There is a gaping hole in your logic -- pirates will pay you nothing. KU will at least pay you something.

There is no logic in the post you're quoting. It's three overly dramatic (and slightly obnoxious with the whole "sensible" bit) soundbites one of which makes no sense, one of which is completely irrelevant and one which is a hyperbolic prediction that isn't backed up by... anything really.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 18, 2014, 07:13:44 AM
Sales of the first book in my series have gone way down, though the other two are selling well. I haven't been Select until now, but I've been thinking about doing something different to boost that first book, which is a novella and $.99. Since it's selling even worse on other platforms than on Amazon, I'm not sure pulling it and making it Select for 90 days will hurt it much at all. I know I'd lose the non-Amazon reviews, but there aren't many, so again, not a big deal. In fact, if I did well enough on borrows/Unlimited, it could be a really good thing since I think I'd make more per borrow/qualified read than I'm currently making on purchases.

Any thoughts. Am I missing something obvious, or does this sound like a decent strategy?

Juli, I'd say it's a crap shoot and follow your gut.

Because you could put that first novella free, including on Scribd and Oyster, and "possibly" get a lot of new people to see your work beyond the number subscribed on KU, and they'd have access to your follow-on work, on those subscription programs and other outlets.

Plus folk can read any free-priced titles without an account on Scribd, a big plus.

Or, you could experiment, it's only 90 days, and see what happens.

I'm not moving any of my work right now, but am thinking of putting a new short I'm finishing in KU, just to see what happens  :)
Title: The "scoop" on Amazon's new "Netflix" for books program (AKA Kindle unlimited)
Post by: Lefevre on July 18, 2014, 07:22:07 AM
NEW YORK (AP) - Amazon is rolling out a new subscription service that will allow unlimited access to thousands of electronic books and audiobooks for $9.99 a month in the online giant's latest effort to expand its services to attract more users.

The company said Friday that the Kindle Unlimited service will give users the ability to read as much as they want from more than 600,000 Kindle titles such as "The Hunger Games" and "Diary of a Wimpy Kid." They can also listen as much as they want to thousands of Audible audiobooks, including "Water for Elephants."

About 2,000 audiobooks from Audible with Whispersync for Voice, which lets users switch between reading and listening to books, will be available through the service. Subscribers will get a free three-month membership to the broader Audible service, which has 150,000 titles.

Amazon is offering a free 30-day trial to entice users to try the service. The move is a switch from Amazon's latest efforts, which have all been about adding services to its Prime loyalty program. The company has recently launched a video streaming box and grocery delivery service, unveiled plans for a smartphone and expanded its Sunday delivery service, all for members of Prime. But Kindle Unlimited is for anyone with a Kindle device or app who wants to subscribe.

The move comes at an uneasy time for Amazon and its relationship with publishers, because it has been in a public squabble with Hachette over e-book prices. The terms that Amazon worked out with the publishers who are part of Kindle Unlimited was not disclosed.

Seattle-based Amazon is not the first company to offer a "Netflix for books"-style monthly service: Scribd offers a service for $8.99 a month for access to 400,000 books. Oyster offers 500,000 books for $9.95 a month. Both services offer HarperCollins books, among other publishers.

But Amazon is the biggest company to roll out the service and has the advantage of having a dedicated base of users through its Kindle devices and Kindle app, which runs on most wireless devices.

A Kindle Unlimited logo will be attached to eligible titles. The subscription service is available beginning Friday and is accessible via Kindle devices or with Amazon's free Kindle reading apps.

The Associated Press.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 18, 2014, 07:22:30 AM
I appreciate your cheerleading for those of us who have a glum view of this, but you're missing a number of points.
Already, two posts above have proven the point about people slamming shorter works into KU.  Another has again underlined the very serious issue about visibility. Ann, too, mentions that she'd start off with the big titles.
So, yeah, losing permafree will hurt a lot of authors. But I think we always knew that it wasn't a long-term strategy.

Good points  :)  And I'd say visibility is the biggy, at least for me.

I was gonna reply to you about how you might read in a subscription program. Even way before I could enroll in either Scribd or Oyster as a reader, my wife and I had looked forward to them because of how much we liked how Netflix worked for us. I think I started on both platforms as a reader either end of last year or very first of this year. I also got to be in a beta FB group for Scribd to give feedback on "whatever."

What I've found so far is, my reading has increased, and it's more relaxed. I really no longer even worry if the title is higher priced or not, short or long or mid-size. If it's a one hour short read and I want to read it, I do. If it's a 700 page thriller and I want to start it, take my time or blast through as I want, I do.

It's a good deal, really a great deal, as you say, for readers  :)

Also, I have access to, as per what Smashwords and data shows, lots of best sellers that are not exclusive with Select, and thus not available on KU, but are on Scribd and Oyster.

But I plan to try out the new KU program, as a reader. I like comparing.

Big fun titles, like from Michael Crichton, I see are on both.

It'll be fun, for a few months, to see the differences.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: bonbon foofoo on July 18, 2014, 07:24:32 AM
I find this very interesting to watch. Who knows what will happen. I'm not panicked about it at all, but I just think it's a game changer. We each have to decide how we will address it. Being a person who likes change, I'm looking at it with optimism. Maybe it will be a game changer in my favor. I can only hope and do my best to adapt.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 18, 2014, 07:26:33 AM
Well here is something interesting. I still have a couple of books in Select, the others having expired (and I chose not to renew), and just now, at 8:00 a.m. my time, the two remaining books have already netted 10 KOLL/KU. I usually average 20-25 for the day. It is very rare for sales/borrows this early in the States, so I can only assume this is the KU effect...only 8 hours in...

Keep updating us if you can, this is very good useful info, thanks!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Usedtoposthere on July 18, 2014, 07:28:42 AM
I've got six books in the first six pages in Contemp Romance, one each on pages 1 & 2, so that should be a pretty good test of how well it works given a fair bit of visibility. Those books are in Select through end of August, and I've thought of going wide with distribution on that series, so--got about a month and a half to see if I want to do that, or if the combined KU/KOLL will convince me otherwise!

What I'm particularly interested to see is whether it will reduce or increase my overall revenue. I'm mostly at $3.99, so a $2 borrow (and who knows whether that's where it will stay) is less revenue than a sale, but not too far off. If it provides more visibility and makes me look like I ought to be rubbing shoulders with the folks on those pages (Hi, Bella! Uh, hi! It's me! You know, me! Oh, well. Anyway. Bye.), that's all good.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: B&H on July 18, 2014, 07:29:18 AM
Josef, those are really good points.

But...Scribd and Oyster and the new digital lending at libraries (via OverDrive and Baker & Tayler), not to mention the coming of txtr, 24Symbols, and others, means -

It's already happening, just outside Amazon. Amazon is simply responding as necessary.

Hundreds of thousands of folk are already doing subscriptions at the services listed above, and, at least according to articles I've read, growing hugely each month.

The task is, for authors to somehow have enough clout to say, to any service : don't exclude me but let other authors list elsewhere; pay me a fair amount; be transparent - give me the read and views data (ala Scribd).

Hugh Howey and Joe Konrath are right, authors, esp self-published authors, are going to need some sort of unity, even if loosey goosey.

And keeping your rights to your content will be even more important than ever.

I agree Amazon have had their hand forced for sure, they were making decent bank from kindle as it was and KOLL was a good enough driver for Prime which was their main interest.

I don't think you can compare Oyster, Scribd and unlimited to the public library system (which i fully support, my childhood reading was all thanks to the local library). The library system provides an essential taxpayer funded service to improve the literacy and education of the population and offers access to people regardless of their income.

The difference is that Scribd et al are in this for a profit, not public service. Like all silicon valley funded businesses they are using investor capital to run at a lost to sew up a big a market as possible with a view then to cashing in with a big IPO/Sale or income stream. I've got no problem with a model that basically pays authors a standard wholesale price for each book 'rented' - these aren't public service charities they are in it for a profit, I don't see why I have to subsidise them to make a killing on their IPO share values. If they want to profit from our work they should pay a fair market price for it.

Alas what is typical of silicon valley thinking is books become 'units', they don't care about our ability to make a living wage or a sustainable income that allows us to continue to provide quality content. They just want X units and they will cut our throats to ensure they get the business model that gives them the best market advantage.

Is it inevitable that this is the future of book retailing? Probably. There was a big guardian article that basically said that it is the baby boomer generation that are propping up paid book sales and the paper market, once we get to generation Y (spotify era) then the price of digital content will trend to zero. They laughably suggest that our future  is the same as the web's - getting 4 cents per 1000 reads in advertising revenue.

As someone has now posted, Amazon will 'determine' how big the pool it sets for KU is at its own discretion. This isn't them saying we'll pay you wholesale price for your book or even a fixed percentage, this is Amazon saying we'll decide how much profit to keep and how much to put in the shared kitty and you can all fight over whatever crumbs we deign to throw at you.

This throws the economics of things like bookbub out of the window. Who is seriously going to pay 500 USD to promote a book when you don't know if you'll be getting 30 cents or 3 dollars per copy sold? How many of us honestly want to run our business having to 'guess' what our sales figures mean in money at the end of the month based on how many people read books that month.

As i said earlier, it is a boon for novella and serial writers under a certain price point.

I agree with others I think this is the beginning of the end of free/permafree. If you've got a huge pool of readers who can effectively read any paid title they want at no additional cost then where is the appeal of your 5 day free promo, why would they dig around the now hidden free lists for 'bargain books?'

More importantly, what will this do to the bookbub free/99c promo? - if you've got your pick of 600,000 paid titles then you don't care if the book is listed free, 99c or 9.99 - you get it for your all you can eat budget. Suddenly there is no need to rush to grab promo'd books and since everyone will be on a completely level playing field there will be zero price advantage you can leverage for your book over your genre neighbours book - got a sale on? makes no difference. You've paid your 9.99 you can have anything on the list for the same up front fee. You might get the bump in visibility but will that translate to improved income is hard to say.

Another side issue is how much pressure this now puts on us as writers, we've seen the effect already on free - you can grab 10 books at a time, you can literally skim through a few pages and the minute you lose interest in it then junk it and on to the next, I suspect we'll see a lot more 'grazing' on books because there is no longer a cost for extended sampling.

As always there will be winners and losers, but one thing I am certain of this will be a big game changer for many people, the fact Amazon isn't prepared to be locked down on income rates per read is a very worrying development.

KOLL borrows were a finite capped number, this has a very specific income pool and Amazon is now completely free to determine how big a share of your book income it wants to help itself to.

Just think about that last point for 30 seconds. We've been fretting like mad over the will they keep 70 percent royalty rates question. Here is a completely new business model and Amazon is making NO STATEMENT AT ALL on what percentage of your sale price you will get per 'sale'. Only Amazon will know how much subscriber income they are generating and how much they are prepared to pay out for the total reads. They could be paying 100 percent, 50 percent, 10 percent.... we won't know because I doubt they will publish the actual total reads and total subscriber income pool. So we go from a situation as authors where even in the trad world we were given a fixed percentage to having a deal that is effectively a random floating number that Amazon can change at will, and the price of this 'generosity' is being locked in exclusive so your entire career and income is dependent on them, if it comes to pass that almost the entire of select authors income comes from KU then we could see a hidden tier system where in effect you are making less money per sale than both KDP authors and trads.

Amazon did a wonderful thing with KDP, they gave us better percentages of our sales, quicker payments and many other things that the trads didn't, but the KU deal with no clear fixed 'percentage' could mean we end up worse off than under trad deals. And that has to be a worrying development, a clear right we wanted as indies was the right to determine our own pricing and know our income percentages, handing our content over and not even being told what percentage of our list price we will get out of the KU fund is just crazy.
Title: Re: The "scoop" on Amazon's new "Netflix" for books program (AKA Kindle unlimited)
Post by: Nick Bryan on July 18, 2014, 07:35:57 AM
Also saw this blog post about the actual terms for authors: http://michaelrunderwood.com/2014/07/18/kindle-unlimited/

I'm not really experienced enough on the scene to know exactly what this means all round, but I wasn't planning on enrolling in KDP Select, so guess it doesn't matter to me yet.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 18, 2014, 07:36:04 AM
A 'block' of good authors in one genre all posting on just one subscription site wields real power.  I'd suspect authors would head for where the better payment is, once they do the math and experiment a bit with the various sites.  If Amazon's maximum payout is still just 2 dollars, Scribd and Oyster would gain writers who'd like to see a bit more money than that for their titles.

Great points: authors can be a "block," and there is a royalty difference.

Plus authors on Scribd could still also sell on regular Amazon, Oyster, libraries, iTunes, B&N, etc.

If subscriptions can remain competitive, this may prove very good for indies.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: C. Gockel on July 18, 2014, 07:37:59 AM
I actually got my start writing fanfiction, so I *LIKE* writing in a serial style. I love the rush and attention that each new release gets.

But I feel like the best thing to do is wait for this to shake out. I'm not sure how many of my readers read enough books a month to make this worth their while. I probably read four books a month at least, but usually some of those are free and then it's me just picking up the sequel. And I'm on Scribd and Oyster (and not getting much traction), so I'm out there for people who like the subscription model.

I'm actively querying my readers about their buying habits now. But I think my best course of action is to hang tight for three months and see how this shakes out.

Title: Re: The "scoop" on Amazon's new "Netflix" for books program (AKA Kindle unlimited)
Post by: Mandy on July 18, 2014, 07:40:20 AM
Does anyone know if we will be able to borrow different books simultaneously across all devices under one account? That's the deciding factor for me; I'd like for my kids to be able to borrow their own books.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: EC on July 18, 2014, 07:40:52 AM
I agree Amazon have had their hand forced for sure, they were making decent bank from kindle as it was and KOLL was a good enough driver for Prime which was their main interest.

I don't think you can compare Oyster, Scribd and unlimited to the public library system (which i fully support, my childhood reading was all thanks to the local library). The library system provides an essential taxpayer funded service to improve the literacy and education of the population and offers access to people regardless of their income.

The difference is that Scribd et al are in this for a profit, not public service. Like all silicon valley funded businesses they are using investor capital to run at a lost to sew up a big a market as possible with a view then to cashing in with a big IPO/Sale or income stream. I've got no problem with a model that basically pays authors a standard wholesale price for each book 'rented' - these aren't public service charities they are in it for a profit, I don't see why I have to subsidise them to make a killing on their IPO share values. If they want to profit from our work they should pay a fair market price for it.

Alas what is typical of silicon valley thinking is books become 'units', they don't care about our ability to make a living wage or a sustainable income that allows us to continue to provide quality content. They just want X units and they will cut our throats to ensure they get the business model that gives them the best market advantage.

Is it inevitable that this is the future of book retailing? Probably. There was a big guardian article that basically said that it is the baby boomer generation that are propping up paid book sales and the paper market, once we get to generation Y (spotify era) then the price of digital content will trend to zero. They laughably suggest that our future  is the same as the web's - getting 4 cents per 1000 reads in advertising revenue.

As someone has now posted, Amazon will 'determine' how big the pool it sets for KU is at its own discretion. This isn't them saying we'll pay you wholesale price for your book or even a fixed percentage, this is Amazon saying we'll decide how much profit to keep and how much to put in the shared kitty and you can all fight over whatever crumbs we deign to throw at you.

This throws the economics of things like bookbub out of the window. Who is seriously going to pay 500 USD to promote a book when you don't know if you'll be getting 30 cents or 3 dollars per copy sold? How many of us honestly want to run our business having to 'guess' what our sales figures mean in money at the end of the month based on how many people read books that month.

As i said earlier, it is a boon for novella and serial writers under a certain price point.

I agree with others I think this is the beginning of the end of free/permafree. If you've got a huge pool of readers who can effectively read any paid title they want at no additional cost then where is the appeal of your 5 day free promo, why would they dig around the now hidden free lists for 'bargain books?'

More importantly, what will this do to the bookbub free/99c promo? - if you've got your pick of 600,000 paid titles then you don't care if the book is listed free, 99c or 9.99 - you get it for your all you can eat budget. Suddenly there is no need to rush to grab promo'd books and since everyone will be on a completely level playing field there will be zero price advantage you can leverage for your book over your genre neighbours book - got a sale on? makes no difference. You've paid your 9.99 you can have anything on the list for the same up front fee. You might get the bump in visibility but will that translate to improved income is hard to say.

Another side issue is how much pressure this now puts on us as writers, we've seen the effect already on free - you can grab 10 books at a time, you can literally skim through a few pages and the minute you lose interest in it then junk it and on to the next, I suspect we'll see a lot more 'grazing' on books because there is no longer a cost for extended sampling.

As always there will be winners and losers, but one thing I am certain of this will be a big game changer for many people, the fact Amazon isn't prepared to be locked down on income rates per read is a very worrying development.

KOLL borrows were a finite capped number, this has a very specific income pool and Amazon is now completely free to determine how big a share of your book income it wants to help itself to.

Just think about that last point for 30 seconds. We've been fretting like mad over the will they keep 70 percent royalty rates question. Here is a completely new business model and Amazon is making NO STATEMENT AT ALL on what percentage of your sale price you will get per 'sale'. Only Amazon will know how much subscriber income they are generating and how much they are prepared to pay out for the total reads. They could be paying 100 percent, 50 percent, 10 percent.... we won't know because I doubt they will publish the actual total reads and total subscriber income pool. So we go from a situation as authors where even in the trad world we were given a fixed percentage to having a deal that is effectively a random floating number that Amazon can change at will, and the price of this 'generosity' is being locked in exclusive so your entire career and income is dependent on them, if it comes to pass that almost the entire of select authors income comes from KU then we could see a hidden tier system where in effect you are making less money per sale than both KDP authors and trads.

Amazon did a wonderful thing with KDP, they gave us better percentages of our sales, quicker payments and many other things that the trads didn't, but the KU deal with no clear fixed 'percentage' could mean we end up worse off than under trad deals. And that has to be a worrying development, a clear right we wanted as indies was the right to determine our own pricing and know our income percentages, handing our content over and not even being told what percentage of our list price we will get out of the KU fund is just crazy.


You still can - just opt out of select. 


Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 18, 2014, 07:43:35 AM
If it takes off won't the other eBook outlets be forced to create an unlimited program of their own? And how will this affect book stores when someone can get eBooks for next to nothing will they have incentives to buy paper books?

How long before the Big 5 who are not willing participants yet be pressured to be part of the program when people prefer to just use Kindle Unlimited rather than "pay" for books?

Amazon, I feel, has been forced into this themselves (even if planning to do this eventually anyways, they're smart folk  :) ) via the success of both Scribd and Oyster, and several other entrants coming in (txtr, etc).

These programs already have millions of subscribers, and authors in these programs do not have to be exclusive.

Big 5 have been increasing their titles in Scribd and Oyster the last few months (according to reports I've read) due to their success in these programs.

More worrisome to me is, if those same Big 5 will try to buy indies out of visibility. That's already happened on OverDrive who distributes to over 20,000 libraries, even if for "other reasons."
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 18, 2014, 07:47:50 AM
Saying that this is good for authors because it brings "exposure" is like saying that piracy is good for authors because it brings "exposure."

NOW do those of you who are still sensible have some idea of why I'm rooting for Hachette?

This will gut the incomes of independent authors if it works.  If you participate voluntarily, you're joining in on cutting your own throat.

With all respect, I don't get being "for" either side. Hachette already guts the incomes of its authors.

More needed, I believe, is something that is author-centric -

And then extends into retail and subscriptions.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: JuliMonroe on July 18, 2014, 07:48:46 AM
Juli, I'd say it's a crap shoot and follow your gut.

Because you could put that first novella free, including on Scribd and Oyster, and "possibly" get a lot of new people to see your work beyond the number subscribed on KU, and they'd have access to your follow-on work, on those subscription programs and other outlets.

Plus folk can read any free-priced titles without an account on Scribd, a big plus.

Or, you could experiment, it's only 90 days, and see what happens.

I'm not moving any of my work right now, but am thinking of putting a new short I'm finishing in KU, just to see what happens  :)

Good thoughts. I am working on a short also, and I might KU it instead. Lots to think about and try.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Hugh Howey on July 18, 2014, 07:50:04 AM
Just downloaded my first book using KU. This is a serious game-changer for readers. Like -- you'd be crazy not to buy into this. The books go right to your device, and on my Fire, the audiobook showed up automatically as well. Cray-cray.

More thoughts:

--This allows Amazon to bypass Apple's unwillingness to allow in-app purchases. If you are a KU subscriber, you can pick a book and just read. More cray-cray.

--If readers are paying a flat $10, the price advantage for indies goes out the window. If the Big 5 were smart, they would throw their weight into this. Which means we can probably assume they won't.

--Amazon will have to fund this to reasonable numbers. They can't let the borrow rate go below $2, or they are toast. What I would like to see, to combat the short-story-goldrush, is a tiered borrow rate based on price. You won't be able to upload short works at $9.99 and profit, because the review systems are tied together. Great reviews from free readers will lead to purchases from paid readers, who will leave 1-star reviews based on price/length. It will be hard to game this system because of that. (Maybe that's just my optimism speaking.)

--I know this isn't the first subscription model, but I think the device architecture and integration, plus the reader access/algorithms/recommendations make this fundamentally different. This might be the biggest thing that happens in the book industry this year. And KBoards broke the story!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Frank Zubek on July 18, 2014, 07:55:14 AM
Throwing my little can of gasoline onto the bonfire....

This appears to have both nice potential and also unknowns

And yet the same old staples are locked in here

Just exactly how much disposable entertainment income does the average reader (or a family that HAS a number of readers in it ) actually have each month?
Many folks already shell out- on average- 60 to 100 bucks for a bundle package from a local cable company for the TV and the phones and internet access.
A number of THEM subscribe to Netflix ( or have thrown in an extra few bucks for some premium channels into the cable bundle)
Plus......pet food, a once a month outing to the movies- a number of trips to a restaurant per month....plus gasoline for the SUV.......and then the rest of the more important necessities like food, medical, house payment, car insurance, school, etc etc etc.

How many readers will really want to add ( or can even afford) another ten bucks  onto the monthly pile of bills to read unlimited books? ( And yeah....a large number of readers are famous for grabbing free books and tossing them on the TBR pile-- but what happens to that option when you suddenly have to PAY for a number of books that will find their way to the TBR pile?)

Of course....amazon figures there ARE enough potential customers out there or they wouldn't have even gone here
Still.....   like most new shiny things.... a large number of folks will sign up and take it for a test drive
The bottom line will happen by the holidays once the inevitable shaking out period passes
I should think we'll have a clearer idea of solid numbers when winter settles in post holidays and everybody takes a look at their personal monthly bottom line.

Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: EC on July 18, 2014, 07:55:57 AM
Just some rambling thoughts -

The game changing aspect of this for many is the rush away from Select, the tidal wave - has been stopped in it's tracks.

The "make it free" model will now virtually collapse - the only readers that will be scrabbling about in that pool are the one's that are too tight to front up $9.99 a month. Not exactly prime contenders for buying the next book in the series, are they?
........................................

The value of Bookbub, and there still will be a value, will really be down to exposure rather than potential profit - I can see BB executives having a sleepless weekend. To be fair I think they deserve it as they were at the point of gouging authors.
........................................
For me - I've been working hard on a travel guide, it's taken me ages to write it and I think it will be live in about two weeks.  I was going to market at $8.99 - half the price of the Lonely Planet version - which I have now discovered is in Select and KU eligible.  Oh well, I'm in trouble now -

But what will the Lonely Planet Execs think of being paid a dollar or so for their $17.99 title?
.........................................
I have a pal with 85 titles up - shall I do them a favour and download the lot? skim through 15% of the book and make sure they get paid? Anyone want to do that for my 32 titles?

Will that be the next thread? "Let's Game KU By Downloading Each Others Back Catalogues."  - shall I OP it? lol
..........................................

I think a good few people are going to have a sleepless weekend this weekend. 
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: IreneP on July 18, 2014, 07:57:28 AM
Anybody know if this article is accurate about how authors will be paid?

Quote
So how do you get paid? KU will supply limited royalties from something called the KDP Select Global Fund. Readers must read 10% of the book to be eligible for royalties that will change from month to month. Here is the exact Amazon language:

The fund amount is variable and announced on a monthly basis. We constantly monitor all factors that impact the KDP Select fund in order to set the fund amount for our KDP Select authors.
…Earn your share of the KDP Select Global Fund amount when readers chose and read more than 10% of your book from Kindle Unlimited, or borrow your book from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.

From:
http://techcrunch.com/2014/07/18/what-kindle-unlimited-means-for-authors/
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: bonbon foofoo on July 18, 2014, 08:00:27 AM
Just downloaded my first book using KU. This is a serious game-changer for readers. Like -- you'd be crazy not to buy into this. The books go right to your device, and on my Fire, the audiobook showed up automatically as well. Cray-cray.

More thoughts:

--This allows Amazon to bypass Apple's unwillingness to allow in-app purchases. If you are a KU subscriber, you can pick a book and just read. More cray-cray.

--If readers are paying a flat $10, the price advantage for indies goes out the window. If the Big 5 were smart, they would throw their weight into this. Which means we can probably assume they won't.

--Amazon will have to fund this to reasonable numbers. They can't let the borrow rate go below $2, or they are toast. What I would like to see, to combat the short-story-goldrush, is a tiered borrow rate based on price. You won't be able to upload short works at $9.99 and profit, because the review systems are tied together. Great reviews from free readers will lead to purchases from paid readers, who will leave 1-star reviews based on price/length. It will be hard to game this system because of that. (Maybe that's just my optimism speaking.)

--I know this isn't the first subscription model, but I think the device architecture and integration, plus the reader access/algorithms/recommendations make this fundamentally different. This might be the biggest thing that happens in the book industry this year. And KBoards broke the story!

I can already imagine a lot of IM types jumping on the bandwagon and trying to game the system. I do believe they have to safeguard author's incomes or they will have won't get buy in from indie authors. I also agree that having a tiered price structure will ensure there isn't an influx of 3000 word short stories priced at $9.99. There will always be a demographic of readers who don't opt into Unlimited. To paid buyers, prices like that just look ridiculous.  I'm sure Amazon doesn't want to see prices like that in their store.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: ShaneJeffery on July 18, 2014, 08:03:06 AM
Josef Black, you steal the thread again. I cannot see how authors making a living on sales can view giving them away at a reduced price is a good thing. Hugh throws out the $2 doorstopper which is fine and all, but seriously, will Amazon? They couldn't have been less quiet on this front to authors - really - them not explaining things properly due ahead of time is no accident.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Bards and Sages (Julie) on July 18, 2014, 08:04:01 AM
What I would like to see, to combat the short-story-goldrush, is a tiered borrow rate based on price. You won't be able to upload short works at $9.99 and profit, because the review systems are tied together. Great reviews from free readers will lead to purchases from paid readers, who will leave 1-star reviews based on price/length. It will be hard to game this system because of that. (Maybe that's just my optimism speaking.)

This has always been one of my concerns with Select to begin with. It rewards people with cheap, short works but penalizes authors with longer, higher priced titles. It would never make sense for someone selling books $4 and up to be in Select (assuming you also get sales on other channels) because you end up losing money. If I have a book at $5.99 and make $4.19 a sale and that book is also selling on other channels, why on earth would I go into Select, eliminate my sales at other channels, and make half the money on a borrow?

But then again, maybe Amazon WANTS just a high volume of shorter, cheap works. In retail, we call it the illusion of choice. The more options available, the more likely the customer completes the sale...despite the fact that the majority of the time they will buy the same thing. McDonalds makes 70% of their revenue off of five menu items, and yet whenever they have scaled back their menu sales plummeted. WalMart went through the same thing a few years ago when they decided to "clean up" their aisles by limiting the number of options to those that customers buy most. The result was less foot traffic and plummeting sales.

So if Amazon's goal is merely volume, then they don't care about have 500,000 of those 600,000 titles all being 99 cent, 20,000 ebooks. Because even if 10,000 of those titles get a lot of traffic and they end up paying $2 a borrow instead of 35 cents a sale, the other 490,000 titles aren't costing them anything and driving subscriptions with the illusion of choice.

And of course, the secondary result of all these people in Select means Amazon gets the benefit of using Select authors as their sales force, since those authors will ever only refer readers to Amazon. So again, even if they overpay $2 on a 99 cent book, they make up the difference on increased cart through referrals.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: dmac on July 18, 2014, 08:06:00 AM
The value of Bookbub, and there still will be a value, will really be down to exposure rather than potential profit - I can see BB executives having a sleepless weekend. To be fair I think they deserve it as they were at the point of gouging authors.
.....................................................
I have a pal with 85 titles up - shall I do them a favour and download the lot? skim through 15% of the book and make sure they get paid? Anyone want to do that for my 32 titles?

$200 for a listing on SF/Horror that will usually result in a ROI in the $1000s does not sound like "gouging" to me. YMMV

As for the skimming-for-profits, I would assume that Jeff Bezos' team is too smart to allow something like that to happen. I assume there would be some measures in place where you cannot simply click-click-click-click through the pages, i.e. reading speed will have an impact to gauge the validity of your "reading."

But I could be wrong. I also assumed (or was hoping, anyway) that Amazon would provide a release window for new books, but they seem to not care about that.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Jude Hardin on July 18, 2014, 08:06:42 AM
Just downloaded my first book using KU. This is a serious game-changer for readers. Like -- you'd be crazy not to buy into this. The books go right to your device, and on my Fire, the audiobook showed up automatically as well. Cray-cray.

More thoughts:

--This allows Amazon to bypass Apple's unwillingness to allow in-app purchases. If you are a KU subscriber, you can pick a book and just read. More cray-cray.

--If readers are paying a flat $10, the price advantage for indies goes out the window. If the Big 5 were smart, they would throw their weight into this. Which means we can probably assume they won't.

--Amazon will have to fund this to reasonable numbers. They can't let the borrow rate go below $2, or they are toast. What I would like to see, to combat the short-story-goldrush, is a tiered borrow rate based on price. You won't be able to upload short works at $9.99 and profit, because the review systems are tied together. Great reviews from free readers will lead to purchases from paid readers, who will leave 1-star reviews based on price/length. It will be hard to game this system because of that. (Maybe that's just my optimism speaking.)

--I know this isn't the first subscription model, but I think the device architecture and integration, plus the reader access/algorithms/recommendations make this fundamentally different. This might be the biggest thing that happens in the book industry this year. And KBoards broke the story!

This is only the first day, so it might change, but right now the only books of mine that are available for KU are the books exclusive to Amazon. That is, my Thomas and Mercer titles, and my self-published titles that are enrolled in Select. Have you noticed if any Big 5 books are available yet, Hugh?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: ShaneJeffery on July 18, 2014, 08:08:21 AM
Just got emailed Amazon's announcement. I don't want a 'share' of a fund. I want to know what I'll be paid for people reading my work.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 18, 2014, 08:09:22 AM
As a reader, I'm thrilled. If I can read as many books as I can in a month, and the writers get paid if I read at least 10%, win win. That's about the length of a sample, so rather than download the sample and delete it if it's not to my taste, I can delete the book after the 10% and know that the writer at least got paid for the try-out. Even though this will fractionally cannibalize my own profits if I have books in the program too.

As a writer, I think this will be amazeballs for serials and series. Rather than make a reader pay 3.99 or whatever per installment, they can pay 'zon the 9.99 monthly fee and then read as many installments as they want, and the author still gets a chunk of change per installment. More options for readers and writers. I can see where a smart writer would diversify--have stuff in Select/KOLL/KU, have stuff out of it, etc.
Title: Re: The "scoop" on Amazon's new "Netflix" for books program (AKA Kindle unlimited)
Post by: cinisajoy on July 18, 2014, 08:12:04 AM
I didn't check it out but it is on several books at Amazon and on the front page so off to look for you.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: ElHawk on July 18, 2014, 08:12:49 AM
This is my current thinking as well. Will I put any of my current books into Select to get into KU? HELL NO! I would lose all traction in my other channels just at the point they are paying off. Will I put a new release for my series in it? HELL NO! My readers would go ape[crap] if they are forced to use Amazon exclusively.

But would I write a special funnel book and put THAT in? Hell yes! A book like that to lead readers into your existing paid for series would be gold. Its basically a permafree book on crack! The reader gets an almost free book and Iget paid. How much? We don't know, but I don't get paid for permafree now except in promo credits (sort of) that pay off when readers follow through and buy the sequels.

This right here is the solution, guys. Keep your books available widely, write new content specifically for the subscription service, designed to funnel readers toward your other, non-subscription books. You can even brand that new stuff as "Subscription Exclusive!" or whatever.

Or, rotate some parts of your backlist in and out of the subscription, but keep all non-subscription books available on all other platforms.

Either way, you can use the subscription as a funnel to direct to your other books.

Nobody is proposing that you MUST put ALL your books into the subscription service, and yet people are reacting to this news as if all-or-nothing is the law of the land. If the books you write for/temporarily rotate into subscription are really good, readers aren't going to balk at buying a few extra books at low indie prices.

I don't see how this is all that different from the KOLL when it first appeared. People freaked out about that, too, but in the end it turned into just another discoverability channel (of varying value to varying authors.) This will be more of the same.

Above all, EXPECT changes like this to come along. The game will always change. You're an indie. You're agile. You can adapt fast enough to make it work for you.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: B&H on July 18, 2014, 08:18:52 AM
 
Josef Black, you steal the thread again. I cannot see how authors making a living on sales can view giving them away at a reduced price is a good thing. Hugh throws out the $2 doorstopper which is fine and all, but seriously, will Amazon? They couldn't have been less quiet on this front to authors - really - them not explaining things properly due ahead of time is no accident.

I'd like to know where Hugh's 2 USD math comes from.

Amazon have said you can have 10 books out at a time, for 9.99 - that is 99 cents per book including Amazon's cut.

Amazon has a capped fund for KOLL because they cap it at one book a month. Also they are cross-subsidising it with selling lawn mowers and nappies. They have nothing to cross-subsidise Unlimited with - the hardware is at cost and they make nothing from Kindle app users. they need to generate revenue from this - and my assumption is the cloak and dagger 'we will set the fund amount' means they will get their 50 percent equiv to what they asked the trads for through the back door. so we can assume then that 5 bucks at most is in the kitty per user, thats 50 cents a copy.

Even if they put the full 10 bucks in that would mean they would be putting 1 USD into every single book. that could run into hundreds of millions. Amazon isn't going to do that.

My guess is that the read rate will end up between 35-70 cents. For everyone who doesn't read 10 books a month there will be those voracious romance girls lapping up 50 serials a month.

And as said, Amazon haven't even STATED what percentage of the income is going to authors. How is this being missed? Hugh? Do you find it acceptable Amazon is signing up people for a deal and not telling them what percentage of the sales pot they will be getting? What if it is only ten percent? We go berserk over Hachette & co for their low royalty rates and here is a channel that will potentially dominate book sales and we don't even know what percentage of list we'll even get paid.

Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 18, 2014, 08:20:37 AM
I agree Amazon have had their hand forced for sure...

I don't think you can compare Oyster, Scribd and unlimited to the public library system (which i fully support, my childhood reading was all thanks to the local library). The library system provides an essential taxpayer funded service to improve the literacy and education of the population and offers access to people regardless of their income.

Josef, what a great reply. There is a lot to all this!

I do think, despite the obvious differences, there is a similarity, for readers, between subscription services in general, and libraries.

Libraries are the last and best brick and mortar. Ironically, they have entered the digital age and can now, in over thousands of direct locations across the country, serve the reading public in those communities. I know people in very well to do Westlake next to us here in Austin who are using their new modern age libraries more and more.

Yet, self-published titles to libraries are currently effectively being hidden from librarians in over 20,000 "public service" libraries around the country.

This is wrong.

Libraries are currently having to pay big publishers huge fees just to lend out a title a few times.

If libraries had easy access to ALL self-published titles, on request from library patrons (which my own titles can't be even here in Austin, one of the largest most progressive cities in the country) this would give libraries more power back from big publishers, and be able to serve the public interest without as huge a cost to big publishers.

Quote
The difference is that Scribd et al are in this for a profit, not public service...these aren't public service charities they are in it for a profit, I don't see why I have to subsidise them to make a killing on their IPO share values. If they want to profit from our work they should pay a fair market price for it...

I feel I am getting a set fair market price for my work from both Scribd and Oyster: 60% of retail price.

Quote
I agree with others I think this is the beginning of the end of free/permafree...

May be true. I have 6 titles free. But am keeping them for now because, like at Scribd, folk without an account can both read my work without cost or sign-up, and experience how Scribd works (to see if they'd like to sign up.)

Quote
KOLL borrows were a finite capped number, this has a very specific income pool and Amazon is now completely free to determine how big a share of your book income it wants to help itself to...

Just think about that last point for 30 seconds. We've been fretting like mad over the will they keep 70 percent royalty rates question. Here is a completely new business model and Amazon is making NO STATEMENT AT ALL on what percentage of your sale price you will get per 'sale'...

So we go from a situation as authors where even in the trad world we were given a fixed percentage to having a deal that is effectively a random floating number that Amazon can change at will, and the price of this 'generosity' is being locked in exclusive so your entire career and income is dependent on them, if it comes to pass that almost the entire of select authors income comes from KU then we could see a hidden tier system where in effect you are making less money per sale than both KDP authors and trads.

Can't say it better than you Josef.

Quote
Amazon did a wonderful thing with KDP, they gave us better percentages of our sales, quicker payments and many other things that the trads didn't, but the KU deal with no clear fixed 'percentage' could mean we end up worse off than under trad deals. And that has to be a worrying development, a clear right we wanted as indies was the right to determine our own pricing and know our income percentages, handing our content over and not even being told what percentage of our list price we will get out of the KU fund is just crazy.
[/quote]

Ditto.

Thanks Josef. All the best wishes, for all of us.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: wtvr on July 18, 2014, 08:23:01 AM
If it does end permafree, how will that look? Amazon has to price match... Maybe they'll do it on a per-request basis?

Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 18, 2014, 08:23:21 AM
Good thoughts. I am working on a short also, and I might KU it instead. Lots to think about and try.

That's for sure!  :)

Best wishes Juli
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: EC on July 18, 2014, 08:23:58 AM
$200 for a listing on SF/Horror that will usually result in a ROI in the $1000s does not sound like "gouging" to me. YMMV

As for the skimming-for-profits, I would assume that Jeff Bezos' team is too smart to allow something like that to happen. I assume there would be some measures in place where you cannot simply click-click-click-click through the pages, i.e. reading speed will have an impact to gauge the validity of your "reading."

But I could be wrong. I also assumed (or was hoping, anyway) that Amazon would provide a release window for new books, but they seem to not care about that.

Have you seen how rapidly BB have increased their prices?  Come back in a year and tell me what you think then.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Bards and Sages (Julie) on July 18, 2014, 08:27:26 AM
If it does end permafree, how will that look? Amazon has to price match... Maybe they'll do it on a per-request basis?

Probably just start enforcing their policies regarding offering the same price everywhere. It is in the TOS that you aren't suppose to offer a lower price elsewhere. To date, Amazon has turned a blind eye to that. But they can enforce it at any time with one of their nasty "you have five days to resolve or else" emails.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: zanahart on July 18, 2014, 08:28:47 AM
But then again, maybe Amazon WANTS just a high volume of shorter, cheap works. In retail, we call it the illusion of choice. The more options available, the more likely the customer completes the sale...despite the fact that the majority of the time they will buy the same thing. McDonalds makes 70% of their revenue off of five menu items, and yet whenever they have scaled back their menu sales plummeted. WalMart went through the same thing a few years ago when they decided to "clean up" their aisles by limiting the number of options to those that customers buy most. The result was less foot traffic and plummeting sales.

I didn't know this and it makes prefect sense. Yep, we are part of the illusion!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: dmac on July 18, 2014, 08:32:25 AM
Have you seen how rapidly BB have increased their prices?  Come back in a year and tell me what you think then.

And in a year from now when using Bookbub no longer results in a profitable ROI, then I, and every other author, will stop using them. What is so hard to grasp about this very simple concept? If paying $500 gets you $1000 and new fans, will you not do it? I do not understand your argument.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 18, 2014, 08:33:39 AM
Just downloaded my first book using KU. This is a serious game-changer for readers. Like -- you'd be crazy not to buy into this. The books go right to your device, and on my Fire, the audiobook showed up automatically as well. Cray-cray.

More thoughts:

--This allows Amazon to bypass Apple's unwillingness to allow in-app purchases. If you are a KU subscriber, you can pick a book and just read. More cray-cray.

--If readers are paying a flat $10, the price advantage for indies goes out the window. If the Big 5 were smart, they would throw their weight into this. Which means we can probably assume they won't.

--Amazon will have to fund this to reasonable numbers. They can't let the borrow rate go below $2, or they are toast. What I would like to see, to combat the short-story-goldrush, is a tiered borrow rate based on price. You won't be able to upload short works at $9.99 and profit, because the review systems are tied together. Great reviews from free readers will lead to purchases from paid readers, who will leave 1-star reviews based on price/length. It will be hard to game this system because of that. (Maybe that's just my optimism speaking.)

--I know this isn't the first subscription model, but I think the device architecture and integration, plus the reader access/algorithms/recommendations make this fundamentally different. This might be the biggest thing that happens in the book industry this year. And KBoards broke the story!

Hi Hugh, wanna say how much I admire all you do for indies.

I agree with a lot of what you say, esp that Amazon "can't let the borrow rate go below $2, or they are toast," but also want to say I disagree with : "I know this isn't the first subscription model, but I think the device architecture and integration, plus the reader access/algorithms/recommendations make this fundamentally different." -

I'm not finding much different in reader access or recommendations on Scribd or Oyster.

And though "device architecture and integration" is great (I have a new Kindle Fire), that sort of integration is also available on my iPhone and iPad and Mac laptop via iBooks. And via virtually any device and online via Scribd.

Differences? Yes. Fundamentally different? Not at my level, with what I read and enjoy.

Also, I'm not up on the details, but Scribd has all kinds of guidelines for what can be priced at what level (to keep short work being over-priced I believe). My contact there is Alison, and if she's (usually) glad to talk with me, I know she'll be glad to talk with you.  :)

Anyway, good to hear your thoughts on this, best wishes always.

Title: Re: The "scoop" on Amazon's new "Netflix" for books program (AKA Kindle unlimited)
Post by: Kathelm on July 18, 2014, 08:36:31 AM
Wow, this could become heavy pressure for authors to join KDP Select.  People using Unlimited are naturally going to prioritize books that they don't have to pay extra for, so authors outside the program will see sales go down if there are a lot of subscribers.  This isn't good news for those of us who like doing business on more than one platform.

EDIT: And it could simultaneously devalue Select, as the royalties for books read through Unlimited come out of the Select fund.
Title: Re: The "scoop" on Amazon's new "Netflix" for books program (AKA Kindle unlimited)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 18, 2014, 08:39:37 AM
This isn't good news for those of us weho like doing business on more than one platform.

It's not all or nothing, though. Diversify. Put some stuff in Select and some not.
Title: Re: The "scoop" on Amazon's new "Netflix" for books program (AKA Kindle unlimited)
Post by: cinisajoy on July 18, 2014, 08:45:34 AM
Mandy,
No luck on finding out any info for you.

Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: KZoe on July 18, 2014, 08:46:56 AM

I'd like to know where Hugh's 2 USD math comes from.

Amazon have said you can have 10 books out at a time, for 9.99 - that is 99 cents per book including Amazon's cut.

You can have 10 books out a time but there's no cap on the number that can be read during the month. It's conceivable that there will be a portion of KU members who can read 20 - 30 books (especially novellas or short stories) in a month. What's that going to do the fund?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: ElHawk on July 18, 2014, 08:48:10 AM
@LisaGloria's last post above:

Right. The fund share is likely to diminish over time, but again, I don't understand why people are expecting to put ALL their titles into Select/KU. Put in one at a time. Rotate stand-alones, or commit a first volume of a series to the program. Think of it as a Permafree title: a discoverability tool that you don't expect to make a penny on. Keep the rest of your books out of Select and available on all other platforms.

I guess I fail to see why this is such a devastation to so many people. It just looks like a different iteration of the same old (very successful) Permafree strategy.
Title: Re: The "scoop" on Amazon's new "Netflix" for books program (AKA Kindle unlimited)
Post by: Kathelm on July 18, 2014, 08:48:32 AM
Quote
It's not all or nothing, though. Diversify. Put some stuff in Select and some not.

To what end?  I would argue that making some of your titles exclusive to a vendor is the opposite of diversifying.  Why lock readers out of accessing some of your material? 
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: glc3 on July 18, 2014, 08:48:55 AM
This is posted here: https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=AA9BSAGNO1YJH

Merchandising Your Book Kindle Unlimited

Make your books easier to find with Kindle Unlimited

Kindle Unlimited is a subscription service currently available to customers in the U.S. With Kindle Unlimited, customers can read as many books as they like and keep them as long as they want for a monthly subscription fee. Any customer can subscribe to Kindle Unlimited. They don't need to be Amazon Prime members, they simply need to pay the subscription fee.

If you have a book enrolled in KDP Select, it will automatically be enrolled in Kindle Unlimited. It will also remain enrolled in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, which is currently available to Amazon Prime customers in the U.S., UK, Germany, France, and Japan.

In order to be eligible to be included in Kindle Unlimited you must meet the KDP Select requirements and enroll your book in KDP Select. Learn how to enroll.

If you do not want your book(s) in Kindle Unlimited, you have the option to immediately remove your book from KDP Select. To do so, please include the ASIN for your book when you complete this Contact Us form. We will remove your book from KDPS right away and contact you to confirm.

How customers get your book

When customers subscribe to Kindle Unlimited and search Amazon.com for Kindle books, they will see a badge next to your KDP-Select-enrolled book indicating that the book is available in Kindle Unlimited. They can also visit the Kindle Unlimited page and see available books there.

Once a customer reads more than 10% of your book, or a Kindle Owners' Lending Library customer downloads your book, you'll receive a share of the KDP Select Global Fund.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Jan Hurst-Nicholson on July 18, 2014, 08:51:01 AM
I see that KU and KOLL are listed together in the sales chart. I wonder if they will eventually make separate columns. I'd like to see which one the reader is using.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: X. Aratare on July 18, 2014, 08:53:41 AM
@LisaGloria's last post above:

Right. The fund share is likely to diminish over time, but again, I don't understand why people are expecting to put ALL their titles into Select/KU. Put in one at a time. Rotate stand-alones, or commit a first volume of a series to the program. Think of it as a Permafree title: a discoverability tool that you don't expect to make a penny on. Keep the rest of your books out of Select and available on all other platforms.

I guess I fail to see why this is such a devastation to so many people. It just looks like a different iteration of the same old (very successful) Permafree strategy.

Unlike the permafree strategy, your first volume could ONLY be on Amazon though. Which means all those Kobo, Nook, Apple, Google people will have to go to Amazon to purchase it since they can only get volumes 2+ on those sites. I think it will inevitably cause people to resent the author for not having it available or simply turn away from that series with a shrug.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 18, 2014, 08:55:51 AM
The KU landing page is fundamentally different, more Netflixy. (That's a word now; I call it.) There are highlighted categories and Recommended For You... There are featured subcategories in Romance (not Sci-Fi Romance, curses!!).

I'm delighted at the prospect of real recommendations based not just on buying a title, but how much you read of it.

Those borrows will affect sales rankings in the non-KU world, eliminating some of the price advantage to higher price points in the algorithm and also bringing first-movers in KU advantage in the regular rankings.

I'm aware that the fund share will probably diminish over time, but that's the name of the game. If I were making widgets and my distributor just opened a new market, I would expect them to lean on my per-unit pricing. That will pick up over time.

Whatever this will be in 2 years, *the next 6-8 months is the best it is likely to be for us.* Hike up your socks and run! Go! Write something!

Lisa, just not seeing a fundamental difference. I can browse categories in Scribd, then sub-categories.

Better in KU, probably. Fundamentally? No.

Really like your comment, "Those borrows will affect sales rankings in the non-KU world, eliminating some of the price advantage to higher price points in the algorithm and also bringing first-movers in KU advantage in the regular rankings." -

And a lot of folk I admire also believe it's the name of the game that fund share (price paid per unit to authors) will diminish, but that's also why it's important to keep competition, like Scribd, like Oyster, like libraries (you are more subscription like than many realize), and others.

Like Hugh says, this is a game changer. But, for me, the real game changer is Amazon responding to the current (and growing) subscription services (Scribd & Oyster) and libraries new and rapidly growing reach into ebook lending.

I could be wrong. I've been often enough, my wife reminds me  :)

And I certainly plan to put a new short in KU.

Hey, I may have my opinions, but I'm not burning bridges...
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: ShaneJeffery on July 18, 2014, 08:57:02 AM
What'
@LisaGloria's last post above:

Right. The fund share is likely to diminish over time, but again, I don't understand why people are expecting to put ALL their titles into Select/KU. Put in one at a time. Rotate stand-alones, or commit a first volume of a series to the program. Think of it as a Permafree title: a discoverability tool that you don't expect to make a penny on. Keep the rest of your books out of Select and available on all other platforms.

I guess I fail to see why this is such a devastation to so many people. It just looks like a different iteration of the same old (very successful) Permafree strategy.

But Permafree gets you visibility on other retailers.

What good is Book 2, 3 and 4 going to do on Barnes and Noble / Apple when Book 1 is in KU Select????

Edit:  X. Aratare got there first.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Jena H on July 18, 2014, 08:59:10 AM
And, ironically, Amazon's announcement email contains... a typo??   :-\
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Jan Hurst-Nicholson on July 18, 2014, 09:00:51 AM
When I went to the page I got a message to say:  Sorry, not available in your country. Only available to US customers  >:( I have to buy through Amazon.com so thought that would make me a US customer  ::)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 18, 2014, 09:01:43 AM
Goodness!

I think this is the most fun on a thread I've had in a very long time  :)

Gotta take a break, do some exercise, work on that short I want to experiment on KU with, and eat.

Hey, I'm 63, gotta keep moving the bones and muscles, flex the synapses in the brain, and re-fuel. Back after awhile, and probably enjoy the thread of comments like a quick short read on, on, gee, could be anywhere if not exclusive, right?

Yeah, I know, I had to get that last bit in  :)

Best wishes everyone!
Title: Re: The "scoop" on Amazon's new "Netflix" for books program (AKA Kindle unlimited)
Post by: Lefevre on July 18, 2014, 09:03:59 AM
Here is some more information.....

Basically, the catch with this is that readers must read 10% of the book for the author to be eligible for royalties from KU.

AND

Your book must be part of KDP Select for KU to apply.

Essentailly, this will add a "KU" line on your sales chart..

Here is a link that also may be of some help...

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/07/17/3-things-to-know-about-amazoncom-and-the-kindle-un.aspx

Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: thesmallprint on July 18, 2014, 09:07:25 AM
If KU becomes hugely popular, authors will need to be fairly rewarded or Amazon lose their suppliers. No suppliers to a voracious audience, created by Amazon, well, you can work it out.

This is much more a gamble for Amazon than it is for indies. Imo, of course

Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Mylius Fox on July 18, 2014, 09:08:17 AM
My uninformed, uneducated impression is that this move could potentially serve to corral self-publishers' earnings - through pressuring them to play ball, and eventually wielding to their advantage their control over how much money is put into the collective pool.

Of course, the same thing could ultimately be achieved by simply decreasing the royalty rate for authors in general, separate from this program, but perhaps that would make authors hedge their bets and stick with Amazon's competitors as well. Through this program, they could keep the collective pool fund nice and fat until they've weakened their competitors enough that it won't matter to them if authors then jump ship.

IMO, the collective pool seems to take a page from communism, or it brings to mind the image of all authors being, in effect, Amazon's staff writers. Boy oh boy I hope when they do my yearly review they give me a raise this time!  :P
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Saul Tanpepper on July 18, 2014, 09:08:42 AM
Reasons to invest my work in KU:
1. Potential for more exposure.

Reasons NOT to invest my work in KU:
1. No guarantee of more exposure. In fact, if the catalog gets swamped with hastily written short works, that benefit vanishes.
2. Restricted distribution and restricted choices for readers.
3. No guarantee what the payout will be month-to-month.
4. I get 60% list price now on Oyster and Scribd.

I'll look into writing a few quick funnel books for my series and enrolling them into KU because that seems to make good business sense for now (and, incidentally, underscores the 1st point in my NOT list), but I don't see this being a boon for anyone in the long term, especially if it further erodes competition. Not good for indies, not good for readers.

(BTW, I think I read Amazon has agreements with some of the Big 5 to pay full list price royalties on books borrowed through KOLL; I presume these agreements extend to KU. If this is true, then why would indies stand to be paid slave wages?)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: ElleT on July 18, 2014, 09:08:58 AM
I have a question, I hope it hasn't been asked.

So we don't get paid UNTIL and IF they read 10% in a certain time period or something to that effect. So do KU borrows get added to our graphs immediately? Are they then removed if the customer doesn't do what is necessary for us to be paid?

Since the rules have switched midgame, do we have the right to pull out without repercussions even if we have used a promo day of our Select program?
Title: Re: The "scoop" on Amazon's new "Netflix" for books program (AKA Kindle unlimited)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 18, 2014, 09:09:04 AM
To what end?  I would argue that making some of your titles exclusive to a vendor is the opposite of diversifying.  Why lock readers out of accessing some of your material?

I imagine if your non-Amazon readers are loyal enough, they'll stick around say, three months, if you tell them you're experimenting with a Select-only title. If it doesn't work for you, pull the book out of KU and post it everywhere else.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: dmac on July 18, 2014, 09:10:50 AM
Thinking positively: for those who wishes to try it out, it is only 3 months. In the scheme of a writing career, that is a minor commitment. We should know very soon what kind of payment is involved, and adjust accordingly. That is our strength as our own publisher.

Gather Information --> Analyze --> Adapt.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: ElHawk on July 18, 2014, 09:11:32 AM
Unlike the permafree strategy, your first volume could ONLY be on Amazon though. Which means all those Kobo, Nook, Apple, Google people will have to go to Amazon to purchase it since they can only get volumes 2+ on those sites. I think it will inevitably cause people to resent the author for not having it available or simply turn away from that series with a shrug.

This is where a good mailing list and a strong internet presence comes into play.

At the moment, I make too much money from my four-book set to consider putting the first in my series into KU, but if I had a series with a first book in KU and the rest elsewhere, I'd make it widely known to all and sundry that they could contact me directly with any questions or complaints. If anybody contacted me to ask why they couldn't get the first book on their site of choice, I'd respond with a free EPUB copy of that book. Problem solved.

And I'd also make it very clear on my web site when each title was coming out of Select and returning to wider distribution (and specify which of my OTHER titles are currently available everywhere.)

I don't know about you guys, but my readership stays in pretty good contact with me. As long as you maintain a strong online presence and make it very easy to find your contact information, you should have no problem preventing any issues like this.

*ETA: If this ends up being a major thing, and not a flash in the pan like KOLL was for most authors who tried it, a smart strategy would also include more stand-alone books that could easily be rotated in and out of KU without leaving "orphaned" series on other sites with no Book 1. But I think it's too early to know whether it'll be as massive a game-changer as some people think it will be. It might, but it might not.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Christa Wick on July 18, 2014, 09:13:12 AM
I may put an underperforming pen name all in - good stories that should have found readers but haven't. If there's no length requirement, I have some Christa shorts that are dying down. I will always have titles that I presently require a premium to be paid for because this is my sole income (although thankfully I have a spouse with income to fall back on). Those titles won't always be the same.

For everyone saying, "this is just another tool, use it (or not) in the manner that best benefits you" - I agree wholeheartedly. (The only thing I find very troubling is the audiobook component - that has a large captive content provider group and if they are being forced into this, that is very bad business on Amazon's part. I'm very thankful that, at 9 months out, I've recouped all but about $300 of my $1400 investment in audiobooks between purchases and bounties.)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Bluehorseshoe on July 18, 2014, 09:23:45 AM
I will not be joining. I have too much traction through smashwords. Though i fear this may destroy my business.

What happens when short fiction readers barrel into this program to read unlimited? It will skew the population of books being selected and read. Leaving those outside of select getting screwed. Will readers from other outlets now join here? How will the shift in readership effect other channels?

And for those inside select, you are going to have to share your earnings and not even know just exactly what you are getting.

So if you have a bundle at 4.99 maybe you get 50 cents for a borrow/unlimited dl now?

I don't like it. For a reader, at 9.95 per month they need to read at minimum ~5 titles to get their moneys worth, and they will likely read FAR more.

So think about it, that fund is going to get decimated. I think the end payout on each read will be much lower than an average royalty. if you have 100K members join, who read 5 books a piece, that is 500K reads. that is 40 cents a read distributed evenly into the Fund? What if they read 10 books a month? 20 cents a read? What if they read 20 and the readership grows, 5 cents a read?

I don't see how this benefits anyone but the reader. Time will tell, but i'm not into it. It's DEFINITELY not the same as the scribd model.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: ShaneJeffery on July 18, 2014, 09:25:23 AM
This is where a good mailing list and a strong internet presence comes into play.

At the moment, I make too much money from my four-book set to consider putting the first in my series into KU, but if I had a series with a first book in KU and the rest elsewhere, I'd make it widely known to all and sundry that they could contact me directly with any questions or complaints. If anybody contacted me to ask why they couldn't get the first book on their site of choice, I'd respond with a free EPUB copy of that book. Problem solved.

And I'd also make it very clear on my web site when each title was coming out of Select and returning to wider distribution (and specify which of my OTHER titles are currently available everywhere.)

I don't know about you guys, but my readership stays in pretty good contact with me. As long as you maintain a strong online presence and make it very easy to find your contact information, you should have no problem preventing any issues like this.

*ETA: If this ends up being a major thing, and not a flash in the pan like KOLL was for most authors who tried it, a smart strategy would also include more stand-alone books that could easily be rotated in and out of KU without leaving "orphaned" series on other sites with no Book 1. But I think it's too early to know whether it'll be as massive a game-changer as some people think it will be. It might, but it might not.

So if you don't have a strong internet presence and mailing list, then it's kaput right? I mean, KU Vs Permafree. Being successful is not default. But no matter how successful you are, there will be readers who come across the books at another retailer, see there's no book one and then... DONT email you to find out where the first book is. Um.. That seems like that would be the norm to me. And why are we throwing permafree titles into KU in the first place...?? Doesn't anyone remember how Countdown "visibility" worked?
Title: Re: The "scoop" on Amazon's new "Netflix" for books program (AKA Kindle unlimited)
Post by: SunHi Mistwalker on July 18, 2014, 09:26:21 AM
Well, I for one won't be enrolling in KDP Select no matter what they offer. I don't think it's in my long-term interests to invest so heavily in one retail platform. I've been out of Select since 2012 and the move has helped me expand my audience. At the end of the day, I think for me at least, the best move is to learn to market effectively so that I can sell books on all the platforms and to also exploit my copyrights to the fullest. As a side note, I was a subscriber to Netflix streaming and recently cancelled my subscription because I could never find the movies I wanted to watch. It seemed to me that the A-players were not selling a streaming license to Netflix. I got so tired of watching movies just because they were what was available at the time that I eventually cancelled my subscription. Hell, the library (at least in Seattle) has a better selection of movies than Netflix streaming. All that to say that this all-you-can-eat book buffet model is still experimental and there is no guarantee that it will translate into big bucks (or even modest revenue) for authors because some readers may avoid it if they can't find the A-players.  I also think a deal breaker for me is that I must be exclusive to Amazon to get involved. And there's just no way I'm doing that.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: EC on July 18, 2014, 09:29:02 AM
I will not be joining. I have too much traction through smashwords. Though i fear this may destroy my business.

What happens when short fiction readers barrel into this program to read unlimited? It will skew the population of books being selected and read. Leaving those outside of select getting screwed. Will readers from other outlets now join here? How will the shift in readership effect other channels?

And for those inside select, you are going to have to share your earnings and not even know just exactly what you are getting.

So if you have a bundle at 4.99 maybe you get 50 cents for a borrow/unlimited dl now?

I don't like it. For a reader, at 9.95 per month they need to read at minimum ~5 titles to get their moneys worth, and they will likely read FAR more.

So think about it, that fund is going to get decimated. I think the end payout on each read will be much lower than an average royalty. if you have 100K members join, who read 5 books a piece, that is 500K reads. that is 40 cents a read distributed evenly into the Fund? What if they read 10 books a month? 20 cents a read? What if they read 20 and the readership grows, 5 cents a read?

I don't see how this benefits anyone but the reader. Time will tell, but i'm not into it. It's DEFINITELY not the same as the scribd model.


If it benefits the reader I'm all for it. I hope 10 million readers sign up for it and that the fund goes through the roof. 

Happy days if that come's to pass.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: HSh on July 18, 2014, 09:32:01 AM
Just joined the free trial, and it turns out you can borrow 10 at a time, then have to return some before you can get more.  (Maybe somebody already shared that--if so, sorry!)

Yeah, it turns out there are a LOT of stories I want to read.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Colin on July 18, 2014, 09:35:31 AM
FYI.

It was briefly mentioned 'up-thread' that since today's KU launch, you can now remove any book from Select before the end of its enrollment period.

I have a book that I wanted to spring from the 'Select jail' for marketing/exclusivity reasons - so I contacted KDP earlier today to say please could you remove the book from KDP Select/Kindle Unlimited. It was removed within hours and there's no issues with re-enrolling it back into Select, but you can only do so after the book's original enrollment end date.



Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 18, 2014, 09:36:58 AM
No way they can maintain that.

No way some authors won't completely screw them on that.

Edit: Thread moves too fast. Was in reference tot he 'paid full royalty' thing.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Usedtopostheretoo! on July 18, 2014, 09:38:47 AM
"I'd like to know where Hugh's 2 USD math comes from."

I'm pretty sure Hugh is referring to the general trend that the per borrow value has held steady around $2 since Feb 2012, a few months after the Select inception. For most months since then, it's been higher...there are a few exception months when the per borrow value dipped below $2, but not many. My only negative reaction to this (all of my books are in Select) was the same as Hugh's. If the per borrow value dips below the $2 trend, I'll reconsider my position, especially if volume doesn't maintain my current average royalty income.

For one of my series, the math is acceptable assuming roughly $2 per borrow and a higher volume. The royalty paid for all four books (if bought separately) is $14.70. If a reader buys the first in my series and moves to the bundle, I make $10.50 (currently the most likely scenario—85% of all follow-on purchases go to the bundle). If a reader burns through all four books using Unlimited, I make $8. Volume will decide this for me. If more readers move on to books 2-4 because they're "free" and experience (reading and sampling) is zero hassle, I can see this working out nicely.

Everyone's situation is different. If you're diversified outside of Amazon, I don't see this dragging you in, unless it turns out to be a boon for everyone. If you're ensconced in Select, I don't see anything to lose (for now), and you always have the option of getting out within 90 days (or whatever remains). The tough call is for the folks on the fence. Nothing but speculation right now. Frankly, either course of action can be a total gamble. Some see awesome success diversifying to other platforms. Some see the same in Select. Many haven't in one or both scenarios. I never recommend that someone uses either strategy, because the result is different for everyone. You have to make your own decision here. Either way, you can always adjust your strategy later. 90 days if you're in Select, more or less immediately if you're not.

Good luck! 
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Quiss on July 18, 2014, 09:40:33 AM
Just joined the free trial, and...
Yeah, it turns out there are a LOT of stories I want to read.

And there go everyone else's sale for the next couple of months. Thank you, Amazon.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Bluehorseshoe on July 18, 2014, 09:42:57 AM
Non select books are going to get destroyed. Wait and see.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Mr. RAD on July 18, 2014, 09:43:39 AM
Not sure if this has been posted already, but here's a TechCrunch article regarding Kindle Unlimited. It's something to think about.

Amazon Isn't Killing Writing, The Market Is (http://techcrunch.com/2014/07/17/amazon-isnt-killing-writing-the-market-is/)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Peter Salisbury on July 18, 2014, 09:47:09 AM
I just found the official KU email from KDP in my inbox announcing that KU exists, US only.

Apologies to the folks who are enthusiastic about this (everyone is free to go their own way) but my response is - no way, ever - I don't care if I don't sell another book through Amazon, I will not play exclusivity games.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: dmac on July 18, 2014, 09:48:02 AM
On reflection:

Books will still have to be good. The first few chapters still have to kill. The cover still has to entice. Being on a bestseller list, either in a niche category or in general, will still matter. Along with reviews and word of mouth.

People's reading time is still precious, and reading a book (unless we are talking about these 10-page pseudo "books") still takes longer than a few days, unlike Netflix, where watching a movie is 2 hours or 40 minutes for a TV show.

Just because you can download and read an unlimited number of books does not necessarily mean you will just because "you can."

Having said all that: I envy all you erotica short story writers. :)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: wtvr on July 18, 2014, 09:52:12 AM
There's another thread on the board for KU Strategies, for those of you who aren't taking your football and going home.

I really do hope the fund goes over 2 million. That stampede is going to be hungry.

Anyone considering a new pen name should sharpen their pencils. This is a reboot - go!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Bluehorseshoe on July 18, 2014, 09:53:51 AM
this isnt going to be good for short fiction... i think this will seriously crater average earnings per story.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 18, 2014, 09:56:37 AM
Luckily, though, I anticipated a honeypot using Select that would screw us all and am now prepared to implement it by September.

Step 1: Focus on other channels. Just like with Countdown, a ton of people will stampede to the new thing that will ultimately hurt them, thereby reducing competition on other channels. Seeing as the REST OF THE FREAKING WORLD uses these channels, someone needs to accept their waiting eyes and money.

Step 2: To Allay Free-no-cide, break glass. New prequels for RB and The Descendants are nearing completion. Not for KU, but for ever other channel should Amazon purge free. The original book 1's become 99 cents and the prequels got up free everywhere else.

Step 3: Sate the Amazon Reader. If Amazon won't let me give thier readers free books on thier site, I'll give them free books on my site. .MOBIs of the new free prequels (and all other formats) will be made available on the site and advertised in the Amazon Book 1's. The site will explain exactly why they couldn't get these on Amazon and where to direct their complaints.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: ElHawk on July 18, 2014, 10:02:26 AM
So if you don't have a strong internet presence and mailing list, then it's kaput right? I mean, KU Vs Permafree. Being successful is not default. But no matter how successful you are, there will be readers who come across the books at another retailer, see there's no book one and then... DONT email you to find out where the first book is. Um.. That seems like that would be the norm to me. And why are we throwing permafree titles into KU in the first place...?? Doesn't anyone remember how Countdown "visibility" worked?

No, not everybody HAS to use it. I just don't see this taking over the entire ebook scene. It's another version of a permafree-like strategy you can use to direct people to your books. 99 cents didn't stop people from buying more expensive books. Permafree didn't make people stop buying full-price books. KOLL/Select/Prime didn't stop people from buying books, and buying them on others sites. BookBub didn't make people stop buying all books which weren't promoted on BookBub.

This is not the end of the world. But the world always changes. You just need to ask yourself how you're going to adapt to the changes it presents and keep your business chugging along.

Somebody already brought up Jeff Bezos's infamous quote earlier in this thread, but it's worth repeating: "Complaining is not a strategy."
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Usedtopostheretoo! on July 18, 2014, 10:03:40 AM
Luckily, though, I anticipated a honeypot using Select that would screw us all and am now prepared to implement it by September.

Step 1: Focus on other channels. Just like with Countdown, a ton of people will stampede to the new thing that will ultimately hurt them, thereby reducing competition on other channels. Seeing as the REST OF THE FREAKING WORLD uses these channels, someone needs to accept their waiting eyes and money.

Step 2: To Allay Free-no-cide, break glass. New prequels for RB and The Descendants are nearing completion. Not for KU, but for ever other channel should Amazon purge free. The original book 1's become 99 cents and the prequels got up free everywhere else.

Step 3: Sate the Amazon Reader. If Amazon won't let me give thier readers free books on thier site, I'll give them free books on my site. .MOBIs of the new free prequels (and all other formats) will be made available on the site and advertised in the Amazon Book 1's. The site will explain exactly why they couldn't get these on Amazon and where to direct their complaints.

Smart. More strategizing. Less speculating. I think if everyone focused on their situation and formed a strategy like this, they will do fine...including those that jump into KU or stay along for the KU ride.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: HSh on July 18, 2014, 10:09:55 AM
And there go everyone else's sale for the next couple of months. Thank you, Amazon.

Yeah, I doubt it, actually.  I can't see cutting back on "gotta reads" that aren't on any subscription model.

I'm already on Scribd.  I'm buying approximately a book a day from Dreamspinner with their current Christmas in July sales, and now I'm checking out that Penny Marshall biography on Amazon and a whole bunch of other stuff I wanted to read but couldn't quite afford just now. 

I'm just concerned that I'll be hemorrhaging money with purchases PLUS two subscription plans, if this keeps up.  So I'll have to choose which subscription I want to keep, probably.  But not for at least a month.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 18, 2014, 10:10:05 AM
they will do fine...including those that jump into KU or stay along for the KU ride.

Haha. No that won't.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Colin on July 18, 2014, 10:13:46 AM

This is not the end of the world. But the world always changes. You just need to ask yourself how you're going to adapt to the changes it presents and keep your business chugging along.

This.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: richard.r.fox on July 18, 2014, 10:14:14 AM
One of the underlying questions seems to be, "Will I make less money because of KU?"

The payout, and correct me if I'm wrong, depends on the value of the monthly fund and the number of qualified reads (>10%).
This is NOT how Oyster/Scribd do it. So there is 2 million USD in the fund. If there are 4 million qualified downloads, each author's qualified reads nets him/her 50 cents. The variables are simple, amount of money in the fund and the amount of qualified downloads.

For breadcrumb/funnel or 99 cent titles, this is decent. For 4.99 titles we had out there in Prime to capture the on-the-fence reader with their monthly lending credit, this is lousy. Someone else said this, and I agree, short form naughty stories will do gangbusters. If we can't make enough money in KU, we aren't going to participate.

Now, keep this in mind before too many of us engage in the author stereotype of liver abuse, books are not fungible. Readers like what they like and one sci-fi story is never just as good as another sci-fi story. KU is great for discoverability, and readers will follow us into the non-KU land if they like what they read. I don't care how many free titles are available, I will buy Dan Abnett's latest the second it comes out on the Black Library.

It will be interesting to see how many KU readers refuse to move beyond the buffet. The next series of Author Earnings reports (thanks Hugh and Data Guy!) will be helpful.

I am irked that KU exists within Prime jail. Non-Indie books don't seem to have this problem. But for all the goodness that being Indie comes with, I can learn to live with Prime jail.




Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 18, 2014, 10:14:44 AM
Somebody already brought up Jeff Bezos's infamous quote earlier in this thread, but it's worth repeating: "Complaining is not a strategy."

I brought that up but it rapidly got buried under the speculation. :D On the one hand, I sympathize with folks who already have titles out there and have to adjust to another change. On the other hand, the market has changed consistently for the last few years. This looks to be another ripple that authors need to adjust to. The only constant is change, and as you pointed out earlier, we have to be flexible and agile.

For me, a writer who'll start publishing later this year, it's just another data point to add to my business plan and consider, along with every other option out there. I'll totally try out Select and KU/KOLL with some of my publications. It's a three-month commitment. That's a drop in the bucket for my freelance writing career.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Usedtopostheretoo! on July 18, 2014, 10:15:44 AM
Haha. No that won't.

Either choice, you have to stay the course to find out. Neither side of Rome was built in a day.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: dmac on July 18, 2014, 10:17:22 AM
The payout, and correct me if I'm wrong, depends on the value of the monthly fund and the number of qualified reads (>10%).
This is NOT how Oyster/Scribd do it. So there is 2 million USD in the fund. If there are 1 million qualified downloads, each author's qualified reads nets him/her 50 cents. The variables are simple, amount of money in the fund and the amount of qualified downloads.

Would $2 million divided by 1 million not be ... $2 each? Or is my math off?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Christa Wick on July 18, 2014, 10:18:17 AM
In case it hasn't been discussed here already - if you use perma-free and we find out Amazon is going to stop allowing perma-free, then you take your perma-free books (I have 4 on Amazon right now) and bundle them for 99 cents. I did this on B&N before D2D opened up with perma-free and it worked really well for at least a few months. AND you can also get some other people in your genre who have also lost perma-free and still really want it and have it be 20 first in series/serial books for 99 cents or something like that. You'll hit the USA Today list maybe (maybe even NYT) and still effectively get your perma-free. It will also boost your author rank, maybe getting you into the top 100 of your genre or subcategories or maybe even the top 100 overall (I've had that happen with 3 of the 5 bundles I've been in for Amazon top 100). So KU could increase author cooperation, which is always a good thing for sales IMO. :D

We just need to "Keep Calm and Carry On" to borrow from Mr. Adams and remember that every challenge is also an opportunity (to borrow from someone else whose name I cannot remember).


... false "edited to add":

Quote
"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." - Winston Churchill
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Rykymus on July 18, 2014, 10:18:57 AM
I'm not going to react. I'm going to sit patiently and watch what happens. Some will benefit, others will not. The same has been true for every change. This one will either work or it won't. Only time will tell.

I agree that the sky is not falling. At least not today.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: richard.r.fox on July 18, 2014, 10:21:31 AM
Would $2 million divided by 1 million not be ... $2 each? Or is my math off?


Yes! Edited original post. Thanks for the sharp eyes.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: abishop on July 18, 2014, 10:25:11 AM
The big question for me isn't what happens to books enrolled in KU, but what happens to those that aren't.  If people can get as many books as they want to read in KU, how many are simply going to balk at paying full price for individual books?  This seems like it will especially be a problem for people who write in genres with voracious readers who are more interested in genre than author.  For literary writers whose works aren't easily replaceable it might be less of an issue - you can't just keep browsing until you find another Dave Eggers.  But you could certainly keep browsing until you find another space opera or FBI thriller.  How many people who read those kinds of things are going to be compelled enough to search outside of KU?  Are authors who refuse to go the KU route just going to be frozen out of the market?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: jackiegp on July 18, 2014, 10:25:18 AM
Reasons to invest my work in KU:
1. Potential for more exposure.

Reasons NOT to invest my work in KU:
1. No guarantee of more exposure. In fact, if the catalog gets swamped with hastily written short works, that benefit vanishes.
2. Restricted distribution and restricted choices for readers.
3. No guarantee what the payout will be month-to-month.
4. I get 60% list price now on Oyster and Scribd.

I'll look into writing a few quick funnel books for my series and enrolling them into KU because that seems to make good business sense for now (and, incidentally, underscores the 1st point in my NOT list), but I don't see this being a boon for anyone in the long term, especially if it further erodes competition. Not good for indies, not good for readers.

(BTW, I think I read Amazon has agreements with some of the Big 5 to pay full list price royalties on books borrowed through KOLL; I presume these agreements extend to KU. If this is true, then why would indies stand to be paid slave wages?)

You are right. Trad pub must be benefiting from this plan or they would never play. And Indies are discardable all of a sudden in the Amazon world, it seems. The information I have state I will get a share of a pool of money for each book sold...no wording that indicates I will get my indicated royalty rate...just an indescript share. For those already selling well, the shares will be a plenty...for those struggling...it equates to zero...creating a class system.
Title: Re: The "scoop" on Amazon's new "Netflix" for books program (AKA Kindle unlimited)
Post by: Reverend Schlachbals on July 18, 2014, 10:28:06 AM
I get that Amazon is a godsend to many, but surely this ploy can be seen for what it is? They're going to short-change the writers here. Every month. It's not a question of if, rather when. And not really even when, it's going to happen the second their royalty payouts exceed their desired profit margin for KU. They're using a fund now because it's just starting and it's a free month. It's the perfect set up to get writers scrambling for a smaller and smaller slice of the pie.

Once people start signing up for this service, the royalties will be funded, but, people will read more than "their share" of payment. Guaranteed. That's the whole point of services like this. You think you're getting a great deal at the all you can eat place, but the food is [crappy] and cheap, and the employees are paid crap. The house makes money hand-over-fist. Just like Amazon will insist on doing here. You can already see it with their "We've only got X dollars, so..." *shrug*

When the price of the salad bar (that's us) starts eating into their profit margins they'll do one of two things: Stop the program or Pay writers less. As long as the Zon is making money, do you really think they'll voluntarily end the program? Neither do I. They'll pay writers less. I get the knee-jerk reaction to assume Zon will deal squarely with writers, but they're a massive profit making machine that will do anything to increase their revenue, just like any other company.

They're not doing this to be nice, they're doing this to make money. You can see the result from other similar services, the artists make less.

This will end badly for writers.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: jackiegp on July 18, 2014, 10:28:06 AM
The big question for me isn't what happens to books enrolled in KU, but what happens to those that aren't.  If people can get as many books as they want to read in KU, how many are simply going to balk at paying full price for individual books?  This seems like it will especially be a problem for people who write in genres with voracious readers who are more interested in genre than author.  For literary writers whose works aren't easily replaceable it might be less of an issue - you can't just keep browsing until you find another Dave Eggers.  But you could certainly keep browsing until you find another space opera or FBI thriller.  How many people who read those kinds of things are going to be compelled enough to search outside of KU?  Are authors who refuse to go the KU route just going to be frozen out of the market?

Presently, I have a book in and one out. I just clicked on the one out of the program and got this note: Unfortunately we don't have any recommendations for you based on this book choice. Another words. This is not FREE, and we have no FREE recommends for you based on this book. Those not in, are being penalized. When I click on the one that is in the program. It states it can be taken and gives a list of other recommends.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 18, 2014, 10:30:57 AM
Genre is going to be important to making actual sales rather than being paid in gruel out of a big cartoon pot.

Nerd Genre I imagine is safe. Readers there hunt for very specific things and often in niches. The 'buffet' won't be as useful to these folks because what's the point of paying for all you can eat if there's only two or three things you want and no guarantee they'll be there? Disposable income what it is, they'll probably still have a subscription, but they'll still actually buy books if they appeal to them.

Genres that are bulk-reads though best prepare for the rich taste of boiled millet.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: X. Aratare on July 18, 2014, 10:34:29 AM
This is where a good mailing list and a strong internet presence comes into play.

At the moment, I make too much money from my four-book set to consider putting the first in my series into KU, but if I had a series with a first book in KU and the rest elsewhere, I'd make it widely known to all and sundry that they could contact me directly with any questions or complaints. If anybody contacted me to ask why they couldn't get the first book on their site of choice, I'd respond with a free EPUB copy of that book. Problem solved.

And I'd also make it very clear on my web site when each title was coming out of Select and returning to wider distribution (and specify which of my OTHER titles are currently available everywhere.)

I don't know about you guys, but my readership stays in pretty good contact with me. As long as you maintain a strong online presence and make it very easy to find your contact information, you should have no problem preventing any issues like this.

*ETA: If this ends up being a major thing, and not a flash in the pan like KOLL was for most authors who tried it, a smart strategy would also include more stand-alone books that could easily be rotated in and out of KU without leaving "orphaned" series on other sites with no Book 1. But I think it's too early to know whether it'll be as massive a game-changer as some people think it will be. It might, but it might not.

You make some good points.  However ...

While I agree with you that having close contact with your readers is key (I actually have a subscription site where 99.9% of my readers pay me monthly to see my updates) you can't gain new readership at those other sites if Volume 1 isn't there.  There will, of course, be people who will be so interested in your book that they will hunt it down no matter what the annoyance, but many won't.  Any obstacle to trying your work makes it less likely it will sell (think permafree as opposed to $.99, what's a buck?  well, its enough that people didn't do well until they were free). 

Also, people have discussed how individual books, even if the author has other works, do not have the sell-thru that series have so putting an individual book in Kindle Unlimited/Select will not be as effective as the permafree has seemed to be.

For my part, I can't be exclusive with Amazon as I give my members at my site everything and I would be cutting off my nose to spite my face if I went all in with Amazon (also Amazon and the other retailers have sometimes decided that my gay work is ahem not worthy and having to check every day multiple times a day to see if something has been dungeoned for the 15th time is a pain).  Maybe I'll give the members something free for a time and enroll it in Select to see if I can cross sell my own platform which is also a subscription model.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Betsy the Quilter on July 18, 2014, 10:40:38 AM
Hey, folks, I've merged two threads discussing the scoop on KU....

Betsy
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Marie Long on July 18, 2014, 10:45:15 AM
This model sounds no different than Oyster and Scribd. What is Amazon doing differently? They are obviously trying to get more people to use Select, as the option to take advantage of Kindle Unlimited sounds like it would only apply to books that are enrolled in Select.

So you probably won't be able to use KU for books that are not in Select.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: Saul Tanpepper on July 18, 2014, 10:45:32 AM
This looks to be another ripple that authors need to adjust to. The only constant is change, and as you pointed out earlier, we have to be flexible and agile.

I think this goes to the heart of much of the angst being expressed here. If KU is just a ripple, then no adjustment is necessary. Stay the course, do what's working for you. If we try to react to every change that comes along, we risk ending up with no direction at all.

Unfortunately, we don't know whether this will be more than a ripple. Nevertheless, if we look back on all the changes Amazon/KDP has implemented over the past few years, only a few have had major impacts on how we conduct our business. Select/Free worked well, but its benefits were short-lived. The change Amazon made to its affiliate marketers terms regarding free had just as dramatic effect on the effectiveness of marketing and exposure. What really never panned out for most of us? Kindle Singles, Kindle Serials, Kindle Countdown, KOLL... Given that this is restricted to select titles and isn't new, I suspect its effects may not be that dramatic.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: CaraS. on July 18, 2014, 10:47:32 AM
I am new here, but really finding a lot of information I didn't know. I've had a few of my novels at Amazon for the Kindle about 9 months. However, I did no promotion until I had a dozen online; books had been written in the 80s/90s and published in the very early ebook market (I retained all rights when publisher went out of business.)

Anyway, I am not sure how the KU will work out for me. I have priced all my work at .99 cents, and in the past 3 months I've received royalties. Nothing to brag about, but the books I promoted continue to sell every day. Since I price so low though, I actually have been earning more for the books borrowed via KDP.

I'll take a "wait & see" stance. (As an aside, showing my ignorance: how do you make a book perma-free?)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: jackiegp on July 18, 2014, 10:50:32 AM
Josef Black, you steal the thread again. I cannot see how authors making a living on sales can view giving them away at a reduced price is a good thing. Hugh throws out the $2 doorstopper which is fine and all, but seriously, will Amazon? They couldn't have been less quiet on this front to authors - really - them not explaining things properly due ahead of time is no accident.

AGREED! Keeping your front line workers (which we all are to Amazon now, sadly) in the dark about their pay is never leads to a win win situation. I for one don't think they care if it falls below $2 for authors, as long as they benefit from the 100% of 9.99/mon. model. I think this is going to create a tiered system all right, upper class best sellers get more of the pot, while struggling authors get cut rate royalties and low visibility. The rich get richer, and the poor have no control over their income...
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: JeffreyKafer on July 18, 2014, 10:52:12 AM
Have we heard anything definitive about how Audiobooks are going to work in this model? Enquiring narrator minds want to know.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Usedtopostheretoo! on July 18, 2014, 10:52:27 AM
"They're going to short-change the writers here. Every month. It's not a question of if, rather when. And not really even when, it's going to happen the second their royalty payouts exceed their desired profit margin for KU. They're using a fund now because it's just starting and it's a free month. It's the perfect set up to get writers scrambling for a smaller and smaller slice of the pie."

They've always used a fund. The original Global Fund started at $500K in late 2011, and has adjusted every month from that point. Per borrow pay outs have remained steady at $2.20 for nearly two years, with the very occasional rise or dip. Everyone said the same thing with KOLL, and it didn't happen...granted, this is a different system.

I won't speculate on anyone's fate, except my own. I'll be fine.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Bards and Sages (Julie) on July 18, 2014, 10:56:26 AM
Per borrow pay outs have remained steady at $2.20 for nearly two years, with the very occasional rise or dip. Everyone said the same thing with KOLL, and it didn't happen...granted, this is a different system.


Which is fine and dandy is you sell short books at $3 and under. Not so great when you sell books above $4. Particularly those of us who have good sales outside of Amazon, The pool fund already undercuts my normal royalty rate and provides no incentive for me to give up other channels just for the privileged of Amazon paying me less money than I would otherwise make.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: X. Aratare on July 18, 2014, 10:57:38 AM
"They're going to short-change the writers here. Every month. It's not a question of if, rather when. And not really even when, it's going to happen the second their royalty payouts exceed their desired profit margin for KU. They're using a fund now because it's just starting and it's a free month. It's the perfect set up to get writers scrambling for a smaller and smaller slice of the pie."

They've always used a fund. The original Global Fund started at $500K in late 2011, and has adjusted every month from that point. Per borrow pay outs have remained steady at $2.20 for nearly two years, with the very occasional rise or dip. Everyone said the same thing with KOLL, and it didn't happen...granted, this is a different system.

I won't speculate on anyone's fate, except my own. I'll be fine.

While I think every one hopes this is the case, here's the rub.  Unlike KOLL, there is NO LIMIT to the amount of books people read. It's not one borrow a month, which I as a prime member never used b/c its one book (but I should have to benefit an indie).  Despite there being unlimited reads, Amazon increased the pot by only $800k this month.  1 book a month versus unlimited books and that's worth only $800k????  Uhm, I'm sorry, but no.

Scribd and Oyster do not have a finite pot of money for authors (which Amazon is clearly shortchanging this time around as opposed to overfilling).  They do it based on sales.  Why can't Amazon do it based on sales instead of a pot?  The only way authors are ahead is if the pot is somehow larger than the uses and that simply won't happen with the unlimited model.  Romance readers alone who are voracious in a way you wouldn't believe will grab this and ... I can tell you that I could see the price paid to indies be as low as pennies a book if Amazon stays on this course.

EDIT: Julie's point, too.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: wtvr on July 18, 2014, 11:03:06 AM
Prorated, Amazon is adding $1.6 million to the pot for July, because half the month is gone already before KU came in. I prefer to think they more than doubled it at the second half.  8)

Additionally, the first 30 days is free, so it's not a consumer pot they're sharing with us, it's a good faith payout on pro rata estimates of subscriptions.

What the actual pot will be, 30 days hence (when subscriber $ actually begins to accumulate) is anyone's guess.

Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: SunshineOnMe on July 18, 2014, 11:05:47 AM
What if your book doesn't appear on any of the categories? My book is in KU, but not listed on their category page.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Usedtopostheretoo! on July 18, 2014, 11:10:39 AM
Which is fine and dandy is you sell short books at $3 and under. Not so great when you sell books above $4. Particularly those of us who have good sales outside of Amazon, The pool fund already undercuts my normal royalty rate and provides no incentive for me to give up other channels just for the privileged of Amazon paying me less money than I would otherwise make.

True, if you're selling well outside of Amazon, it's not an incentive. Likewise, if there is no increase in sales volume based on increased visibility, there is no incentive. For your EXACT scenario, this is not attractive, unless KU pulls readers from other channels and/or becomes a sales boon for Selecters. I've lived in both worlds and KOLL returns have FAR outweighed what I've seen outside of Amazon from a visibility standpoint and a pure sales perspective. Amazon would have to give me a reason to leave Select. KU does not appear to be that reason...right now. That may change. I'm always ready to make a move based.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: dmac on July 18, 2014, 11:10:49 AM
What is $1.6 million or $2 million or even $20 million to Amazon? Couch money? I would like to believe they will go as high as they need to if there is demand for KU, in order to take out their competitors.

But maybe that is just wishful thinking on my part.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Usedtopostheretoo! on July 18, 2014, 11:16:10 AM
"While I think every one hopes this is the case, here's the rub.  Unlike KOLL, there is NO LIMIT to the amount of books people read. It's not one borrow a month, which I as a prime member never used b/c its one book (but I should have to benefit an indie).  Despite there being unlimited reads, Amazon increased the pot by only $800k this month.  1 book a month versus unlimited books and that's worth only $800k????  Uhm, I'm sorry, but no."

You're assuming that there is no human decision making process involved in the Global Fund. They have a few eyes on this, especially now.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: 4eyesbooks on July 18, 2014, 11:24:03 AM
I sell mostly children's picture books on Amazon and I'm not sure whether to be excited about this announcement or cautious.  My books are all priced at $2.99 or under.  There are 52,475 other children's books in KU, but only 460 books in the Bugs/Spiders category for example.  Could this bring more visibility to those who are in the program....quite possibly....until the categories get more titles added.  For me, if the borrow rate stays around $2 I will be happy, but we don't know what that will be yet.  Kids/Parents can be voracious readers so maybe my numbers will increase.  It will be easy on a picture book to read 10% to get payment for KU since the books are so short.....that sounds nice.

Taking the wait and see approach with this news.....
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: MaryMcDonald on July 18, 2014, 11:24:39 AM
While I think every one hopes this is the case, here's the rub.  Unlike KOLL, there is NO LIMIT to the amount of books people read. It's not one borrow a month, which I as a prime member never used b/c its one book (but I should have to benefit an indie).  Despite there being unlimited reads, Amazon increased the pot by only $800k this month.  1 book a month versus unlimited books and that's worth only $800k????  Uhm, I'm sorry, but no.

Scribd and Oyster do not have a finite pot of money for authors (which Amazon is clearly shortchanging this time around as opposed to overfilling).  They do it based on sales.  Why can't Amazon do it based on sales instead of a pot?  The only way authors are ahead is if the pot is somehow larger than the uses and that simply won't happen with the unlimited model.  Romance readers alone who are voracious in a way you wouldn't believe will grab this and ... I can tell you that I could see the price paid to indies be as low as pennies a book if Amazon stays on this course.

EDIT: Julie's point, too.

This month only has 13 more days in it, and most people outside of those in the writing world, have still not heard of KU. The avid readers will, of course, but the more casual readers who still might be interested, will not. Or they may wait to try their free trial in August to keep their billing to a certain time of the month. Who knows? I just think it's pretty good.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: dmac on July 18, 2014, 11:27:37 AM
"While I think every one hopes this is the case, here's the rub.  Unlike KOLL, there is NO LIMIT to the amount of books people read. It's not one borrow a month, which I as a prime member never used b/c its one book (but I should have to benefit an indie).  Despite there being unlimited reads, Amazon increased the pot by only $800k this month.  1 book a month versus unlimited books and that's worth only $800k????  Uhm, I'm sorry, but no."

You're assuming that there is no human decision making process involved in the Global Fund. They have a few eyes on this, especially now.

I am personally waiting to see what Steven Konkoly does, then I will follow. :)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: ElleT on July 18, 2014, 11:28:39 AM
Has y'all's KOLL/KU increased by a huge amount today as well?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: dmac on July 18, 2014, 11:30:14 AM
Has y'all's KOLL/KU increased by a huge amount today as well?

Yes. Mine has already doubled my average by noon. I usually get 20-25 a day. It is well over that. By noon.  :o
Title: Re: The "scoop" on Amazon's new "Netflix" for books program (AKA Kindle unlimited)
Post by: Ann in Arlington on July 18, 2014, 11:32:29 AM
Does anyone know if we will be able to borrow different books simultaneously across all devices under one account? That's the deciding factor for me; I'd like for my kids to be able to borrow their own books.

Mandy -- it's under discussion in Let's Talk Kindle as well from a reader's perspective . . . . . .
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Maia Sepp on July 18, 2014, 11:34:45 AM
I don't normally feel strongly about new industry developments, but add me to those who are not hugely impressed. If there was no exclusivity requirement I'd have less reservations, but I don't want to have to pull my titles from other stores. And I'm trying to make a living at this. So it's depressing.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 18, 2014, 11:38:35 AM
What the actual pot will be, 30 days hence (when subscriber $ actually begins to accumulate) is anyone's guess.

Granted we haven't seen any evidence one way or the other, but I don't think the number of subscribers directly impacts the monthly pool of money available. I think the money going in to Amazon from subscribers and the money available for Select authors are contained in two separate buckets.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: wtvr on July 18, 2014, 11:46:32 AM
Granted we haven't seen any evidence one way or the other, but I don't think the number of subscribers directly impacts the monthly pool of money available. I think the money going in to Amazon from subscribers and the money available for Select authors are contained in two separate buckets.

OK, so if there is no direct correlation, then Amazon is aiming us toward a particular per-unit price. Since that was always around $2, it may stay that way for a while.

If there is a correlation, they could still be aiming us toward that one price by adjusting the correlation every month... Or we will see lower author payments during the warmup phase that gradually climb as readership inevitably dwindles toward what Scribd sees, which is 2% of its subscribers reading >10 titles a month.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: EC on July 18, 2014, 11:50:25 AM
I don't normally feel strongly about new industry developments, but add me to those who are not hugely impressed. If there was no exclusivity requirement I'd have less reservations, but I don't want to have to pull my titles from other stores. And I'm trying to make a living at this. So it's depressing.

On the bright side it is US only - and not every US customer will sign up immediately to KU.  Unlike the ACX debacle earlier this year we'll have time to evaluate what to do next.   
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: dmac on July 18, 2014, 11:50:56 AM
Granted we haven't seen any evidence one way or the other, but I don't think the number of subscribers directly impacts the monthly pool of money available. I think the money going in to Amazon from subscribers and the money available for Select authors are contained in two separate buckets.

Yes. And as I said previously, $1 or $2 or even $20 million is nothing to Amazon if their intent is to take Scribd and Oyster's authors away from them.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Bluehorseshoe on July 18, 2014, 12:02:18 PM
check your keywords and watch the ascent of the kindle unlimited titles eclipse your own, am doing it in real time. the game is over folks.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Christopher Bunn on July 18, 2014, 12:13:36 PM
All things considered, I'm more of a reader than a writer, so this KU setup sounds great. I'm going to sign up and read a lot of books that I might otherwise have passed up.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Usedtopostheretoo! on July 18, 2014, 12:14:56 PM
I am personally waiting to see what Steven Konkoly does, then I will follow. :)

Don't do that! ;)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 18, 2014, 12:18:42 PM
check your keywords and watch the ascent of the kindle unlimited titles eclipse your own, am doing it in real time. the game is over folks.

*fondly pats B&N sales boom* Not for all of us.

Beside,s I'm going to be making something like 20 times what they are for every sale soon enough.

Once again, the prudent and diverse portfolio pays off for the savvy investor.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Bards and Sages (Julie) on July 18, 2014, 12:19:38 PM
check your keywords and watch the ascent of the kindle unlimited titles eclipse your own, am doing it in real time. the game is over folks.

For people who are completely dependent on Amazon for sales, maybe. For the rest of us, it's just another day.

The people who are going to the most impacted by these are people who depend on free + Bookbub to boost sales and drive the majority of their sales through Amazon in specific high-consumption genres. This will most likely impact romance, YA, and NA authors the most, because those readers tend to be the ones who consume lots of books a month. But as has been noted, if you are a writer who publishes in a specialized niche or a genre in which the demographic is not high-consumption, then this won't change anything.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Betsy the Quilter on July 18, 2014, 12:21:29 PM
*fondly pats B&N sales boom*


I'm pretty sure fondling sales booms is against Forum Decorum (http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,36.msg75.html#msg75)..... ::)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: dragontucker on July 18, 2014, 12:22:09 PM
Hey guys I am new here and a new author. I had to sign up and stop lurking to talk about this change :)

I have put a lot of thought into this and I have a couple of things that I wanted to share.

1. This seems like a good opportunity for new indie writers. This gives readers a chance to "discover" you without taking a chance. Since they already paid the $10 a month fee they are not taking a chance on a brand new or not well known author. If they read 10% you get paid :)

2. When marketing with facebook ads many people will already have kindle unlimited soon. So you get a new reader without them even having to pay. You just got to find your crowd and put the ad in front of them. If they read 10% you get paid :)

3. If readers like your novel they will read another book of yours. You can make list your first book in the series in Kindle Unlimited and put a link to your second book in it. That way you could sale the 2nd book for maybe $1.99 or something.

4. It seems like you could make your novels shorter and the readers would not care since they get them all for free. But in return you will get paid for each novel.

5. Seems like shorter works might do better. I know when I get "unlimited" access to stuff I tend to jump around more from thing to thing. So I am in the fantasy genre and think I will write shorter works at say 8-20k words.

I think in the end if you are an entertaining writer and people like your work you can figure out a way to make money from it. At least we are getting in on the "ground floor." LOL

That being said I am not even done with my first novel yet. So I got to get done so I can get on this while its going on early. Just a few thoughts I wanted to share with everyone :)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: B&H on July 18, 2014, 12:22:26 PM
Yes. And as I said previously, $1 or $2 or even $20 million is nothing to Amazon if their intent is to take Scribd and Oyster's authors away from them.

the math doesn't work out like that.

lets start with 1 million kindle users on board. that is 10M subscription monies. Of course this isn't new money. That is 10M those people are no longer spending on other kindle titles. Lets imagine for a minute that contains some of kindles biggest spenders who spent on average 30-50 USD a month on books and suddenly Amazon has swapped 30M to 50M of revenue for 10M.

Out of that 10M Amazon decides it wants 50 percent. A logical move, Amazon is pushing for more margin off trads, it is a good way to offset the 70 percent it needs on KDP to keep apple at bay.

So that is 5 million in the kitty. Each reader averages 10 reads a month. lets face it the big whales will be doing a book a day if we count in novellas so there will be lots of early adopters hitting the service for 30-50 reads a month. But we'll go with 10 average, so that is 10 million reads / 5m pool = 0.50 cents a read.

For Amazon to match KOLL rates they'd have to subsidise every read by 1.50 - that is 15M USD a month (180M a year). Possible.

Now lets imagine 10 million people get on the KU bandwagon. Suddenly the same numbers mean's amazon has 10x the amount to deal with. Their subsidy just jumped to 150m a month - 1.8 BILLION p.a. Probably about twice the entire revenue from Kindle in its entirety. Amazon could BUY scribd and Oyster for less than that. If we were talking 20 million subscribers and 3.6 Billion in subsidy a year they might as well buy Simon & Schuster and Hachette to go with it.

There is no way Amazon is going to line the pockets of indies with 1.8 billion a year when they have shown such willingness to bend over and take it lining up to give books away for free/permafree and take whatever they offer on KOLL.

And while scribd may get less than 2 percent whales, I would wager the number will be huge on Kindle. Kindle Romance readers are the most voracious in the reading world so I'm pretty sure they will be binging out.

I'm not surprised they have limited this as a trial to the US. If they get the numbers on this then they could end up either destroying the entire economics of kindle or leaving themselves on the hook for a huge chunk of change trying to stop the KOLL/KU rate plummet into single digits when Kindle readers go berserk.

The comparison with this was when one of the mobile networks switched to 'all you can eat' data tariffs for about 30 USD. the uptick in usage of people downloading movies, music etc was so large it nearly brought down the entire network and they had to quickly add a fair usage cap.

On their 10 bucks a month even if they put all the money based on their own ten books out at a time that is maximum 1 buck per read. if they take 30 percent it is 70 cents, if they take 50 percent its 50 cents. Anything over 1 USD and they have to put money in. For all the people who don't read 10 books there will be the big chunk of early adopters who are reading 10-20-30+, and for every subscriber there will be an attached drop in Kindle revenue from books they no longer pay for.

Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 18, 2014, 12:24:07 PM
I'm pretty sure fondling sales booms is against Forum Decorum (http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,36.msg75.html#msg75)..... ::)

My hands are outside the clothes, I swear.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: jackiegp on July 18, 2014, 12:24:23 PM
check your keywords and watch the ascent of the kindle unlimited titles eclipse your own, am doing it in real time. the game is over folks.

What does this mean? Please expand.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Peter Salisbury on July 18, 2014, 12:30:31 PM
Yes. And as I said previously, $1 or $2 or even $20 million is nothing to Amazon if their intent is to take Scribd and Oyster's authors away from them.

If it is Amazon's intention to take authors away from Smashwords, D2D, Scribd and Oyster, etc, then I can safely say I have not been tempted for a single moment to ditch diversity for exclusivity.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 18, 2014, 12:31:43 PM
I just tracked mine. I got paid $1.  That's it. Not $2. for a borrow. $1. for the KU. The gig is up.

Wait, how do you know how much you got paid already. Doesn't the pot scam revolve around only telling you how much you got after the fact?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: X. Aratare on July 18, 2014, 12:33:05 PM
the math doesn't work out like that.

lets start with 1 million kindle users on board. that is 10M subscription monies. Of course this isn't new money. That is 10M those people are no longer spending on other kindle titles. Lets imagine for a minute that contains some of kindles biggest spenders who spent on average 30-50 USD a month on books and suddenly Amazon has swapped 30M to 50M of revenue for 10M.

Out of that 10M Amazon decides it wants 50 percent. A logical move, Amazon is pushing for more margin off trads, it is a good way to offset the 70 percent it needs on KDP to keep apple at bay.

So that is 5 million in the kitty. Each reader averages 10 reads a month. lets face it the big whales will be doing a book a day if we count in novellas so there will be lots of early adopters hitting the service for 30-50 reads a month. But we'll go with 10 average, so that is 10 million reads / 5m pool = 0.50 cents a read.

For Amazon to match KOLL rates they'd have to subsidise every read by 1.50 - that is 15M USD a month (180M a year). Possible.

Now lets imagine 10 million people get on the KU bandwagon. Suddenly the same numbers mean's amazon has 10x the amount to deal with. Their subsidy just jumped to 150m a month - 1.8 BILLION p.a. Probably about twice the entire revenue from Kindle in its entirety. Amazon could BUY scribd and Oyster for less than that. If we were talking 20 million subscribers and 3.6 Billion in subsidy a year they might as well buy Simon & Schuster and Hachette to go with it.

There is no way Amazon is going to line the pockets of indies with 1.8 billion a year when they have shown such willingness to bend over and take it lining up to give books away for free/permafree and take whatever they offer on KOLL.

And while scribd may get less than 2 percent whales, I would wager the number will be huge on Kindle. Kindle Romance readers are the most voracious in the reading world so I'm pretty sure they will be binging out.

I'm not surprised they have limited this as a trial to the US. If they get the numbers on this then they could end up either destroying the entire economics of kindle or leaving themselves on the hook for a huge chunk of change trying to stop the KOLL/KU rate plummet into single digits when Kindle readers go berserk.

The comparison with this was when one of the mobile networks switched to 'all you can eat' data tariffs for about 30 USD. the uptick in usage of people downloading movies, music etc was so large it nearly brought down the entire network and they had to quickly add a fair usage cap.

On their 10 bucks a month even if they put all the money based on their own ten books out at a time that is maximum 1 buck per read. if they take 30 percent it is 70 cents, if they take 50 percent its 50 cents. Anything over 1 USD and they have to put money in. For all the people who don't read 10 books there will be the big chunk of early adopters who are reading 10-20-30+, and for every subscriber there will be an attached drop in Kindle revenue from books they no longer pay for.



This was my point, but much more eloquently stated.

The only way this possibly works is if there are so many more readers and/or reads that you make up in volume what you lost in revenue by making let's say $0.50 a sale. I ... don't think that's going to happen as people have discovered when they raise their prices from $0.99 to $2.99. They sell less, but they make MORE.  KU is going to pretty much keep you in the 99 cents range and you can do nothing about it.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Michael_J_Sullivan on July 18, 2014, 12:34:53 PM
So I'm concerned because Amazon is making a two-tiered system.  From the Publisher's Marketplace article it appears that....

1. KDP authors get paid based on the KOLL pool

2. Traditionally published authors, including those at the Amazon imprints are getting paid exactly the same as if someone purchased the book.

This means the KDP authors (in general) make a lot less per book than the traditional authors do.  I would like to see both paid based on their MSRP.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Book Master on July 18, 2014, 12:35:23 PM
Amazon's stock rose $5.22 to $357.67 in midday trading probably due to this new rollout.

Amazon made the editor's picks on MSN today. Here is the link if anyone wants to check it out.

http://money.msn.com/business-news/article.aspx?feed=AP&date=20140718&id=17786890
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Bluehorseshoe on July 18, 2014, 12:41:24 PM
Sure it wasn't a salee that cleared?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 18, 2014, 12:44:29 PM
Reasons to invest my work in KU:
1. Potential for more exposure.

Reasons NOT to invest my work in KU:
1. No guarantee of more exposure. In fact, if the catalog gets swamped with hastily written short works, that benefit vanishes.
2. Restricted distribution and restricted choices for readers.
3. No guarantee what the payout will be month-to-month.
4. I get 60% list price now on Oyster and Scribd.

I'll look into writing a few quick funnel books for my series and enrolling them into KU because that seems to make good business sense for now (and, incidentally, underscores the 1st point in my NOT list), but I don't see this being a boon for anyone in the long term, especially if it further erodes competition. Not good for indies, not good for readers.

(BTW, I think I read Amazon has agreements with some of the Big 5 to pay full list price royalties on books borrowed through KOLL; I presume these agreements extend to KU. If this is true, then why would indies stand to be paid slave wages?)

Powerful important stuff Saul, about how Scribd & Oyster pay out.

Yeah, the tiered pay-out system, and non-universal exclusivity clause, both give me a lot of concern.

But I'll probably still put my upcoming new short in the program, so I can at least see how it works for me.

Actually knowing how Scribd and Oyster work, and how difficult it is to have our titles found in libraries, gives us first hand info to compare with.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: jackiegp on July 18, 2014, 12:45:37 PM
Sure it wasn't a salee that cleared?

I digress. Hubby just recalculated. Could have been a sale. Sigh.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: bonbon foofoo on July 18, 2014, 12:45:56 PM
Do you get a dollar even if you are priced at $.99?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: dmac on July 18, 2014, 12:46:08 PM
Don't do that! ;)

:D

I said this in another thread (repeating someone from Hugh Howey's forum), but I think a good way to counter any side effects of KU is by utilizing a release window system the way movie studios do, in terms of releasing films into theaters before shipping them off to Netflix/cable/DVDs.

Release the new titles out of Select for the first 1-3 month, and only add it to KU when the sales dry up. Repeat process. This, of course, would require a healthy mailing list, and enough fans who are willing to pay in addition to KU (if they are already signed up to KU).

Any thoughts?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: 4eyesbooks on July 18, 2014, 12:48:07 PM
I produced the spreadsheet for today only and it does not show KOL or KU revenue yet since we do not know the amount yet until after the end of the month and I have 3 KOL/KU so far for today.  I don't think we know that KU will only pay $1 yet.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Usedtopostheretoo! on July 18, 2014, 12:48:56 PM
Look on your KDP sales board. It will say what your earnings are to date underneath. Then click on the produce a spreadsheet below that. It will give you up until yesterday. I just so happened NOT to have a sale today other than FREE. So, I added up the individual earnings, then I took the total earnings, then subtracted difference on the KDP and divided it by the number of free downloads. It's a buck.

KOLL/KU $ is not reported on the NEW Sales Board.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 18, 2014, 12:50:05 PM
Do you get a dollar even if you are priced at $.99?

Theoretically, yes. If KU works like the KOLL, it's possible you could make as much or more off a borrow than you would a sale. A sale at .99 cents is, what, 34 cents or so? If the monthly pool for KOLL/KU was such that each borrow earned the author $1, you'd be making more off a borrow than a sale.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 18, 2014, 12:50:35 PM
Something just occurred to me...

Can someone who signed up for KU please scroll around a bit and answer me this: are there ads for non-book Amazon products on the site?

My theory is this: Amazon just turned every Select title into their own version of perma-free. It isn't the books they intend to make money on (the cost being there just to defray the pittance paid to content creators), but the 'literally everything else' Amazon sells.

Why do this now?

AliBaba is coming.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Bards and Sages (Julie) on July 18, 2014, 12:52:03 PM
Look on your KDP sales board. It will say what your earnings are to date underneath. Then click on the produce a spreadsheet below that. It will give you up until yesterday. I just so happened NOT to have a sale today other than FREE. So, I added up the individual earnings, then I took the total earnings, then subtracted difference on the KDP and divided it by the number of free downloads. It's a buck.

The daily earnings report does not include the KOLL payouts and isn't even real time accurate. For example, I have 7 sales today  for one of my titles according to the dashboard, but when I download the spreadsheet it is only showing 4 sales. You are working with bad data which is why you are getting bad results.

The KOLL payout is based on the total number of borrows. It is not possible for Amazon to know TODAY what they are going to pay you because they don't have the month's complete data.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: jackiegp on July 18, 2014, 12:52:34 PM
KOLL/KU $ is not reported on the NEW Sales Board.

Yes, I digressed already. My hubby thought he could calculate it, but it could have been a sale that came through from the day prior. I apologize.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 18, 2014, 12:54:33 PM
I will not be joining. I have too much traction through smashwords. Though i fear this may destroy my business...

Time will tell, but i'm not into it. It's DEFINITELY not the same as the scribd model.

Yes, very different pay out to the authors.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: C. Gockel on July 18, 2014, 12:55:51 PM
Quote
This will most likely impact romance, YA, and NA authors the most, because those readers tend to be the ones who consume lots of books a month. But as has been noted, if you are a writer who publishes in a specialized niche or a genre in which the demographic is not high-consumption, then this won't change anything.

Yes, I think this is true. I don't think that people who read niche genres are going to be fulfilled by KU ... primarily because most of us have already had to move out and seek other vendors to stay viable.

I did ask my readers about this as well. Several already have subscriptions services with Oyster and Kobo and still readily go buy other books from Amazon. I think Indies are pretty affordably priced anyway. You may be paying 9.99 ... but the book you like for FREE - $3.99, you're likely to splurge.

I don't think this will kill permafree for that reason. In fact, I can see permafree could become more important for niche authors, because it can draw in casual browsers, genuine fans, and people in KU who are interested in seeing what else is out there.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: B&H on July 18, 2014, 12:55:59 PM
Do you get a dollar even if you are priced at $.99?

According to all info posted you get the same divvy of the pot regardless of your sale price from 99c to 9.99. Works the same as KOLL. total pot divided by total reads = share per read.

if you've got 10K word serials that you were selling at 9.99 - even if it does end up at 50 cents a go you'll actually be in profit. So this could be paydirt for never ending serial writers that were doing 99c a copy, since readers can no longer complain about the price. Put out a new edition every 2 weeks.

And that is my big concern, the people who are going to get the best out of this are people putting out very short, long running serials into massive genre pools like romance. If you've got a genre with millions of readership potential and you remove the cost issue of each instalment they can binge away on never-ending serials without the cost mounting up for them, meanwhile you can be putting out a episode every week, two weeks, whatever you can manage and end up with 26 x (or 52 x the borrows if you are prolific) that an author who took 12 months to write a full length book took. lets say you be cheeky and spend 2 days and get out 10-12K. a day on editing. 3 days work for 12K episode you are getting 10 x the borrow income for the same word count as 1 largish novel. Since readers can burn through these shorts they will be borrowing them in droves no doubt and thus the biggest share of the pot will likely go to the most prolific short serial writers who can make up in volume what they lose per unit, in any case if you were writing for a 99c price point the economics would be pretty similar.

It's like being paid to have all your work in permafree, bury the resolution to the previous episode cliffhanger and you are away.




Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 18, 2014, 12:56:05 PM
Something just occurred to me...

Can someone who signed up for KU please scroll around a bit and answer me this: are there ads for non-book Amazon products on the site?

I don't see anything unusual. Tons and tons of books to pick from. At the veeeery bottom of the screen if I scroll down far enough is the usual "Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations" scroll bar, but I'm not seeing any non-book ads anywhere.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: KZoe on July 18, 2014, 12:56:18 PM
Can someone who signed up for KU please scroll around a bit and answer me this: are there ads for non-book Amazon products on the site?


Just books showing up for me.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: jackiegp on July 18, 2014, 12:57:20 PM
I have a question. Since Amazon has given us the option to pull out of KU right away, do you think that they will not allow that option at a later date?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 18, 2014, 12:57:54 PM
Luckily, though, I anticipated a honeypot using Select that would screw us all and am now prepared to implement it by September.

Step 1: Focus on other channels. Just like with Countdown, a ton of people will stampede to the new thing that will ultimately hurt them, thereby reducing competition on other channels. Seeing as the REST OF THE FREAKING WORLD uses these channels, someone needs to accept their waiting eyes and money.

Step 2: To Allay Free-no-cide, break glass. New prequels for RB and The Descendants are nearing completion. Not for KU, but for ever other channel should Amazon purge free. The original book 1's become 99 cents and the prequels got up free everywhere else.

Step 3: Sate the Amazon Reader. If Amazon won't let me give thier readers free books on thier site, I'll give them free books on my site. .MOBIs of the new free prequels (and all other formats) will be made available on the site and advertised in the Amazon Book 1's. The site will explain exactly why they couldn't get these on Amazon and where to direct their complaints.

Ditto what Steven Konkoly said in a prev post about your comment above -

"Smart. More strategizing. Less speculating."

Best wishes!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 18, 2014, 01:01:04 PM
I have a question. Since Amazon has given us the option to pull out of KU right away, do you think that they will not allow that option at a later date?

If I recall the KDP Select T&Cs correctly, you can pull your book any time.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: books_mb on July 18, 2014, 01:01:24 PM
The KOLL payout is based on the total number of borrows. It is not possible for Amazon to know TODAY what they are going to pay you because they don't have the month's complete data.

So it will be fund divided by total as usual? If yes, then I'm satisfied. I'm sure Amazon will set the fund in a way that keeps us entertained. If they want to dominate the market, they can't lose their authors to competitors. I have absolute faith in capitalist principles. That said, the system is very unfair for authors that price their books higher. It looks like they want to force all authors to join their low price / high volume model with KU.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 18, 2014, 01:02:32 PM
And that is my big concern, the people who are going to get the best out of this are people putting out very short, long running serials into massive genre pools like romance. If you've got a genre with millions of readership potential and you remove the cost issue of each instalment they can binge away on never-ending serials without the cost mounting up for them, meanwhile you can be putting out a episode every week, two weeks, whatever you can manage and end up with 26 x (or 52 x the borrows if you are prolific) that an author who took 12 months to write a full length book took. lets say you be cheeky and spend 2 days and get out 10-12K. a day on editing. 3 days work for 12K episode you are getting 10 x the borrow income for the same word count as 1 largish novel. Since readers can burn through these shorts they will be borrowing them in droves no doubt and thus the biggest share of the pot will likely go to the most prolific short serial writers who can make up in volume what they lose per unit, in any case if you were writing for a 99c price point the economics would be pretty similar.

Sounds like a feature, not a bug! :D  Must write more, faster. Welcome to the New Pulp era!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Bards and Sages (Julie) on July 18, 2014, 01:07:46 PM
So it will be fund divided by total as usual? If yes, then I'm satisfied. I'm sure Amazon will set the fund in a way that keeps us entertained. If they want to dominate the market, they can't lose their authors to competitors. I have absolute faith in capitalist principles. That said, the system is very unfair for authors that price their books higher. It looks like they want to force all authors to join their low price / high volume model with KU.

Frankly, it is also unfair to authors that release complete books instead of artificially breaking a complete book up into five separate ones and calling it a serial. It rewards authors who are willing to cut up a single book into five or six products so that they get six pieces of the pie instead of one. People in this very thread have even suggested doing just that.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: bonbon foofoo on July 18, 2014, 01:10:14 PM
Sounds like a feature, not a bug! :D  Must write more, faster. Welcome to the New Pulp era!

I feel inspired right now. I'll just have to make myself start working at night after the kid is in bed. I also need a reliable proofreader who can keep up. I haven't felt this excited since I started last year. I no longer have to be terrified of hate reviewers. Yay!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: books_mb on July 18, 2014, 01:12:25 PM
And that is my big concern, the people who are going to get the best out of this are people putting out very short, long running serials into massive genre pools like romance. If you've got a genre with millions of readership potential and you remove the cost issue of each instalment they can binge away on never-ending serials without the cost mounting up for them, meanwhile you can be putting out a episode every week, two weeks, whatever you can manage and end up with 26 x (or 52 x the borrows if you are prolific) that an author who took 12 months to write a full length book took. lets say you be cheeky and spend 2 days and get out 10-12K. a day on editing. 3 days work for 12K episode you are getting 10 x the borrow income for the same word count as 1 largish novel.

That is a very good point. But if this situation arises, Amazon will start losing authors and will have to alter the fund model to win them back.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: bonbon foofoo on July 18, 2014, 01:12:56 PM
Frankly, it is also unfair to authors that release complete books instead of artificially breaking a complete book up into five separate ones and calling it a serial. It rewards authors who are willing to cut up a single book into five or six products so that they get six pieces of the pie instead of one. People in this very thread have even suggested doing just that.

I think it will all level out because people will want the serial to be a real serial. Serials should be written as serials not as cut up novels. Hopefully, the reviewers will judge the individual installments based on entertainment value rather than length. Episodic tv isn't a cut up long movie. Each piece has it's own story arc even if there is a cliffhanger. Maybe readers will start to judge serials based on that.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited?? Anyone have the scoop?
Post by: adanlerma on July 18, 2014, 01:13:13 PM
The big question for me isn't what happens to books enrolled in KU, but what happens to those that aren't.  If people can get as many books as they want to read in KU, how many are simply going to balk at paying full price for individual books?...

Are authors who refuse to go the KU route just going to be frozen out of the market?

I hope not, but authors can and do publish on Scribd, Oyster, libraries, iTunes, B&N, Kobo, Smashwords, and soon, txtr and others; myself included.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: nubchai on July 18, 2014, 01:13:55 PM
Does anyone know if readers can download multiple books at one time in KU?  If so, I could see readers downloading a lot of books and not reading them. The goal would be to make sure they weren't paying $9.99 a month for nothing.

Also, this was in the email from Amazon: "KDP Select authors and publishers will earn a share of the KDP Select global fund each time a customer accesses their book from Kindle Unlimited and reads more than 10% of their book-–about the length of reading the free sample available in Kindle books-–as opposed to a payout when the book is simply downloaded. Only the first time a customer reads a book past 10% will be counted. "

Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 18, 2014, 01:15:15 PM
Does anyone know if readers can download multiple books at one time in KU?  If so, I could see readers downloading a lot of books and not reading them. The goal would be to make sure they weren't paying $9.99 a month for nothing

Users are capped at 10 books at a time.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Daniel Knight on July 18, 2014, 01:16:08 PM
So that is 5 million in the kitty. Each reader averages 10 reads a month. lets face it the big whales will be doing a book a day if we count in novellas so there will be lots of early adopters hitting the service for 30-50 reads a month. But we'll go with 10 average, so that is 10 million reads / 5m pool = 0.50 cents a read.

Josef, I think you may be overestimating the number of books an average reader reads. According to Lisa earlier in the comment chain, Scribd only sees 2% of readers read more than 10 books a month.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Σ on July 18, 2014, 01:17:10 PM
Frankly, it is also unfair to authors that release complete books instead of artificially breaking a complete book up into five separate ones and calling it a serial. It rewards authors who are willing to cut up a single book into five or six products so that they get six pieces of the pie instead of one. People in this very thread have even suggested doing just that.

I wonder if amazon's data suggest this is how people are reading anyway. Doing it that way could make the audiobook production more complicated, though. And print impossible--not that most of us make jack from print
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Bards and Sages (Julie) on July 18, 2014, 01:17:30 PM

This isn't about being "smarter" that Bezos. It is about realizing that what is good for Bezos is not automatically good for authors. There is this strange belief that Amazon would never "hurt" indies. It is not grounded in reality. The ACX debacle demonstrated that. The handling of Mobipocket demonstrated that. The fact that KOLL specifically hurts authors with books that aren't priced at the same price as a roll of toilet paper demonstrates that. Bezos doesn't see "authors." He sees an ocean of interchangeable content. He's selling volume, and really doesn't care about individual authors. Because he's already succeeded in selling the dream, and when authors wake up from the dream and diversify from Amazon or seek other venues, he doesn't care. Because there are always more dreamers.



edited to remove quoted post now deleted . --Betsy
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Saul Tanpepper on July 18, 2014, 01:18:42 PM
Frankly, it is also unfair to authors that release complete books instead of artificially breaking a complete book up into five separate ones and calling it a serial. It rewards authors who are willing to cut up a single book into five or six products so that they get six pieces of the pie instead of one. People in this very thread have even suggested doing just that.

This very thought had crossed my mind. A person might release their next book in six installments. Then, when their three months in Select ends, exit select and KU, release the full version, either separately or by updating the 1st installment (the one with the most reviews), and change the price. While I don't think there's anything unethical about this, it's not how I'd like to read a full-length book (artificially chopped up), nor do I think it's all that good for authors in general.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Daniel Knight on July 18, 2014, 01:20:12 PM
So I'm concerned because Amazon is making a two-tiered system.  From the Publisher's Marketplace article it appears that....

1. KDP authors get paid based on the KOLL pool

2. Traditionally published authors, including those at the Amazon imprints are getting paid exactly the same as if someone purchased the book.

This means the KDP authors (in general) make a lot less per book than the traditional authors do.  I would like to see both paid based on their MSRP.

While I agree a two-tier system is less than desirable and fair, to be accurate the publisher is getting paid exactly as if someone purchased the book. The traditional author is still getting screwed thanks to ridiculously low royalty rates.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: adanlerma on July 18, 2014, 01:20:21 PM
This model sounds no different than Oyster and Scribd. What is Amazon doing differently? They are obviously trying to get more people to use Select, as the option to take advantage of Kindle Unlimited sounds like it would only apply to books that are enrolled in Select.

So you probably won't be able to use KU for books that are not in Select.

Marie, the main difference for me is I get a good set royalty at both Scribd and Oyster, and I don't need to be exclusive to either.

An additional difference is I can price free on Scribd and Oyster, and on Scribd direct folk there to read even without an account. That expands my exposure, plus introduces the reader to Scribd and their free reader intro offers.

That being said, I have a short in-progress I'm planning on putting in KU, that way I'll know first hand how it works for a writer.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: wtvr on July 18, 2014, 01:21:39 PM
Josef, I think you may be overestimating the number of books an average reader reads. According to Lisa earlier in the comment chain, Scribd only sees 2% of readers read more than 10 books a month.

I am so delighted to know somebody read something I posted.  :D

As a techno nerd veteran, I have seen the sky fall many times. There is a huge upside here, for anyone who wants it. (Back to writing my new billionaire vampire erotic romance serial, later gators.)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Huldra on July 18, 2014, 01:25:23 PM
My sales on Amazon would have to more than half before I'd consider yanking my titles from all other retailers to be part of what looks like it'll be a race to the bottom in regards to royalties.
So far, even though amazon.com is my biggest seller, I think the best long-term strategy for me is to focus on building my other markets.

If it wasn't a requirement to be in select for it, I would probably have put my first in series in as a funnel, expecting it to be a loss leader, but as a long-term strategy I'd need to see some serious figures to use the 'slice of pie' strategy in my long-term business plan, regardless of exclusivity.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: B&H on July 18, 2014, 01:27:28 PM
As I said to someone else on another thread who thought he had come up with a fool-proof plan to game KU, you are banking on the fact that you are smarter than Jeff Bezos and his legion of computer geeks and number crunchers, and have come up with something he has not already considered.

No I don't think I have missed the point. Plenty of people on the thread overlooked the very simple fact that Jeff, smart hedge fund trader that he was, has devised a way to ensure that all the risk of his new model is completely dumped on the shoulders of his suppliers, and unlike the sort of backlash that the Hachette negotiations caused people have completely missed the point that Jeff is making no mention of your royalty rates or how much he is going to pay you.

Now lets imagine they did the same on KDP, one day we have 70 percent rates, next day Jeff decides to pool all our income into one big pot, decide in secret how much Amazon is going to take out of that pot and divide the rest amongst the authors based not on sales price but how many total sales there were. I would imagine a large riot would be the result.

That is the future Jeff is offering if Kindle Unlimited ends up being the majority of revenue on Kindle store. He's not even going to underwrite your sales price let alone your 70 percent royalty. Just a number that suits Amazon from its total revenue divided equally like some sort of communist scheme.

And of course Jeff is smart, he's seen indies willingness to line up and supply books at any cost. He's got his 600K catalogue to play with, he doesn't have to offer indies sweetheart deals. We've proven our loyalty to Amazon and willingness to accept their terms.

I might be a struggling author today, but I don't plan to be a struggling author next year precisely because I look at all the cracks that Jeff doesn't want me to look at in his golden statue. This is a bad deal for me so I'll pass. Is it a bad deal for the reader? Nope. I'd jump on it. Is it a bad deal for Amazon? Nope. Any money they lose from sales they will make up for by digging deeper and deeper into the Unlimited pot, which they can, since authors gave them that right to.

So I agree with you in one respect, Jeff is smart, and he is probably smarter than the vast majority of people who think he is offering them a good deal with this. But he isn't quite as smart who can see through his parlour trick for what it is, a way to cannibalise your own sales revenue and give Kindle (but not you) a extra juicy marketing deal for the consumer and Amazon the right to dip into revenue generated from your content for as much as it once and have absolutely zero legal say or rights as to how much you should be paid for your own work.

We complained bitterly over trads one sided terms, but this is a whole new level of devious 'take your control away' level of self-capitulation.

I hope I'm wrong. But I can't see how Amazon can subsidise unlimited if it ends up being a sizeable proportion of their kindle market. And the maths say 50-70 cents a copy. Anything over that relies on readers not consuming an average of 10 books or Amazon subsidising the service against their clear (by trad negotiations) pressure to start making a profit to keep wall street happy.


Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: books_mb on July 18, 2014, 01:27:33 PM
Frankly, it is also unfair to authors that release complete books instead of artificially breaking a complete book up into five separate ones and calling it a serial. It rewards authors who are willing to cut up a single book into five or six products so that they get six pieces of the pie instead of one. People in this very thread have even suggested doing just that.

You are right. I think I've been a bit shortsighted on this.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: adanlerma on July 18, 2014, 01:27:45 PM
And that is my big concern, the people who are going to get the best out of this are people putting out very short, long running serials into massive genre pools like romance. If you've got a genre with millions of readership potential and you remove the cost issue of each instalment they can binge away on never-ending serials without the cost mounting up for them, meanwhile you can be putting out a episode every week, two weeks, whatever you can manage and end up with 26 x (or 52 x the borrows if you are prolific) that an author who took 12 months to write a full length book took. lets say you be cheeky and spend 2 days and get out 10-12K. a day on editing. 3 days work for 12K episode you are getting 10 x the borrow income for the same word count as 1 largish novel. Since readers can burn through these shorts they will be borrowing them in droves no doubt and thus the biggest share of the pot will likely go to the most prolific short serial writers who can make up in volume what they lose per unit, in any case if you were writing for a 99c price point the economics would be pretty similar.

It's like being paid to have all your work in permafree, bury the resolution to the previous episode cliffhanger and you are away.

Josef, those are very good points.

However, many of those issues came up early this year (I have a post from Feb: Is Smashwords Opening the Door for Fiction Serials @ Scribd and Oyster? - http://felipeadanlerma.com/2014/02/24/is-smashwords-opening-the-door-for-fiction-serials-scribd-and-oyster/ ).

I believe, actually would not believe otherwise, that all of Scribd's and Oyster's competitors, present then and future, including Amazon, were watching and absorbing and testing how all these potentialities could go.

And as several folk have mentioned, as well as many articles on the web, books acct for less than 10% of Amazon's gross.

Bringing in people to book shop who'll go on to buy physical items (as my wife and I have for many many years and still do), is where most people speculate the strategy goes, to that other 90%.

I think it's smart. And (Amazon) waiting too much longer, with Scribd and Oyster growing by very big margins, and big competitors from around the world chomping to enter the market, well...
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: nubchai on July 18, 2014, 01:28:52 PM
Users are capped at 10 books at a time.

Thanks Jim!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Deke on July 18, 2014, 01:31:23 PM
But I don't want people to rent my book.  I want them to buy it.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 18, 2014, 01:32:32 PM
But I don't want people to rent my book.  I want them to buy it.

Then don't enroll in KDP Select. Simple!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: jackiegp on July 18, 2014, 01:32:59 PM
Thanks Jim!

Then they can read them and return them and get 10 more!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Marian on July 18, 2014, 01:33:15 PM

This isn't about being "smarter" that Bezos. It is about realizing that what is good for Bezos is not automatically good for authors. There is this strange belief that Amazon would never "hurt" indies. It is not grounded in reality. The ACX debacle demonstrated that. The handling of Mobipocket demonstrated that. The fact that KOLL specifically hurts authors with books that aren't priced at the same price as a roll of toilet paper demonstrates that. Bezos doesn't see "authors." He sees an ocean of interchangeable content. He's selling volume, and really doesn't care about individual authors. Because he's already succeeded in selling the dream, and when authors wake up from the dream and diversify from Amazon or seek other venues, he doesn't care. Because there are always more dreamers.

Yes
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: EC on July 18, 2014, 01:33:30 PM
No I don't think I have missed the point. Plenty of people on the thread overlooked the very simple fact that Jeff, smart hedge fund trader that he was, has devised a way to ensure that all the risk of his new model is completely dumped on the shoulders of his suppliers, and unlike the sort of backlash that the Hachette negotiations caused people have completely missed the point that Jeff is making no mention of your royalty rates or how much he is going to pay you.

Now lets imagine they did the same on KDP, one day we have 70 percent rates, next day Jeff decides to pool all our income into one big pot, decide in secret how much Amazon is going to take out of that pot and divide the rest amongst the authors based not on sales price but how many total sales there were. I would imagine a large riot would be the result.

That is the future Jeff is offering if Kindle Unlimited ends up being the majority of revenue on Kindle store. He's not even going to underwrite your sales price let alone your 70 percent royalty. Just a number that suits Amazon from its total revenue divided equally like some sort of communist scheme.

And of course Jeff is smart, he's seen indies willingness to line up and supply books at any cost. He's got his 600K catalogue to play with, he doesn't have to offer indies sweetheart deals. We've proven our loyalty to Amazon and willingness to accept their terms.

I might be a struggling author today, but I don't plan to be a struggling author next year precisely because I look at all the cracks that Jeff doesn't want me to look at in his golden statue. This is a bad deal for me so I'll pass. Is it a bad deal for the reader? Nope. I'd jump on it. Is it a bad deal for Amazon? Nope. Any money they lose from sales they will make up for by digging deeper and deeper into the Unlimited pot, which they can, since authors gave them that right to.

So I agree with you in one respect, Jeff is smart, and he is probably smarter than the vast majority of people who think he is offering them a good deal with this. But he isn't quite as smart who can see through his parlour trick for what it is, a way to cannibalise your own sales revenue and give Kindle (but not you) a extra juicy marketing deal for the consumer and Amazon the right to dip into revenue generated from your content for as much as it once and have absolutely zero legal say or rights as to how much you should be paid for your own work.

We complained bitterly over trads one sided terms, but this is a whole new level of devious 'take your control away' level of self-capitulation.

I hope I'm wrong. But I can't see how Amazon can subsidise unlimited if it ends up being a sizeable proportion of their kindle market. And the maths say 50-70 cents a copy. Anything over that relies on readers not consuming an average of 10 books or Amazon subsidising the service against their clear (by trad negotiations) pressure to start making a profit to keep wall street happy.




Too much speculation.  August will bring our earliest indicator so there's no point stressing out about it.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: jackiegp on July 18, 2014, 01:33:42 PM
But I don't want people to rent my book.  I want them to buy it.

Here! Here! But Amazon doesn't care what authors want...sigh.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 18, 2014, 01:35:03 PM
Then they can read them and return them and get 10 more!

Yup! That's how unlimited works. :D  I'm loving it, as a reader. Ten authors I've been thinking about trying out are about to get paid thanks to my downloading and reading, and there'll be 10 more after them.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Betsy the Quilter on July 18, 2014, 01:36:14 PM
Hey, folks--second thread that I've had to prune.  Please stop making personal comments and address the topic.  Dmac--I've removed posts in two threads now.   

Betsy
KB Mod
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Bluehorseshoe on July 18, 2014, 01:37:47 PM
Josef,

I cant agree more with what you say. I also concur on the math.

Let's face it. As independent publishers these massive companies hold us by the balls, and they can and will control us to an extent. We will take whatever they dish out because that is all that is available.

This is a major [expletive] up on Amazon's part. If they cannot keep the royalty at 2 bucks per, or offer volume that makes up the difference, this crack pot scheme is over and the content creators are going to revolt against amazon and they wont have ANY exclusive content.

This is capitalism for jeff bezos, communism for the rest of us. Fact. And i don't give a [crap] what anyone else says. This is going to screw the vast majority of us who will chose to remain independent, and we will eventually cede that to unlimited once we see our revenues plunging. As an anecdote, i have a ton of data on how my fridays perform, and im about 70% below average so far. Most disturbing is my perma free books have sold ZERO copies so far while on a usually day i give at least 50 away.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Daniel Knight on July 18, 2014, 01:39:59 PM
I am so delighted to know somebody read something I posted.  :D

As a techno nerd veteran, I have seen the sky fall many times. There is a huge upside here, for anyone who wants it. (Back to writing my new billionaire vampire erotic romance serial, later gators.)

Glad I could shine a little extra light on a very important statistic you shared. To repeat it once more, Lisa pointed out that only 2% of readers on Sribd read more than 10 books a month. In other words just like with other subscription services that depend on high "breakage" rates, the evidence so far indicates an ebook subscription service will work the same way.  I understand people's concerns, as I share them, but like Lisa, I do see a big upside for writers of short stories/serials.

A lot of people are saying that the effective royalty rate will plummet. It could happen - but if it did wouldn't you expect indies to start leaving Select in great numbers. Seeing how Kindle Unlimited is highly dependent on those indies - especially right now, this would kill the program. So it is still in Amazon's best interest to keep us happy with reasonable effective royalty rates.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: adanlerma on July 18, 2014, 01:40:29 PM
This very thought had crossed my mind. A person might release their next book in six installments. Then, when their three months in Select ends, exit select and KU, release the full version, either separately or by updating the 1st installment (the one with the most reviews), and change the price. While I don't think there's anything unethical about this, it's not how I'd like to read a full-length book (artificially chopped up), nor do I think it's all that good for authors in general.

Saul, a suggestion (and advice for myself as well) :

Sharpen the periodic tension points, and make it more authentically a serial, ala Charles Dickens. Not sure how many of his novels were first serials, but some biggies.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jonathan C. Gillespie on July 18, 2014, 01:42:36 PM
Goodness gracious, once again Julie is the voice of reason.

I guess I'm being a cynic, but I realized another reason I might end up disliking this. The Beacon Saga is a legitimate serial, and already I've had my own challenges facing both author and reader perceptions. If a whole bunch of people jump into the serial waters with things that should have been novels but were broken up to game the system, then I can't help but wonder if that's only going to further hurt these perceptions.

I think another thing is folks need to be careful about being an early adopter just to chase the cheese. There's an argument to be made here that a flood of indies rushing into Select will actually help those of us who are multi-platform advocates, as you'll be removing your titles from the available pool of books that these readers can purchase, thus increasing the chances of discoverability for those remaining on multiple channels. Amazon is the big fish in the water, sure, but iTunes and Kobo are still alive and kicking.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 18, 2014, 01:44:28 PM
I'm still trying to figure out what Amazon gets out of this blunder.

Okay, so it's another honeypot to trick people into Select like Countdown. Fine. but so what?

As people have reported, they're not doing a good job bridging people to their other products in-app for now.

Since it's Select only, it's probably not going to steal a lot of the talent pool off Oyster and Scribd, especially since those two pay a fair rate instead of the pot thing.

At the same time, they're theoretically limiting the profit they can get off their most voracious customers to $120 a year. Even taking only 30%, I have to imagine they stood to earn more on actual sales. Plus, they're going to end up starving out a big chunk of that talent pool they're touting.

Even given that KU will get inexorably more expensive just like Prime and it's hard to figure out where the money OR market share is going to come from.

Is this honestly just the 'Make KOLL unlimited' tact of bribing people into Select done in the worst way possible? Is that going to see any better retention than Countdown?

In the end, this looks like way less of a game changer for people not dependent on the high turnover genres than it looked. People are going to come, find that the pool of books id dwindling because of the starvation wages being paid out on it, and leave OR it becomes massively popular, but too expensive due to trying to pay something not sociopathic to the authors far outstripping the $20-35 this service is going to end up costing per month in the end.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Daniel Knight on July 18, 2014, 01:44:50 PM
This isn't about being "smarter" that Bezos. It is about realizing that what is good for Bezos is not automatically good for authors. There is this strange belief that Amazon would never "hurt" indies. It is not grounded in reality. The ACX debacle demonstrated that. The handling of Mobipocket demonstrated that. The fact that KOLL specifically hurts authors with books that aren't priced at the same price as a roll of toilet paper demonstrates that. Bezos doesn't see "authors." He sees an ocean of interchangeable content. He's selling volume, and really doesn't care about individual authors. Because he's already succeeded in selling the dream, and when authors wake up from the dream and diversify from Amazon or seek other venues, he doesn't care. Because there are always more dreamers.

edited to remove quoted post now deleted . --Betsy

But for Kindle Unlimited to succeed - Bezos and Amazon need content. Right now that content is primarily indie published. If the program ends up driving effective royalty rates way down then wouldn't you expect indie authors to leave the program. If that happens he loses content and the program fails. So it is in Amazon's best interest to keep the effective royalty rate high enough to keep indies happy.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: C. Gockel on July 18, 2014, 01:45:30 PM
I've been chatting with a lot of my readers about this.  A lot of them say it would never work for them because they like rereading my books (!) so they want to own them. Several already have subscriptions, but go out of their subscription pool to buy books they like.

I don't think this is the end of permafree. And I think for people in niche markets it might not be a make-it-or-break-it deal.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jonathan C. Gillespie on July 18, 2014, 01:45:44 PM
So it is still in Amazon's best interest to keep us happy with reasonable effective royalty rates.

It's in Amazon's best interest to make as much money as possible to satisfy the shareholders. With respect, whether you're "happy" or not doesn't matter so long as you feel compelled or even forced to keep your content available on their platform.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Bluehorseshoe on July 18, 2014, 01:48:11 PM
Jonathan,

Readers will just jump to amazon for the 9.99 per month. THeyll go whereever they can to get content, they dont care.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Deke on July 18, 2014, 01:50:17 PM
So this is automatic if you're in KDP select?  No opt out? 
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jonathan C. Gillespie on July 18, 2014, 01:50:58 PM
Jonathan,

Readers will just jump to amazon for the 9.99 per month. THeyll go whereever they can to get content, they dont care.

With respect, that's a blanket statement.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 18, 2014, 01:51:11 PM
A lot of people are saying that the effective royalty rate will plummet. It could happen - but if it did wouldn't you expect indies to start leaving Select in great numbers.

Actually no. Select, aside from KOLL has been effectively worthless for years, but people keep going into it because publishing and promoting to the other channels is like really hard you guys and I get almost as much as my regular royalty on borrows.

Plenty of people are going to stay with it even when it's paying 20 cents per.

When.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: thesmallprint on July 18, 2014, 01:53:38 PM
Looking at the readers' perspective on the KBoards forum, there seems little appetite so far for KU. I cannot find forums on Goodreads - I'm sure they must have them. It would be interesting to get a view from Goodreads members
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 18, 2014, 01:54:19 PM
So this is automatic if you're in KDP select?  No opt out?

Correct. The Select T&Cs (https://kdp-eu.amazon.com/agreement?token=H4sIAAAAAAAAAFvzloG1uIjBOjk%2FVy8xN7EqP0%2BvJD87NS%2BzKrEkE8hJzslMzSvR80%2FJzAtBEncGC6uAhRzezzOfvuPKLCYG5mgGlozcxOQSBqZoJx8GvtzEktSizMScYDBZwiDgk5VYlqifk5iXru%2BTn5du7cPAlp%2BUlZpcUsIgBpHLzNeHqAZalJSTal1RUFoEMm3NZ%2FEfbBwhD5gYGCoKGBgYFEyDPe%2Fevvmxb9d0lrpnIow2HS8SPZTufbiVHssd%2F6hiKiPQU3wgE%2FVAtumBbet%2BMuFMv%2FJ9JgZGLwbWssSc0tSKIgYBhCK%2F0tyk1KK2NVNluac86IbZBAIg0zSRgig%2FsVyvOLWoLDM5Vc%2FfMTwoNTHFPy%2BnMii1sDS1uCRIImi3kcWnMB6gCUUMqjj0OSUWp4L1gvUsUBTa0GgqawfSU1DC0FmtBAl5zxQlK6XszLyUnNT4lMwiYFDFF5Qm5WQWZ2TmpSvpKKXkJ5fmwtWlFACFkhPzklNzQotygCIZJSUFxVb6%2BkAZmBuAztEHqQIb75OfnJiTClTo5wgyLLO4ICexMiCxKDG3WMkqrzQnp7YCAETBBAQiAgAA&language=en_US) have been updated:

Quote
2.2 Inclusion in Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Digital Books included in KDP Select will be automatically included in Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Bluehorseshoe on July 18, 2014, 01:55:24 PM
it is up to the content producers to fight back. We should all be pulling our work out of select, although many out of fear will push it all into it - hell i may even do it myself out of fear of getting left behind.

I don't like where this is going. If as a collective voice we accept 20 cent royalty rates then that is what we deserve for not fighting back and voting with our wallets.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 18, 2014, 01:56:12 PM
But for Kindle Unlimited to succeed - Bezos and Amazon need content. Right now that content is primarily indie published. If the program ends up driving effective royalty rates way down then wouldn't you expect indie authors to leave the program. If that happens he loses content and the program fails. So it is in Amazon's best interest to keep the effective royalty rate high enough to keep indies happy.

At $10 a month, they literally cannot do that.

That would assume 5 books a month, when some folks blast through four times that in a week. I've got friends who will be costing Amazon money on their subscription by Sunday.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Betsy the Quilter on July 18, 2014, 01:56:15 PM
Jonathan,

Readers will just jump to amazon for the 9.99 per month. THeyll go whereever they can to get content, they dont care.

The discussion by Kindle owners in Let's Talk Kindle (http://www.kboards.com/index.php/board,1.0.html) belies this.  Most have said they're not interested based on the current content.

I'm interested because of the audiobook tie-in.

Betsy
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jonathan C. Gillespie on July 18, 2014, 01:57:01 PM
Correct. The Select T&Cs (https://kdp-eu.amazon.com/agreement?token=H4sIAAAAAAAAAFvzloG1uIjBOjk%2FVy8xN7EqP0%2BvJD87NS%2BzKrEkE8hJzslMzSvR80%2FJzAtBEncGC6uAhRzezzOfvuPKLCYG5mgGlozcxOQSBqZoJx8GvtzEktSizMScYDBZwiDgk5VYlqifk5iXru%2BTn5du7cPAlp%2BUlZpcUsIgBpHLzNeHqAZalJSTal1RUFoEMm3NZ%2FEfbBwhD5gYGCoKGBgYFEyDPe%2Fevvmxb9d0lrpnIow2HS8SPZTufbiVHssd%2F6hiKiPQU3wgE%2FVAtumBbet%2BMuFMv%2FJ9JgZGLwbWssSc0tSKIgYBhCK%2F0tyk1KK2NVNluac86IbZBAIg0zSRgig%2FsVyvOLWoLDM5Vc%2FfMTwoNTHFPy%2BnMii1sDS1uCRIImi3kcWnMB6gCUUMqjj0OSUWp4L1gvUsUBTa0GgqawfSU1DC0FmtBAl5zxQlK6XszLyUnNT4lMwiYFDFF5Qm5WQWZ2TmpSvpKKXkJ5fmwtWlFACFkhPzklNzQotygCIZJSUFxVb6%2BkAZmBuAztEHqQIb75OfnJiTClTo5wgyLLO4ICexMiCxKDG3WMkqrzQnp7YCAETBBAQiAgAA&language=en_US) have been updated:


See, and it's little things like that that show the tea leaves. No warning to authors up front that the program is coming, and no way to opt out if you're in Select. Instead it's "here, deal with it". I just don't know why that kind of thing doesn't grate on people more.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Deke on July 18, 2014, 01:57:58 PM
This is what irks me a bit about Amazon…are they are venue for me to sell my wares, or are they a store that sells what they want on their terms? Like the Hachette situation, I'm not crazy about them dictating the price my work is sold for.  While this is a great situation for readers…heck I'm tempted to join myself…I wonder if it puts writers further away from the driver's seat.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Bards and Sages (Julie) on July 18, 2014, 01:59:34 PM
But for Kindle Unlimited to succeed - Bezos and Amazon need content. Right now that content is primarily indie published. If the program ends up driving effective royalty rates way down then wouldn't you expect indie authors to leave the program. If that happens he loses content and the program fails. So it is in Amazon's best interest to keep the effective royalty rate high enough to keep indies happy.

Not at all, because plenty of people in this very thread have already stated they would sacrifice royalties for "exposure." The quest for exposure has done more to drive down author payments than almost anything else. Authors place far too much weight on this phantom concept of exposure without much regard as to the quality of consumer they might be exposed to. All exposure is not created equal, but plenty of people will not only happily not make money, but take a loss, in order to get "exposure" on Amazon. And it only takes a handful of authors claiming that exposure helped them become bestsellers to continue the drive of content providers.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Daniel Knight on July 18, 2014, 02:02:51 PM
And of course Jeff is smart, he's seen indies willingness to line up and supply books at any cost. He's got his 600K catalogue to play with, he doesn't have to offer indies sweetheart deals. We've proven our loyalty to Amazon and willingness to accept their terms.

I hope I'm wrong. But I can't see how Amazon can subsidise unlimited if it ends up being a sizeable proportion of their kindle market. And the maths say 50-70 cents a copy. Anything over that relies on readers not consuming an average of 10 books or Amazon subsidising the service against their clear (by trad negotiations) pressure to start making a profit to keep wall street happy.

Firstly, your premise seems to be contingent on indie authors being unable or unwilling to leave Select if Kindle Unlimited turned out to be bad for them. If effective royalty rates plummet to the levels you suggest, indies will leave the program - the content will dry up, and the program will collapse. Indie authors are smart people and are not locked into Amazon.

Secondly, your math is predicated on your own speculation about how many books the average reader will read. As Lisa pointed out earlier and I have repeated a couple of times, Scribd, another subscription service for which we already have data, only sees 2% of their users read more than 10 books a month - which suggests using 10 books a month for the average reader is probably wildly off.

I understand and even share your concerns, but remember that as an indie you still have plenty of power, and Bezos knows this. His business plan still depends on keeping the content creators happy. I expect that Amazon knows breakage for the subscription system will be high, which will give them plenty of room to keep paying $2+ per borrow.

Would I prefer it was a royalty based on price? Of course. But my first instinct is that it won't end up in the doomsday scenario you are predicting.

Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Σ on July 18, 2014, 02:03:41 PM
You can opt-out immediately:

Quote
If you do not want your book(s) in Kindle Unlimited, you have the option to immediately remove your book from KDP Select. To do so, please include the ASIN for your book when you complete this Contact Us form. We will remove your book from KDPS right away and contact you to confirm.

from https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=AA9BSAGNO1YJH&ref_=pe_446670_120661710
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 18, 2014, 02:05:07 PM
See, and it's little things like that that show the tea leaves. No warning to authors up front that the program is coming, and no way to opt out if you're in Select. Instead it's "here, deal with it". I just don't know why that kind of thing doesn't grate on people more.

They are letting you jump ship from Select early so you don't have grounds to sue them though.

May I recommend Smashwords or Draft2Digital?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 18, 2014, 02:05:31 PM
See, and it's little things like that that show the tea leaves. No warning to authors up front that the program is coming, and no way to opt out if you're in Select. Instead it's "here, deal with it". I just don't know why that kind of thing doesn't grate on people more.

Well...Amazon does largely cover themselves within the T&Cs:

Quote
2 Agreement Amendment. The Program will change over time and the terms of this Agreement will need to change over time as well. We reserve the right to change the terms of this Agreement at any time in our sole discretion. We will give you notice of the changes by posting new terms in place of the old at http://kdp.amazon.com/ and http://kdp.amazon.co.jp/ with a revision date indicated at the top or by sending an email to the email address then registered for your Program account.

Those terms might grate on a person, but if that person signed up for it, knowing what's in the T&Cs...
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: B&H on July 18, 2014, 02:08:39 PM
Too much speculation.  August will bring our earliest indicator so there's no point stressing out about it.

No, I'd say a fairly healthy amount of cynicism. Amazon have launched a new business model on us that has the potential to change a lot of our business dynamics and they have been remarkably tight lipped on the most important aspect - exactly how much we get paid to participate.

I was never stressed about KOLL. We all knew that it was limited to 1 borrow a month. so if you had 6 books out and a reader borrowed your first then they'd either have to wait a month for the next or buy it. The amount of borrows floating around the system was capped and the payment rate was reasonable for most books but didn't affect the sales of books higher up the food-chain.

I don't think we can apply scribd's read rates to amazon, for one thing they are a new entrant and have a tiny pool of readership and content compared to Amazon. Its know than Kindles earliest adopters and biggest users are the 'whales' of book reading. Many of them may well have been in scribd, but bear in mind those 600K titles aren't on scribd - they were locked into exclusivity with Kindle. Now they've got access to 600K titles.

A good example, I got a review and mail off someone who had read my first five novellas. he had been planning to save them for his holiday but read the first and ended up reading them all in one sitting and was waiting for the next. it probably took him less than 6 hours to read those. Had that been unlimited he could have consumed 6 'borrows' in one sitting and one day. My mum is retired and can easily go through a book every day or two. This isn't even factoring in Novellas - if people are reading 1-2 novellas a day they could be doing easily 30-50 borrows.

I'll agree it's speculation and a worse case scenario, only time will tell what the aggregate borrows number ends up, but 10 seems like a very low amount since one of my readers alone ploughed through 6 books in a day or so. I could easily do the same, so that is why I'm going with 10 a month. I could do probably 1 full length book and 2-3 novellas a week and easily be doing that number which brings me back to the 50-70 cents number.

I'm not speculating for a 'tin-foil hat oh noes the world is ending' - as a business person I want to know what the bottom line is 'most likely' to be - since Amazon haven't been forthcoming with that number the best we can do is run the scenarios based on best, worst and middle cases and determine how that would affect us both in and out of the scheme.

Do i stress over it? of course to a certain extent. I have a plan that relies on XYZ and it has suddenly been upended by a major retailer introducing a new model that could change the dynamics of the business I work in. Its prudent to think 'is this good for me?' or 'is this bad for me?' and work out a game plan based on various outcomes in advance.

What I don't like is the fact Amazon isn't prepared to nail its colours to the mast and say 'this is our scheme and we're prepared to underwrite the risk by ensuring you get 2.50 or 3.00 per borrow. They have transferred the entire risk onto our shoulders.

Worse case scenario is that select authors wake up to find they are getting 35 cents a borrow and their sales collapse in the space of the next two months.
Best case scenario is that select authors make out like bandits and get a huge cash windfall.
Likely scenario is that there is a gradual shift from paid sales to unlimited borrows and Amazon let the KOLL rate gradually decline 10 cents a month so there isn't a sudden shock outpouring of select authors, but there is a measurable decline in earnings over the mid term.

All speculation. But the entire of wall street make billions on speculation by making the smartest bet they can with information to hand coupled to their best guess, I'm no different, I want my books best placed to get the best ROI i can, thus I'm reading everyones opinions on this thread because honestly speaking Amazon has left us in the dark and it is such a big event that we are bound to feel a little WHOA JIM about it for the next few days, months until we see what happens.

I don't think the sky is going to fall in, but then I don't think this is suddenly all going to give us James Patterson's bank balance. As usual I suspect it will be somewhere between a gradual decline and getting the usual shaft off our business partners at the behest of their shareholders.

We're mere authors after all, we only write the damn books that powers their gravy train. No reason to expect we should profit the most from that fact is there beyond the fact they'd have blank paper to sell without us.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Daniel Knight on July 18, 2014, 02:10:44 PM
It's in Amazon's best interest to make as much money as possible to satisfy the shareholders. With respect, whether you're "happy" or not doesn't matter so long as you feel compelled or even forced to keep your content available on their platform.

And how do they make money if indies pull their content (which is what would happen if royalty rates plummeted)? How are indies compelled or forced to keep content in Select?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: ChristinaGarner on July 18, 2014, 02:11:34 PM
I don't have much to add, except that my brain hurts. And that whichever option is going to make me more successful... I hope I do that.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Daniel Knight on July 18, 2014, 02:14:31 PM
Actually no. Select, aside from KOLL has been effectively worthless for years, but people keep going into it because publishing and promoting to the other channels is like really hard you guys and I get almost as much as my regular royalty on borrows.

Plenty of people are going to stay with it even when it's paying 20 cents per.

When.

You contradicted yourself. You said KOLL has been worthless but you still get almost as much for a borrow as a regular royalty.

Why would people stay with it if goes down to only 20 cents, when they can get more outside of Select (on Amazon) or through other channels? Given the number of people who are already shying away based on this theoretical drop in royalty rate I think a lot of indies would then leave select.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 18, 2014, 02:14:53 PM
This is what irks me a bit about Amazon...are they are venue for me to sell my wares, or are they a store that sells what they want on their terms? Like the Hachette situation, I'm not crazy about them dictating the price my work is sold for.  While this is a great situation for readers...heck I'm tempted to join myself...I wonder if it puts writers further away from the driver's seat.

They're a store that sells what they want, on their terms. They always have been.

The only place a writer is fully in the driver's seat is when you're selling direct, from your own car trunk or website or otherwise hand-selling your stuff direct from you to your reader. Pretty much anything else requires following someone else's terms and conditions in order to sell your wares.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: STubbs on July 18, 2014, 02:15:12 PM
I hate to say it, but I think this is going to be a disaster for a lot of smaller fish.  They seem to have a pretty impressive amount of name-brand content enrolled in this.

From the perspective of non-fiction authors, price was a real competitive advantage.  A new Kindle user might want a book about fly-fishing.  An indie author's $2.99 guide to fly-fishing was worth the impulse purchase, as the alternative might have been a $9.99 guide to fly-fishing from some establish outdoor living brand. 

If they're both free to the KU subscriber, these customers are going to opt for the name-brand every time. 

It'll work the same way for fiction.  A new Stephen King is available next to an unknown author's horror story?  They're both free?  Guess where the audience goes.

This is the "end of days" change in Amazon's business model that I've been sweating for a couple of years now.   :(

Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Daniel Knight on July 18, 2014, 02:16:00 PM
At $10 a month, they literally cannot do that.

That would assume 5 books a month, when some folks blast through four times that in a week. I've got friends who will be costing Amazon money on their subscription by Sunday.

Your making an assumption on what the typical user of the subscription will be like based on unique cases in your own life.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 18, 2014, 02:18:54 PM
If they're both free to the KU subscriber, these customers are going to opt for the name-brand every time. 

It'll work the same way for fiction.  A new Stephen King is available next to an unknown author's horror story?  They're both free?  Guess where the audience goes.

Erm...if it's all effectively free under the same $9.99 subscription cost, you could just as easily speculate that a reader might pick *both* options. There's no barrier to choosing one or the other, so why not? They're not out anything but time to read the nobody compared to Stephen King.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 18, 2014, 02:19:04 PM
You contradicted yourself. You said KOLL has been worthless but you still get almost as much for a borrow as a regular royalty.

I did not. I said 'Select, aside from KOLL, has been worthless'. Aside from KOLL. KOLL was the only thing worthwhile and not by much.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Daniel Knight on July 18, 2014, 02:20:09 PM
Not at all, because plenty of people in this very thread have already stated they would sacrifice royalties for "exposure." The quest for exposure has done more to drive down author payments than almost anything else. Authors place far too much weight on this phantom concept of exposure without much regard as to the quality of consumer they might be exposed to. All exposure is not created equal, but plenty of people will not only happily not make money, but take a loss, in order to get "exposure" on Amazon. And it only takes a handful of authors claiming that exposure helped them become bestsellers to continue the drive of content providers.

And a lot of people in this thread have already stated they won't enter the program because of a theoretical drop in royalties they are predicting. I think if that prediction came true, the exodus of content providers would be dramatic. Remember, you can still sell your books on Amazon outside of Select.

Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 18, 2014, 02:22:49 PM
Your making an assumption on what the typical user of the subscription will be like based on unique cases in your own life.

And, you know, the data collected over YEARS by romance writers.

But that's all nonsense, I'm sure. Better to put on the rose-tinted glasses, bend over and say 'ah'.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Gabriela Popa on July 18, 2014, 02:23:40 PM
Oh well a new club has just been formed and the price for admittance is exclusivity.  Exclusivity is wonderful when you are the owner of that exclusive property, not when you are the entity owned.  As far as this club goes, being outside of the club is bad (terrible visibility and the fact that someone will have to pay outside a subscription for you to make a sale) and being in the club is not much better (loss of control over revenue per book; phasing out the royalty system)

This seems like a great idea for amazon but my two cents is that really it will not survive in the long run.  Let's analyze this: first, as a KDP Select author, you are trapped in the pool.  The size of the $ pool is  controlled 100% by amazon.  And then comes the juicy part: more total readers, less money per author.  Now that spells out brilliance  :-\  ...or  not. Seems to me like a desperate measure on amazon's part.  Certainly the business model is not well thought.  Let's hope it's temporary.   
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Quiss on July 18, 2014, 02:24:07 PM
My (selfishly petty) hope:

KU will be swamped by 99-centers, novellas, porn rags, serials that may or may not be serials, get-rich-quick scammers, all hoping for a disproportional share of the fund.
Bezos worshipers, contract-bound authors, and vanity publishers will keep their books in KU to get 30 cents. Only Stephen King and Rowling sells.
Authors of longer titles will go "pffft, bite me" and stay out of Select
Readers will be disgusted by the selection and drop their subscription to go in search of full-length books
The end.
 :D :D :D :D
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: ChristinaGarner on July 18, 2014, 02:24:41 PM
This does make me reconsider going permafree with book 1 in my trilogy. Book 3 is set to released in late August, and especially after reading Annie Jacoby's thread extolling its virtues, I'd been thinking that now might be the time to try that strategy. I got picked up by POI two years ago and had 15k downloads, which was definitely nice.

Now I'm wondering if jumping into KU might be worth a shot, while enrollment is at its lowest, just to see what happens. I used to get as many borrows as sales, maybe that trend would continue. Hard to know what to do, but I guess if I'm going to give it a shot, now might be the time. I could be back out by October.

Decisions, decisions...
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: SunHi Mistwalker on July 18, 2014, 02:24:54 PM
The discussion by Kindle owners in Let's Talk Kindle (http://www.kboards.com/index.php/board,1.0.html) belies this.  Most have said they're not interested based on the current content.

I'm interested because of the audiobook tie-in.

Betsy

This is what I thought, it will be difficult to attract a large number of subscribers without content from the A-Players ie. big name authors.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: STubbs on July 18, 2014, 02:26:21 PM
Erm...if it's all effectively free under the same $9.99 subscription cost, you could just as easily speculate that a reader might pick *both* options. There's no barrier to choosing one or the other, so why not? They're not out anything but time to read the nobody compared to Stephen King.

In the past:  Mom gets a new Kindle for Christmas and goes poking around the store looking for freebies, lower priced titles, and some higher priced titles to fill up her device. 

In the future: When mom gets a new Kindle, she signs up for the $9.99 plan and fills it with all the latest books from all the authors she knows.  The end.

If this really catches on, and I suspect it will, then BookBub and all similar sites are effectively SOL.   Unknown authors could become a total after-thought for mainstream readers if the pricing of work is taken totally out of the equation. 
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: EC on July 18, 2014, 02:26:35 PM
@Josef -

You are assuming far too much.  The stat floating about just now is that only 2% of Scribd customers read more than 10 books a month.

KU will not achieve blanket saturation, what you fear is a percentage of a percentage. Chill out.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: KZoe on July 18, 2014, 02:27:40 PM

Secondly, your math is predicated on your own speculation about how many books the average reader will read. As Lisa pointed out earlier and I have repeated a couple of times, Scribd, another subscription service for which we already have data, only sees 2% of their users read more than 10 books a month - which suggests using 10 books a month for the average reader is probably wildly off.

The only reference to the 2% number I could find was a New York times quote from December 2013 -- just two months after Scribd launched it's subscription service with 100,000 titles. [Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/25/technology/as-new-services-track-habits-the-e-books-are-reading-you.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0]. If there's a more recent stat available, I'd love to see the source and see how things are shaping nearly a year after launch with over 400,000 titles available.

It's important to note that Scribd isn't paying their content providers out of a pool as Amazon will be doing. Scribd authors get a set amount, right? In talking about 2% (power users), how many users is that, exactly? If Scribd has 1,000,000 subscribers (this is just an example; can't find data on how many subscribers they really have) that's 20,000 who're reading at least 10 books a month. How would 20,000 power readers/subscribers in Amazon KU affect the pool payouts? I worry about how a large subscription base can scale and offer a satisfactory return for authors.


Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 18, 2014, 02:28:56 PM
This is what I thought, it will be difficult to attract a large number of subscribers without content from the A-Players ie. big name authors.

I honestly don't think Amazon rolled out KU expecting they'd have a hard time attracting subscribers. Here's one perspective (http://willentrekin.com/whats-so-interesting-about-kindle-unlimited/):

Quote
This may just be the largest endorsement of independent authors and their work . . . pretty much ever.

And that’s what it is. Those 600,000 books? There are some from publishers, small and somewhat larger alike. Open Road Media is there with some Michael Chabon titles. There are a few other big names from popular presses. But the vast majority of them are by independent authors. There are 55,000 books in fantasy and science fiction alone, and most of those titles appear to be independent.

Amazon believed strongly enough in the quality of all that work to launch Kindle Unlimited without the support of a single corporate publisher. And it didn’t just believe, mind you; it likely has all the data it could possibly want to bear out that this was a good move for them.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Bluehorseshoe on July 18, 2014, 02:29:45 PM
i truly believe that the rug has been pulled our from under us. time will tell if i am right or just panicking. But that is how i feel.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Michael_J_Sullivan on July 18, 2014, 02:30:06 PM
Users are capped at 10 books at a time.

That's really not "Unlimited then is it ;-)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Gabriela Popa on July 18, 2014, 02:30:33 PM
My (selfishly petty) hope:

KU will be swamped by 99-centers, novellas, porn rags, serials that may or may not be serials, get-rich-quick scammers, all hoping for a disproportional share of the fund.
Bezos worshipers, contract-bound authors, and vanity publishers will keep their books in KU to get 30 cents. Only Stephen King and Rowling sells.
Authors of longer titles will go "pffft, bite me" and stay out of Select
Readers will be disgusted by the selection and drop their subscription to go in search of full-length books
The end.
 :D :D :D :D
Plausible, actually.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 18, 2014, 02:32:44 PM
That's really not "Unlimited then is it ;-)

Well, sorta? Unlimited in that you can plow through as many books as you want within a month, within the controlled throttle of 10 books at a time. :)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Alondo on July 18, 2014, 02:34:21 PM
I hope not, but authors can and do publish on Scribd, Oyster, libraries, iTunes, B&N, Kobo, Smashwords, and soon, txtr and others; myself included.

I've been trying to understand this thread, but I feel like a total thicko. Here are my questions.

1) What is KOLL? (I know that KRULL was a really bad fantasy movie.)

2) What are Oyster and "scribd"(? Is that what it's really called or did someone just get fed up with typing the word?) Should I put my books there?

3) Should I take each of my 130,000 word series novels, split them into 26, 5000-word installments and release them on Kindle unlimited?       
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: adanlerma on July 18, 2014, 02:35:25 PM
A day later, but some comments from Scribd & Oyster :

http://the-digital-reader.com/2014/07/17/oyster-scribd-comment-kindle-unlimited/#comment-548103
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: KOwrites on July 18, 2014, 02:36:40 PM
Probably just start enforcing their policies regarding offering the same price everywhere. It is in the TOS that you aren't suppose to offer a lower price elsewhere. To date, Amazon has turned a blind eye to that. But they can enforce it at any time with one of their nasty "you have five days to resolve or else" emails.

+ 1 Exactly.

Josef Black has it exactly right on every salient point he's made.


I will summarize my first thoughts/takeaways just to purge out the distaste in my mouth with the KU as of this moment...

KDP Select / KU - the exclusivity sucks -

it sucks for your readers using Nooks, iPads, & Kobo ereaders
it sucks for me as an author because the idea of putting all my books in one place/one basket just didn't seem smart any longer and I have been out of Select since late 2012.

Please do note that big, glaring difference between Scribd's buffet and others mentioned is that these companies do not require exclusivity to their platform. I have a personal problem with Scribd because of takedown notices I had to send them late last year and remain unconvinced that they are now a savory bunch solely based on where they've been/where they come from. I completely agree with H.M. Ward's eye patch analogy when it comes to Scribd.

Pool of money divvied up for borrows and 10% reads...

You dig?

Novels of 100K or more (mine) absolutely kills the incentive to even write them. A reader sampling my work such as TMIT gets 5 1/2 chapters of a 46 chapter book. How generous am I? But how naive do I look now with this kind of a program in place?

Serials and novellas will probably rule the platform for the $9.99 voracious readers as well as the prolific authors; and, yes, absolutely, this will impact romance writers' sales outside of KU/Kindle Select because why pay for an individual book when you can read something similar in KU?

Bookbub - throw all the stats they've collected for charging what they charge based on past downloads out the flipping window. In a month, past downloads won't be able to predict how well an ad with them will do. I'm especially worried because I have an ad with them coming out on 8/09.

KU will be the game changer and slow sales of "on sale" as well as regularly priced ones. Why bother waiting for the sales price when you can feed your reading addiction for $10 a month? In one fell swoop, Amazon has eliminated the problem of waiting until a book is on sale or free or regularly priced. Readers can feed their reading habit and save a boatload of money regardless. It literally frees up readers' time by not having to follow an offering like Bookbub's to determine what to read next and/or if it's on sale. It will literally change readers buying habits in a big way.

It's all good for those Kindle readers, but it doesn't tie them to me, the author, regardless of whether or not they love my work. They can just move along to someone else's work in KU because the price of any book--really, the value of any book--has been obliterated by the $9.99 a month KU buffet.

And for KU/KDP Select authors? Perhaps, the most glaring of all? You'll never know what your book(s) are actually garnering in terms of revenue until you get your KU/KDP Select payout and do the math...much later than real time, much more akin to the trad publishers way of paying out authors for all these decades. "Don't worry your pretty little head about the math, authors. Just don't." 

It won't impact me this way because, for now, I'm not signing up for the KU/KDP Select program (been there, done that, have the t-shirt) based upon my overall uneasy feeling with exclusivity, but I know it will impact my sales. Just like the hiding of free tabs changed the game when that happened for so many. KU coupled with KDP Select does the same thing. In that way, although I just signed that petition extolling my thanks to Amazon for the opportunity to publish, I can already feel the ground of certainty shifting beneath my feet with this kind of program. I can't project out three years from now what my income will be and say with any certainty that I'll be making a living at this. If anything, it causes me to pause and reevaluate and possibly recalibrate my marketing strategies with all platforms and even the work itself.





 




Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 18, 2014, 02:38:27 PM
Unknown authors could become a total after-thought for mainstream readers if the pricing of work is taken totally out of the equation.

Heck, as long as we're all speculating and spit-balling...it might possibly even be the ultimate leveling of the playing field too. Take it to the extreme--all books are now effectively the same price. How do you compete? Good storytelling, good writing, good cover, good ad copy/blurb/promo text.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: ChristinaGarner on July 18, 2014, 02:38:33 PM
Well, sorta? Unlimited in that you can plow through as many books as you want within a month, within the controlled throttle of 10 books at a time. :)

Right--that was the Netflix model with 2, 3, or 4 at a time physical copies of discs. But they still called it unlimited b/c you were only limited by how fast you were at watching and returning them. Amazon is doing the same.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Rykymus on July 18, 2014, 02:42:00 PM
There is nothing yet to panic about. All of my episodes are in Select and have been since Select started. Borrows earn me the same revenue as sales. If I begin to make less money due to KU, I will simply pull my titles from Select and move on.

As others have said, things change and we adapt.

25 pages of "the sky is falling" isn't exactly adapting, though.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jan Strnad on July 18, 2014, 02:42:57 PM
So far today my sales are down 88%.

FWIW.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: adanlerma on July 18, 2014, 02:43:26 PM
I've been trying to understand this thread, but I feel like a total thicko. Here are my questions.

1) What is KOLL? (I know that KRULL was a really bad fantasy movie.)

2) What are Oyster and "scribd"(? Is that what it's really called or did someone just get fed up with typing the word?) Should I put my books there?

3) Should I take each of my 130,000 word series novels, split them into 26, 5000-word installments and release them on Kindle unlimited?       

Alondo, I know how you feel lol!

I've been trying to keep up with all the changes the last few years and wondered what the heck myself  :)

Oyster and Scribd are real names of ebook subscription companies. KOLL is the Kindle Owners Lending Library.

For me, I have all my current titles with the Scribd and Oyster, but not KOLL. Best if you Google the names 'cause there's a lot of info regarding both.

The big difference for me is I don't have to be exclusive with either Scribd or Oyster, and I get a set royalty when my book is read past specific thresholds.

Should you split up your current work? My opinion is only if it suits you to do so.

Best luck to you, it should be obvious a lot of us are confused or in doubt or just don't know. Oh, that's me  :)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Michael_J_Sullivan on July 18, 2014, 02:45:31 PM
This is what I thought, it will be difficult to attract a large number of subscribers without content from the A-Players ie. big name authors.

But from the Publisher's Marketplace article Amazon can put any "A-Player" in whenever they want (which is how Hunger Games is in there now).  The books they add without publisher or writer consent get paid as if they got a regular sale as soon as someone downloads (no 10% requirement).  These "A-Players" will make a mint, and Amazon will gladly put some really major loss-leaders in.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 18, 2014, 02:46:06 PM
25 pages of "the sky is falling" isn't exactly adapting, though.

No, but stocks in Orville Redenbacher and Pop Secret are up! :D
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: omar on July 18, 2014, 02:50:35 PM
This is really confusing.

I don't see how this could be of benefit to authors with a catalog. People may download an authors entire catalog out of excitement and never read it.

My main problem with KU this is that Amazon is only paying you if someone reads more than 10% of your book. That's like letting someone take a book from Barnes and Noble  for free and come back and pay if and when they read a portion of the book...

People generally skip through sections and read on their own terms. They usually don't read the book directly upon downloading so now Amazon is creating a gap between customer purchase and earned royalties. How will this truly be accounted for?

What if someone downloads a book and reads it a week later? What about when someone refs the book off and on?

The other thing that annoys me is that Amazon doesn't hold conferences and keynotes with its authors to help us understand and answer our questions about their new policies.
Perhaps alot of confusion can be alleviated that way.

To see what's going to happen to royalties I'm considering two options:
1. I'm wondering whether I should opt my entire catalog out of KDP select now and reenter new books one by one.

2. Or lleave my entire catalog in KDP select. Wait until August, see how royalties are affected and opt out then.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: adanlerma on July 18, 2014, 02:51:27 PM
Heck, as long as we're all speculating and spit-balling...it might possibly even be the ultimate leveling of the playing field too. Take it to the extreme--all books are now effectively the same price. How do you compete? Good storytelling, good writing, good cover, good ad copy/blurb/promo text.

Jim, Scribd and Oyster began "leveling the playing field" early this year, and I think Amazon's response is a testament to how well that's worked.

These are Scribd and Oyster's comments yesterday : http://the-digital-reader.com/2014/07/17/oyster-scribd-comment-kindle-unlimited/#comment-548103
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: adanlerma on July 18, 2014, 02:53:05 PM
Signing off guys.

It's great to be excited about the changes.

And it's even greater to be able to discuss them here on the KBoards.

All the best to all us indies  :)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Alondo on July 18, 2014, 02:54:22 PM
Alondo, I know how you feel lol!

I've been trying to keep up with all the changes the last few years and wondered what the heck myself  :)

Oyster and Scribd are real names of ebook subscription companies. KOLL is the Kindle Owners Lending Library.

For me, I have all my current titles with the Scribd and Oyster, but not KOLL. Best if you Google the names 'cause there's a lot of info regarding both.

The big difference for me is I don't have to be exclusive with either Scribd or Oyster, and I get a set royalty when my book is read past specific thresholds.

Should you split up your current work? My opinion is only if it suits you to do so.

Best luck to you, it should be obvious a lot of us are confused or in doubt or just don't know. Oh, that's me  :)

Thanks for your kind and understanding reply. I will google oyster and scribd and see if they will let me put my work there.

Splitting one of my books into 26 parts was a bit of a joke, but seriously, I am in the middle of writing a new book now, so it occurred to me that I could effectively get "paid as I work" by releasing content on Select/Kindle Unlimited as it's written in say, 5000-word installments, and then depending on how it did, I could always remove them from Select at a later date and then release the complete book across all platforms.

Can you see any cons with that plan?     
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Renata F. Barcelos on July 18, 2014, 02:54:45 PM
I picked a book today after signing up for the KU free trial, read it and posted a review.

It doesn't show up as 'verified purchase', and I don't know what to think about that...
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 18, 2014, 02:57:04 PM
I don't see how this could be of benefit to authors with a catalog. People may download an authors entire catalog out of excitement and never read it.

Except that users can only have 10 books downloaded at a time. So they could download part of one author's catalog, but would have to either read them or return them to download more.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Rykymus on July 18, 2014, 02:59:31 PM
It seems to me that it boils down to exactly what the average payout will be for a qualifying read. If it is the same or better than the $2 I get for a purchase, I'm okay. Until I see real results rather than wild speculation, I am not in a position to make an intelligent choice.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: EC on July 18, 2014, 03:02:15 PM
So far today my sales are down 88%.

FWIW.

Now that is terrifying, Jan - I hope it's a fluke or reporting glitch.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: elizabethbarone on July 18, 2014, 03:02:39 PM
Just got an email about it from Amazon. You have to be enrolled in KDP Select.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Saul Tanpepper on July 18, 2014, 03:04:28 PM
I honestly don't think Amazon rolled out KU expecting they'd have a hard time attracting subscribers. Here's one perspective (http://willentrekin.com/whats-so-interesting-about-kindle-unlimited/):

Quote
This may just be the largest endorsement of independent authors and their work . . . pretty much ever.

And that's what it is. Those 600,000 books? There are some from publishers, small and somewhat larger alike. Open Road Media is there with some Michael Chabon titles. There are a few other big names from popular presses. But the vast majority of them are by independent authors. There are 55,000 books in fantasy and science fiction alone, and most of those titles appear to be independent.

Amazon believed strongly enough in the quality of all that work to launch Kindle Unlimited without the support of a single corporate publisher. And it didn't just believe, mind you; it likely has all the data it could possibly want to bear out that this was a good move for them.


Wow. This is quite possibly the biggest bunch of hooey I've read all day. This isn't an endorsement of indies. It's an exploitation of a pool of content which they already have exclusive rights to, at least temporarily. Dumping these titles into KU was convenient. a true endorsement would be to open KU up to indies NOT enrolled in select.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Usedtopostheretoo! on July 18, 2014, 03:04:39 PM
I'm sensing a lot of anger here, and much of the anger tint centers are "you are an idiot to stay in. The math doesn't work out." I think the anger is based on two theories supported by the common refrain I've read. 1.) Numbers won't work and you'll end up with .50 a book. No I won't. I'll be long gone by then, competing with your sales outside of Amazon. So will a TON of other authors doing just fine in Select right now. I'd be angry too if I suddenly had a flood of proven books hit my market. 2.) KU will definitely draw readers out of those markets. Readers have limited time, and once they get hooked on unlimited books, they won't go back, except for their favorites. Possibly. I'd be a little angry about this. KU is mostly Indie books you say? Well, I read 90% indie titles these days. Lots of good indie books out there, right? Anyone here think the Indie market sucks? It's the great untapped source of literature! I think I've heard that here once or twice. Once readers figure this out, they have an incredible backlist to work from.

If you're angry because you think those willing to give KU a chance (or not make a snap judgment) are stupid, I can live with that...but I think it goes way deeper than that. I sense a lot of fear, and rightfully so. Whether KU succeeds or fails, boats will sink outside of Amazon.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 18, 2014, 03:05:55 PM
Jim, Scribd and Oyster began "leveling the playing field" early this year, and I think Amazon's response is a testament to how well that's worked.

These are Scribd and Oyster's comments yesterday : http://the-digital-reader.com/2014/07/17/oyster-scribd-comment-kindle-unlimited/#comment-548103

Awesome stuff. Thanks for the link! Clearly Amazon saw some money in the subscription realm.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: starkllr on July 18, 2014, 03:08:04 PM
Aside from everything else, I truly hate that on some level, KU makes all of us authors competitors with each other in a way we weren't before.  Right now, sales of your book don't impact sales of mine.  So long as readers buy my book, your sales have no affect on my income.  I hope you do well.  I hope you sell a million copies, so long as I sell as many as I can, too.

But under KU, every download of one of your books reduces the payment per download that I receive.  It's in my financial interest to see you fail, for nobody to download your book.  And it's in your interest to see me fail.  Just as a  philosophical mindset, I don't see how that can possibly be a positive thing for authors.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 18, 2014, 03:08:43 PM
I'm sensing a lot of anger here, and much of the anger tint centers are "you are an idiot to stay in. The math doesn't work out." I think the anger is based on two theories supported by the common refrain I've read. 1.) Numbers won't work and you'll end up with .50 a book. No I won't. I'll be long gone by then, competing with your sales outside of Amazon. So will a TON of other authors doing just fine in Select right now. I'd be angry too if I suddenly had a flood of proven books hit my market. 2.) KU will definitely draw readers out of those markets. Readers have limited time, and once they get hooked on unlimited books, they won't go back, except for their favorites. Possibly. I'd be a little angry about this. KU is mostly Indie books you say? Well, I read 90% indie titles these days. Lots of good indie books out there, right? Anyone here think the Indie market sucks? It's the great untapped source of literature! I think I've heard that here once or twice. Once readers figure this out, they have an incredible backlist to work from.

If you're angry because you think those willing to give KU a chance (or not make a snap judgment) are stupid, I can live with that...but I think it goes way deeper than that. I sense a lot of fear, and rightfully so. Whether KU succeeds or fails, boats will sink outside of Amazon.

Agreed fully. Emotion rarely makes for good business.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: SunHi Mistwalker on July 18, 2014, 03:10:17 PM
But from the Publisher's Marketplace article Amazon can put any "A-Player" in whenever they want (which is how Hunger Games is in there now).  The books they add without publisher or writer consent get paid as if they got a regular sale as soon as someone downloads (no 10% requirement).  These "A-Players" will make a mint, and Amazon will gladly put some really major loss-leaders in.

You have a good point. They will probably attract A-Players with sweetheart deals. Well, I don't plan to do KU because I don't want to be exclusive. But obviously, it may work for some writers. I guess it all comes down to strategy, which I'm still formulating for myself. It really is a learning experience and most importantly fun. :-)

I honestly don't think Amazon rolled out KU expecting they'd have a hard time attracting subscribers. Here's one perspective (http://willentrekin.com/whats-so-interesting-about-kindle-unlimited/):


As much as my ego wants to believe that KU is an endorsement of how awesome Amazon thinks indies are, my head is telling me it's more of a business strategy for them. They've got a large amount of content and they're leveraging it to attract subscribers and maybe A-Players too.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Reverend Schlachbals on July 18, 2014, 03:12:04 PM
Erm...if it's all effectively free under the same $9.99 subscription cost, you could just as easily speculate that a reader might pick *both* options. There's no barrier to choosing one or the other, so why not? They're not out anything but time to read the nobody compared to Stephen King.

So when the cost in money is the same either way, the next factor to consider is the cost in time, which is then compared to the perceived value of each. If there's a brand new Stephen King next to some unknown horror writer, the audience will pick King time and again. Unless they're a 'whale reader' (damn does that phrase leave a bad taste in my mouth) who has the time to read both, but as most people aren't those 'whale readers' most people will not have time for both, so they'll pick whichever they think is the better bet for their time. Again, they'll pick the known over the unknown almost every time.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: EC on July 18, 2014, 03:12:57 PM
You have a good point. They will probably attract A-Players with sweetheart deals. Well, I don't plan to do KU because I don't want to be exclusive. But obviously, it may work for some writers. I guess it all comes down to strategy, which I'm still formulating for myself. It really is a learning experience and most importantly fun. :-)

As much as my ego wants to believe that KU is an endorsement of how awesome Amazon thinks indies are, my head is telling me it's more of a business strategy for them. They've got a large amount of content and they're leveraging it to attract subscribers and maybe A-Players too.

I can't see it working both ways - if the gloomsters are correct and the royalty drops to say, 40 cents, why would an A-lister want to participate?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Reverend Schlachbals on July 18, 2014, 03:14:27 PM
My main problem with KU this is that Amazon is only paying you if someone reads more than 10% of your book. That's like letting someone take a book from Barnes and Noble  for free and come back and pay if and when they read a portion of the book...

People generally skip through sections and read on their own terms. They usually don't read the book directly upon downloading so now Amazon is creating a gap between customer purchase and earned royalties. How will this truly be accounted for?

Bingo. Huge privacy concern, no? Amazon will have to monitor exactly what you're doing on your Kindle device or app to be sure of exactly how you're reading for this scheme to work. Damn. This just keeps getting better.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: EC on July 18, 2014, 03:15:41 PM
So when the cost in money is the same either way, the next factor to consider is the cost in time, which is then compared to the perceived value of each. If there's a brand new Stephen King next to some unknown horror writer, the audience will pick King time and again. Unless they're a 'whale reader' (d*mn does that phrase leave a bad taste in my mouth) who has the time to read both, but as most people aren't those 'whale readers' most people will not have time for both, so they'll pick whichever they think is the better bet for their time. Again, they'll pick the known over the unknown almost every time.

What if they hate Stephen King? What if they've read it already? What if they are attracted by the cover and the blurb of the indie author? what if a million things?

There's too much of a rush to second-guess readers.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: richard.r.fox on July 18, 2014, 03:16:41 PM
Riddle me this: How much do non-Indie books receive for each KU qualified read?

There are 47North titles and other publisher titles (Harry Potter) in KU. Don't tell me the publishing house agreed to a cut of the KOLL/KS pool of money. I'd bet money Pottermore gets full price on the list price for a qualified read.

Does this seem fair? Granted, we don't know the details but we can feel enough parts to know this is an elephant we're dealing with. The publishers who get list price must not get paid from the same KOLL/KS pool. If so, hello pennies per read.

All of a sudden, an Indie author's guild to negotiate with Amazon seems better.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Quiss on July 18, 2014, 03:16:55 PM
I can't see it working both ways - if the gloomsters are correct and the royalty drops to say, 40 cents, why would an A-lister want to participate?

Because the A-listers re getting a separate deal. It's not like Stephen King is actually in Select. :)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 18, 2014, 03:18:15 PM
Bingo. Huge privacy concern, no? Amazon will have to monitor exactly what you're doing on your Kindle device or app to be sure of exactly how you're reading for this scheme to work. d*mn. This just keeps getting better.

Surely you don't think they don't already have a real good idea of reader habits? Come on, now. :) My Kindle Touch tracks my reading speed and shows me at a glance how far I've read and how far I've got to go in the book. I'm sure somehow, someway, those tidbits of data are in an Amazon database somewhere.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: EC on July 18, 2014, 03:19:21 PM
Because the A-listers re getting a separate deal. It's not like Stephen King is actually in Select. :)

From the same pool of money?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: SunHi Mistwalker on July 18, 2014, 03:20:05 PM
I can't see it working both ways - if the gloomsters are correct and the royalty drops to say, 40 cents, why would an A-lister want to participate?

Sweetheart deals. Someone upthread said that Amazon may offer A-Players special deals, a fixed amount (for example $2) per download. In other words, while the unwashed masses get paid as part of a big money pot, the big names get a fixed and guaranteed dollar amount for each download. Now I think that's just speculation, I'm not sure. But I can see it happening.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Deke on July 18, 2014, 03:21:13 PM
Okay my game plan is to become an A-lister.  Good to have a goal.

But seriously, I wonder if this will encourage some authors to sell outside of Kindle entirely…maybe on Amazon as hard copies.  Or will this open the possibility of a competing service that gives authors a better deal.  Put the first in a series on Kindle-whatever, but have the rest on some other source. 

The holy grail would be getting the contact info of every buyer.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Reverend Schlachbals on July 18, 2014, 03:23:33 PM
Riddle me this: How much do non-Indie books receive for each KU qualified read?

There are 47North titles and other publisher titles (Harry Potter) in KU. Don't tell me the publishing house agreed to a cut of the KOLL/KS pool of money. I'd bet money Pottermore gets full price on the list price for a qualified read.

Does this seem fair? Granted, we don't know the details but we can feel enough parts to know this is an elephant we're dealing with. The publishers who get list price must not get paid from the same KOLL/KS pool. If so, hello pennies per read.

All of a sudden, an Indie author's guild to negotiate with Amazon seems better.

Dunnit though?

Chances are the kitty left for indie authors will be what's left after Amazon takes their cut, the big boys take their cut, the overhead is cut... so the scraps left on the table after the meal.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Reverend Schlachbals on July 18, 2014, 03:27:30 PM
Aside from everything else, I truly hate that on some level, KU makes all of us authors competitors with each other in a way we weren't before.  Right now, sales of your book don't impact sales of mine.  So long as readers buy my book, your sales have no affect on my income.  I hope you do well.  I hope you sell a million copies, so long as I sell as many as I can, too.

But under KU, every download of one of your books reduces the payment per download that I receive.  It's in my financial interest to see you fail, for nobody to download your book.  And it's in your interest to see me fail.  Just as a  philosophical mindset, I don't see how that can possibly be a positive thing for authors.

Before it just wasn't put in those terms, but it was the same thing. A reader only has so much money to spend, if he's buying your book that's less money to spend on mine. If they're reading my book for 10 hours, that's 10 fewer hours they have to read my book.


It's the same as it ever was, only now it's far more explicit.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 18, 2014, 03:31:12 PM
All of a sudden, an Indie author's guild to negotiate with Amazon seems better.

I'm not sure how a guild would benefit authors in this case. Amazon's a store that can dictate whatever terms it wants. The negotiations would basically be, "If you don't like our terms, don't sign up. Feel free to use the regular KDP service or sell your wares via our competitors." Unless I'm missing something, anyway.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: SunHi Mistwalker on July 18, 2014, 03:34:25 PM
Okay my game plan is to become an A-lister.  Good to have a goal.

But seriously, I wonder if this will encourage some authors to sell outside of Kindle entirely...maybe on Amazon as hard copies.  Or will this open the possibility of a competing service that gives authors a better deal.  Put the first in a series on Kindle-whatever, but have the rest on some other source. 

The holy grail would be getting the contact info of every buyer.

Hey, I want to be an A-lister too, don't we all. :-) I've been part of this board for two years now, and if the attitudes here are indicative of the attitudes of the wider indie writer community, I don't see indies leaving Kindle or even Kindle Select anytime soon, nor do I think they should. It's just that I think we need to grow up a little. That statement is for myself mostly. We can't just depend on Amazon forever. We have to learn how to market our work on a broader scale. It's difficult and it's a steep learning curve, but I think it's worth it.  I think you're onto something about getting contact info, I've been feverishly building my mailing list because I want to have some type of database of readers that I can call on no matter what Amazon (or any of the other retailers) does.  That said, like all of us, I'm still learning and there are a lot of unknown variables. In the end, each person has to do what works to help them reach their goals. And speaking of goals, I've got to log off. Great discussing this with you guys!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Michael_J_Sullivan on July 18, 2014, 03:36:27 PM
From the same pool of money?

No they are being paid as if the reader bought their book (assuming they read 10% if the book was added by the publisher.  For books added by Amazon without the publisher's consent - they get the full amount without any reading requirement - just download).
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: books_mb on July 18, 2014, 03:38:45 PM
Splitting one of my books into 26 parts was a bit of a joke, but seriously, I am in the middle of writing a new book now, so it occurred to me that I could effectively get "paid as I work" by releasing content on Select/Kindle Unlimited as it's written in say, 5000-word installments, and then depending on how it did, I could always remove them from Select at a later date and then release the complete book across all platforms.

Can you see any cons with that plan?

This is actually driving me crazy. With equal share payments (which sounds nice, but is basically a price-dependent royalty rate), I don't see a con for any individual author. It seems like the KU system rewards authors for chopping up their books. Of course in the big picture there are cons. Crudely: Authors start chopping up their books = total number borrows increases = less royalty per borrow for every author. Are there enough authors to game the system in this way? Also: Authors start chopping up their books = you have to buy the ten part instead of the three part series = hassle for readers. Amazon has to find a way to couple the royalties with the price, ideally keep the constant royalty rate.

It really sucks that Amazon treats the whole thing as a Soviet state secret. Come on, give us some insight on your plan.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Michael_J_Sullivan on July 18, 2014, 03:43:58 PM
As much as my ego wants to believe that KU is an endorsement of how awesome Amazon thinks indies are, my head is telling me it's more of a business strategy for them. They've got a large amount of content and they're leveraging it to attract subscribers and maybe A-Players too.

I think the KDP people are being short-shifted.  The traditional published books are being paid as if there was a sale....but the KDP people are getting a % of a pool that Amazon controls.  At the very least the division should take into account the price of a book...but it doesn't.  I would have been a lot happier if the KDP people got the same deal the publishers got - to me they are getting a "sweet deal" and most won't take it - which is ironic because I would jump at the chance to get what they are.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: richard.r.fox on July 18, 2014, 03:44:25 PM
I'm not sure how a guild would benefit authors in this case. Amazon's a store that can dictate whatever terms it wants. The negotiations would basically be, "If you don't like our terms, don't sign up. Feel free to use the regular KDP service or sell your wares via our competitors." Unless I'm missing something, anyway.

I want the same (better) deal Amazon has with Pottermore. I, and the vast majority of Indies with the exception of folks like Mr. Howey, don't have the clout to negotiate that kind of deal with Amazon. But if we all got together...
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: STubbs on July 18, 2014, 03:45:34 PM

In short....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v46plhmxXU4
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: B&H on July 18, 2014, 03:45:40 PM
Okay my game plan is to become an A-lister.  Good to have a goal.

But seriously, I wonder if this will encourage some authors to sell outside of Kindle entirely...maybe on Amazon as hard copies.  Or will this open the possibility of a competing service that gives authors a better deal.  Put the first in a series on Kindle-whatever, but have the rest on some other source. 

The holy grail would be getting the contact info of every buyer.

heres some ideas:

1: set up a squarespace account. They have inbuilt commerce ability that allows you to sell digital downloads for instant delivery. Buyer gets a email link. You can set up a payment account with stripe and get paid after 7 days.
2: Squarespace offers coupons. Give your newsletter subscribers a 30 percent coupon off the RRP of your books. That is basically the retailer cut so you make the same cash. You could do 25 percent or whatever, but by doing it with coupons you can keep your RRP the same as Amazons and avoid price matching woes to give yourself a competitive edge.
3: Retail your paper books on your website and offer a bundle with the ebook included.

That way you incentivise your fans to subscribe to your mailing list by giving them money off your retailer, ensure your own direct sales are the cheapest channel.

Of course its a PITA to side load your ebooks but then the advantages are that Amazon can't delete them and 25-30 percent off might be enough incentive to at least get your core readership to go direct.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: B&H on July 18, 2014, 03:46:51 PM
In short....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v46plhmxXU4

Thanks for that. the sniffing glue thing gives me a ROFL moment every time i see it.

Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Michael_J_Sullivan on July 18, 2014, 03:51:00 PM
So when the cost in money is the same either way, the next factor to consider is the cost in time, which is then compared to the perceived value of each. If there's a brand new Stephen King next to some unknown horror writer, the audience will pick King time and again. Unless they're a 'whale reader' (d*mn does that phrase leave a bad taste in my mouth) who has the time to read both, but as most people aren't those 'whale readers' most people will not have time for both, so they'll pick whichever they think is the better bet for their time. Again, they'll pick the known over the unknown almost every time.

Agreed and since Stephen King is paid as if it were a "normal purchase" his publisher will get much more than the KOLL pool division that the self-published author gets.  Now...the author still only gets 25% of that.  But let's break it down....

Stephen King's ebook is MSRP at $12.99 assuming the publishers is still getting 70% (as they were under agency) that means $9.10 to publisher and the author gets $2.23.  A self-published author is getting about $2 (based on past history) regardless of what price their book sells for.  Bottom line...the publishers are going to make A LOT of money.  The traditional author will continue to make a small amount (but that is nature of that environment.  The self-published author...who knows what will happen.  If there are a fair number of "trad books" they will probably earn less as their sales will go down.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Michael_J_Sullivan on July 18, 2014, 03:52:05 PM
I can't see it working both ways - if the gloomsters are correct and the royalty drops to say, 40 cents, why would an A-lister want to participate?


Because the A-listers aren't paid by the pool.  They are paid as if a reader bought the book.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Michael_J_Sullivan on July 18, 2014, 03:55:54 PM
Riddle me this: How much do non-Indie books receive for each KU qualified read?

There are 47North titles and other publisher titles (Harry Potter) in KU. Don't tell me the publishing house agreed to a cut of the KOLL/KS pool of money. I'd bet money Pottermore gets full price on the list price for a qualified read.

Does this seem fair? Granted, we don't know the details but we can feel enough parts to know this is an elephant we're dealing with. The publishers who get list price must not get paid from the same KOLL/KS pool. If so, hello pennies per read.

All of a sudden, an Indie author's guild to negotiate with Amazon seems better.

There are two ways that a traditional book gets into KU.  Either Amazon puts it there without the publisher's permission, or the publisher consents.  In neither case are they paid from the KOLL pool.  They are paid just as much as they would be if a reader bought the book (70% under old agency model - probably some other % with newly negotiated contracts).  If the book is put in to KU by Amazon without publisher consent - they are paid 100% as soon as the download occurs (no 10% required).  If they are put in by publisher consent - then they are paid the full wholesale price when 10% is read.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: X. Aratare on July 18, 2014, 03:56:25 PM

Because the A-listers aren't paid by the pool.  They are paid as if a reader bought the book.

But here's something really BAD for trad, Michael, only the A-listers IN THE POOL that Amazon chooses will get this exposure.  Those trad books NOT in the pool will still be priced higher than the indies not in the pool, making those trad books even LESS appealing.

So a reader's choice will be as follows:

(1) KU - some A-listers and all the rest indies, $9.95 a month, all inclusive.
(2) Indies not in the KU, but still priced lower than trad for most part, still in the splurge and don't think about it range of money for a lot of people and
(3) Finally, trad published who will still cost a ton more than indies and won't be in KU and will make the purchase of their books that much less likely.  I wouldn't want to be here ... not at all.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Deke on July 18, 2014, 04:00:28 PM
I'm amazed the A-listers haven't set up their own distribution.  Why on earth would Rowling give a cut to anyone in this day and age?  She should set up her own site and cut out the middle-men entirely.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Michael_J_Sullivan on July 18, 2014, 04:01:35 PM
Sweetheart deals. Someone upthread said that Amazon may offer A-Players special deals, a fixed amount (for example $2) per download. In other words, while the unwashed masses get paid as part of a big money pot, the big names get a fixed and guaranteed dollar amount for each download. Now I think that's just speculation, I'm not sure. But I can see it happening.

They do get a "sweetheart deal" they get paid as if the reader bought the book.  This is from Publisher's Weekly via their publisher's lunch post:

Filling in one of the unanswered questions for authors, Amazon Publishing authors will be compensated in a manner similar to that to for authors of publishers that agreed to participate. As Amazon Publishing executive Jeff Belle wrote to agents in an email, "every time a customer reads more than 10% of your author’s book through Kindle Unlimited (about the size of the current free samples available for Kindle books), your author will earn their full ebook royalty rate based on the average sale price of their book for the given month."
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Shelley K on July 18, 2014, 04:02:45 PM
What makes anyone think a group of independently published writers banded together into some sort of organized body can affect Amazon's decisions? Because a big organization with a ton of capital and might, like, oh, Hachette, for instance, is so successful at bending Amazon to their will?

Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: X. Aratare on July 18, 2014, 04:02:57 PM
I'm amazed the A-listers haven't set up their own distribution.  Why on earth would Rowling give a cut to anyone in this day and age?  She should set up her own site and cut out the middle-men entirely.

She does have her own site: Pottermore.

But Amazon gives her A LOT of exposure, too.  I'm sure Amazon pays a TON to have her in KU.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: RachelAukes on July 18, 2014, 04:05:07 PM
Riddle me this: How much do non-Indie books receive for each KU qualified read?

There are 47North titles and other publisher titles (Harry Potter) in KU. Don't tell me the publishing house agreed to a cut of the KOLL/KS pool of money. I'd bet money Pottermore gets full price on the list price for a qualified read.

Does this seem fair? Granted, we don't know the details but we can feel enough parts to know this is an elephant we're dealing with. The publishers who get list price must not get paid from the same KOLL/KS pool. If so, hello pennies per read.

All of a sudden, an Indie author's guild to negotiate with Amazon seems better.

I think that's only an assumption right now (that publishers will be paid the same for KU read that they would an ebook sale), not a fact... unless you've seen the actual verbiage from a publisher on this already.

A publisher I'm with (Adams Media) is in the KU program, and they said they are still working out the royalty details, which leads me to believe that a KU download/read will likely not be treated the same as a purchase.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Alondo on July 18, 2014, 04:05:18 PM
I think the KDP people are being short-shifted.  The traditional published books are being paid as if there was a sale....but the KDP people are getting a % of a pool that Amazon controls.  At the very least the division should take into account the price of a book...but it doesn't.  I would have been a lot happier if the KDP people got the same deal the publishers got - to me they are getting a "sweet deal" and most won't take it - which is ironic because I would jump at the chance to get what they are.

 
This is actually driving me crazy. With equal share payments (which sounds nice, but is basically a price-dependent royalty rate), I don't see a con for any individual author. It seems like the KU system rewards authors for chopping up their books. Of course in the big picture there are cons. Crudely: Authors start chopping up their books = total number borrows increases = less royalty per borrow for every author. Are there enough authors to game the system in this way? Also: Authors start chopping up their books = you have to buy the ten part instead of the three part series = hassle for readers. Amazon has to find a way to couple the royalties with the price, ideally keep the constant royalty rate.

It really sucks that Amazon treats the whole thing as a Soviet state secret. Come on, give us some insight on your plan.


Well, I don't see that as "gaming the system". They create the rules. You would simply be operating within the rules they created. Second, I'm only thinking of books that are current works in progress. In other words, the reader can either read the next one of my works in installments as it's produced, or wait for the whole book to come out - their choice. I see it as similar to the choice between watching a series episode by episode each week on TV, or waiting for the release of the DVD Box Set. No one complains about that! I've yet to think of a con for authors. Yes, the more installments on offer, the greater the dilution of the subscription-based payout, but at least I'll get paid something for content as I write it. Something has to be better than nothing!     
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 18, 2014, 04:05:54 PM
She does have her own site: Pottermore.

But Amazon gives her A LOT of exposure, too.  I'm sure Amazon pays a TON to have her in KU.

Amazon and Pottermore also have an arrangement to have Amazon's buy buttons for the Potter books direct to Pottermore. I'm sure there's some beneficial money agreements in that between the two entities.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Deke on July 18, 2014, 04:06:00 PM
It wouldn't shock me if Rowling was a loss-leader and that Amazon is making nothing on her…just giving her exposure and 100% of the sales.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Michael_J_Sullivan on July 18, 2014, 04:09:26 PM
But here's something really BAD for trad, Michael, only the A-listers IN THE POOL that Amazon chooses will get this exposure.  Those trad books NOT in the pool will still be priced higher than the indies not in the pool, making those trad books even LESS appealing.

So a reader's choice will be as follows:

(1) KU - some A-listers and all the rest indies, $9.95 a month, all inclusive.
(2) Indies not in the KU, but still priced lower than trad for most part, still in the splurge and don't think about it range of money for a lot of people and
(3) Finally, trad published who will still cost a ton more than indies and won't be in KU and will make the purchase of their books that much less likely.  I wouldn't want to be here ... not at all.

We are in complete agreement but the fact remains, Amazon is treating the traditional published titles better than they are the indies.  I would be much happier if the indies got the same deal the traditional were getting.  I'm not saying that this is bad for indies...it's far too soon to tell...but I think this is the first time that Amazon hasn't treated indies and trad as equals.  And the bottom line.  The A-lister will get a sweet, sweet deal as is always the case of the 1%.
Title: It seems to me that Kindle Unlimited would fail if...
Post by: ricola on July 18, 2014, 04:11:29 PM
...people who signed up for the free trial read a lot of traditionally published books for which Amazon is committed to giving a fair royalty rate, rather than indie titles in Select, for which Amazon will just throttle down the royalty rate with the more reads they get.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Michael_J_Sullivan on July 18, 2014, 04:13:03 PM
I'm amazed the A-listers haven't set up their own distribution.  Why on earth would Rowling give a cut to anyone in this day and age?  She should set up her own site and cut out the middle-men entirely.

Not sure if this a joke or not.  Just in case it's not.  Rowling did set up her own distribution - it's called Pottermore.  Amazon made a special one-time deal with her - none of this applies to Harry Potter books.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 18, 2014, 04:13:48 PM
Hah. Here's a fun thought: Because $10 a month is not going to EVER cover the costs of the trad pub books being read via this, all that money you're not getting paid? It's going directly to Hated Trad Pub.

Put a big smile on your face because as independent as you thought you were--you're still working for them.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Michael_J_Sullivan on July 18, 2014, 04:18:58 PM
She does have her own site: Pottermore.

But Amazon gives her A LOT of exposure, too.  I'm sure Amazon pays a TON to have her in KU.

Amazon already had a big, direct license for Harry Potter for Kindle Owner's Lending Library...I'm sure they did something similar for KU.  But Potter books are unique and really shouldn't be included as they have such a special situation due to Pottermore exclusivity.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: X. Aratare on July 18, 2014, 04:19:12 PM
We are in complete agreement but the fact remains, Amazon is treating the traditional published titles better than they are the indies.  I would be much happier if the indies got the same deal the traditional were getting.  I'm not saying that this is bad for indies...it's far too soon to tell...but I think this is the first time that Amazon hasn't treated indies and trad as equals.  And the bottom line.  The A-lister will get a sweet, sweet deal as is always the case of the 1%.

I agree as well.  I also think the "pot" idea is a bad one.  I think it will encourage shortened works that shouldn't be shortened.  I think that it will cause issues with people being able to make a living.  Ironically, or maybe not, the BEST place to be is an Amazon imprints' author. You get their marketing machine and full royalties just like an a-lister would.  I think you're also right that it may engender bad feelings which I would hate as well.

A friend of mine though said something that made me feel better all around, even though I AM an author who has the weird method of having their own serial site where readers pay a monthly fee just for my work, it's what we discovered marketing the site: books are NOT interchangeable.  They are not like widgets.  People sign up for my site NOT because there are 20k pages of work on it that they get for $9.95, but because of ONE book usually.  They read the first five chapters and they HAVE to know the rest so they shell out the money thinking that they will read that one book and cancel.  They'll get that book out of their system.  But, if you're a clever author and realize why your readers love a certain thing you'll write other things that are different yet the same.  And inevitably, these people will read another of the novels while they wait for the update on the one and they are like: OMG, I LOVE THIS NOVEL, TOO! And they read another and another ... Needless to say they realize that they are now reading all of the books and staying on for two months, three months, six months, a year or YEARS even after that one story they loved has finished long ago.

So people, remember that YOUR books are not other people's books. They are awesome in a way that no other book is.  Merely having a large selection to choose from doesn't mean they won't want your book, too.  KU will make it a little harder, but I still think it'll be good.  That's my hope anyways.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: books_mb on July 18, 2014, 04:20:12 PM
Well, I don't see that as "gaming the system". They create the rules. You would simply be operating within the rules they created. Second, I'm only thinking of books that are current works in progress. In other words, the reader can either read the next one of my works in installments as it's produced, or wait for the whole book to come out - their choice. I see it as similar to the choice between watching a series episode by episode each week on TV, or waiting for the release of the DVD Box Set. No one complains about that! I've yet to think of a con for authors. Yes, the more installments on offer, the greater the dilution of the subscription-based payout, but at least I'll get paid something for content as I write it. Something has to be better than nothing!

OK, I see your point. Not chopping up what you got, but rather release in installments = getting paid while finishing the content. The TV series analogy makes sense. "Gaming the system" might not have been the best words, but I think we can agree that the KU system rewards smaller books and might thus drive down royalty per borrow and lead to more hassle for readers. The royalty decrease itself is, if moderate, not the biggest problem. The problem I see that this system is highly unfair. Instead of getting a fixed royalty rate (70 %), your royalty rate will decrease with the price of your book. If the equal payout is 2 $, a 20 page 0.99 $ book virtually gets a 200 % royalty rate, while a 300 page 4 $ book gets 50 %. I mean, there must be a downside to flooding the market with he 0.99 $ books? I need to see the con, it's driving me mad. ;)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Michael_J_Sullivan on July 18, 2014, 04:29:30 PM
I think that's only an assumption right now (that publishers will be paid the same for KU read that they would an ebook sale), not a fact... unless you've seen the actual verbiage from a publisher on this already.

Agents have gotten letters and a Scholastic spokesperson has made a public statement.  Both are from a Publisher's Lunch (Publisher's Weekly site)
 
For Publishers whose books were added to KU without permission, like Hunger Games, "Scholastic spokesperson Kyle Good confirms to us that it is "the same situation" for Kindle Unlimited -- Amazon informed Scholastic they would be including the books in this program and "they have the right to do it" under their current contract, though there was "no new negotiated deal" specifically covering this usage. As with KOLL, Scholastic will get paid their full wholesale price every time one of their ebooks is opened by a Kindle Unlimited subscriber."

Filling in one of the unanswered questions for authors, Amazon Publishing authors will be compensated in a manner similar to that to for authors of publishers that agreed to participate. As Amazon Publishing executive Jeff Belle wrote to agents in an email, "every time a customer reads more than 10% of your author's book through Kindle Unlimited (about the size of the current free samples available for Kindle books), your author will earn their full ebook royalty rate based on the average sale price of their book for the given month."

A publisher I'm with (Adams Media) is in the KU program, and they said they are still working out the royalty details, which leads me to believe that a KU download/read will likely not be treated the same as a purchase.

Smaller publishers may not get the same as the big-publishers so yes those people at small publishers will probably be a case-by-case basis.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Alondo on July 18, 2014, 04:35:34 PM
OK, I see your point. Not chopping up what you got, but rather release in installments = getting paid while finishing the content. The TV series analogy makes sense. "Gaming the system" might not have been the best words, but I think we can agree that the KU system rewards smaller books and might thus drive down royalty per borrow and lead to more hassle for readers. The royalty decrease itself is, if moderate, not the biggest problem. The problem I see that this system is highly unfair. Instead of getting a fixed royalty rate (70 %), your royalty rate will decrease with the price of your book. If the equal payout is 2 $, a 20 page 0.99 $ book virtually gets a 200 % royalty rate, while a 300 page 4 $ book gets 50 %. I mean, there must be a downside to flooding the market with he 0.99 $ books? I need to see the con, it's driving me mad. ;)

Well again, if Amazon are designing their system in such a way that it pays to chop up my book, then why wouldn't I? Authors are always going to work within the rules of distributors. It also make it more likely I will get paid via KU because the reader has to read 10 percent, and 10 percent of 5000 words is a lot less than 10 percent of 100,000! If it's inconvenient for readers, then it's Amazon that are doing that, not me. It did also make me think of Wattpad, which chops up your book into chapter-sized bites for downloading. I've yet to hear anyone on Wattpad complain about that. The difference is that Wattpad won't pay me a penny, whereas KU will!         
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: bonbon foofoo on July 18, 2014, 04:38:22 PM
I've been obsessively reading kboards like that time I raided the AQ gate opening event for eight hours in World of Warcraft. It's time for me to move away from the internet and go write or something.  ???  ;D
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Kassidia on July 18, 2014, 04:39:28 PM
heres some ideas:

1: set up a squarespace account. They have inbuilt commerce ability that allows you to sell digital downloads for instant delivery. Buyer gets a email link. You can set up a payment account with stripe and get paid after 7 days.
2: Squarespace offers coupons. Give your newsletter subscribers a 30 percent coupon off the RRP of your books. That is basically the retailer cut so you make the same cash. You could do 25 percent or whatever, but by doing it with coupons you can keep your RRP the same as Amazons and avoid price matching woes to give yourself a competitive edge.
3: Retail your paper books on your website and offer a bundle with the ebook included. 
That way you incentivise your fans to subscribe to your mailing list by giving them money off your retailer, ensure your own direct sales are the cheapest channel.

Of course its a PITA to side load your ebooks but then the advantages are that Amazon can't delete them and 25-30 percent off might be enough incentive to at least get your core readership to go direct.

I've had very good results selling digital products directly, including some ebooks, via GumRoad.  https://gumroad.com/
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: 3rotic on July 18, 2014, 04:42:06 PM
Hah. Here's a fun thought: Because $10 a month is not going to EVER cover the costs of the trad pub books being read via this, all that money you're not getting paid? It's going directly to Hated Trad Pub.

Put a big smile on your face because as independent as you thought you were--you're still working for them.

Dude, I'm just so glad that Vaal knows exactly what's going on behind the scenes. It's comforting to know that Amazon execs have invited him into the fold and explained their whole set-up so that he can come here and let us know just how badly we're about to get shafted. Thank goodness that he's got the facts and he isn't just speculating based on his rather strong opinions.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Elizabeth Ann West on July 18, 2014, 04:44:48 PM
Show of hands, am I the only one who feels like she stepped into a time machine to read posts from 2011 when KDP Select originally rolled out?

You know, I'm sorry to say this but everyone has the same opportunity where it comes to publishing through Amazon, not a guarantee of the same results. Of course publishing companies with established track records and large libraries and back lists are going to get different treatment than me, Elizabeth Ann West, author/publisher with a novel, essay, and novella to her name and a thousand ghost-written articles. You don't get to just pick up a violin one day and demand a sold out performance at Carnegie Hall either.

When I was newer at this stuff, I ate all that rhetoric up. I was always posting and ranting and saying "it's not fair!" At the end of the day it's about just a few things. Write a good story, get it into the hands of as many readers as you can, and repeat. It takes time to be in the big leagues and in many professions, there isn't even a way in from the bottom for someone who just wakes up one day and decides they want to try. Amazon has already democratized the process of publishing and book sales so much, and we still get mad at them because they want to make money doing so. Well, don't we all?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: books_mb on July 18, 2014, 04:45:11 PM
Well again, if Amazon are designing their system in such a way that it pays to chop up my book, then why wouldn't I? Authors are always going to work within the rules of distributors. It also make it more likely I will get paid via KU because the reader has to read 10 percent, and 10 percent of 5000 words is a lot less than 10 percent of 100,000! If it's inconvenient for readers, then it's Amazon that are doing that, not me. It did also make me think of Wattpad, which chops up your book into chapter-sized bites for downloading. I've yet to hear anyone on Wattpad complain about that. The difference is that Wattpad won't pay me a penny, whereas KU will!

Don't worry, my aim wasn't to criticize you. Amazon puts the system in place and if the system rewards smaller books, you can't really blame any author for going along. I'm personally not worried since I've been going for low price / high volume from the beginning. 1 $ per borrow would hurt (assuming KU is a success), but I could make it work. I'm more worried about the big picture. Chopped up books, mini book flood, ... not so sure if that's a good future. But if it happens, it's Amazon's doing.

I'll keep hunting for that con. Maybe I (we) overlooked something.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 18, 2014, 04:45:46 PM
Has insider knowledge/knows basic math. Tomato, tomahto.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Rykymus on July 18, 2014, 04:48:22 PM
"author will earn their full ebook royalty rate based on the average sale price of their book for the given month"

That's what should be of concern. Does that mean the rate is based on the sale price? (As in 70% vs 35%) or does it mean we'll get, for example, 70% of $2.99, per usual? It isn't exactly clear.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: books_mb on July 18, 2014, 04:52:02 PM
When I was newer at this stuff, I ate all that rhetoric up. I was always posting and ranting and saying "it's not fair!" At the end of the day it's about just a few things. Write a good story, get it into the hands of as many readers as you can, and repeat. It takes time to be in the big leagues and in many professions, there isn't even a way in from the bottom for someone who just wakes up one day and decides they want to try. Amazon has already democratized the process of publishing and book sales so much, and we still get mad at them because they want to make money doing so. Well, don't we all?

They could give Stephen King ten golden bathtubs for every sale for all I care. Stephen King's bank account (or bathroom) is not my priority. In the end what counts is that indies get a fair royalty rate. This might be a problem with KU (price-dependent royalty rate), but let's see how it plays out.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: ricola on July 18, 2014, 04:53:40 PM
"author will earn their full ebook royalty rate based on the average sale price of their book for the given month"

That's what should be of concern. Does that mean the rate is based on the sale price? (As in 70% vs 35%) or does it mean we'll get, for example, 70% of $2.99, per usual? It isn't exactly clear.

That's only for Amazon-published writers and those with special contracts.  Not for indies.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Michael_J_Sullivan on July 18, 2014, 04:56:10 PM
"author will earn their full ebook royalty rate based on the average sale price of their book for the given month"

That's what should be of concern. Does that mean the rate is based on the sale price? (As in 70% vs 35%) or does it mean we'll get, for example, 70% of $2.99, per usual? It isn't exactly clear.

I believe all your books are self-published right?  So you will be paid on % of KOLL.  It's only the traditional published authors (including Amazon imprints) that get paid based on sales price.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: X. Aratare on July 18, 2014, 04:56:43 PM
"author will earn their full ebook royalty rate based on the average sale price of their book for the given month"

That's what should be of concern. Does that mean the rate is based on the sale price? (As in 70% vs 35%) or does it mean we'll get, for example, 70% of $2.99, per usual? It isn't exactly clear.

VM already clarified this partially, but you, as an indie, will get a portion of the pot, which stands at $2M this month.  Basically what you get will be determined by the size of the pot (which Amazon determines) divided by how many books are read beyond 10%. It is NOT based on your list price at all.

So you could get more than you would under your list price depending on the size of the pot and number of reads or you could get LESS. It's all unsure.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 18, 2014, 05:01:29 PM
No seriously check this out:

It's been confirmed that the Hunger Games at least gets their proper royalty on a borrow/KU open.

Let's pretend the Hunger Games was actually reasonably priced at 8.99 and got the same 70% indies currently do. That's 6.18 cents after the 'deliver fee'. I know this because I have a book at that price.

It only takes two borrows/opens to max and then exceed the $10/month price and there are three of those books, so on the Hunger Games, Amazon loses... ((6.18 x 2)x3 - 9.99 = 27.09 dollars per month on the series for every fan.

Let's say a mere .1% of the projected current Prime user base switches to KU and want to read the Hunger Games Trilogy one month. That's 1000 people costing Amazon $27,090 a month even accounting for their KU subscription payments.

In order to break even on the Hunger Games trilogy, the need to 2709 people to subscribe... and read nothing.

As said before, there's not special push to sell other products through the KU system. It apparently isn't a loss-leader or a content draw. So where is that money going to come from?

Well, what if we attract readers who read indie books... and then just pay the indies a tiny, tiny amount then use the profits from that to pay for the Hunger Games books? And we'll tell the indies that we did this because we have faith in how awesome they are because they keep saying they're awesome to themselves anyway. God bless confirmation bias!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Mercia McMahon on July 18, 2014, 05:05:15 PM
I've been busy getting a book ready for coming off pre-order but skimmed the merged thread so hopefully I'm not repeating what's been said earlier.

It seems to me that Scribd have forced Amazon's hand. One of the main benefit of Select to the successful is KOLL, but Scribd offers a way to be earning good library income without being exclusive, so Amazon had to set up KU.

The problem is that while KU's initial offering is dominated by indies via KOLL, Scribd has been very trad focused (but now allowing indies in via aggregators). As a reader I know which I would prefer and as a Scribd user I rarely read any indie stuff. Add to that if you can recruit one non-member to take a trial each month you get Scribd for free.

The problem for Amazon is that they tried and failed to get big publishers into KOLL in its early days so will they be more successful now. Obviously it does not harm the publishers to be on as many services as possible but they might find the environment more to their liking at Scribd and Oyster.

Unless you price books above $3.99 you are not really earning any more from Scribd's 60% than the Select fund. I had a borrow on a $4.99 book at Scribd and that fetched me $2.99 - originally that book was scheduled to go in Select where a borrow would have fetched about $2.10.

Like a lot of people I will be trying Select to see how this works but staying wide on other things, which brings me back to where I started. Subscription services were in danger of ruining Select's biggest encouragement to stay in it long term (KOLL) so Amazon had to act.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Bluehorseshoe on July 18, 2014, 05:11:37 PM
my permafree here is absolutely dead, and so is my US sales. Coincidence? I think not.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: drno on July 18, 2014, 05:16:14 PM
I've read through all the posts and see that some indies are scared about what will happen to their income.

BOOM TIMES FOR INDIES!!!!

Amazon gave us some of the cake that the big publishers, bookstores and million selling writers were dividing among themselves by creating KDP for indies and giving us the chance to write and sell our books on Amazon.com. Guys, Amazon is now creating a new library system so that the more than a hundred million library visitors who never get to read our books because the libraries and the big publishers and the million selling writers are keeping us out of the libraries get a chance to read our books. Amazon is going after the 10 billion a year library industry and I support them for selfish reasons.

NONE OF OUR BOOKS ARE ALLOWED IN LIBRARIES.

That's where the readers are! That's where the money is!!! What gives them the right to discriminate against us? I have readers. They like my books better than Stephen King's and James Patterson's books. Why are they sharing the 10 billion dollar library budget and I have to get day jobs to make ends meet?

Read this webpage (America Library Association) and tell me if getting these library readers onto Kindle Unlimited will double or triple your income or not: http://www.ala.org/tools/libfactsheets/alalibraryfactsheet06

There were 171,121,000 registered borrowers

There were 1.53 billion in-person visits to public libraries, the equivalent to more than 4.2 million visits each day (not including virtual visits).

Total visits to libraries    1,525,316,000   5.1 visits per capita

Total library circulation   2,440,743,000   8.1 items per capita

Circulation of children's materials 841,208,000 34.5% of total circulation

It's a 10 billion dollar industry that is not allowing any indie writers access to their customers. Why not? Why are millions going to Stephen King and James Patterson and not to us? My books are just as good as theirs! Amazon is building a new library system and if we can move tens of millions of "old library" readers to Kindle Unlimited, we will be able to double, triple our money! I need this to happen so I can make a living as a writer. I want this!!

BOOM TIMES!!!

We must make this Kindle Unlimited thing works. For our sake as indie writers. Most of us indie writers here on KBoards will probably be able to make a living as writers if we can get these 170 million "old library" readers into Kindle Unlimited.

BOOM TIMES FOR INDIES!!!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jash on July 18, 2014, 05:21:46 PM
BOOM TIMES FOR INDIES!!!

I don't actually agree with your assessment but have to give you props for actually using real numbers rather than just making them up which seems to be the fashion these days!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 18, 2014, 05:24:43 PM
KU is not a library, no matter how many times you say it.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jnassise on July 18, 2014, 05:29:27 PM
Drno - I dont pay $10/month for my library card.  Libraries and KU are not equivalent. Your argument falls apart after that.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jan Strnad on July 18, 2014, 05:38:43 PM
My (selfishly petty) hope:

KU will be swamped by 99-centers, novellas, porn rags, serials that may or may not be serials, get-rich-quick scammers, all hoping for a disproportional share of the fund.
Bezos worshipers, contract-bound authors, and vanity publishers will keep their books in KU to get 30 cents. Only Stephen King and Rowling sells.
Authors of longer titles will go "pffft, bite me" and stay out of Select
Readers will be disgusted by the selection and drop their subscription to go in search of full-length books
The end.
 :D :D :D :D

You may be halfway-kidding, but this is exactly the scenario with the program as structured.

The KU program is basic cable with porn. For a lot of people, that's more than enough!

But some people are still going to want premium content. Amazon can't afford to buy all of the premium content, so it will buy just enough to motivate people to keep their KU subscriptions alive. Just as NetFlix, Hulu Plus, Amazon and other streaming providers compete for premium content... just as no one has it all... just as no one can afford to have it all and keep the price of their service attractive... no book subscription service can afford to give a sweetheart deal to every A-list author.

Amazon's business model guarantees a lowering of quality overall. Yes, an indie book might be good, but the reader will have to download eighteen "books" as a serial to get it, because publishing a complete, long book in KU doesn't make economic sense to authors. It's not going to be worth the time to spend months writing and crafting an excellent product when quantity becomes the only game in town.

Basically, Amazon is creating a ghetto with a few high-roller tenants to give the neighborhood class.

I like the idea of writing shorter works for KU for the sole purpose of leading people to your full-length books. Without the promo that comes with an Amazon publishing contract, though, I can't see making full-length works exclusive to Amazon. Simply being one of a million books available for "free" isn't the same as being prominent and discoverable.

I think of the question posted earlier about (pardon my paraphrasing), "What if someone sees your horror book next to Stephen King's--which would they choose?" That scenario is a w-t dream. Nobody is going to see your horror novel next to Stephen King's! (I tried, publishing my horror novel Risen under the pseudonym "J. Knight" so it would be on store shelves between Stephen King and Dean Koontz--didn't work!) People are going to see Stephen King's book and never even know that your horror novel exists without discoverability.

Discoverability is what places like Bookbub give us now. If Bookbub doesn't approve you, there are still other outlets: ENT, POI, Fussy Librarian, BookSends, etc. etc. KU doesn't do anything to improve your discoverability, which means you are still sitting under a bush by the side of the road wrapped in a cloak of invisibility while Stephen King is dancing naked in the middle of the road shooting fireworks out his a--.

The more I think about KU, the more I think of the phrase from the movie War Games: The only way to win, is not to play.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Michael_J_Sullivan on July 18, 2014, 05:41:27 PM
my permafree here is absolutely dead, and so is my US sales. Coincidence? I think not.

Sales are definitely down...I'm sure people are busy stocking up on unlimited titles.  A quick look shows a book that usually sells 75 - 110 copies a day is at 30 for today.  My perma-free books are down - but the daily sales aren't significant enough to really say.  Usually 8 - 25 units a day and is at 7 right now.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jan Strnad on July 18, 2014, 05:45:15 PM
I've read through all the posts and see that some indies are scared about what will happen to their income.

BOOM TIMES FOR INDIES!!!!

Amazon gave us some of the cake that the big publishers, bookstores and million selling writers were dividing among themselves by creating KDP for indies and giving us the chance to write and sell our books on Amazon.com. Guys, Amazon is now creating a new library system so that the more than a hundred million library visitors who never get to read our books because the libraries and the big publishers and the million selling writers are keeping us out of the libraries get a chance to read our books. Amazon is going after the 10 billion a year library industry and I support them for selfish reasons.

NONE OF OUR BOOKS ARE ALLOWED IN LIBRARIES.

That's where the readers are! That's where the money is!!! What gives them the right to discriminate against us? I have readers. They like my books better than Stephen King's and James Patterson's books. Why are they sharing the 10 billion dollar library budget and I have to get day jobs to make ends meet?

Read this webpage (America Library Association) and tell me if getting these library readers onto Kindle Unlimited will double or triple your income or not: http://www.ala.org/tools/libfactsheets/alalibraryfactsheet06

There were 171,121,000 registered borrowers

There were 1.53 billion in-person visits to public libraries, the equivalent to more than 4.2 million visits each day (not including virtual visits).

Total visits to libraries    1,525,316,000   5.1 visits per capita

Total library circulation   2,440,743,000   8.1 items per capita

Circulation of children's materials 841,208,000 34.5% of total circulation

It's a 10 billion dollar industry that is not allowing any indie writers access to their customers. Why not? Why are millions going to Stephen King and James Patterson and not to us? My books are just as good as theirs! Amazon is building a new library system and if we can move tens of millions of "old library" readers to Kindle Unlimited, we will be able to double, triple our money! I need this to happen so I can make a living as a writer. I want this!!

BOOM TIMES!!!

We must make this Kindle Unlimited thing works. For our sake as indie writers. Most of us indie writers here on KBoards will probably be able to make a living as writers if we can get these 170 million "old library" readers into Kindle Unlimited.

BOOM TIMES FOR INDIES!!!

Pardon my mental density, but can you explain please how 170 million people reading my books for free puts a nickel in my pocket?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: 3rotic on July 18, 2014, 05:53:42 PM
Pardon my mental density, but can you explain please how 170 million people reading my books for free puts a nickel in my pocket?

Street cred?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jash on July 18, 2014, 05:55:29 PM
I like the idea of writing shorter works for KU for the sole purpose of leading people to your full-length books. Without the promo that comes with an Amazon publishing contract, though, I can't see making full-length works exclusive to Amazon. Simply being one of a million books available for "free" isn't the same as being prominent and discoverable.

You're talking as if these books are exclusive to KU, not Amazon in general. People can and will still buy these books. Borrows and sales both contribute to the same pool of discoverability. It isn't either/or. I already use Amazon exclusively on some titles. It's a financial decision that works for me and I don't expect it to work for everyone. I'm not about to cut a novel into twenty chapters to try and get a slightly bigger slice of the Select pie at the risk of damaging my sales in the store proper which I assume are going to continue representing the bulk of my sales.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Silly Writer on July 18, 2014, 06:00:06 PM
Wonder why no one is talking about BookBub?

Let's say I had an ad booked for next week. I've had a BookBub before (May) and they link their email to my Amazon buy page, but tomorrow, or next week...BookBub gets NADA, because the buyer sees my book is now in KU, so they'll just get it from there. If WE don't get paid until 10% is read, I'm sure BookBub gets NOTHING for driving traffic to KU. So how long before they, and ENT, POI, BookSends, etc., realize this and stop accepting anyone who's in Select?

Ummm, if you had an ad booked and you're now in KU Purgatory, awaiting answers... You might want to check with BB or whomever to see if they're still running your book. Possibly nothing in it for them. So why would they?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Bluehorseshoe on July 18, 2014, 06:01:46 PM
michael sullivan,

Yes, my ratios are just about the same. maybe once the shiny coat of paint wears off things will get back to normal... i hae been looking in my keywords and have actually seen a move out of select on certain titles. I know i just made sure that all mine were pulled. for now i will wait and see how it plays out.

Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Philip Gibson on July 18, 2014, 06:09:56 PM
Oh, dear. I haven't read the entire thread and all this is most puzzling to this bear of little brain.

Puzzling to me also has been the number of times when my books have been priced at $0.99 and readers have used their single Prime option to 'borrow' them resulting in me receiving $2.10 for my $0.99 book. That has happened many times.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding stuff, but does this new program mean that authors with lots of very short works (like<40 pages) priced at $0.99, will be receiving around $2 for each copy borrowed?

If so, it seems most odd and financially unsustainable for Amazon. It would seem more logical that Amazon would have some kind of sliding scale to determine how much authors get for each borrow based on list price/book length, etc.


Philip
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Sarah M on July 18, 2014, 06:11:19 PM
My theory on what's going to happen:

1. A huge number of people are going to rush for the announcement and free trial.  Paid sales across the whole platform are going to drop.

2. After the 30 days are up, a large portion of those who signed up will cancel their subscription because they either like getting something for free or they realize they're never going to use the service. Paid sales will continue to be lower because of the summer/start of school/Amazon is EVIL and being mean to Hatchette publicity, etc.

3. By 60 days, the number of subscribers will be a good snapshot of the average numbers of subscribers. The number of borrows will begin to stabilize as well as the drop in sales. Sales may actually pick up.

4. At 90 days there may be an uptick because I think that's when Amazon does their Prime pushing for the Christmas season but it won't be anything like the initial rollout. Sales won't be affected but borrows may increase. This would be a good time to assess the worth of the program for self-publishers and if it's something authors should continue participating. Why? Because I'm betting this also around the time negotiations with Hatchette and S&S will be finalized and they will include more trad publishing titles.

And then I don't know what's going to happen. My armchair speculation goes only so far.   ;)   
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Victorine on July 18, 2014, 06:15:35 PM
Wonder why no one is talking about BookBub?

Let's say I had an ad booked for next week. I've had a BookBub before (May) and they link their email to my Amazon buy page, but tomorrow, or next week...BookBub gets NADA, because the buyer sees my book is now in KU, so they'll just get it from there. If WE don't get paid until 10% is read, I'm sure BookBub gets NOTHING for driving traffic to KU. So how long before they, and ENT, POI, BookSends, etc., realize this and stop accepting anyone who's in Select?

Ummm, if you had an ad booked and you're now in KU Purgatory, awaiting answers... You might want to check with BB or whomever to see if they're still running your book. Possibly nothing in it for them. So why would they?

Isn't one of the qualifications for Bookbub to be on more than one sales channel? I think they already discourage Select.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 18, 2014, 06:15:43 PM
model guarantees a lowering of quality overall. Yes, an indie book might be good, but the reader will have to download eighteen "books" as a serial to get it, because publishing a complete, long book in KU doesn't make economic sense to authors. It's not going to be worth the time to spend months writing and crafting an excellent product when quantity becomes the only game in town.

I'm writing a series and putting as much effort I can into making it an excellent product. I'll be shooting for a monthly release with a hope for a gradual ramp-up to 2x a month as long as I can maintain the quality to my liking. Quantity with quality can be achieved. I reject your idea that writers like me are sacrificing quality for speed.

Quote
Discoverability is what places like Bookbub give us now. If Bookbub doesn't approve you, there are still other outlets: ENT, POI, Fussy Librarian, BookSends, etc. etc. KU doesn't do anything to improve your discoverability, which means you are still sitting under a bush by the side of the road wrapped in a cloak of invisibility while Stephen King is dancing naked in the middle of the road shooting fireworks out his a--.

Boobbub is useless for writers starting out, who either don't have the reviews needed or can afford the costs of a Bookbub ad. KU would appear to be a means to get your work in front of the eyes of subscribers, and if they download your work and read a sample's worth of it, you get paid. Not a lot, but more than if the work was permafree. I expect Amazon will promote KU with at least a monthly newsletter much as they already do Kindle Worlds and the KDP program. And if they don't, someone will find a way to promote KU.

As a writer planning to self-publish works starting this fall, I'm seeing no reason not to give KU a try. At worst, it costs 3 months of exclusivity for whatever titles I put into it.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Silly Writer on July 18, 2014, 06:16:55 PM
Oh, dear. I haven't read the entire thread and all this is most puzzling to this bear of little brain.

Puzzling to me also has been the number of times when my books have been priced at $0.99 and readers have used their single Prime option to 'borrow' them resulting in me receiving $2.10 for my $0.99 book. That has happened many times.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding stuff, but does this new program mean that authors with lots of very short works (like<40 pages) priced at $0.99, will be receiving around $2 for each copy borrowed?

If so, it seems most odd. It would seem more logical that Amazon would have some kind of sliding scale to determine how much authors get for each borrow based on list price/book length, etc.


Philip

Phillip,
The TL/DNR version for you: If all you have are .99 shorts and you're in Select, you just hit the jackpot IF they keep the rate around the typical KOLL rate of $2. The big unknown is how could they do that and still make money (Amazon). The answer is they can't. So we're all waiting for the other shoe to drop. (i.e. the pay out to settle down around .50-$1.00 USD). No one knows. It's all speculation at this point.
Welcome to The Twilight Zone, where nothing is as it seems.
 8)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Silly Writer on July 18, 2014, 06:18:36 PM
Isn't one of the qualifications for Bookbub to be on more than one sales channel? I think they already discourage Select.

No. They ran my book in May. I'm in Select.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 18, 2014, 06:34:19 PM
The big unknown is how could they do that and still make money (Amazon). The answer is they can't. So we're all waiting for the other shoe to drop. (i.e. the pay out to settle down around .50-$1.00 USD). No one knows.

Could you go into more detail on this thinking? This is Amazon we're talking about; a multibillion dollar corporation. For at least the last year (I don't remember how long--I've only been looking the last year or so) they've placed approx. $1M a month into the KDP Select money pool for borrows. For this month, they increased the fund to $2M. That's like a miniscule fraction of their monthly in-flow. No matter how many subscribers they get or don't get to KU, it'll be chicken scratch compared to the income they're getting off all the other products they sell. Affording to contribute to the lending pool is a non-issue for them, as near as I can guess.

All speculation, of course.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Philip Gibson on July 18, 2014, 06:40:11 PM
The 'having to have read 10% of the book before authors get paid' part of the deal is interesting.

Won't this be the first time that we can get an accurate idea of how many/what percentage of readers who have the book on their TBR list actually start reading after they get the book?


Philip
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Geoff Jones on July 18, 2014, 06:41:50 PM
What happens if your book is downloaded, you leave KDP Select, and then months later, the reader finally gets around to reading the first 10%. Do you still get paid?

(Apologies if this has already been discussed.)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 18, 2014, 06:45:09 PM
What happens if your book is downloaded, you leave KDP Select, and then months later, the reader finally gets around to reading the first 10%. Do you still get paid?

(Apologies if this has already been discussed.)

It's covered in the help topics (https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=AI3QMVN4FMTXJ).

Quote
It may take months for a customer to read more than 10% your book, but no matter how long it takes, you'll still be paid once it happens. This is true even if your KDP Select enrollment period has lapsed, and you chose not to re-enroll.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 18, 2014, 06:47:36 PM
The 'having to have read 10% of the book before authors get paid' part of the deal is interesting.

Won't this be the first time that we can get an accurate idea of how many/what percentage of readers who have the book on their TBR list actually start reading after they get the book?

Sounds like (https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=AI3QMVN4FMTXJ) there'll be some metrics. Not sure how useful.

Quote
Reporting
You'll see the total number of times customers have read more than 10% of your book in Kindle Unlimited, or downloaded your book for the first time from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library, listed by marketplace. You'll only see the first time a Kindle Unlimited customer reads past 10%, or a KOLL customer downloads your book. There won't be separate listings for each type.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Mercia McMahon on July 18, 2014, 06:47:54 PM
For this month, they increased the fund to $2M.

Amazon has a massive turnover but very little profit. It they spent $25M next year on the fund it might be 10% of their profits going by what they made in the last financial year. Bezos is under huge pressure from investors to stop empire building and begin profit taking.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 18, 2014, 06:56:01 PM
Amazon has a massive turnover but very little profit. It they spent $25M next year on the fund it might be 10% of their profits going by what they made in the last financial year. Bezos is under huge pressure from investors to stop empire building and begin profit taking.

People seem to think they have infinite money just because the company is worth billions. I tihnk it's because when a person is 'worth' X, that means they generally have x. While a company's worth is how much another company would have to pay to buy them.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: dmac on July 18, 2014, 06:59:55 PM
One thing to keep in mind:

The book (product) still has to sale itself to the consumer. Even if reading now no longer costs them as much as it once did, it still requires the investment of time, and not many people have time to waste on books with lousy covers, lousy blurbs, and lousy sample chapters.

If your book did not sell before KU, it is highly doubtful it will sell now with KU. What makes the reader skip your book without even giving it a second thought before KU, will still make them skip your book without a second thought now with KU.

The cream, I believe, will still rise to the top even with this buffet style Brave New World.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Rykymus on July 18, 2014, 07:16:59 PM
I doesn't matter if cream rises to the top, if the producer of that cream ain't getting paid squat.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 18, 2014, 07:22:59 PM
I doesn't matter if cream rises to the top, if the producer of that cream ain't getting paid squat.

Haha, tell that to the folks using permafree as a tactic. :D
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: DreamWeaver on July 18, 2014, 07:24:12 PM
My husband just enrolled one of his books in KDP Select/Kindle Unlimited/Prime KOLL.

I like that Kindle Unlimited books can be read on a phone, tablet, or computer with the free Kindle Reading apps as well as Kindle devices. With Prime's Kindle Owners' Lending Library, the once-a-month borrows can be read only on a Kindle device.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Rykymus on July 18, 2014, 07:25:31 PM
Although I don't usually pay much heed to these panic-style threads, this one has me scratching my head.

I make around $3k/month on borrows, which represents about 10% of my monthly sales income. (On average, I make $2.19 per borrow.) If gobs of readers sign up for KU and I suddenly see a drop in sales, AND the amount I get paid for KU reads is significantly less, that's a big hit. I can afford the hit, but it hurts nonetheless. More importantly, the idea that Amazon can yank my world around at will does not sit well. I have never been a fan of subscription based services, especially when I never signed up to be a vendor for such a service.

So I have to wonder. At some point in time, I expected to pull everything out of Select and start distributing through the other channels. With the opportunity to yank everything out immediately available for a limited time, perhaps I should avail myself of it and watch from the sidelines rather than risk sales. After all, I use none of the marketing gimmes that Select offers, as none of them (including the Kindle Daily Deal, incidentally) do any more for my sales than my mailing list does for a new release. If I pull them out now, I can always put them back later when more details are known about KU.

Or, I could leave book 1 in and pull the other 10 in the series.

What to do. What to do.

Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Chrisbwritin on July 18, 2014, 07:26:21 PM
Still not sure what's going to happen long term but I will add my name to the list of people whose sales are down 60-75% for the day (they have a normal ebb and flow over the course of each week, hence the wide range there, but there is no question that it's out of the norm. I haven't sold so few books on Amazon since my first week self-publishing).
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Σ on July 18, 2014, 07:33:26 PM

[...]

What to do. What to do.


I'd do which ever has the highest expected value. Kinda hard to calculate, but if you take as a lower bound .50 per borrow over a period of 90 days, you can get a rough idea. It would be around 1/4 your income for that 90 day period, vs no real upper bound. No one knows the probabilities though.

This is ignoring the bestseller effect (indies not selling due to everyone with a free trial reading expensive bestsellers instead), but that's gonna happen in either case
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: adanlerma on July 18, 2014, 07:35:15 PM
Thanks for your kind and understanding reply. I will google oyster and scribd and see if they will let me put my work there.

Splitting one of my books into 26 parts was a bit of a joke, but seriously, I am in the middle of writing a new book now, so it occurred to me that I could effectively get "paid as I work" by releasing content on Select/Kindle Unlimited as it's written in say, 5000-word installments, and then depending on how it did, I could always remove them from Select at a later date and then release the complete book across all platforms.

Can you see any cons with that plan?   

Your welcome Alondo. If you want to try Scribd & Oyster you need to go through a distributor, like Smashwords or D2D ( Draft2Digital ). Talk to both, see which you like.

Re your plan - many times I wish I had more of one :-) it has worked for a lot of writers over time, like Charles Dickens etc; as someone pointed out earlier in the thread, each serial installment needs an arc, and probably a hook for the next book. Sure combine it all later, why not? :-)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: MJWare on July 18, 2014, 07:39:13 PM
I make around $3k/month on borrows, which represents about 10% of my monthly sales income.
Wowzer!

I agree that if the pay per read falls (in the long run), we'll all be loosing out. In order for them to get away with doing that they'd have to be the only game in town.

For now, I have a book that sells well on Amazon, but only sells 5-15 copies everywhere else--I'm probably going to enroll it.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: JETaylor on July 18, 2014, 07:51:27 PM
When I was in Select my borrows were minimal. I decided to put Fallen in since it's a prequel to my Games Trilogy.

Amazon is still my money making venue - but I'm starting to see some traction on iTunes and B&N - which I really don't want to lose that momentum. But I'll make some determination on how this does.  I have another short story that's next on my to do list, so maybe I'll try that in Select once I get that out in the fall.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Belle89 on July 18, 2014, 07:56:14 PM
You know I got an email this morning from Amazon saying I needed to remove my book from Ibooks. I was confused until I went on my page and noticed the KindleUnlimited logo. Now I was thinking the exposure would be worth getting paid pennies but then I realized my book would be available to just as many people on Ibooks. So I guess I'll just let them take my book out the program.

I don't even know how they expected me to react to this when no one can explain how it would benefit me.

Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Philip Gibson on July 18, 2014, 08:00:31 PM
Wonder if the people at Amazon who are implementing this program are following this thread.

Somebody knows.

Philip
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Perry Constantine on July 18, 2014, 08:14:01 PM
I was experimenting with Select and have already scheduled ads and promotions for the end of the month. If not for that, I would remove my stuff from Select immediately. I hope this KU thing crashes and burns.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: wtvr on July 18, 2014, 08:15:54 PM
Wonder if the people at Amazon who are implementing this program are following this thread.

Somebody knows.

Oh yeah, somebody's probably following it, and they're probably not really super impressed with the combined business acumen that's being displayed here.

There have been a few voices of reason on here, but only a few. I'm just going to do my thing, start a new series strategically designed to take advantage of the opening market, and wait and see what happens. They've got 15 years of market research, global reach, and infinitely deep pockets to do whatever the hell they damn well please. Please and thank you, pass the pudding.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 18, 2014, 08:19:05 PM
Oh yeah, somebody's probably following it, and they're probably not really super impressed with the combined business acumen that's being displayed here.

There have been a few voices of reason on here, but only a few. I'm just going to do my thing, start a new series strategically designed to take advantage of the opening market, and wait and see what happens. They've got 15 years of market research, global reach, and infinitely deep pockets to do whatever the hell they d*mn well please. Please and thank you, pass the pudding.

(http://www.reactiongifs.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/well_done_sir.gif)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Marian on July 18, 2014, 08:20:43 PM
Wonder if the people at Amazon who are implementing this program are following this thread.

Philip

Of course they are.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Rykymus on July 18, 2014, 08:23:54 PM
Tell you one thing...My KDP rep is conveniently out of the office for a few days.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Belle89 on July 18, 2014, 08:24:10 PM
I just want a solid answer in terms of royalties so I can weigh my options and make the right decision. I don't think that's unreasonable.

Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Marian on July 18, 2014, 08:30:27 PM
The more I think about KU, the more I think of the phrase from the movie War Games: The only way to win, is not to play.


This
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 18, 2014, 08:31:44 PM
I just want a solid answer in terms of royalties so I can weigh my options and make the right decision. I don't think that's unreasonable.


I don't think anyone will know until the first month of KU is complete and Amazon starts submitting payments. We know the amount of the pool, but no idea how many participants and borrows will split the pool.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Mike_Author on July 18, 2014, 08:35:50 PM
Wowzer!

I agree that if the pay per read falls (in the long run), we'll all be loosing out. In order for them to get away with doing that they'd have to be the only game in town.

For now, I have a book that sells well on Amazon, but only sells 5-15 copies everywhere else--I'm probably going to enroll it.

$30k per month???  Are you Stephen King??? (j/k)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Mike_Author on July 18, 2014, 08:37:02 PM
BTW, today has been my worst day for sales in about 6 months.  I really, really hope that this is a coincidence and not a harbinger of things to come...
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Belle89 on July 18, 2014, 08:41:34 PM
I don't think anyone will know until the first month of KU is complete and Amazon starts submitting payments. We know the amount of the pool, but no idea how many participants and borrows will split the pool.

Well I'll wait and then make a choice. I just don't want to pull my book from other places and then regret it. This is making me a bit nervous honestly LOL.


Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: dianasg on July 18, 2014, 08:44:34 PM
Wow. I've read most of this thread, and agree with Elizabeth Anne West, ElHawk, and others who have said: the sky is not falling.

One point: Someone mentioned upthread that KU will be most detrimental to authors writing high-volume genres like romance, YA, and NA.

I just want to point out that these authors don't need or want to deal with Select. Romance readers at B&N, Apple, ARe, and others are generally pretty good to them -- and just as voracious. My guess is that newly released, quality romance is going to be hard to find in KU. At best, romance readers like myself will be able to get some good (old) backlist stuff, novellas, serials, and other teasers.

We might enjoy reading that stuff -- but we also will still buy the books we want, by authors who have delivered in the past.

So pretty much like Netflix, which is mostly old/B movies, with some good stuff mixed in. I really think KU will be just another tool like free -- it's not going to destroy us all. And if you haven't been - and don't plan on - going ALL in with in select, then you're probably on the right track for long term success.

It's just another strategy. So everyone lower your guns! Ready?? On the count of three...
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Bluehorseshoe on July 18, 2014, 08:46:07 PM
mike, its not a coincidence, many many many people are in the same boat right now. myself included. buyers are being funneled elsewhere with this program. need to give them time to chomp through and come back home, or not.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Rykymus on July 18, 2014, 08:49:48 PM
And how are we going to know what we're being paid per KOLL borrow vs KU read? They're going to lump the payments into one report, not breaking them down individually.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 18, 2014, 08:54:51 PM
And how are we going to know what we're being paid per KOLL borrow vs KU read? They're going to lump the payments into one report, not breaking them down individually.

I've been thinking about that and where I'm getting hung up is on whether it matters if we know whether a reader is getting the borrow from KU vs KOLL. They're coming out of the same payment pool at the same royalty rate. Select members get one borrow a month; KU members get as many as they want. I don't know if authors knowing whether their royalties are coming from KOLL or KU really matters. I imagine it matters to Amazon so that they can evaluate the two programs, but for us on the end of the chain, does it matter whether the same $2 (or whatever) is coming from a KU borrow vs a KOLL borrow?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: dmac on July 18, 2014, 08:55:34 PM
I doesn't matter if cream rises to the top, if the producer of that cream ain't getting paid squat.

Good grief. It has not even been a full day yet. Put the gun down and step back slowly.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: SB James on July 18, 2014, 09:01:46 PM
Wow. I've read most of this thread, and agree with Elizabeth Anne West, ElHawk, and others who have said: the sky is not falling.

One point: Someone mentioned upthread that KU will be most detrimental to authors writing high-volume genres like romance, YA, and NA.

I just want to point out that these authors don't need or want to deal with Select. Romance readers at B&N, Apple, ARe, and others are generally pretty good to them -- and just as voracious. My guess is that newly released, quality romance is going to be hard to find in KU. At best, romance readers like myself will be able to get some good (old) backlist stuff, novellas, serials, and other teasers.

We might enjoy reading that stuff -- but we also will still buy the books we want, by authors who have delivered in the past.

So pretty much like Netflix, which is mostly old/B movies, with some good stuff mixed in. I really think KU will be just another tool like free -- it's not going to destroy us all. And if you haven't been - and don't plan on - going ALL in with in select, then you're probably on the right track for long term success.

It's just another strategy. So everyone lower your guns! Ready?? On the count of three...
My feelings are pretty similar to this.
I've got the one book still left in Select. I will see what happens with it this month. Still 95% sure I'm pulling it out of Select after mid August. I don't get a lot of borrows right now. That may change; I've got some small promotions for my Countdown deal for tomorrow and Sunday. Who knows; these people might borrow my book instead of buy it for 99 cents?  ???
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 18, 2014, 09:06:09 PM
I wonder what it would do to the pool if I dropped a 78-part serial in there.

No one could argue that each part didn't have a full story either. If only I had the covers and lack of scruples...
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 18, 2014, 09:14:49 PM
Why do you feel you need a lack of scruples? Sounds like KU would be ideally suited for a series. Folks binge-watch TV series on netflix; no reason they can't binge-read series on KU.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Saul Tanpepper on July 18, 2014, 09:19:21 PM
I wonder what it would do to the pool if I dropped a 78-part serial in there.

No one could argue that each part didn't have a full story either. If only I had the covers and lack of scruples...

I don't think scruples really plays into this at this point as there have been no restrictions placed on length or "completeness" (whatever that is). What makes releasing a book in 78 parts any less ethical than releasing it in 1? Isn't that just serialization? The bigger question is whether readers will bother to upload 78 parts (or 20, or 4) versus 1.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: JRTomlin on July 18, 2014, 09:20:55 PM
 I seem to be part of a minority. I am quite happy to see how it shakes out but initially is seems like a very good idea and I'm fine with the same payout as borrows. Hugh Howey tweeted today that he considered it a big game changer. I am a bit more cautious but think that it may well be a good thing for increasing our incomes--those of us who are in Select. And I recently put all my novels BACK in Select after having them out for a year and a half. I haven't regretted it a bit so far. If I ever do, I can take them out again.

The sky is not falling and this could be a good thing for some of us.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Rykymus on July 18, 2014, 09:21:16 PM
Quote
I've been thinking about that and where I'm getting hung up is on whether it matters if we know whether a reader is getting the borrow from KU vs KOLL. They're coming out of the same payment pool at the same royalty rate. Select members get one borrow a month; KU members get as many as they want. I don't know if authors knowing whether their royalties are coming from KOLL or KU really matters. I imagine it matters to Amazon so that they can evaluate the two programs, but for us on the end of the chain, does it matter whether the same $2 (or whatever) is coming from a KU borrow vs a KOLL borrow?

It does matter. Those from KU represent people who would have had to pay the regular price. Also, how will we know if the addition of KU brings down the payment amounts of KOLL? To some extent, it must, at least when the membership of KU becomes large enough.

One other thing I've been considering. Perhaps Amazon's strategy is simply to pump money into the KU program, despite it being a losing strategy, in order to put the other subscription services out of business, after which they would close down KU.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: JRTomlin on July 18, 2014, 09:26:01 PM
It does matter. Those from KU represent people who would have had to pay the regular price. Also, how will we know if the addition of KU brings down the payment amounts of KOLL? To some extent, it must, at least when the membership of KU becomes large enough.

One other thing I've been considering. Perhaps Amazon's strategy is simply to pump money into the KU program, despite it being a losing strategy, in order to put the other subscription services out of business, after which they would close down KU.
I don't know that Amazon agrees that it is a 'losing strategy' since they aren't much given to using those. As far as it reducing the payout, that seems unlikely given that this was part of the announcement: 'For July we've added $800,000 to the fund, bringing the July fund amount to $2 million.'

When you consider that Unlimited will be out for less than half of July, I find it highly unlikely there will a drop in the payout.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Rykymus on July 18, 2014, 09:29:13 PM
Wow. I completely overlooked the fact that the $800k was only for half a month. Very good point.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 18, 2014, 09:33:07 PM
It does matter. Those from KU represent people who would have had to pay the regular price.

It's getting late, but this isn't making sense to me. Could you clarify? If you have a book in Select at 2.99, a reader coming at it from KOLL would have paid the same price if they paid for it rather than use their monthly borrow for it as someone coming from KU and borrowing it as part of their subscription, right? If they both wanted to own the book, they'd pay the Select price of 2.99.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: dianasg on July 18, 2014, 09:37:30 PM
I've been thinking about that and where I'm getting hung up is on whether it matters if we know whether a reader is getting the borrow from KU vs KOLL. They're coming out of the same payment pool at the same royalty rate. Select members get one borrow a month; KU members get as many as they want. I don't know if authors knowing whether their royalties are coming from KOLL or KU really matters. I imagine it matters to Amazon so that they can evaluate the two programs, but for us on the end of the chain, does it matter whether the same $2 (or whatever) is coming from a KU borrow vs a KOLL borrow?

In the "Let's Talk Kindle" thread, our friendly neighborhood cattle prodders Ann and Betsy have both mentioned that KU will be replacing the KOLL.
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,189926.msg2682750.html#msg2682750

Maybe one of them can point us to a link or something? If that's true, it won't matter much longer what kind of download you're getting paid for.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Σ on July 18, 2014, 09:43:37 PM
It's only for half the month, but there's also the fact that everyone gets a free month.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Σ on July 18, 2014, 09:45:37 PM
It's getting late, but this isn't making sense to me. Could you clarify? If you have a book in Select at 2.99, a reader coming at it from KOLL would have paid the same price if they paid for it rather than use their monthly borrow for it as someone coming from KU and borrowing it as part of their subscription, right? If they both wanted to own the book, they'd pay the Select price of 2.99.

Do you have to read 10% for the author to get paid with KOLL books?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 18, 2014, 09:46:08 PM
Interesting. I assumed it was two slightly different programs since you can subscribe to KU without a Prime membership. Maybe they'll fold KU into a Prime membership without upcharging Prime members another 9.99?  If they added KU to Prime for the current price, I'd probably pay for Prime. One reason I haven't bothered with Prime is because one borrow a month is too limited for my reading habit. Up to 10 at a time with unlimited monthly borrowing plus all of Prime's other stuff would be sweet.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Robert Bidinotto on July 18, 2014, 09:46:55 PM
I've noticed no fluctuation of sales on my two titles today.

I'm also looking at this change as an opportunity rather than a catastrophe. The only thing we can be sure of in this market is that disruptive changes are going to be the rule. We can lament them or rage against them, or we can look for ways to navigate the choppy waters.

When Amazon first launched Select, I recall a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth. Wouldn't "borrows" cannibalize sales? Wouldn't Amazon drain the funding pool over time, paying us pennies per borrow? On and on it went. Well, I'm about 6,000 borrows in, and the extra money has been very nice, thank you.

One thing I know about the Zon: They have a lot more data than I do. I'm sure that they have run the models every which-way, checking out scenarios galore, building their incentive structure based on past habits of customers and authors. For those predisposed to think that they would wipe out all financial incentives to their suppliers -- us -- I don't buy it. I suspect that they'll continue to sweeten the pot to sustain at least a $2 per download-or-borrow average compensation. Pulling in a lot of new customers into KU, with its own host of new sales pages, can only enhance discoverability and visibility for participating titles. More eyeballs looking at my titles is not a bad thing.

I'm in Select, and I'm staying put. Idle speculation is useless; I'll watch to see how things shake out. In three years, I have yet to be hurt by Amazon, and I don't expect to be this time. If that happens, I can always adapt. That's what we indies do.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Betsy the Quilter on July 18, 2014, 10:02:04 PM
In the "Let's Talk Kindle" thread, our friendly neighborhood cattle prodders Ann and Betsy have both mentioned that KU will be replacing the KOLL.
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,189926.msg2682750.html#msg2682750

Maybe one of them can point us to a link or something? If that's true, it won't matter much longer what kind of download you're getting paid for.

If you read our posts in that thread, Ann and I are basing our opinion that KU is taking KOLL's place by the fact that when we go to the KOLL menu option on our Kindles, the books that show up are KU--and no KOLL books are currently available, at least none that we can find.  If someone can point me to a book that is still available under KOLL, I'll eat my post. :D

EDIT:  It seems our reports of the demise of KOLL may have been premature. :D  See my later post in this thread....  Eating post now. *munches*

Betsy
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Betsy the Quilter on July 18, 2014, 10:02:52 PM
Interesting. I assumed it was two slightly different programs since you can subscribe to KU without a Prime membership. Maybe they'll fold KU into a Prime membership without upcharging Prime members another 9.99?  If they added KU to Prime for the current price, I'd probably pay for Prime. One reason I haven't bothered with Prime is because one borrow a month is too limited for my reading habit. Up to 10 at a time with unlimited monthly borrowing plus all of Prime's other stuff would be sweet.

I haven't seen any indication anywhere that Prime members won't have to pay for KU.

Betsy
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 18, 2014, 10:20:26 PM
I don't think scruples really plays into this at this point as there have been no restrictions placed on length or "completeness" (whatever that is). What makes releasing a book in 78 parts any less ethical than releasing it in 1? Isn't that just serialization? The bigger question is whether readers will bother to upload 78 parts (or 20, or 4) versus 1.

 It's not even chopping up a book; all the Descendants books are actually 6 story bundles because I can't possibly make that many covers.

But no, the scruples issue is a matter of screwing over the readers who got me where I am before I started epublishng by locking them out. A big chunk of my readership is international where Kobo especially is predominant. I locked them out by accident when I first started, this time it would be a conscious betrayal of them.

Also, I have no intention to prop up Select or settle for 20 cents a read.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Rykymus on July 18, 2014, 10:48:40 PM
"20 cents a read."

It's unsupported statements like this that cause authors to panic. Do you honestly believe for a moment that Amazon would expect authors to remain and receive only twenty cents per read?

I get that you don't like Amazon. That's fine. I'm not too keen on them either. But you lose credibility when you make such comments.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: WadeArnold on July 18, 2014, 10:57:14 PM
mike, its not a coincidence, many many many people are in the same boat right now. myself included. buyers are being funneled elsewhere with this program. need to give them time to chomp through and come back home, or not.

I think the new program devalues and dilutes the books that are enrolled in it, its not much different than how so many free books listed got to the point that I'm sure many readers have 100 books to go through and will never get through them all, making the Select free offers now near useless for some than the first few months of the program.

BUT... On the Sky is Falling worries-- look, when Google started it's music subscription program, or when Spotify or Pandora came out, iTunes didn't suddenly change to a subscription service. They are still selling music at .99 a song and 12.99 an album or whatever. Some people don't WANT another $9.99 a month charge-- they have Netflix, they have Hulu +, they have Google Music whatever it's called, and they won't want another one. Some readers who read ALOT will jump on board-- but this doesn't mean they won't buy a book on their iPad either. Those readers might check their Kindle app and find that many books are not on the unlimited thing, and so they'll go get it from itunes. Write a series exclusively for this program if you're worried, and let readers find you. Put in every book that all your other books are out there.

I think the point is-- if you want to succeed as a writer, the main advice still stands. Write a lot and read a lot. Improve your craft. If you tell a good story, people will read your books no matter where you sell them.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Vaalingrade on July 18, 2014, 11:06:43 PM
"20 cents a read."

It's unsupported statements like this that cause authors to panic. Do you honestly believe for a moment that Amazon would expect authors to remain and receive only twenty cents per read?

Yes. Unequivocally yes.

Not just because of economic necessity for the sheer scale they're trying this model at, but because there very much will be a ton of people who stay at 20 cents.

They'll stay out of misguided loyalty, they'll stay out of fear of leaving Select. They'll stay out of hope that one day they'll make it big and get one of the sweetheart deals. They'll stay for 'exposure' and the vague hope their paid sales will make up for it. They'll stay because charismatic folks will tell them that soon they'll be led to the mountaintop. They'll stay because someone will promise that it will get better. They'll stay because they're convinced there isn't a choice but to roll over and take it.

In this thread they've said they'll stay. And they will stay and more people will come in to fill the void left by the ones that leave. There's always more wide-eyed hopeful writers that think being paid anything for their work is magic.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: dianasg on July 18, 2014, 11:09:34 PM
If you read our posts in that thread, Ann and I are basing our opinion that KU is taking KOLL's place by the fact that when we go to the KOLL menu option on our Kindles, the books that show up are KU--and no KOLL books are currently available, at least none that we can find.  If someone can point me to a book that is still available under KOLL, I'll eat my post. :D

Betsy

Hey, I'm glad to take your word for it! :) After all, your opinion is based on a fact, which is something we could all use a little of right now!

eta: LOL I realized that sounded like a dig at KBers, but I meant that AMAZON could give us some facts about this stuff.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Mark E. Cooper on July 18, 2014, 11:10:22 PM
*fondly pats B&N sales boom* Not for all of us.


You too? I thought I was the only one booming at Barnes!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Sylvia R. Frost on July 18, 2014, 11:10:45 PM
I think the new program devalues and dilutes the books that are enrolled in it, its not much different than how so many free books listed got to the point that I'm sure many readers have 100 books to go through and will never get through them all, making the Select free offers now near useless for some than the first few months of the program.

BUT... On the Sky is Falling worries-- look, when Google started it's music subscription program, or when Spotify or Pandora came out, iTunes didn't suddenly change to a subscription service. They are still selling music at .99 a song and 12.99 an album or whatever. Some people don't WANT another $9.99 a month charge-- they have Netflix, they have Hulu +, they have Google Music whatever it's called, and they won't want another one. Some readers who read ALOT will jump on board-- but this doesn't mean they won't buy a book on their iPad either. Those readers might check their Kindle app and find that many books are not on the unlimited thing, and so they'll go get it from itunes. Write a series exclusively for this program if you're worried, and let readers find you. Put in every book that all your other books are out there.

I think the point is-- if you want to succeed as a writer, the main advice still stands. Write a lot and read a lot. Improve your craft. If you tell a good story, people will read your books no matter where you sell them.

Fun fact, this year marks the first year the digital downloads have FALLEN overall, in part because of Spotify.
so.....
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Mark E. Cooper on July 18, 2014, 11:16:50 PM
:D

Release the new titles out of Select for the first 1-3 month, and only add it to KU when the sales dry up. Repeat process. This, of course, would require a healthy mailing list, and enough fans who are willing to pay in addition to KU (if they are already signed up to KU).

Any thoughts?

And on an ongoing basis screw over all your possible readers who are invested in things other than Amazon and Kindle, while at the same time destroying all visibility and traction outside of Amazon.

No, just no...

I say write serials especially for KU without a season box set to suck up all the reads ;)

Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: 3rotic on July 18, 2014, 11:45:21 PM

In this thread they've said they'll stay.

Please point out the post where someone said they'd stay for 20 cents per read.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on July 18, 2014, 11:46:43 PM
And on an ongoing basis screw over all your possible readers who are invested in things other than Amazon and Kindle, while at the same time destroying all visibility and traction outside of Amazon.

No, just no...

I say write serials especially for KU without a season box set to suck up all the reads ;)
Couldn't you release serials in Select/KU, then release the bundle outside of Select/KU?

Best of both worlds?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: MJWare on July 18, 2014, 11:51:37 PM
I don't know that Amazon agrees that it is a 'losing strategy' since they aren't much given to using those.
Except they do, if you mean money losing strategies, like selling ebook under cost, or losing millions very year on prime memberships.

As far as it reducing the payout, that seems unlikely given that this was part of the announcement: 'For July we've added $800,000 to the fund, bringing the July fund amount to $2 million.'

When you consider that Unlimited will be out for less than half of July, I find it highly unlikely there will a drop in the payout.
My concern is a drop in payout over time, not right away. But maybe Amazon's done the math and they can keep payouts good forever. I'm just not sure about it.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: bardeh on July 18, 2014, 11:53:29 PM
One thing I know about the Zon: They have a lot more data than I do. I'm sure that they have run the models every which-way, checking out scenarios galore, building their incentive structure based on past habits of customers and authors. For those predisposed to think that they would wipe out all financial incentives to their suppliers -- us -- I don't buy it. I suspect that they'll continue to sweeten the pot to sustain at least a $2 per download-or-borrow average compensation. Pulling in a lot of new customers into KU, with its own host of new sales pages, can only enhance discoverability and visibility for participating titles. More eyeballs looking at my titles is not a bad thing.

For this introductory month (where everybody gets a free trial too) the pot is $2,000,000. For every download to get a full $2, that would only be 1 million books downloaded and read. I don't think that number is realistic at all, especially when every single Amazon customer who wants it can sign up for a free trial. I expect the actual figure to be much lower than $2 per download.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: MJWare on July 18, 2014, 11:54:06 PM
Couldn't you release serials in Select/KU, then release the bundle outside of Select/KU?

Best of both worlds?
D@mn it. You've discovered my secret plan to milk KU for all it's worth! Seriously, I think this could be a great idea; just tonight I started a 5k zombie short (for kids) that I though I'd use to test the waters.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Perry Constantine on July 19, 2014, 12:06:46 AM
Couldn't you release serials in Select/KU, then release the bundle outside of Select/KU?

Best of both worlds?

I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that even if the content is bundled, that still counts as selling the content outside of Amazon, which is a violation of Select's terms. You could release the serial first in Select/KU and then once it's complete, remove it and offer the bundles everywhere. But you can't have the serial in Select and the bundle on other sites at the same time without violating Amazon's terms.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Herc- The Reluctant Geek on July 19, 2014, 12:16:09 AM
You can, however, offer the bundle on Amazon? Or not? My head is too full of Kindle Unlimited to look through the conditions.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Perry Constantine on July 19, 2014, 12:18:21 AM
You can, however, offer the bundle on Amazon? Or not? My head is too full of Kindle Unlimited to look through the conditions.

You mean offer the bundle on Amazon and the individual installments in other places? No, that's also a violation. When you agree to Select, you agree that the content is exclusive. What package you put the content in doesn't change the exclusivity.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: MJWare on July 19, 2014, 12:21:43 AM
You mean offer the bundle on Amazon and the individual installments in other places? No, that's also a violation. When you agree to Select, you agree that the content is exclusive. What package you put the content in doesn't change the exclusivity.
Amazon is strict on that. I released a graphic novel of my bestseller. I added images and changed some of the more intense scenes for younger kids. But the text was 90% the same and Amazon was all over me (one was in Select and the other wasn't).
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Herc- The Reluctant Geek on July 19, 2014, 01:48:02 AM
You mean offer the bundle on Amazon and the individual installments in other places? No, that's also a violation. When you agree to Select, you agree that the content is exclusive. What package you put the content in doesn't change the exclusivity.

But can you offer the individual parts through select, and then offer the bundle only on Amazon but not on select? No other channels involved, just Amazon and Amazon Select.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Mark E. Cooper on July 19, 2014, 01:56:33 AM
Couldn't you release serials in Select/KU, then release the bundle outside of Select/KU?

Best of both worlds?

Not allowed, nastygram incoming if you do that and possible account cancellation. The content of your box set, if in Select as individual titles, must be exclusive to Amazon. So no selling the box set or individual titles outside Amazon if any of them or part of them are on sale in Select.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Mark E. Cooper on July 19, 2014, 02:08:32 AM
You can't release Select titles outside of Amazon. But the terms of Select absolutely read that it's okay to release short stories in Select and then bundle them and release the bundle only on Amazon but not in Select. Best of both worlds.  ;D

Best of one world maybe, but what's the point? I was trying to get readers to buy or download the individual episodes on KU to steal err I mean grab up multiple $2 royalties from the KU pool, not get a single box set sale.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Alondo on July 19, 2014, 02:20:32 AM
And on an ongoing basis screw over all your possible readers who are invested in things other than Amazon and Kindle, while at the same time destroying all visibility and traction outside of Amazon.

No, just no...

I say write serials especially for KU without a season box set to suck up all the reads ;)



Whilst I have no clue what a "season box" is, I think that if you can provide new, episodic content on an ongoing basis, then this could be a godsend. I intend to release the first part of my current work in progress as an experiment in KOLL/KU at 99c. I can then upload new content every two weeks or so. Like I said before, the idea of getting paid as I work is attractive, and a nice incentive to keep writing. Why isn't everyone celebrating? :-)   
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Mark E. Cooper on July 19, 2014, 02:30:54 AM
Whilst I have no clue what a "season box" is, I think that if you can provide new, episodic content on an ongoing basis, then this could be a godsend. I intend to release the first part of my current work in progress as an experiment in KOLL/KU at 99c. I can then upload new content every two weeks or so. Like I said before, the idea of getting paid as I work is attractive, and a nice incentive to keep writing. Why isn't everyone celebrating? :-)   

Season box set... Is basically all this year's episodes bundled together and sold as a single title. 10 episodes seems popular.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jash on July 19, 2014, 02:36:18 AM
Also, I have no intention to prop up Select or settle for 20 cents a read.

You're just trolling at this point.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Alondo on July 19, 2014, 02:39:51 AM
Season box set... Is basically all this year's episodes bundled together and sold as a single title. 10 episodes seems popular.

Thanks for that. Sounds like a good idea to me. As Dylan would say, "The times, they are a-changin'"!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Usedtopostheretoo! on July 19, 2014, 03:01:32 AM
Please point out the post where someone said they'd stay for 20 cents per read.

It's inferred by anyone who has not, in their first post, said "I have taken all of my titles out of Select immediately!" ;)

$2.19.....the average borrow payout (a few minor fluctuations) since February 2012. For those that insist on doing the math for KU, please add the following factor. "People with a desire to see the program succeed are watching this closely." The fact that $2 (roughly) has been the borrow amount for more than two years is not purely a statistical/mathematical phenomena.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: books_mb on July 19, 2014, 04:18:19 AM
One thing I know about the Zon: They have a lot more data than I do. I'm sure that they have run the models every which-way, checking out scenarios galore, building their incentive structure based on past habits of customers and authors. For those predisposed to think that they would wipe out all financial incentives to their suppliers -- us -- I don't buy it. I suspect that they'll continue to sweeten the pot to sustain at least a $2 per download-or-borrow average compensation. Pulling in a lot of new customers into KU, with its own host of new sales pages, can only enhance discoverability and visibility for participating titles. More eyeballs looking at my titles is not a bad thing.

Great post. It's an important point: Amazon has all the data. We have to work with "only 2 % read more than 10 books a month" and god knows how accurate and up-to-date that is, while Amazon knows the exact distribution and has had the time to go through numerical simulations. 10 $ a month is the result of a long and thorough analytical process.

I also agree on the other point. Amazon can't have indie authors fleeing to B & N, Nook, ... if they want to dominate the market. They have to keep the deal "somewhat" sweet. 2 $ per borrow might be a bit too optimistic in the long run, but 0.2 $ per borrow is certainly too pessimistic. Plus, let's see what happens to the volume. KU sounds like a great deal for readers, it could make the Kindle reader more popular and bring in a lot more customers. If they only give me 1 $ per borrow and the volume doubles ... so what?

Two problems I still see though: 1) there seems to be no con to individual authors chopping up their books and 2) equal share payment is unfair.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on July 19, 2014, 04:19:32 AM
If the borrow rate stays above $2, then this is potentially a great thing.

What I don't like is the fact indies are forced into Select to take part. To me, this seems like series anti-competitive behaviour. I don't know what it's like in the states, but in Australia it would definitely raise eyebrows. It's clearly designed to kill competition and pressure vendors (us) into only supplying only one retailer.

Not to mention that we effectively lose control of the ability to price our own books. And, apparently, they can offer our books in a new program, for an undefined price, without so much as asking our permission.

But, I s'pose it's working. I was planning to take Irradiated out of Select and publishing broadly. Now, I'm having second thoughts.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Betsy the Quilter on July 19, 2014, 04:24:47 AM
Hey, I'm glad to take your word for it! :) After all, your opinion is based on a fact, which is something we could all use a little of right now!

eta: LOL I realized that sounded like a dig at KBers, but I meant that AMAZON could give us some facts about this stuff.

Yes, I haven't found anything from Amazon announcing KOLL is gone...it would be nice to let Prime borrowers know!

EDIT:  It seems our reports of the demise of KOLL may have been premature. :D  See my later post in this thread....

Betsy
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: books_mb on July 19, 2014, 04:27:14 AM
It's clearly designed to kill competition and pressure vendors (us) into only supplying only one retailer.

And you see this as a problem? Granted, it's not the nicest thing to do, but sounds like normal capitalism to me. I'm sure B&N is trying hard to eliminate competitors as well.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Shelley K on July 19, 2014, 04:29:39 AM
Yes, I haven't found anything from Amazon announcing KOLL is gone...it would be nice to let Prime borrowers know!

Betsy

It could be a problem with the rollout not letting the KOLL borrow option display. And it could be a sneaky tactic to get people to sign up for KU, since maybe some borrowers will just click the "read for free" button without noticing the difference? At least on the website it seems easy to do. I haven't checked with my Kindle.

It seems if they've actually removed KOLL, and that's one feature advertised as part of Prime, they would be obliged to explain this to Prime customers.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on July 19, 2014, 04:32:29 AM
And you see this as a problem? Granted, it's not the nicest thing to do, but sounds like normal capitalism to me. I'm sure B&N is trying hard to eliminate competitors as well.

Acts to kill of competition are often viewed dimly, as they're usually not in the best interests of the consumer (ultimately). I can't help but think of the anti-trust suit Apple and the traditional publishers got caught up in. This is as bad as that. Anti-competitive behaviour is different to every day capitalism. It runs contrary to market economics, which relies on competition to set prices.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Betsy the Quilter on July 19, 2014, 04:34:19 AM
It could be a problem with the rollout not letting the KOLL borrow option display. And it could be a sneaky tactic to get people to sign up for KU, since maybe some borrowers will just click the "read for free" button without noticing the difference? At least on the website it seems easy to do. I haven't checked with my Kindle.

It seems if they've actually removed KOLL, and that's one feature advertised as part of Prime, they would be obliged to explain this to Prime customers.

I agree...

As I already had a book checked out, I hadn't tried actually clicking on anything.  Guess I should try that! :D 

Off to check...

OK, even though it says Kindle Unlimited, when one clicks on the "Read for Free" button on a Kindle, the same Kindle Owners' Lending Library message pops up.  I returned my June book and checked out a new one.  Unfortunately, I kind of picked the new one at Random.  There goes the July read, LOL!

Off to eat my prior post. :D

Betsy
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on July 19, 2014, 04:38:24 AM
Can someone confirm that my book (Irradiated) is available for this? It's showing up as Lending: Not Enabled for me, but this may be because of my region. It's in Kindle Select at the moment.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Mercia McMahon on July 19, 2014, 04:41:58 AM
And you see this as a problem? Granted, it's not the nicest thing to do, but sounds like normal capitalism to me. I'm sure B&N is trying hard to eliminate competitors as well.

Amazon shares a city with most of Microsoft's employees so they are only too aware of the cost of eliminating competition when the EU is looking over your shoulder.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Betsy the Quilter on July 19, 2014, 04:44:12 AM
Can someone confirm that my book (Irradiated) is available for this? It's showing up as Lending: Not Enabled for me, but this may be because of my region. It's in Kindle Select at the moment.

It is available.

(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/07/19/hymyjaje.jpg)

Betsy


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: books_mb on July 19, 2014, 04:48:13 AM
Acts to kill of competition are often viewed dimly, as they're usually not in the best interests of the consumer (ultimately). I can't help but think of the anti-trust suit Apple and the traditional publishers got caught up in. This is as bad as that. Anti-competitive behaviour is different to every day capitalism. It runs contrary to market economics, which relies on competition to set prices.

I absolutely understand these concerns, nobody outside Amazon wants a monopoly situation. But you can't blame Amazon for doing what comes natural to every company. If the company I work for didn't try to gain the upper hand in the market, I'd leave the company immediately. It's the job of the state(s) to set and enforce the limits.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Shelley K on July 19, 2014, 04:49:23 AM
I agree...

As I already had a book checked out, I hadn't tried actually clicking on anything.  Guess I should try that! :D 

Off to check...

OK, even though it says Kindle Unlimited, when one clicks on the "Read for Free" button on a Kindle, the same Kindle Owners' Lending Library message pops up.  I returned my June book and checked out a new one.  Unfortunately, I kind of picked the new one at Random.  There goes the July read, LOL!

Off to eat my prior post. :D

Betsy

That's good news, I guess. I didn't click, because I didn't want it to auto-enroll me in a KU trial or anything. They could have made it clearer for Prime user, though. It really does look like the button is to read it free by joining KU only.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Betsy the Quilter on July 19, 2014, 04:51:14 AM
That's good news, I guess. I didn't click, because I didn't want it to auto-enroll me in a KU trial or anything. They could have made it clearer for Prime user, though. It really does look like the button is to read it free by joining KU only.

Yeah, I didn't click yesterday because I wasn't ready to enroll.  But I decided that if it was only KU, it would likely take me to the sign up page and gave it a whirl!

:D

Betsy
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on July 19, 2014, 04:55:05 AM
It is available.

(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/07/19/hymyjaje.jpg)

Betsy


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Thanks, Betsy.

I don't see that Kindle Unlimited bit when I view it on mine. I believe it's only available in some countries.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: 90daysnovel on July 19, 2014, 05:00:31 AM
One of the risks of Kindle Unlimited has to be inadvertent piracy. A few people have gone through the numbers - take the $10, cut off Amazon's cut (30%-65%) and divide by number of reads to find out if Mr Average uses more or less than the number required to keep the royalty at an acceptable-to-authors rate.

But it's not going to be just Mr Average, is it? It'll be Mrs Average. Average Junior and Little Miss Average too. An entirely family could conceivably get all their reading for $9.99 a month. Think about how your household uses Netflix, tv subs etc - everyone watches (and that's fine for those services by the licence terms) but with Kindle we grant personal licences... but there isn't a facility on Amazon for someone to say "I have a three person household". Kindle devices don't support user switching (though a chrome style setup to login/ logout would be awesome). I doubt couples will get 2 subs - and I can't really blame them for that. It would feel like paying twice for the same thing.

If we figure families into it then the average reader grabbing two a month x a 4 person family could mean a lot of reading for $9.99. Is it technically against Amazon's terms? Absolutely. Will that stop it in practice? Definitely not. We're used to being able to lend/ borrow books. If that mentality extends to subscriptions then content providers will end up being underpaid compared to their previous remuneration.

The Kindle Unlimited terms don't even contemplate multi-user households (http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=hp_left_v4_sib?ie=UTF8&nodeId=201556940).

Of course, this happens with eBooks that are bought too, but the impact is less obvious.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: D. Zollicoffer on July 19, 2014, 05:05:42 AM
Thanks, Betsy.

I don't see that Kindle Unlimited bit when I view it on mine. I believe it's only available in some countries.
I think it's exclusive to North America.  :(
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: S. W. Rondack on July 19, 2014, 05:20:23 AM
Could you go into more detail on this thinking? This is Amazon we're talking about; a multibillion dollar corporation. For at least the last year (I don't remember how long--I've only been looking the last year or so) they've placed approx. $1M a month into the KDP Select money pool for borrows. For this month, they increased the fund to $2M. That's like a miniscule fraction of their monthly in-flow. No matter how many subscribers they get or don't get to KU, it'll be chicken scratch compared to the income they're getting off all the other products they sell. Affording to contribute to the lending pool is a non-issue for them, as near as I can guess.

All speculation, of course.

This.

I've worked at several ecommerce retailers (never Amazon) and departments don't exist as an island. They are likely not measuring KU success as a standalone product, but as a short-term way to increase overall profits. They sell a heck of a lot more than books, and they know everything there is to know about how their customers buy end-to-end on their site...I guarantee there was a a boatload of analysis that went into making the risk favorable when it comes to profitability.

Think of it this way...if you judged Wal-Mart on single product discounts they have, you'd be wondering how in the world they're profitable. It doesn't work in a vacuum like that.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Betsy the Quilter on July 19, 2014, 05:26:47 AM
Thanks, Betsy.

I don't see that Kindle Unlimited bit when I view it on mine. I believe it's only available in some countries.

I think it's exclusive to North America.  :(

It's only available in the United States right now:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=hp_left_v4_sib?ie=UTF8&nodeId=201556940
Quote
The program is currently only available to United States customers.

Betsy
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: NoahPorter on July 19, 2014, 05:41:45 AM
Maybe it's just me, but my earnings over the last 36 hours are way up over all my pen names. Sales are about the same, but KOLL/KU are way, way up. So far, I'm happy.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: VEVO on July 19, 2014, 06:27:09 AM
Fun fact, this year marks the first year the digital downloads have FALLEN overall, in part because of Spotify.
so.....

And streaming music revenue in the USA is about to hit $2,000,000,000 in revenue this year and will surpass download music revenue in about 12 months.

2012 RIAA #:

Streaming Revenue: $1.0328 billion USD (up 59%)
Singles Download Revenue: $1.623.6 billion USD (up 6.7%)
Album Download Revenue: $1.205 billion USD-----------------combined downloads at $2.829 billion
CD (physical): $2.4856 billion USD

2013 RIAA#:

Streaming Revenue: $1.439 billion USD (up 39.3%)
Singles Download Revenue: $1.569 billion USD (down 3.4%)
Album Download Revenue: $1.234 billion USD (up 2.4%) ----combined downloads is at $2.803 billion
CD (physical): $2.1235 (down 14.6%)


Soundscan 2014 first half report is out. Streaming is up 42% and download is down 13%

2014 prediction:

Streaming Revenue: $2.015 billion (up 40%)
Download combined: $2.450 billion
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: bardeh on July 19, 2014, 06:43:33 AM
Right, streaming revenue is huge. The cut that artists get is not. This is my worry with a service like Kindle Unlimited.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Michael_J_Sullivan on July 19, 2014, 06:45:18 AM
The more I think about it, the more troubled I am by the fact that Amazon is treating self-published authors as second-class citizens.  Usually they are treated pretty much the same as traditional (some few exceptions such as pre-orders) but they enjoy equal placement on best-seller lists, highest rated, and also boughts as they are based on customer behavior not co-op dollars.

But now we have:

1. Distribution: Traditional books don't need to be exclusive, but self-published books MUST be.

2. Payment: Traditional are paid as if a purchase was made --- which is of course tied to price of the book.  Self-published authors are paid from the KOLL pool and whether their book retails for $0.99 or $9.99 their share is the same.

Am I the only one bothered by this second-class citizen treatment?  If given the choice - wouldn't we want the terms that traditionally published books get? Why are they offering the publishers so much?  Because they won't opt in any other way...and even with such attractive terms I suspect most big-five won't as they can't accept change, especially if it might hit their most voracious readers.  Why isn't Amazon offering self published authors such good terms?  Because they know they can get us for a lot less.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Perry Constantine on July 19, 2014, 06:56:44 AM
But can you offer the individual parts through select, and then offer the bundle only on Amazon but not on select? No other channels involved, just Amazon and Amazon Select.

Well, yeah that would be fine. Although I'm not quite sure how this strategy would be beneficial. You're still restricting yourself solely to the Kindle market.

And you see this as a problem? Granted, it's not the nicest thing to do, but sounds like normal capitalism to me. I'm sure B&N is trying hard to eliminate competitors as well.

Are you telling me that you don't see it as a problem? Did the Supreme Court's egregious rulings on corporate personhood also outlaw the past century or so of historical knowledge? How can anyone think actions designed to destroy the competition and establish a monopoly are anything other than supremely bad for consumers?

Am I the only one bothered by this second-class citizen treatment?  If given the choice - wouldn't we want the terms that traditionally published books get? Why are they offering the publishers so much?  Because they won't opt in any other way...and even with such attractive terms I suspect most big-five won't as they can't accept change, especially if it might hit their most voracious readers.  Why isn't Amazon offering self published authors such good terms?  Because they know they can get us for a lot less.

No, you're not. I share your same concerns. And yet, there are those who will still swear through their teeth that Amazon is doing what's best for indies. Ironically enough, these are the same people who talk of traditionally-published authors being victims of Stockholm Syndrome.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 19, 2014, 07:02:28 AM
You're still restricting yourself solely to the Kindle market

The kindle market and anyone with a Kindle app that allows them to read their kindle books on a non-kindle device.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Perry Constantine on July 19, 2014, 07:06:51 AM
The kindle market and anyone with a Kindle app that allows them to read their kindle books on a non-kindle device.

Okay, and your rebuttal would be...? My point still stands that if you go with Select for the individual episode of a serial and make your bundle Amazon-only but still not Kindle exclusive then you're still restricting yourself to the Kindle ecosystem. How does what you said contradict or rebut any of that? There are still people in the world who own e-readers that do not conform to the Kindle ecosystem. The availability of Kindle apps doesn't change that.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: FictionalWriter on July 19, 2014, 07:08:01 AM
The top indie sellers are treated like publishers. I see several titles soaring in ranks right now by several top indies and I know for a fact those books are not in KDP Select. It's all about how many readers (dollars) you can bring to the program. But when you're paying those indies and the J.K. Rowlings of the world the same as if the books were purchased, this is a program that could conceivably bankrupt itself.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Michael_J_Sullivan on July 19, 2014, 07:17:37 AM
The top indie sellers are treated like publishers. I see several titles soaring in ranks right now by several top indies and I know for a fact those books are not in KDP Select. It's all about how many readers (dollars) you can bring to the program. But when you're paying those indies and the J.K. Rowlings of the world the same as if the books were purchased, this is a program that could conceivably bankrupt itself.

Yes the Rowlings and big outliers (perhaps Bella) will get sweetheart deals.  Hugh got fixed-length term AND print-only...but their sales are high so they deserve such special treatement.  I'm not concerned about what they get....they have the sales power to demand more and when they get it I'm happy for them.  But I'm talking about us "mere mortals".   Why does a mid-list traditionally published author get offered (through his publisher) such a better deal than we do.  Many "midlist" indies bring in more than "midlist" traditional.  All I'm asking is that the terms be the same across the board.  Let us be in KU without exclusivity - and pay us our full royalty rather than the KOLL pool.  We shouldn't have to accept the worse deal. But we will...and that' why we're not being offered more.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 19, 2014, 07:21:49 AM
Okay, and your rebuttal would be...? My point still stands that if you go with Select for the individual episode of a serial and make your bundle Amazon-only but still not Kindle exclusive then you're still restricting yourself to the Kindle ecosystem. How does what you said contradict or rebut any of that? There are still people in the world who own e-readers that do not conform to the Kindle ecosystem. The availability of Kindle apps doesn't change that.

Apologies. I reread the section of the discussion and realized I commented on something not directly relevant to your comments.

Sorry for the interruption. Carry on.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: FictionalWriter on July 19, 2014, 07:22:27 AM
Yes the Rowlings and big outliers (perhaps Bella) will get sweetheart deals.  Hugh got fixed-length term AND print-only...but their sales are high so they deserve such special treatement.  I'm not concerned about what they get....they have the sales power to demand more and when they get it I'm happy for them.  But I'm talking about us "mere mortals".   Why does a mid-list traditionally published author get offered (through his publisher) such a better deal than we do.  Many "midlist" indies bring in more than "midlist" traditional.  All I'm asking is that the terms be the same across the board.  Let us be in KU without exclusivity - and pay us our full royalty rather than the KOLL pool.  We shouldn't have to accept the worse deal. But we will...and that' why we're not being offered more.

They couldn't AFFORD to pay everyone like J.K. etc. The program would cease to be even remotely profitable. The big names are the lure. The big question is will readers stay on and pay $ for the selection available in this library after their free month is over. If all the books you want to read going forward are NOT in the program, it becomes a waste of $10 a month when you could use that money to buy books you do want.

Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Chrisbwritin on July 19, 2014, 07:31:55 AM
So, I've read all the posts on this thread (I think...eghads, there's a lot!) and I'm still not clear on one thing. Has anyone gotten a definitive answer on whether or not the amount per book paid from the pool at the end of the month is the same, regardless of purchase price and length, or is that still in question?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 19, 2014, 07:35:52 AM
So, I've read all the posts on this thread (I think...eghads, there's a lot!) and I'm still not clear on one thing. Has anyone gotten a definitive answer on whether or not the amount per book paid from the pool at the end of the month is the same, regardless of purchase price and length, or is that still in question?

It sounds like in most cases, books get the same chunk of change from the pool, regardless of length or purchase price. Michael Sullivan is indicating some titles may get a different payout. I may have missed the link to that information. Michael--do you have a source to share so that we can add it to the info pool? I recall yesterday morning someone had posted more details on the alternate royalty rates, but it got buried early in the day.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 19, 2014, 07:44:24 AM
Ah, found some more details. Michael Underwood had posted earlier in the about the royalty details but had to redact some of it, and then Michael Sullivan posted more details in the comments.

Here's the link:  http://michaelrunderwood.com/2014/07/18/kindle-unlimited/#comments
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Michael_J_Sullivan on July 19, 2014, 07:52:00 AM
They couldn't AFFORD to pay everyone like J.K. etc. The program would cease to be even remotely profitable. The big names are the lure. The big question is will readers stay on and pay $ for the selection available in this library after their free month is over. If all the books you want to read going forward are NOT in the program, it becomes a waste of $10 a month when you could use that money to buy books you do want.

Amazon has  a long standing tradition on taking a loss to gain a market position.  If they REALLY think subscription is the future then they will lose money to dominate the people who want books through subscriptions.  But you are right, they'll have a limited number of titles from the big players...just enough for the lure you speak of.   I think all the subscription services suffer from too few titles that readers want.  I'm not sure if Oyster and Scribd are doing well or poorly - that would be a good indicator.  Does anyone know?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Michael_J_Sullivan on July 19, 2014, 07:53:20 AM
So, I've read all the posts on this thread (I think...eghads, there's a lot!) and I'm still not clear on one thing. Has anyone gotten a definitive answer on whether or not the amount per book paid from the pool at the end of the month is the same, regardless of purchase price and length, or is that still in question?

The pool is and has always been total pool / downloads.  Price and length do not factor in.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Chrisbwritin on July 19, 2014, 07:58:24 AM
It sounds like in most cases, books get the same chunk of change from the pool, regardless of length or purchase price. Michael Sullivan is indicating some titles may get a different payout. I may have missed the link to that information. Michael--do you have a source to share so that we can add it to the info pool? I recall yesterday morning someone had posted more details on the alternate royalty rates, but it got buried early in the day.

Thanks, Jim, and thanks Michael for the response. Verra interesting, all of it.
*sits back and chews popcorn thoughtfully*
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Wansit on July 19, 2014, 08:05:35 AM
I'm not sure if Oyster and Scribd are doing well or poorly - that would be a good indicator.  Does anyone know?

I don't think Oyster or Scribd are doing all that well.

Here's the info from Underwood's site for anyone who missed it:

Terms – or ‘How Are Authors and Publishers Getting Paid?’

What that page *doesn’t* mention is how authors/publishers are paid. But I have that information, and I’ve been told it’s to be public.

Be aware that the terms that were confirmed for me apply to Amazon Publishing titles, and may be different for other publishers.

Every time a KU user reads more than 10% of a book through Kindle Unlimited (which is roughly equivalent for the current sampling structure), a sale is credited, earning the author the full ebook royalty rate – which is calculated based on the average cost of the book during the month in question. Presumably, this also extends to an audio listen that goes past 10%.

This means that if a book is on sale for $1.99 for 3 weeks in the month, and then goes to $4.99 for the last week, any borrows during that month, even in the last week, are going to pay a royalty more like a $1.99 sale than a $4.99 sale.

If this same structure applies to self-published authors (my brief survey shows KDP select titles available in KU, but perhaps not other self-published titles), it’s a notable change to the utility of KDP Select vs. regular KDP, and may have implications to how KDP select self-publishers manage their pricing promotions.

Takeaway

Unless the terms for other publishers (including self-publishers) are notably worse than for Amazon Publishing authors’ titles, Kindle Unlimited is likely to create very stiff competition for the existing ebook subscription services such as Oyster and Scribd. It’ll be interesting to see how much volume of sales KU generates, and whether that changes other ebook purchasing habits. I see the subscription model as being best for voracious readers who want versatility as well as depth of selection, vs. less high-volume readers who may need to be more selective in their purchases, and will probably continue to shop based on individual authors and titles.

The publishing seas continue to change quickly, as they have for several years. May the winds be at your back, and a friend at your side come the next storm.

And to be mercenary for a moment, if you sign up for Kindle Unlimited, Shield and Crocus is in fact one of those titles you can read as part of the free trial. *wink wink*
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 19, 2014, 08:09:09 AM
Am I the only one bothered by this second-class citizen treatment?  If given the choice - wouldn't we want the terms that traditionally published books get? Why are they offering the publishers so much?  Because they won't opt in any other way...and even with such attractive terms I suspect most big-five won't as they can't accept change, especially if it might hit their most voracious readers.  Why isn't Amazon offering self published authors such good terms?  Because they know they can get us for a lot less.

I'm working my way through the Publishers Marketplace articles on KU now, but assuming the alternate pricing deals are in place, I imagine one tactic would be for indies to simply not enroll in Select/KU and write to Amazon explaining that we want equivalent treatment. We may not be able to control the royalties paid, but we can control whether we participate or not.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: EmilyG on July 19, 2014, 08:12:21 AM
Here's some stats of what is in the KU library collected by someone on reddit
http://www.reddit.com/r/kindle/comments/2b1or2/kindle_unlimited_officially_launched/cj122uv
Quote
Here are some numbers for the Unlimited library as it currently stands.
-The Unlimited library gives you access to 23% of all Kindle books.
-The Unlimited library has 4,641 free e-books (I tried to find out how many were ebooks that regularly sold for less than $2, but I don't think I can do that because there are too many).
-101,503 of the nearly 640,227 books are non-english.
-About 60% of the books have no Amazon reviews.
-18% of the Fiction and Literature on Unlimited is erotica.

Most of the people on the other boards I frequent are not overly excited and are waiting to see if any big publishers come on board. It will be interesting to see what is the subscription drop-off rate after the free 30 days expires.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: omar on July 19, 2014, 08:12:41 AM
So how and when will you know someone read past 10% of your book. There's only one column in the reporting dashboard and it says:

"KU/KOLL"

Does that mean it was downloaded or read past 10%?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: StraightNoChaser on July 19, 2014, 08:17:12 AM

Am I the only one bothered by this second-class citizen treatment?  If given the choice - wouldn't we want the terms that traditionally published books get? Why are they offering the publishers so much? 

Your certainly aren't the only one. I'm feeling very second class right now and it's not a warm, fuzzy feeling.

I've followed this thread as much as time allows, but I'm unclear on one thing about the special indies and publishers that don't have to be exclusive. Where does their money come from? It's a contract between them and Amazon right? Is the Select fund only for Select authors, or are we splitting that with the big names?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Wansit on July 19, 2014, 08:19:15 AM
Is the Select fund only for Select authors, or are we splitting that with the big names?


Select fund is only for Select authors. But publishers and Indies-in-Select-but-not-restricted are paid from amazon's other massive warchest.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: StraightNoChaser on July 19, 2014, 08:25:34 AM
Select fund is only for Select authors. But publishers and Indies-in-Select-but-not-restricted are paid from amazon's other massive warchest.

Thanks for the clarification. That's makes this a little better, I suppose, but I'm still p*ssed that big name indies don't have to be exclusive and I do. I never should have opted into this program, what a crock!
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Lady Vine on July 19, 2014, 08:29:15 AM
It's entirely possible that all of the Big 5's books will be entered automatically, without the need for exclusivity and cut royalties. As long as Amazon pays them the sale price, they really wouldn't care how the books were getting to the readers. I think that's the way they'll do it. There's no reason at all for Amazon to offer the same deal to indies in Select, because they know, despite the power Indies think they have, it will take a helluva lot to get them to drop out. Building momentum on other platforms is hard work; Amazon knows that indies know this.   

And, just as an aside, don't think for a minute that just because your book has been popular on Amazon (whilst in Select, I might add) you're going to come off and sell equally as well on the other platforms. There are many authors on here, myself included, who can tell you there are some books that sell gangbusters on iTunes, Kobo or B&N, but barely move on Amazon.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: nubchai on July 19, 2014, 08:32:29 AM
Then they can read them and return them and get 10 more!

Yes, it's basically a subscription lending library.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: nubchai on July 19, 2014, 08:39:38 AM
So how and when will you know someone read past 10% of your book. There's only one column in the reporting dashboard and it says:

"KU/KOLL"

Does that mean it was downloaded or read past 10%?

If KU is paid out of a separate pool of money, I wish they would report KU separately from KOLL. 
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jim Johnson on July 19, 2014, 08:40:59 AM
If KU is paid out of a separate pool of money, I wish they would report KU separately from KOLL.

It's not. KU and KOLL are paid out of the same pool of money. It effectively doesn't matter whether the user read 10% through KU or used their Select borrow for the month on the book. It counts as the same and comes out of the same pool.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: adanlerma on July 19, 2014, 08:49:53 AM
Amazon has  a long standing tradition on taking a loss to gain a market position.  If they REALLY think subscription is the future then they will lose money to dominate the people who want books through subscriptions.  But you are right, they'll have a limited number of titles from the big players...just enough for the lure you speak of.   I think all the subscription services suffer from too few titles that readers want.  I'm not sure if Oyster and Scribd are doing well or poorly - that would be a good indicator.  Does anyone know?

Both Scribd and Oyster say they are bringing in new subscribers and doing well. And Smashwords has a blog post out today saying those two services are growing faster for the authors in them (myself included) than the other available outlets. The latter stmt jives with my own experience.

Consider that the two services have a lot of big publisher titles, and of course many many from the huge number not exclusive anywhere (some of which I've read are or have been on the best seller lists) - and that sounds like good reasons Amazon has moved forward into the same style program.

And personally, I think Amazon would do even better without the exclusivity clause.

I'll still give KU a whirl though, both as a reader and writer.

Good to know first hand  :)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: adanlerma on July 19, 2014, 08:54:06 AM
I don't think Oyster or Scribd are doing all that well...

And to be mercenary for a moment, if you sign up for Kindle Unlimited, Shield and Crocus is in fact one of those titles you can read as part of the free trial. *wink wink*

Wansit, can you be more specific in regard to Oyster and Scribd not doing well?

My own experience with them, as a reader and writer, has been very good.

And of course they have a lot of the indie titles not in Select.

Best wishes on Shield and Crocus also, truly.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: nubchai on July 19, 2014, 09:01:26 AM
It's not. KU and KOLL are paid out of the same pool of money. It effectively doesn't matter whether the user read 10% through KU or used their Select borrow for the month on the book. It counts as the same and comes out of the same pool.

But are the payout rates different?  Will KOLL be $1.50 per borrow and KU downloads be at a different rate?  If it's all the same rate per book, then I can see why they combined the KOLL/KU totals.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Mark E. Cooper on July 19, 2014, 09:05:25 AM
But are the payout rates different?  Will KOLL be $1.50 per borrow and KU downloads be at a different rate?  If it's all the same rate per book, then I can see why they combined the KOLL/KU totals.

Same pool same rate... But same royalty? No one knows and can'tknow until the download numbers are in. If there are three times as many downloads as normal (Hugh reported that's what he's seeing, but freaking hell he's THE Howey) then the royalty will be about $1 (Amazon increased the pool but didn't triple it) The number could literally be anything from a few cents to a few dollars.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Piers Platt on July 19, 2014, 09:06:04 AM
Assuming KU borrows read past 10% count towards Sales Rank like KOLL downloads do, that could have a big impact on my sales, as my best earner teeters between pg 1 and 2 on a couple different (very niche) category bestseller lists, and +1 or 2 sales per day can mean the difference.

I'm a pretty small fish in this pond, only have one book selling steadily!  But it's enough to put me over four figures each month, which is way more than I had hoped for.  I pulled my books from Select last quarter to try broader distribution, but have seen very little movement in iBooks, B&N, Google Play, et al.  I'm giving up an additional ~10% in KOLL revenue, and who knows what in KU revenue now waiting for those channels to pick up steam...but my combined sales through other channels are nowhere close to my KOLL $ figure.  What do you experienced guys & gals think, is 3 months enough time to test those channels?  I don't mind being one of the guinea pigs to try out KU and report back, since I don't have that much riding on the line...
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: nubchai on July 19, 2014, 09:12:21 AM
Same pool same rate... But same royalty? No one knows and can'tknow until the download numbers are in. If there are three times as many downloads as normal (Hugh reported that's what he's seeing, but freaking hell he's THE Howey) then the royalty will be about $1 (Amazon increased the pool but didn't triple it) The number could literally be anything from a few cents to a few dollars.

Yes I'm sure some niches will see a real boost in downloads if this takes off past the 30-day trial period they're offering. It will be interesting to see actul payout numbers.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Mark E. Cooper on July 19, 2014, 09:13:07 AM
Assuming KU borrows read past 10% count towards Sales Rank like KOLL downloads do, that could have a big impact on my sales, as my best earner teeters between pg 1 and 2 on a couple different (very niche) category bestseller lists, and +1 or 2 sales per day can mean the difference.

I'm a pretty small fish in this pond, only have one book selling steadily!  But it's enough to put me over four figures each month, which is way more than I had hoped for.  I pulled my books from Select last quarter to try broader distribution, but have seen very little movement in iBooks, B&N, Google Play, et al.  I'm giving up an additional ~10% in KOLL revenue, and who knows what in KU revenue now waiting for those channels to pick up steam...but my combined sales through other channels are nowhere close to my KOLL $ figure.  What do you experienced guys & gals think, is 3 months enough time to test those channels?  I don't mind being one of the guinea pigs to try out KU and report back, since I don't have that much riding on the line...

To get going in Kobo and Google especially, you need keywords in your blurbs plus a permafree book if possible. I say this only using my own experience to base this upon. Barnes took my permafree and a Bookbub that hit all the channels, and Apple might have gained from that as well because its gaining momentum. Barnes is absolutely booming for me right now, Google is getting better month on month, and Kobo is in the early stages of start up for me (although I've been in there ages) since adding a keyword rich synopsis paragraph to the end of my blurbs. I couldn't give stuff away at Kobo before that. Now Iam selling a couple of books there a day. Small potatoes yet but encouraging from a standpoint of someone who previously saw zero months all the time at Kobo.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: adanlerma on July 19, 2014, 09:15:36 AM
So much good info and ideas back & forth, but gotta work on my short and probably put it in KU as an experiential test.

My own best feeling is, exclusivity, at least for indies, has out-lived its usefulness.

Unless non-competition is regulated into having rights to an area, like the cable companies and others in places (which almost everyone hates) there is little to gain here, I think.

Otherwise, at some point, with libraries entering the digital age at warp speed, and being funded by local folks tax dollars, they will become as easy to access as any commercial platform out there now.

Hard to believe, I know  :) But check out OverDrive's posts, and do a Google search as to what libraries are doing. It's incredible.

http://blogs.overdrive.com/in-the-news/

Check out the second post there, http://blogs.overdrive.com/front-page-library-news/2014/06/26/overdrive-to-present-20142015-ebook-lending-roadmap-at-national-library-conference/

Anyway, best wishes everyone, I'm off to write  :)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Michael_J_Sullivan on July 19, 2014, 09:16:46 AM
Thanks, Jim, and thanks Michael for the response. Verra interesting, all of it.
*sits back and chews popcorn thoughtfully*

I'm not sure if this link is behind a firewall or not (http://lunch.publishersmarketplace.com/2014/07/authors-kindle-unlimited/) but here is what it says:

For Authors/Publishers Participating By Direct Agreement
These credits/payments will work in a manner similar to other ebook subscription terms, we are told. Any time a reader goes beyond an agreed upon threshold of a particular book -- 10 percent to 20 percent is the range that we have heard -- it is then treated as a full "sale" and the publisher is paid the normal wholesale price of the ebook (and will report that to the author as a sale).

Over the past couple of months we have been told of publishers and individual authors being offered cash payments upfront to participate as well. We do not know if those are advance guarantees or other forms of payment, nor do we know how houses would account for those monies if they are being paid.

For Authors/Publishers Participating Without Direct Agreement, Under Current Contracts
This is the example we already cited regarding Scholastic's books, and it applies to many other high-profile titles as well. Here the situation is the same as with Kindle Owners Lending Library titles that were offered for "borrowing" without direct publisher consent. As soon as customer starts reading a given book, it will be treated as a full "sale" -- without any minimum reading threshhold -- and the publisher will be paid the normal wholesale price of the ebook.

Self-Published KDP Select Authors/Publishers
This the object of discussion right now on online forums. Will it be treated like the Kindle Owner's Lending Library -- in which authors receive a pro-rata share of a monthly pool of cash, where the amount of that pool is decided in Amazon's sole discretion?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: MarkCoker on July 19, 2014, 10:02:53 AM
I'm not sure if Oyster and Scribd are doing well or poorly - that would be a good indicator.  Does anyone know?

I know.  :)  Smashwords is the largest supplier of titles to both of these services.  They're our two fastest growing retail channels.  Scribd is the larger of the two, but Oyster's growing the fastest.  Below is the aggregated sales chart from my blog post on Kindle Unlimited at http://blog.smashwords.com/2014/07/is-kindle-unlimited-bad-for-authors.html  (http://blog.smashwords.com/2014/07/is-kindle-unlimited-bad-for-authors.html)   

Combined, they're still smaller than Kobo, but they're already our fifth and six largest sales channels after iBooks, B&N, Kobo and the Smashwords store.  There's a decent chance each grows to assume our #3 and #4 positions in the next 12 months, and that would be really impressive.  Though even if both were to flatline tomorrow and stop growing, they're already at a level where if all your books aren't there, you're missing out.  Our authors are earning 60% of list price.

(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-CiDxFOBVqII/U8mW7NbgeuI/AAAAAAAACdU/s8cH5NL8W1A/s1600/swscribdoyster.png)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Rykymus on July 19, 2014, 10:04:42 AM
Ugh. So much speculation, so much hearsay, and so little facts.

I will do as I have always done. I will watch for real evidence on how it effects MY goals, and then act accordingly.

That is also the best advice I can offer anyone else at this point.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Usedtopostheretoo! on July 19, 2014, 10:07:04 AM
Assuming KU borrows read past 10% count towards Sales Rank like KOLL downloads do, that could have a big impact on my sales, as my best earner teeters between pg 1 and 2 on a couple different (very niche) category bestseller lists, and +1 or 2 sales per day can mean the difference.

I'm a pretty small fish in this pond, only have one book selling steadily!  But it's enough to put me over four figures each month, which is way more than I had hoped for.  I pulled my books from Select last quarter to try broader distribution, but have seen very little movement in iBooks, B&N, Google Play, et al.  I'm giving up an additional ~10% in KOLL revenue, and who knows what in KU revenue now waiting for those channels to pick up steam...but my combined sales through other channels are nowhere close to my KOLL $ figure.  What do you experienced guys & gals think, is 3 months enough time to test those channels?  I don't mind being one of the guinea pigs to try out KU and report back, since I don't have that much riding on the line...

I think you need to stick with one strategy or another for at least 9 months, possibly longer. My experience was the same, over a 15 month period. I made more from KOLL on the first book in a new series, than I did for 5 titles combined on every other channel. Every author experiences different levels of "success" in and out of Select. There's no one guaranteed path. Give it time.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: dmac on July 19, 2014, 10:14:33 AM
Day 2 of KU, and the indie publishing universe has yet to collapse in on itself. Shocker. In fact, from what I am seeing noon, sales have rebounded, while KOLL/KU continues to collect borrows...

Breathe in...breathe out...

There. Now, shall we wait at least another week, or perhaps a month, to see how this all shakes out?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: dragontucker on July 19, 2014, 10:23:00 AM
Is anyone trying out Kindle Unlimited to see how sales do?

I had an idea for a short novel of around 5-10k words and just started on it today. It is kinda exciting to see how it does in the Kindle Unlimited marketplace. I should be done with it in a few days and will test the waters with it.

What do you guys think? I think this could be a outlet for series. I mean I figure my first book with be a small part of a larger series. I see some potential in writing short books for a large series here. I think there are a lot of people who would like to read short books. I am know I am a little like that....I prefer shorter reads.

Anyone tested the waters yet? Would we make $1 per 10% read on the short novels too?
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: dragontucker on July 19, 2014, 10:27:35 AM
LOL just got an email from a internet marketer hyping this up.

He says basically that you make $2 to give away a free book no matter how short it is. We don't know that they will pay us $2 per 10% read yet do we?

Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: MaryMcDonald on July 19, 2014, 10:30:50 AM
KU is a great way for Amazon to get more people browsing on Amazon. Prime is great for shipping, movies and the one book borrow, but as a Prime user myself, I often don't browse unless I have something specific in mind that I want to buy. If I'm short on cash one month (okay, confession--every month!  :P) I don't even browse for books unless they are free, and with ENT, POI, Bookbub, I don't even need to go to Amazon to find those, only to download, then I spend that second one-clicking, and I'm back to the email/FB page/website that linked me there. With KU, I would have no qualms about browsing. I wouldn't have to wait for KOLL books to go free, or decide which book is worthy of my one free download a month--I'd just get what I want when I want it. Oh, and while I'm browsing, I may decide to buy popcorn, a new pillow and a new case for my Kindle--all because I am right there on Amazon when those random thoughts pop into my head. (Oh, popcorn sounds good, but shoot, we're almost out. I don't feel like stopping at the store tomorrow to get more...oh, wait!)
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: abishop on July 19, 2014, 10:31:48 AM
Ugh. So much speculation, so much hearsay, and so little facts.

I will do as I have always done. I will watch for real evidence on how it effects MY goals, and then act accordingly.

That is also the best advice I can offer anyone else at this point.

I think it would be foolish for anyone to have an opinion about KU that's set in stone at this point, but similarly it doesn't seem very wise to avoid thinking of the plausible outcomes and trying to be prepared for them rather than trying to move at the last minute.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Alondo on July 19, 2014, 10:48:01 AM
Is anyone trying out Kindle Unlimited to see how sales do?

I had an idea for a short novel of around 5-10k words and just started on it today. It is kinda exciting to see how it does in the Kindle Unlimited marketplace. I should be done with it in a few days and will test the waters with it.

What do you guys think? I think this could be a outlet for series. I mean I figure my first book with be a small part of a larger series. I see some potential in writing short books for a large series here. I think there are a lot of people who would like to read short books. I am know I am a little like that....I prefer shorter reads.

Anyone tested the waters yet? Would we make $1 per 10% read on the short novels too?

Preparing "Episode One" of my current work in progress for upload to KOLL/KU as we speak. I've never put anything in Select before. Will let you know how it goes.   
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Quiss on July 19, 2014, 10:49:10 AM
Day 2 of KU, and the indie publishing universe has yet to collapse in on itself.

Not sure that those whose sales have dropped significantly since yesterday would share your enthusiasm.
We all live in our own little universe.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: KZoe on July 19, 2014, 10:54:58 AM
It's entirely possible that all of the Big 5's books will be entered automatically, without the need for exclusivity and cut royalties.

Unlikely. The Big 5's contracts with Amazon are wholesale terms and, I am reasonably certain, wouldn't allow for lending or borrowing by default.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Jill Nojack on July 19, 2014, 11:10:34 AM
Unlikely. The Big 5's contracts with Amazon are wholesale terms and, I am reasonably certain, wouldn't allow for lending or borrowing by default.

All Amazon has to do is pay them the exact same amount as they would for a purchase if the book is borrowed. I believe this is part of the current conflict in the contract negotiation between Hachette and Amazon. Amazon wants to pay less per ebook so they can put the books into KU without a separate contract.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: books_mb on July 19, 2014, 11:10:54 AM
Ugh. So much speculation, so much hearsay, and so little facts.

Yeah, I think stealing nuclear secrets would be much simpler than finding out Amazon's plans. It's sad that KDP authors don't know more than anyone else. Just a generic email from KDP, that's it. Considering they make a lot of money from our books, that's really weak. Amazon, at least let us know what royalties per borrow you are aiming for.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Michael_J_Sullivan on July 19, 2014, 11:14:18 AM
So how and when will you know someone read past 10% of your book. There's only one column in the reporting dashboard and it says:

"KU/KOLL"

Does that mean it was downloaded or read past 10%?

When it shows up is when someone has read past 10%.  Prior to that you don't even know they downloaded.  At least from what I can tell.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Michael_J_Sullivan on July 19, 2014, 11:17:32 AM
Your certainly aren't the only one. I'm feeling very second class right now and it's not a warm, fuzzy feeling.
I've followed this thread as much as time allows, but I'm unclear on one thing about the special indies and publishers that don't have to be exclusive. Where does their money come from? It's a contract between them and Amazon right? Is the Select fund only for Select authors, or are we splitting that with the big names?

Their money is not coming from the select pool - only the KDP people are being paid through it.  My wife and I were discussing this at lunch and our take....the self-published authors are essentially subsidizing the traditional published authors much as the successful traditional published books subsidize those that fail.  In other words.  One group is having their earnings smaller than they would otherwise because another group is being paid with the difference. 
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: Michael_J_Sullivan on July 19, 2014, 11:23:20 AM
Both Scribd and Oyster say they are bringing in new subscribers and doing well. And Smashwords has a blog post out today saying those two services are growing faster for the authors in them (myself included) than the other available outlets. The latter stmt jives with my own experience.

Consider that the two services have a lot of big publisher titles, and of course many many from the huge number not exclusive anywhere (some of which I've read are or have been on the best seller lists) - and that sounds like good reasons Amazon has moved forward into the same style program.

Publishers don't look at Oyster and Scribd with the same eyes that they do Amazon.  They see Amazon as trying to destroy them...and just might be able to do it. They aren't going to give them more rope to hang themselves with.  Oyster and Scribd are just another distribution channel to them. They always like channels  and always have a love hate relationship with Amazon.  Love because they sell so many of their books, hate because they know they have more power than they do....and it's mostly because they GAVE them this power.  They won't give them any more.
Title: Re: Kindle Unlimited: the scoop threads merged... :)
Post by: KZoe on July 19, 2014, 11:29:20 AM
And streaming music revenue in the USA is about to hit $2,000,000,000 in revenue this year and will surpass download music revenue in about 12 months.

2012 RIAA #:

Streaming Revenue: $1.0328 billion USD (up 59%)
Singles Download Revenue: $1.623.6 billion USD (up 6.7%)
Album Download Revenue: $1.205 billion USD-----------------combined downloads at $2.829 billion
CD (physical): $2.4856 billion USD

2013 RIAA#:

Streaming Revenue: $1.439 billion USD (up 39.3%)
Singles Download Revenue: $1.569 billion USD (down 3.4%)
Album Download Revenue: $1.234 billion USD (up 2.4%) ----combined downloads is at $2.803 billion
CD (physical): $2.1235 (down 14.6%)


Soundscan 2014 first half report is out. Streaming is up 42% and download is down 13%

2014 prediction:

Streaming Revenue: $2.015 billion (up 40%)
Download combined: $2.450 billion