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Reasons to GO into Kindle Unlimited

1096 Views 10 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Lydniz
We've all read countless threads about reasons to PULL books from KDP.

Generally it seemed that if a book was not making money in KDP (borrows), but was making money outside ( sales ) even if it was a novel you should pull it out.

But what if a book or a series isn't making barely ANY sales outside of KDP and you haven't tried KDP (kindle unlimited ) with it?

Do you think it makes sense to test out at least the FIRST book in the series in KDP?
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Prawn here, so I'm not sure how much my opinion matters. But from what I can tell, if you aren't making a decent amount of money outside of the Kindle store and your prices are pretty low, it's worth giving Select a try. If you're making decent sales everywhere else as well as making a profit over 1.30-1.50 then I wouldn't go all in. Maybe a book or two to test the waters.
KBDeni said:
Prawn here, so I'm not sure how much my opinion matters. But from what I can tell, if you aren't making a decent amount of money outside of the Kindle store and your prices are pretty low, it's worth giving Select a try. If you're making decent sales everywhere else as well as making a profit over 1.30-1.50 then I wouldn't go all in. Maybe a book or two to test the waters.
Yes, that's what I'm thinking

I have tested the model of


99 cents, 1,99, 2.99

1.99 2.99, 2.99

2.99, 3.99, 3.99

and even higher

and the only times it gains traction is when its FREE.

Good reviews when people do read it but I think its in a genre that doesn't get a lot of attention.

So I'm thinking its basic logic.

If I can shift 1,000 at $1.33 vs ZERO it makes sense.

Sure I don't get to go wide. But quite frankly over a period of 2 years I have only seen a few sales from this on barnes, itunes and kobo so I think its time to give Amazon a go 100%

If it gains traction and i get over 50 reviews and I start seeing more sales vs borrows then I will pull it but until then i would rather have ONE BUCK than ZERO bucks.
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I'll bite. My books have been in KU for their first two terms. I've consistently averaged 10 or more borrows a day, and my books have held rank since release. I barely noticed the 30 day cliff for either of them. There's no way this would have happened without KU. Staying in gave me great exposure to a ton of readers I wouldn't have otherwise gotten my work in front of. It also means I've had to spend less time learning other platforms, which gave me time to crank out two more books. That's been invaluable.

That said I'm going to go wide with my first novel on April 25th. It's a tough decision, but longterm I think that's best for me. I have contacts at Apple and believe I can get a push from their marketing team, especially since my audiobook is already on iTunes and doing well.

New authors can profit a lot from KU, and it can make this whole indie publishing thing a little less scary in the beginning. YMMV.
I had this same thinking, but I don't want to NOT go wide and/or alienate my readers at other retailers (that are slowly building). The other retailers have been slow to build but there is SO MUCH opportunity there that I would not want to exclude them. Also, even one reader coming to me saying they couldn't get my books anymore would be one too many.

So I made a series prequel that is a lead up to my permafree but doesn't have any real significant plot points - it's just a cute lead in and intro to the main character that will lead people to the permafree, which of course is no risk. I gave it free to my newsletter subscribers and let them know it was going to be exclusive to Kindle.

So far, it hasn't been a huge blockbuster, but I have had a handful of borrows on a short piece, so it hasn't been for nothing. Time will tell if it gets any traction.

This is it here:
I think, for authors who are newer and/or authors who don't have much visibility in general, KU can be very lucrative and a great way to get in front of readers. The stuff under what was my "bread and butter" pen name that I use with my publisher and for self-pub contemporary romance always did fairly well (i.e. release weeks, new books I self-pubbed hit the top 5,000 overall, and my books with my publisher would hit anywhere from top 1000 to top 100) but my paranormal romance Chloe Cole pen name was in the crapper and all but defunct (I used it back when I first started publishing about six years ago, and hadn't released anything under that name in a couple years). I got rights back to those novellas, re-wrote and then self-pubbed them. They didn't do well comparatively speaking, moving maybe 5-8 copies a day per book across all vendors. I moved them into KU, and they did marginally better. Then, a few other opportunities came along in PNR for me (I was invited to be in a box set with other authors), so I decided to make the most of the exposure, roll up my sleeves and start writing under that name again as well. THAT'S when everything changed. I've released probably seven novellas under that name since November and sales (and borrows) have since exploded. That pen name is now my bread and butter. February was a brutal month whereas, prior, I'd experienced 100% growth every other month, it was a total flatline and even dipped at points, but March things are back and popping again. Yesterday I had my highest borrows to date with 278 for the day (and almost 200 sales). That said, I don't think moving stuff to KU in and of itself would have yielded the same result (or, it hadn't when I did it initially). There were a lot of different facets to how it all happened. I did lots of keywords testing, changed most of my covers out, began using new methods of advertising, got into several private groups with like-minded people in similar genres who were also gung-ho about marketing and what not. I also watched trends and wrote to market and really tried to capitalize on the pro-short form aspect of KU.

So, I guess my advice would be this: If you have poor selling books OUT of KU, just moving them until KU will not likely make too much of a difference for you. If you move them and then try to capitalize on the move, write more in the series or a connected series etc, then yep. I do think that could work, and there are definitely authors making it work to their advantage. Good luck whatever you decide!
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This isn't even that too hard to figure out. You have to put the books in KU at some point to figure out if it's going to work for you. If that last one did or didn't then the next one will probably follow suit.

Frankly, it's all about length. KU wil always help you sell or get more borrows on amazon. Whether you can get traction on other stores or amazon itself without it is what you have to figure out.

Of course if it's zero all around the table, you don't even have to worry about KU. You have to worry about writing something good first!
KU was ok for getting readers and reviews but after my 90 days was up, I went wide. If you're new and unknown, KU certainly cannot hurt. But I think there is more money to be made going wide.
Wisdom says go with Allyson. Not a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket.
How will you ever establish yourself on other vendor sites if you continue to stay
with only thee one? Not everyone shops via 'Zon. I love amazon, do most of my shopping
for books, DVDs & CDs there, but am happy I got out of KU & select. Yes, it takes a while
to get established elsewhere, but as indies, our survival depends on it.

Be on kobo, itunes, B&N, scribd, et al. And if you'd rather not upload yourself, go through
Draft2Digital. Yes, they'll take their cut, but it makes life a whole lot easier.

My 2 jelly beans, er pesos, er pennies.  ;D   
What I am saying is that

If you aren't making any money ( or very very very little on other platforms )

And for whatever reason the books aren't getting sold on Amazon because of genre.

Then testing KU is the next step.

I have tested going wide and right now for these books its yielded very little

I am going to test amazon only for these to see.
My approach to KU is never to get into a situation where I rely on it. In my case, for example, I am working up to starting a new pen name, and my plan is to launch a short series into KU just to get the name going and some subscribers to my mailing list. Once the name is established I'll get out as fast as I can because I don't want to be forever agonising over whether I'd make more money going wide than I would from KU borrows at 4.268 cents each or whatever it'll be by the end of the year.
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