The announcement yesterday of KINDLE UNLIMITED by Amazon.com that I wrote about (and made a video about) has set the high seas of the writing/publishing world ablaze! At least in the blogosphere. I mean it – there are so many pages of writing blogs I need to read through! And, it might well turn the tides of the ebook buying buisness on its ear, along with the experiences of readers who sign up for these all-you-can-read subscription services.
“Never get off the boat…”
We might not have a choice in the future as to how ebooks are discovered and read – at least in the mainstream. It might all go subscription based, which would be fine, I think, as long as us writers continue to get paid fairly. If not, then self-published writers with the means and the clout could always open their own stores/hubs, such as the likes of a Hugh Howey, or a Russel Blake, or a Joe Konrath. Maybe that will happen one day, it seems likely. Until then, writers and readers, if they are astute, will take advantage of the current in the ebook (and audiobook) stream that is Amazon (and the smaller, but growing ponds of Scribd and Oyster).
Now, I’ve only ever tried Scribd so far. I used to use it years ago as a place to discover free writing, and as somewhere to find new readers for my writing. It was fun, even though I didn’t have the ability to sell on there as a Canadian, at the time.
Recently, I was given a free 1 year subscription to Scribd as part of the initial distribution of titles to Scribd via Smashwords, and I’m really enjoying it (so, thank you to whomever is responsible for that)!
I find that I’m sampling and reading ebooks from authors I never would have tried before, if I would have had to pay for each one. It’s like having a vast digital library at your finger tips, where you are free to checkout anything you like (with no walks in the rain, trying to keep the books dry under a bent umbrella that is blowing in the wind!). As a result, I’ve discovered a lot of new writers, and am planning to work my way through their titles.
I’m enjoying the free Scribd subscription so much, that I’ll probably purchase another one when it expires. Which leads me to want to try out Kindle Unlimited (like the name, by the way.) The tagline for Kindle Unlimited that appears on some of the webpage ads is: “Freedom to Explore.” Hecks, yeah!
As a writer, I think I have the same concerns as most writers do, that our bottom line will suffer in the wake of smaller royalty payment. This is, of course, of great concern. But, for many of us, we first need to have our books read by a wider audience, then we’ll make more royalties. There’s still a lot of uncertainty about just how much writers are going to make per read of their ebooks in Kindle Unlimited, but it looks like the payments will be similar to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.
Do I wish this was different, and we writers could jump into the Kindle Unlimited pool and still set our own prices? Hecks, yeah!
But, that’s not the case; at least for most of us, for now. Still, I’m getting some of my ebooks in the KU boat, and we’re gonna see where the river takes us.
We can always get off the boat later, if we need to…Right?