Okay, so this won’t be a long post by any stretch but there’s a lot of discussion out there as to whether you should put your books in Kindle Unlimited, so I wanted to add my perspective. Here’s a snippet from a blog post from Free Kindle Books and Tips explaining how KU works for readers:
Basically, Kindle Unlimited is a program where for just $9.99 per month, you can read as much as you want from over 700,000+ Kindle books as well as listen to thousands of Audible audiobooks – as many or as few titles as you want for the $9.99 per month fee. You also get a free three month membership to Audible.
As a writer, it’s important to note that the greatest aspect of KU is that it represents a zero-risk option for a reader who is looking to try out a new book/series/author.
In terms of payments, writers are paid per page read.
So whether a reader finishes only 10 pages or if they finish your whole book (maybe it’s 150 or 300 pages, maybe it’s closer to 500) you earn say 0.0043 cents per page read. That figure changes month to month but has been similar for some years now.
At first, it sounds tiny, but it quickly adds up over a series:
Consider if one, ten, twenty or a hundred readers finished approximately 1,500 pages across 3 novels in a series – suddenly your revenue will shoot up significantly. As an example, the 30-day period when I relaunched City of Masks + The Lost Mask, the two books clocked around 70,000 page reads, a figure which far outweighed my sales for the same period. (I did run an ad to kick-start that interest, more on those later).
The downside is that to have your book featured in KU, you must have that title exclusive with Amazon (for 90 days at a time.) No other retailers can sell your book.
So, should you or shouldn’t you?
Well, my opinion is that if you’re a) writing long books in a series or b) just starting out, and your aim is to increase your revenue and readership, then go for KU. Try the 90 exclusivity period – if you don’t like it, leave at the end of the term and test the book wide. It might sell better, it’s hard to predict. If it doesn’t sell better, KU is still there.