What Authors Think Of Kindle Unlimited

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What do authors think of Kindle Unlimited?


Have you heard of Kindle Unlimited yet?  I heard about it a few days ago in my Facebook feed and then over the last 2 days I have had tons of authors send out their newsletter letting us know which of their books can be found in the Kindle Unlimited program.

So what is it?

Kindle Unlimited is to books what Netflix is to movies.  For $9.99 a month (after your first month free trial) you will have access to some 600,000 titles for your reading pleasure (and you will get to try the audible experience as well).   When you look up a book to see if it is available under the program, you will see this:

on the search page under the title

or this on the actual book page

Now this is probably going to be excellent for readers, Amazon is nothing if not innovative.

For myself, as a reader and a subscription box addict, I would probably sign up if I didn’t have a virtual stack of books taller than I am that I have bought that are just sitting there waiting for me to read.  (That is not counting free books, those are a whole other monster in my Kindle cloud.)  I probably have 500 books that I have paid for that I really really want to read and haven’t had a chance to you because my book tours that I am a part of need to be done first.  It would all depend on what books are available and if my favorite authors are using the program.

The next thing I wanted to know is what authors think of Kindle Unlimited.  Is it going to be good for them as well?  From what I understand most have to be using KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) Select, meaning their books are exclusive to Kindle.  There are also a few other reasons a book might be in the Kindle Unlimited program, this article explains them well.

I went to some of my favorite authors and asked them to give me their thoughts on Kindle Unlimited in just a few sentences.  Let us know if they think this is something that is good for them?  Below you will find their thoughts on Kindle Unlimited and how it affects the writers that pen these books we love.

(Click on the book covers below to take you to the Amazon page.)

“I think that the Kindle Unlimited program is interesting. As most of my books will be enrolled in the program, I think it will give readers who are new to my work a chance to try it out at a much lower cost. I am looking forward to seeing what Amazon does with the program and where it goes from here.”

Scarlett Jade

“I think that for authors, it’s great, it gives more people the chance to read their book—and royalties are given after reading 10%, which I think is fair, considering they can’t refund the book.

For readers, it’s even better! They have a HUGE library of books, and can read as many as they like for very little a month.”

Joseph Eastwood

“Well honestly I am giving it a couple of months to see what happens. I am not dismissing it completely. I have been on prime and made money from that with the borrowing.”

Rue Volley

“I think it’s a great idea to expose readers to new books, (hello we have all done the Netflix binge watching and viewed three seasons of a show in one weekend), but I think more information needs to be given to authors and readers. I’ve heard that right now it’s just titles published through Amazon owned presses (like Skyscape and Montlake) and that authors will still be paid their normal rate per book. But I could be completely wrong.”

Magan Vernon

“Subscription services are coming whether anyone likes them or not. It’s an inevitable and natural offshoot of the digital age. It’s likely to bring in more readers, or at least allow existing readers access to more books, but it’s difficult to gauge the longterm effects on the content producers, i.e. the writers. It’s just another step in digital evolution, but it’s hard to see this not ending in content that has almost zero value for the creator. That could be a decade, or two decades, away, but it’s going to happen. And we haven’t even hit ad-sponsored books or what happens when public libraries really get workable digital catalogs.”

Scott Nicholson

“I’m not sure how I feel about Kindle Unlimited. I’m interested in watching how this unfolds. My only hope is that this wonderful idea is beneficial for both reader and author. I love the idea, just hope it works out.”

Annie Rose Welch

“As a subscriber of services like Netflix and Spotify, I think a similar model for readers is a natural progression. Amazon is nothing if not innovative, and there’s potential here for authors to reach more people. However, it’s still unclear how this will affect self-published authors; my hope is that it becomes a system that benefits both us and the reader.”

Jessica Hawkins

“I think it’s too early to make snap decisions about the new program, honestly. I would have thought the Kindle Online Learning Library would cut into author royalties, at first, but I’ve found that I make higher royalties on KOLL loans than straight book sales. I’m trying to keep an open mind about the Unlimited program, until I see some hard numbers. Being reactionary just causes me undue stress.”

Sinead MacDughlas

“If I understand it correctly Kindle Unlimited occurs when you are enrolled in the KDP Select program.  I do not utilize the KDP Select, so I honestly won’t be able to participate in the Kindle Unlimited program.  For those enrolled in the program, it seems like it would be a good thing because more people will have access to read the book and still get a royalty off of it.”

T. Renee Fike

“As a reader I love the idea… as an Indie writer not so much. For my book to be part of the program, I’d have to do KDP select. That means only selling my books through Amazon, and I’m limiting my readers to only one kind of format. However, if KDP select wasn’t necessary… I’d be thrilled as an author. It’s like Spotify or Netflix of the literary world; who wouldn’t love it! :)”

Claudia Y. Burgoa

“If Kindle Unlimited is able to out-compete sales on channels other than Amazon (Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, etc.), then I will seriously consider the switch to making my books exclusive through Amazon.  I would hate to do it, as it makes it more difficult for many readers to access my books.  We’ll have to wait and see how it all pans out.”

Julia Sykes

“When Amazon sneezes, Indie authors in particular panic. But, the subscription model is already out there with Scribd and Oyster. The music industry has tried it, publishing has tried it in various ways in the past. You have to let it play out to see it’s final effect. My guess is in the end it won’t be much. And as for me, as long as people like to read romance, I figure I’ve got a job!”

Selena Laurence

“We love anything that helps readers access e-books in an easy and functional manner, and we are excited to see where this takes the e-book market.  That being said, we’re also cautious in our expectations.  We have had books in the KDP Select program in the past and have seen good responses.  However, the royalties are based on the overall fund and the amount of books borrowed. While Kindle has increased the fund for this month, it will be interesting to see how that plays out in the coming months…and how royalties are affected as the user base of Kindle Unlimited continues to grow.  Will royalties decrease as users increase if the fund does not increase at the same rate?  Just some questions we are watching from an author point-of-view…but from a reader point-of-view, it could be a gold mine!  LOL”

Sarah O’Rourke

I want to thank each of the authors above for taking the time to tell us what they think about the new Kindle Unlimited program.  I really appreciate it.

Now how about you all?  What do you think about this new program?  Have you signed up already?  Given it a test run?  Are you waiting to see what else is going to be available to read?  Or are you like me with more books than you could probably possibly read in your lifetime (yet you still keep buying more)?

You can check out Kindle Unlimited here.

Leave me your thoughts in the comments!  I am sure the authors would like to know what we think as readers as well.

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  • Amanda Lane

    I think what Amazon is trying to do is a good thing, probably more so for readers but I don’t think it should be limited to Amazon in order to be a part of the program. Netflix doesn’t limit it’s movies to only Netflix. I also can’t see myself paying a subscription when I probably won’t read enough books to make it worth it. If I didn’t have a life, three kids, full time job, etc then I might consider it but sometimes I just don’t get enough time to read no matter how much I enjoy it. I also tend to prefer to own my book which you can’t even fully do with any ebook. But staying with the times and the fact that I hate running out of things to read while on the road just because I didn’t want to carry multiple book, I’ve adapted to ebooks and have quite the selection. But I’ll always have more books than I can read anyways so it’s probably not a good idea however I’m a book addict.