I’m about to make a case against authors, especially indie authors, signing in with Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited.
(Yes, technically us indie authors are signing into KDP Select, which allows our books to be available on KU, but let’s keep things simple.)
But, before I get to that, I’ll go ahead and state all the reasons you’ll find as to why you shouldn’t listen to me.
First off, I only have one book that is currently available. KU certainly helps those with a wide catalog. Also, my other jobs often keep me away from the keyboard so I am much slower than I should be.
Additionally, I have not spent months researching marketing trends, top selling genres and authors, or what the market wants. Those are also things that will certainly help KU work for you.
Finally, you shouldn’t listen to me because I have never liked the idea of middle-men who only push money around for little else. And yes, in its current form I consider in house ads on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Amazon as another form of middle-men milking money from creatives.
So, yes, I am fully aware that with the right legwork authors can, and do, make a pretty penny from loading their books into the KU collective.
But is that reason enough?
If you are already certain the chance of more money is enough, I can understand that. Have a great day.
I’m just not convinced.
First off, one of the reasons I opted into self publishing was for the freedom. I can write whatever I like, have the final say about the cover, and sell it wherever.
KU takes some of that freedom away from you. To be fair, Amazon does seem to allow its writers to have creative freedom, as long as they put their books where they are told. That also means they are also dictating who can read your book, at least in digital form.
No matter the financial gains, this restriction irks me.
Amazon is large and powerful enough that it can set these terms. It can easily indie authors that if we want to play in their sandbox, we better not even think of playing anywhere else, and because of their power, they can even make it lucrative for some to do just that.
Things are going to get harder for indie authors as more and more companies seek ways to make money off our efforts. And KU is just a way to make us used to being controlled.
So, against if you are like me and decided to go independent to retain freedom and control, why let a giant corporations ultimately determine how a potential reader gains access to your book?
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