Being a writer involves much more than writing. The daydreaming and doodling and creating part are the best. The actual writing part can be both fun and aggravating, but mostly fun. I enjoy it immensely, and with the help of Bill (my assistant) I can now do it more and not spend as much time on the parts of the job which I enjoy less.
But the other parts cannot be ignored. Writing is also very much a business and with that in mind one has to keep their head up and notice the world in which we operate in. It involves knowing the people and the businesses you do things with, and taking note of any changes and how they might affect what you are doing. It’s the same no matter if you’re selling cat toys or Slurpee’s or fighter jets, but the world of publishing is currently experiencing a rapid amount of change.
Last month I made a business decision which I did not wish to make. Why? Because the numbers told me to. I decided that it was time to put all of my books into Amazon’s KU program.
Yes, Kindle Unlimited. The same program you have seen me rail against on this blog in the past. The program run by Amazon that demands exclusivity. The program that feeds me tid-bits of information and awards me based on the page-read without giving me any actual, or even verifiable, information as to what that number truly is. The program that likes to change on us without notice, and gives us blanket messages in reply to any inquiry. The deal which no other business person in their right mind would enter into.
But, the numbers still tell me it’s the right thing to do.
They say you should never put all your eggs in one basket. I have always agreed with that. I have always had my books in several — Apple, Kobo, Google, Barnes and Noble, etc. — and I’ve done fairly well by doing so.
The problem is: Amazon’s basket keeps getting bigger, and the other baskets have shrunk to the point that they only hold one egg apiece. Apple was looking good for a while, but they have always viewed their bookstore as an afterthought. Search suffers and there’s been no real change for some time there. Google moves books, but their interface is horrible. They also have the nasty habit of discounting my books without warning, something that upsets the cart on other platforms. Kobo is doing everything right, but they lack the scale to become a contender. B&N are dying a slow and predictable death.
So as I watched the balance tip more and more into Amazon’s favor, I had to ask myself if I was doing the right thing by staying wide, as we say, on all platforms. The numbers I had, I shared with other authors who were kind enough to share theirs with me. They all said I could reach more readers and move more books with Kindle Unlimited. Not to mention that my new serial novel was the perfect thing for readers in a subscription program. Everything said I had the right genre, and the right books, and the right type of reader, to enter KU and do well.
KU is a 90 day commitment, but it requires that I pull my books from the other platforms and make them available only at Amazon.
So I chose to perform a 90-day experiment. It started on October 1st.
For those of you who are looking for my books on the other platforms and can’t find them, you can still get them. Bill has found a way.
At the top of the homepage you’ll find a page labeled “No Kindle? No problem“. If you have a NOOK, or a Kobo reader, or simply do not wish to read in the Kindle format, we still have you covered. Just click on that page, and follow the directions, and we’ll get you whatever book you’d like. I don’t want to leave anyone left out.
But back to the experiment. There’s no doubt that Amazons platform is the largest. And while I may not like the deal they offer, there’s no argument when it comes to Amazon serving the readers out there. They are far and away the best at what they do. With Kindle Unlimited you can read my entire library of work for less than $10 a month. It’s the cheapest way for me to offer my work and still make a living, so I’m encouraging all of you to check it out. You can do so by clicking HERE.
As I said, this is for 90 days. Should this result in favorable numbers, I may re-enroll for another 90 days. We’ll all have to wait and see.
So, for the next 60 days or, so my books will be available only at Amazon, or the sales page here on my website. I apologize for any inconvenience.