I’m seeing comments like Tom’s from writers on Kindleboards as well; the evidence seems to be growing that Kindle Unlimited has damaged sales for a significant number of self-published authors at Amazon. Other factors hurting sales (besides the stagnating ebook market in general) are Amazon’s favoring of its own imprints in promotions and rankings (those Amazon-published books don’t get ahead on the bestseller lists simply on their own merits,) and the changes in algorithms that create more “churn” on the lists, preventing books from sticking at high levels for long. A book has to demonstrate some serious strengths to escape housekeeping sweeps by the algorithm bots. Wouldn’t it be fascinating if we could turn off those formulas for a few weeks and see which books actually sell the best?
Amazon just announced that the payout for Kindle Unlimited rentals (KU’s) is only $1.33 each for October. This compares to $1.52 for September, $1.54 for August and $1.81 for July, the month the program started.
As a result of this drastic drop in payout, I’ve received a number of emails from authors I know about whether staying in Select and KU is worth it at this point. The following is an email I sent to my friend George Hudson, author of Sol Shall Rise. It pretty much lays out my thinking on KU and Amazon as a whole at this time.
“Yeah, George, KU is a problem right now, but it’s larger than that. Overall, Amazon is underperforming. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still the eight-hundred pound gorilla in the room and we need to always be on it. But looking at a combination of much lower payouts for KU, along with the…
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