Kindle Unlimited VS Going Wide - Some Thoughts on KU vs Other Places Besides Amazon KDP
Hello, fellow authors and book enthusiasts! Today, let's dive into the exciting world of publishing and explore the benefits and drawbacks of Kindle Unlimited (KU) while also taking a peek at some other fantastic platforms beyond Amazon KDP. If you're looking to broaden your horizons and explore alternative avenues for publishing, this blog post is for you. So grab your favorite beverage, get cozy, and let's embark on this informative journey together! Let's start off by answering the Reddit post which inspired me to think of today's topic:
I left KU in 2013 when the pay rate dropped down to just one penny per page read, and I've heard it has recently been cut two additional times... which if you are getting .20c per 60 page reads... DAMN! It's been cut A LOT! I left when the pay rate had dropped down to one dollar per 100 page reads, which is .60c per 60 pages. Ouch! Is KU pay really all the way down to .20c per 60 pages! Damn! I guess I'm glad I left when it was a full $1 for every hundred.
It was $10 per 100 pages read, when I joined in 2010, that's why so many short story writers, especially Erotica shorts, could make so much money back then, money that they don't come close to today. In 2013 Amazon on jump cut KU pay from ten dollars per hundred pages to one dollar per hundred pages and I let thinking that was cut throat low. I feel sorry for KU authors today. That's just sweatshop slave wages, is what that is.
I don't have a comparison for today's KU, so it could be outdated info, because like I said I pulled out of KU and went wide in 2013... a full ten years ago... and the publishing industry has changed a lot since than.
But for me personally, leaving KU and going wide was a good thing that increased my sales.
It could be a genre thing though. See, unless you are writing Erotica or Hot Steamy Romance, most genres don't seem to do well in KU, so I think if you are writing Erotica or Spicy Romance, then you might do best staying in KU. But any other genre, you might do better going wide?
That was my experience at least. I write Cozy Magical Realism, Cozy Gothic Fantasy, and Cozy Cosmic Horror, all three of which have a strong Romance sub-plot and can be classified as Sweet Fluffy Cozy Sex-less Romance in Fantasy settings. There is no sex, no action, and the romance scenes at their "spiciest" are cuddles and kisses, with the BULK of the scenes being just couples sitting around in cafes/taverns/teahouses/noodle shops talking sweet nothings to each other. It's the farthest deep opposite end of Erotica as you can get, and, I think that is why for me KU was never a big income.
KU readers are looking for hot sex and my characters snuggle up with tea cups and giggle over watching other patrons in the teahouse. The Cozy genre has never been a big seller to begin with, and Amazon is actually not the best place to sell it, so for me, my KU income was NEVER more than 3% of my income.
So, it was no loss at all to leave KU and go wide. I make 90% on GumRoad, 65% on DriveThroughRPG, both of which combined are 35% to 45% of my income each month, meaning that by leaving KU and going wide I INCREASED my income by 30% to 40% each month. So for me personally, leaving KU was a good thing...
...BUT... as I said, I think a lot of that had to do with my genre NOT being Erotica, so my books were of no interest to the bulk of KU readers who seem to be primarily Erotica readers. Plus, the Cozy Fantasy genre just is not a big seller anywhere to begin with and even less so on Amazon... so my genre had a big role in my having an income increase because I put my books in a place (DriveThruRPG) where my genre was a better seller.
So leaving KU was better for me, but I think it was because I'm not writing Erotica and while my books have Romance plots, they fall more into Fantasy then Romance.
For me, going wide was nest. But for you, maybe staying with KU is better. Who knows. No one can answer this question for you. You have to make the final choice in what to do. But maybe looking at it will help you out? Let's do that.
If you're on the fence about Kindle Unlimited, let's discuss the pros and cons compared to other platforms beyond Amazon KDP.
First things first, let's talk about Kindle Unlimited. This subscription-based service offers readers unlimited access to a vast library of books for a small monthly fee. As an author, enrolling your book in Kindle Unlimited opens up a world of possibilities. One of the most significant advantages is the exposure it provides within Amazon's vast ecosystem. Your book becomes available to millions of Kindle Unlimited subscribers actively seeking their next literary adventure.
The benefits don't stop there! Kindle Unlimited offers a unique opportunity to earn royalties through the Kindle Edition Normalized Pages (KENP) Read program. Every time a reader borrows and reads your book, you receive a share of the KENP royalty fund. It's like receiving a bonus for every page read!
However, it's essential to consider the drawbacks too. Kindle Unlimited requires exclusivity, meaning your book must be enrolled solely in the KU program for the duration of the enrollment period. This exclusivity can limit your reach if you desire to publish your work on other platforms or if you prefer to diversify your readership across different avenues.
However, as stated previously, I personally find KU fees to be a fucking laughing stock. When KU was introduced Amazon paid us $10 for every 100 pages reads.
I left KU when Amazon decided scam fees of $1 for a hundred page reads was okay. That was in 2013.
Now in 2023, you are earning one quarter of a penny per fucking page?
Magazines pay writers .25c PER WORD, and hear Amazon is paying .0025c PER PAGE.
Yeah. I don't like KU. Sorry. I just can't recommend it.
You get locked into Amazon only, lose out on being in other stores, AND get paid less then you would if you was a slave chained to a sewing machine in a Chinese sweat shop? I'm but that's not right. Amazon can afford to pay AT LEAST as much as small press print magazines do.
When it comes to publishing your book, you might find yourself pondering the choice between Kindle Unlimited (KU) and going wide to other platforms.
Are you an author considering the best distribution strategy for your book? The publishing world offers various avenues to get your work into the hands of readers, and two popular options are Kindle Unlimited (KU) and going wide.
Let's kick things off by talking about Kindle Unlimited. This subscription-based service allows readers to access a vast library of books for a monthly fee. As an author, enrolling your book in Kindle Unlimited means it becomes available to KU subscribers.
What are the advantages? Well, for starters, increased visibility within Amazon's ecosystem. Your book will be exposed to a dedicated pool of readers who actively seek out titles through the program. Plus, Kindle Unlimited offers the potential for increased royalties through page reads, providing an opportunity for additional income.
However, it's essential to consider the flip side. Kindle Unlimited requires exclusivity, meaning your book cannot be available on other platforms during the enrollment period. For some authors, this limited reach can be a drawback, especially if they aim to diversify their readership across multiple platforms.
Now, let's shift our focus to going wide. Going wide means making your book available on various platforms beyond Amazon KDP. This strategy allows readers to purchase your book individually on platforms like Kobo, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, and more. By expanding your distribution, you can reach readers who prefer specific platforms or those who may not be Kindle Unlimited subscribers.
One significant advantage of going wide is the potential for increased exposure and the ability to diversify your income streams. Your book isn't confined to a single marketplace, allowing you to tap into different readerships and target audiences. Additionally, going wide offers more flexibility, as you have control over pricing, promotions, and distribution options across multiple platforms.
One of the key considerations for authors is whether to enroll their book in Kindle Unlimited or explore wider distribution options.
It's important to note that while going wide brings these benefits, it also requires additional effort in terms of managing multiple accounts and marketing strategies for each platform. As an author, you'll need to invest time and resources to build an audience on each platform and optimize your book's visibility.
As you embark on your publishing journey, understanding the pros and cons of Kindle Unlimited versus going wide is crucial. Both approaches offer unique benefits and considerations that can significantly impact your book's success. Take the time to evaluate your goals, target audience, and preferred distribution strategy to make an informed decision.
Ultimately, the decision between Kindle Unlimited and going wide hinges on your specific goals and target readership. Kindle Unlimited offers the advantage of increased visibility within Amazon's ecosystem and the potential for higher royalties. On the other hand, going wide allows you to diversify your readership and explore alternative platforms, opening doors to new audiences and income streams.
Consider factors such as your genre, target audience, and long-term goals as you weigh the pros and cons of each approach. Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Some authors choose to enroll in Kindle Unlimited for a specific time, assess its impact, and then go wide to expand their reach further.
Whether you opt for Kindle Unlimited or explore wider platforms, remember that adaptability and flexibility are key. The publishing landscape is ever-evolving, and your strategy may change as your readership grows. Stay open to new possibilities and be ready to adjust your approach to maximize your book's reach and impact.
By carefully considering the pros and cons of Kindle Unlimited and going wide, you're one step closer to finding the perfect path for your publishing adventure. Embrace the opportunities that lie ahead, and enjoy the journey of sharing your words with the world.
Let's take a moment to explore the benefits and drawbacks of Kindle Unlimited and examine other avenues besides Amazon KDP. DriveThruRPG, GumRoad, and LuLu are all good alternatives.
Now, let's take a closer look at some excellent alternatives beyond Amazon KDP. These platforms offer authors the opportunity to expand their reach and tap into diverse readerships.
DriveThruRPG: If you're an author in the realm of tabletop role-playing games or other gaming-related content, DriveThruRPG is an excellent platform to consider. With a large community of gaming enthusiasts, DriveThruRPG provides a specialized marketplace for your unique creations.
But a lot of writers seem to be unaware that DriveThruRPG is MORE then just games. Yes, that's what they started out with, but today in 2023, they are one of the largest online book sellers of Fantasy novels, novellas, and short stories as well.
In fact, DriveThruRPG has evolved into a powerhouse for authors in the Fantasy genre. Whether you write Cozy Magical Realism, Bizzaro Cosmic Horror, Epic Sword and Sorcery, or Isakei LitRPG Power Fantasies, DriveThruRPG and its sister site, DriveThruFiction, offer unparalleled opportunities to reach a passionate audience.
Let's delve into why DriveThruRPG should be on your radar as an author. Firstly, their platform boasts a massive user base of passionate gamers and fantasy enthusiasts. By tapping into this community, you can instantly connect with readers who are already hungry for fantastical stories.
But it doesn't end there. DriveThruRPG has taken significant strides to become the go-to destination for authors of LitRPG novels. If you're unfamiliar with LitRPG, it's a subgenre that blends elements of fantasy and gaming, where characters often navigate virtual worlds. DriveThruRPG has become the #2 place for authors to publish their LitRPG works, second only to RoyalRoad.
Speaking of RoyalRoad, it's worth noting that while RoyalRoad is a great platform for publishing, they don't offer royalties to authors. On the other hand, DriveThruRPG ensures that your hard work is rewarded with royalties, providing a more sustainable and rewarding publishing experience.
DriveThruRPG, a once-small RPG game guide dealer, has transformed into a major competitor to Amazon KDP with its exclusive contract program. This program offers authors a compelling alternative to Amazon's Kindle Unlimited program, allowing them to earn 85% royalties on both ebooks and print editions. That's right—DriveThruRPG now offers paperback print editions, expanding its reach and giving authors even more options to connect with readers.
However, it's crucial to understand the implications of the DriveThruRPG exclusive contract. Similar to Amazon's KU program, this contract requires authors to publish exclusively with DriveThruRPG and refrain from distributing their works through other platforms. Unlike Amazon KU, where authors can exit the contract after 90 days, the DriveThruRPG exclusive contract necessitates a commitment of six months with an additional six-month notice period if you decide to leave. Furthermore, even after leaving the contract, authors must wait another six months before uploading their works elsewhere. In essence, opting for exclusivity with DriveThruRPG means you are locked into the contract for a full 18 months. Nonetheless, the upside is the attractive 85% royalty rate, which surpasses the rates offered by Amazon.
As an author, I made a conscious decision not to choose DriveThruRPG's exclusive contract. By going the non-exclusive route, I receive a slightly lower royalty rate of 65%, but in return, I have the freedom to publish my works on other platforms, expanding my reach beyond DriveThruRPG's marketplace.
It's essential to carefully read and understand the terms of any contract before committing to exclusivity. Evaluate your goals as an author, consider your long-term plans, and assess the potential benefits and drawbacks of exclusivity. While the higher royalty rate may be enticing, it's crucial to weigh it against the freedom to explore other avenues and connect with readers across multiple platforms.
DriveThruRPG's growth as a major player in the publishing industry should not be underestimated. With its expanding catalog of Fantasy novels, novellas, and short stories, as well as the introduction of paperback print editions, DriveThruRPG has emerged as a formidable alternative to Amazon KDP. Authors seeking to tap into the passionate gaming and Fantasy enthusiast community will find DriveThruRPG a valuable platform for showcasing their works. So, if you feel exclusivity is the right choice for you, and you are writing Fantasy, you might want to consider DriveThruRPG INSTEAD of Amazon's Kindle Unlimited.
Ultimately, the choice between exclusivity with just one platform and going wide on multiple platforms is a personal one, driven by individual goals, preferences, and circumstances. By carefully considering the contract terms, evaluating the royalty rates, and understanding the potential benefits and limitations, of ANY platform because it may or may not align with your personal goals, authors can make an informed decision that aligns with their publishing objectives.
In my case, the flexibility of going wide outweighed the allure of higher royalties. I embraced the opportunity to reach readers through various platforms, connecting with a diverse audience and exploring new avenues for growth. Vut that said, DriveThruRPG is still one of my top three choices for best sites to publish on. Whether you choose exclusivity with DriveThruRPG or opt to go wide, remember to carefully weigh your options and make a decision that best aligns with your aspirations as an author.
DriveThruRPG and DriveThruFiction together form the ultimate bookstore for selling your Fantasy novels. Their vast catalog spans a wide range of subgenres, giving you the opportunity to find your niche and reach readers who are seeking precisely what you offer. From whimsical Cozy Magical Realism that warms the heart to mind-bending Bizzaro Cosmic Horror that defies comprehension, DriveThruRPG has a dedicated audience for every flavor of Fantasy.
Additionally, their platform offers various tools and resources to support authors. You can easily set up your own storefront, customize your product pages, and even participate in promotions and sales events. DriveThruRPG is committed to empowering authors and providing a user-friendly experience that allows you to focus on what matters most: crafting captivating stories.
So, if you're an author seeking to captivate a Fantasy-loving audience, don't overlook the incredible potential of DriveThruRPG and DriveThruFiction. With their extensive reach, passionate community, and commitment to supporting authors, they are the #ONE destination for selling your Fantasy novels.
At the end of the day, what matters most is finding a publishing approach that allows you to share your stories with the world while achieving your unique goals. DriveThruRPG offers a compelling proposition, particularly with its exclusive contract and the ability to earn 85% royalties, but it's important to evaluate all aspects before making a decision. Whichever path you choose, may your writing journey be filled with success and fulfillment!
In conclusion, DriveThruRPG and its sister site, DriveThruFiction, have expanded far beyond their gaming roots and have become thriving marketplaces for Fantasy literature. From Cozy Magical Realism to Epic Sword and Sorcery, they provide a platform for authors to showcase their works to a dedicated audience. Whether you're a seasoned author or just starting your publishing journey, consider exploring the exciting opportunities that DriveThruRPG offers. Embrace the power of this platform, and let your imagination soar as you connect with Fantasy enthusiasts who are eager to embark on the extraordinary worlds you create. Happy writing and publishing!
As an author, you may wonder if going exclusive with Kindle Unlimited or diversifying your reach is the right path for your book. Another alternative I love is GumRoad.
GumRoad: GumRoad offers a user-friendly platform for authors who want to sell their books directly to readers. With easy customization options and the ability to set your own prices, GumRoad empowers authors to connect directly with their audience while maintaining control over their distribution and pricing strategies.
In fact, I'm such a fan of GumRoad that I dedicated a whole page to gushing about its benefits. To summarize my article, one of the most remarkable aspects of GumRoad is its 90% royalty rate—the highest in the publishing industry. Unlike Amazon, GumRoad pays you directly through PayPal, which is a huge advantage. You can also create custom coupons and set specific sales dates, giving you flexibility and control over your promotional efforts.
I love GumRoad so much, and wrote so much about how great it is, that I had to give it it's own page. Here's my fan girl gushing article about GumRoad. To summarize the article linked here: I love GumRoad. They pay a 90% royalty, literally the highest royalty in the publishing industry. They pay you via PayPal, which is a HUGE plus over Amazon (yeah, 20+ years and Amazon STILL does not have the option to pay you through PayPal and only pays via giving your gift cards or direct deposit into your bank account). You the author can create your own custom coupons and sales dates, which is awesome.
A few drawbacks though: The platform is read on their website online, so no ebook for readers to download to their phone and no print editions. GumRoad has a learning curve, so beginner friendly IF you've self-published elsewhere before, not so much if you are a first time self-publisher. GumRoad has NO storefront, does ZERO marketing, and offers NO embed codes for your books. This means you have to be VERY well versed at marketing ebooks, AND you need to know enough html and/or javescript code to be able to make your own product embed codes, AND you need to have your own website store front to place those codes on. Meaning if you do not have your own personal author website already, GumRoad will be useless for you, as they offer ZERO ability for readers to search either the web or their site to find your product.
However, if you are good at marketing, know simple coding, and have your own website, so that you have a way to direct readers back to your GumRoad books, then GumRoad is by far one of the single best platforms for self-published authors and I highly recommend it.
As an author, the decision between going exclusive with Kindle Unlimited or diversifying your reach can be a tough one. While DriveThruRPG offers an enticing exclusive contract, there are other alternative platforms worth exploring, and one that I personally love is GumRoad.
GumRoad provides authors with a user-friendly platform that allows them to sell their books directly to readers. It offers easy customization options, enabling authors to tailor their storefront and set their own prices. With GumRoad, you can connect directly with your audience and maintain control over your distribution and pricing strategies.
However, if you're skilled in marketing, comfortable with coding, and already have your own author website, GumRoad can be one of the best platforms for self-published authors. I highly recommend it. With its high royalty rate, convenient PayPal payments, and the ability to customize coupons and sales, GumRoad empowers authors who are eager to take control of their publishing journey.
It's worth noting that the decision to go exclusive with DriveThruRPG or explore alternative platforms like GumRoad depends on your specific goals and circumstances. By carefully evaluating the advantages and limitations of each platform, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your publishing strategy and objectives.
Remember, there's no one-size-fits-all solution. The key is to find a platform that complements your strengths as an author and provides you with the tools and opportunities to reach your target audience effectively. Whether you choose DriveThruRPG, GumRoad, or another platform, the ultimate goal is to connect with readers, share your stories, and make a positive impact through your writing.
As you navigate the ever-changing landscape of publishing, it's important to consider all the available options. DriveThruRPG's exclusive contract offers competitive royalties, but it also requires a substantial commitment. On the other hand, GumRoad provides authors with the freedom to diversify their distribution and set their own prices, while offering the highest royalty rate in the industry. Each platform has its own set of pros and cons, and your decision should be based on your individual priorities and long-term goals. Regardless of the path you choose, embrace the opportunities that arise, and continue to share your unique voice with the world.
LuLu: Looking for a platform that offers both print-on-demand and ebook publishing? LuLu might be the perfect fit. With a wide range of distribution options and flexible formatting choices, LuLu caters to authors who want to offer their work in various formats.
LuLu was where I started out. Way back in 2007, my first 3 self published books, were published on LuLu.
I love LuLu and still use it. Their print quality is amazing, and they are the best place to go if you want to make hardcover, full colour photo coffee table books.
Buuuut... since the pandemic, they've had... issues? I'm not sure what happened, and worry LuLu may go the way of SmashWords. Smashwords once Amazon's largest ebook competitor, shut down Feberuary 2023 wih no warning. Owned by one man, SmashWords was hit hard by the pandemic's onslaught of out-of-work sheltered-in-place Covid victims, who took to writing as a means of income... and a one man business simply could not haandle millions of new titles being published every month, causing him to sell SmashWords to Draft2Digital, thinking his business would continue on. But to the shock and horror of SmashWords' creator and the millions of authors published by SmashWords (myself being one of those authors) D2D suddenly and without any warning shut SmashWords down and banned all the Erotica authors of SmashWords from their D2D accounts, in what was the most shocking turnaround in self-publishing history. SmashWords is gone and we are all still reeling from how fast it happened.
And LuLu... well... LuLu is also a one man show. One man is literally running LuLu out of his kitchen, and like SmashWords is right now struggling under the flood of pandemic authors, more so now that SmashWords is gone.... and... Reddit's writing forums are right now being flooded with gossip and rumors of LuLu's shutting down customer serive. Yeah... they did. It's gone. There is no longer a way to contact LuLu, and thousands of authors are saying they haven't been paid in a few months now.
What is going on at LuLu, I just don't know.
However, in spite of the current issues, I have been using LuLu since 2007 and have never yet had an issue, so I still love them and recommend them, but I do warn to look into the current flood of complaints, because it's not a few writers complaining, so there does seem to be something going on at LuLu right now (July 2023) and it may be just a hiccup and things swing back to normal soon, or it may be as devastating as the demise of SmashWords a few weeks ago. We don't know yet.
LuLu holds a special place in my heart as the platform where I began my self-publishing journey. It was way back in 2007 when I published my first three books on LuLu. Even to this day, I continue to use LuLu for certain projects. One thing that sets LuLu apart is its exceptional print quality, making it the perfect choice for creating stunning hardcover, full-color photo coffee table books.
The experience with LuLu has generally been positive, but in recent times, they seem to have encountered some challenges. I'm not entirely sure what has transpired, but there have been concerns about LuLu's future, and I worry that it may suffer a fate similar to that of SmashWords. In February 2023, SmashWords, once Amazon's largest ebook competitor, abruptly shut down without any prior warning. As a one-man operation, SmashWords struggled to handle the influx of new titles being published amidst the pandemic. Eventually, the owner sold SmashWords to Draft2Digital, hoping to keep the business going.
However, to the shock and horror of SmashWords' creator and the millions of authors published on the platform (including myself), D2D suddenly shut down SmashWords and banned all Erotica authors from accessing their D2D accounts. It was a stunning and unexpected turn of events that shook the self-publishing community to its core.
Considering the current state of LuLu, which is also a one-man show, I can't help but feel a sense of unease. The flood of pandemic authors, now that SmashWords is no longer an option, has put a strain on LuLu's resources. Furthermore, rumors circulating on Reddit's writing forums suggest that LuLu has discontinued its customer service. Unfortunately, it appears to be true as there is no longer a way to contact LuLu, and numerous authors claim they haven't received payment for several months.
The situation at LuLu is puzzling, and I find myself grappling with uncertainty. Nevertheless, I must acknowledge that my personal experience with LuLu over the years has been mostly positive, and I still hold a fondness for the platform. Despite the current challenges, I continue to recommend LuLu. However, I do urge authors to exercise caution and investigate the flood of complaints that have surfaced recently. The sheer number of writers voicing their concerns indicates that something is indeed amiss at LuLu. It's possible that these issues are temporary and will be resolved, much like a minor hiccup. On the other hand, there is a chance that the situation could escalate and lead to a devastating outcome similar to the demise of SmashWords just a few weeks ago.
As we navigate the ever-changing landscape of self-publishing, it is essential to stay informed and make informed decisions based on the current state of each platform. While LuLu has served me well for many years, I also recognize the need to monitor the evolving situation and adjust our strategies accordingly. Ultimately, the key is to diversify our publishing options and explore multiple platforms to ensure the widest possible reach for our books.
In conclusion, while LuLu has its merits and has provided a positive experience for many authors, it's important to acknowledge the concerns surrounding the platform's current state. Keep a watchful eye on the situation and gather as much information as possible before making any decisions. Remember that the self-publishing journey is filled with unexpected twists and turns, but with careful consideration and adaptability, we can overcome challenges and continue sharing our stories with the world.
Hopefully whatever the current issues LuLu is having will be resolved quickly, because LuLu is one of my top favorite places to self-publish and I would hate to see that change.
There are recent issues Amazon is having that has caused the current wave of authors leaving KU and looking for alternatives, with the pircay issue being front and center. In the past few week several thousand authors had their KDP accounts terminated because their books were in KU and pirates scraped the books off Amazon to sell elsewhere, and Amazon's new system (which they rolled out June 1, 2023) has been auto-banning accounts of authors is their book shows up on a pirated website and frustratingly these authors are not being given the option to get their accounts back. As this just happened only a few days ago, Amazon has not yet responded to the situation and a lot of authors are very upset and leaving KU looking for atlternatives to Amazon.
The issue of piracy is a growing concern in the publishing industry, and it has played a significant role in authors' decisions to leave Kindle Unlimited (KU) and explore alternative platforms. As one author on Reddit mentioned, the penalty for piracy was a key factor in their choice to go wide.
Piracy poses a threat to authors' intellectual property rights and their ability to earn a fair income from their work. With the rise of digital books and the ease of sharing content online, unauthorized copies of books can be readily found on various pirated ebook sites. Unfortunately, Amazon's automated system has limitations in detecting and addressing this issue effectively.
If a book enrolled in Kindle Unlimited is found on a pirated ebook site, even without the author's consent or knowledge, Amazon's system may penalize the author. The penalties can range from being kicked off KU to more severe consequences such as account closure. These penalties can be devastating for authors who rely on KU as their primary source of income.
Adding to the challenge is the difficulty in receiving assistance from Amazon's customer service, particularly since the pandemic. Authors facing issues related to piracy or seeking resolution find it increasingly challenging to reach a satisfactory resolution. The current wave of authors leaving KU in search of alternatives is driven, in large part, by these frustrations surrounding the piracy issue.
Recently, there have been reports of several thousand authors having their KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) accounts terminated due to their books being discovered on pirated websites. This situation has been exacerbated by Amazon's new system, which was rolled out on June 1, 2023. The system's automated approach has led to the auto-banning of accounts when a book appears on a pirated website, leaving many affected authors without the option to retrieve their accounts.
As this situation has unfolded in recent days, Amazon has not yet provided a comprehensive response or resolution to address authors' concerns. The lack of clarity and options for affected authors has created frustration and dissatisfaction within the publishing community, prompting many to seek alternatives to Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.
The piracy issue highlights the importance of protecting authors' rights and ensuring fair compensation for their creative work. It also underscores the need for robust systems and support mechanisms to combat piracy effectively. While piracy remains an ongoing challenge, authors must consider the potential risks and consequences when choosing their publishing platforms.
Ultimately, the decision to leave Kindle Unlimited and explore other avenues comes down to a balance of factors. Authors must weigh the benefits of wider distribution against the potential challenges of advertising and marketing their books across multiple platforms. The impact on time management, particularly regarding marketing efforts, is also a crucial consideration.
While piracy and its associated penalties have contributed to authors' departure from Kindle Unlimited, it's essential to evaluate the broader landscape and potential alternatives. Each author's situation is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Researching and understanding the various platforms, their policies, and the support they offer in combating piracy can help authors make informed decisions.
The penalty for piracy has played a significant role in authors' decisions to leave Kindle Unlimited and explore alternatives. The challenges surrounding Amazon's automated system, account penalties, and limited customer service support have fueled frustrations within the publishing community. As authors seek alternatives, it is crucial to consider the risks and rewards of wider distribution while being mindful of the ongoing battle against piracy.
As we come to the end of our journey delving into the world of Kindle Unlimited and exploring alternative platforms, it's essential to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to publishing. Each avenue presents its own unique benefits and considerations, and it's crucial to find the option that aligns best with your goals and target readership. In this final segment, let's take a moment to recap and reflect on the key takeaways from our exploration.
Be sure to ask yourself things like: Will it be harder to advertise going wide? Will you have fewer or more places to have to market? Will you have to spend more of advertising? Will time spent marketing take away from time spent writing?
Kindle Unlimited, with its vast reach and established presence within Amazon's ecosystem, offers authors the opportunity to gain exposure to a massive pool of readers. By enrolling your book in KU, you can tap into a dedicated community of Kindle Unlimited subscribers who are hungry for new content. The program also provides the potential for increased royalties through the Kindle Unlimited Global Fund and Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count (KENPC) read. It's important to note, however, that KU requires exclusivity, meaning your book can only be available on Amazon while enrolled in the program. This exclusivity may limit your reach to readers outside of the Amazon ecosystem.
On the other hand, platforms like DriveThruRPG, GumRoad, and LuLu offer authors the opportunity to diversify their readership and maintain more control over their publishing journey. DriveThruRPG, initially known as a specialized marketplace for tabletop role-playing games, has expanded to become a prominent platform for fantasy novels and LitRPG works as well. With a large community of gaming enthusiasts, DriveThruRPG provides a unique avenue for authors in the gaming and fantasy genres to showcase their creations. It's important to highlight that DriveThruRPG now offers print editions, including paperback options, alongside ebooks.
GumRoad, a user-friendly platform, empowers authors to sell their books directly to readers, allowing for greater customization and control over pricing strategies. With the ability to set your own prices and connect directly with your audience, GumRoad provides a more personalized experience for both authors and readers. While the platform may require a bit of a learning curve, particularly for first-time self-publishers, it offers attractive features such as 90% royalties, the highest in the publishing industry. However, it's worth noting that GumRoad operates primarily as an online reading platform, with readers accessing books directly through the website. This means there are no downloadable ebook files or print editions available. Authors also need to have a good understanding of marketing and basic coding skills to make the most of GumRoad's capabilities.
LuLu, the platform where many authors first dipped their toes into the world of self-publishing, continues to be a favorite among creators. With exceptional print quality, LuLu excels in producing hardcover and full-color photo coffee table books. However, it's crucial to address the current concerns surrounding the platform. Recent discussions and rumors have raised questions about the future of LuLu, with authors reporting issues related to customer service and delayed payments. While I personally have had positive experiences with LuLu over the years, it's essential to be aware of the current flood of complaints and assess the situation before making any decisions.
In conclusion, the path you choose for publishing your book should be based on careful consideration of your goals, target readership, and desired level of control. Kindle Unlimited offers unparalleled exposure within Amazon's ecosystem, while platforms like DriveThruRPG, GumRoad, and LuLu provide opportunities to diversify your reach and maintain more agency over your publishing journey. Remember to weigh the pros and cons of each platform, assess your own needs as an author, and select the option that aligns best with your aspirations. There is no one right answer, but by staying informed and being willing to adapt, you can navigate the ever-evolving landscape of publishing and find success in sharing your stories with the world.
As we wrap up this exploration of Kindle Unlimited and alternative platforms, remember that there's no one-size-fits-all approach to publishing. Each avenue comes with its own set of benefits and considerations. Kindle Unlimited offers exposure within Amazon's ecosystem and the potential for increased royalties, while platforms like DriveThruRPG, GumRoad, and LuLu provide opportunities to diversify your readership and maintain more control over your publishing journey.
Each of these platforms has its own advantages and considerations, so take some time to explore and find the one that aligns best with your goals and target readership.
When deciding between Kindle Unlimited and alternative platforms, it's crucial to weigh the pros and cons based on your unique circumstances. Kindle Unlimited offers increased visibility within Amazon's vast marketplace and the potential for royalties through the KENP Read program. On the other hand, exploring other platforms allows you to diversify your readership and maintain control over your publishing journey.
Consider factors such as your genre, target audience, and long-term goals as you make your decision. Some authors choose to enroll in Kindle Unlimited for a specific period, evaluate its impact, and then explore wider avenues to reach even more readers.
If you decide to opt for Kindle Unlimited, your book will be available to subscribers of Amazon's KU program, while going wide opens doors to additional platforms.
It's essential to understand the implications of Kindle Unlimited and consider the potential exposure it offers compared to other distribution channels.
As you evaluate your publishing strategy, think about whether the advantages of Kindle Unlimited outweigh the benefits of reaching readers on various platforms.
While Kindle Unlimited provides an opportunity for increased visibility within Amazon's ecosystem, going wide expands your potential audience beyond a single platform.
Authors who choose Kindle Unlimited benefit from the possibility of increased royalties through page reads, but it's crucial to weigh this against the potential readership of other platforms.
It's worth noting that Kindle Unlimited is a subscription-based service, while going wide means your book can be purchased individually on different platforms.
If you're seeking greater exposure for your book, exploring wider distribution options can introduce your work to readers who might not be KU subscribers.
Kindle Unlimited can offer a sense of exclusivity within the Amazon marketplace, but going wide ensures your book is accessible to readers regardless of their preferred platform.
Consider your long-term goals as an author when deciding between Kindle Unlimited and other distribution channels - both have their unique advantages.
While Kindle Unlimited provides access to a large pool of readers, opting for wider distribution allows you to diversify your income streams.
Keep in mind that the decision between Kindle Unlimited and going wide isn't set in stone - you can always reassess and adapt your strategy as your book gains traction.
Don't feel pressured to choose immediately between Kindle Unlimited and other platforms; take the time to evaluate your options based on your target audience and goals.
Authors who prefer to retain full control over their book's distribution might lean toward going wide, while those seeking to maximize their visibility within Amazon might opt for Kindle Unlimited.
Remember, there's no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to publishing, so make sure you consider your unique circumstances and preferences.
Ultimately, the choice between Kindle Unlimited and going wide depends on your objectives, target readership, and your willingness to explore different avenues of book distribution.
In conclusion, the decision to enroll in Kindle Unlimited or explore alternative platforms beyond Amazon KDP is a complex one that depends on various factors. Throughout our exploration, we've uncovered both the advantages and drawbacks of Kindle Unlimited, as well as highlighted other avenues such as DriveThruRPG, GumRoad, and LuLu.
Kindle Unlimited provides authors with exposure within Amazon's vast ecosystem, tapping into a large pool of potential readers. The program offers the potential for increased royalties through the Kindle Unlimited Global Fund and KENPC read, but it comes with the requirement of exclusivity and limited reach outside of the Amazon ecosystem. The recent reduction in KU pay rates has also raised concerns among authors, particularly those in genres beyond erotica and hot steamy romance.
On the other hand, alternative platforms like DriveThruRPG, GumRoad, and LuLu offer authors the opportunity to diversify their readership and maintain more control over their publishing journey. DriveThruRPG, in particular, caters to authors in the realm of tabletop role-playing games and offers specialized marketing opportunities. GumRoad provides a user-friendly platform for selling books directly to readers, while LuLu excels in producing high-quality print editions. However, it's important to stay informed about any issues or changes happening on these platforms, such as the concerns surrounding LuLu's customer service and delayed payments.
Ultimately, the decision between Kindle Unlimited and going wide depends on your specific circumstances. Factors such as your genre, target audience, and long-term goals should be carefully considered. While Kindle Unlimited may offer exposure within Amazon's dominant ecosystem, going wide allows you to reach readers on multiple platforms and diversify your income streams. Some authors even choose to experiment by enrolling in Kindle Unlimited for a specific period and then expanding to other platforms to evaluate their impact.
It's important to remember that the publishing landscape is ever-evolving, and what may work for one author may not necessarily work for another. Take the time to research and understand the implications of Kindle Unlimited, weighing its advantages against the benefits of reaching readers on various platforms. Consider your genre's compatibility with the expectations of Kindle Unlimited subscribers, as well as your ability to market and promote your books on alternative platforms.
In the end, you are the author and the decision-maker. Trust your instincts, gather information, and make an informed choice that aligns with your goals and aspirations. Whether you choose Kindle Unlimited or explore wider avenues, the most important thing is to continue sharing your stories with the world and connecting with readers who will appreciate your unique voice.
Take the time to research and experiment with different platforms to find the best fit for your unique style and goals. Don't be afraid to explore, adapt, and adjust your strategy along the way. The publishing world is ever-evolving, and there are endless opportunities waiting for you.
So, my fellow wordsmiths, embrace the adventure, keep writing, and don't hesitate to venture into new publishing territories. Your readers are eagerly waiting to discover the wonders you have to share. Happy publishing!
What do you want to become?
What did you do today to step closer to that goal?
Whatever you do, be your best at it!
And remember to have yourself a great and wonderfully glorious day!
Evil men go out of their way to try to drive a person to suicide.
Are you an evil man?
Are you sure you're not?
How many people have YOUR hate filled words killed?
Next time you go to do a mean thing to a fellow human, stop and really think about the consequences of your actions.
Did you ever notice how every one has a story to tell about me, yet not one of them ever speaks the truth?
What lies has YOUR gossiping tongue spread about me?
Did you know...
October 16, 2006, bomb blew up my house because of YOUR lies.
August 8, 2013, the house which replaced the one the bomb blew up, was driven over by a backhoe.
November 14, 2013, my 8 month old infant son was murdered because of your lies.
November 14, 2013, I was beaten up, paralized for 5 months, spent 18 weeks relearning to walk, I'm now crippled for the rest of my life, because of YOUR lies.
Are you proud of what you have done?
Enjoy your eternity in Hell. You earned it. You've certainly worked hard for it.
If you have any information about any of these events, please call FBI Agent Andy Drewer at 207-774-9322