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Saturday, January 3, 2015


I ran into this article on Publetariat and thought I would share it. It appears that to many authors, Kindle Unlimited is not all it is cracked up to be. Yesterday, I posted about Smashword's place in the publishing world and how we might want to not put all of our eggs in the Amazon basket. This article from The New York Times lends some credence to my words. 

Below, I have a post that my friend Kathryn Meyer Griffith wrote about this issue. She is a very talented author. If she's not happy with Amazon, there is just cause.
Read and decide. Definitely something to think about.
Blaze McRob

This article by David Streitfeld originally appeared on The New York Times on 12/27/14.
Authors are upset with Amazon. Again.
For much of the last year, mainstream novelists were furious that Amazon was discouraging the sale of some titles in its confrontation with the publisher Hachette over e-books.
Now self-published writers, who owe much of their audience to the retailer’s publishing platform, are unhappy.
One problem is too much competition. But a new complaint is about Kindle Unlimited, a new Amazon subscription service that offers access to 700,000 books — both self-published and traditionally published — for $9.99 a month.
It may bring in readers, but the writers say they earn less. And in interviews and online forums, they have voiced their complaints.
“Six months ago people were quitting their day job, convinced they could make a career out of writing,” said Bob Mayer, an e-book consultant and publisher who has written 50 books. “Now people are having to go back to that job or are scraping to get by. That’s how quickly things have changed.”

Read the full article on The New York Times.

From Kathryn Meyer Griffith:

I, too, am VERY unhappy with KU but was afraid to voice what I really felt...until now. From the minute it began my sales dropped like big rocks. I pulled out of it on 4 of my books after the first two weeks, but my sales never recovered. What makes it really hard for me is that for over 30 years I was with legacy publishers (15 novels since 1984) and NEVER made a living at it with 4%-18% royalties and having no power or say in what the publishers did with my work. I worked extremely hard on my novels and literally gave up my life to create them. I suffered all those long years either working full time out of the home at graphic arts jobs plus writing on the side or I starved. But I never gave up, praying that one day my books would earn me what they deserved. A modest living. I write horror, but my life because of the greed of publishers was a horror show in itself. THEN I discovered Amazon KDP and self-publishing in 2012 and self-published 6 of my books with them - AND FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER I WAS MAKING GOOD MONEY! I was thrilled. So this sudden loss of income again just when I'd started getting it hurts even more. I, too, have spread my books to other  venues, but, of course, the income is nowhere near what Amazon used to pay me.
To tell the truth, from the very beginning I thought that KU was just another way to effectively lower our royalties or prices on eBooks and the final insult was that 10% reading thing...I have lots of eBooks on my Kindle I got free and STILL haven't started them. As I see it KU will NEVER work (for us novelists who write full novels).  Hey, I feel like I was giving away my books for almost free for over 30 years...and now if I stay in KU, I'll be doing the same thing. Does Amazon want to become a legacy publisher like we all are fleeing from and they seem to disapprove of? Because, in my opinion, they're doing a good job of recreating that whole unfair bogus system where they make the money and we authors survive on the pennies that are left. Please Amazon...reconsider KU and get rid of it!

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