Well, I gave Kindle Unlimited a shot but it simply didn’t work out well for me, so I’m bringing my exclusivity to an end and going wide with RENOVO (and everything else for that matter). For some, being part of KU and offering their work to Amazon Prime subscribers has worked well. In fact, some authors swear by it. They get thousands of page reads per day, their rankings rise and so, in addition to the page-read royalties offered by Amazon, they also benefit from increased exposure and, as a result, enjoy a rise in true sales too. It seemed a win-win opportunity for me, so I launched RENOVO straight into KU without a second thought, closely following it with RENOVO Grounded a few months later.
I was disappointed.
In my best month I think I made about 10,000 page reads. I know many authors getting more than that every day. And that figure is from a new release; currently I’m lucky to get a few hundred page reads. I don’t really know what went wrong; the cover’s good, it’s my best work to date and the reviews are all good too. However, these things happen.
There’s also the issue of exclusivity, especially after it’s come to light that, in a bid to cut down on potential fraud with page-read numbers, Amazon have simply shut down some authors account, no questions asked. If you’re all in with KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) and make your living that way, to have your account shut is devastating. It can take some time to sort out opening accounts at other venues and some, such as Google Play, remain shut for new authors so if you rely on an Amazon paycheck…then your life can pretty much be ruined!
So, the good news is that RENOVO is now up on Google Play and Smashwords, and will soon find its way to iBooks, Nook and the many other platforms on offer. In many ways I’m relieved; I like offering my work to everyone instead of a core audience only on Amazon. I probably wouldn’t be saying that if I’d made my living off page reads; but I haven’t – I’m still an indie prawn struggling in obscurity and fighting the balancing act between finding time to write and trying to pay my bills by other means. RENOVO Grounded is in KU for another couple of days and then I’ll be free of the almighty ‘zon.