Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Kindle Unlimited

I'm pleased to report I've enrolled all of my books in the Kindle Unlimited program, which means that subscribers to that program can now read all my books for free. It also means I can, for limited periods, make my books available for free to all Kindle users, in the hopes that folks might snag them, like them, review them, shelf them on Goodreads, and tell their friends. So, check in often at my Amazon Author Page to see what book might be free!

(As always, whether or not you're a member of Kindle Unlimited, my books and shorts remain available for sale, all at prices ranging from 99 cents to $4.99. WHAT A DEAL!)

Unfortunately, membership in Kindle Unlimited means my books are now exclusive to Amazon (one of the rules of the program) so none of the links off to the right (other than the Amazon and the paperback link) will take you to my books. But the hope is that if I do well enough there, maybe get myself a readership base, I can at some later date make my books again available elsewhere.

If you've followed my twitter feed at all, you know I have mixed feelings about Amazon's KDP Select program -- no, that's not true either. There's nothing 'mixed' about them. In fact, I think it is borderline illegal.

For example. I think it unfair that Amazon requires authors to make their books exclusive to Amazon to take advantage of some of the program's offerings. In the days of brick and mortar bookstores, was there ever a book you could buy at Borders but not at Lauriats or Barnes and Noble? The very thought of it is preposterous. I think too that Amazon's 60% plus (and growing) share of the ebook market flirts dangerously near anti-trust territory. I'm old enough to remember both IBM and Microsoft engaging in long, drawn out legal affairs when they too began cornering marketplaces. I've often opined how much it boggles my mind that Apple is perceived (and adjudicated) the bad guy in most every ebook skirmish, when it appears to me that it is Apple that has my own best interests at heart. Amazon wants me only to sell books cheap.

On the other hand, there is no denying reality. Amazon does, in fact, have a 60% (and growing) share of the ebook marketplace. Unlike previous brushes with marketplace hegemony, there is no sign that anyone anywhere is going to do anything about it. In my years of holding out on the program I've watched writers I view as contemporaries do very well in the program, some even becoming bestsellers.

Meanwhile, from the outside looking in, I've watched ebookstore after ebookstore close, watched Barnes and Noble essentially abandon the nook, all while Amazon's market share climbs. No, if you are trying to get yourself read and noticed, Amazon is the only place to do it; and if you can't sell books at Amazon, you can't sell books at all.

The good news is that in the brief time I've been enrolled in the program, people are finding and reading my books! In fact, I can now quite literally watch people turning pages as they read them, and I'm delighted to see that most folks who do start them, finish them, sometimes in one sitting.

As always, thanks to all my loyal readers for taking a chance on my offerings (speaking of, have you read THE MOUND yet? It's a fairy horror mystery romance. You'll like it. I promise) and often leaving reviews at Amazon or Goodreads and checking in with me on Facebook. It truly means a lot.

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