Amazon has a new subscription service called Kindle Unlimited. For a monthly fee, you can read as many ebooks as you want that are part of this program. The plus side is that book lovers can read their fill without breaking the bank, but the negative is authors like me–if we want to participate–have to give Amazon exclusive rights to the books in program. Rather than complain about the unfair playing field amount authors and this program (why some get special treatment and don’t have to go exclusive), I decided to serialize one of my series and try it out. I picked my least performing series, Love Against Odds, and removed the books from all retailers. Each story is now a three part serial. If you are not part of Kindle Unlimited, the cost to you is still the same (actually slightly less) since each book was originally $2.99 and now the three parts are $0.99 each; however, you can only purchase it at Amazon. I broke them up to offset the cost of A. losing the other retailers and B. having to earn a much lower royalty at $0.99 (I don’t want to bore you with numbers, but one book at $2.99 is roughly $2.09 royalties minus small fees vs. $0.99 is $0.35 royalties minus small fees. So even if a reader purchases the three parts, I’m only earning half of what I would). I’m hoping what I earn from the KU fund will further offset the difference.
So why would I do this if I could lose money? Exposure. Plan and simple. Amazon is the leader in ebooks, and there are special programs offered to those if they participate. I’m testing the waters to see if I can gain new readers. At best, I earn more money on the series this way, so it’s worth it to me to take the financial risk to expose my work to a new reader base. If it doesn’t work, in a few months, I can stop the exclusivity and upload the books everywhere else. If it does work, I’ll keep this series in the program indefinitely.