As many of you who read Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s blog or attended 20Booksto50K™ 2022 may know, there’s been a lot of talk between indie authors about Kindle Unlimited, how it may be going away at some point (hence the creation of Kindle Vella which is 100% supported by readers purchasing tokens), and how that will impact authors who have been exclusive to Amazon.

Now, I’m not all that worried about this because I have Smashwords/D2D and Google Play accounts and can shift back to wide in a couple of days if I need to. Hell, I was wide until last July when I decided to try putting the bulk of my titles in KU and my income jumped five-fold.

That being said, it did occur to me that I might want to start looking at ways to sell ebooks directly without having to rely on Amazon, especially since they have a rule that if you price a title over $9.99 (as you might wish to do with, say, a box set) you can only collect 35% royalties on it. As I have hopes of publishing three box sets this year, that’s going to cause some complications which will require me to pull the titles out of KU so that I can sell the box sets wide (there’s a way around the ‘Zon’s restriction if you split the set into duologies but that’s a topic for another day).

So I checked all my titles in KU and when they were due to drop out. The bulk of these were going to drop out in late February so I unchecked the “automatically renew in KU” box to guarantee that none of them would accidentally be renewed. This was on January 13th.

On January 14th my KU reads dropped like a fucking rock.

In fact, the only sales I made were two title sales (the spike on 1/19) and KU reads from Shadow of the Swan, which happened to be the one title that I didn’t uncheck the auto-renew checkbox. Needless to say I freaked out. Clearly the ‘Zon took KU titles that weren’t signed up for automatic renewal out of whatever promotion its algorithm uses.

So I went back in and re-checked the auto renewal box for all the titles and waited. I know from experience that it can take them a week to apply changes so I tried not to punch walls and scream at the sky while my publishing income circled the drain.

And I was right to do that. Much to my relief I started seeing KU reads for other books than Swan today. I have left all of the Esposito County Shifters books out of KU, however, since that’s going to be my first box set once Shifter Woods: Claw is published and Shifter Woods: Growl ages out of KU in February. So if you were looking forward to reading Claw on KU, sorry.

That being said, I am going to prep D2D and Google Play editions of all my titles for the inevitable point where Amazon cancels KU, and as I finish the Olympic Cove and Paladins of Crystal series I’m going to take those titles out of KU so that I can publish them wide, as well. I also need to get the Shopify store up and running to sell signed print copies and find a good way to sell ebooks once they’re out of KU. Must think on that some more.

About Nicola Cameron

Nicola Cameron has had some interesting adventures in her life -- ask her sometime about dressing up as Tietania, Queen of the Bondage Fairies. When not writing, she wrangles cats, makes dolls of dubious and questionable identity, and thanks almighty Cthulhu that she doesn’t have to work for a major telecommunications company any more (because there’s BDSM, and then there’s just plain torture...).

Posted on January 20, 2023, in Writing. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Phew.

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