For Kindle authors, the biggest challenge is getting readers to discover your ebooks. Indeed, it’s your only real challenge, aside from writing, of course.
Some Kindle authors feel that since the release of Kindle Unlimited (KU), Amazon has made it even harder for authors to make a living. Others are happier than six-year-olds on Christmas Eve: they adore KU.
What’s with KU anyway? Amazon provides a clue with its latest contest, The Kindle UK Storyteller Award: “Winning author to receive £20,000 cash prize and be recognised at central London award ceremony this summer.”
What does the $25,000 prize (for upwards of 5,000 words) mean to Kindle authors?
For one thing, it offers a clue that KU isn’t going anywhere.
After the trauma experienced by authors whose Amazon accounts were cancelled, ostensibly because of Amazon’s algorithmic hammer blows, authors grew wary. They’ve yanked their ebooks from KDP Select, and thus from KU.
Since KU is such a rich target for scammers, I wondered whether Amazon would shut it down. That’s unlikely, because Amazon’s introducing KU to more countries, and judging by author’s forums, more authors love KU than hate it.
The £20,000 prize, for a 5,000 and upward short story, intrigued me, as I said in a comment on The Digital Reader’s article on the contest, Amazon Disguises Kindle Unlimited Recruiting Push as Writing Contest:
As they say, follow the money… At today’s exchange rate, £20,000 is $USD 24,945.80. According to The Bookseller, this is the second time in a few months Amazon’s run a contest in the UK. Amazon must be getting a LOT out of it. They could have put that money into the KU pool, which would have added a little something for each KU author, and maybe inspiring some authors to stay.
For the contest’s winning author, the £20,000 jackpot will change his or her life. I’m all for anything which helps and inspires authors, so Amazon gets a big tick for that.
What can Kindle authors can learn from Amazon’s contest?
I’ve made a little list.
- Amazon’s encouraging shorter works into KU. Writing a 60,000 word novel is challenging. By setting the contest entries at upwards of just 5,000 words, Amazon is both encouraging shorter works, and new authors;
- As stated, KU isn’t going anywhere;
- If you’ve eliminated or downgraded your KU involvement (I’m guilty of that), you may want to write some short stories.
Short stories are excellent promotional tools for your novels, and build your visibility;
- If you’re a UK author, or are someone who can be in London in the northern summer to collect your prize, you could be a winner… 🙂
Re being in London: Amazon UK doesn’t seem to be limiting the contest to UK authors, so you could be based anywhere around the globe.
My final takeaway from the contest for Kindle authors
Amazon is actively looking for new authors — that is, they want lots of fresh content loaded into KDP Select.
So, what are you waiting for? Start writing. 🙂
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