The new Kindle Unlimited inspired considerable angst. Like other authors, I wasn’t sure what effect “pages read” would have on sales.
I have different pen names for different fictional genres. Whenever I published a story, I automatically enroll it in KDP Select. Enrolling in Select makes the ebooks available in Kindle Unlimited (KU).
Kindle Unlimited was a good deal. Here’s why. Sales. Although KU readers could read the ebooks for free, other readers bought the ebooks. No matter how much, or how little, Amazon paid for pages read, readers were buying the ebooks too.
Happy days — no matter how cynical we can be about “visibility”, it seems that KU does indeed make ebooks more visible, and this leads to more sales.
So when KU changed, I decided to leave my fiction enrolled in Select to see what happened. However, I also decided that I’d hedge my bets by not enrolling newly published fiction in Select. I’d “go wide” with those new ebooks, publishing to other ebook retailers.
Kindle Unlimited sells ebooks
I’ve published several ebooks over this past month, ignoring Select. I always meant to go wide with them, but I got busy, and had no time to publish the ebooks elsewhere.
Last week, I checked the sales on the new ebooks — novels I wrote under a couple of pen names. They seemed slow. With established pen names, you have an audience, so I couldn’t work out why the slowdown occurred. With one ebook, I was entering a new genre. The pen name was completely new. Three weeks after publishing that ebook… crickets. Not a single sale for that ebook. How was that even possible?
To my mind, the reason was KDP Select. I hadn’t done any advertising for the new ebooks, so the miserable sales seemed to be because the ebooks just weren’t visible to enough readers, because they weren’t in KU.
I decided the heck with it, and enrolled all the newly published fiction in KDP Select… and… made sales.
Your mileage may vary, of course. I’m not suggesting that Kindle Unlimited solves all problems. However my short-lived experiment suggests that it does bring visibility.
I’m not alone:
”I knew within a week that I’d made the right decision to join KU. My KU ebooks saw an immediate boost in ranking. Not only were the page-reads mounting, but the sales of those ebooks were also on the rise!”
Try your own experiments, to see what works for your ebooks.
Updated: January 10, 2017
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