Amazon has a new service.
It’s called Amazon Unlimited, and for $9.99 per month, you’ll have access to as many available eBook titles as you can read.
The service is just like Oyster and Scribd. And that’s fine for readers.
For authors, however, it isn’t as fine. At least, not to me.
Titles are limited only to those that are enrolled in KDP Select. The KDP Select service pays authors for books borrowed from Amazon Prime members, and pays them a percentage of a fixed fund amount. Apparently, the same fund is going to be used to pay authors for the new Amazon Unlimited service.
Now, I have to say this: My titles were Amazon exclusive for a couple of years, and the additional money wasn’t that much more. To me, it wasn’t worth shutting out iPad, Nook and Kobo users, so I’m making my stuff available to those users as the Amazon KDP Select contracts run out. It’s better for me, because it makes my titles available to more people.
I publish to all of those places through Smashwords.com – now, there are authors that swear by Smashwords, and authors that swear at them, or about them, but I’m very pleased with them so far. They’ve always been helpful with my questions, and done what they’ve said they’d do. Good enough for me!
Through Smashwords, my books are already available through two subscription services, and I mentioned them already: Oyster and Scribd. Both of these places have basically the same subscription service that Amazon is offering.
But, you won’t find my titles there…with the exception of the five that are still under KDP Select contract. By mid-August, those won’t be available there, either.
I don’t often criticize Amazon, but I have to criticize this move. Not Amazon Unlimited – that’s a great idea, and a great deal for voracious readers. I criticize the fact that my titles can only be offered if they’re exclusive to Amazon. I just can’t shut out those other fans right now.
Don’t misunderstand me – I like Amazon a lot! It’s been very, very good to me, and I wouldn’t leave them for the world! But, I just can’t see making my stories exclusive to only one outlet right now.
If Amazon were to change that policy, and make all titles available to Unlimited users, I’d happily post my meager offerings to Unlimited readers. But, not at the expense of those that don’t buy eBooks through Amazon.
But, don’t let my opinion stop you from subscribing to the service, if that’s what you choose to do. All I ever ask is that you pick up a book, and…
Michael (T. M. Bilderback)
P.S. Please sign the petition below, if you haven’t already! You’ll make lots of independent authors proud of you!