Big news today: Kindle Unlimited.
Ten bucks per month for unlimited access to any Kindle book in the program, on any device.
Who’s got two thumbs and started his free trial within ten minutes of the announcement? Yeah, this guy.
Let’s be honest: from a reader perspective, this is awesome. Ten bucks per month? Hell, I’m lucky if I don’t spend three or four times that every first of every month on the Kindle Monthly Deals.
From an author perspective? A publishing perspective?
. . . .
According to my KDP page, by enrolling in KDP Select, my books can be part of Kindle Unlimited. And when a reader reads 10% of my book, I’d get paid. It’s not clear how much, but my guess is that, as with the Kindle Owners Lending Library, authors get an equal share of a fund dedicated to all participants eligible to get paid.
Is that more or less than I get from the 70% I get now? I’ve no idea. It may be less per book but ultimately more overall, depending on the success of the program and my hypothetical book’s performance within it.
. . . .
Netflix? Spotify? They worked with studios and labels to get the content their platform would use. Which I think prompts a question, and maybe a couple: How much do the artists get paid? How much do the labels get paid?
I don’t know the answer to that question. I’ve heard that it’s a low number–for some reason, 11 cents sticks out in my head. But I may have just made that up.
Point is, though, in the case of Spotify, authors make their royalties based on their agreements with their labels. The labels pay Spotify. [PG thinks Will meant "Spotify pays the labels."]
You probably see where I’m going with this.
What’s brilliant about the way Amazon did this is they didn’t have to talk to anyone beforehand. They didn’t have to go to the corporate publishers. They spent years building this awesome digital reading platform, and then they spent more years attracting some terrific authors, and offering incentives to those authors to go all-in with them. “Let us be the only place people can buy your ebooks,” they said, “And we’ll make it worth your while. We’ll give you free promotions. Countdown deals. We’ll let people borrow your book.”
“We’ll make you part of Kindle Unlimited.”
. . . .
Now, I don’t know for sure they didn’t talk to the corporate publishers, but I do know they didn’t launch with any.
. . . .
This may just be the largest endorsement of independent authors and their work . . . pretty much ever.