This morning I’ve asked a question of the Twitterverse – where do you buy your erotic fiction?
Call it market research.
Some authors put all their faith in Kindle Unlimited, and it makes sense. It means that people can read your work for free*, but you still get paid. You can also get a 70% royalty on sales through their platform. The downside? Exclusivity. All the sales you get will be through their site.
So the alternative is to go wide and sell it everywhere. It might take off on another platform, but then again it might not. And unless you make it more expensive everywhere else, you’ll only get a 35% royalty from Amazon. Not so hot.
Add to that the fact that every single erotica reader in the whole world might feasibly be using KU, and you have to wonder if they’re ever going to bother with something they have to pay for.
It’s a conundrum.
To my mind, Amazon occupies an odd space for those of us that spice our stories with sex. Amazon themselves don’t really like us. They’ll take our money, sure, but it’s with a grunt and a sideways glance. They won’t sit with us or say hi.
They also track their buyers’ habits, and everyone on Amazon knows it. Buy an erotic title from the Zon and you can bet they’ll recommend others, which could lead to some interesting conversations. Which could be the same on other platforms, but people are less likely to be sharing an account with the whole household.
I currently have 5 titles available. 4 of those are multi-platform, while 1 is exclusive to Amazon and enrolled in KU. Hell, I actually have one that’s currently free everywhere *except* Amazon (check me out, sticking it to the man!). Have I had a lot of success from KU? Not so much. Have I had success from the others? Some, yes.
My gut instinct tells me to steer clear of exclusivity. But I’ll go where the market demands. If all my readers are on Amazon, it would just be stubbornness to avoid it.
* it’s not actually free, when you think about it, because you’re paying a monthly subscription fee. But it feels free, and I guess that’s what’s important.
9 thoughts on “KU and Chill?”
It is an important question as an indie author I think.
Exactly. It’s important to know where your audience is.
I wish you to find yours soon. You deserve a successful carreer as an indie author.
Gifts from the Old God went quickly into the bestsellers on Smashwords with a bunch of sales, but then just kind of stopped.
I guess there is some kind of momentum that is hard to maintain. But it made it as a best-seller, that is good ! Do you have many best-sellers on Smashwords (as compared to Amazon) ?
It’s difficult to tell because Smashwords doesn’t report the sales ranking in the same way as Amazon does. You have to go to the best-seller lists yourself and locate your book. Which is easy if it’s on page 1, much harder once it slips down because you don’t know how much further you need to go. I’ve made more money on Smashwords, but this is early days – the amounts are very small (I’ve only been selling my work for about a month).
Even though I’m a “blogger” I have to think of myself as a businessperson because I have an e-book that I’m selling on my blog and my blog is a part of an affiliate ad network and my blog cost me about $150 a year to keep online. I need to make some money. Not to get rich, but to cover my investment and maybe make some extra beer money. We bloggers who give our work away “free” still have to get something from it to continue to give it away “free.”
I think I’ve had more sales on my fix-it first 5 since I let the kindle unlimited expire than I had pages read while they were in it. Given they’re 99cents… perhaps people didn’t want to waste a slot for a super short read. I think people reserve them for longer works. You can only borrow 10 books at a time. No one reads 10 books at a time though. So they probably have various lengths. Shorts for waiting periods like at the doctor office or picking up kids, maybe longer works for mid-afternoon break before picking up the kids and having to start dinner….
Now that I have a hard time keeping things short I may delve into longer works and see if that helps.
I’ve also seen more sales on my 7day series than page reads answer well. Maybe it’s pricing that makes a big difference. Drop 2.99 on a novella, but for anything higher, kindle unlimited…
That’s a very good point you make – people might avoid “wasting” a slot on a very short 99c read, so that could skew the figures. In which case, perhaps you’d get more reads through KU if you actually increased the price (better value for those using KU). But you’d get fewer sales, and as reads don’t give you much money I wonder if it would be worth it.
It’s all a balancing game. I’m doing a “pay what you like” weekend currently on Smashwords, and actually haven’t seen all that many sales (of course everyone has paid 0.00, lol, because who actually wants to pay more?). I’ll make a post about it shortly!