Before I was a writer, I was a reader…a voracious one, in fact. Some of the credit for this goes to my mom and dad, who would read to me and with me as a child. My mom was particularly sneaky in getting me started on my path to reading – she’d extend my bedtime a half hour or so, but only if I read (I’ll have to file that trick away for whenever I’m a mom).
That said, the reader in me is intrigued by Amazon’s new buffet style program for books (think of Netflix for books). Although another part of me wonders, why not just take advantage of the age-old book buffet – the library? I’m guessing that the difference between Amazon’s new service and the library would be number of titles available and lack of a waiting list. While I’m not sure if I’ll sign up for Kindle Unlimited (my To Be Read list is already ridiculous), I understand the allure for a reader. Mmmmm mountains of books. 🙂
Services like Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited should help create new readers (yay! let’s strive to fill the world with readers!). However, there are questions that are arising for authors, both traditional and indie. Most of these questions focus on the bit of the business that no one ever wants to talk about – money.
While I’ve yet to publish anything, I can see both sides of the coin (yes, pun intended). Amazon Unlimited has the potential to get your book out to new readers, more readers (yay!) but at a flexing and lower price (boo).
But really, let’s face it – if you’re an unknown author (like me), you’ll have to run sales, promos, give-aways, and at times, nearly beg readers to look at you anyway. Amazon Unlimited can help you to reach many readers who wouldn’t normally read an un-tested author – this is a huge win! People will read your stories! (Give me a minute to grin about that 🙂 as just the thought of people reading a book I’ve written makes me gleeful.)
Let’s be honest – the dream of quitting your job for a life as an author is there for a lot of people – I’m not going to lie, a part of me wishes for this too. However, you have to realize that depending on your needs (and the kind of lifestyle you aspire to), this is likely not a feasible option for most of us – unless you are able to freelance successfully, have a trust fund, or have a really understanding partner/parent/friend/person who will give you money just because you’re awesome. (Side note: whatever happened to wealthy people sponsoring artists and writers? Come on, wealthy people! Sponsor us…please! Please?) If you’re an established author with a fan-base, people probably will buy your books anyway, so you have flexibility on whether or not you’d want to participate in the delicious book buffet.
For me – the voracious reader and the someday little self/indie published author – I say, let’s give this Amazon Unlimited a go. Let’s see the places it takes us and the (dare to dream) new readers it creates.
…and hey, for those of you worried about making not big bucks from a single title …you can still dream about that movie deal. 🙂
What do you think about Kindle Unlimited and similar services?