Now that Amazon has unleashed it’s Kindle Unlimited service, many authors and writers are wondering what it means for them. The massive media giant has a literary marketplace that’s unparalleled, and certainly attractive to indie authors, but does this change the way in which they get paid?
First of all, let’s explore Kindle Unlimited for a bit. It’s an ebook subscription based service that’s available on any device, including the Kindle. It comes with a free 30 day trial, and has access to over 600,000 titles, including audiobooks from Audible. After the 30 day period has expired, subscribers can expect to pay $9.99 a month for the continued service.
This is different than the Kindle lending library, although just about all of the titles included with Unlimited are already available through the library. Audiobooks? Not so much. Also, the service is called unlimited for a reason. Kindle Owners Lending Library only allows you to check out one book per month, whereas the new service allows for much more.
There doesn’t appear to be any books available from the Big Five: HapterCollins, Penguin, Macmillan, Simon and Schuster, and Hachette, which is something that a reader will have to consider because it means many best sellers simply won’t be made available through the unlimited service, rendering the new program to be rather limited after all, unlike Amazon’s new competitors Oyster and Scribd. You can, however, find offerings from smaller publishers, including The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and the Hunger Games. In this respect, the two services, Unlimited and the Lending Library, don’t appear to be very different from eachother.
Books from Amazon’s KDP Select program appear to be included with the Unlimited service, as per the terms and conditions. Jash on Kboards explains that: “Books in Select will automatically be enrolled. Like the KOLL you won’t be able to opt-out if you’re in Select. You will be payed [sic] if you someone reads 10% or more of your book. The payment will come out of the same KOLL fund, just as if it was a borrow.” That fund, currently at 1.2 million, is a pool of money from which self-published authors dip into each time their book is borrowed.