While the word “unlimited” in the name Kindle Unlimited may be appealing to readers, it may not be so appealing to authors.
According to The New York Times, Amazon’s new e-book subscription service, Kindle Unlimited, is seriously diminishing the amount of money made by self-publishers who use the service. That’s because Kindle Unlimited offers readers unlimited access to more than 700,000 titles for a mere $9.99 per month. Think of it as the Spotify or Netflix of books.
Great in theory, not so great in reality, as David Streitfeld explains.
“Six months ago people were quitting their day job, convinced they could make a career out of writing,” said Bob Mayer, an e-book consultant and publisher who has written 50 books. “Now people are having to go back to that job or are scraping to get by. That’s how quickly things have changed.”
Consumers feast on these services, which can offer new artists a wider audience than they ever could have found before the digital era.
Some established artists, however, see fewer rewards.
The solution to the problem? While some self-publishers are now opting to pull out of the service altogether, others have realized the most efficient way to make money through the service is to write and publish more books — and faster. That’s resulting in shorter serialized novels and short stories.
I can’t help but think that despite the talent of some of these authors, the fast pace to keep up would only hurt the quality of the books offered online.
This is just another mess for Amazon to clean up after last year’s fiasco with Hachette. But the question is: will they, in fact, clean it up?