• Repeating what other posts say with no independent commentary or analysis contributes little to the debate.

    You say,

    “60% of the best selling titles on the Amazon paid charts were enrolled in KU.”

    How many of these were Amazon’s own imprint titles?

    You say,

    “88 of the top 100 romance books on the bestseller charts were enrolled in KU.”

    How many of these were Amazon’s own imprint titles?

    You say,

    “KU readers read more books and review books at a higher rate.”

    But what does this mean? KU is fast replacing Smashwords as the go to place for short-form porn.

    But with Smashwords if you want to read twenty 15-page porn stories at 0.99 each it will cost $19.80. With KU it will cost just 9.99 and you might find time to read thirty or forty.

    Twenty 15-page porn stories is equivalent to one 300 mainstream page novel.

    Or maybe the reader is going for the myriad 5-10 page books that litter KU. Read twenty five page short-form porn stories and that’s the equivalent of a 100 page novella. the reader could get through 60 such short titles to equal one 300 page mainstream novel.

    Are KU subscribers really reading more, or are they just downloading more short titles that they would never dream of paying 0.99 for as a regular sale?

    Throw in the countless scam titles in KU which are obviously being downloaded or the scammers wouldn’t be making any money and would have moved on – and the “KU readers read more books” claim may not be quite as exciting as first appears.

  • Stephen Cadigan

    As an author on Kindle I’ve been trying to experiment as much as possible. I wrote the story “He’s President and I’m Moving to Canada” to reach a new audience, especially on KU. For me, KU is a big disappointment compared to people just buying my stories, and I’m considering giving KU up.

  • Alex Blythe

    “60% of the best selling titles on the Amazon paid charts were enrolled in KU” That’s because Amazon ”favour’ and push KU titles to the top, as B&N have been accused of ‘favouritism’ with the Big 5 before now.

    “88 of the top 100 romance books on the bestseller charts were enrolled in KU” See comment above, to prove the point.

    And you forgot to Cut and Paste this bit: “We would guess there are even more inactive users who are subscribed but are not reading.” And if there are a million titles and 2.5 ACTIVE readers, then there’s more readers than books, which surely is not a motivating factor in actually spending 9.99 a month, but a factor in PUBLISHING.

    Also, nobody seems to have pointed out that Romance readers are the most voracious readers on the planet, while ‘other’ genres seem to plod along at ‘normal’ pace, ie: about three to four books a month.

    MARK WILLIAMS, in the comments below, mentioned Smashwords, and he’s absolutely correct on the short-form stories. On my last visit to Smashwords there were more short-forms at .99 than there were full-length novels in the NEW listings on the front page of the website…anything from 500 words to just short of 6,000.

    Plus there’s no mention of KU screwing authors and refusing to accept problems within the system, as happened with KU 2.0 switch or the page-flip fiasco last year. With no transparency, the ability to change terms without notification, little communication with authors, it doesn’t sound like a great deal for writers. But KU wasn’t designed for novelists, it was designed for readers and the Kindle marketing network.

  • Martha Smith

    I buy lots of ebooks and I also subscribe to KU. I have been debating whether KU continues to make sense for me, and one of these days I’ll run the numbers. Many of the KU books are not very expensive outside of the program. But there are books that I wouldn’t otherwise take a chance on that I can read through KU. On the other hand, I also want to read other books, from outside the program, so I am not really checking out as many KU books as I could be. I’ve had one book checked out for nearly a year. If you figure each book costs $1/month, I’ve paid way more to check that book out than I would have to purchase it outright.

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