Amazon introduced a new program last year call KU or Kindle Unlimted. It is a subscription service available for readers at a cost of $9.99 per month and offers access to nearly 0ne-million book titles. While it is a service readers enjoy and thousands are enrolled in, it doesn’t appear to be a winner for authors.
Many authors have noted sales dropping significantly since enrolling their books in the program. On a Kindle forum board, several authors have noted a 75% decrease in sales dollars, and a $5000 loss in one month. That’s quit an impact on income. While all authors applaud the Amazon model that helps them reach readers, losses in income of this measure is seeing authors pull their books out of the KU program in droves. It is also keeping new authors that once might have considered enrolling their books out of the program.
NYT David Streitfeld, noted: “Amazon, [though], may be willing to forgo some income in the short term to create a service that draws readers in and encourages them to buy other items. The books, in that sense, are loss leaders, although the writers take the loss, not Amazon.”
Other authors are opting to write shorter works, serialize their works and co-author to help offset the decrease in income. There has even been talk of unionizing authors on Amazon.
It is uncertain whether the program will survive the withdrawal of so many authors, or if writing formats will simply change to adjust. What is certain, is that authors will not continue to write if they cannot making a living wage.