The self-publishing world is still buzzing about the effects of Amazon’s new program, Kindle Unlimited. KU is a subscription service that allows subscribers to borrow up to 10 books at a time from Amazon for a flat monthly fee of $10.
There’s no doubt in my mind but that KU is going to be a game-changer for self-publishers. The late, great Chicago newspaper columnist Mike Royko once said that he believed the timeline of American history would one day be divided into two eras: Before Crack and After Crack. I think that the timeline of ebook publishing may well split between Before KU and After KU.
Crack and KU both offer a cheap high that can easily crowd out more sublime pursuits.
The inevitable result of the KU program as it’s currently configured is much more work–shorter work–being hurriedly created and needlessly serialized in order to grab more pieces of the monthly KU pie. (See previous posts for an explanation of how Amazon pays KU authors.) This isn’t to say that no good work will be available through KU, but that work is likely to get lost in a morass of novellas and novelettes and individually packaged short stories churned out with a priority of quantity over quality.
The system dictates this ordering of priorities.
Nonetheless, I’m putting One Last Time into the program on a trial basis, for three months.
The book needs a shot in the arm. It’s sold four copies at B&N. None at Apple. None at Kobo. Nobody’s checked it out at Scribd. I’d offer a promotion but One Last Time doesn’t have enough reviews yet to allow me to promote it effectively. KU is new, Amazon’s offering free 30-day enrollments, so I’m hopping on. The exclusive commitment runs through the middle of October.