Hey, just a heads up to everyone – with some changes to Amazon’s terms-of-service which happened some time over the past 10 years, I’ve decided it is safest to withdraw my Breeding Anthologies from Kindle Unlimited. I wish this wasn’t necessary, but you can read below for the ‘why’. The term for Volume 1 ends on 3/31/23, and then Volume 2 ends on 4/21/23. So, if you’ve been meaning to read it on Kindle Unlimited, now is the time to do so.
Back in 2012, when I was first publishing, you could do an anthology of your own short stories and – as long as that anthology was not being sold elsewhere, it was fine. I had previously published my anthologies, but I unpublished them from Smashwords and elsewhere to make the anthology sets Kindle Unlimited exclusive content. The stories in those anthologies though, were available everywhere else on an a la carte basis.
It seems that this is not a practice Amazon is ok with anymore; reading the current version of their terms of service, it seems that they only want content in KU that you cannot get anywhere else. So rather than them eventually going after me for it, I’m withdrawing both from Kindle Unlimited when their term expires. To be clear, Amazon has not approached me or contacted me about this; these actions are my own. If by some strange turn of events, Amazon is reading this and wishes to tell me this is not necessary, I would consider re-upping if they were to also remove them from the dungeon in the process. Given that I seriously doubt that would ever happen, I’m moving forward with this plan of action.
Incidentally, some of you may have noticed that I’ve been going through and revamping my stories lately. This got kicked off when my cover artist decided to remaster the cover art on the Progenitor series, and then I got into using automated grammar checks which weren’t available back when I was originally writing, to identify some double words here or there, or tenses that didn’t align, etc. And then I noticed the back matter was outdated, either failing to mention this blog as the primary contact, or were pointing to my Twitter account that vanished years ago to the whims of Twitter.
In short, not only were the anthologies nearly invisible due to Amazon’s filtering, but the fans who did manage to find the anthologies were seeing less-proofed versions of my stories and getting sent to the wrong place to check up on continuation of the stories they were into. Furthermore, Amazon has flagged both anthologies in “the erotica dungeon”, so they weren’t even showing up for most search results unless folks were clicking on my author page anyway. Finding out about the updated TOS on Kindle Select was kind of the final straw on a decision I’ve been leaning towards for a while.
At any rate, the anthologies will remain available on Amazon, just not in Kindle Select (which sadly means no more reading them via Kindle Unlimited; that’s the only down side). Anyone who already bought them will be able to get the updates.
I’ll also release a new version of the anthologies on Amazon once I finish revamping the stories within them – anyone who has already bought it, will be able to update to the latest version and they’ll see the new, improved content. Right now Vol1 only needs an editing pass over Morgan’s Curse and Cupid’s Armorer. I might even manage to get this done before its Kindle Select term expires, but no promises.
At any rate, once the exclusivity windows expire (as above, 3/31 for Vol1 and 4/21 for Vol2) I will be releasing them to my entire distribution network – for folks on Smashwords, B&N, Apple, etc.
For anyone who really wants a “Kindle Unlimited” style read-all-you-want access to my works, my subscription plans will be available via Ream and some of them will include full back-catalog access once I finish going through everything. Subscribing right now isn’t working – there are some back-end issues which the Ream team is working on, but once those are sorted out, I’ll post another announcement.
A note to my fellow authors
To any authors out there reading this – as I’m in the habit of discussing bottom-line things as well, I’ll volunteer that this decision is probably the right one from a business perspective. Folks like to tell new authors that Kindle Unlimited is a money machine they can’t afford to put down. Well, I’m sure it can be for some folks – but it is provably not for all of us.
The fact my anthologies were dungeoned probably has a lot to do with the lack of exposure and reads, but my Kindle Select royalties on these volumes have only been ~$350 total over the course of 11 years. Over that time, folks have read 81,018 pages. Both volumes put together are 592 pages, and so this translates to 136 read-throughs cover to cover, over 11 years. I don’t really consider just slightly over one new reader a month on average to be much exposure.
The flip side of the coin is that these same volumes, even though they were also dungeoned on Amazon, sold 146 eBook copies outside of Kindle Unlimited, making ~$840 – which is more than twice what Kindle Unlimited was giving me, from just slightly more purchases. And due to Kindle Unlimited’s exclusivity, these volumes were no longer on Smashwords and its various distribution partners. And back before it went exclusive, the anthology was one of my better sellers everywhere.
The lost Kindle Unlimited revenue is likely to be far more than recovered by regaining wide-distribution eBook sales of those anthologies. All it’d take is $31/yr worth of sales. The only thing I’m a little sad about is that I can’t tell folks “Hey, go read this anthology; it’s part of your subscription already” anymore.