Over the years, I’ve been very open about my sales success with e-books. A few years ago, I made the decision to opt-out of KDP Select and Kindle Unlimited, in favor of giving readers choices of who to shop with. Since then, month-in and month-out, my Kindle sales have fallen. Over three years, they’ve fallen a whopping EIGHTY PERCENT. My numbers have improved on other sales sites, but not enough to offset the Kindle free fall. I don’t completely pin it on KU. I think there’s also a glut of free and discounted books, such that some people successfully employ the “wait for the free books” strategy in addition to those who use the “only consume what I can download under my KU subscription” strategy.
I still find BookBub promotions, for free and discounted books, to be very successful, but their impact has a shorter life due to Amazon’s smoothing of its algorithms to account for short term sales spikes on rankings.
So why am I telling you this? It’s certainly not for sympathy; heck, I know I’ve still got it good, even after a 50% drop in overall income because of the deep gouge that Kindle Unlimited has taken out of my sales. But if you can empathize—if you’ve experienced something similar—and you’ve figured out how to reverse it, I’m all ears. Everyone I talk to who refuses to throw all their books in KU is going through something similar. And at the same time I hear rumblings of authors unhappy with diminishing KU/KDP Select income as well.
So, I’d love to hear from you: are you broad distribution or KDP Select? How are your Kindle sales? What are you doing that offsets the impact of KU on the broad distribution strategy?
Spill it, friends, spill it.
All’a we are in this together.
Pamela Fagan Hutchins, winner of the 2017 Silver Falchion award for Best Mystery (Fighting for Anna), writes overly long e-mails, hilarious nonfiction (What Kind of Loser Indie Publishes, and How Can I Be One, Too?), and series mysteries, like What Doesn’t Kill You, which includes the bestselling Saving Grace (e-book free everywhere) and the 2015 and 2016 WINNERS of the USA Best Book Award for Cross Genre Fiction, Heaven to Betsy and Hell to Pay. You can snag her newest release, Bombshell, if you’ve already run the rest of the table. She teaches writing, publishing, and promotion at the SkipJack Publishing Online School (where you can take How to Sell a Ton of Books, FREE) and writes about it here on the SkipJack Publishing blog.
Pamela resides deep in the heart of Nowheresville, Texas and in the frozen north of Snowheresville, Wyoming. She has a passion for great writing and smart authorpreneurship as well as long trail rides and hikes with her hunky husband and pack of rescue dogs, horses, donkeys, and whoever else wants to tag along, traveling in the Bookmobile, and experimenting with her Keurig. She also leaps medium-tall buildings in a single bound (if she gets a good running start).