I posted several weeks ago about why my books are currently only available through Amazon. However, that will be changing in 2024.
Amazon has a subscription service called Kindle Unlimited, which allows people to pay a monthly cost and access a large number of Kindle books that they can read; those books are removed from their device after a certain amount of time, if I’ve understood correctly. This enables people who can’t necessarily afford to buy every single book they want to read, to be able to read the books they want. For a book to be included in Kindle Unlimited, it must be exclusive to Amazon, meaning that the *digital* version of the book cannot be available anywhere else, including as a giveaway (again, as I understand it, though I might be wrong about that). The print version can be available through other sales or giveaway channels, because Kindle Unlimited only deals with e-books.
When I started self-publishing my books in spring 2022, I chose to go Amazon exclusive because I wanted my books to be available through Kindle Unlimited. I knew authors who were making the bulk of their income through “page reads” in KU, and as someone who myself can’t afford to buy all the books I want, I thought it would be good to make them available to my readers who might not be able to buy my books.
However, Amazon keeps changing the rules for how they pay authors for Kindle Unlimited page reads. They’ve also made the decision to allow AI-generated books, which not only will flood the market (further reducing the amount that authors receive) but also is problematic because of how artificial intelligence is trained. Generative AI, the programs people use to “create” art, books, etc., is trained through use of existing art and books–for which the human creators of those things are NOT asked for permission and receive no compensation. One of my young adult novels has been essentially stolen to train AI to “create,” and I only knew about it because someone spotted it on a list and informed me. (I’m not going to get into all the problems with AI. Nor am I going to respond to people who say “But some of us need AI!” AI does have its place.. but that place should not be stealing the work of human creators in order to enable machines to “create” things. You can Google if you want more info about this, or check out authors like Lori Gallagher Witt who are talking more extensively about it.)
Because of those issues, I’ve made the decision that beginning in 2024, I will be pulling my books out of Kindle Unlimited as their terms expire (KU books are signed up for 90 days at a time, which automatically renews unless we opt out). I will also be releasing some short stories and shorter novellas in addition to the novels I’m planning to release in 2024, and that will start in a couple of weeks with a Christmas short story, “Christmas Eve Snow,” which will be released wide. (This story is also an alternate gift to those who subscribe to my newsletter; details are on the https://karennacolcroft.com/get-your-free-story/ page.)
Due to when the expiration dates fall, some of the Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat books will still be in Kindle Unlimited when I release Tempeh for Two in January. Because of that, I will be releasing Tempeh for Two as an Amazon exclusive (and available in Kindle Unlimited) for the first 90 days of its existence; it will be available wide in April, and between February and April the rest of the books in that series will also be going wide. Beginning with my April 2024 release, which currently is slated to be the sequel to Chance Met, all books will be released wide; none will be available through Kindle Unlimited at any point. (As with everything I determine about my writing, this decision is subject to change, so stay tuned for updates.)
I still believe Kindle Unlimited is a great service for readers. But it’s no longer such a great thing for authors.