indie voice

New Royalty Terms for Kindle Unlimited

NEW ROYALTY TERMS FOR KU

Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited e-book subscription service and its lending library have been criticized for their policy in paying authors. Previously, Amazon paid the same amount for all books regardless of length, which authors claimed “may not provide a strong enough alignment between the interests of authors and readers.” Now, in response to these criticisms, Amazon is changing its royalty terms.

For either Kindle Unlimited or the lending library, authors will be paid per number of pages read in any book that is borrowed. As well, Amazon is adding $7.8 million to the May KDP Select global fund, a royalty pool that pays select authors. This new policy will hopefully work to benefit authors: Amazon predicts that total royalties earned by KDP Select authors in the US will more than double in the first half of 2015.

SELLING PRE-ORDERS ON SMASHWORDS JUST GOT A WHOLE LOT EASIER

“E-book preorders are the single most important tool for indie authors,” says a Smashwords spokesperson. That’s why they’ve recently made a change to their publishing process, allowing authors to list their books for preorder up to 12 months in advance of publication by supplying basic metadata alone.

Previously, the service required a complete manuscript and cover art before allowing authors to list a title as a preorder. This gives indie authors a great deal more freedom to polish their work while earning revenue on it much earlier. Selling preorders is a huge advantage for indie authors, with 67% of Smashwords’ top bestselling titles beginning as preorders. With this change in policy, authors will be much more able to access that advantage.

ARE POINT-OF-SALE PROGRAMS RIGHT FOR YOU?

Many indie authors sell their books through retailers, providing links to the retailers through a “buy” button on their personal websites. But some authors prefer to sell through their website and at events directly, using point-of-sale programs to control their own sales. A recent Publishers Weekly article talks over the pros and cons of point-of-sale programs for indie authors.

The majority of successes through POS programs happen with nonfiction and how-to books, where authors can more easily identify their target audiences and market to them. But fiction authors can find use in these programs as well, if they’re willing to put in a little effort. E-commerce platforms such as E-junkie, Ganxy, Aerbook, and others allow authors to set up “buy now” buttons and shopping carts on their websites, connected to online transaction services such as Paypal. Additionally, authors can use tools like Square, Stripe, and Paypal to directly sell books at events.

While these services help the author have more control, they do present some difficulties. Self-publishing expert Joel Friedlander says, “The time and energy it takes to work out these e-commerce platforms, install the necessary code, landing pages, buttons, etc. are not that productive for [indie authors].” It’s up to each author how they plan to sell their books, and POS programs are just one of the options.

INDIEREADER + USA TODAY’S HAPPILY EVER AFTER BLOG

As summer heats up, so too, do five new titles coming your way this season.  IndieReader gives USA Today’s Happily Ever After blog the head’s up on new seasonal romance releases, including the titles you can find here.  Whether your preferences run to the poolside or porch swing, these enticing indie romances are guaranteed to keep the temperatures rising!

THIS WEEK’S LIST WHERE INDIE’S COUNT

Looking for more new indie titles?  Check out IndieReader’s latest List Where Indies Count.  Titles are compiled on Sunday for Monday’s post, culled from The New York Times, USA Today and Amazon best-seller lists.

Have a great weekend, Indie Readers!

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