Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Kindle Unlimited, Angry Authors, Shoplifting, and Tantric Sex

Kindle Unlimited has begun, and some authors have expressed anger at Amazon.  Before pitchfork wielding authors  hit the streets with chants of "they're taking the bread out of our kids mouths" let's consider a few things.

(Keep in mind the number of people who were shocked at the concept of KDP free days, but a lot of authors have received much benefit and exposure from them.)

I used to shop at a particular K-Mart in New York which one day decided that shoplifting of movies on videotape and dvd was to be halted.  Their solution was glass cases with silver key locks.  Go get the clerk.

Shoplifting was halted.  So were sales.

The nature of shopping for movies in a store revolves largely around the ability of a customer to be able to pick up one item after another as they work out their particular interests at that moment.

Since the customer's ability to peruse and examine products was effectively removed, the movie customers were de facto removed.

The foolish retail attitude was more concerned with not losing product, than selling it.  Making money does not work like that.  Certainly not in a mass product retail environment.

Even though everyone gets their own personalized shopping experience based on their history, authors especially must keep in mind that Amazon is a mass product retail environment.

Now let's go back a few years to when the internet was newer than it is today.  Many free website builders, bloggers and the like were hysterical about protecting their content.  At some point many realized that some piracy is to be expected (and dealt with as one can) but that absolute obscurity is worse.

As time goes on I would not be surprised if Amazon priced Kindle Unlimited with Prime, or finds some other way to increase greatly the number of participating customers.  It is entirely possible that authors who have something worth reading, will find that their exposure and customers increase in quantity.

We authors are not competing with Amazon, it is just the field on which we are playing.

A better concern is to create product that people actually buy.  Outright purchases are still paid proper royalties.  And the fear of Kindle Unlimited and the 10% read through should be overpowered with the drive to obtain customers and read throughs.

The current monthly fund is set at 2 million.  Think you even need a half percent read through of all read throughs in order to have a decent check?

Okay, okay, let's talk about tantric sex and see what authors might learn.

Readers want an experience; something they can remember.  Something they want to talk about.  Something of which they want more.  Much like tantric sex, authors who really want to make money, need to focus on what they are doing and focus on their partner.  The potential reader is your partner.  Blow their mind.  Make them love you by loving them.

Amazon has been fairly sharp, generous, and helpful thus far, they might know what they are doing.

Stephen R. Winter
author of Write Like A Ninja
contact at writelikeaninja@gmail.com

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