There has been a lot of talk on various blogs and writers' forums about the new Kindle KOL system that was introduced ten days ago. I have all my books in Kindle Select and was given the option to remove them before this was introduced but decided, as much for inertia as anything else, to leave things as they were and see how it developed..
Although I don't get massive loans under the old method, they do bring me in around £100 a month which is well worth having. Remuneration for the loans is excellent, more than $2 a borrow, but nobody seems to know how much we will get with this new system.
I'm not exactly sure how it works – would be interested to know if anyone out there has found out yet. I do know that American users get the first month free which might account for the thirty or so downloads a day that I'm getting at the moment. On reading the various information pages put up by Amazon I recently discovered members of this "club" can borrow as many books as they like and keep them indefinitely.
I don't see how this is going to work – surely if they can have as many books as they want, and don't have them taken from their device the end of each month (which is what I thought happened ) then why should they bother to buy books in future? So far I've not noticed any deterioration in my sales, but it's early days yet.
A member of this club pays $9.99 a month – if they read more than half a dozen books then obviously this is a good thing for them. I presume that the five big traditional publishers don't have any books in this system, so if you want to download a well-known title you will still have to buy. Amazon said 600,000 books were in the library – I think there are well over 3 million books on Amazon – so this must be the amount of writers who have their books in Kindle Select.
I can't see that Amazon can continue to pay writers over two dollars per loan, and as the ordinary loan system is now lumped in with this other one, no doubt this will mean getting less for these loans, which will impact upon my income. The fact that the pound is so strong against the dollar has reduced my American royalties by a third – I really don't want to lose any more.
I would like to know what borrowers and writers think about this? Is it a good thing for writers – or the end of the world as we know it?
Fenella J Miller
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