As a self-published author, you’re always on the lookout for ways to increase the discoverability of your books. What else can you do to boost profits in addition to promoting your book on social media, scheduling book signings, and blogging regularly? Here’s an idea from Self-Publishing Relief: Although it’s not right for everyone, getting your e-book into the Kindle Unlimited program is one of the options you should consider when researching the best marketing strategies for your work. Some authors love the Kindle Unlimited program, but others aren’t as sold on its success.
What You Need To Know About The Kindle Unlimited Program
What is Kindle Unlimited?
Amazon launched its Kindle Unlimited program in July 2014. This subscription service, available for $9.99 a month, gives a reader unlimited access to “borrow” over a million titles in the Kindle Store, including books, magazines, and audiobooks.
How do I enroll my book in the Kindle Unlimited program?
When you enroll your book in the KDP Select program, it is automatically included in Kindle Unlimited. You can opt in to KDP Select when you set up your title in your Kindle Direct Publishing account—you can also enroll existing titles from your KDP Bookshelf. The commitment period is ninety days; keep in mind that KDP will auto-renew your book’s enrollment unless you tell them not to.
KU (Kindle Unlimited) subscribers will see a badge under your book’s title in the Kindle Store, and the book will also be included on Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited page. When an individual subscriber reads a certain number of pages in your book for the first time (and only for the first time), you’ll be paid a share of the KDP Select Global Fund.
You can promote borrows of your Kindle Unlimited book the same way you would try to boost book sales. Talk about your book on social media. The more activity your book gets from readers, the better it will do in Amazon’s algorithm—resulting in Amazon recommending your book to additional readers who’ve purchased books similar to yours.
What else do I need to know about the Kindle Unlimited program?
While participation in Kindle Unlimited may increase your book’s discoverability to Amazon/Kindle customers, there is one major drawback. Unlike competitor subscription services Oyster and Scribd, Kindle Unlimited requires exclusivity. Inclusion in KU requires that you enroll the title in KDP Select, and in signing up for KDP Select, you must agree to make the digital format of your book available only through KDP. You may not distribute it via any other channels, including your website.
Also, you only get paid when the required number of pages is read, which can be in six days—or six months.
If you decide the trade-off is worth it, it’s important to take full advantage of your Amazon Author Central page. This is a valuable (and free!) way to connect with and market to your readers and potential buyers—and if you’re distributing only via KDP, optimizing your page becomes crucial.
Question: Have you enrolled your book in the Kindle Unlimited program? If so, tell us about your experience.