Authors are upset with Amazon. Again.
For much of the last year, mainstream novelists were furious that Amazon was discouraging the sale of some titles in its confrontation with the publisher Hachette over e-books.
Now self-published writers, who owe much of their audience to the retailer’s publishing platform, are unhappy.
One problem is too much competition. But a new complaint is about Kindle Unlimited, a new Amazon subscription service that offers access to 700,000 books — both self-published and traditionally published — for $9.99 a month.
It may bring in readers, but the writers say they earn less. And in interviews and online forums, they have voiced their complaints.
Participation in Kindle Unlimited is voluntary. And participation is done in 3-month increments. So no one is being forced to sign away the farm.
Every writer has to make a strategic decision about every title: Does it make sense to enroll the title in Kindle Unlimited, or not?…And for how long?
Obviously, a borrowed title brings in less money than a purchased title. But...the lower cost to the reader makes Kindle Unlimited a valuable promotional tool…for some titles, and in some instances…and for a while.
Many writers want to independently publish, but they do not want to think like businesspeople. So they complain that Amazon.com is trying to ruin their lives.