Monday, July 21, 2014

Amazon Unlimited? Really?!?! No, Not Really.

You won't be able to read my books using Amazon Unlimited, sorry to say. But? You won't be able to read a lot of books, evidently... Had been hearing about Amazon Unlimited as details leaked about Amazon's new "Netflix For Books". Last Thursday morning I received an email from Amazon's KDP Team (edited here): 
Hello, 
Today we are excited to introduce Kindle Unlimited--a new subscription service for readers in the U.S. and a new revenue opportunity for authors enrolled in KDP Select... (and, by the way) ...KDP Select is an optional program that makes your book exclusive to Kindle... 
Best regards, 
The Kindle Direct Publishing Team
Oh.

Surprise, surprise - from the Kindle Direct Independent Publishing side of things, only ebooks which have agreed to be exclusive to the Kindle will be available as part of Amazon Unlimited. Didn't tell us that would be the case.

This excludes from Amazon Unlimited any independent authors & publishers who are smart and ambitious enough to have their ebooks available in other outlets. In other words? Most independent authors and publishers who are really working at this and not just uploading something to Amazon will not be available to you through Amazon Unlimited. That kind of sucks. But, it's their marketplace, their rules. Always good to remember they're not your friend. They're showing that now.

But now I read that the Big Five publishers (Hachette Book Group - HarperCollins - Macmillan Publishers - Penguin Random House - and Simon and Schuster) apparently aren't allowing Amazon to include their books: (http://techcrunch.com/2014/07/19/how-the-big-5-publishers-hobbled-the-amazon-unlimited-launch/) and (http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/07/21/333549534/book-news-big-5-publishers-absent-from-amazon-s-new-e-book-service)  - "apparently" because no one from Amazon or the publishers is commenting on the situation as of yet. And one reviewer tried it out and couldn't find anything on it they wanted to read: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/money/58198723-79/kindle-amazon-unlimited-books.html.csp

All sounds pretty limited, to me. None of the Big Five, and nothing by indie writers and publishers on top of their games. There's probably some good stuff left, but it ain't "unlimited" in any way, shape or form.

And it's a slap to indie writers and publishers using the KDP program. If you have the nerve to also have your ebooks for sale at Barnes and Noble, the iTunes Bookstore, Kobo Books... any other outlets - you're out. All in all, pretty limiting, Amazon.