The other day, the last of the three Siobhan Dunmoore novels published so far, Like Stars in Heaven, left the Kindle Unlimited (KU) program, which required exclusivity with Amazon under some fairly onerous terms. As a result, starting tomorrow, Monday, February 13, 2017, it will join the first two in being available across a wide range of retailers. I was able to remove it from KU two weeks early after a fruitless discussion with Amazon concerning their interpretation of what was to my eyes a pretty nonsensical restriction.
I mentioned in a blog post last month that I was one of many authors who had become less than enchanted with Amazon’s management the KU program and it has been getting increasingly more arbitrary and often chaotic for authors. That’s over and above the issues surrounding the payment of royalties, the prevalence of scammers abusing the program to rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars a month, etc. Since the first two novels of the Siobhan Dunmoore series have done surprisingly well outside of the Amazon ecosystem up to now, I’ve resolved to reduce my dependence on Amazon’s capriciousness by removing the entire Decker’s War series from KU at the end of this month. It will remain available for purchase on Amazon, but as of early March, it will also be available to readers who get their ebooks from iTunes, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and many other ebook retailers around the planet. Hopefully, those who enjoyed Siobhan Dunmoore might want to give Decker’s War a try. Though set in the same universe, but at a later time, Decker’s War features a different kind of protagonist and storyline. It’s also more lighthearted, if not everyone’s cup of tea.
I think it’s worth noting that Mrs. Thomson and I subscribed to KU as readers until last autumn, when we decided we were wasting both money and time by wading through the increasingly dense pile of unreadable sludge on offer, only to find that what we actually wanted to read wasn’t available in KU. And that’s not even mentioning that we were paying to support a program which wasn’t doing authors justice yet rewarding scammers. I think that if I can’t justify using KU as a reader, it behooves me to stop supporting it as a writer and give my work wider exposure beyond Amazon.
Will I put further Siobhan Dunmoore and Decker’s War novels in KU for a 90 period after their publication, 90 days being the minimum enrollment period? At this point, I don’t know. I intend to keep an eye on how the KU issue develops or degenerates as the case may be, and that includes Amazon’s efforts in defeating the many scams without punishing honest authors. But I suspect that once I’m completely free of the unreasonable restrictions Amazon imposes on writers for the privilege of seeing their books in Kindle Unlimited, I’ll think twice about putting any new work at Amazon’s mercy.
Speaking of new work, the first draft of Victory’s Bright Dawn (Siobhan Dunmoore Book 4) passed the half way mark a few days ago, and I’m really pleased with how it’s shaping up. At this rate, we might be looking for a mid-Spring publication date.