How Kindle Unlimited Stacks Up

shutterstock_174615632Amazon’s new ebook subscription service, which it officially rolled out on Friday, enters a busy and growing market.

Two of the biggest such services, Oyster and Scribd, both welcomed the arrival of Kindle Unlimited as a sign that the subscription model is being more widely embraced by publishers, authors and readers.

From here on out, though, the competition for each of those groups intensifies.

Kindle Unlimited is priced higher than both Scribd and Oyster, at a monthly rate of $9.99 against their $8.99 and $9.95, respectively. But Kindle Unlimited’s catalog features a handful of big titles Scribd’s and Oyster’s don’t.

Those are just two of many differences bound to redraw the competitive field. Much more.

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Amazon Enlarges KDP Select Fund (Slashgear)
The e-tailer adds $800,000 to its monthly fund for compensating self-published authors who loan their titles through the Kindle Owners Lending Library, anticipating a surge in downloads with the rollout of Kindle Unlimited, whose catalog it includes. Publishers Lunch has more.

Facebook to Start Selling Ebooks? (Good E Reader)
The social network is reportedly developing a “Buy It Now” button that would allow self-published authors to sell their titles directly to Facebook users.

Helping Authors Make Data-Backed Decisions (DBW)
For authors weighing traditional and self-publishing options, the first step is asking the right questions of the available data.
Related: Webcast–How to Use Data to Make Publishing Decisions

Author Earnings Report Claims Self-Publishing Still Booming (Guardian)
According to the latest installment of the hotly contested report by self-publishing author and advocate Hugh Howey, 31% of ebooks sold on Amazon are now self-published.

What the Apple Settlement Hasn’t Settled (PW)
Apple agrees to settle its ebook pricing suit, but the conditions of that agreement and a still-pending appeal leave the prospect of a hefty consumer payout unresolved.

Google Play Gets Bigger (Pub Lunch)
Revenues in the segment in which Google reports earnings for Google Play are up 53% in the second quarter of 2014 since the same time last year, leading the company to announce that Google Play is growing “at breakneck speed.”

How Well Do Publishers Manage Change? (Talking New Media)
As the publishing landscape transforms, one industry watcher asks whether the book business will do better than the music business in adjusting to changing market realities.

Why Books Should Get ‘Director’s Cuts’ (New Statesman)
What publishers could stand to gain from releasing early drafts and variations of authors’ books.

Self-Publishing Taking Root in India (Hindustan Times)
The popularity of Amazon’s self-publishing platform is reportedly growing among Indian authors.

2 thoughts on “How Kindle Unlimited Stacks Up

  1. Michael J. Sullivan

    When it comes to subscription services it’s all about who has the best content. So far none of the services have been all that great about signing up the top titles. The biggest problem I see with Kindle Unlimited at the present time is that it is filled with:

    * Self-published authors in KDP Select
    * Amazon Imprint Authors
    * Titles from some progressive small presses (like Open Road)
    * A few titles that Amazon has special arrangements with (like Harry Potter)
    * A few titles that Amazon has put in against the publisher’s wishes (like Hunger Games)

    I think if subscription is the future (and I think it might be), the big winner here is going to by Oyster as they already have the biggest selection of top titles and I see it as increasing. Publishers won’t want to give Amazon more rope to hang themselves, so they will keep out their titles from KU. Amazon pays a huge premium for the titles they put in against the publisher’s will so they can’t do too many of these. My guess is the traditional publishers will bolster Oyster to help defeat Amazon. That being said…Amazon has a knack for succeeding at whatever it sets its mind to, so if you bet based on track record, you have to think Amazon will, one way or another, win the book subscription war.

  2. Pramesh Kumar Pal

    I’m so impressed that you read Gone with the Wind in a single day! Wow, this is an amazing list of books! Thank you so much for sharing it Great list Rich. I enjoyed reading why these books moved you. Hope there will be many more for you in the future.



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