Pirates, Kindle Unlimited, and more Amazon Thoughts

The Black Mast Murder
Buy it now on Amazon! Or read for free…

So first things first, let’s get the obvious part out of the way. I have a new novel available!

It’s called The Black Mast Murder, and as you might have guessed based on the cover, it’s a pirate novel. But what sort of pirate novel? Grim and dark? Whimsical? Historically accurate?

Well, imagine one of those Pirates of the Caribbean movies, complete with all their mystical, fantastical, grandiose elements. Now add in my own sense of snark and charm (which I’m sure you’re used to by now), mix it all up with a cracking good mystery, and you have yourself The Black Mast Murder.

In all honesty, I’m very proud of this novel. I think the setting will draw you in immediately, and the story has a nice balance of action, mystery, and even its fair share of romance. And you can BUY IT NOWexclusively on Amazon.

Which, as you may have guessed, means I’ve decided to put the novel into Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited (KU) program.

For those of you unfamiliar with KU, it’s a monthly subscription service that lets people read as many novels as they want, and we (the authors) get paid based on how much you read. To opt into the program, you have to make your ebook exclusive with Amazon, at least in increments of 90 days.

Now, let me be frank. I don’t like exclusivity—even timed exclusivity. I think it usually benefits the distributor, not the author. But the ebook market is changing. More and more readers (especially power readers, who read in large quantities) are shifting to subscription services, chief among them KU, and those authors who ignore them are leaving dollars on the table.

Of course, you can argue that going exclusive also forces you to leave dollars on the table—the dollars you would earn from other retailers. But those dollars are few and far between.

Over 91% of my lifetime ebook sales have been on Amazon. Barnes & Noble has about 4.5%, Kobo about 3%, and Apple/iTunes has brought me a meager 1%. AND those numbers are generous to those other retailers, as the majority of sales I’ve received everywhere other than Amazon came off the back of my successful Bookbub promo. If you exclude the month of May, my lifetime sales are about 96% from Amazon. (And considering that Barnes & Noble’s nook division seems to be going down the tubes, those numbers look likely to continue to worsen in the future.)

The Tau Ceti Transmutation
Now available on Kindle Unlimited. Read for FREE!

All of which is to say that I make the VAST amount of my revenue from Amazon, and if there’s a way to increase my Amazon revenue, even at the cost of revenue from other sources, it might make sense. Honestly, if I can earn even half of the amount from Amazon’s KU program as I do from sales, that would still be about five times as much as I make from all other retailers combined.

So what does this mean for you? Not much, probably. You can still buy my work (at a fantastic, low price, I might add!), but if you’re a member of Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited monthly reading program, you can actually read The Black Mast Murder for FREE!

And at the risk of sounding like a used car salesman…wait, there’s more! Remember my science fiction P.I. novel, Rich Weed in The Tau Ceti Transmutation? Well, it’s also exclusive to Amazon now, and those of you in KU can read that for FREE too!

(Side note: My Daggers & Steele series continues to be available everywhere, for the time being anyway. Consider this a test. If my novels in KU do great, I might move everything there. If not, the exclusive titles will be made available everywhere. I’ll decide in about 90 days…)

One last note, before I go. You’ve probably noticed the link up at the top of my website encouraging you to join my new release mailing list. It’s the easiest way for me to tell you about my new novels. But, understandably, many people don’t like signing up for tons of lists. Our inboxes are cluttered enough as it is.

Well, Amazon has once again come to the rescue. Check out my Amazon author page. See that yellow button underneath my photo, the one that says “Follow”? If you click that, Amazon will let you know when I release new books. Why trust me with your email address when you can trust a massive, multinational corporation? (I kid, of course…) But nonetheless, it’s a neat feature, and if for some reason you’d rather not give me your email, why not give the Amazon Follow feature a try?

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