Lucky to have K.M Hodge on the blog today. She is a fantastic author and if you’ve had the pleasure to meet her online you know that she is an untiring supporter of all authors with an immensity of knowledge under her belt. I’ve already learned something I have to ask her about now! Enjoy! -KD
There are innumerable amounts of articles, forum post, tweets, and Facebook posts around the worth of a writer. What is a writer’s work really worth? I think the larger question is, what are you writing for? Are you writing to make a lot of money? That can happen and I know lots of people in the industry who do very well for themselves. Are you writing to share your art with others? Never before has it been so easy for someone to write a book and have it available for people all over the world to read it. In many ways this really is the Golden Age for Authors.
I was organizing the books on my Kindle today (I’m anal like that) and one of my “collection” labels is “Indie” and another is “Big 5”. My Indie collection has almost twice as many books as my collection with the big five publishers. Why is this? Indie books are more accessible. They are cheaper and often better marketed. What is the quality? Well I have found that I find just as many duds in the Indie publishing world as I do in the big five. The best book I have read all year was an Indie book, by the way.
One of the ways that books are more accessible these days is through paid subscription services like Kindle Unlimited or KU. When I first published the first book in my Syndicate Series, Seasons, I decided the best way to build my audience and my brand was to go exclusively with Amazon. Why?
All of my reviews would be in one place. In the last almost five months I have accumulated 22 reviews on the US Amazon site and 2 on the UK Amazon site. If I had diversified these reviews might have been spread out.
Having all my sales in one place means my Amazon ranking is higher, which makes my book more visible to more readers.
The free days and kindle countdown also get my book in front of more readers.
Getting my book borrowed meant another way to get more readers hooked on my book.
Out with the Old System
The old KU system for borrows used to be that once a reader read 10% of your book you were given a flat payment of $1.35. This meant that someone who wrote a 10 page short story only had to have a reader read 1 page of their story and they got paid $1.35. My novel, Seasons, is 414 pages long and readers were having to read 41 pages before I got paid $1.35. This also goes back to the discussion of what is the worth of a piece of work? Should someone who writes a 10 page short story get paid the same as someone who wrote a 414 page story? I want to say no, but what do I know? If you are looking for more information, Remington Kate, posted a great graph on her blog that gives a good view of what this all means in $’s.
My books spent 4 months in this old system. During that time I got about 3-4 borrows a month.
In with the New
I have only one month in the new system to go by, but so far I am pleased. While my borrows have not really increased I did get paid more–two times as more actually. With the new system I am being rewarded for readers reading my book to the very end and for having a longer novel. I am curious to see how August is going to shape up. Already I have more reads than I did in July.
* I do plan on taking my book Seasons, out of KU at the end of September. I want to see what a difference it will make to have it available on different platforms.
From what I have been reading the last couple of days, this new system seems to be making everyone happy, even short story writers like Hugh Howey, whose income doubled under the new system.
What are your thoughts? Are you pro or against KU and Why?
Guest Author K.M. Hodge
KM Hodge is a stay-at-home mom of two energetic boys, who does fundraising events and grant writing on a part time basis. When she isn’t busy trying to feed all the starving children of the world, she enjoys reading books by indie authors, catching up on tv shows, playing board games, and trolling the internet for X files Season 10 spoilers. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter as well as on her blog, The Land of Hodge. The second novel in her Syndicate Series, Blue Season is going to go live on Amazon September 20th. Sign up for her mailing list to get up-to-date notifications of sales and book releases.