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Space Carrier Avalon has been an EPIC success.
As of writing this post, with Avalon having been out for about twenty-eight days, it sits at roughly #600 on Kindle. It peaked about #325, and hit the top ten for Space Opera and Military SF on every single English-speaking Amazon site. It is, without any real argument, a bestselling independent novel.
Before I say anything else, I have to say this: THANK YOU. It’s the reviews, purchases, borrows and word of mouth of people who enjoy my work that have brought me this far and allowed my mostly-abandoned dream of being an author and storyteller to come true. I don’t, and even with Avalon won’t , make a living from this – but your support has helped me realize the dream of being an author making real money at this.
Which brings us to the 900 pound gorilla in the room. Space Carrier Avalon, unlike my previous works, was on Kindle Unlimited. Over a third of its ‘sales’ on Amazon were actually borrows – and without those borrows, Avalon would never have been as visible as it has been. Would never have been as successful as it has been.
Using conservative estimates (as I don’t have final exchange rates or per borrow payments for June yet), the Kindle Unlimited borrow payout on Space Carrier Avalon for June alone will be more than my total non-Amazon royalties to date on everything.
With the new pay-by-page-read payment schema for Kindle Unlimited – which favors full length novels like Space Carrier Avalon – July’s KU estimate to date (again on very conservative estimates) is over three times my total non-Amazon royalties to date.
The numbers don’t lie.
If I want to make writing my full-time job, I cannot justify not enrolling my work in KDP Select going forward.
While I do not intend to take my currently available non-exclusive novels into KDP Select, all novels going forward will be registered in KDP. My current plan is that most will only be in for a single three month cycle and then go to a wider release.
I don’t make this decision lightly. I have an ideological and moral issue with the degree of monopoly that Amazon currently exerts over the market, and concerns with the risk of being dependent on a single income source (a number of short story and novella writers who were relying on KU’s old payout methodology are seeing that downside right now, sadly). Nonetheless, based on the numbers I have to date for my current four novels, I don’t see any other option that opens the paths I need.
I hope that some of the competitors get their act in gear and start challenging Amazon’s market share for independent publishing. Until that happens, however, Amazon is likely going to get at least three months of exclusivity for my work.
Because the 900 lb gorilla has some really nice bananas.