Jeff & Will kick off the week talking about books they’ve finished–The Stolen Suitor by Eli Easton and Writing to the Point by Algis Budrys. Jeff discusses his withdrawal pains over the lack of new Hallmark Channel original movies. The guys discuss their disappointment with The X-Files six episode event and look at this week’s announcement that Samhain Publishing is shutting down. There’s an update on Chris Fox’s 21 Day Novel Writing Challenge and the guys talk about heading off the Dreamspinner author conference this week.
Last week’s Question of the Week is recapped with some answers from the listeners as well as additional commentary (you can see all the responses below). Will interviews Jeff about the writer’s group he is part of and how it’s become part of his process. The new Question of the Week is also unveiled: “As a reader, what’s your favorite POV and why?” Answers to the question can be left in the comments section below.
Here are the things we talk about in this episode:
- The Stolen Suitor by Eli Easton on Amazon
- Jeff’s review of The Stolen Suitor on JeffAndWill.com
- Writing to the Point by Algis Budrys on Amazon
- The X-Files on Fox
- Samhain Publishing website | The Samhain Closing Notice
- J.M. Synder’s BGFP interview discussing the publishing business (Episode 18)
- Chris Fox’s 21 Day Novel Writing Challenge
- Author Strong Podcast
- Author Strong Podcast discusses writing groups with Susan Kay Quinn (Episode 110 & 111)
- Writer’s Group Members websites:
[h2]Question of the Week Episode 20 Responses:[/h2]
While listeners can leave comments on the website each week, answers come in from various other platforms as well (and we can only read a few answers on the show). Here are all the responses we got to the question “As an author or a reader, do you use Kindle Unlimited, do you like it and why?” Thanks to everyone who took the time to answer.
- Nancy: I don’t subscribe to Kindle Unlimited (KU). I’ve always bought books because I want to own them, I reread many of my books. I also buy books because I want to support authors, they need to be paid for their work.
Years ago, I was looking for reviews of a new Jordan Castillo Price book and found the book on a bit torrent site. I was appalled, I let her know and promptly bought the book. I also buy books and don’t read them immediately so KU would not work if I didn’t read the book immediately.
- A.J.: As an author, I don’t have my books in KU, and I don’t plan to anytime soon. While the majority of my sales come from Amazon, I do have readers who find me on Nook, Kobo, and ARe. I don’t want to deprive them of my content. Plus, the royalties are higher for a normal book sale versus a KU sale, as well as a consistent rate.
- Kim: KU not available in Australia. Amazon is a hard site to use, many specials are not available worldwide either. I have a US and UK Amazon account, but Amazon very americancentric.
- Sarina: I do not. Mostly because the books I want to read are not on there, and I hate signing up for things that roll on a monthly basis. Also, since KU cut the payout to authors again last month there will be more authors pulling out. It’s down more than 20% since the summer.
- Amanda: I’m planning to start using it soon. But I’m not sure yet how much I’ll use it. I really like owning the books.
- Stacey: I’m not interested because I want to own my books. I love that I have an enormous kindle library. If I like a book well enough I will read it more than once. And my public library system has a vast eBook system that is free. Granted, most of what I would want to read isn’t available through them, but I don’t think Amazon does as good as I would like with KU either. So why pay for what I can get for free?
- Eileen: I am signed up for KU and I have discovered new authors that I later went and bought the books to be able to reread. However, I do not use KU enough to justify the expense. I do think it is a great way for readers to try new authors.
- Layla: I’ve never used it, I like to own my books, I like to reread things, and sometimes it takes me awhile to get to a book, so I like it to be there when I want it.
- Caryn: I signed up, but plan on cancelling since not many books I want are available. I don’t mind it in theory. I’m probably the exact kind of reader an author would want as the payout is based on number of pages read and I reread all the time. But, it’s not worth the price for me.
- Rachel: I’m a reader and I use it…there are several authors I definitely follow that always post their books to KU, but I’ll definitely go a couple weeks without getting anything. But I figure, if I get at least 3-5 books a month, that pays for it right there, and I usually get more than that. If I like the book enough to keep it, then I’ll go buy it.
- Leigh: Going against the grain here… I LOVE KU. Here’s why.
I’m a reader. KU took a long time to find its feet in the M/M genre, but it’s hitting its stride in a big way now. It used to be almost all short gay erotica of dubious quality. Now, there are more than enough well-written bona fide M/M and gay romance titles to make it worth considering. If you looked at it last year and couldn’t find anything, look again.
I love the idea of Netflix for books. The older I get, the more I realize I re-read the same 15 or so favorites, and I’m *not* going to realistically re-read the hundreds of books in my Calibre archive. If I do love a KU book, I can buy it. But 19 out of 20 times, it’s an enjoyable read—once. Life is short, there are new books every day.
Amazon is terrible about helping readers FIND good stuff on KU, but now there is the “GLBTQ Romance on KU” group here on Facebook. (There’s also a KU M/M Romance group on Goodreads.) Members of both groups discuss what we’re reading, ask for recs, and in the FB group, authors post promo. Take a peek and see what’s out there.
In terms of cost, if you watch for promotions at Amazon, you can get KU for as little as $7 a month.
- Robin: I do use KU and have discovered a lot of new authors there. I like it for now.
- Phoebe: I use KU and its been a good way to find great new authors. There have been loads of books that I’ve read and then bought too because I’m an avid re-reader. Some haven’t been so great, but I always make sure I get to the end because I don’t think it’s fair to pay by page read. I read a lot more because of KU and I’m reading authors I probably wouldn’t have without it.
- Sloan: Absolutely love it as both a reader and an author. It’s a great discovery tool.
- Jennifer: I love KU. I am not fussy about owning books since I rarely read them more than once. There are a lot of great authors and stories available. My biggest complaint is you can only have 10 in your library at a time.
- Jessica: I use it a lot but buy tons of books also I love it. Hell I’d be in debt if I didn’t have ku
- Caer: I don’t use KU, but I also avoid Amazon. I don’t buy books there, I don’t own a Kindle, I don’t install the app on my non-Kindle devices, etc. I buy books on publisher websites or AllRomanceEbooks.
- Ardent: I do use KU, I especially like the option of listening to a KU book on Audible when it is available. I am able to read a decent number of KU books per month (not only M/M but other genres as well) which justifies the cost.
- Brandilyn: Nope. Tried it in the beginning but it didn’t have enough titles to make it worth it. Honestly, I would rather buy from ARe and not deal with Amazon’s BS anyway.
- Erica: I’m not really a huge re-reader of book and KU would be great but most of the books I’m looking for isn’t on there.
- Jenna: As a reader I only like it if there are authors I know and like on it. Otherwise, I’m not willing to read random stuff just because its on KU. As an author, I’m not fond of it because the rules are too strict. ARe is a lot better for running promotions.
- Gino: No, I’m still old fashioned I have to read an old fashioned book.
- Heather: I use KU and love it. I still buy books that aren’t in the program, but I read on average 10 books a week, and would be flat broke if I had to buy them all instead of renting. I have discovered great authors on there that I wouldn’t have normally taken a chance on because of my limited budget, and some of my favorite authors do put their titles on there. Some books I have gone on to purchase after reading them on KU, so the author gets paid twice in those cases. Which is a win-win in my book.
- Kaje: I don’t use or publish on it – I hate how monoplistic Amazon already is, and I don’t want to be locked into them, unable to release other versions. It’s also a black box for authors – you make the amount of money they say you make, no advance notice, no appeals. They can change it from one month to the next. But I sympathize with those for whom the economics forces them to take this route.
- Leda: I do use it and have found new authors through it. It allows me to take a chance on a new author I might not otherwise. I also still purchase books, my reading is not exclusive to books on KU but I get my monies worth with it.
- Sharon:I do!! I like it because I am finding more authors that I may not have if they weren’t on it. I really couldn’t tell you how many new ones I have found and have really enjoyed their books plus it helps to cut cost bc I read so many books just in a month.
- Sherri: So, both. I think you can use it if you think about how you’re doing it. My full size novels – no. My novellas – yes. They’re like a loss leader in marketing. Priced at .99 for non KU. And I expect to make a lot less on them but they draw new readers that will hopefully buy my other books. So as a new writer it’s really important and an easy way to promo without spending a lot.
- Annabeth: Like Kaje Harper I sympathize with tiny budgets and limited choices for voracious reading appetites–I’ve so been there myself, but the monopoly aspect where KU insists on a book being exclusive to Amazon & not offered elsewhere keeps me from embracing it at this time. I like competition and choice in retailers–letting amazon have a monopoly is a really scary thing to me both as a reader and a writer and the ever-decreasing payout to authors without warning also keeps me away. The discovery aspect of it is great. The terms for authors? Not so much.
- Amy: I definitely don’t use it, and I don’t plan to start any time soon. I think the others in this thread have already expressed very well the same reasons why I don’t use it.
- Bink: I do sometimes only because I feel it pays authors fairly and it’s of little cost to me to try out some books that tend to be more expensive. Some people argue that they want to own their books. I’m not one of those people. Technically with Amazon you don’t own the books, they can take them away. And if I love something that much I’ll buy it after I read it on KU. However, I rarely reread anything. P.S. About the Amazon monopolizing the market. I don’t blame them one bit. It’s smart biz… and for authors I can make more money on 2 of my books on Kindle Unlimited from borrows than I can on all of my books on iBooks, Nook, and Kobo combined. So for me to place my books into the program it’s smarter so I can make more profit, at the same time allow people with KU to read my work.
- Andrea: I’m a reader and I refuse to use KU. It’s basically a library you have to pay for! You get access to books for “free” but pay a pretty steep monthly fee. If you decide to terminate your membership you lose access to ALL the books your previously downloaded and will have to individually buy them if you want to read them again or resubscribe to KU. I’d rather pay up front and own the books. Plus, recent changes in their policies really disadvantage authors. I’m all about supporting writers and paying them fairly for their work.
- Alyson: As a reader, I don’t use it just because I wouldn’t be reading enough to justify it. As an author, I don’t plan on using it any time soon.
- Beth: I am an avid reader so KU has been really nice. I also find I will read books I normally wouldn’t since they are available in my subscription.
- Kathi: I’m a reader and I refuse to use KU, then again I avoid Amazon like the plague anyway. I buy almost all of my books on Kobo – unfortunately more and more often now so many authors are going exclusive with Amazon, hopefully they might release them through other vendors eventually.
- Lucy: I love KU, I read A LOT and there are so many great authors putting their work in KU. It gives me the chance to try new authors as well and I will buy a book if I absolutely love it but generally I read so much that I won’t go back to a book unless it has a particular hold on me. I don’t see it as expensive because most authors I love that aren’t in KU charge $3.99 for their books and I read at least 3 or 4 novels a week, most of them in KU so $10 a month is completely justifiable for me.
- Jeff: As a reader, I love KU. I definitely will choose a book in KU, before I purchase one. But if I really want the book, or love the author, I have no problem purchasing as long as the price is reasonable. Yesterday, I paid $15 for an eBook, but it was worth it cause I was waiting for the author’s book. As an author, I understand that you have use all the opportunities you’ve got and KU is one of them for now. Who knows what the future holds.
- Lee: I love KU! Personally I buy a lot of books as a blogger, as a really fast reader going into buying craziness doesnt end well for my bank account, it also gets kind of tough (over tons of giveaways I do) when the series I am reading and loving is past 5 books and each cost +6.99$. KU makes it easier for me to really enjoy a book/ series, and not feel guilty about dropping the series and ending up completely forgetting about it. I know it’s tough for some authors, and I also know a lot of authors who have made tons of money by KU so I like to think I am helping (because God knows I already feel guilty enough).
- Amelia: I gave up on KU. I keep buying the books I want to read, and I ended up not actually borrowing any.
- Cait: I know this is bad for my bank account, but no. I like to own what I read, and with Kindle I can return it if I dont like it, so yeah Im sticking with the traditional way.
- Christina: My 2015 reading goal was to try a new genre. So I signed up for KU so I could take literary risks without hurting my budget. I ended up jumping into the queer genre and immediately found amazing authors. KU led me to Kora Knight. She led me to Brad Vance. Then I became a reviewer for Queercentricbooks, which is how I found you Jeff Adams, and the rest, as they say, is history.
- Kiyle Author: No. I don’t like to pay for a service that limits my choices.
- Brad: I hate KU but…it’s like hating the IRS. It’s a fact of life that many of us can’t move books outside Amazon w/o massive audiences and marketing campaigns. I hate the way they change the rules all the time with no warning. There are advantages: one version of your book to maintain, with back matter links and any corrections/changes, and Amazon has only once not paid on time every month. Also, Google and Apple are virtually impossible to get into with erotica now – romance yeah but that’s it, and even then my sales have been zilch.
- Tammy: I’ve never used it and probably never will. For some reason it just doesn’t seem fair to the authors. I’ll just keep paying what the authors ask for their work.
- Ruby: I don’t use Amazon. I hate Amazon. When I go for a book in any genre I first go my local bookstore because bookstores are a dying breed. I then go to AllRomance or Dreamspinner.
- Lori: I use KU, I like it. I have found so many new authors and a love of a new genre too. I still purchase the books I love, but being on a budget I am not always able to purchase the many books I would like so this gives me the opportunity to read more when I can’t afford to purchase 7 books in a series. While I understand that the wonderful authors do not receive nearly enough I am grateful for the opportunity to read their work then when I have the money purchase said books.
- Heather (in response to Lori): This is the same reason I joined KU. And when I find an author I like, I make sure to recommend those books often and when I do have extra money, I make sure to buy those author’s books since I like to reread my favorites.
- Josie: No I don’t use KU and never plan to.
- Kia: I love KU, I read a lot of books through KU that I would otherwise never try.
- Harper: I won’t touch it with a ten-foot pole.