Monday, August 4, 2014

Should you KU? Subscription plans. Plus my newest story free 4U.

Hey Best Fans in the World!

By now you'll have heard about  Amazon's new subscription ebook/audiobook plan called Kindle Unlimited (KU). It adds to a segment of the market already occupied by Scribd and Oyster. But should you pay for a subscription service? And if so, which one?
 

Are ebook subscription services worth it?

If you typically consume, on average, more than about $10 in ebooks per month AND the limited catalogs currently available don't constrain your reading habits too severely, then you should definitely look into these services. But even if you're not sure, I recommend checking them out anyway (they each offer a free 30-day trial period, which I'll talk about below).

What do I get, and for how much?

Kindle Unlimited offers access to 600,000 books for $9.99/month.
You're allowed to have 10 books on up to 6 devices at any given time.
Oyster boasts a catalog of over 500,000 books which will cost you $9.95/month.
You're allowed to have
 10 books on up to 6 devices at any given time
.
Scribd's catalog contains ~400,000 titles and costs $8.99/month.
You're allowed to have
 2books on up to 6 devices at any given time.

Amazon titles are currently limited to authors participating in Select (primarily indies, a few traditionally published books, and Amazon imprints), and their audiobook selection is very small (~2000 titles).

Both Oyster and Scribd offer ebooks only, but both include titles from Harper Collins and Simon & Schuster.

None will likely offer new releases for the foreseeable future unless they're exclusive to Amazon. Consider these  services the Netflix equivalent in the ebook world.


All three services work on iPhones, iPads and Android devices. Scribd and Kindle also work on personal computers and Windows devices. Only Kindle supports webOS and BlackBerry and dedicated Kindle e-readers such as the Paperwhite.

So, how many Tanpepper titles are currently available in each service?

Kindle Unlimited: 2 titlesOyster: 25 titlesScribd: 39 titles

Why the differences? Kindle Unlimited requires exclusivity, which means if I enroll my books in KU, they are no longer available through any other vendor. I dislike this practice and believe it penalizes faithful readers and shuts out whole segments of the market. The two titles I currently have have been available elsewhere and will be leaving the program in a couple weeks. I am also enrolling my latest short, They Dreamed of Poppies, for a 3-month term as an experiment, which is why I'm offering it to my newsletter subscribers for free for the week preceding its launch. All of my titles are enrolled in Scribd and Oyster through Smashwords, but Oyster appears to be very slow getting the books onto their site.

Take advantage of a free 30-day subscription

If you're curious, sign up for one or all, but make sure to mark your calendar to cancel before the 30 days is up so you won't be charged if you don't wish to continue with them. Here are the links to the free trial period pages:

If you've been thinking about reading all of my works, or even just the GAMELAND series, now's your chance to do so for free! And don't worry, I still get paid. Win-win!
 

So, where's the free ebook you promised?


I wrote They Dreamed of Poppies specifically with the intention of enrolling it into Kindle Unlimited to test the new program's ability to reach a broader audience. Because this requires 90-days of exclusivity, I'm offering it to you free on my website through a secret link (to get it, subscribe to my newsletter here). It's available in both ePub and Kindle (mobi) formats, but only until August 11, which is when it goes live on Amazon and I have to stop giving it away.

What is the story about?

Decades after an ecological disaster destroyed life on Earth, twenty intrepid individuals flee their crowded space station in hopes of resurrecting a failed terraforming experiment on Mars. What they find is an abandoned planet turned into an Edenic paradise. As they prepare to receive the last tattered remnants of Mankind, they slowly begin to realize the missing colonists who came here fifteen years earlier never actually left.
I hope you enjoy the story. I'd love to hear what you think. And I hope you found this post about subscription services helpful.

All my best,
Saul
 

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