A new author’s Kindle Unlimited experience

Kindle Unlimited gives readers access to millions of books for a small monthly fee. I subscribe to KU and enjoy it, though there’s pros and cons. However, it’s a way for me to sample a lot of erotica content while I’m starting up so that I can see how others do it and what readers like.

From a reader standpoint, I like it. From an author standpoint, I don’t think it’s paid off for me yet. From what I understand, there used to be glorious olden days where people got a standard royalty amount whenever someone checked out their book using KU. Then people with longer books complained, and now authors get money by page reads.


As someone starting out, I have several short stories available. I wasn’t ready to create a gigantic story where the farther people read, the more money I get. Short stories have given me a way to dip into the self publishing pool and get used to writing and what not.  This just doesn’t translate to earnings well.

When someone reads the whole first short story I published, The Housewife’s Punishment on KU, I make a whopping five cents.  This last month alone, 387 pages of that story were read. That translates to 35 reads. If 35 copies of one of my works were bought, I’d be ecstatic, but with page reads, that’s almost two bucks.


So, here’s what I know:

  • People are reading my stories
  • People are finding my stories with very little marketing
  • Despite these two things, KU generates very little income so far

Despite being disappointed from a monetary standpoint, KU does offer some benefits like:

  • Readers become familiar with me and my work
  • Story reads improve my ranking and makes my work more visible
  • KU readers sign up for my mailing list

I remain optimistic despite small earnings thus far for two reasons.

One, with every new story I publish, my KU page reads increase a little more.
Two, KU exposes my work to people that wouldn’t otherwise read it. If all 35 people who read my story last month had to buy each book they consumed separately, few of them would likely end up purchasing my book. The KU plan gives them the opportunity to read more stories, mine among them.

What experiences have other authors had with KU? Do you like it or not?


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