Friday, July 25, 2014

Summer Sales Slump or #KindleUnlimited? A New Publishing Strategy #selfpublishing

It's Summer!

On July 18, Amazon unleashed KindleUnlimited, a brand new service for readers. For $9.99 a month, readers can borrow and read as many ebooks as they want, provided they are IN the Kindle Unlimited program.

Unfortunately, books can only be in the Kindle Unlimited program if they are also in KDP Select, which means they cannot be published anywhere else. On July 18th, my books were not in KDP Select and I saw an immediate drop in sales. My best selling book, Chance for Love: Boxed Set of Dangerous Romance went from selling 20-30 copies a day at 99c to single digits.

Darn! There went my steady sales going on four months straight. Incidentally, I have a blog tour going for Whole Latte Love and have had ZERO sales since July 18th. Before that, I was selling 1-3 a day, not big, but not bad either for a new book. My books were not exclusive to Amazon and I was unable to take advantage of all the readers on their 30-day free trial of Kindle Unlimited.

I immediately set about finding a Kindle Unlimited strategy that would work for me. My backlist is spread out on Amazon, Barnes & Nobo, Kobo, Apple, Smashwords, Scribd, Oyster, and other places. There was no way I could yank all those titles [ten in all] from the other platforms and leave my readers hanging.

So, I released two new books into Kindle Unlimited and pulled a naughty erotica title I had under a pseudonym onto KU on July 21. The results showed an immediate sales jump and borrows started trickling in. Of course, it's too soon to tell, and I complicated matters with a 99c promo of a non Select title, Knowing Vera, which has been pretty disappointing (sold 21 on July 22 while promoted by a big name promo site). I'll post the results next week, but either the book sucks, it's the summer slump, or Kindle Unlimited has sucked all the oxygen or book buying attention away from non Kindle Unlimited books.

So, if you're interested, here are my Kindle Unlimited Titles. Yes, I'm outing myself on the erotica title, but since my sales have dried up on my non Kindle Unlimited books, every little bit helps.

Played by Love (New Adult Romance) by Rachelle Ayala
Romance In A Month: Guide to Writing a Romance in 30 days by Rachelle Ayala
Under the Maestro's Hand (Erotica) by Lady Amati

Can I survive on sales of three books out of eleven? I don't know, but I'll be writing more novellas and shorter works more frequently and putting out these shorter works on Kindle Unlimited. My full-length books will continue to be placed at all vendors because I don't want to leave my readers high and dry, but for now, that's my Kindle Unlimited Strategy.

What's yours? Has Kindle Unlimited affected your sales? Or is this just the regular summer sales slump? [Update: I posted a thread to Kindleboards to see if other authors will share their results and what they're going to do about it. Read it here:,190607.0.html ]

If you're a reader, how does Kindle Unlimited compare to Scribd and Oyster? Are you more likely to read shorter novellas and serials on Kindle Unlimited as opposed to buying?


  1. I've been in a sales slump since June and I've run several promos. I've gone back and forth with KDP Select and publishing elsewhere. I'd been steadily climbing with six published books, but then June hit and bam. Nada. There's not much to mention for July. I have two books in KU right now and I'm not showing any reads for those so far. Thanks for publishing this. It's good to see what others try.

  2. I started a thread on Kindleboards to hopefully collect other people's sales experiences and what they're going to do.,190607.0.html

  3. Good post! My first (and only!) book is on KDP select, and I haven't seen any great changes so far. It continues to sell steadily with 2-3 borrows a day.

    I'm hoping to release a novella between now and the imminent release of my second novel. After that, I planned to pull book one from Select and publish it everywhere, but stick book two into Select.

    How will it go? Watch this space!

    1. That's good to know. I'm guessing people in Select won't see too much change, or it'll be positive with the new amount of borrowers. Thanks for sharing and yes, update us.

  4. Both my books are in select. My memoir has been out for 7 years and my novel was just released this month, so I don't have a pattern of sales to compare. I'm glad you're sharing your experience, though Rachelle. Thanks.