Amazon's perspective: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1002872331
An unbiased perspective: http://ebookfriendly.com/kindle-unlimited-ebook-subscription/
The purpose of this post is to look at the effect of KU 1-year later in a very narrow scope, specifically the effect of KU on the visibility of romance books in the following categories:
1) Contemporary Romance
2) Romantic Comedy
2) College/New Adult Romance
Screenshots of Amazon top 20
|IMAGE A: Top 20 on Amazon in Contemporary Romance|
|IMAGE B: Top 20 on Amazon in Romantic Comedy|
|IMAGE C: Top 20 on Amazon in New Adult/College|
The breakdown1) Contemporary romance
Of the top 20 books, 13 are enrolled in KU (65%)
Of the 7 not enrolled in KU:
2) Romantic Comedy
Of the top 20 books, 16 are enrolled in KU (80%)
Of the 4 not enrolled in KU:
3) New Adult/College
Of the top 20 books, 17 are enrolled in KU (85%)
Of the 3 not enrolled in KU:
Dear Authors, DON'T FREAK OUT!
Main Conclusion: Books in KU are much more visible than books not in KU (as I eyeball these, I think I can also add to this that NEW RELEASES are much more visible if they're enrolled in KU that NEW RELEASES *not* enrolled in KU).
I know a lot of authors are very much against KU. If you don't know why, go here: http://blog.smashwords.com/2014/07/is-kindle-unlimited-bad-for-authors.html
That "amazon exclusivity" means that any book enrolled in KU will never hit the New York Times or USA Today. It also means you will never reach readers on platforms other than Amazon (so, iTunes, Barnes and Noble/Nook, Kobo, Scribd, etc.)
Now here is the "don't freakout" part....
I suggest you do not think of KU as an "all or nothing" program. Meaning, you do not need to enroll all your books in KU. I suggest you enroll 1-release a year into KU (as a new release). This will introduce KU readers to you and increase your overall visibility on Amazon. If they love your book, they'll look for new releases by you (KU or not) and may be inspired to purchase other books on your backlist.
My conclusion (how I will leverage this information)
1- KU book a year. That's it. Not "all my books or none of my books". Use KU. Leverage KU to improve your visibility once a year... Just think about it.