Why Supporting Authors on Social Media and Patreon Is Essential for Book Lovers
Build a community, change authors’ lives, and get exclusive author content
I’ve been asked a few times to go into Patreon (subscription services, but since I use Patreon, I’ll use this as an umbrella term) a bit more, and explain some of the reasons I’ve been so excited about this platform lately.
For those who are unfamiliar, Kindle Unlimited is a subscription service to download and read books on Amazon that are listed as KU. From a reader side, this is great. For one price, you can read as much as you want.
From an author side, this is also great… but it’s also hard. When we put our books in KU, we give Amazon exclusive rights to hold our digital book. That means we can’t sell or give away our ebooks on any other platform. However, we also get paid for those page reads, so if a reader keeps going on our book, we get paid for that read.
Honestly, this is incredible for me. KU is where most of my readers find me, and Amazon is an excellent resource for book readers. KU is also great because you can test out a book and not feel guilty if it isn’t your thing. You return it via KU and the author gets paid for those page reads without getting penalized.
Penalized is where things get a bit shifty. If you purchase an ebook and return it (whether you read it or not, but there was a big thing on TikTok about how to get ‘free’ books by returning the book after you read it and it was really really painful), the author is the one who gets their money withdrawn. So, there’s a chance that you could have 10 ebook sales, followed immediately by 10 returns, and the author would get charged (that’s right, we would see NEGATIVE numbers meaning we were forced to pay Amazon) not just for the return of our royalty, but we would also lose the fee that we pay Amazon to host our book.
The other issue, which is the whole point of this post, is that KU payout is based on all the page reads for all books across the KU spectrum. Basically, it’s a pool of money, and it gets distributed to the authors who had page reads that month.
This does not mean it is distributed ‘appropriately’.