I watched Tarkovsky’s version of Solaris recently (and Stalker soon after - so that was some easy viewing) - it was interesting to read Lem’s take on that (and the Soderburgh version). Maybe I should try the book?
To the book club!
Question and comment:
what’s the point of 10 at a time? Is it 10 per month or unlimited, 10 at a time? Because the latter doesn’t make sense to me. Why not just get them as you read them? Or is this for people who will be away from the net for a while?
This is just another of those tough ethical choices that our world economy is moving towards. As a consumer: yay. As a producer: not so much. John Scalzi has covered how this is quite a bit of a raw deal for anyone who wants to do indie publishing as a career because of the way Amazon is handling payouts. Thankfully, we have other outlets and I try to get money directly to authors when I am given the opportunity.
It’s worth noting that Kindle Unlimited includes audio books as well. These audio books appear as “Kindle Unlimited with narration” for those that have free narration, though for some the narration is an extra fee of $1.99.* And in what I consider one of the most clever innovations in the Kindle/Audible union, you can “whispersync” between the audio and book versions. In other words, if you prefer to read the book at night before you go to sleep, but like to listen to the audiobook on the drive in to work, they are automatically synced to the same page so you can switch back and forth and always pick up right where you left off.
My biggest disappointment, though, is that “narration” is not available for all books. I still think it was a mistake for Amazon to kill the “Read Out Loud” feature that would have made audio books so much more accessible, even if they were read by AI.
*EDIT: sometimes the audio version is free, sometimes it’s $2, sometimes it’s $4 for Unlimited customers. I haven’t seen it higher than $4, but there may be ones that are higher priced out there
Interesting! Thanks for bringing it up. I didn’t know that before. I have to do hours of physical therapy daily so I listen to a lot of audiobooks. I haven’t bought an Audible subscription though because they’re damn expensive, but this sounds like it might be a good value.
what’s the point of 10 at a time? … Why not just get them as you read them?
That’s what it is. 10 at a time is going to be enough for most people. I’m usually part way through 5 books at any given time, so 10 gives me plenty of headroom.
anyone who wants to do indie publishing as a career
There has never been a better time for indie publishing. The hard part of making money with words isn’t getting paid, it’s finding an audience. Amazon Unlimited helps you do that. Once you have some fans (I like Kevin Kelly’s idea of 1000 true fans), getting paid is relatively easy.
Like Jason, some of my favorite books lately have been self-published. Unlike Jason, I have a hard time accepting crappy editing. YMMV.
Even without Kindle Unlimited you can buy the audio version of any book at a discounted rate if you bought the Kindle version. I think the price varies though - I’ve seen some audio versions for $3 others for $13.
I can’t argue with your experience. Just passing along that it isn’t all roses under Amazon’s system when it comes to indie publishers. I’d link to the Scalzi post, but for some reason it’s blocked here.
How would 1000 fans be sustainable? Do KU authors even get a dollar a reader per book? I understand the need to get an audience over immediate profit, but what’s the end game? Getting a real publisher the way Hugh Howey and Andy Weir did?
It’s been written about many times on Boing Boing and if you google “Kevin Kelly 1000 true fans” you will get a lot more links - some supportive, some critical.
Here are a few links:
If I understand what you’re saying, I really have to ask why? Why start and read 5 books at the same time vs read 1, finish 1 and then read book number 2, finish number 2? It has to take the same amount of time, and I’ve got to believe it’s infinitely easier to keep track of plots and characters reading one at a time.
I tried this for the one month free trial and didn’t find myself enthused by the selection. So, okay, no big deal.
When I went to cancel my trial, though–with ten, count 'em, ten days before the billing date cycle began anew–I got the classic troika of shady-ass perpetual-billing funny business.
- Hide the “cancel” page. (At least one of the links I followed from Amazon’s own page explaining how to cancel just plain didn’t go to the right page.)
- Mysterious “technical issues, your request cannot be processed at this time” error page when I finally found the cancel button and clicked it. (Rinse and repeat a few hundred times over the next few days.)
- Erroneous confirmation of the cancellation that never happened, which allowed the billing cycle to repeat. Sorry, no refunds!
I’m not saying Amazon, which is either a multi-billion or negative multi-billion-dollar concern, depending on how you look at it, was deliberately playing at shenanigans to get my extra $9.99. But I am saying “browser beware.”
(Edit: sorry, this wasn’t meant to be a specific reply to Chesterfield.)
It’s an interesting idea, but from the links it assumes that “true fans” buy about $100 of stuff from their idol a year. Maybe a musician or game author could swing that, but I just don’t see how an author could do that; I don’t think even someone as famously prolific as Stephen King was in his prime could produce enough material for that to work. Someone who writes a novel or two a year would make only a tiny fraction of $100/year per fan even if they could keep the entire purchase price.
I’d be interested if I could use it on my phone or tablet. I don’t want to have to lug an extra single purpose device around with me (aka a Kindle).
Edit: I was wrong - see below.
100% this, I wish that there had been a phablet size Maemo5 Linux phone with N900 gadgetry and maybe better specs; though I still love the N900 as a small screen mobile device and see no reasonable replacement. Give me a phabletized N900 with an e-ink back side for books.
My wife has a Nook Color which exposed me to the unmitigated lock-down mess of unrooted Android . It is OK as a reader(unit eye strain kicks in) but a wreck for actually doing anything the least bit creative in software. For instance, it needs rooting to do ad-hoc wifi tether to my phone, or no easy software USB OTG which is also partly thwarted by the non-standard USB port. Why make me literally hack my own device so I can start doing the cool kind of hacks making my device software make the most of the hardware. I get that the Maemo gadgets were all for development but why shouldn’t I have a good working shell and an easy to install root on my own damn gadget?
Does it not work with the Kindle app? I am fairly certain I’ve cross read books with it from Kindle to iPhone to iPad, etc. If I do not have my Kindle on hand it is never hard to download the book(s) I’m reading to my phone and continue from my last page. Huge feature of the Kindle to me.
Cool, you are right.
Kindle Unlimited Any Device
You don’t need to own a Kindle device to enjoy Kindle Unlimited. With our free Kindle reading apps, you can read on any device with the Kindle app installed.
I’m confusing Amazon Unlimited with some other Amazon product DRM locked to kindles.
Amazon Prime allows 1 free book a month to your KINDLE DEVICE, I believe.
That really pissed me off too, because I couldn’t cross read those few books I got that way.
Ah, yes, that’s where I got the impression. I don’t understand the divide given the “rental” nature that expires in both cases.
I just don’t see how an author could do that
Then this model isn’t for you.
BTW, here’s Kelly’s original (AFAIK) post about 1000 true fans: