Since I’ve been on a holiday of sorts (vacation and visiting family and dealing with personal issues); I’ve been thinking a lot about the various aspects of the business. Some of these won’t make much sense, till I get into more detail; but just in case I forget… here’s the topics that have been bouncing around in my head.

  • Going wide and falling revenues
  • Reviews, social media and managing your brand
  • Refilling the well
  • Release speeds and the vagaries of life and stress
  • Cost of living and retirement
  • The wider marketplace

I’ll probably have more to add to this list later, but here’s what my brain is bouncing around on while I deal with things here.

First and Last

Alright, let’s talk about the first and last points, because they work together.

Some of you might have heard that KENP (the amount we get paid per page read in Kindle Unlimited) dropped to the lowest point ever. At $0.0039 which was below the $0.004 that it was the month before.

I’ve said before, but I don’t expect a huge increase or for us to see $0.0045 which it used to be at last year. I don’t think Amazon is going to increase their payout to us and if anything, it’ll squeeze us further because they can.

Too many people have chosen to embrace the Kindle Unlimited program entirely and have no backup plan, no way to get out of their embrace. I see smart and talented authors who feel they cannot leave KU, because a reduction in their income – which is often what will happen – will hurt them.

Others want out, but aren’t willing to do the work or wait, because it can take a long time to breakeven. 

I’m not much better. Even with the drop, I’m still not sure it’s worth it to pull either System Apocalypse or A Thousand Li out. Instead, I’m building secondary sources of income that are entirely outside of the Kindle Unlimited ecosphere because I have to, whether that’s shorter works or things like Climbing the Ranks.

But also… I look at how certain author friends of mine talk about the genres they’re in that are doing well. And I watch as they do like fewer books, release less books than I do in a year and yet, they cruise through the year because they’re able to generate more sales with a single book.

Often in those cases, their genres are much broader.

Thrillers. Epic fantasy. Young adult fantasy. Romance.

And I can’t help but think, maybe I should shift there. I read in all those genres regularly. Why can’t I write in them? 

A little worry about failing. But also, because I’m trapped falling into the same routine writing what I know (LitRPG or xianxia). 

So, is it fear? Or prudence? It’s not as though I’m doing badly, even now. But if I could reduce my workload to one book a year? Wouldn’t that be nice?

Even if I know I’ll likely write more than that….

Heh. Another note for another time.

But yeah, I’ve been thinking about genres, how they affect the kind of discussions people have, the ceilings they might have (or not) for what a ‘basic’ author might make and how that translates to wide audiences and incomes.

Because churning out books constantly is not necessarily a recipe for success long-term.

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