For five years now I've been a participant in Amazon's Kindle Select program, or Kindle Unlimited. This program is great for readers because you can read thousands of books for "free" after paying the small monthly fee. It's like Netflix for books! And that was great, and I really liked having my books in the program. I frequently shouted from the rooftops that all of my readers should join this program.
One major downside has always been that books in the program have to be sold exclusively on Amazon. That means anyone who reads books on iBooks, Nook, Kobo, or borrows them from their library using Overdrive wouldn't get to read my books. For a long time, I put up with this major downside because most of my readers used Amazon, and the program was pretty successful.
Well, that's all about to change. While the program is great for readers, it's terrible for authors. We get paid less than half a penny per page read. That means if someone reads an entire novel from me, I earn $1. If they purchased the book instead, I'd earn $2-3. That's a huge difference!
Last year, Amazon released a new "feature" called Page Flip. This enabled readers to read eBooks slightly differently on their devices. And guess what? Amazon doesn't pay authors for any pages read in this page flip mode. Me, and hundreds of other authors saw our earnings decrease between 10-30% overnight when page flip was enacted. People were reading our books and we weren't getting paid because they used Page Flip mode. I even have email confirmation from Amazon that they do not pay us for any pages read in this mode. Not cool.
And even worse, is that Amazon has become rampant with scammers. These people aren't authors at all. They are bottom feeders who steal content, plagiarize, or pay insultingly low wages (think $20 for an entire novel) to ghostwriters to pump out "books" that aren't really books at all. Then they hire click farms to borrow their scam books in the Kindle Unlimited program and "Read" them all the way through. There are literally thousands of people with Kindles and cell phones who pretend to read books by just clicking through the pages on these scam books. Amazon pays these people tends of thousands of dollars and their fake books rank high on the charts because it appears that they're best selling books, when really it's all a lie. (Read more here)
When someone does a scam like this, it hurts all authors. Because remember that half a penny payment we get? It comes from a communal pot of money each month. Each month, Amazon takes however many pages are read in their entire store and divides the pot of money up. That's how we get paid. If the scammers weren't earning $$$ from fake reads, the pot would be bigger and authors would earn much more than less than half a penny per page read.
Amazon has done very little, if anything, to fix this problem.
So it seems it is time for me to stop letting the system take advantage of me. Over the next few months, I will be removing my books from the Kindle Unlimited program and enrolling them for sale on all other eBook retailers. I'm considering leaving my novellas and short stories (like the First Love Shorts) in the Kindle Unlimited program for the rest of the year so that my KU readers can still read content from me. The Immortal Mark series will be available until July 24th. Ella's Stormy Summer Break will be released in Kindle Unlimited for the first 90 days starting June 26th, and then it'll be removed. I'm doing this so that my loyal readers will get the chance to read the book with their KU subscription.
I trust that my readers will follow me wherever I go, because you are all amazing and so supportive. My books will still be for sale on Amazon, but they just won't be in Kindle Unlimited.
Please note that if you can't afford to buy my eBooks, I would encourage you to check with your local city or county library. They might already have my books available in the Overdrive program to rent for free, and if not, you can request that they purchase my books. Most libraries will buy eBooks without a problem, and then you'll be able to read them for free while still supporting me as an author. Check out the Overdrive program here.
Thank you for understanding!
I might be crazy to write so many stories...
If you follow authors on social media, you've probably seen it. The review request. It's usually posted with lots of !!!s and emojis and pleading words because we really, really, really, need those reviews.
Authors are seemingly obsessed with getting more Amazon reviews. Begging for them is no fun, either! But the thing is, we authors need reviews to survive in our careers. All reviews help, but since Amazon is the king of the eBook world, Amazon reviews matter the most. There's no "magic number" of reviews, but the truth is that books with more of them get better promotions from the King of Ebooks, Amazon.
They're more likely to use our books as a Deal of the Day, or a special feature that gets emailed to thousands of potential readers. We're more likely to have our books show up on the Amazon home page if it has a lot of reviews. And they're more likely to choose our books for special promotions like the Prime Reading program.
Also buyers are more likely to take a chance on an author they've never heard of if the book has a lot of reviews.
Most importantly, is BookBub. BookBub is a very popular website that sends out a daily email when eBooks are discounted. If we put our $2.99 book on sale for 99 cents, and it gets promoted on BookBub, we're likely to have hundreds (or thousands) of sales that day, and get our book into the hands of new readers, who will hopefully come back for more of our books. BookBub isn't even cheap. It's around $350 just to get them to feature our books. As an author, I can't just get on that email easily. I have to apply with them once every 4 weeks and hope they accept my book. Guess what?? I've applied 47 times and have been rejected every single time.
And... you guessed it. The books with the MOST reviews on Amazon are the books chosen for a BookBub feature. *sigh*
So, I'm asking you to please consider leaving a quick review for my books on Amazon. If you've read a lot of them and want to leave a lot of reviews, that would be the best gift ever. You'll be helping my book get more visibility, which in turn helps my career and lets me continue writing the books you enjoy.
Thank you so much for all your kind words and comments and social media posts. And, most of all, thank you for your reviews!
Here's a link to my Amazon page with all of my books:
PS- Follow me on BookBub and you'll get an email if I ever get one of those awesome paid promotions. :)
For this week only, you can get the entire Believe in Me series for just 99 cents! This is the biggest eBook sale I've ever done, saving you over $9 for the box set, or $12 if you bought each book individually.
He's got fame... She's got nothing.From the author of the bestselling Summer Unplugged series, comes Believe in Me, The Complete Series. Perfect for fans of Abbi Glines, Monica Murphy, and Kasie West.
Jett Adams is the fastest sixteen-year-old motocross racer in the state. Growing up as the kid prodigy of famous racer Jace Adams, Jett has lived in a world of dirt bikes, money, and everything he could ever want. With more than enough girls to choose from, Jett prefers to stay single and live in the moment.
Keanna Byrd’s life has been one broken home after another. When her mom dumps her with the Parks for the weekend, Keanna is pretty sure her mom may never come back. Now she’s stuck overstaying her welcome with Park and Becca, who are nice enough, but she doesn’t exactly know them.
The Parks own a dirt bike track with the Adams and while Keanna is waiting on her mom to return, she spends a lot of time hanging out alone. Jett is under strict orders to make her feel welcome, but they’re from two different worlds and everything he does seems to get under her skin. Keanna has known guys like Jett before and she’s smart enough to stay away from someone whose looks can get him anything he wants. After just a few days, Jett can’t stop thinking about her. But if he wants her to see him as anything other than some cocky rich guy, he’ll have to show her his true feelings and make her believe in him.
This book includes all 8 books in the series:
Book 1 - Believe in Me
Book 2 - Believe in Us
Book 3 - Believe in Forever
Book 4 - Believe in Love (A short story)
Book 5 - Believe in Summer
Book 6 - Believe in Fall
Book 7 - Believe in Winter
Book 8 - Believe in Spring
I'm so in love with the new cover for my YA novel, When Zoey Fell Too Far! I love the blue and the font of the title. It's a great revamp from the original cover. Haven't read this book yet? Find out more below:
Zoey's sheltered life isn't so sheltered anymore.From bestselling author Amy Sparling, When Zoey fell too Far is an upper-Young Adult novel about high school, dating, and desperately trying to fit in. Perfect for fans of Abbi Glines, Tijan, and Jay Crownover.
Zoey Caplan has led a sheltered life, but it’s never really bothered her. In fact, she just went on a date with a super hot senior, thank you very much. But what she thought was a fun date leads to a new nickname on the school’s unofficial Dis List: Biggest Prude. Maybe if she wasn’t such a pathetically good rule follower, she could get her name off the list. Maybe, just maybe, if Zoey started living less like an old lady and more like a seventeen-year-old girl, she could experience high school like everyone else does.
Fed up with being a loser, Zoey decides to experience all the things she’s missed out on over the years: parties, underage drinking, ditching class, and most off all, hooking up. Guys seem to love the attention she gives them, all except for Jonah Thedford. The gorgeous bad boy can flirt better than anyone but he’s the only guy immune to Zoey’s charms. And yeah, he’s the one she truly wants, but in order to stop being a prude, Zoey gives her affection to other guys instead.
It turns out that crossing over to the dark side is easy. Almost too easy. The moment Zoey’s name drops off the Dis List, it’s added right back.
As Biggest Slut.
If she wants to make things right again, she’ll have to change a few things in her new crazy life. Luckily, Jonah is more than willing to help her.
This book has mature content and some profanity. Recommended for older teen readers.
The next novella in my First Love Shorts series is available now!
Dance class is no joke for sixteen-year-old Asha Bronte. She’s been elected as an officer for the class, which is a huge responsibility and honor, and she’s not going to screw it up. She has goals in life, and her family is worse than broke, so the only way she’s going to college is on a scholarship. Her academics and extra-curricular activities have totally taken over her life.
Liam Bavaro just moved to town and his first day of school isn’t going so well. The only elective class available is dance. Dance class? He’d rather drop out and live life as a bum than ever step foot in a tutu or tights. The cute girl at the sign up table clearly doesn’t want him to join her class, either. And, well, now Liam can’t say no.
The New Guy is the fourth novella in Amy Sparling’s new First Love Shorts series. These quick, romantic teen reads are perfect for anyone who loves a good story about finding your first love. They can be read in any order.
Check out the other First Love Shorts by bestselling author Amy Sparling:
The Text Dare
My Un-famous Neighbor
The New Guy
I'm so excited about my first new book of 2018! Read below for the book summary:
Available as an eBook, Paperback, and also FREE with Kindle Unlimited
t's a brand new year and I am so excited for everything I have planned!
However, I did NOT plan to fracture my foot over the holidays, leaving me stranded in bed for weeks. This has put me slightly behind schedule as far as writing my new novel goes, but with luck, persistence, and pain meds, I hope to still release THE RIGHT MOVE in February.
I thought I'd start the new year off right by offering a limited time only deal to my readers. You can now get the entire 10 book Summer Unplugged series for only $0.99! That's a savings of $12 if you'd bought all of the books individually. This series is available on all eBook retailers and you can take advantage of this sale by clicking the link below:
So what's next for me this year?
I am SUPER excited to announce that the Summer Unplugged series is getting a new spin off! The guys of Jett's motocross racing team are each getting their own book. The Team Loco Series will be out later this year, and I can't wait for you to see the gorgeous book covers!
To be the first to know about the new series and get member-only giveaway deals, make sure you sign up for my newsletter. You can use this link and get a free eBook when you sign up!
I hope everyone has a wonderful 2018. I'm always happy to hear from my readers, so be sure to send me an email, tweet, message, or comment and let me know what's going on. I reply to every message!
As I lay here immobile because I broke my leg a week ago, I thought I'd reflect on my year. 2017 was my third year working as a full time author and it has by far been my most productive and yet also disappointing year. I focused all of my energy on writing and publishing new books. As the year winds down, I realize that wasn't a very smart thing to do. I should have spent half my time writing, and half my time marketing.
But marketing is such a dirty word, right? Ugh, it's the worst.
Here's a list of every book I both wrote and published this year:
The Immortal Mark
The Immortal Bond
The Immortal Truth
Unplugged Summer: A special edition of Summer Unplugged from Jace's point of view.
Natalie and the Nerd
Believe in Summer
Believe in Fall
Believe in Winter
In This Moment
The Text Dare
My Un-famous Neighbor
The Truth of Letting Go
Christmas With You
Believe in Spring
I also released a few box sets of series that are cheaper than buying the individual books:
The Summer Unplugged Series
The Immortal Mark Series
The Believe in Me Series
And I worked with wonderful producers who made audiobooks for me:
The Immortal Mark Series
Ella's Twisted Senior Year
2016 was a great year for my career. I learned that as long as I published a new book a month, my income would stay steady at a level I could live on. (While also depending on my husband's income for half of the household bills.) 2017 was not the same. In fact, I earned 40% less this year compared to last year, despite releasing even more books and working myself so hard I spent more time stressed than happy.
Something has to change. As much as I don't want to go back to a day job, I will be working part time next year to supplement my income as I try to make my author career worthwhile again. Next year, I will write slower and better, and only produce 6 books, one every two months. I've taken classes that teach author marketing that I hope will pay off as I dive into advertising and promotion next year. I've also hired a wonderful personal assistant who will help me stay organized, scheduled, and connected. I'm working on growing my newsletter (please sign up if you're so inclined!) and will be doing targeted sales on my older books every month in 2018.
There are a ton of readers out there, and I just need to find ways for them to discover my books, instead of working myself to the bone trying to write new books. I want to extend a huge thank you to my readers who stick with me for every book, leave reviews on Amazon, and send me awesome emails. You are all the best!
Here's to an exciting new year filled with new plans and hopeful thoughts!
The summer before senior year, Lilah Monroe’s parents take a nine-day trip, leaving her as the guardian of her bipolar cousin, Cece. When Cece’s parents died tragically five years ago, she and her brother moved in with Lilah. Her brother soon went missing and was presumed dead.
Lilah and Cece couldn’t be more different. They used to be best friends, but high school has changed them both. Lilah likes order, schedules, and a tidy room. She has plans for her future and won’t let anything derail it, not even Cece whose life is constantly on the edge of chaos. Cece is messy, erratic and sensitive. She also has a reason to believe that her brother is still alive. Despite Lilah’s reservations, Cece tracks down an old friend who believes her theories. Ezra happens to have gotten really handsome since Lilah last saw him. Too bad they never really got along when they were kids.
Knowing the odds are stacked against them, Lilah breaks all of her parent’s rules for order and reason and joins forces with Cece and Ezra to set out on the road in an old RV in hopes of finding her dead cousin. Lilah and Ezra have a love connection amid the chaos, and when they discover what really happened to Thomas, it’s a truth no one saw coming. One that just might get them killed.
A powerful novel about hope, first love, and what it means to be family. Perfect for fans of Morgan Matson, Emery Lord, and Sarah Dessen.