The chaos caused by moving books around.

Lilac outside our landing window

For some time I have been meaning to put some of my books into Kindle Unlimited to see whether it would improve the number of readers I can attract. I finally decided to do this for the series The Skilled Investigators because I have committed to a blog for National Crime Reading Month (this June): Bring Crime out of the Closet. The blog tour deals with crime involving mm romance and of course in my series Genef’s brother is gay and his search for a HEA forms the secondary plot arc of the books.

Putting books into KU means removing them from other platforms such as Smashwords as the sites do not play nicely together. No mention of ‘the other place’ is allowed on either. I thought it would be simply a matter of unpublishing then realised I would also have to change the back matter in all my Smashwords books to reflect the fact that the series was no longer available on Smashwords. I duly created a changed back matter that would hopefully not need to be changed again even if I ever put anything else into KU. Instead of a list that could need constant updating I just referred readers to my website and the buy links there. Simple? Well, no, because the act of uploading new versions seemed to snarl up a lot of formatting even though only one paragraph was the issue. I still have to reformat, completely, my two novels The Virgin and the Unicorn and The Seekers because somehow Smashwords have now found various errors that were not, to their knowledge or mine, evident when the books were first published. The books are available on Smashwords but can’t be distributed to other sites because the conversion to Epub fails. I could have understood errors in the new back matter but not in the body of the text.

Then putting the series into KU seemed like a simple procedure but for about 24 hours Amazon seemed to jumble up my entire output. It insisted I only had six books instead of 17. Then it arbitrarily gave a cost of: free with Kindle Unlimited; £230 to buy… though in fact the figure should have read £2.30. The power of the point… Sorted, but quite nerve-racking while it all lasted.  And despite having published the books as a series, with volume numbers etc. carefully noted and all boxes ticked, Amazon doesn’t give the series below each book.

I get the impression that some authors manage to switch books between KU and other non-Amazon sites without all this chaos. I’d love to know how they do it!

I will keep you informed about how the trial of KU goes, and about the blog tour.

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