3 Book Categories that Should Benefit Under the New KU

Reader KUToday starts the first day of the new Kindle Unlimited royalty program. As with so many things in life, there will be winners and losers. I gave my thoughts on the biggest KU losers last week and now I have the winners. Remember, this is just my prediction for the books that will fare the best under the new Kindle Unlimited per-page royalty system. Only time will tell if I’m right or I’m wrong.

Young Adult can do no wrong. I suspect this will not hurt young adult and longer length middle grade writers. Teens who read, read constantly! And if they’re paying for any portion of those books themselves they are going to be budget minded. That makes KU ($9.99 a month for all the books they can read) a good choice for them. Younger readers are open to new writers, and they like discovering something their friends don’t know about. Teens are also great at creating the next big book wave out of otherwise unheard of titles. Teen readers know what they like, and if a writer can deliver the goods, they will read a whole series of books cover to cover. In other words they are loyal and steadfast fans. Plus it’s summer. Teens in the zone between summer camps and summer jobs will spend some of those too hot days reading in the shade.


Romance should come out ahead. Let’s face it; romance is a publishing super star. They have devout and hungry readers and they exist in numbers too vast to ignore. Of course, the biggest winner in the romance category is going to be the historical romances. Those fat books packed with descriptions of castles and gorgeous gowns really plump up the page counts. It’s not uncommon for a historical romance to top 150,000 words. Although shorter than historical romance, new adult (NA) romance should also thrive. They were an e-book smash already and I can’t see that changing anytime soon.

Mystery seems like the leader. Mystery titles have an advantage because once you start one, it’s hard to turn back. You want to know who the murderer is, or why they did it. Even if the book is a bit lackluster in the middle, you will keep going just to find out the ending, unlike a romance, where a reader might skip the last 50 pages since they know the couple is going to end up together in a happily-ever-after moment. Mystery is by nature a full book commitment, crime in the front, clues in the middle, solution in the back. Aside from some odd skimming, or too much gore making the reader set the book down, I think mystery writers can expect a book started under KU is a book most likely finished.

If you’re not an e-book author, you still need to pay attention to these changes. Book sales are about supply and demand. Since the e-book explosion took off, the supply has been growing. The market groans under the weight of all the new titles. Today the seeds of a whole new crop of indie writers gets planted. And these writers are going to know if their readers stopped reading. By necessity, many of these writers will adapt. They will rewrite those slow starts and mushy middle. Their readers, by the act of putting the book aside unfinished, will become the harshest gatekeepers of all. Indie writers will learn what it takes to keep readers riveted to the pages because it’s going to pack a monetary punch they can’t afford to ignore. It means everyone will need to write stronger books, or they should expect to get left in the dust by the writers who chose to step up their game.

What do you think? Will this change the overall quality of indies? Will KU readers become the next publishing gatekeepers?

Author: Robin Rivera

Robin trained as a professional historian and worked as a museum curator, educator, and historical consultant. She writes mystery fiction, with diverse characters and a touch of snark. She's currently working on two new manuscripts that started off as NaNoWriMo projects. You can follow her on Facebook(https://www.facebook.com/robin.rivera.90813). However, Pinterest (https://www.pinterest.com/RRWrites/) is where her inner magpie is happiest of all.

13 thoughts on “3 Book Categories that Should Benefit Under the New KU”

    1. Younger readers are slower to shift over to ebooks, but I think it’s safe to say this should improve over time. I know in my own home one of my middle grade readers had fully accepted this change. However, the other kid has not. He would much rather read a paper book.

  1. I love all things Amazon so maybe I’m not the best to comment on this. I’ve kept quiet this far. I really feel that Amazon is responsive to its customers (and writers are also their customers, not just the readers). Amazon has shown that when something doesn’t work for their customers, they find a way to make it work better. This leads me to believe that if the new changes prove to not be good for everyone, that will be weighed and they will make another adjustment. I really feel this.

    1. Hi Patricia,
      Have you checked the KPC on your novella yet? The data I saw this morning on my own dashboard was nuts. I don’t think anyone has cracked the math yet, but all the pages counts were highly inflated. A strange development to say the least. Plus it looks like Phantom borrows are creating some huge spikes in the data of read pages. Hopefully, those numbers stay viable and don’t get corrected later today. I still say my initial guess of half a penny a KPC is about right, so .50 per hundred KPC pages. A big dip for short format writers, but a nice gain for the longer format writers.

    1. Well, fingers crossed. Since we still don’t know the per word royalty rate will be, a 200 page mystery might still only net the author a little over a dollar. Maybe two if things go as writers are hoping. Being a winner under that scenario puts them way ahead of a 25 page children’s book author or short format writer, they might be looking at a best case scenario of .25 cents for each book under KU.

    1. I feel the same way, I really want to see what the fallout of this will be. I fear the pay out it will be much less than the penny a word some bloggers are saying. Sadly, we have 45 days to wait.
      I hope (for your sake) my guess turns out right. I know a lot of writers in all three of these genres and it includes my genre. Unfortunately, I know just as many authors in the other genres, the ones I fear will crash and burn. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your thoughts. It’s a serous topic and it’s just getting started.

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