I have thought about the purpose of publishing my book for the world to read—other than for a motion-picture deal. (Feel free to laugh!) My objective was twofold:
- Enlighten readers about a little-known piece of American history.
- Encourage families to learn their own family history before the information is lost with the death of a loved-one.
In order to provide greater access to my book, I have placed it in several libraries and made it available for purchase in a wide arena of booksellers. Trapped in Russia is available to read on Kindle, but what I did not understand when I first published it is that I was able to make it available to be read for free on Amazon for readers subscribing to Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime.
This weekend, I decided to test whether I could truly read a book for free using my Amazon Prime account. I have many books on my Amazon wish-list and my Goodreads shelves. I chose a book by a self-published writer like me whose previous novel I had read and thoroughly enjoyed.
Like my book, the Kindle version of the novel I chose—White Lies by Ellie Holmes—is shown to cost “$0.00 kindleunlimited.” That is the key phrase.
What I learned after careful research, having never read a book on Kindle for free, is that a book could only be accessed and uploaded to my Kindle from my Kindle, not via the Amazon website on my computer.
So I pulled out my Kindle, searched for the book, and then clicked on “Borrow for Free.” I was able to easily upload it, so now I am happily reading a new romance suspense novel. The only restriction regarding read-for-free on Amazon Prime is that one can only read one free book/month. No problem for me!
As a writer, I was initially reluctant to read a fellow-author’s book for free, but once I saw the money being credited to my account by individuals reading my book in this manner, I relaxed.
Perhaps more people will read these books if they know the authors still get a royalty. This is a particularly good option for people who read less books because of the cost. It is like reading a book from the library, except that the writer gets paid.
It’s a win-win. So don’t feel guilty if you choose to read my book, or Ellie’s book, or any other writer’s book this way. Just read!