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Author Katie Mettner

Where have all the romance readers gone?

Where have all the romance readers gone? I think this is a question a good number of us are asking right now. Book sales and pages read have been declining at a steady, and frightening rate, since last October. Those of us who used to get steady pages read from Kindle Unlimited are now hit and miss unless we pay for ads or do promotions. So, what has changed? 

1. Is it too many free books? Has the 'permafree' and the MASSIVE amount of free books offered every day by authors in all aspects of the romance genre devaluing our novels to the point reader's now say, "I'll wait, eventually I'll get it free or .99."? Is the marketing ploy of offering a free book for a few days a year now become such commonplace it's what readers expect?

2. Is it poor quality of books? Have people been burned too many times by authors who don't do the editing and cover work they should be doing? 

3. Are more and more readers going back to the library and thrift stores for their books and not using their kindles like they did when the ebook format first came out?

4. Has Amazon made it too hard to find the good books buried in the piles of click bait out there for Kindle Unlimited? Has Kindle Unlimited run it's course with readers? Have they read the books they want to read, are the books in the program too click baity, or are they tired of digging through too many books to find a good one?

I know I have a lot of questions, but I have few answers. I'm hoping some seasoned romance readers can help me out! I want to make sure I'm turning out quality work readers want to read, but I refuse to do free giveaways and participate in further devaluation of the industry. I know they never work out in the end, not just for the author, but for readers who see reviews people left from free giveaways who never read the book, or who perpetually leave bad reviews on free books. I feel like as an author I'm in a no-win situation. If my book is .99 it's considered 'poor quality'. If my book is $2.99 its never looked at twice. I've released three books in the past six months and none of them did a quarter of the sales or page reads I got in the beginning of 2016 even though I did everything else the same. Where have all the readers gone?

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