A Totally Unscientific Indie Experiment


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Ok, so for those who don’t know, Amazon/Kindle/Bezos the Clown came out with this last week:
Hello,

In mid-June, we announced a change to the way we will pay for authors’ participation in Kindle Unlimited (KU) and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL) https://kdp.amazon.com/community/ann.jspa?annID=786. Starting today, the payout of the KDP Select Global Fund will be based on the number of pages KU and KOLL customers read.

In mid-July, we will post results for the fund in June, expected to be at least $11M, making June the largest monthly payout so far. As previously announced, the KDP Select fund for July and August will also be at least $11M.

KDP authors can now see the Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count (KENPC V1.0) for each of their KDP Select titles on the “Promote and Advertise” page in their Bookshelf https://kdp.amazon.com/bookshelf. Please keep in mind that, because it is based on settings specific to this program and intended to normalize the count across all KDP Select titles, KENPC may well vary from page counts listed on a book’s Amazon detail page or page counts for a print book. As measured using KENPC, during the month of June, KU and KOLL customers read nearly 1.9 billion Kindle Edition Normalized Pages (KENPs) of KDP Select books.

For information about how we determine a book’s Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count (KENPC V1.0), you can read more here: https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A156OS90J7RDN.

We welcome your continued feedback and ideas about how we can further improve Kindle Direct Publishing and Kindle Unlimited.

Best regards,
The Kindle Direct Publishing Team

©1996-2015, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. All Rights Reserved. Amazon and Kindle are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. 410 Terry Avenue North Seattle, Washington 98109 US

***

I’m not a mathematician…I hated math. Here’s more and if you can figure it out kindly leave a comment in the comments section.

Kindle Unlimited Pages Read
Beginning July 1, 2015, we switched from paying Kindle Unlimited (KU) and Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL) royalties based on qualified borrows, to paying based on the number of pages read. We made this switch in response to great feedback we received from authors who asked us to better align payout with the length of books and how much customers read. Under the new payment method, you’ll be paid for each page individual customers read of your book, the first time they read it.

Royalty payments under the new program

As with our current approach, we’ll continue to set a KDP Select Global Fund each month. Under the new payment method, the amount an author earns will be determined by their share of total pages read instead of their share of total qualified borrows.

Here are some examples of how it would work if the fund was $10M and 100,000,000 total pages were read in the month:

The author of a 100 page book that was borrowed and read completely 100 times would earn $1,000 ($10 million multiplied by 10,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).

The author of a 200 page book that was borrowed and read completely 100 times would earn $2,000 ($10 million multiplied by 20,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).

The author of a 200 page book that was borrowed 100 times but only read halfway through on average would earn $1,000 ($10 million multiplied by 10,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).

We will similarly change the way we pay KDP Select All-Star bonuses which will be awarded to authors and titles based on total KU and KOLL pages read.

You can enroll in KDP Select at any time by visiting your Bookshelf. If you no longer want your book(s) to be included in KDP Select you may unenroll from the program by contacting us with the ASIN of the book you would like to remove.

Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count (KENPC v1.0)

To determine a book’s page count in a way that works across genres and devices, we’ve developed the Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count (KENPC). We calculate KENPC based on standard settings (e.g. font, line height, line spacing, etc.), and we use KENPC to measure the number of pages customers read in your book, starting with the Start Reading Location (SRL) to the end of your book. Amazon typically sets SRL at chapter 1 so readers can start reading the core content of your book as soon as they open it.

This standardized approach allows us to identify pages in a way that works across genres and devices. Non-text elements within books including images, charts and graphs will count toward a book’s KENPC.

You can see your book’s KENPC listed on the “Promote and Advertise” page in your Bookshelf, and you can also see total pages read on your Sales Dashboard report. Because it’s based on default settings, KENPC may vary from page counts listed on your Amazon detail page, which are derived from other sources.

Reporting

You can view your Kindle Unlimited (KU) and Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL) Pages Read in your Sales Dashboard report by marketplace and title.

We always support our authors’ efforts to promote their books all over the world, but at the same time we work to prevent any manipulation of the Kindle platform. Because we’re always looking to improve our authors’ experience, we’ll have systems in place to monitor for potential manipulation.
***

Some people have figured this out to be as little as 57/1000 of a penny per page. If that’s correct then that certainly sucks salty monkey balls. Especially if the bulk of your catalog is short stories.

For those of you who don’t know, pretty much the ONLY WAY to fully make the 70% Amazon/Kindle advertises is to 1-price your book at $2.99 or above 2- be a Kindle Select Exclusive 3-and/or make your books available in the Kindle Lending Library (which does not seem to guarantee you the 70% of sales made on amazon.com…ie US sales, which, of course, is the bulk of the sales for all of us.) As you so you go Select and/or 70% guaranteeing your availability in the Lending Library you are automatically available on Kindle Unlimited. No way around it. None. If you opt not to be “exclusive” you only make 35% on US sales even if you go with the Lending Library and Unlimited. You, as an Indie Author, must be “exclusive” in order to make the 70% everyone thinks you’re making.

You can’t even sell your own e-book…or hard copy book…on your own site in any other format and you must certainly never sell said works for less than the price on Amazon/Kindle.

I think that alone is BS. I think, even if I go “exclusive” with Kindle I should be able to sell my own damn book on my own damn site in whatever format and for whatever price I chose without being penalized. Sorry, Jeffy, but I think being “exclusive” in this sense means that I don’t sell it on any Major Retailer or any site that could actually be seen as competition to Amazon/Kindle. I once hear of something called the Sherman Anti-Trust Act and it keeps ringing in the back of my mind lately. I have no idea why.

Any-hoo, since my little sale on Smashwords is coming to an end in a few hours I thought I’d try an experiment just to see how it goes. In the next 24 hours or so you won’t be able to purchase the following anywhere but Kindle/Amazon as they will be “exclusive” for the next 3 months and available in the Lending Library as well as on Unlimited:
OF WAR Complete
The Limikkin
The Shame of Eminent Domain: Fort Trumbull
A Window to Magickal Herbalism

Will join:
Mysterious Ways
Regret Me Not

As “Kindle Select Exclusives”. I will track them for the next several months to see how they do in actual sales, Kindle Unlimited and the Lending Library page counts.

The Heart of War
Women of War
Genesis

Those books will move to 70% without being “exclusive” yet still available in the Lending Library and on Unlimited. I will track them for the next several months in the same manner to see how they do knowing they are only garnering 35% in US sales/pages read…whatever. They are NOT ‘on sale’ and prices have not/will be reduced anywhere for the duration, however, those books will still be available on all major retailers throughout this experiment.

Truth be told, I make a nice little (and I do mean little!) chunk of change off sales on Kobo and iBooks…not so much on Nook, which is disappointing… and I wouldn’t like to give them up. I wouldn’t like for those folks who opt not to own a Kindle or to download a Kindle App to be left out of my stories if they should like to read them. For this reason, I would be more apt to consider going “exclusive” with Kindle as a Major Distributor yet retaining the right to sell .epub or .pdf copies from my own site at the same or slightly reduced price.

Most Indie Authors seem to agree that the only true response to Bezos is the Shotgun Effect. To make our works as WIDELY available as possible. To put them up on as many sites as possible and not to be “exclusive” in his rather greasy bed. I’ve always thought that was correct and, after all, I don’t shop at WalMart so I truly loathe the idea of being completely dependent upon Kindle/Amazon. It’s the same dynamic but now I’m the ‘retailer’ instead of the ‘customer’. And it sucks. Honestly, it does. Amazon/Kindle is big…huge. Definitely a major part of our Bread n Butter and standing up is a lot like biting the hand that feeds you but when that hand only tosses down scraps as it gorges itself on filet minion hour after hour…one should probably wonder a bit at the Terms & Conditions of such an arrangement.

So that’s what I’m doing over the next several months; weighing the Terms & Conditions against actual Real World Evidence. BTW…Hi, Amazon/Kindle/Jeffy, I know you’re reading this post. In fact, I know you sent a bot into every single post the second I post it and then you send some poor schlub back to the post a few hours to read it and report back if necessary. So…hi! I’m sure you’ll be reporting unfavorably today and over the next few months and my visibility will be reduced on your site as I will no longer pop as something ‘similar’ to whatever book a customer of yours is currently checking out.

Yes, Friends & Neighbors, that really is how petty the owner of Amazon/Kindle truly is. Don’t believe me, go and Google the complaints for yourself.

Should be fun! I’ll report back at the end of each month and let you know how the sales/borrowers are going.

About lbdarling

Beware...the truth is spoken here. If you can't handle that...buh-bye.

Posted on 05/07/2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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