Author Topic: KU 3  (Read 32739 times)  

Online TimothyEllis

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #325 on: August 15, 2017, 08:08:56 AM »
The increased page payout will favour the epic writers while killing the pages of my casual reads.

This is nothing more than a hope. There is no evidence the payout per page will improve. And we wont know for sure for another month.

All I see at the moment is a 30% decrease in page reads, and a definite gap between reads and ranks, indicating I'm getting the borrows, but not the reads.

Consequently, after KU being 65% of my income since KU2 began, its now dropped to 48%, and appears to be still going down.

I'm no longer thinking KU has to be rethought. I'm now planning how the hell I get out without losing 65% of my fan base. And I dont have an answer yet. Just readers begging me not to leave KU.

But the sad fact now is, KU cannibalizing sales is no longer covering them in terms of money.

We might get an improvement in the payout per page, but I seriously doubt its going to cover my 30% loss in page reads.

Offline David VanDyke

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #326 on: August 15, 2017, 11:02:16 AM »

I'm no longer thinking KU has to be rethought. I'm now planning how the hell I get out without losing 65% of my fan base. And I dont have an answer yet. Just readers begging me not to leave KU.


Some of my fans grumbled when I left KU, but nobody abandoned me as far as I know. Are they really a fan if they abandon an author they connect with over what boils down to a few dollars a month? So I doubt you'll lose 65% of your fan base. You're not making your books unavailable; you're just taking them out of the service that makes them feel free. So in fact, you might have them valuing your books more now that they have to buy them individually.

It also helps to explain it to them if you have a good mailing list. Tell them why you're pulling out of KU--that it's no longer tolerable for you, you're sorry but it has to be this way, etc. And I bet the fans you pick up from the other vendors will more than make up for the few you actually lose from leaving KU.





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Offline Joseph M. Erhardt

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #327 on: August 16, 2017, 06:20:36 AM »
The payout for July, per a post on KDP forums, is now .00403x / page.

If there's been a disallowal of scam pages, no positive effect is showing in this figure.

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Online Amanda M. Lee

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #328 on: August 16, 2017, 06:46:18 AM »
The payout for July, per a post on KDP forums, is now .00403x / page.

If there's been a disallowal of scam pages, no positive effect is showing in this figure.
While I hate the low number, you should keep in mind that KU3 came into effect on August 1st. The numbers we just got reports on were for July.

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Offline Sapphire

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #329 on: August 16, 2017, 07:23:04 AM »


"While I hate the low number, you should keep in mind that KU3 came into effect on August 1st. The numbers we just got reports on were for July."

Good point, Amanda.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 07:24:47 AM by Sapphire »


Online TimothyEllis

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #330 on: August 16, 2017, 07:39:17 AM »
While I hate the low number, you should keep in mind that KU3 came into effect on August 1st. The numbers we just got reports on were for July.

Yes.

But.

If Amazon had any interest in keeping authors happy for another month before we know what the payout is for KU3, they should not have dumped this payout so badly.

To my mind, this payout value is the straw which breaks the camel's back. And it didn't have to be if they intend paying out better for KU3.

Not to mention those of us getting 30% less reads.

Online Amanda M. Lee

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #331 on: August 16, 2017, 08:11:56 AM »
Yes.

But.

If Amazon had any interest in keeping authors happy for another month before we know what the payout is for KU3, they should not have dumped this payout so badly.

To my mind, this payout value is the straw which breaks the camel's back. And it didn't have to be if they intend paying out better for KU3.

Not to mention those of us getting 30% less reads.
I think everyone should make the decision for themselves. I've never advocated otherwise. Amazon dumped an extra million in the pot just to get it up to that paltry number. I don't think people realize how big an issue the bonus books truly are.

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Offline ClaudiaStone

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #332 on: August 16, 2017, 08:24:39 AM »


All I see at the moment is a 30% decrease in page reads, and a definite gap between reads and ranks, indicating I'm getting the borrows, but not the reads.


Me too, it's so frustrating. I currently have a rank of low to mid 3000s, and have 1350 page reads for the day. The last book was getting about 5k page reads a day when it was at that rank, and it was shorter  :(

Unless the page payout goes up considerably, I'm foreseeing one of my lowest months earnings for my longest book with the best consistent rank.
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Offline D. Zollicoffer

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #333 on: August 16, 2017, 09:05:12 AM »
80% of my books are in KU. I keep the newest ones out for a few months because I want people to BUY them. For me, this is the best approach. The only thing I hate is that I'll occasionally get one star reviews because a certain book isn't in the program. It's turning some readers into entitled brats, sadly. Some days I wish that they never introduced it lol

Online Jan Hurst-Nicholson

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #334 on: August 16, 2017, 11:34:40 AM »
80% of my books are in KU. I keep the newest ones out for a few months because I want people to BUY them. For me, this is the best approach. The only thing I hate is that I'll occasionally get one star reviews because a certain book isn't in the program. It's turning some readers into entitled brats, sadly. Some days I wish that they never introduced it lol

That's a new one and hardly fair  >:(

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Online TimothyEllis

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #335 on: August 16, 2017, 05:03:05 PM »
The only thing I hate is that I'll occasionally get one star reviews because a certain book isn't in the program. It's turning some readers into entitled brats, sadly.

That's a new one and hardly fair

I had one of these not long after KU2 started. I did the same thing, leaving putting it into KU until a month after release. The review was nasty. I changed my policy soon after, so no further ones.

But once I pull out fully, I guess I should expect some.  :'(

Offline TwistedTales

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #336 on: August 17, 2017, 04:00:56 AM »
It's possible they changed the definition of a page read to something where they take into account time as well as last page position. It was probably designed to stop a bot fast flipping through pages to the end of the book. However, if set too tightly it would catch faster readers/skimmers.

There was always more to KU3.0 than the email stated. Personally, I thought the email they sent out had been so heavily edited it had nothing meaningful left in it. It made me wonder what they'd taken out.  ;)

Online ShaneJeffery

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #337 on: August 17, 2017, 06:18:03 AM »
KU is an effective bargain bin. A way to give your work away cheaply or for free. If you aren't earning more for a sale than a borrow you're pricing is massively cheap.

The whole strategy behind putting work in KU that earns more for a sale than a borrow caters to the belief that in KU you have more visibility and therefore more readers. Or that people won't pay for your work and only borrow it.

Despite criticism from some authors, KU1's model was extremely easy to profit with because you didn't have to write a 60k novel to earn $1.35 for a borrow. You could write a short or a novella or whatever length you wanted. And the reader didn't even have to like your book enough that they read the whole thing - they just had to borrow it (and get 10 percent through). The same fundamentals in as when they buy your book. You don't get paid for a sale when the reader finishes if they have their Kindle turned on and page flip disabled and the page counts are registering - you get paid when they click buy and download your book. As it should be.

If KU pays authors less then it devalues books. If you leave KU and your sales die it is because of KU. Or the other authors who are in it.

I'm using KU at the moment for my new name because I have ZERO chance without it. I hate the payout system but basically until I have an audience, my books might as well be free.

For authors who are already established, your numbers will tell you what to do. But if you think this is as bad as it gets for KU I'm sure in a year or two we'll have a different perspective.

KU is supposed to be attracting more authors and more subscriptions and more pages being read as time goes by. If not, is the program in decline? And whose fault is that if it's the case?

Amazon aren't doing us any favors topping the pot up by one million. Scammers, bonus books, KENPC manipulation - Their constant process is all about taking away our payments piece by piece, dollar by dollar. Until there are millions of KU subscriptions and all the content is for free. The only one who collects is Amazon.

My prediction: within six months we'll be below .004 for a page read. It might even be next month. Are your book actually worth less tomorrow than today? According to Amazon, they are.

Online TimothyEllis

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #338 on: August 17, 2017, 06:31:55 AM »
KU is an effective bargain bin. A way to give your work away cheaply or for free.

NO. It never was. And I never looked at it that way.

Amazon may consider it this way, but that's why I'm getting out.

Draft2Digital registration complete, and my only non-KU book in their upload format is now out across all they distribute to. First 2 books pulled, the rest will done very soon.

Anyone in Scribd? Whats it like?

Online ShaneJeffery

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #339 on: August 17, 2017, 06:52:15 AM »
NO. It never was. And I never looked at it that way.

If Amazon are paying less than the same royalty as a sale would net you for a full read, then your book is discounted. The more the payment per page declines, the longer your book has to be to earn a proper royalty.

Everyone knew this would happen when they went from KU1 to KU2. Couldn't have gotten away with it on August 2015, but had the scammers and the .004 page read amount, and the page flip prognosis, the KENPC manipulation and inaccurate page read reports happened then, maybe the Kindle Bestsellers list wouldn't be the KU Wasteland it is now.

I still have hope though. Unless you're brand new I can't see a reason for having your backlist in KU. New Releases maybe, but then that's just because of the KU chart domination. This really has been a Lose-Lose situation. Unless Amazon are really cashing in on the subscriptions, then I guess it is a win for them.

Offline Picky Android

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #340 on: August 17, 2017, 07:01:05 AM »
Quote from: David Vandyke
[snip]


A philosopher of sorts, you are.  It is what it is, till it ain't - so to speak.  I do hope that scamming will become less of a problem. No one knows for sure how big it is $ wise. It could be significant.  Amazon seems to think it is not so big (but they would likely say that if they don't have a fix for it too I imagine), but the issue is coming to a head. Fairness is in everyone's heart.

KENPC decrease is not anyone's friend - Amazon's or author's. Amazon 'Contact Us' does pass on ideas to the business management part of the division as well as the technical if you have ideas that may help and the first responder thinks so too. I've done this.  One in particular I got from this board. 

But they are the 'Great Wizard of Oz' behind the screen and have all the data and control of the system. But everyone needs ideas from somewhere to solve problems if you can't figure it out yourself.

Hoping for the best.

Cheers,
« Last Edit: August 17, 2017, 07:07:07 AM by Picky Android »

Online TimothyEllis

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #341 on: August 17, 2017, 07:05:27 AM »
If Amazon are paying less than the same royalty as a sale would net you for a full read, then your book is discounted. The more the payment per page declines, the longer your book has to be to earn a proper royalty.

Not at the beginning. Back then I was pricing at $2.99, and KU wasn't significantly less. But its eroded over time, and made worse by me moving to $4.99.

Quote
Everyone knew this would happen when they went from KU1 to KU2. Couldn't have gotten away with it on August 2015, but had the scammers and the .004 page read amount, and the page flip prognosis, the KENPC manipulation and inaccurate page read reports happened then, maybe the Kindle Bestsellers list wouldn't be the KU Wasteland it is now.

I wouldn't say everyone knew, but there were certainly enough doomsayers.

And yes, if KU2 had started out the way it is now, I'd have probably never joined it, and gone wide more than a year ago.

Quote
I still have hope though.

I no longer do. This dog wont hunt anymore. The engine is broken, and unfixable (at least as far as Amazon motivation is concerned). From here on, it only gets worse.

I might be making a mistake if your hope comes through, but its a mistake I need to make at least once, following those who did a long time ago.

Quote
Unless you're brand new I can't see a reason for having your backlist in KU. New Releases maybe, but then that's just because of the KU chart domination. This really has been a Lose-Lose situation. Unless Amazon are really cashing in on the subscriptions, then I guess it is a win for them.

I've been thinking about the new books situation. And I'm having a hard time holding a book on the other platforms for 3 months, just to pander to KU. But one thing some of my KU readers are asking is if there is an alternative to KU we can all move to, and tonight I discovered Scribd. No idea if its a viable alternative for my KU readers, but its worth asking the questions.

Amazon if you're reading - KU3 is not worth the exclusivity requirement!

Online ShaneJeffery

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #342 on: August 17, 2017, 07:16:39 AM »
I no longer do. This dog wont hunt anymore. The engine is broken, and unfixable (at least as far as Amazon motivation is concerned). From here on, it only gets worse.

I might be making a mistake if your hope comes through, but its a mistake I need to make at least once, following those who did a long time ago.

My hope is reserved entirely for the notion that big and small authors will get out of KU right across the board and it will no longer have impact on the charts. And things will go back to the way they were before KU more or less.

I have ZERO hope of KU improving in the future. The only way to do that is to get rid of the scammers and for it to go back to the KU1 model. I guess getting rid of the scammers and raising it to .005 would provide temporary relief, but I'd still believe we'd be back to these figures in enough time.

A lot of pro KU2 authors forget how much KU killed Free and Permafree. God I wish it was 2015 again. It's going to be super sad for me when I die if KU1 was the greatest success I ever achieved as a writer.

Offline Usedtoposthere

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #343 on: August 17, 2017, 08:46:22 AM »
If Amazon are paying less than the same royalty as a sale would net you for a full read, then your book is discounted. The more the payment per page declines, the longer your book has to be to earn a proper royalty.

Everyone knew this would happen when they went from KU1 to KU2. Couldn't have gotten away with it on August 2015, but had the scammers and the .004 page read amount, and the page flip prognosis, the KENPC manipulation and inaccurate page read reports happened then, maybe the Kindle Bestsellers list wouldn't be the KU Wasteland it is now.

I still have hope though. Unless you're brand new I can't see a reason for having your backlist in KU. New Releases maybe, but then that's just because of the KU chart domination. This really has been a Lose-Lose situation. Unless Amazon are really cashing in on the subscriptions, then I guess it is a win for them.
Lot of assumptions here. Depends on how much your backlist is borrowed. Some authors make tens of thousands of easy money every month from KU on their backlist. Everybody has different experiences and priorities. No one size fits all answers. Personally KU is about money and ease. That's why I have three series there. Everybody else should do what works for them.

Online Seneca42

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #344 on: August 17, 2017, 09:38:42 AM »
Lot of assumptions here. Depends on how much your backlist is borrowed. Some authors make tens of thousands of easy money every month from KU on their backlist. Everybody has different experiences and priorities. No one size fits all answers. Personally KU is about money and ease. That's why I have three series there. Everybody else should do what works for them.

KU is about commodifying the value of books. The fact some authors are able to win in that "race to the bottom" doesn't mean it's healthy for the overall book industry (or even for the authors who are winning today, but may be sowing the seeds of their own destruction in three years time). 

Any investor will tell you one of the primary variables they look at when investing in a company is their margins. High margin products = gold mine. Low margin products = crappy investment (unless the vendor has market dominance and can win based on moving ever-increasing quantities of product).

Amazon could make the KU sub rate $20 and double author payouts. That would still be a deal compared to buying books at regular prices. But they don't. As many have said here, they want it as low as possible to bring people into the Amazon ecosystem. This is what makes monopolies unique, they can turn an entire industry into a loss leaders so long as it supports other aspects of their business (that's why antitrust laws exist; although no one actually enforces them anymore).

This is also why it doesn't take a genius to know that Amazon is going to continue to drop the page read payout as time goes on. They will go as low as authors will let them. They'd be stupid not to.

If they start to see a significant exodus by authors, then they'll up the payout to draw them back in.

I always chuckle when people think Amazon has some deep thought process going on behind the scenes. They don't. They have a bunch of number-crunchers figuring out how low can they go to maximize profits before they start to damage the business. They clearly feel they can continue to offload the cost of KU onto the authors rather than raising the price of KU to protect the authors.

It is what it is. This is how commodifying markets work until it becomes so painful to be in people simply stop participating. We'll eventually find out where that floor is. I definitely think it will be below .0035 per page.







Offline Usedtoposthere

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #345 on: August 17, 2017, 09:48:45 AM »
Really Jay Allen has put it best in the other thread. I'd repeat things but instead I'll just recommend reading his posts in the thread about the page rate. Basically, don't act out of emotion, and have realistic expectations. Your borrows will not all become sales, and doing well on Amazon does not necessarily translate into doing well on other stores. Even with vendor support, BookBub, etc. Expect to have to do more marketing to establish yourself wide, and be realistic that you may take a major income hit. Can be best to start with one series and experiment.

Online PhoenixS

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #346 on: August 17, 2017, 10:52:34 AM »
This is what makes monopolies unique, they can turn an entire industry into a loss leaders so long as it supports other aspects of their business (that's why antitrust laws exist; although no one actually enforces them anymore).

Actually, U.S. anti-trust laws exist to protect the consumer. Amazon can legally dominate a market as long as they aren't gouging customers. Since Amazon so far is seeking to dominate by offering the lowest prices to customers, and isn't engaging in price-fixing (which generally is instituted so no business offers the same type products at a *lower* price), then Amazon is not subject to anti-trust laws in the U.S.
  (click to enbiggen)

Offline PatriciaDreas

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #347 on: August 17, 2017, 11:36:35 AM »
Amazon can legally dominate a market as long as they aren't gouging customers.

But gouging suppliers is fine. It's been Walmart's operating philosophy and now Amazon's, as far as KDP goes.

Online Seneca42

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #348 on: August 17, 2017, 12:00:01 PM »
Actually, U.S. anti-trust laws exist to protect the consumer. Amazon can legally dominate a market as long as they aren't gouging customers. Since Amazon so far is seeking to dominate by offering the lowest prices to customers, and isn't engaging in price-fixing (which generally is instituted so no business offers the same type products at a *lower* price), then Amazon is not subject to anti-trust laws in the U.S.

https://www.law360.com/articles/954306/amazon-e-book-changes-ease-japan-s-antitrust-concerns

sort of a tangent here, but does this mean Amazon cannot demand lower prices on ebooks anymore?

Your comments on antitrust sent me poking about on the net and I found this. Just came out two days ago. If this applies worldwide it would be freakin awesome.

This seems to just be in Japan though.

edit: notice that top link is paywalled for now for some reason. Here's another one (or google for additional links)

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170816/p2a/00m/0na/008000c
« Last Edit: August 17, 2017, 12:07:48 PM by Seneca42 »

Online Linn

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #349 on: August 17, 2017, 02:40:04 PM »
But gouging suppliers is fine. It's been Walmart's operating philosophy and now Amazon's, as far as KDP goes.

Walmart recently bought Jet.com to compete with Amazon's online presence. Perhaps they'll go after Barnes & Noble too, so they can face off with them on the ebook front as well. I'm not sure if that would be a bad thing or a good thing. Maybe good for Barnes & Noble, but bad for authors.