Author Topic: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?  (Read 11185 times)  

Offline SummerNights

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What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« on: January 09, 2018, 06:40:35 PM »
I was trying to change price on a book and saw this on the pricing page:

Rate
35%
50%
70%

50%? Has this been there before? Am I seeing things?

Offline C.F.

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2018, 06:47:34 PM »
Oooh, I see it too! A mystery.

Offline Heather Boyd

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2018, 06:48:05 PM »
I see it too. It only appears when you choose 70% royalty rate with a price between $2.99 and $9.99. Haven't found any explanation for the 50% on the Amazon site. Pricing terms haven't updated since 2015. Will have to wait and hope what happens next is good news.


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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2018, 06:51:15 PM »
I see it but no explanation for why. I'll keep my eyes open, but in the meantime, writing away on the current WIP.

Offline Kyra Halland

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2018, 06:53:32 PM »
I see it, too. Where it gives the breakdown of royalty rates, delivery charges, and royalties, on books $2.99 and over (I don't have anything over $9.99, so can't speak for that). On mine, it says 50% n/a.

Pricing terms haven't updated since 2015. Will have to wait and hope what happens next is good news.

I find myself unable to be optimistic.

I'm not in Select/KU; maybe it's going to be an option for those who are. You can choose 50% instead of 35%. Or, the doomsayer in me wonders if they're going to make it so you have to be in Select to get 70% anywhere and those of us who refuse to get with the program are going to get dropped to 50%.


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Offline andycat

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2018, 06:57:18 PM »
the doomsayer in me wonders if they're going to make it so you have to be in Select to get 70% anywhere and those of us who refuse to get with the program are going to get dropped to 50%.

Ugh, this was exactly my first thought too. But I'm just going to keep my eyes squeezed shut until there's something official. lol.

Offline Tilly

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2018, 06:58:28 PM »
...Or, the doomsayer in me wonders if they're going to make it so you have to be in Select to get 70% anywhere and those of us who refuse to get with the program are going to get dropped to 50%.

Ditto. I'm thinking a 50% royalty rate isn't going to be anything good. As you suggested, maybe 50% for KU titles under $2.99 (instead of 35%) or we'll get bumped to 50% and books in KU earn 70% if purchased instead of borrowed.

Offline SummerNights

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2018, 07:00:45 PM »
Ditto. I'm thinking a 50% royalty rate isn't going to be anything good. As you suggested, maybe 50% for KU titles under $2.99 (instead of 35%) or we'll get bumped to 50% and books in KU earn 70% if purchased instead of borrowed.

The problem with the first guess (50% for titles under $2.99) is that the option shows only for books between $2.99 and $9.99. I don't see any scenario where this is a good thing.  :(

Offline Kyra Halland

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2018, 07:01:30 PM »
Ditto. I'm thinking a 50% royalty rate isn't going to be anything good. As you suggested, maybe 50% for KU titles under $2.99 (instead of 35%) or we'll get bumped to 50% and books in KU earn 70% if purchased instead of borrowed.

But it doesn't show up for 99 cent books, only for $2.99 and higher. Which is what makes me think it isn't anything good.  :(

By "option instead of 35%", I meant on books $2.99 and higher where they give you the option to choose 35% royalties and not have to pay a delivery fee (which makes absolutely no sense except for books that are huge files, like with lots of images), maybe KU people can choose 50% and no delivery fees. That's about the best interpretation I can put on this.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 07:04:36 PM by Kyra Halland »


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Online Sailor Stone

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2018, 07:02:38 PM »
Perhaps an annual fee for 70%?

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2018, 07:18:21 PM »
i see it, but can't choose it. Maybe they're changing the rate on books over $9.99

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2018, 07:18:36 PM »
Zon's not going to mess with the 70% while kobo and itunes are paying it.

My guess is probably some of the 35% markets will be getting bumped up to 50% (but not all of them, so the 35 will still remain).

My second guess (actually make this my first) would be they will be offering 50% on below $2.99 (but 35 in certain foreign markets). The fact that it's only showing on $2.99 books doesn't mean anything as the dashboard is obviously not fully functional. Kobo pays 45% on below $2.99... so zon may be looking to incentivize the wide crowd into joining KU... "get higher royalties on direct sales below $2.99, 50%, AND make money in KU."

Whatever zon is doing they generally:

1) sucker people into thinking they are winning when they are losing
2) all their actions are designed around putting a knife in their competitors' eyes.
3) they've publicly stated they want authors pricing LOW. So upping the royalty on below $2.99 would be a very effective way of achieving this on the direct side.

With B&N basically dead, they may be looking to take out their remaining competitors and own the ebook market 100%; will also commodifying books further by incentivizing lower pricing. 

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2018, 07:23:18 PM »
With B&N basically dead, they may be looking to take out their remaining competitors and own the ebook market 100%; will also commodifying books further by incentivizing lower pricing.

or they're just trying to remain competitive. I get surveys from them all the time, and I'm pretty straightforward about what i dislike about their price restrictions. I'm sure other people are as well.

Online Shelley K

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2018, 07:31:00 PM »
I see it but no explanation for why. I'll keep my eyes open, but in the meantime, writing away on the current WIP.

Ditto. 

The indie community is about to lose its collective **** with many people detailing worst case scenarios and many others getting vaporlocked at the keyboard over it.  They'll be a good or bad change or there won't. I've still got work to do, so no speculation for me.

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2018, 07:52:29 PM »
Just to add to the speculation, maybe 50% for those in KU who do not want to be exclusive. Thats a total wish-fulfillment guess, by the way.

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Offline Merlin27

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2018, 07:56:48 PM »
Maybe KU is about to become non-optional.

50% Rate for non-exclusive +KU

70% for exclusives only.

Or maybe an option for non exclusive KU with a 50% royalty.

Probably not but it was the first thing thing that occurred to me.

Just to add to the speculation, maybe 50% for those in KU who do not want to be exclusive. Thats a total wish-fulfillment guess, by the way.

Yep. Basically had the same thought at about the same time.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 08:02:07 PM by Merlin27 »

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2018, 07:59:24 PM »
Just to add to the speculation, maybe 50% for those in KU who do not want to be exclusive. Thats a total wish-fulfillment guess, by the way.

Oooh, I like that one! :D

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Offline SummerNights

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2018, 08:29:55 PM »

Offline KelliWolfe

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2018, 08:51:09 PM »
Zon's not going to mess with the 70% while kobo and itunes are paying it.
Ummm. Why not? Do you honestly think a significant number of writers would pull their books out of Amazon if they lowered the royalty rate for non-KU books? Amazon is the biggest ebook market by far. A few would in protest, sure. But as we've seen over and over with all the KU nonsense they've pulled, the vast majority of writers are simply going to suck it up and accept the lower payout rate. And all those people going wide through the aggregators are already accepting quite a bit less than 70% there, so it isn't like they don't know that we'll take less. If the authors aren't in KU their books are already wide so they don't even have the option to make up the sales elsewhere. What other choice would they have but to leave their books right there and take whatever Amazon offers them? Or else it will be that extra push necessary to pull a lot of authors into KU because they can't afford the loss of a third of their Amazon money.

I'm not saying that I think this is what they're doing. It might have nothing at all to do with anything that's been suggested. But based on their history of treatment of their other vendors/suppliers and the way that authors have bent over for them in the past, it wouldn't surprise me at all if this was exactly what they were doing. "Your margin is my opportunity..."
« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 08:53:19 PM by KelliWolfe »

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Offline sela

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2018, 08:58:02 PM »
My prediction:

70% for KDPS $2.99 - $9.99
50% for non-KDPS $2.99 - $9.99
50% for KDPS <$2.99 and >$9.99
35% for non-KDPS <$2.99 and >$9.99

Jeff Bezos is now the richest human ever. Gotta squeeze those indie margins.

Offline Annie B

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2018, 09:18:42 PM »
They went to 70% because Apple did, basically (yeah, I've been around that long I still remember the 35% across the board, ha). I can't imagine they will drop non-KU peeps to 50% but... they don't always do smart things, so who knows? I am hoping 50% is for over $9.99, personally.

Offline Lady Vine

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2018, 09:18:56 PM »
Yeah, add me to the list of people who think they're coming after the non-exclusive authors. I think it's a tactic to strong arm more authors into that godawful program, as if manipulating the rankings wasn't bad enough. As if having over one million books wasn't enough.

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2018, 09:28:08 PM »
Ummm. Why not?

I'm not saying that I think this is what they're doing. It might have nothing at all to do with anything that's been suggested. But based on their history of treatment of their other vendors/suppliers and the way that authors have bent over for them in the past, it wouldn't surprise me at all if this was exactly what they were doing. "Your margin is my opportunity..."

They could have done it at any point over the past few years. Touching the 70% thing would be a huge shift and would represent taking the boots to authors in a way they haven't to date. Sure, they've already done that with KU... but they've done it under the cover of "lose on royalty, but make up for it in volume.". And they've got an army of authors who endlessly endorse KU as generating more money than they ever did wide. In addition, KU drives value to the reader and so they hide behind that also "we have to pay x so we can have a $10 sub cost." But cutting the direct royalty has nothing to do with driving value to the customer, it would be nothing more than a naked, brute force attack on author's margins. I just don't see them touching the 70% situation.

If they did, I think you could see a movement to boycott zon among wide authors. Obviously, I agree with you that no one author would do so on their own. But strange things happen when large corporations nakedly abuse their power. Zon, so far, hasn't (we know they have, but most people see KU as optional and a take or leave thing; they don't see it for what it really is).

Anyway, very little about zon shocks me, but dumping the 70% to 50% would actually shock me.

I don't assume anyone thinks the way I do (hehe), but I can tell you that if they did that I'd have to think long and hard about whether I even wanted to sell on zon anymore. Right now I'd say there's a 65% chance I'd leave (regardless of what anyone else did). But I'm not making six figures... but then again, neither are 99% of indies. Most people aren't living off their royalties, so they can afford to walk if you  p*ss  them off enough :)

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2018, 09:46:45 PM »
My prediction:

70% for KDPS $2.99 - $9.99
50% for non-KDPS $2.99 - $9.99
50% for KDPS <$2.99 and >$9.99
35% for non-KDPS <$2.99 and >$9.99

Jeff Bezos is now the richest human ever. Gotta squeeze those indie margins.

This would be absolutely brutal. And honestly, could spark antitrust issues.

But let's say they did exactly what you listed above. The result of it would be kobo goes out of business within a year. iTunes sticks around if it wants to, but is no threat. Everyone is forced into KU, and as that happens, KENP rate goes down massively.

Everyone gets destroyed in the above scenario. I'd predict a KENP rate of .001 or .0015 if KU becomes the defacto ebook market. At which point you could probably make more money blogging than writing a book.

Although, I'll say this, the TP's would be sitting pretty at that point.


Offline KelliWolfe

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2018, 09:53:07 PM »
They went to 70% because Apple did, basically
Except that was back when there was actually competition between the different distributors to try to become the dominant ebook platform. That's no longer the case, and none of the other distributors are making more than token attempts to try to increase their market share anymore.

If they did, I think you could see a movement to boycott zon among wide authors. Obviously, I agree with you that no one author would do so on their own. But strange things happen when large corporations nakedly abuse their power. Zon, so far, hasn't (we know they have, but most people see KU as optional and a take or leave thing; they don't see it for what it really is).
Not exactly true. We haven't seen it directly, but plenty of their other vendors and suppliers have. 'Sadistic' Amazon Treated Book Sellers 'The Way A Cheetah Would Pursue a Sickly Gazelle'. That's what they did to smaller book publishers in the early 2000s. Read the article and see if that doesn't sound awfully familiar with what they've been doing to us with KU and AMS ads. That's the norm for Amazon. Once they've made a seller dependent on them, they go to work with the thumbscrews. And now with something like 80% of ebook market share and competition dead, most of us are highly dependent on Amazon.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 09:54:42 PM by KelliWolfe »

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