Author Topic: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?  (Read 12967 times)  

Offline Vaalingrade

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #100 on: January 10, 2018, 02:41:20 PM »
Hmm. 50% Royalty or less than a h'penny a page and falling? They really want to cut author profits one way or the other.

I'd take a third option and just leave. Only reason I even deal with Amazon after all their bad faith dealing as a business partner, playing Starscream to my Megatron at literally every turn, is inertia.

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Offline Avis Black

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #101 on: January 10, 2018, 03:22:19 PM »
My guess is that Amazon has noticed that traditional publishing moves a huge amount of product via Bookbub deals at $1.99.  In fact, they've trained readers into buying at that price.  But indies almost never use it because a 35% royalty rate for a 1.99 book sucks for the author.

Why is this important?  If the only option for a cheap book that indies ever use is 99 cents, then all Amazon makes from a 99 cent title is 64 cents.  But if Amazon talks every indie author into pricing at 1.99 for a 50% royalty, the author would make about a dollar, and Amazon's cut would increase to about a dollar.  Amazon makes more money, and so do authors if the 99 cent price point is phased out and replaced with a new normal of 1.99 for the cheapest novels.  Besides, inflation is going to eat away at everyone's ability to earn a living at 99 cents over time.


Offline IoneKeeling

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #102 on: January 10, 2018, 05:52:41 PM »
I honestly think the opposite would be true. People would be more likely to release at 70 percent in KU to start and then move to the 50 percent when sales have died down and they can juice money on other retailers and get BookBubs.

I wouldn't. I started with KU 1 and have been through each iteration but am no longer in it. In the first year, I was at 40% sales versus 60% borrows. 40 become 20, 60 became 80. By the time I left, it was even worse for my ratio and I think that is true for a lot of romance authors. Add in page flip and general inability to provide a true count of pages read and I absolutely wouldn't do Amazon first before the others stores. 70% of nothing is nothing.

Online TimothyEllis

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #103 on: January 10, 2018, 06:19:55 PM »
When I tried this, I got books yanked. They claimed it made for a poor customer experience. So, good luck with that.

Interesting. Which tells me KU is indeed a scam, and Amazon dont want their readers knowing about it.

If royalties for non-KU books changed to 50%, and they dropped the delivery fee, then these prices equal the same net royalty:

$2.99 becomes $3.87
$3.99 becomes $5.27
$4.99 becomes $6.67
$5.99 becomes $7.99

That's what I'd do. I'd probably even leave the odd numbers and explain to readers why I was doing it.

This is what we do with Google Play, for a different reason, so why not do it with Amazon as well? If so, it makes ibooks, nook and kobo pricing look like a bargain, and collectively could shift a lot of sales off Amazon. I know my readers dont want me going above 4.99, but I do get some sales at 6.99 on Google. So I suspect if the Amazon price went to 6.99 as well, a lot of my readers might start buying me on one of the other sites instead. Hard to know, but forcing authors to up their prices because they wont accept 50%, might backfire on Amazon bigtime.

99.5% of all my sales come from Amazon sales. If Amazon were to drop the share from 70% to 50%, I'm looking at a 29% decrease in my income right off the top.

And this is what worries me the most.

Amazon have done this 30% drop in income twice now, both times in different ways, about a year apart. This could be the way they do it next July with KU4.

So while this may indeed be an 'error', it is exactly the sort of thing we can expect in July this year, one way or another.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 06:21:33 PM by TimothyEllis »

Offline Lynn Is A Pseudonym

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #104 on: January 10, 2018, 06:29:20 PM »
My guess is that Amazon has noticed that traditional publishing moves a huge amount of product via Bookbub deals at $1.99.  In fact, they've trained readers into buying at that price.  But indies almost never use it because a 35% royalty rate for a 1.99 book sucks for the author.

Why is this important?  If the only option for a cheap book that indies ever use is 99 cents, then all Amazon makes from a 99 cent title is 64 cents.  But if Amazon talks every indie author into pricing at 1.99 for a 50% royalty, the author would make about a dollar, and Amazon's cut would increase to about a dollar.  Amazon makes more money, and so do authors if the 99 cent price point is phased out and replaced with a new normal of 1.99 for the cheapest novels.  Besides, inflation is going to eat away at everyone's ability to earn a living at 99 cents over time.

I'll take this option, thank you very much.

:)

Offline KelliWolfe

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #105 on: January 10, 2018, 06:38:40 PM »
This is what we do with Google Play, for a different reason, so why not do it with Amazon as well? If so, it makes ibooks, nook and kobo pricing look like a bargain, and collectively could shift a lot of sales off Amazon. I know my readers dont want me going above 4.99, but I do get some sales at 6.99 on Google. So I suspect if the Amazon price went to 6.99 as well, a lot of my readers might start buying me on one of the other sites instead. Hard to know, but forcing authors to up their prices because they wont accept 50%, might backfire on Amazon bigtime.
Because the KDP contract you signed included a clause where you agreed that you wouldn't price your books higher on Amazon than any other sales outlet. If you raise prices to compensate, you have to do it across the board, not just on Amazon.

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Online TimothyEllis

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #106 on: January 10, 2018, 06:44:18 PM »
Because the KDP contract you signed included a clause where you agreed that you wouldn't price your books higher on Amazon than any other sales outlet. If you raise prices to compensate, you have to do it across the board, not just on Amazon.

Now that would be an interesting situation. Thousands of authors doing it, and Amazon sending out all the infringement notices, and  p*ss ing everyone off more than they already do.

Has anyone asked their readers what they would do if you abandoned Amazon completely?

Offline IoneKeeling

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #107 on: January 10, 2018, 07:14:31 PM »
Has anyone asked their readers what they would do if you abandoned Amazon completely?

You wouldn't get a decent sample size AND what they say they'll do is not what they will always do. If I listened to my readers that comment on anything, I should only ever write paranormal romance with shifters. You wanna guess what makes me less money than any other romance category I write in?

Dollars are the only replies that count, and you won't know until you pull the trigger what those answers are going to be.

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #108 on: January 10, 2018, 07:24:27 PM »
Now that would be an interesting situation. Thousands of authors doing it, and Amazon sending out all the infringement notices, and  p*ss ing everyone off more than they already do.

Has anyone asked their readers what they would do if you abandoned Amazon completely?
I dont think it will be funny if Amazon bans accounts (which they will do) and youre cut off from like 80 percent of the market.

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Online loraininflorida

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #109 on: January 10, 2018, 07:53:09 PM »
Never got a chance to see it  :(

I pasted a screenshot of it on a writer's facebook group. Didn't know whether it was ok to paste that link here, so I PMed it to you if you want to go see what it looked like. I'd post it here but I don't know how.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 10:03:11 PM by loraininflorida »

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #110 on: January 10, 2018, 08:02:20 PM »

  Yeah, this is prolly a sneak peek at KU4. Maybe they're going to force everyone to be in KU. If you remain exclusive you get 70%, but if you insist on remaining wide you get 50%, either way you are forced to be in KU.

  I would still make more money from a 50% royalty sale than I would from any KU read, so I'd stay wide. But if (when, she says optomistically) I publish my novel trilogy, I would most likely be exclusive with those because I'd hopefully be earning more than 9 cents a read, and I might make a bit more that way than with the 50% royalty.

 

Offline Seneca42

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #111 on: January 10, 2018, 08:10:38 PM »
Now that would be an interesting situation. Thousands of authors doing it, and Amazon sending out all the infringement notices, and  p*ss ing everyone off more than they already do.

Has anyone asked their readers what they would do if you abandoned Amazon completely?

Here's what confuses me right now with the market... is amazon stronger or weaker than before? It seems like everyone is getting more annoyed with them every passing month, yet no one can stand up to them either (the best we've been able to do is stay wide and not cave completely to them). I'm not sure if they are sowing the seeds of their destruction or if they have basically won (captured the market) and could care less what authors think of them; both scenarios annoy me to no end :P 

It's a very confusing time. I'd love to leave zon entirely at this point, but the other vendors won't/aren't incentivizing me to do so in any way, so I'm not going to walk away from my zon revenues without some kind of carrot on the other side of that move.

If Kobo had some kind of exclusivity package, I'm actually so annoyed with zon's behavior that I'd make the jump. I'd spend my marketing dollars driving readers solely to their site. At the end of the day zon makes me generate all traffic anyway (or tries to make me pay as much as possible via AMS), so how much would I really be losing?

The problem is the promoters need to support non-zon authors. I've seen a couple on bookbub promos that were non-zon, but they are super rare. But if promoters were to work up some non-zon packages, I'd seriously consider leaving zon. Like if bookbub offered a Kobo-only promotion package and it cost say $90, I could leave zon and still reach new readers and build a non-zon foundation.

I'm ready to leave, I just need the rest of the industry to support that decision in some way  :P

Online TimothyEllis

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #112 on: January 10, 2018, 08:40:19 PM »
I dont think it will be funny if Amazon bans accounts (which they will do) and youre cut off from like 80 percent of the market.

No it wouldn't.

But here's my thing.... Amazon are building a track record of slashing author earnings 30% every 12 months, one way or another.

At what point does the next 30% reduction in income make that 80% market generate less income than the other 20%? My guess, 2 more.

And if we opt out of Amazon because they dont pay us properly, and do it en masse, how much of the 80% will we take with us? Even if we do it by ourselves, how much do we really lose if the majority of our fans follow us to another venue, and their purchases start giving us real visibility on that venue?

My problem in going wide at the moment, is no traction. Most of my fans are Amazon buyers, and so I get no traction from a new release anywhere else. Now if that moved to say ibooks or kobo? Who's to say the boost in visibility there wouldn't cover what I lose on Amazon? It does come down to what fans will do.

It's a very confusing time. I'd love to leave zon entirely at this point, but the other vendors won't/aren't incentivizing me to do so in any way, so I'm not going to walk away from my zon revenues without some kind of carrot on the other side of that move.

And that's whats keeping everyone with Amazon. No carrot to leave.

Quote
If Kobo had some kind of exclusivity package, I'm actually so annoyed with zon's behavior that I'd make the jump. I'd spend my marketing dollars driving readers solely to their site. At the end of the day zon makes me generate all traffic anyway (or tries to make me pay as much as possible via AMS), so how much would I really be losing?

How do you do that? The promo sites ask for Amazon product first, and some of them demand the book must be on Amazon. A lot of them get all the details from the Amazon book link.

Quote
The problem is the promoters need to support non-zon authors. I've seen a couple on bookbub promos that were non-zon, but they are super rare. But if promoters were to work up some non-zon packages, I'd seriously consider leaving zon. Like if bookbub offered a Kobo-only promotion package and it cost say $90, I could leave zon and still reach new readers and build a non-zon foundation.

I'm ready to leave, I just need the rest of the industry to support that decision in some way  :P

I'd like to see BB offer a non-Amazon alternative. It might help with boosting a book wide, if Amazon is not on the list. But here's the thing - the pricing includes Amazon, and if you untick Amazon, you're still paying for the full price, while expectation of downloads will be a small fraction of before.

If anyone from BookBub is reading this, if you truly are interested in making sure your non-Amazon readers are getting their full benefit from a BB, how about reducing the price on a NON-Amazon BB deal, so we can target everyone else without being slugged for the Amazon part of the list?

Let me guess though, the same argument will come back, only in reverse.  :(






Online The Bass Bagwhan

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #113 on: January 10, 2018, 08:59:06 PM »
I'm just amazed that Amazon would do anything like this without first explaining what's going on. It has the newsletter, or the monthly "this is the KU pool" email, to let us know what's happening.

I wonder if someone at Zon jumped the gun, or a beta project snuck through?
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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #114 on: January 10, 2018, 08:59:47 PM »
I would love to see JB's face if everyone pulled out of KU and all he was left with was the marketeers bad boy romances. They could willingly keep the whole of that month's pot, before KU collapsed, just for that image alone.

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #115 on: January 10, 2018, 09:19:23 PM »
I'm just amazed that Amazon would do anything like this without first explaining what's going on. It has the newsletter, or the monthly "this is the KU pool" email, to let us know what's happening.


Heck, they're willing to do the Page Flip thing every day to KU authors. Have yet to notify any of them about it.

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Offline NedMarcus

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #116 on: January 10, 2018, 09:31:06 PM »
I looked and it was gone.


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Offline Jan Hurst-Nicholson

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #117 on: January 11, 2018, 01:15:16 AM »
My guess is that Amazon has noticed that traditional publishing moves a huge amount of product via Bookbub deals at $1.99.  In fact, they've trained readers into buying at that price.  But indies almost never use it because a 35% royalty rate for a 1.99 book sucks for the author.

Why is this important?  If the only option for a cheap book that indies ever use is 99 cents, then all Amazon makes from a 99 cent title is 64 cents.  But if Amazon talks every indie author into pricing at 1.99 for a 50% royalty, the author would make about a dollar, and Amazon's cut would increase to about a dollar.  Amazon makes more money, and so do authors if the 99 cent price point is phased out and replaced with a new normal of 1.99 for the cheapest novels.  Besides, inflation is going to eat away at everyone's ability to earn a living at 99 cents over time.

I think there is some wisdom in this. I've mentioned previously that the pricing is the same now as when I began in 2010.

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Offline Reveries

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #118 on: January 11, 2018, 01:54:53 AM »
There would definitely be some sense in Amazon bringing in a 50% royalty rate for the $1.99 -$2.98 price band to remove what is currently a dead area of pricing.

Personally, I'd like to see the 35% royalty rate for the other country sales at Amazon.com replaced by a 50% royalty rate for at least some of the countries, because I really don't see that halving the royalty rate is justified in a lot of cases.

I sell wide. If Amazon did reduce the 70% royalty rate then my immediate reaction would obviously be to take my AMS advertising budget elsewhere, and use that and my website and mailing list to point my readers to buying my books on platforms that keep the 70% royalty rate. Currently, I don't sell books directly from my website, but I'd have to consider doing that. I'd also release my new books on other platforms up to a year ahead of putting them on Amazon. I had a past situation where a book was only available in one area for a year, and a lot of my readers went to significant trouble to get the book early, so I know many would be prepared to buy from other than Amazon.

Offline WasAnn

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #119 on: January 11, 2018, 03:40:37 AM »
I think what everyone speculating has missed is that the 50% "glitch" only showed up when the pricing was $2.99 - $9.99...not below it. That makes it exceedingly unlikely that this has anything to do with the $1.99 sales point, which we all agree would be a better place to up a royalty for promotions.

So, probably not anything below 2.99 or above 9.99...which leaves the prime territory for our 70% royalty. And 50 is below 70.

Glitch? Yeah, no. No one accidentally enters the kind of code needed for that. It's no glitch. It's something in progress that got seen early purely accidentally, but is coming.

I still can't think of a good reason for this to be there. Non-exclusive KU? Maybe. Or maybe it really is that KDP-S will get 70 and the rest will get 50.

Whatever it is, we'll see eventually.

Offline Seneca42

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #120 on: January 11, 2018, 07:48:57 AM »
How do you do that? The promo sites ask for Amazon product first, and some of them demand the book must be on Amazon. A lot of them get all the details from the Amazon book link.

I'd like to see BB offer a non-Amazon alternative. It might help with boosting a book wide, if Amazon is not on the list. But here's the thing - the pricing includes Amazon, and if you untick Amazon, you're still paying for the full price, while expectation of downloads will be a small fraction of before.

This is the crux of the problem. And it's a chicken and egg issue. The promoters don't want to offer non-zon offerings if the authors aren't leaving zon, and the authors aren't going to leave zon while all promotion services (and their costs/ROI) are centered on zon.

And yes, I'm not paying $500 for a bub when 70% of its value is derived from zon sales. Give me a $90 kobo-centric bub and I'd take it. Or a $150 itunes bub, I'd pay that. Technically it should be super easy for bub to do this because they already have their lists broken down that way (i'm pretty sure if you say you're interested in kobo books that they don't blast you with offers that aren't available on kobo; but I could be wrong on that).

No one person, or even a thousand authors collectively, can unstick this market from its current stuck position. It will take the promoters, other vendors and authors all doing something to unstick it. But it doesn't look like the will is there yet. Which makes me wonder, has zon, in essence, fully captured the market. The illusion of "competition" is mostly just that, and only allowed to exist to keep antitrust issues at bay.




Offline BillyDeCarlo

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #121 on: January 11, 2018, 07:53:49 AM »
I was growing tired of all this uncertainty and on the fence anyway, so I sent an email to KDP support asking them to remove all of my fiction titles from Select (some had not yet reached their end of 90 days period and some had just renewed) and they did pretty promptly. I just finished putting them up on D2D. I feel better. Maybe these new changes they just hinted at are some way to entice non-Select authors into the program with 50% if you aren't exclusive. If so I'll consider that. I'm finally going wide.


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Offline Steve Voelker

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #122 on: January 11, 2018, 08:49:21 AM »
...playing Starscream to my Megatron at literally every turn,...

The most apt analogy I've ever heard.

Offline Elizabeth Barone

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #123 on: January 11, 2018, 09:47:14 AM »
*pours everyone drinks*

They were probably testing something and accidentally rolled it out. That's an error. No conspiracy here.

My thoughts: the 50% is either for books over $9.99 (Kobo's been really pushing for authors to price their books higher, so this move makes sense), or for authors who want to be in KU without exclusivity.

Either way, nothing's happening yet.

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Offline kw3000

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Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« Reply #124 on: January 11, 2018, 09:55:34 AM »
Maybe it's 50% for KU between 2.99 and 9.99.
35% for non-KU between 2.99 and 9.99.
70% for everything else.

I kid, I kid. I'm sure it won't be that bad.

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