Author Topic: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD  (Read 7452 times)  

Offline Becca Mills

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Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
« Reply #50 on: March 17, 2018, 08:13:08 PM »
Rick Partlow and Atlantisatheart, let's move on.

Offline Vaalingrade

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Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
« Reply #51 on: March 17, 2018, 08:37:26 PM »
Yeah, all of this.

I've been meaning to start a thread warning anyone interested in going wide to reconsider. The Kobo and Google platforms have real issues, but that isn't the main problem. The main problem is those companies are too pigheaded - they refuse to take our suggestions for improvements into consideration. I couldn't believe the replies I got to some of my concerns. If KU wasn't such a con I would have ditched wide long ago.

If there are changes in the works they're not urgent. That much was made clear to me by both Kobo and Google. Fixing their platforms isn't a priority to them, so publishing with them shouldn't really be a priority to us.
Counterargument: Silence is agreement.

If people don't move on and don't go wide, Amazon sees this as a green light to continue the abuse of indie authors. IMHO, neglect is better than abuse.

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Offline Ryan W. Mueller

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Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
« Reply #52 on: March 17, 2018, 09:04:30 PM »
A very simple take on things:

If KU works for you, great. If it doesn't, try going wide.

If wide works for you, great. If it doesn't, see what KU does for you.

In these threads, I see way too many people basing their opinions on what works for them. That may or may not work for other authors.

A lot of it is dependent on your genre and your audience within that genre. I've chosen to go with KU because a lot of the authors who are doing well in epic fantasy are in KU. It seems to be a thriving market for fantasy.

I'll also admit that, at the moment, I just don't have the time or energy to make a change. I'm not making big money by any means, but I'm happy overall with what KU has done for me (I make quite a bit more through KU than I do through actual sales).

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Offline Loosecannon

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Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
« Reply #53 on: March 17, 2018, 09:41:44 PM »
Does anyone do a moving average of this number? I see this posted every month and it's about as informative as getting stock market prices at 10am once a week. The point of interest is how these numbers are trending, isn't it? Does anyone know where historical data is kept?

Here is a historical list of the pool amount's on Nate H.'s Blog:
https://the-digital-reader.com/2018/03/16/kindle-unlimited-funding-pool-dips-in-february-2018-as-the-per-page-rate-rises/

Offline dgcasey

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Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
« Reply #54 on: March 17, 2018, 10:02:01 PM »
There is no list of All-Stars and notifications dont go out until the end of the month. Last time I heard, the bottom threshold for All-Star bonuses was 4 million page reads a month.

Good to know. I just need another 3,998,000 page read to make that list.  ;)
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Offline Arches

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Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
« Reply #55 on: March 18, 2018, 07:15:37 AM »
A very simple take on things:

If KU works for you, great. If it doesn't, try going wide.

If wide works for you, great. If it doesn't, see what KU does for you.

In these threads, I see way too many people basing their opinions on what works for them. That may or may not work for other authors.

A lot of it is dependent on your genre and your audience within that genre. I've chosen to go with KU because a lot of the authors who are doing well in epic fantasy are in KU. It seems to be a thriving market for fantasy.

I'll also admit that, at the moment, I just don't have the time or energy to make a change. I'm not making big money by any means, but I'm happy overall with what KU has done for me (I make quite a bit more through KU than I do through actual sales).

My sentiments exactly. I would prefer to focus my energy on writing and improving my craft than learning how to manage a bunch of new sales outlets, each with their own nuances.
Maybe I'd feel differently if B&N, Apple, and Google seemed interested in self-publishers, or those folks who have gone wide recently were reporting remarkable success. Neither seems to be true.

Offline Rose Andrews

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Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
« Reply #56 on: March 18, 2018, 08:14:27 AM »
A very simple take on things:

If KU works for you, great. If it doesn't, try going wide.

If wide works for you, great. If it doesn't, see what KU does for you.

In these threads, I see way too many people basing their opinions on what works for them. That may or may not work for other authors.

A lot of it is dependent on your genre and your audience within that genre. I've chosen to go with KU because a lot of the authors who are doing well in epic fantasy are in KU. It seems to be a thriving market for fantasy.

I'll also admit that, at the moment, I just don't have the time or energy to make a change. I'm not making big money by any means, but I'm happy overall with what KU has done for me (I make quite a bit more through KU than I do through actual sales).
I totally agree with your thoughts, especially the part about different audiences and genres. At first, I did better than I expected to in KU. I did okay for a while and then everything came to a halt. I went wide and diversified. I started doing okay again. Frankly, I love being wide and having the freedom to set my books on free whenever I want (as an unknown, I don't sell many books so this tactic has helped me gain more readers and a few more reviews). I love being able to give away copies and post excerpts wherever I want. Freedom is more important than money to me. Although I have made slightly more money being wide. This month is a no-bueno one though, lol. Anyway, my point is that yes, we can only make decisions based on our books, personalities, and goals.

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Offline Seneca42

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Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
« Reply #57 on: March 18, 2018, 11:23:55 AM »
A lot of it is dependent on your genre and your audience within that genre. I've chosen to go with KU because a lot of the authors who are doing well in epic fantasy are in KU. It seems to be a thriving market for fantasy.

What do you mean by doing well? You mean ranked high? Because that doesn't mean they are doing well (or as well as they appear to be doing). That's the whole point of KU, it makes books that aren't best sellers look like they are because of the borrow bump. Toss in .0046 KENP rates and the author you think has tens of thousands of readers and is making six figures may not be doing anything even close to that. All you need is a really catchy cover to generate a lot of borrows... they quit reading after the first chapter, but you'll still get your rank bump as though you made a sale (spend yourself into oblivion with AMS and you can keep up the illusion that you're moving tens of thousands of books when you really aren't). 

Meanwhile, direct books further down the ranks that you don't even see, and by association might think are doing poorly, may be killing it. Aside from higher royalty payments, you aren't seeing all the sales on other sites that are generating money. Not to mention people are genuinely buying and reading their work (not just skimming because of a flashy cover).

I have no idea how anyone assesses what "doing well" is if a book is in KU given the program is based entirely on smoke and mirrors. Unless these authors are showing you their bank account, it's impossible to accurately correlate rank to any kind of readership base or actualized earnings. I suppose you could use reviews as a gauge of reader engagement, but they are gamed worse than anything else on the store (you see so many top selling indies rack up 100 reviews in the first few weeks and then BAM, the reviews just stop and they are lucky if they get 10 more over the next year... so all you are really seeing is their street team padding the reviews upon launch).
 
Even the authors who brag about how much they make in KU almost always fail to mention what percentage of their income is coming from the bonuses. Strip away those bonuses and they aren't doing anywhere near as well as people think they are.

All to say I have no idea how you assessed wide versus KU and accurately determined that your genre does better in KU than wide. 

Offline dgcasey

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Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
« Reply #58 on: March 18, 2018, 11:34:11 AM »
Even the authors who brag about how much they make in KU almost always fail to mention what percentage of their income is coming from the bonuses. Strip away those bonuses and they aren't doing anywhere near as well as people think they are.

I'm really not sure how you can make an assessment like that. If a person did well enough to get a bonus, then even without the bonus they would be doing very well. If they achieved the bonus level with the widely tossed out number of 4,000,000 page reads, that would equate to $18,400 a month just in KENP earnings alone. That would be almost a quarter of a million dollars a year. I don't know what you consider "doing well," but I think I could live on that amount.
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Online Bill Hiatt

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Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
« Reply #59 on: March 18, 2018, 11:50:24 AM »
What do you mean by doing well? You mean ranked high? Because that doesn't mean they are doing well (or as well as they appear to be doing). That's the whole point of KU, it makes books that aren't best sellers look like they are because of the borrow bump. Toss in .0046 KENP rates and the author you think has tens of thousands of readers and is making six figures may not be doing anything even close to that. All you need is a really catchy cover to generate a lot of borrows... they quit reading after the first chapter, but you'll still get your rank bump as though you made a sale (spend yourself into oblivion with AMS and you can keep up the illusion that you're moving tens of thousands of books when you really aren't). 

Meanwhile, direct books further down the ranks that you don't even see, and by association might think are doing poorly, may be killing it. Aside from higher royalty payments, you aren't seeing all the sales on other sites that are generating money. Not to mention people are genuinely buying and reading their work (not just skimming because of a flashy cover).

I have no idea how anyone assesses what "doing well" is if a book is in KU given the program is based entirely on smoke and mirrors. Unless these authors are showing you their bank account, it's impossible to accurately correlate rank to any kind of readership base or actualized earnings. I suppose you could use reviews as a gauge of reader engagement, but they are gamed worse than anything else on the store (you see so many top selling indies rack up 100 reviews in the first few weeks and then BAM, the reviews just stop and they are lucky if they get 10 more over the next year... so all you are really seeing is their street team padding the reviews upon launch).
 
Even the authors who brag about how much they make in KU almost always fail to mention what percentage of their income is coming from the bonuses. Strip away those bonuses and they aren't doing anywhere near as well as people think they are.

All to say I have no idea how you assessed wide versus KU and accurately determined that your genre does better in KU than wide.
The problem here, as with most of the conversations here on the forum, is that almost nobody has any data except their own. You make a good point that Ryan would need to see the bank accounts of KU authors to know how well they're doing--but the same is true for authors going wide. How many of their bank accounts have we seen? None. There's no hard data on either side. What anecdotal data there is remains contradictory.

Can we tell whether someone ranking well is doing well financially? No, we can't. However, the fact that someone has a good rank hardly proves the person is doing poorly, either. We also don't know that KU readers are drawn based just on the cover and that the vast majority don't read very far in the books they borrow. We can't even tell that for ourselves because we see only the number of pages read, not the number of borrows. I will say, however, that, looking at the likely borrow impact on my ranking, and at the fact that most of my books have KU pages read that total roughly the same number of full reads as I likely have borrows. In other words, my KU readers don't seem to abandon the books without reading most or all of them. I have one book that appears to be cursed and is an exception to that rule, but otherwise the performance is pretty consistent. Does that mean everyone's is? Of course not. But it does mean that we can't assume it always isn't.




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Offline Usedtoposthere

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Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
« Reply #60 on: March 18, 2018, 11:51:14 AM »
Ah, the "they're probably lying" argument. This is why I advise folks to do what works for YOU, and to pay attention to what works for other authors you know well. Once, early on, I got this "you're lying" deal from some people, one of whom is on this board. (I still get that, but at that point I was new and outraged.) It was the old "Never give a book away free that you can sell" deal, and I was trying to say that free had worked super well for me, trying to help with that concept in my naive ernestness. (This would have been autumn of 2013, when this was still a hot debate.) After some internal struggle, I posted a screenshot of my overall author rank on Amazon since the beginning (this was pre KU, so they couldn't make that argument)--and was told that I'd photoshopped it! (If you knew me, you'd know how ridiculous that is.) Nowadays, I'd be told that (a) my borrows weren't translating to page reads, and (b) I was probably spending 20K a month in advertising. If I posted my friggin' bank statement, I'd be told again that I somehow knew how to draw numbers in Photoshop. :) (I HAVE learned how to take screenshots AND to crop images, though!) I don't know what my motivation would be to lie about my anonymous self, but OK. Maybe I'm Walter Mitty. And anyway--I'm not YOU.

My advice: experiment. Try some books in KU. Try wide. Try permafree. Try advertising. Try whatever else makes sense to you. Find out what works and do more of that. If something doesn't work, even if "everybody says" it's the key, or if you hate it, don't do it. Find the spot that works for, not just your genre, but your books. If possible, get to know some authors you trust to tell the truth, and find out what works for them.

In my own author circle, people do well with all varieties of KU and wide, hybrid and indie, and all genres. (I don't know any pure trad authors much, because I haven't been around that long and don't go to conferences, and I think they tend to have their own circles.) However, I've seen plenty of evidence that different paths work to the point of "WOW" for different people.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2018, 12:03:49 PM by Usedtoposthere »

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Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
« Reply #61 on: March 18, 2018, 12:28:04 PM »
I'm really not sure how you can make an assessment like that. If a person did well enough to get a bonus, then even without the bonus they would be doing very well. If they achieved the bonus level with the widely tossed out number of 4,000,000 page reads, that would equate to $18,400 a month just in KENP earnings alone. That would be almost a quarter of a million dollars a year. I don't know what you consider "doing well," but I think I could live on that amount.

You do have to take into account ads. I was actually quite shocked when an author I thought was killing it told me how much they spent on ads, between ams, facebook, and promos it knocked their 20k a month down to 8k, less than I was making with only 500 in ads.

Why? Why put that kind of a spend into advertising? Surely by now, that author should have perma-readers who snapped their stuff up? 

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Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
« Reply #62 on: March 18, 2018, 12:36:47 PM »


My advice: experiment. Try some books in KU. Try wide. Try permafree. Try advertising. Try whatever else makes sense to you. Find out what works and do more of that. If something doesn't work, even if "everybody says" it's the key, or if you hate it, don't do it. Find the spot that works for, not just your genre, but your books. If possible, get to know some authors you trust to tell the truth, and find out what works for them.


Yep, when the landscape keeps changing the way it has over the last few years, we all need to evaluate the options on a regular basis, which brings me full circle to my first post on this thread.

Offline Seneca42

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Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
« Reply #63 on: March 18, 2018, 12:37:36 PM »
The problem here, as with most of the conversations here on the forum, is that almost nobody has any data except their own. You make a good point that Ryan would need to see the bank accounts of KU authors to know how well they're doing--but the same is true for authors going wide. How many of their bank accounts have we seen? None. There's no hard data on either side. What anecdotal data there is remains contradictory.

Direct is easy to figure out. We know on the direct side that x number of sales will generate roughly y rank. Take 70% of list price and you can pretty accurately figure out what an author is earning on any given day. If you tracked that rank for the year you'd be able to have a pretty good estimate. With no bonuses, there's also no "hidden" revenue.

I'll toss this out to chew on as well. In the direct model even 99c is cost-prohibitive to game the system (as 35% return isn't worth it to the game the ranks with direct purchases). But in KU, it's actually worth it to game the direct sales ranking to generate 'verified purchased' reviews, since you're getting 70% of your 99c back. As the list cost goes up, it becomes less and less worth it to bother with buying your own book directly.

Now, with the other retailers, since they don't have sub models that distort rankings you CAN trust the ranks. Sure, an author here or there might be super rich and buy a 1,000 copies of their own book at 35-45% royalty return, but they will be an outlier.

Amazon intentionally manipulates their own ranks to drive authors into KU. That is pretty much a no brainer observation. And they do it so authors can appear wildly more successful than they really are.

edit: the one exception to figuring out direct success is, as atlantis pointed out, the marketing spend. So you can't really know what an authors take home pay is, but you definitely can trust if they are high in the ranks that it's because people are buying their books.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2018, 12:41:49 PM by Seneca42 »

Offline Seneca42

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Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
« Reply #64 on: March 18, 2018, 12:58:06 PM »
I don't know what my motivation would be to lie about my anonymous self, but OK. Maybe I'm Walter Mitty. And anyway--I'm not YOU.


Generally people lie for attention. Online or in real life, never underestimate people's desire to have everyone focus on them. 

Online Bill Hiatt

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Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
« Reply #65 on: March 18, 2018, 01:34:15 PM »
Direct is easy to figure out. We know on the direct side that x number of sales will generate roughly y rank. Take 70% of list price and you can pretty accurately figure out what an author is earning on any given day. If you tracked that rank for the year you'd be able to have a pretty good estimate. With no bonuses, there's also no "hidden" revenue.

I'll toss this out to chew on as well. In the direct model even 99c is cost-prohibitive to game the system (as 35% return isn't worth it to the game the ranks with direct purchases). But in KU, it's actually worth it to game the direct sales ranking to generate 'verified purchased' reviews, since you're getting 70% of your 99c back. As the list cost goes up, it becomes less and less worth it to bother with buying your own book directly.

Now, with the other retailers, since they don't have sub models that distort rankings you CAN trust the ranks. Sure, an author here or there might be super rich and buy a 1,000 copies of their own book at 35-45% royalty return, but they will be an outlier.

Amazon intentionally manipulates their own ranks to drive authors into KU. That is pretty much a no brainer observation. And they do it so authors can appear wildly more successful than they really are.

edit: the one exception to figuring out direct success is, as atlantis pointed out, the marketing spend. So you can't really know what an authors take home pay is, but you definitely can trust if they are high in the ranks that it's because people are buying their books.
The direct gross is easy to figure out is someone wanted to put the time into it, but without the net, and without the net for KU authors, the two paths can't really be compared. Just because someone is in KU doesn't tell you what percentage of their transactions are borrows. Any way you look at it, the problem is still the same--not enough data to draw firm conclusions. Authors can obviously draw conclusions about their situation, but about authors in general? Not a chance!

When you say, "Amazon intentionally manipulates their own ranks to drive authors into KU," I assume you mean by counting a borrow as a sale. That may or may not have been Amazon's motivation. I can easily see someone assuming that rank should have some correlation with audience size, in which case it makes sense to equate a borrow and a sale. Sure, we don't know whether the borrowers read the books or not, but we don't really know that for sales, either. It is logical to assume that someone who spends money on something would be more likely to read it, but they might also return it if they didn't like it or get it buried on their tbr list and somehow never get to it. Regardless, does that ranking really drive authors into KU? If it was really a well-enough designed carrot to do that, then wouldn't that contradict your own argument that going wide is better financially? Some people do reports drops in Amazon sales after leaving KU, which would suggest the lower rank is leading to lower sales, but others have reported a steady flow, and others have even reported an increase. If you're right about Amazon's intent, it doesn't seem to have as if they've achieved the desired result.


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Online Amanda M. Lee

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Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
« Reply #66 on: March 18, 2018, 01:39:34 PM »
The KU argument is so old it's menopausal. If you don't want to be in KU, don't be in KU. If you want to be, go nuts. The reason these threads have died down is because most people have settled into their course of action. It doesn't matter if you're exclusive or wide. It doesn't matter what you do as long as you do what's best for you and don't purposely hurt others. Look around. It's the same people making the same arguments. What does it matter? I mean ... why do the same handful of people attack KU (and authors in KU) every month? If they're not in the program, why do they care?
Numbers, numbers, numbers. Always demanding numbers and then calling you a liar when you supply them because it's not what they want to hear. People still talk numbers, they simply do it in much smaller and private communities where the attacks are kept to a minimum. This thread alone has seen attacks at every corner. Attacks on people and what they write. Attacks on people regarding who makes more. It simply doesn't matter.
So, for those that desperately need them, here are your percentages:
1. Audio is 6.66 percent of my net.
2. My bonuses are about 7.3 percent.
3. KU reads are 58.7 percent of my KDP number (which excludes ACX, bonuses, and paperbacks).
4. My paperbacks are 1.3 percent of net.
5. I spend 2 percent of my net on ads.
There are your numbers. Go ahead and call me a liar ... and disparage what I write as trope-y nonsense ... and denigrate me however you want. The same people do it every month. It doesn't matter. Just be happy with yourself. That's the most important thing.

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Online KelliWolfe

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Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
« Reply #67 on: March 18, 2018, 02:20:33 PM »
When you say, "Amazon intentionally manipulates their own ranks to drive authors into KU," I assume you mean by counting a borrow as a sale. That may or may not have been Amazon's motivation. I can easily see someone assuming that rank should have some correlation with audience size, in which case it makes sense to equate a borrow and a sale. Sure, we don't know whether the borrowers read the books or not, but we don't really know that for sales, either. It is logical to assume that someone who spends money on something would be more likely to read it, but they might also return it if they didn't like it or get it buried on their tbr list and somehow never get to it. Regardless, does that ranking really drive authors into KU? If it was really a well-enough designed carrot to do that, then wouldn't that contradict your own argument that going wide is better financially? Some people do reports drops in Amazon sales after leaving KU, which would suggest the lower rank is leading to lower sales, but others have reported a steady flow, and others have even reported an increase. If you're right about Amazon's intent, it doesn't seem to have as if they've achieved the desired result.
If anyone actually uses the Amazon website or their Kindle to buy books, they know that the importance of rank or "popularity" is being steadily eroded in favor of new releases and Amazon's recommendations. The last few website changes have buried the top lists and HRN lists so if you don't already know how to get to them, odds are you're not going to find them. Instead new releases and preorders have gained prominence.  You can't even sort search/browse results by rank or popularity anymore. "Featured," publication date, and most reviews are what you get, and "Featured" means whatever Amazon wants it to mean. While there is some correlation to rank, it isn't the same thing, and I haven't bothered spending the time cross-checking it against the top lists to see if it gives an extra boost to Select titles over non-Select ones.

It's hard to really know what kind of impact rank has unless you know how people are buying your books. It makes a difference whether they buy on the web or on their Kindle/phone because the UIs are different and readers are presented with different choices. Do they browse by category or do they search? But overall given the newer interfaces, rank doesn't have nearly the potential to drive new sales that it used to.

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Offline Rick Partlow

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Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
« Reply #68 on: March 18, 2018, 02:45:45 PM »
Look, the doomsaying and complaining about KU really comes down to this question:  let's say you pull out and go wide and I stay in KU, and then the KUpocalypse happens as some posit.  I'm forced to take my books out of KU and have a few month climb to get anywhere near what I was before by going wide.  You, the one who pulled out early, lost your KU revenues at the beginning when you went wide, pre-KUpocalypse, before you were able to build traction wide.  I, the one who stayed in, lose my potential wide revenues for the months it takes me to build momentum and traction AFTER the collapse.

So, the question is, WHY is it better to lose the money now than to lose it later?  Cause money's going to get lost no matter when it happens.  In my case, nearly two-thirds of my monthly income from writing would get lost until and unless I could build traction on other platforms.
If you aren't making much money from KU currently, sure, it makes all the sense in the world to go wide, but this question isn't about that scenario.  It's about the people who were making good money on KU and pulled out, or the ones who say other people who are making good money on KU SHOULD pull out because "the END is near..."

Offline Puddleduck

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Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
« Reply #69 on: March 18, 2018, 03:08:08 PM »
Look, the doomsaying and complaining about KU really comes down to this question:  let's say you pull out and go wide and I stay in KU, and then the KUpocalypse happens as some posit.  I'm forced to take my books out of KU and have a few month climb to get anywhere near what I was before by going wide.  You, the one who pulled out early, lost your KU revenues at the beginning when you went wide, pre-KUpocalypse, before you were able to build traction wide.  I, the one who stayed in, lose my potential wide revenues for the months it takes me to build momentum and traction AFTER the collapse.


The danger of KU isn't that it will collapse and everyone will have to go wide. It's that it will succeed to the point of driving the competition out of business (or out of the indie book business at least) and Amazon will gain a monopoly on all indie book sales, at which point the terms/payout will change and things will become much, much worse for authors, when we all have to beg for scraps from Amazon's table.

I really don't understand why some people aren't getting that.

You're also making the assumption that all authors will make a lot of money in KU and make no/much less money wide (when you speak of losing money going wide as if it's a hard, universal truth), which is not the case.

Offline Rick Partlow

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Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
« Reply #70 on: March 18, 2018, 03:27:39 PM »
The danger of KU isn't that it will collapse and everyone will have to go wide. It's that it will succeed to the point of driving the competition out of business (or out of the indie book business at least) and Amazon will gain a monopoly on all indie book sales, at which point the terms/payout will change and things will become much, much worse for authors, when we all have to beg for scraps from Amazon's table.

I really don't understand why some people aren't getting that.


Because it's incredibly unlikely.  If things happened that way, another market would open up.  And markets will open up, even before then, and are opening up now.

Quote

You're also making the assumption that all authors will make a lot of money in KU and make no/much less money wide (when you speak of losing money going wide as if it's a hard, universal truth), which is not the case.

No, actually I am not assuming that, which you'd see if you read the end of my post.

Offline TwistedTales

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Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
« Reply #71 on: March 18, 2018, 03:28:15 PM »
The danger of KU isn't that it will collapse and everyone will have to go wide. It's that it will succeed to the point of driving the competition out of business (or out of the indie book business at least) and Amazon will gain a monopoly on all indie book sales, at which point the terms/payout will change and things will become much, much worse for authors, when we all have to beg for scraps from Amazon's table.

I really don't understand why some people aren't getting that.

You're also making the assumption that all authors will make a lot of money in KU and make no/much less money wide (when you speak of losing money going wide as if it's a hard, universal truth), which is not the case.

Exactly.

People like me were making money in KU and now we make more money wide with no gap between our earnings. Other authors are struggling to find their feet on the wide market. There is no standard outcome for going wide, but it is fair to say that until you try going wide you dont know if you will succeed or fail, and how long it will take to go either way.

I didnt go wide because I wasnt making money in KU (albeit the AMS marketing costs were getting ridiculously high even a year or so ago). I evaluated how Amazon were treating KU authors and realized it wasnt going well (page flip, reducing KENP, reducing page rates, etc). Since then weve had even more fiascos with audible rates, scammers and banning (and now taking away page reads from authors) without explaining how they supposedly manipulated rank. Theres more, but its too long to list.

I dont want to see Amazon take complete control of the publishing business. Theyre already behaving badly in my view and I hate to think just how bad theyd be if they owned the game. If it ever comes to that then there wont be a wide to go to. Thatll be the end of the dream for many indie authors because theyll end up paying to publish one way or another, or itll become a zero-sum game.

My earnings from the books dont pay my bills, so I have a pragmatic view of this. I can earn just as much or more wide than I can in KU, so I choose to be wide. Dont get me wrong, BookBubs have been huge in helping me find my feet wide because it isnt easy to learn a new game.

Instead of calling us misguided and stupid, maybe acknowledge that while Amazon have competition (weak though some of you think they are, which I dont agree with) that were helping hold Amazon in check.


Offline Seneca42

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Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
« Reply #72 on: March 18, 2018, 03:28:37 PM »
I really don't understand why some people aren't getting that.

They 100% get it, they just enjoy arguing against it :P

Even if you're making mad bank in KU, this only reflects a very obvious reality, which is:

If the market is HUNGRY for your work, why are you taking pennies on the dollars through KU instead of selling direct? People making $100k in KU tout that as success, when in reality, they should be making $300-500k out of KU.

So why are they giving away $200-400k or whatever the number is to be in KU? The answer? Forget about earning more direct, they can't even earn the $100k they are getting from KU.

They know KU is bad for the overall market, but it's the ONLY market they are able to generate any traction in, so what choice do they have? They just aren't honest about this and act like KU is a choice they made, rather than the only choice they had.

So we always come back to KU being a niche saturated sub model which requires authors to tailor their work to its audience and a slew of other strategies specific to KU. And that clashes with the wider market only in that Amazon has manipulated its ebook store to favor KU authors.

But no one who could make a living direct would ever choose KU (unless they got a sweetheart deal where they were paid direct royalties for a borrow OR they are being subsidized to be in KU via all star bonuses). Otherwise, giving up 70% royalties on regularly priced book in favor of .0046 KENP makes no sense at all.



Online Bill Hiatt

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Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
« Reply #73 on: March 18, 2018, 03:48:06 PM »
The danger of KU isn't that it will collapse and everyone will have to go wide. It's that it will succeed to the point of driving the competition out of business (or out of the indie book business at least) and Amazon will gain a monopoly on all indie book sales, at which point the terms/payout will change and things will become much, much worse for authors, when we all have to beg for scraps from Amazon's table.

I really don't understand why some people aren't getting that.

You're also making the assumption that all authors will make a lot of money in KU and make no/much less money wide (when you speak of losing money going wide as if it's a hard, universal truth), which is not the case.
How exactly does Amazon drive anyone else out of the indie publishing business? By getting 100% of all indies into KU? It's hard to see that happening. People who are successful going wide are going to stay there. Some others will go wide because they're tired of the way Amazon runs KU. People who are wildly successful in KU will stay in KU, but they're there already, and their presence there hasn't driven anyone else out of business. Amazon will scoop up a certain number of newbies each month, but that isn't going to matter in the great scheme of things. Authors with significant sales matter, and it's clear they're divided between KU and wide--and likely to remain so.

Aside from Barnes and Noble, which has been teetering for years, could Amazon drive any of the major competitors out of publishing, or even indie publishing? Not as long as they make money at it. Google, Apple, and Kobo (because it's owned by Rakuten) are all big enough to resist Amazon pressure. The best way to ensure Amazon doesn't dominate the market is not to get people freaked out about whether or not they're being in KU is going to cause the world to end. It's for Google, Apple, and Kobo to get serious about selling books, and indie books in particular. As long as they're content to stay minor players in that arena, Amazon is going to dominate it. 


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Offline Puddleduck

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Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
« Reply #74 on: March 18, 2018, 03:53:45 PM »
Even if you're making mad bank in KU, this only reflects a very obvious reality, which is:

If the market is HUNGRY for your work, why are you taking pennies on the dollars through KU instead of selling direct?

I recently bought a Kobo e-reader and have therefore switched to buying primarily through Kobo (the DRM-free books, at least). I've been annoyed to see that the majority of indie urban fantasy (which is a genre I really enjoy) is in KU, which leaves me still having to buy those on Amazon if I want them. I do think there's a market for these things in non-Amazon places, but the more authors cater to the KU audience, the more they end up creating stories that are just like all the other ones in their genre. If they'd break out to a wider audience, we might start seeing more of the type of originality that indies as a group ought to have.

But that's looking at things from one reader's perspective, which may be a bit off-topic.

The best way to ensure Amazon doesn't dominate the market is not to get people freaked out about whether or not they're being in KU is going to cause the world to end. It's for Google, Apple, and Kobo to get serious about selling books, and indie books in particular. As long as they're content to stay minor players in that arena, Amazon is going to dominate it. 

Except that we can't change how those companies run their business. We can only change our own personal choices about how we run our businesses. The only way we might have even a little influence on those other companies is by using them to sell our books. If enough authors buy into this idea that "wide" means "less money" and go to Select, fewer indies go to the other places, and the other places might decide it's not worth the money to keep up the infrastructure to sell indie books. Saying that what needs to happen is for the other stores to up their game so we authors should stop talking about whether to be exclusive to Amazon or not is ... kind of a non sequitur.