Author Topic: KU payout projected at half a cent per page, give or take <MERGED>  (Read 22942 times)  

Offline setherd

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Re: KU Payout is going to be a half cent ($0.005)
« Reply #175 on: July 01, 2015, 08:35:20 pm »
Just wondering... has anyone heard if KDP will tell us the average length read? If you can find out that 40% of readers stop reading at a certain point, maybe you can look at your book and change it to make them want to keep reading.

Something like that would be useful. I'm not holding my breath.
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    Offline cinisajoy

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    Re: KU Payout is going to be a half cent ($0.005)
    « Reply #176 on: July 01, 2015, 08:36:32 pm »
    Well now as a reader, I either stop before 20% or read it completely.   
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    Offline KelliWolfe

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    Re: KU Payout is going to be a half cent ($0.005)
    « Reply #177 on: July 01, 2015, 08:37:28 pm »
    I have a new theory: Amazon wants authors to voluntarily pull their books out of KDP Select so they don't have to do what Scribd did with the romances...I could be kidding...
    When I think of the erotica readers in KU I can't help but think of Jeff Bezos doing the old Louie Anderson at the Chinese buffet skit. "You here four hours. Four hours. Go home!"

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    Offline MikeDavidson

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    Re: KU Payout is going to be a half cent ($0.005)
    « Reply #178 on: July 01, 2015, 08:41:10 pm »
    I think the whole thing is a bad idea. If a customer bought a paperback they would buy it for $10 whether they read 10% or 100% is up to them. I think I should be paid fully for giving them possession of my book whether in paper or digital format. But at 1/2 a cent your novel needs to be around 260 pages long by amazon's standards (whatever they are) in order to make $1.3 per borrow... I think they are trying to push out small works and rake in large works that people will read.

    In the end I will need to make some rash decisions, beginning with pulling my titles and switching genres. I don't want my books being borrowed, just sold.

    Offline blubarry

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    Re: KU payout projected at half a cent per page, give or take <MERGED>
    « Reply #179 on: July 01, 2015, 08:42:34 pm »
    I'm not going to subscribe to the 60% read through. That may be the case on the first book in a series but not the subsequent books. If a reader loves the first book they will like finish the series. I've seen previous threads where authors stated they were seeing that folks who went to book two in a series complete the whole series 95% percent of the time. These are personal accounts.

    This. Series writers with loyal readers will do fine. Over the last 6 months, I have about 65% conversion from book 1 to book 2, with 95% or more for each later book in my series. I've been using the subsequent book numbers to estimate prior book read through. Whether that will play out remains to be seen, but even at 0.0058/page, my 75k novels come out better than before.


    Offline Saul Tanpepper

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    Re: KU payout projected at half a cent per page, give or take <MERGED>
    « Reply #180 on: July 01, 2015, 08:46:11 pm »
    That will have been based on high-level legal advice. If you give a realistic example you are open to being sued because it was believable that that might have been the rate. By giving 10 cents as an example they have an easy defence that no-one would believe that they would be paid $1.30 for reading a 13 page short.

    Just to double-down the defence they allow (for an unstated period) entering the scheme to see what the payments are like and leave in less than 90 days. Of course by the time you know what you are to be paid you might have been in the scheme for 46 days.

    I can't tell if you're being serious or sarcastic, but Amazon have absolutely been "giving" $1.30 for a 13-page read (and a 130-page read, and a 1300-page read, and everything in between), so there is clearly an expectation that this is realistic.
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    Offline Jacob Stanley

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    Re: KU Payout is going to be a half cent ($0.005)
    « Reply #181 on: July 01, 2015, 08:55:28 pm »
    I think we need to keep in mind that KENPC is considerably higher than most expected. Factoring that in, my math tells me that I will get get roughly $0.01/previous page count. From the KENPC thread, it seems there is significant variability (and I only wish my novels came out on the better end, like some!), but most longer works (40-45k and up) will still do better than the old system if they're read all the way through.

    For me it will be a drop, but it's a drop I can live with because I think it's reasonably fair. KENPC puts my book at about 180 pages, which is 80 pages more than what it says on the product page. That means if I get a 60% readthrough rate, which seems to be the industry average, I will make about 60 cents per borrow. Not great, but still better than what I make charging 99 cents for my novella outside of KU.

    Also, there are some encouraging signs that the KU readthrough rate may be way higher than the industry average. The huge number of pages read last month, higher than almost anyone predicted, tells us that KU readers are especially hardcore. It could turn out that the average KU reader reads 75% or more per borrow. That would put me around 80 cents per borrow, and I feel that's a fair rate for my novella, which is mainly intended to get people interested in reading the rest of the series. I would absolutely give it away if I could just to generate interest.

    Once I get all four parts out, readers who go through all of them will be paying me for 100% read-throughs, and that will net me about 4 bucks, which is a very fair price for 120,000 words I think. It's more than I could make charging 2.99 for the whole thing in the Amazon store.

    Another thing to consider: there will be a mass exodus because of this from writers who mostly wrote very short works. They're going to get huge pay cut, and I don't blame them a bit for pulling out. Erotica writers, in particular, can potentially make way more money by going wide and charging a premium price. But once they leave, the price per page will be presumably go up a little (or maybe a lot, who knows) for the ones who stay.

    I'm shocked that everyone thinks their novels will not be read all the way through. When I write a novel, I try to make sure that every page is worth reading, and that every page gives the reader something they need to enjoy the story. I assume that everyone else does the same when they write.

    If people are only reading 60% of your books, you have far bigger problems than the payment per page amount.

    The statistics don't lie: http://publishingperspectives.com/2014/12/havent-finished-reading-bestseller-youre-not-alone/

    Of course everybody wants to make sure readers finish their books, but sometimes people buy your book who aren't really your ideal readers, and some books have way more mass appeal than others. I'm sure plenty of people buy books by Cormac McCarthy and end up putting them down because his style is so unorthodox, or because his books are so bleak, but that doesn't mean he isn't one of the greatest living writers. I wouldn't want McCarthy to change his style to make his books have more mass appeal.
    « Last Edit: July 01, 2015, 09:03:59 pm by Jacob Stanley »

    Offline John Hartness

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    Re: KU payout projected at half a cent per page, give or take <MERGED>
    « Reply #182 on: July 01, 2015, 09:02:03 pm »
    Maybe I'm crazy, but I think I'm going to hang out and wait and see what happens. If we end up sticking at half a cent per page, then my novellas are going to get crushed, and I'll have to shift my focus to more novel writing. I had already decided to switch from short stories to novellas because I find it to be a more natural length of story for me, but if I need to adjust to make money, I will. But I think we're too soon to actually tell anything.

    But always remember - nobody cares as much about your career as you do. Amazon is here to make money for Amazon, and everyone you read here is on this board to make money for themselves. So take in as much information as you can, and make your own educated decisions.
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    Offline KelliWolfe

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    Re: KU payout projected at half a cent per page, give or take <MERGED>
    « Reply #183 on: July 01, 2015, 09:05:24 pm »
    Depends. I read smut; and unless KU has the majority of those books, then KU does not look all that better. I suspect the majority of erotica writers will be pulling their shorter work OUT of KU.
    Pretty much everyone I've talked to has already sent in the request to KDP support to yank their titles. No one is going to deal with CarlosF for half a cent a page.

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    Offline sela

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    Re: KU Payout is going to be a half cent ($0.005)
    « Reply #184 on: July 01, 2015, 09:09:12 pm »
    I'm shocked that everyone thinks their novels will not be read all the way through. When I write a novel, I try to make sure that every page is worth reading, and that every page gives the reader something they need to enjoy the story. I assume that everyone else does the same when they write.

    If people are only reading 60% of your books, you have far bigger problems than the payment per page amount.

    I have to disagree. You can intend to write a book that will keep your reader for 100% of the pages, but not all readers like a book, even an arguably great book that wins awards. Some will buy it and stop reading because something content wise or pace or plot or whatever displeases them. Another reader will think your book is the cat's meow and totally tubular dude. It depends on your book as to whether it has a wide appeal and keeps people turning pages or has a smaller appeal and a lot of people decide it's not their cuppa. 119 reviewers gave To Kill a Mockingbird 1-star ratings. 156 reviewers gave Fahrenheit 451 1-star reviews. Some people have books that are not well categorized, leading to unhappy readers who didn't get what they thought they were getting.

    In other words, there are a lot of reasons why readers stop reading books. I have hundreds of books on my Kindle but have only read a dozen of them in the past six months. Some I have read past 10% and stopped, but will go back later when I feel like it.

    So it is not true that a bad book will not be read through while a good book will. The industry standard is 60%? That's a whole lotta books that don't get read through. 
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    Offline Crystal_

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    Re: KU Payout is going to be a half cent ($0.005)
    « Reply #185 on: July 01, 2015, 09:11:51 pm »
    I'm shocked that everyone thinks their novels will not be read all the way through. When I write a novel, I try to make sure that every page is worth reading, and that every page gives the reader something they need to enjoy the story. I assume that everyone else does the same when they write.

    If people are only reading 60% of your books, you have far bigger problems than the payment per page amount.

    I'm guessing 60% is a mean and not a median, because very few people read to 60% THEN give up. At that point, you finish the book.

    I usually give up early, but I do sometimes make it to 50%.

    Offline Rykymus

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    Re: KU Payout is going to be a half cent ($0.005)
    « Reply #186 on: July 01, 2015, 09:13:50 pm »
    A sampling of only one vendor, and one of the smaller ones at that, is hardly significant. While I'm not disputing that not every book started is completed, I stand by my assertion that if your completion rate is as low as 60%, you've got bigger problems.

    I think one of the main reasons that you find such a high statistic is because of the open door system that allows everyone who can tap out words on a keyboard to publish. Of course you're going to have a lot more books that aren't going to be completed. Prior to KDP, I don't remember ever not finishing a book. (Not sure if it's because of the price, or the quality, to be honest.) After I started reading indie work, yeah, I'd say I've probably abandon at least 40% of what I started. (However, I abandon them far earlier than 60% in, I can tell you that.)

    Offline Ted Cross

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    Re: KU payout projected at half a cent per page, give or take <MERGED>
    « Reply #187 on: July 01, 2015, 09:15:39 pm »
    Except an actual 250 page novel will be assigned a page count for royalty purposes of 400 pages give or take. My 310 page novels have page counts for royalty purposes of 680-696. So those authors will actually be making over $2 for a 250 page novel read all the way through.

    As has been discussed since this was announced, writers of very short works (incl kids and books heavy on art) and writers with a lot of readers stopping after 10% but before the end will make less. Writers of anything longer than about 40K words with readers who normally finish the book after reading 10% will come out ahead.

    If this is true, and it sounds like it to me, then I'm all for the change. I always disliked seeing all the tiny 'books' being released to game the old system.

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    Offline cinisajoy

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    Re: KU payout projected at half a cent per page, give or take <MERGED>
    « Reply #188 on: July 01, 2015, 09:17:29 pm »
    Pretty much everyone I've talked to has already sent in the request to KDP support to yank their titles. No one is going to deal with CarlosF for half a cent a page.
    Quoting you because I think it is important.    I looked today and less than half of the erotica books are not in KU.   Last time I looked, the average was higher than that.   But, that is not my primary concern.    My concern is will the KU readers start buying their erotica or just get their kinks from the freebies.   I hope this isn't the case.
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    Offline Rykymus

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    Re: KU Payout is going to be a half cent ($0.005)
    « Reply #189 on: July 01, 2015, 09:25:35 pm »
    I have to disagree. You can intend to write a book that will keep your reader for 100% of the pages, but not all readers like a book, even an arguably great book that wins awards. Some will buy it and stop reading because something content wise or pace or plot or whatever displeases them. Another reader will think your book is the cat's meow and totally tubular dude. It depends on your book as to whether it has a wide appeal and keeps people turning pages or has a smaller appeal and a lot of people decide it's not their cuppa. 119 reviewers gave To Kill a Mockingbird 1-star ratings. 156 reviewers gave Fahrenheit 451 1-star reviews. Some people have books that are not well categorized, leading to unhappy readers who didn't get what they thought they were getting.

    In other words, there are a lot of reasons why readers stop reading books. I have hundreds of books on my Kindle but have only read a dozen of them in the past six months. Some I have read past 10% and stopped, but will go back later when I feel like it.

    So it is not true that a bad book will not be read through while a good book will. The industry standard is 60%? That's a whole lotta books that don't get read through. 

    If stopped reading a book, only to go back and finish it later, you still read the whole book, so that metric wouldn't count in this argument. (Although I'm not really arguing anything here.)

    Also, I don't remember seeing any reports that covered the entire industry that reported 60%. Only the one from Kobo. Granted, it may be out there and I haven't seen it, since I don't usually look for such things.

    However, since the debate regards KU, I would still stand by my previous assertion. If you were only making money because you could hold a reader's interest long enough to trigger a $1.35 payout, then yeah, KU 2.0 is going to suck for you... and rightfully so.

    As for myself, that half a cent per page is going to give me a payout slightly above the $2.70 royalty I was making on the sale of a $3.99 cent book, so I'm good. I lost 50% of my royalty for every book borrowed for the last 10 months. When I pulled my work out of KU and went wide, I not only saw my mailing list signup rate drop by 50%, I lost $15k per month for 3 months, before I finally went back into KU. I'm glad I did, especially now that KU 2.0 has come along. To be honest, I found Apple and Google to be sourly lacking in the customer interface department, and I hope I am never forced to go wide again.

    Offline KelliWolfe

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    Re: KU payout projected at half a cent per page, give or take <MERGED>
    « Reply #190 on: July 01, 2015, 09:30:15 pm »
    Quoting you because I think it is important.    I looked today and less than half of the erotica books are not in KU.   Last time I looked, the average was higher than that.   But, that is not my primary concern.    My concern is will the KU readers start buying their erotica or just get their kinks from the freebies.   I hope this isn't the case.
    My books are still in there and I sent in the request to pull them early this morning. Because KDP support has to do this manually on a publisher by publisher basis it's going to take a while. But I expect by this time next week at least 70% of the "real" erotica authors, as opposed to the scammers publishing 1500 word Borrow Circle Specials, will have pulled everything and begun the process of publishing wide.

    Judging by the sales drops reported across the board when KU started last year, a lot of the subscribers switched from paid sales to borrows. Just like everyone else in KU if they can't find the content they want, they'll look for it elsewhere.
    « Last Edit: July 01, 2015, 09:32:28 pm by KelliWolfe »

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    Offline Hope

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    Re: KU Payout is going to be a half cent ($0.005)
    « Reply #191 on: July 01, 2015, 09:32:59 pm »
    This is why we can't have nice things.

    I know, right?

     :P :P

    Offline Monique

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    Re: KU payout projected at half a cent per page, give or take <MERGED>
    « Reply #192 on: July 01, 2015, 09:35:14 pm »
    Just marking it here. Currently there are 1,020,068 KU eligible items.

    Offline sela

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    Re: KU Payout is going to be a half cent ($0.005)
    « Reply #193 on: July 01, 2015, 09:42:49 pm »
    If stopped reading a book, only to go back and finish it later, you still read the whole book, so that metric wouldn't count in this argument. (Although I'm not really arguing anything here.)

    Also, I don't remember seeing any reports that covered the entire industry that reported 60%. Only the one from Kobo. Granted, it may be out there and I haven't seen it, since I don't usually look for such things.

    However, since the debate regards KU, I would still stand by my previous assertion. If you were only making money because you could hold a reader's interest long enough to trigger a $1.35 payout, then yeah, KU 2.0 is going to suck for you... and rightfully so.

    As for myself, that half a cent per page is going to give me a payout slightly above the $2.70 royalty I was making on the sale of a $3.99 cent book, so I'm good. I lost 50% of my royalty for every book borrowed for the last 10 months. When I pulled my work out of KU and went wide, I not only saw my mailing list signup rate drop by 50%, I lost $15k per month for 3 months, before I finally went back into KU. I'm glad I did, especially now that KU 2.0 has come along. To be honest, I found Apple and Google to be sourly lacking in the customer interface department, and I hope I am never forced to go wide again.

    Our experiences diverge then because I lost 50% of my income when KU 1.0 was unleashed and have doubled my income since I went wide. It takes time to find your audience on Apple and B&N and Kobo. Yes. It takes promotion and patience. But if you have a book that is selling on Amazon, why wouldn't it sell on Apple? It's a matter of getting your book in front of Apple / B&N / Kobo readers. A lot of book promotion sites are now including links to Apple and B&N and Kobo etc. in their promotions. My last Bookbub gave me twice as much from Apple than from Amazon.

    So I am here to tell you that there is life outside of Amazon KDPS.

    I've said it before -- start out in KDPS for sure. My career started there and I think it's great for fledgling authors who need to build an audience. But once you have wings, fly baby.
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    Online Amanda M. Lee

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    Re: KU Payout is going to be a half cent ($0.005)
    « Reply #194 on: July 01, 2015, 10:05:40 pm »
    That is probably so.  However, Amazon usually adds a bonus so it will go up to a more reasonable figure.
    They've already added the bonus.

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    Offline Someone

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    Re: KU payout projected at half a cent per page, give or take <MERGED>
    « Reply #195 on: July 01, 2015, 10:23:33 pm »
    KU cannibalized the well-established price point of $2.99 for an erotica short. It will be back.

    Offline Rykymus

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    Re: KU Payout is going to be a half cent ($0.005)
    « Reply #196 on: July 01, 2015, 10:34:33 pm »
    To be honest, when I went wide, I did nothing to market. The logic was that I did nothing to market to Amazon, either, and I wanted to compare apples to apples. Might have been a mistake on my part. However, the experiment did teach me that KU was getting a lot of new readers on the series, and a good number of members on the mailing list. That mailing list is the reason that I am able to do as well as I have, and it is my insurance for the future, should conditions on Amazon (and others) become untenable. At this point, I'd rather stay put, especially since I am now going to get paid for borrows what I would get for sales. I'm only halfway to my goal of a minimum safe-size mailing list. As to the completion rate, I'm not worried, as my read-thru rate has held at about 80% through 13 episodes, with little time between purchases. Besides, even at a 60% read completion rate, I'd still make considerably more under KU 2.0 than 1.0.

    There are valid reasons to stay all in. They don't work for everyone, but that doesn't mean they are a bad decision. I also just do not see the danger that is being spoken of on these boards. Amazon isn't as all powerful and able to do whatever they want as everyone likes to think they are. They know that if they go to far, writers (and subsequently readers) will jump ship. They want to be the biggest kid on the block. They want you to buy everything from apples to zumba pants from them. They'll keep tweaking KU until they get it right. The question that still has to be answered is, what 'right' is to Amazon.

    Offline Ian Jaymes

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    Re: KU payout projected at half a cent per page, give or take <MERGED>
    « Reply #197 on: July 01, 2015, 10:34:58 pm »
    Just marking it here. Currently there are 1,020,068 KU eligible items.

    And just one hour later, there are 1,015,175

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    Offline MikeDavidson

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    Re: KU Payout is going to be a half cent ($0.005)
    « Reply #198 on: July 01, 2015, 10:49:11 pm »
    To be honest, when I went wide, I did nothing to market. The logic was that I did nothing to market to Amazon, either, and I wanted to compare apples to apples. Might have been a mistake on my part. However, the experiment did teach me that KU was getting a lot of new readers on the series, and a good number of members on the mailing list. That mailing list is the reason that I am able to do as well as I have, and it is my insurance for the future, should conditions on Amazon (and others) become untenable. At this point, I'd rather stay put, especially since I am now going to get paid for borrows what I would get for sales. I'm only halfway to my goal of a minimum safe-size mailing list. As to the completion rate, I'm not worried, as my read-thru rate has held at about 80% through 13 episodes, with little time between purchases. Besides, even at a 60% read completion rate, I'd still make considerably more under KU 2.0 than 1.0.

    There are valid reasons to stay all in. They don't work for everyone, but that doesn't mean they are a bad decision. I also just do not see the danger that is being spoken of on these boards. Amazon isn't as all powerful and able to do whatever they want as everyone likes to think they are. They know that if they go to far, writers (and subsequently readers) will jump ship. They want to be the biggest kid on the block. They want you to buy everything from apples to zumba pants from them. They'll keep tweaking KU until they get it right. The question that still has to be answered is, what 'right' is to Amazon.

    Hi Ryk,

    Agreed. Email list is the way up and out. But when you say your halfway, how big is yours? (if I may ask) What's your ultimate goal and how have you been achieving it?

    Offline Monique

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    Re: KU payout projected at half a cent per page, give or take <MERGED>
    « Reply #199 on: July 01, 2015, 10:49:13 pm »
    And just one hour later, there are 1,015,175

    It fluctuates up and down a lot hour to hour. I'm curious to see the numbers over the next few weeks/months.

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