Author Topic: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD  (Read 9566 times)  

Offline Marti talbott

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Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
« Reply #25 on: March 16, 2018, 03:44:46 pm »
Kobo used to rank free books (which anyone who has paid any attention to indie publishing since 2012 knows is one of the primary methods of attracting new readers and selling more books since we don't have access to most of the methods used by tradpub) and then decided to bury them. Google Play used to rank indie titles on par with tradpub titles based solely on sales, and then changed their algos a couple of years ago to shove indie titles further down in the search results, so now you have to sell *more* books to get the same visibility in browsing/searches as a tradpub title. They have also implemented changes to make free books far less visible. And of course shutting down the ability for new indies to sign up for GP accounts for years so there was effectively no way to even get onto that platform.
I see what you mean. I wasn't aware of all that, but then I don't keep track as well as others do. I just look at my sales and go, sheesh! Is Mark still at Kobo? He used to be on our side. I remember when he had a "first in a series" promotion page. I don't see that anymore. I don't make any but a few dollars in their Plus program either. I've talked to Kobo about the decline in sales, but they just say buy a promotion. Ha, I submit and get turned down. What's up with that? Oh well, it is what it is, I guess.
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    Offline Lady Vine

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    Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
    « Reply #26 on: March 16, 2018, 03:58:28 pm »
    I'd love to see some real indication that the other retailers are actually doing anything of the sort. Unfortunately I don't see any signs that the other retailers really care much about indie authors. Wake me up when any of them has done 10% as much for indies as Amazon has. However bad Amazon is (and they're *bad*), they're still light years better than anyone else, and I don't see anyone else doing much - if anything - to improve. Hint: nuking the effect of free titles, pushing indies down in search rankings or outright hiding them, deleting accounts with no warning or cause given after years, etc. doesn't exactly fit in with the narrative.

    Note: All of my titles except for four under a single pen name are wide, I've been wide since 2011, and I got in as one of the first beta users on both GP and Kobo and I've seen first hand how they've changed their systems to make them *less* indie-friendly over the years. The impression I've gotten is that several would like to dispense with their indie publishing programs entirely and only continue them because Amazon does so they feel like they have to. They certainly haven't devoted anywhere near the resources to improving those programs in the last few years that the aggregators like D2D and Streetlib have, even though they have much deeper pockets and their goal as booksellers is supposedly to sell more books.

    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.

    Offline Used To Be BH

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    Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
    « Reply #27 on: March 16, 2018, 04:49:34 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.
    Sigh! Just when I was getting poised to go wide.

    It's pretty sad when Amazon, with all of the problems it gives us, is in some ways more attentive than some of the "competition."

    It does make one wonder why aggregators like D2D and Streetlib are willing to invest so much effort in improving their operations. They're moving far faster than any of the actual distributors. Unfortunately, the improvements they make will not have as much impact if the stores they distribute to aren't willing to do their part.
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    Offline Lady Vine

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    Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
    « Reply #28 on: March 16, 2018, 05:38:03 pm »
    Sigh! Just when I was getting poised to go wide.

    It's pretty sad when Amazon, with all of the problems it gives us, is in some ways more attentive than some of the "competition."

    It does make one wonder why aggregators like D2D and Streetlib are willing to invest so much effort in improving their operations. They're moving far faster than any of the actual distributors. Unfortunately, the improvements they make will not have as much impact if the stores they distribute to aren't willing to do their part.

    Our results might be genre dependent, so don't let this deter you. You might fare better wide. I write in somewhat of a niche genre - one that, I've noticed, the other stores like to pretend doesn't exist. If your genre is more commercial than mine, you could still do well wide. Just be prepared for the headaches.

    Offline Going Incognito

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    Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
    « Reply #29 on: March 16, 2018, 06:03:41 pm »
    Just be prepared for the headaches.

    Good advice, KU or wide, tbh.

    Offline Bookread

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    Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
    « Reply #30 on: March 16, 2018, 06:04:57 pm »
    Haha  :)

    Reminds me of a phrase my dad likes to use: "It's better than a kick in the face."

    Well said, although I think that could cover many things. : )
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    Offline Atlantisatheart

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    Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
    « Reply #31 on: March 16, 2018, 07:03:53 pm »
    Thanks for the status report on your income, I'll try to show suitable deference.  Whatever your financial situation, Amazon's practices are only bad in your opinion.

    Hey, you throw your loads of sexy money around, I'll throw mine back.

    Only bad in my opinion? Hmm, obviously you read the boards with your eyes closed. It's kind of weird that you think you can speak for every author out there, I'm sure they appreciate having you as their spokesperson.

    Offline Seneca42

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    Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
    « Reply #32 on: March 16, 2018, 08:37:47 pm »
    Sigh! Just when I was getting poised to go wide.

    It's pretty sad when Amazon, with all of the problems it gives us, is in some ways more attentive than some of the "competition."

    What do people want from the other distributors? They have a store, sell your book. Their upload processes are simple. Their payment processes are fine. They aren't riddled with bots. They don't manipulate their ranking systems. They aren't pushing trope cliche garbage that is overflowing in KU like a clogged toilet at a busy truck stop. Wide is absolutely a doable path for most people.

    BUT, as always, i'd strongly consider not even thinking about it as wide. Simply direct sales versus a direct/subscription hybrid model. Even when you're wide amazon will still, most likely, remain your top selling platform.

    So the only way wide can hurt you is on the KU revenue side of things. And that should only hurt if your books are written specifically for KU. In which case, yes, wide doesn't make much sense.

    Offline Rick Partlow

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    Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
    « Reply #33 on: March 17, 2018, 06:07:45 am »
    Hey, you throw your loads of sexy money around, I'll throw mine back.

    I wasn't bragging about my income (which makes one of us), I was saying that a substantial portion of it comes from KU. 

    Quote
    Only bad in my opinion? Hmm, obviously you read the boards with your eyes closed. It's kind of weird that you think you can speak for every author out there, I'm sure they appreciate having you as their spokesperson.

    I read the complaints here every day.  Then I listen to people who I actually know IRL and whose income I actually know as opposed to being told about it on a message board, and I hear them tell me a very different experience.  But when I say "in your opinion," I wasn't limiting it to you, I was making the point that Amazon is in business to make money for their shareholders, not to make your life as an indie author easier.  It's your opinion from your limited POV and experience that their practices are bad, because you consider them bad for you.  But the people who invest in the company don't give a damn about that, NOR SHOULD THEY.  This is how business is done, and we as indie authors have to be adaptable enough to make it work.  That's OUR job, not Amazon's responsibility.

    Offline Used To Be BH

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    Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
    « Reply #34 on: March 17, 2018, 07:03:57 am »
    What do people want from the other distributors? They have a store, sell your book. Their upload processes are simple. Their payment processes are fine. They aren't riddled with bots. They don't manipulate their ranking systems. They aren't pushing trope cliche garbage that is overflowing in KU like a clogged toilet at a busy truck stop. Wide is absolutely a doable path for most people.

    BUT, as always, i'd strongly consider not even thinking about it as wide. Simply direct sales versus a direct/subscription hybrid model. Even when you're wide amazon will still, most likely, remain your top selling platform.

    So the only way wide can hurt you is on the KU revenue side of things. And that should only hurt if your books are written specifically for KU. In which case, yes, wide doesn't make much sense.
    Well, let's see. Amazon doesn't periodically close itself off to indies the way Google does. Nor does it arbitrarily discount indie ebook prices the way Google does. It doesn't make you own a Mac to buy ebooks through the app the way Apple does. (I was shocked to discover I can no longer buy ebooks from Apple on my PC. Yeah, Apple's really serious about building its ebook market share. :P) It doesn't deliberately try to stifle its own ebook business to save its brick-and-mortar stores the way Barnes and Noble has, nor sell ebooks in only one country. It's not just that these companies aren't trying to fight Amazon for the #1 slot. They aren't really doing much to increase market share at all, at least not that I can see.

    You and I agree KU is a mess. But Amazon probably wasn't trying to promote what you think of as garbage. The fact is that a lot of people like that garbage. Even excluding the potentially botted stuff. (Not to pick on romance, which can have as much literary merit as any genre, but I see the same selection of male bare chests in the supermarket book section.) KU may amplify that effect, but I doubt that was its purpose.

    Whether a particular writer would do better wide or in KU may be influenced by genre, but there seem to be other factors. Some people obviously do well wide. Others don't, and some have even returned to KU. That balance would change significantly if some of the other vendors upped their game a little. Right now all of them put together are only a little bigger than the KU base if it were treated as a separate store. Can people succeed wide anyway? Yes, clearly. Would it be easier if the other vendors were doing more? Yes, clearly.

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    Offline Marti talbott

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    Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
    « Reply #35 on: March 17, 2018, 08:37:12 am »
    Well, according to the Amazon Charts weekly list of most read books on kindle, apparently half the world :P

    If you wanted to eliminate confusion, you could capitalize the T in Talbott on your profile name so it says MartiTalbott. Just a thought :)
    Thanks, didn't know I could change my profile name.
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    Offline Rick Partlow

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    Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
    « Reply #36 on: March 17, 2018, 09:02:01 am »
    Actually, Amazon have been and are still the subject of various social media campaigns about their bad business practices. True to say thats just the opinion of those people, but hundreds of thousands of them share the same view. I wont mention what those campaigns are here because its not the right venue, but it illustrates that a lot people dont like many aspects of Amazons business practices. A few authors that you know may or may not be representative of the wider view, so unless youve polled hundreds of thousands of authors then you dont know what the general consensus is.

    A few social media campaigns don't represent "the general consensus" either.  But that's beside the point and doesn't even ADDRESS the point that it's not Amazon's responsibility to make everyone happy, it's their responsibility to make money for their shareholders.  They're doing that.  If they don't make money, they'll make changes.  What will NOT make them change things is a few thousand or however many there are complaining indie authors on the internet.  We don't matter to them, and we shouldn't.  Complaining about Amazon's practices towards indie authors is incredibly pointless.  Go wide if you want, if you think you can make more money that way.  Do what's best for you, but don't think for one second that Amazon is going to change to suit you.

    Quote
    Amazons customers and suppliers do have some say in what they do or at least they should. Shareholders also have some say in what companies do, which is why many investors refuse to put money into tobacco companies. It remains to be seen whether the US and the world will let Bezos take control of the rules of our commerce platform. If that happens then what you get paid, how youre treated, and whether you even get to sell at all will be at Amazons discretion, which is what will happen if the other distributors are forced out.

    You might be crowing now, but if Amazon get full control of the commerce platform, you probably wont feel quite as pleased with yourself then.

    I'm not crowing about anything.  I'm telling you the truth:  I'm not going to pull out of KU because it pays me more money than I make from sales, by about a 2 or even 3 to 1 ratio.  If there comes a time when it's not worth it, then I'll pull out.  I'm not going to pull out in some misguided effort to "show Jeff Bezos who's boss."  He freaking knows who's boss, and here's a hint:  it's not us. 
    And if Amazon gets control of the commerce platform, that's not going to be because I didn't yank my 15 books off KU and slice my paycheck by two-thirds in some sort of poorly thought out protest. 

    Offline Skip Knox

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    Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
    « Reply #37 on: March 17, 2018, 09:15:28 am »
    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?


    Offline Rick Partlow

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    Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
    « Reply #38 on: March 17, 2018, 09:30:35 am »
    Its more than a few social media campaigns, but do your own research on that subject.

    And group actions count. Right now other platforms, TPs and some misguided authors are whats stopping Amazon from running more roughshod over indies than they already are. Imagine a world where they control everything.

    But dont you worry about it because other people are doing that for you.

    The percentage Amazon has lost to other platforms is miniscule.  The only thing their existence does is show that if Amazon freezes out indies, someone else will take up the slack, and maybe that makes Amazon still interested in keeping us around, or maybe not.  You do your own research on that subject, to quote a well respected internet lecturer.

    Online Usedtoposthere

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    Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
    « Reply #39 on: March 17, 2018, 09:44:53 am »
    Everybody has a different experience. It is perfectly possible to do great over time in Select, or wide, and people have and continue to do so. It depends on your genre, your audience, your skill set, and all sorts of things. Personally, I started in Select to get my feet wet, because I knew flat nothing. It worked well and then it worked way better, and it was much easier, so I stayed put until I tried wide for a while. This was pre KU. I certainly do not write for KU. I am not what you would call up on the trends!

    I have said elsewhere and I will say again--if you are making ten thousand a month or up (especially if it is way up) from borrows with little effort or spend, that is probably not going to be replaceable easily wide without a fair amount of work and effort, ad spend and management. Do not be afraid to trust what is working for you, whether that is what others advocate or not. In writing process, in what you write, in distribution, whatever. The heck with what others think. Unless somebody else is paying your bills, the right way to do it is the way that works for YOU.

    Will things change? You bet they will. Personally, after five and a half years at this, almost all in Select, I have no mortgage or any other debt, a beautiful house, a very nice lifestyle including some months overseas every year, and plenty in the bank to live on for myself, my hubby, and my sisters, and to eventually leave to our kids. I am free to write the long, overstuffed books that delight me and hopefully please my readers, however off the mark they may be for whatever antihero type is trending now in contemporary romance. My oldest and least trendy books with the least trendy covers are the stickiest in KU--go figure. Whatever the changes are, I am in good shape to weather them, my audience still seems to be there, and I'm motivated by the same things as always--the desire to write the kind of books I like, and the absolutely overwhelming desire not to have to do much marketing! :)

    As the guy says, "I do whut I WANT."

    From the standpoint of a getting-ever-older person, I think authors would be better served by keeping their eyes on their own paper. Unless somebody is scamming or plagiarizing, authors can make their own choices to meet their own needs, and they will. When my kids were young, I used to say, "You don't get to choose about that," to help them differentiate between things they had control over (what to wear) and those they didn't (you have to brush your teeth). I don't have any control over what any of the distributors or publishers or other authors out there do. My control lies in my own choices.

    And if you're doing well--pay down your debt before you buy stuff. Therein lies independence.
    « Last Edit: March 17, 2018, 10:37:52 am by Usedtoposthere »

    Offline Rick Partlow

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    Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
    « Reply #40 on: March 17, 2018, 09:57:20 am »
    I have done my research and we have not drawn same conclusions. Believe whatever helps you sleep at night.

    I believe in whatever helps me pay the bills.  Everything else is just noise and flash.

    Offline Atlantisatheart

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    Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
    « Reply #41 on: March 17, 2018, 01:04:30 pm »
    I wasn't bragging about my income (which makes one of us), I was saying that a substantial portion of it comes from KU. 

    I read the complaints here every day.  Then I listen to people who I actually know IRL and whose income I actually know as opposed to being told about it on a message board, and I hear them tell me a very different experience.  But when I say "in your opinion," I wasn't limiting it to you, I was making the point that Amazon is in business to make money for their shareholders, not to make your life as an indie author easier.  It's your opinion from your limited POV and experience that their practices are bad, because you consider them bad for you.  But the people who invest in the company don't give a damn about that, NOR SHOULD THEY.  This is how business is done, and we as indie authors have to be adaptable enough to make it work.  That's OUR job, not Amazon's responsibility.

    No, you were saying mine is bigger than yours and I was saying let's compare.

    Speaking like you are some great authority on amazon and their practices doesn't really help your argument when the great authorities on amazon that you speak with probably didn;t live through the night of the long knives when amazon culled the incomes of short and novella writers overnight - killed off erotica writers by putting their books in the dungeon - slashed people pages - stole 30-80% of page reads with no explanation - or were hit big time by page flip. Too many profitable indies writers went down in flames since KU2 for a lot of people to stomach, and unlike some of us, they lost everything.

    But, you sit there being smug and talking like you know whats what for thousands of authors out there. Hey, I could sit here saying; well I'm alright Jack, I've got my slice of the pie, but a lot of people are still pulling the amazon knives out of their back after they built amazon's platform to what it is, and I have too much respect for those people to leave them behind in the dirt.

    And if amazon don't care what authors are saying then why do they stalk these boards and many other groups?
     

    Offline Rick Partlow

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    Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
    « Reply #42 on: March 17, 2018, 01:35:54 pm »
    No, you were saying mine is bigger than yours and I was saying let's compare.

    No, that would be you reading something into it that wasn't there.  If I were trying to start a measuring contest, I would have said something like "I've been a six figure author for umpteen years!"

    Offline Becca Mills

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    Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
    « Reply #43 on: March 17, 2018, 08:13:08 pm »
    Rick Partlow and Atlantisatheart, let's move on.

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    Offline Vaalingrade

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    Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
    « Reply #44 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 #45 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 #46 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 #47 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.  ;)

    Offline Arches

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    Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
    « Reply #48 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 #49 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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