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Authors' Forum => Writers' Cafe => Topic started by: ShadyWolfBoy on March 15, 2018, 11:30:42 am

Title: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: ShadyWolfBoy on March 15, 2018, 11:30:42 am
4% increase across the board, about what I expected after a sharper than usual January drop.

Store         Currency   Rate   Change from Prior
Amazon.com      USD    0.0046601    4.0%
Amazon.co.uk      GBP    0.0035740    4.0%
Amazon.de      EUR    0.0031802    4.0%
Amazon.fr      EUR    0.0046273    4.0%
Amazon.co.jp      JPY    0.5775726    4.0%
Amazon.ca      CAD    0.0045821    4.0%
Amazon.it      EUR    0.0046273    4.0%
Amazon.es      EUR    0.0046273    4.0%
Amazon.in      INR    0.0906437    4.0%
Amazon.com.au   AUD    0.0040023    4.0%
Amazon.com.br   BRL    0.0112707    4.0%
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: BookMagic on March 15, 2018, 12:10:49 pm
Itís better than a decrease, I guess.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Shane Lochlann Black on March 15, 2018, 12:12:08 pm
Seems to be a little more stable now than it used to be.   Longer books are definitely paying off.   8)
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Rick Partlow on March 15, 2018, 01:10:16 pm
Itís better than a decrease, I guess.

 :-\

You GUESS?
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: MonkeyScribe on March 15, 2018, 03:09:10 pm
Haha  :)

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

Better than a sharp stick in the eye.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Marti talbott on March 15, 2018, 05:36:23 pm
Where do you find the list of all stars? Not that I'm on it, just wondering. I put 15 of my 50 books in KU, so this is my first month. Actually, my first half a month with 24k page reads. Don't know if that's good or bad, but those 15  books weren't selling well wide, so why not? Now I'm trying to decided if I should put the rest of them in. Any advice? Do you think readers are getting burned out on the old material and are looking for new? I mean, who's still reading Harry Potter?

By the way, when I received the usual "what do you want us to work on next" email from Amazon, I suggested they put Kindle Unlimited under the description of the sponsored ads. I think it would boost page reads. Agree?

Marti not martit, or martital. It's Marti Talbott, good girl, old but good.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Amanda M. Lee on March 15, 2018, 05:39:10 pm
Where do you find the list of all stars? Not that I'm on it, just wondering. I put 15 of my 50 books in KU, so this is my first month. Actually, my first half a month with 24k page reads. Don't know if that's good or bad, but those 15  books weren't selling well wide, so why not? Now I'm trying to decided if I should put the rest of them in. Any advice? Do you think readers are getting burned out on the old material and are looking for new? I mean, who's still reading Harry Potter?

By the way, when I received the usual "what do you want us to work on next" email from Amazon, I suggested they put Kindle Unlimited under the description of the sponsored ads. I think it would boost page reads. Agree?

Marti not martit, or martital. It's Marti Talbott, good girl, old but good.
There is no list of All-Stars and notifications donít 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.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: The one with all the big dresses on the covers on March 15, 2018, 05:41:31 pm
Do you think readers are getting burned out on the old material and are looking for new? I mean, who's still reading Harry Potter?

Well, according to the Amazon Charts weekly list of most read books on kindle, apparently half the world :P

Quote
Marti not martit, or martital. It's Marti Talbott, good girl, old but good.

If you wanted to eliminate confusion, you could capitalize the T in Talbott on your profile name so it says MartiTalbott. Just a thought :)
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Marti talbott on March 15, 2018, 05:48:23 pm
There is no list of All-Stars and notifications donít 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.
Thanks, Amanda. Does the old list disappear then?  Four million pages a month divided by 15 books is only 266,666.66 each. I can do that! Noooo problem!  It might just take a little more than one month.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: PhoenixS on March 15, 2018, 06:28:21 pm
Thanks for doing the math. It gives me great pleasure to simply delete Amazon's email regarding this bs.

I love that Glynn posts this each month because I've found myself returning to these threads as a quick reference every now and again. (So, don't stop, Glynn!)

That said, here's how you can do the calculation quick and easy in Excel...no math required!

* Download and open the royalty report spreadsheet.
* Click the 'KENP Read' tab.
* Scroll over to the first blank column (currently Column H).
* Click in the first cell under the headings (currently Row 3).
* Check which columns have the royalty (currently Column F) and pages read (currently Column E).
* Up in the 'fx' field, put in:  =F3/E3
* Hit 'Enter'.

That gives you the US amount. You can stop there, or check out the other amounts by clicking back on that same cell, then grabbing the itty bitty square in the lower-righthand corner of that cell, which you can do when the big cursor changes to a thinner 'plus' or crosshair.

Without letting go of the corner, drag the cursor down to the last row where you have royalties showing. Only let go when you reach the end.

Voila! All the cells are now populated with the per-page amount out to 8 decimal places.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: PhoenixS on March 15, 2018, 06:39:59 pm
There is no list of All-Stars and notifications donít go out until the end of the month.

There is a list of All-Star books, which can be refined by category or series too. You can't really tell which month it's for, and it doesn't get updated till after the notifications go out, so during the end of March-ish and most of April-ish, it'll show February's All-Stars. Right now, it's probably showing January's list.

You used to be able to refine by author. But when the list started being filled with scammers, Amazon kindly nixed that feature to make identifying scammers more difficult. Because Amazon likes enabling scammers these days.

https://www.amazon.com/b/ref=amb_link_457902022_2?ie=UTF8&node=11085390011&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=special-offers-2&pf_rd_r=05B5CTZYC33KA4TCYM2M&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_p=2412951182&pf_rd_i=B017I0S4X4
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Marti talbott on March 15, 2018, 08:48:14 pm
There is a list of All-Star books, which can be refined by category or series too. You can't really tell which month it's for, and it doesn't get updated till after the notifications go out, so during the end of March-ish and most of April-ish, it'll show February's All-Stars. Right now, it's probably showing January's list.

You used to be able to refine by author. But when the list started being filled with scammers, Amazon kindly nixed that feature to make identifying scammers more difficult. Because Amazon likes enabling scammers these days.

https://www.amazon.com/b/ref=amb_link_457902022_2?ie=UTF8&node=11085390011&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=special-offers-2&pf_rd_r=05B5CTZYC33KA4TCYM2M&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_p=2412951182&pf_rd_i=B017I0S4X4

Thanks, Phoenix. Unfortunately, I wouldn't know a scammer if I saw one. Interesting list. I thought it was given out according to the author with the most page reads, but it's by the book. That makes it even harder.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: PhoenixS on March 15, 2018, 09:09:07 pm
Thanks, Phoenix. Unfortunately, I wouldn't know a scammer if I saw one. Interesting list. I thought it was given out according to the author with the most page reads, but it's by the book. That makes it even harder.

There are two bonus types: one by single book and one by author. The single book threshold is probably somewhere around 1.8 million page reads during the month. The author bonus aggregates all of the page reads from a single pen name. That's the one with a base threshold of around 4 million for the month.

The list at the url I posted contains the 100 single books that earned bonuses as well as all the KU books published by the 100 author names who earned bonuses. Plus the separate set of bonus-earning illustrated children's books and authors.

The UK and Germany also have their own lists. I'm not sure what the minimum thresholds currently are in those regions.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Seneca42 on March 15, 2018, 09:15:06 pm
There is a list of All-Star books, which can be refined by category or series too. You can't really tell which month it's for, and it doesn't get updated till after the notifications go out, so during the end of March-ish and most of April-ish, it'll show February's All-Stars. Right now, it's probably showing January's list.

You used to be able to refine by author. But when the list started being filled with scammers, Amazon kindly nixed that feature to make identifying scammers more difficult. Because Amazon likes enabling scammers these days.

https://www.amazon.com/b/ref=amb_link_457902022_2?ie=UTF8&node=11085390011&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=special-offers-2&pf_rd_r=05B5CTZYC33KA4TCYM2M&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_p=2412951182&pf_rd_i=B017I0S4X4

haha looking through that list leaves me very little hope for humanity.  :P
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Atlantisatheart on March 15, 2018, 09:33:44 pm
Another P-poor showing by Amazon again this month, little wonder that the other retailers are getting back into the market with amazon's obvious neglect of indie authors. With just the right nudge people could leave in droves to go wide. Couple that with the scamming and manipulation by a lot of authors on that bestseller list and KU isn't so enticing anymore. 
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Rick Partlow on March 16, 2018, 03:55:22 am
Another P-poor showing by Amazon again this month, little wonder that the other retailers are getting back into the market with amazon's obvious neglect of indie authors. With just the right nudge people could leave in droves to go wide. Couple that with the scamming and manipulation by a lot of authors on that bestseller list and KU isn't so enticing anymore.

 ???
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Going Incognito on March 16, 2018, 09:30:39 am
Remember when these rate announcement threads would just go on and on for a dozen pages every month?
Now everybody is all- oh?! Was that today?
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Rick Partlow on March 16, 2018, 09:59:59 am
Another P-poor showing by Amazon again this month, little wonder that the other retailers are getting back into the market with amazon's obvious neglect of indie authors. With just the right nudge people could leave in droves to go wide. Couple that with the scamming and manipulation by a lot of authors on that bestseller list and KU isn't so enticing anymore.

It's certainly enticing to me.  But then, it makes me lots of money, and I've always found that sexy.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: KelliWolfe on March 16, 2018, 11:08:08 am
Another P-poor showing by Amazon again this month, little wonder that the other retailers are getting back into the market with amazon's obvious neglect of indie authors. With just the right nudge people could leave in droves to go wide. Couple that with the scamming and manipulation by a lot of authors on that bestseller list and KU isn't so enticing anymore.
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.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Marti talbott on March 16, 2018, 11:32:28 am
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.

I'm not sure I agree Kobo and Google plus are less indie supportive, but I agree that promoting to those two sites brings very little reward. That's the main reason I decided to put some of my books into KU instead. I've been with them since the beginning too, and still have never been able to break into any other than the English based countries such as Australia and the UK. It's frustrating.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: KelliWolfe on March 16, 2018, 11:48:34 am
I'm not sure I agree Kobo and Google plus are less indie supportive, but I agree that promoting to those two sites brings very little reward. That's the main reason I decided to put some of my books into KU instead. I've been with them since the beginning too, and still have never been able to break into any other than the English based countries such as Australia and the UK. It's frustrating.
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.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Simon Haynes on March 16, 2018, 12:02:32 pm
I mean, who's still reading Harry Potter?

Millions of kids who were too young to read it last year will be old enough this year ... and so on, ad infinitum.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Atlantisatheart on March 16, 2018, 02:24:38 pm
It's certainly enticing to me.  But then, it makes me lots of money, and I've always found that sexy.

I've been in six figures for the last six years, your point? The best thing that could happen for indie authors is the rise of anybody else to challenge Amazon because every year, sometimes more than once a year, they come up with something to beat indies over the head with. Am I grateful to amazon for giving me a platform and the kind of money I could never envision myself having? Sure, that doesn't mean I'm going to apologise for their bad practices.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: KelliWolfe on March 16, 2018, 02:50:50 pm
I've been in six figures for the last six years, your point? The best thing that could happen for indie authors is the rise of anybody else to challenge Amazon because every year, sometimes more than once a year, they come up with something to beat indies over the head with. Am I grateful to amazon for giving me a platform and the kind of money I could never envision myself having? Sure, that doesn't mean I'm going to apologise for their bad practices.
I don't think there's anybody on WC (with the possible exception of a tiny handful of die-hard Amazon apologists) who would disagree with this. The problem is that none of the other distributors show any real interest in challenging Amazon.

But companies like Google and Apple can afford to play the long game, so rather than spending a fortune trying to go head-to-head with General Zon they're quietly growing organically as more and more readers make purchases on their hardware. How many younger readers (or even older ones for that matter) are buying dedicated reading devices like the Kindle rather than just reading on their smartphones? I know I read far more on my iPhone these days than on my Kindle Fire, and if the iBooks interface and search weren't so horrid I'd definitely buy new ebooks there rather than through Amazon. It's going to happen the same way that smartphones have replaced dedicated MP3 players. Sure, there are still some out there, but they're a niche product and no longer mainstream. And as the trend progresses iTunes and Google Play will capture more of the ebook market more or less by default.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Rick Partlow on March 16, 2018, 03:24:36 pm
I've been in six figures for the last six years, your point? The best thing that could happen for indie authors is the rise of anybody else to challenge Amazon because every year, sometimes more than once a year, they come up with something to beat indies over the head with. Am I grateful to amazon for giving me a platform and the kind of money I could never envision myself having? Sure, that doesn't mean I'm going to apologise for their bad practices.

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.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Marti talbott 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.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Lady Vine 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.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Used To Be BH 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.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Lady Vine 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.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Going Incognito on March 16, 2018, 06:03:41 pm
Just be prepared for the headaches.

Good advice, KU or wide, tbh.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Bookread 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. : )
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Atlantisatheart 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.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Seneca42 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.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Rick Partlow 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.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Used To Be BH 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.

Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Marti talbott 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.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Rick Partlow 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 thatís just the opinion of those people, but hundreds of thousands of them share the same view. I wonít mention what those campaigns are here because itís not the right venue, but it illustrates that a lot people donít like many aspects of Amazonís business practices. A few authors that you know may or may not be representative of the wider view, so unless youíve polled hundreds of thousands of authors then you donít 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
Amazonís 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 youíre treated, and whether you even get to sell at all will be at Amazonís 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 wonít 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. 
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Skip Knox 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?

Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Rick Partlow on March 17, 2018, 09:30:35 am
Itís 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 ďmisguidedĒ authors are whatís stopping Amazon from running more roughshod over indies than they already are. Imagine a world where they control everything.

But donít 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.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Usedtoposthere 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.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Rick Partlow 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.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Atlantisatheart 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?
 
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Rick Partlow 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!"
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Becca Mills on March 17, 2018, 08:13:08 pm
Rick Partlow and Atlantisatheart, let's move on.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Vaalingrade 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.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Ryan W. Mueller 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).
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Loosecannon 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/
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: dgcasey on March 17, 2018, 10:02:01 pm
There is no list of All-Stars and notifications donít 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.  ;)
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Arches 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.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Rose Andrews 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.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Seneca42 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. 
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: dgcasey 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.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Used To Be BH 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.


Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Usedtoposthere 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.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Atlantisatheart 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? 
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Atlantisatheart 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.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Seneca42 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.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Seneca42 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. 
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Used To Be BH 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.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Amanda M. Lee 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.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: KelliWolfe 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.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Rick Partlow 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..."
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Rick Partlow 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.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Seneca42 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.


Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Used To Be BH 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. 
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: GeneDoucette on March 18, 2018, 03:53:58 pm
They're different markets, that's all. KU is one market, consisting of a dedicated pool of readers who (largely) won't read books that aren't in KU. The indie ebook market is a separate market. It's not Amazon-exclusive, and books in this market cater to readers who aren't in KU but are sensitive to prices as high as what the traditional publishers charge.

(I would argue that the trad pub ebook market is a third market, but that's for another time.)

It's possible to be successful catering to only one of these markets. It's also possible to be unsuccessful if you happen to write books that don't fit into the marketplace you're trying to sell in. My books never sold well in KU, so I stopped trying to sell in it. Other authors can't sell well outside of KU, so they stay in.

It isn't much more complicated than that.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Seneca42 on March 18, 2018, 03:56:29 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 is what I mean. All KU is about (for amazon) is locking content to amazon's platform exclusively. Borrow bumps didn't used to be a part of KU, but I'm sure amazon quickly learned that authors are very psychologically addicted to their rank.

KU is almost "gamified" if you will. It's set up a lot like a little video game. Write books faster, spend more on AMS, get rewards like rank bumps and bonuses. And just like games, you'll have a bunch of people botting and cheating.

I think authors are way more addicted to watching their rank jump around than they acknowledge. In fact, I'd say it's probably the #1 driver for a lot of people being in KU. Not the big sellers (for them it's actual revenue), but the thousands of other authors. "OMG someone borrowed my book today! YES!". It really feeds their hope that maybe they'll make it one day. Whereas on the direct side, they go weeks with zero sales and it's demoralizing. Now, that borrow may never be read, but they love seeing that spike on their dashboard (edit: to be clear, from any ensuing pages read) and getting that bump in rank.

Having been wide for a year now, I can honestly say I don't think I've checked my rank on any of my books now in seven months. I completely don't care in the least. The only thing I track is revenue/sales. But when I was in KU I was constantly checking out all those irrelevant stats, because it's set up to make you see publishing as a game of sorts.

Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Used To Be BH on March 18, 2018, 04:04:54 pm
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.
Again, you're assuming a lot of things you don't really have any data for. You could be right. You could be wrong. At best, there's no way of telling.

The idea that KU is only pennies on the dollar compared to what someone could get from sales is based on assumptions about pricing and about the length of the book. I actually get more for a full read than for a sale in some cases. Yes, I could price those longer books higher, but in my experience, higher price points result in fewer sales. That's not a universal truth by any means, but neither one of us has the data to either prove its a widespread phenomenon or not.

You're also assuming that borrows are lost sales. If, as many people seem to think, KU is a separate market, then that may not be the case at all. When I started KU, my sales weren't cannibalized. In fact, they went up--and I got KU payouts on top of them. Again, I know authors have widely different experiences in this regard, but there is not enough data to determine which experience is more typical.

For writers who find they don't lose sales in KU, the simple question is, do they make more in KU than they do wide? That answer will vary. Again, there is no global data that demonstrates what the average author experience is, and even if there were, an average is just that. There will be people above and below. I think there is enough anecdotal data to conclude that at least some people don't lose sales by being in KU. How many is anybody's guess.

Ironically, I'm actually in the process of putting some of my works wide. I don't have any strong feelings either way. I'm just mystified by why people are so determined to push a particular narrative based on unproven (and given the lack of data availability, unprovable) assumptions. There's nothing wrong with sharing your opinion and your own experience. That's what makes Kboards valuable. However, stating your own opinion as fact isn't as beneficial.

Sure, Amazon has serious flaws. KU has serious flaws. About that, I think there's little disagreement. However, people have significantly different experiences with it, and there's really not enough data to generalize in a meaningful way.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Seneca42 on March 18, 2018, 04:15:00 pm
The idea that KU is only pennies on the dollar compared to what someone could get from sales is based on assumptions about pricing and about the length of the book. I actually get more for a full read than for a sale in some cases.

Bill, this makes my very point. The fact this can happen is so very very wrong.  Think on it and you'll eventually realize just how messed up what you just said is (not in that it's wrong as a fact, but that it's happening in the ebook market).

Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Rick Partlow on March 18, 2018, 04:18:59 pm
Opportunity cost. The Now Option provides greater control of the transition, minimizing the impact of opportunity costs. When writers are collectively forced out, for whatever reason...it's going to be chaos. The future is unpredictable. For example, what if, when that apocalyptic day comes, Nook and Kobo have pulled a Google Play, and stopped taking new authors?

The Now Option is a significantly more known quantity. I guess it comes down to how much money is at stake, both in the the short term and the long term. If you're killing it in KU, maybe you'd be killing it even more wide? Who knows?

I'd be more worried about what happens when Amazon finally gets called on the carpet for their monopolistic practices. Even if they successfully defend their position, like Microsoft, there's going to be fall-out. Look at what happened to Bell Labs when AT&T was split apart. (Ironically, over the last twenty years or so, Bell has pulled an Iron Giant and begun reassembling itself. Southwestern Bell, became SBC, and actually purchased the parent company it was split from in 2005, becoming, wait for it -  AT&T again, and then went on to reunite with more Baby Bells.)

For now, everyone keeps saying do what works for you...which I totally agree with. We're not all after the same things.

Personally, I decided to move my current series wide, because, 1) I hope it has potential beyond KU, and 2) I want a broader presence, as opposed to being an exclusive Zon author. To balance this, I'm going to re-pub an older series and put it into KU. Finally, I'm going to pursue TP and short story publication this year as well.

It's my opinion that careers shouldn't be measured by a single summer or a few good years. We'll have to see what happens down the road and go from there. All we know for sure is that no one knows anything - for sure.

I don't see anyone measuring careers, I just see people debating what's the best course for right now. 

As to the question of opportunity cost...can you put a dollar number on that?  Because I can put a dollar number on the money I'd lose.
As for the people saying that "readers want your books so why should you take less on KU for them?" the fact is, KU readers are the whale readers who read everything in certain genres.  There is no guarantee whatsoever that the numbers on KU would translate to sales on other platforms, particularly given the nature of Amazon's algorhythms.


Edited to remove political content. Evenstar, Moderator
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Rick Partlow on March 18, 2018, 04:19:52 pm
Bill, this makes my very point. The fact this can happen is so very very wrong.  Think on it and you'll eventually realize just how messed up what you just said is (not in that it's wrong as a fact, but that it's happening in the ebook market).

I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with it at all.  No one is being forced to do anything.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Seneca42 on March 18, 2018, 04:23:04 pm
The Now Option is a significantly more known quantity. I guess it comes down to how much money is at stake, both in the the short term and the long term. If you're killing it in KU, maybe you'd be killing it even more wide? Who knows?

If you're killing it in KU, but can't do even better wide, then it's tantamount to saying your work has a market value of about $1.50 (or whatever KU pays out on a full novel read).

I know people don't want to hear that, but it's what KU values a book at. The logic in KU has always been not to make more per sale, but rather to make more through VOLUME (take less margin, but make up for it on volume). But that's also the trap... because the more volume amazon can control, the less they have to pay in margin because where else are you going to go if all the (your) readers are in KU? Hence you get commodification, as the more of the market KU controls, the less they have to payout to authors. Hence the implementation of bonuses, so that well-performing authors aren't hurt by the programs commodification process and hence stick around.

But the good thing is that KU only controls volume for specific niches. Outside of that they've been unable to own the market.

So, I'll actually defend amazon in a strange way here. If YOU can't generate your own volume, then amazon kind of has a right to pay you crap in exchange for giving you their volume. But if you can generate your own volume, you're insane to drive that volume into KU for pennies on the dollar... it's literally tantamount to cutting your own throat.

Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Rick Partlow on March 18, 2018, 04:27:24 pm
If you're killing it in KU, but can't do even better wide, then it's tantamount to saying your work has a market value of about $1.50 (or whatever KU pays out on a full novel read).

Your work is worth whatever you can make on it.  The question isn't how much you make per read on KU, the question is, would you replace it with sales if you were wide?  Because principles are great, but they don't pay the bills.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Seneca42 on March 18, 2018, 04:31:49 pm
Your work is worth whatever you can make on it. 

that was exactly my point. No one would take $1.50 if they could make $5 direct. Ergo, it's worth the $1.50.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Rick Partlow on March 18, 2018, 04:59:19 pm
that was exactly my point. No one would take $1.50 if they could make $5 direct. Ergo, it's worth the $1.50.

I suppose.  But there've been a lot of businesses that have thrived selling in bulk with a smaller profit margin.  I'm not too proud to take less for each book if I can move more of them.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Arches on March 18, 2018, 05:22:28 pm
that was exactly my point. No one would take $1.50 if they could make $5 direct. Ergo, it's worth the $1.50.

I'm happy to take $1.50 per book in KU because its a convenient, low-cost ecosystem I know how to work in. I just did my taxes, so I know my numbers for last year. I published six books, and I grossed $31K. Not a huge number by comparison to many on Kboards, but I'm happy with it, and I still work part time. I'll be thrilled if I earn that much this year in what is a hobby for me. I spent $3,400 on ads last year, mostly timed to promote new releases. That seemed moderate by comparison to what other people report, so I'm hopeful that this year is as good as last year.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Seneca42 on March 18, 2018, 05:36:14 pm
I'm happy to take $1.50 per book in KU because its a convenient, low-cost ecosystem I know how to work in.

If you're in KU you're also selling direct on amazon. You can't do one without the other.

So it has nothing to do with convenience.

And no one, unless they want to lose money, chooses $1.50 if they can make $5. The only reason to choose $1.50 is because you can't move volume direct (and amazon makes it cost prohibitive to sell direct below $2.99).

Let's just call KU what it really is... it's the bargain bin. And if people want to say "I made damn good money in the bargain bin" then that is 100% logical. I can buy that and respect that (although still disagree with it).

But this notion of "I don't want to at the front of the store in the display area selling for $14.99, I prefer to be in the 99c bin at the back of the store." is craziness. 

Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Rick Partlow on March 18, 2018, 05:49:00 pm
But this notion of "I don't want to at the front of the store in the display area selling for $14.99, I prefer to be in the 99c bin at the back of the store." is craziness.

I don't want to be at the front of a store not very many people shop in selling for a price few people will pay.  I prefer to be wherever I can get in a store with more customers that makes me more money.  I don't attach my ego to the price.  My ego is satisfied by the fact people are reading my book, and after that, the only thing that matters to me is my bank account.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Usedtoposthere on March 18, 2018, 05:56:59 pm
The length of your books is something to consider when making this decision. My latest book, out about 5 weeks now, earns me about $3.00 for a full read and $4.00 for a sale. I normally don't advertise on any kind of ongoing basis, so I keep all of that, and I sell (and get my books borrowed) quite well, so that works for me. I have a BookBub coming up in a couple weeks on a boxed set of the first 3 books in this 11-book series, and I'm expecting that to help. My next book comes out in June.

For myself, I have found that KU (for my indie stuff--I'm still pretty diversified) keeps my indie income more steady than wide did, but I've heard many authors say the opposite, so it will depend for every author. I've also found, of course, that being in Select makes Amazon more likely to promote my stuff. This latest book didn't get anything but the standard new release announcement, but I got the invite for a future KMD/KDD on it. If it's a KDD, that could be really good. We'll see. If not, I'm OK.

Oh, and speaking as a businessperson--the best price for your book is the one at which you take home the most money in the end. Period.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Seneca42 on March 18, 2018, 06:04:22 pm
I don't want to be at the front of a store not very many people shop in selling for a price few people will pay.  I prefer to be wherever I can get in a store with more customers that makes me more money.  I don't attach my ego to the price.  My ego is satisfied by the fact people are reading my book, and after that, the only thing that matters to me is my bank account.

You're saying the overall direct book market is tiny and KU is huge?

Or are you saying that when you try to sell direct very few people are interested, but when you are in KU you get a big crowd that's interested?
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Rick Partlow on March 18, 2018, 06:18:12 pm
You're saying the overall direct book market is tiny and KU is huge?

Or are you saying that when you try to sell direct very few people are interested, but when you are in KU you get a big crowd that's interested?

I'm saying that the markets outside Amazon are much smaller and less lucrative, and would require different marketing, which would also probably cost more.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Seneca42 on March 18, 2018, 06:18:24 pm
...unless your goal isn't revenue. Say your goal is brand awareness. Then the best price is going to be the one that sells the most books, or more specifically, gets the most press/eyeballs on it...which may or may not be free. Not to nitpick, but...  :)

Or how is anyone supposed to know what their best price is? Maybe if you have 30 books and a couple years time you could get enough data to be able to delineate volume between different tiers of pricing, but otherwise it's all a big guess.

I'd also say, for someone like me, I don't want to know what price I can move the most books at. I want to know IF I can sell at a reasonable price. If I can't sell my books for $5.99 (excluding an entry priced book), screw it, clearly I don't have enough value as a writer for readers to want to dish that out. For me, that means this isn't a feasible pursuit. Dropping down to $1.50 a book where people will buy it because it costs almost nothing, merely deludes me into thinking I have a market when in reality I don't.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Seneca42 on March 18, 2018, 06:23:48 pm
I'm saying that the markets outside Amazon are much smaller and less lucrative, and would require different marketing, which would also probably cost more.

But you don't have to be in KU to sell through amazon. You can have access to the other markets AND amazon.

So why take $1.50 and drive your readers into KU instead of selling direct on Amazon for $5? Even if you didn't sell on other platforms, isn't the direct Amazon market (ie. book buyers) still way larger than the indirect (ie. KU borrowers)?
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: AlecHutson on March 18, 2018, 06:34:04 pm
If you're in KU you're also selling direct on amazon. You can't do one without the other.

So it has nothing to do with convenience.

And no one, unless they want to lose money, chooses $1.50 if they can make $5. The only reason to choose $1.50 is because you can't move volume direct (and amazon makes it cost prohibitive to sell direct below $2.99).

Let's just call KU what it really is... it's the bargain bin. And if people want to say "I made damn good money in the bargain bin" then that is 100% logical. I can buy that and respect that (although still disagree with it).

But this notion of "I don't want to at the front of the store in the display area selling for $14.99, I prefer to be in the 99c bin at the back of the store." is craziness.

I'm a bit confused. Where are you getting 1.50 and 5.00? Do you price your book on other platforms and Amazon at 7.99? That would be a bit of an indie ebook outlier. My novel in KU is 135k words and I price it at 4.99. I get about 3.00 per read through, and I make around 3.30 per sale. 1.50 through KU would be about a 70k word book, I believe. Doubtful you'd make much traction as an indie writer trying to earn a 5$ profit on a 70k word book. (yes, okay, I'm sure there are exceptions out there. But not common, certainly)

I see KU as a largely self-contained pool of dedicated readers. And for sales, while I do my reading on an Ipad, I never shop Ibooks. The Kindle app makes it easy to read Amazon books on many e-readers. There's a reason why Amazon is 80% of the market.

Last year my novel had 7,000,000 pages reads, and I sold 10,500 copies. I made slightly more through page reads overall, and I sincerely doubt that I would have made up those lost read-throughs if I had been wide, even if I'd been lucky enough to score a few bookbubs. And that's not even getting into the rank-boost KU gave me, which certainly contributed to some of those Amazon sales.

I'm a huge KU fan. And as KU matures and more people try it out, it is becoming easier to find quality books. On several fantasy reading forums like reddit's r/fantasy readers regularly share the KU books that are good, and those authors have been welcomed into the communities and now get regularly recommended. KU is a great deal for those passionate readers who don't want to spend 50$ a month on books. I really don't see what the problem is here.     
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Seneca42 on March 18, 2018, 06:45:21 pm
I'm a bit confused. Where are you getting 1.50 and 5.00? Do you price your book on other platforms and Amazon at 7.99? That would be a bit of an indie ebook outlier. My novel in KU is 135k words and I price it at 4.99. I get about 3.00 per read through, and I make around 3.30 per sale. 1.50 through KU would be about a 70k word book, I believe. Doubtful you'd make much traction as an indie writer trying to earn a 5$ profit on a 70k word book. (yes, okay, I'm sure there are exceptions out there. But not common, certainly)

your book is 423 pages x .0046 = $1.94
direct $4.99 x .70 = $3.50

am I missing something?
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: PhoenixS on March 18, 2018, 06:49:55 pm
This is all-time Amazon earnings for our 6+-figure anchor author. Her books were mostly all wide for nearly a year, from the latter half of 2014 through July 2015. Despite nearly monthly BookBub features while wide and store-specific promos, revenue was steadily tanking. BN was actually our second-best venue at the time, and although off-Amazon revenue was 30-40% of the total, we still weren't keeping up with what we'd been making for her in Select. We went back all-in with Select in July 2015 when KU2 arrived, and haven't looked back. 30-40% of declining revenue at the wide venues just wasn't enough to match the revenue of Select.

Genre undoubtedly plays a role. This is mainly backlist, old-school historical and contemporary romance, with a couple of new contemporary series released in 2013 and early 2016. For our needs and for how I market, even though revenue has been depressed with Amazon's calculated slashes to page reads, an aging catalog and all the scamming -- and despite BB generously giving us about 10 features for our author per year -- Select continues to be the better business option for short-term gain.

Even without any new backlist re-releases for over a year and no brand-new content for more than two years now -- only the occasional reshuffled box set of backlist titles -- we've managed to hold her income fairly steady, and even gaining a bit without additional marketing other than what we've been doing all along. Even in spite of Amazon's KNPC 2.0 and 3.0, which saw our revenue plunge each time.

Still, when we look at where we were while wide and where we are today, it's clear off-Amazon revenues would need to make up 60-70% of our income to keep sales consistent with where they are currently -- and that's assuming on-Amazon sales doubled when the borrows were gone. With backlist only now, and no new content, that's just not a plausible outcome.

I go where our data leads. Plus, we're short timers now. ;)

(https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-irlpN6bA970/Wq8VVUyVw0I/AAAAAAAAFIE/U2B3a41jxY4K964v39eFbzRK624hy6w9QCLcBGAs/s1600/select-vs-wide.png)
 

Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: AlecHutson on March 18, 2018, 06:55:31 pm
your book is 423 pages x .0046 = $1.94
direct $4.99 x .70 = $3.50

am I missing something?

You are indeed. Have you ever been in KU? They don't use your book's listed page reads to calculate the payout. They use KENPC pages to calculate page reads. My book is listed as 423 pages for my print version, but for the purposes of KU I have 668 pages. So assuming the current KU rate I make 2.94 per full read through. Also, because of the delivery fee Amazon charges I don't get 3.50 per sale. I think I worked it out to be like 3.30 (I also factor in the few days a year I run countdown sales, which slightly depresses the average price I earn per unit)

Did you not know that the KU payout is not calculated from your print book length? No offense, but I'm not sure you should be trashing the program when it doesn't seem you understand how it works.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Seneca42 on March 18, 2018, 07:01:16 pm
I go where our data leads. Plus, we're short timers now. ;)

(https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-irlpN6bA970/Wq8VVUyVw0I/AAAAAAAAFIE/U2B3a41jxY4K964v39eFbzRK624hy6w9QCLcBGAs/s1600/select-vs-wide.png)

So basically what you're saying is tht the ebook market has already commodified and if you aren't moving huge volume there ain't a living to be had? (Unless you can live off low volume at $1.50-2.00 per full read; which obviously no one can)
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Rick Partlow on March 18, 2018, 07:15:44 pm
But you don't have to be in KU to sell through amazon. You can have access to the other markets AND amazon.

So why take $1.50 and drive your readers into KU instead of selling direct on Amazon for $5? Even if you didn't sell on other platforms, isn't the direct Amazon market (ie. book buyers) still way larger than the indirect (ie. KU borrowers)?

Not for me.  Can't answer for anyone else.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Seneca42 on March 18, 2018, 07:29:51 pm
You are indeed. Have you ever been in KU? They don't use your book's listed page reads to calculate the payout. They use KENPC pages to calculate page reads. My book is listed as 423 pages for my print version, but for the purposes of KU I have 668 pages. So assuming the current KU rate I make 2.94 per full read through. Also, because of the delivery fee Amazon charges I don't get 3.50 per sale. I think I worked it out to be like 3.30 (I also factor in the few days a year I run countdown sales, which slightly depresses the average price I earn per unit)

Did you not know that the KU payout is not calculated from your print book length? No offense, but I'm not sure you should be trashing the program when it doesn't seem you understand how it works.

Generally the print count is HIGHER thn the KU count. But for some authors it's the opposite. I assume because you format your print book in smaller font or something.

But while we're on this topic, how ridiculous that they can't even tell you what your page count in KU even is. You have to figure it out yourself.

And you meant to be offensive, but that's okay  :P  I'm pretty much impossible to offend so don't worry about it.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: GeneDoucette on March 18, 2018, 07:38:55 pm
Generally the print count is HIGHER thn the KU count.

I don't believe this is at all true.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: AlecHutson on March 18, 2018, 07:41:40 pm
Generally the print count is HIGHER thn the KU count. But for some authors it's the opposite. I assume because you format your print book in smaller font or something.

But while we're on this topic, how ridiculous that they can't even tell you what your page count in KU even is. You have to figure it out yourself.

And you meant to be offensive, but that's okay  :P  I'm pretty much impossible to offend so don't worry about it.

I've never heard of the print length being longer than the KU length. I would imagine there would be some seriously strange shenanigans going on with the print formatting - KENPC is I believe standardized; they have their own formula which takes into account all characters, so writers who use a lot of dialogue and little description (which would inflate print page length) would certainly have a lower KENPC than a writer that uses a lot of dense descriptive paragraphs.

And you can easily find out the KENPC length of your books. Go to the Kindle dashboard, click on the three small dots next to your book, and click on KDP select info. Your KENPC page count is right there.

I also didn't mean to be offensive, honestly. It just seems odd that you're so negative about the KU program but it doesn't seem like you know some of the basic facts that anyone who has used the program should be familiar with. Again, I don't mean that to be hurtful. It's just a statement. I've enjoyed a lot of your posts on other topics and think you have some good insight. Just not when it comes to KU.   
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Anarchist on March 18, 2018, 07:41:58 pm
These threads always make me feel like Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men...

Warning: not safe for work.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtOPacnjxLU


Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: PhoenixS on March 18, 2018, 07:54:35 pm
So basically what you're saying is tht the ebook market has already commodified and if you aren't moving huge volume there ain't a living to be had? (Unless you can live off low volume at $1.50-2.00 per full read; which obviously no one can)

This one lists right now for $8.99 (it was free for 5 days at the end of February, so this is revenue for the last 3 weeks). It has 2183 KNPC pages, so makes a bit over $9 per full read. Yep, it's a box, but 2/3 of the books in it were trad-pubbed and made good money in paper. I said this is what works for this author's situation. Again, she's 2 years out from any brand-new release, and isn't currently writing. So we're coasting on backlist.

(https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-XHbUyA7chyg/Wq8d5IM22aI/AAAAAAAAFIc/A4IfAQz2oPUbsJP5N0j0AEGq9mbsRFmcgCLcBGAs/s1600/boxset.JPG)

If I can make more selling volume from the bargain bin than selling fewer from the end cap, that works for me. The money spends the same. And our readers can read more of her catalog without breaking the bank. Which makes them happy. Volume means we satisfy the desire to be read as well. Which makes us happy. So much so, that we've also given away over 2 million copies of this author's works.

But there's room for authors/publishers who sell at mid-range and ritzy prices too. Maybe I could make a living selling higher-priced wide books, but we've exceeded our original goals by multiple factors, so why try to pivot now?
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Usedtoposthere on March 18, 2018, 08:14:50 pm
For those who don't know, the KENPC, which is used to pay "per page read" in KU, is about 100 pages per 20K. So a 120K book that would be around 400 print pages for me (my paperbacks are trade sized, 5.5 x 8.5), will be around 600 KENPC. I certainly have never heard anybody talk about their KENPC being LOWER than their print pages--unless they had a tiny paperback or a large font or something, I guess.

I have not seen much change at all in my KENPC since KU2 began. I never optimized when that was "the thing," and my pages didn't shift that much, either. So I guess I missed out a lot at the beginning, but I've made comparatively more once they made their adjustments.

I'm really not one bit sure where this $1.50 for a novel in KU comes from, except that that would be about a 60K book. If you write 60K books, KU can still be very profitable, but only if you're moving large volume. I write 100-150K books that sell for $4.99-5.99, so my situation is pretty different, but different people make the various paths work in their own way, including advertising or not, writing to trends or not, and on and on and on ...

I don't get why it's a fight, honestly. Do what works for you. (You find out what that is by trying stuff, in my publishing and life experience.)
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Ryan W. Mueller on March 18, 2018, 08:55:25 pm
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.

Obviously, it's not a scientific study by any means. It's just my impression of things.

You're right that some of these books could be getting more visibility because of borrows. That's difficult to quantify, though, so I mostly pay attention to books that I've seen recommended by people I trust or books that have a lot of good reviews that don't appear to be fake.

I could be wrong in my impressions, but I still think KU is best for me at this point. That could change in the future.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Ryan W. Mueller on March 18, 2018, 09:05:16 pm
Otherwise, giving up 70% royalties on regularly priced book in favor of .0046 KENP makes no sense at all.

Huh? Putting your book in KU doesn't keep you from getting 70% royalties on a regularly priced book. KU readers will read your book through KU. Everyone else will buy it like they would anyways.

It's difficult to make any definitive argument that you'd make more going wide. Some authors sell like crazy at the other outlets. Others make almost nothing outside of Amazon. If you're making almost all your sales at Amazon, why not enroll your book in KU and see if you can gain those readers as well?
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: dgcasey on March 18, 2018, 10:30:20 pm
I don't believe this is at all true.

It's not true. Most will find that their KENP numbers will work out to somewhere between 205 and 210 words per page. My numbers on my seven titles range from 197 to 215 words per KENP with my average being just at 208 words. So the other poster that wrote a 135K book would have a KENP of around 649 pages with earnings of $2.98 per full read at 0.0046 cents per page. Now, that's based on my average and his could be different, but it won't be so wildly different that he would only be getting paid $1.95 for a full read.

I think Seneca needs to go back and check her numbers because they seem to be way off.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: dgcasey on March 18, 2018, 10:32:20 pm
But while we're on this topic, how ridiculous that they can't even tell you what your page count in KU even is. You have to figure it out yourself.

Actually, they do tell you exactly how many pages your KENP is. All you need to do is look at the Kindle Select page for each book you have published in KS and look to the bottom of the page. It's right there in black and white.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: cameronwaynesmith on March 18, 2018, 11:50:38 pm
Cool to know. I put a couple of books in KU and thought I was having minor success. If it remains at this rate, it should hook me up with a couple of coffees each month!
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Amanda M. Lee on March 19, 2018, 06:41:34 am
Generally the print count is HIGHER thn the KU count. But for some authors it's the opposite. I assume because you format your print book in smaller font or something.

But while we're on this topic, how ridiculous that they can't even tell you what your page count in KU even is. You have to figure it out yourself.

And you meant to be offensive, but that's okay  :P  I'm pretty much impossible to offend so don't worry about it.
Iíve never seen anyoneís print count higher than their KENPC. As for them telling you your count, they do. You just have to click on the page to see it.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Used To Be BH on March 19, 2018, 08:14:51 am
The only generalization that hold true in self-publishing is that few things work equally well for all authors. (I say few because there are some, like writing well, that should work for anyone. Marketing strategies--not so much.)

Reading enough threads on Kboards has given me many insights, including the following:

AMS ads work--or they don't. You can achieve a positive ROI--or you can't. The same thing with FB ads. Giving away free books helps--or it doesn't. Regardless of the topic, it's not hard to find anecdotal stories of success--and failure--for pretty much any strategy. Doubtless, some people execute a strategy better than others, but the wide variation even among successful authors suggests author skill is not the variable in play.

As I've said before, we don't have much beyond analytical data to work with. We don't have--and probably never will--enough data to judge what's true in general. All we can do is experiment and see what works for us.

Obviously, there are authors who've found success going wide. Others have found success in KU. We've heard from both types of authors in this thread. I don't see how anyone can keep arguing that one size fits all. What evidence we have just doesn't fit that narrative.

To Seneca's argument that anyone who could be successful in KU could be more successful going wide, the data doesn't support that. Wide isn't automatically a losing proposition by any means, but because it doesn't work equally well for everyone, there are probably a lot of variables in play. Without knowing what they are, not everyone can necessarily succeed that way. The fact is that selling at a high enough volume at a lower price point can bring in more money than selling at lower volume with a higher price point. Similarly, getting enough KU borrows can make more money than one could with a lesser number of sales. Trading the KU market for the wide one, which is only slightly larger, doesn't always yield better results. Phoenix's example supports all these points.

I'm a prawn, but I've tested wide twice, each time for several months, and I was greeted by crickets both times. When I built an ad campaign around another venue, I got no sales. (Best I could manage was to give books away on Smashwords.) When I used a promoter who advertised to all the major venues, I got sales only on Amazon. My revenue from several months of wide doesn't typically equally what I can make in one month in KU. I could be an outlier, of course, but at least I know what seems to work for me. I agree with the point about diversifying being a good business strategy in general, so I'm moving some books into wide, just in case. Moving everything into wide, if it played out as it has before, would simply result in my throwing half to two-thirds of my income out the window and getting back a fraction of that.

To the argument that we need to move out of KU to keep Amazon from getting a monopoly, I've been hearing we needed to go wide to that ever since 2012, and I've never really bought that argument. Individual indie authors just don't have that much clout, and there's no way indies will move out en masse. The ones least likely to move would be the ones doing high volume in KU, and those are really the only ones Amazon cares about keeping. It's also worth noting that we don't know exactly how many people are in KU in the first place. It seems a fairly large number of authors, some of them big names, have gone wide, but that hasn't slowed Amazon's roll.

I don't think the reason Amazon has picked up market share has that much to do with indie authors. Avid readers would still be buying books even if KDP had never existed. Amazon's share keeps growing for a wide variety of reasons, including convenience. (Never underestimate the lure of one-stop shopping, free second-day air for prime subscribers, easy return policy, wide selection, etc.) The other outlets would have a hard time matching the one-stop shopping appeal, but they could have been more competitive in other respects. For whatever reason, they simply chose not to make a real effort. They haven't even made much of an effort to appeal to indie authors, which, if we were as important as the monopoly argument seems to assume, they would have. Several examples have been given in this thread alone to illustrate how little they actually seem interested in wooing us. At the risk of repeating myself, indie authors can be in KU or be wide without appreciably affecting Amazon market share unless the other outlets can grab a bigger percentage of the market to begin with. If people aren't shopping that often at Barnes and Noble, for example, it doesn't matter whether it has no indies or is stuffed with them. The only way indies make a real difference in the balance is having enough traffic at the other sites to make those indies discoverable in the first place. And the only way wide will become more universally appealing  will be if that traffic increases. The relatively low traffic at the other store fronts is one reason some authors find wide less rewarding.

 
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Usedtoposthere on March 19, 2018, 08:27:54 am
The only generalization that hold true in self-publishing is that few things work equally well for all authors. (I say few because there are some, like writing well, that should work for anyone. Marketing strategies--not so much.)

Reading enough threads on Kboards has given me many insights, including the following:

AMS ads work--or they don't. You can achieve a positive ROI--or you can't. The same thing with FB ads. Giving away free books helps--or it doesn't. Regardless of the topic, it's not hard to find anecdotal stories of success--and failure--for pretty much any strategy. Doubtless, some people execute a strategy better than others, but the wide variation even among successful authors suggests author skill is not the variable in play.

As I've said before, we don't have much beyond analytical data to work with. We don't have--and probably never will--enough data to judge what's true in general. All we can do is experiment and see what works for us.

Obviously, there are authors who've found success going wide. Others have found success in KU. We've heard from both types of authors in this thread. I don't see how anyone can keep arguing that one size fits all. What evidence we have just doesn't fit that narrative.

To Seneca's argument that anyone who could be successful in KU could be more successful going wide, the data doesn't support that. Wide isn't automatically a losing proposition by any means, but because it doesn't work equally well for everyone, there are probably a lot of variables in play. Without knowing what they are, not everyone can necessarily succeed that way. The fact is that selling at a high enough volume at a lower price point can bring in more money than selling at lower volume with a higher price point. Similarly, getting enough KU borrows can make more money than one could with a lesser number of sales. Trading the KU market for the wide one, which is only slightly larger, doesn't always yield better results. Phoenix's example supports all these points.

I'm a prawn, but I've tested wide twice, each time for several months, and I was greeted by crickets both times. When I built an ad campaign around another venue, I got no sales. (Best I could manage was to give books away on Smashwords.) When I used a promoter who advertised to all the major venues, I got sales only on Amazon. My revenue from several months of wide doesn't typically equally what I can make in one month in KU. I could be an outlier, of course, but at least I know what seems to work for me. I agree with the point about diversifying being a good business strategy in general, so I'm moving some books into wide, just in case. Moving everything into wide, if it played out as it has before, would simply result in my throwing half to two-thirds of my income out the window and getting back a fraction of that.

To the argument that we need to move out of KU to keep Amazon from getting a monopoly, I've been hearing we needed to go wide to that ever since 2012, and I've never really bought that argument. Individual indie authors just don't have that much clout, and there's no way indies will move out en masse. The ones least likely to move would be the ones doing high volume in KU, and those are really the only ones Amazon cares about keeping. It's also worth noting that we don't know exactly how many people are in KU in the first place. It seems a fairly large number of authors, some of them big names, have gone wide, but that hasn't slowed Amazon's roll.

I don't think the reason Amazon has picked up market share has that much to do with indie authors. Avid readers would still be buying books even if KDP had never existed. Amazon's share keeps growing for a wide variety of reasons, including convenience. (Never underestimate the lure of one-stop shopping, free second-day air for prime subscribers, easy return policy, wide selection, etc.) The other outlets would have a hard time matching the one-stop shopping appeal, but they could have been more competitive in other respects. For whatever reason, they simply chose not to make a real effort. They haven't even made much of an effort to appeal to indie authors, which, if we were as important as the monopoly argument seems to assume, they would have. Several examples have been given in this thread alone to illustrate how little they actually seem interested in wooing us. At the risk of repeating myself, indie authors can be in KU or be wide without appreciably affecting Amazon market share unless the other outlets can grab a bigger percentage of the market to begin with. If people aren't shopping that often at Barnes and Noble, for example, it doesn't matter whether it has no indies or is stuffed with them. The only way indies make a real difference in the balance is having enough traffic at the other sites to make those indies discoverable in the first place. And the only way wide will become more universally appealing  will be if that traffic increases. The relatively low traffic at the other store fronts is one reason some authors find wide less rewarding.

 
That was such an excellent, logical analysis that I had to repeat it! Good stuff. Off to write some more tripe for my lowest common denominator readers. *tips hat*
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Rick Partlow on March 19, 2018, 08:33:09 am
The only generalization that hold true in self-publishing is that few things work equally well for all authors. (snipped for brevity)

Very well put, Bill.  One might think you were a writer or something...   ;D
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Not any more on March 19, 2018, 08:52:22 am
My new novel just hit #8 on the Top 100 list in its genre on Amazon. Of the 20 books on the front page of that list, 17 are in KU. Of the others, two are trad pubbed, including the one by a guy named Stephen King. Now some people would have me ditch KU and go wide just because THEY don't like Amazon. As soon as someone offers to make my mortgage payments while I engage in their little experiment, I'll consider it.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Used To Be BH on March 19, 2018, 11:20:10 am
Again, encouraging authors to be wide isn't about trying to change Amazon's behavior. It's about trying to encourage the other retailers to keep giving indie authors a place to sell and to encourage them to do more. True, they don't seem all that interested currently, but wouldn't gaining more and more indie authors (and seeing them/us sell) do more to make them take notice than us abandoning their stores altogether?

Still, reading this thread has made me think more about trying KU if/when I have a book/series that seems suited to that market. It would be interesting to have another thread to dig down into what particular types of books (genre/subgenre/tone/tropes) do best in KU and don't seem to do well wide.
I agree abandoning them completely isn't giving them much of an incentive, but I don't think anyone's advocating that. Some of us are just expressing the idea that KU might work better for some people.

I really do believe the sweet spot may be having at least one series in KU and at least one series wide. (That idea's not original; I've heard it floated before.) Until recently, I haven't had enough books to do that kind of experiment, but now, with one series finished, two others started, and a fourth on the way, I can put at least one of those series wide. Even if I don't make as much on the wide books, I still have the others pulling in page reads, and I'm building a brand in other stores. If the balance changes, and wide begins to pick up steam, I'll be in a position to know it and take advantage of it. If not, I haven't lost that much.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Amanda M. Lee on March 19, 2018, 11:36:59 am
You do have to enroll the book in Select before they reveal the KENPC. (I've had books in and know where to find the info, and now that they're out, that whole section is gone.) It's decision-making information that Amazon withholds until after you're contractually obligated for 90 days.
I believe there's a three-day grace period. So you can see it and if you're not happy you can pull out.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Ryan W. Mueller on March 19, 2018, 12:00:13 pm
It's also very easy to get a rough estimate of your KENP. It's roughly 200 words per KENP page, so if you wrote a 100k book, that's 500 KENP.
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Marti talbott on March 19, 2018, 08:30:55 pm
So one month in, it looks like putting the 15 books that weren't selling well wide was a good idea. So far, I have 81,448 (approximately $374 I think) page reads compared to only 19 (approximately $57) full price sales on booksellers other than Amazon. Aside from the page reads, I have racked up 187 full price sales on Amazon too, so at least it looks like KU isn't hurting my normal Amazon sales.

The rest of my 37 books are still wide and making about the same as they usually do. I'm tempted...but I going to wait to see if these 15 can support me while I put the rest in, considering it will take time for readers to find them. Right?
Title: Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
Post by: Ann in Arlington on March 20, 2018, 03:24:00 am
locked for review -- there have been some political comments and we need to do some clean up -- as a reminder: political discussions are not allowed here.


Edit to update: Okay, I've deleted some content and removed all political discussion. However, we feel it has run the course now.
Evenstar