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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Day three, so today, I've made $0.50 where I was making $20 per day in borrows. What is going on? Did Amazon not just change the pay structure, but are they also actively pushing readers in the direction of novels? Have shorts become invisible?
 

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Crying can be therapeutic.

But planning is more effective when running a business.

It's a holiday weekend. I'm sure things will be slow for the next few days.

Going to get my BBQ stuff for our celebration tomorrow.

I wish everyone a safe and happy 4th.
 

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Everyone claiming they are making more money, or going to, haven't really reported back in with calculations that show they are consistently making more than before.

I know from my perspective, I write short how to books. I wasn't a super successful author, I was making maybe 3-4 sales a day (at 0.99) and 4-5 borrows a day. The last 2 months went from 129 to 200 dollars for June. I was slowly working my way up.

I consider my series of how to shorts successful, with 30 reviews on each all being 4-5 stars. I get emails all the time from people thanking me, etc.

So I just did the math. Since my books are the following in pages: 27, 20, 44 pages, you can see how it has hit me.

I had 40 KENP pages read on the 1st, 39 on the 2nd, and 0 today. While before this may be 2 borrows, it means I make like 20 cents on each. With my sales being at only 0.99 and making .35 cents, I estimate based on my sales and page revenue to be...this month...37.5

Since I started just over a year ago I have never made less than 50 a month. The first few months were rough, being 50 and 55, but it has increased every month until it was what it was, prior to July 1st.

I do also have some short LGBT books up there, which I've been experimenting with. Anyway, I emailed KDP today and asked for all my books to be taken out of select. It isn't worth it to be making 37 bucks a month for my work. It's also sad since I was relying on that extra income to pay bills since we just had a baby and needed it.

So that 180 missing a month will definitely be a dent for me. I know I'm not making thousands like some people, but I sure was rising the ranks slowly. Now I feel like I started off worse than I started a year ago. It sucks.

So yeah, I'm gonna go cry..wahhhhhhh




 

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My page counts tell me that I've had the equivalent of 4 borrows and complete reads. Since I write short, instead of $5+ this is worth 73 cents this month. Makes it a whole lot easier to uncheck that box on my pre-orders and plan to take everything wide from the start.
 

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I'm wide. When KU first came out it cut my income by half on all vendors. It took a new release, a BookBub, and two+ months to recover. I feel for you. I will probably put my next series in KU for a little while before taking it wide and then will try to keep one title in KU at all times for exposure to that audience. There is no certainty in this biz. We just have to roll with the punches.


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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've been lazy. In KU1 mode I was writing 10 thousand words per week and some weeks I missed entirely. (I have no job, no partner, no children or other commitments)

Starting next week I will be writing 40000 minimum, whether that's in 8 eights per day over 5 days, or 24 hours each of seven. I have been spectacularly lucky that KU1 has given me an enormous financial cushion to sit on while I prepare to take on the new system. So come Monday the time for crying is over. In a way the change has re-motivated me and given me enormous incentive to write more. Which, regardless of finances, is where my happiness comes from.
 

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I blame myself. Two years ago I had a trad-pub deal that fell apart when the pub went out of business. Readers said "Self-publish!" I hemmed and hawed until April 2014 then published backlist. Was making a tiny dent, rising confidence, learning the ropes!

and then:

KU. Slaughtered.

Regrouped. Joined WC. Read a gazillion posts. Analyzed KU. Figured it was like a literary magazine. Shorter works produced in less time because narrative arc is not as complex. And niche-specific. Think of all the short story mags that kept the Fitzgerald alive back in the day. Writing short pushed me as a writer. Loved it! Renewed confidence! Borrows happening! Outlines created until September!

KU.2. Slaughtered.

See? It's me. I break things. I'll probably break Writers Cafe.  :'(

Platforms, distributors, systems, etc will come and go but there will always be writers. We'll stay the course and figure out how to roll with this one.

But a little sobbing is not out of place right now.

 

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Initially, I thought the changes would be ok or even help me because I tend to write novels with lengths of between 60 to 100K words. And right now, I only have a boxed set of three novels enrolled. My borrows tended to run less than 20 a month, but I thought that because the page length of the boxed set was long, I'd end up doing better on that then I did on the borrows.

Gosh, I was naive. Right now, I'm estimating that I'll be getting about $3.00 for June. Before the new system was implemented, I had expected to get around $18.00.

I really feel sorry for authors who have a lot more books in KU and have shorter works. Even if their readers get to the last page, they may be receiving only a fraction of what they usually earn. And that has got to be hard.

Honestly, I had been thinking of moving all my books back into Kindle Select/KU, but now I have to weigh the pittance from KU against the pittance from other retailers. I *think* that the pittance I'm getting from the other retailers is more than the pittance I'll be getting from Select/KU--I will be able to tell for sure when all the numbers come in for June.

On the bright side, for those writers who tend to be long-winded and write huge 150k (or even staggering 200k) tomes--and if their readers get to the end all the time--they may do...marginally well. I'm sorry, but even for those writers, I'm thinking the payoff is going to be pretty slim.

The more I think about this, the more I wonder if this isn't just Amazon's way of saving a little money on payouts because I can't see it really being a huge boon to anyone on the author side. Maybe they have more people downloading more loaned books than they can really afford to support with more generous fee structures. Which is good for readers--they are getting good value for their money--but it isn't so great for us authors.

Trad publishing is once again looking better and better.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
drno said:
Today I made 1 buck in borrows. Used to be 20 per day.
That's terrible, I feel for you. I'm probably making 20 percent now of what I was making before, which is why I'm taking extreme measures.

On the topic of fairness, it seems to me the old system was fairer because it didn't discriminate. I mean, sure, some folk might argue 30 pages isn't worth the same as 300. But since when is 300 worth less than 600? The whole point of writing novels is because that is believed to be more popular. If you can write shorter, and still sell, then you're selling a premium product. You were selling against the odds.

I don't mind amazon changing the rules on us, it's their company they can do what they want, but hiding behind a few angry novelists for this is a really deceptive move.
 

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Amy Corwin said:
Initially, I thought the changes would be ok or even help me because I tend to write novels with lengths of between 60 to 100K words. And right now, I only have a boxed set of three novels enrolled. My borrows tended to run less than 20 a month, but I thought that because the page length of the boxed set was long, I'd end up doing better on that then I did on the borrows.

Gosh, I was naive. Right now, I'm estimating that I'll be getting about $3.00 for June. Before the new system was implemented, I had expected to get around $18.00.

I really feel sorry for authors who have a lot more books in KU and have shorter works. Even if their readers get to the last page, they may be receiving only a fraction of what they usually earn. And that has got to be hard.

Honestly, I had been thinking of moving all my books back into Kindle Select/KU, but now I have to weigh the pittance from KU against the pittance from other retailers. I *think* that the pittance I'm getting from the other retailers is more than the pittance I'll be getting from Select/KU--I will be able to tell for sure when all the numbers come in for June.

On the bright side, for those writers who tend to be long-winded and write huge 150k (or even staggering 200k) tomes--and if their readers get to the end all the time--they may do...marginally well. I'm sorry, but even for those writers, I'm thinking the payoff is going to be pretty slim.

The more I think about this, the more I wonder if this isn't just Amazon's way of saving a little money on payouts because I can't see it really being a huge boon to anyone on the author side. Maybe they have more people downloading more loaned books than they can really afford to support with more generous fee structures. Which is good for readers--they are getting good value for their money--but it isn't so great for us authors.

Trad publishing is once again looking better and better.
Don't understand. June is the same as it's always been, it is July that is different. Assuming the payout is half a cent per page read, which nobody knows for sure, I have so far made $1 more than I would have under the old system. However, nobody knows what the payout is going to be and I am quite convinced that if it falls to silly money, loads of people will leave select and Amazon will lose out. They didn't get to be so big by losing out.

For the people who scoff at Select and wonder how any author can get involved with it, because they are so much smarter, take a look at one young lady writer of contemporary romances who achieves over 300 borrows per day, all full length novels. I expect she is soooo sorry she ever got involved in something so crass and is crying all the way to the bank.
 

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Doglover said:
Don't understand. June is the same as it's always been, it is July that is different. Assuming the payout is half a cent per page read, which nobody knows for sure, I have so far made $1 more than I would have under the old system. However, nobody knows what the payout is going to be and I am quite convinced that if it falls to silly money, loads of people will leave select and Amazon will lose out. They didn't get to be so big by losing out.

For the people who scoff at Select and wonder how any author can get involved with it, because they are so much smarter, take a look at one young lady writer of contemporary romances who achieves over 300 borrows per day, all full length novels. I expect she is soooo sorry she ever got involved in something so crass and is crying all the way to the bank.
For me select isn't completely useless. I just look at it as a tool for visibility rather than a money maker in KU. I have several in select because I do free promos. I have a huge free promo scheduled tomorrow and that usually sends readers to my other books not in Select. What I would like best is for Amazon to give the select user a choice about being in KU but that's not going to happen. So I look at the KU books as loss leaders now and concentrate on sales.
 

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Right now it looks like I'll be taking a pay cut of around 75% or more if the royalty rate is really 0.0057. I have a mix of short stories, novellas, and novels.

What's sad is I don't even know what to do? I don't know how many people are borrowing my books, so I don't know if I should push a promotion to book X or book Y. I have one book that's almost finished, but I won't even be able to tell how much interest is sparked by my covers, description and titles anymore. I wrote all of my books for Kindle Unlimited, so sales used to make up only about 20% of my transactions.

To top it off, the rankings of nearly all of my books have mysteriously dropped off since the changes. I'm clueless?

One part of me wants to pull everything and get to working on going wide with every one of my titles, but the other part of me says "No, just wait it out. Amazon isn't really an evil corporation. They appreciate all we've done for them and how much we've supported and promoted Kindle Unlimited. They will realize how devastating this is to so many people and make it right."

I suppose the only surefire thing I can do is write more, write harder, and write faster. But I also feel a bit like a deer in the headlights. It's about the same as walking into your office with a pink slip on your desk. Somehow it looks like the income that I depended on to survive is being stripped away, and it's making it hard for me to even focus on writing. I look at my dashboard and cringe. I read the forums and cringe. Writing for me right now is twice as hard than it usually is.


 
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