Kindle Unlimited per-Page Rate for January, 2017

Image from ShutterStock.

Image from ShutterStock.

JANUARY, 2017 PER-PAGE RATE FOR KINDLE UNLIMITED

The KENP per-page rate for Kindle Unlimited dropped down to $0.004754 for the month of January, 2017.

But I’m not worried:

  • The per-page rate (and Prime borrows before that) generally take a noticeable dip in January. It’s not a surprise. (What’s a surprise is that it didn’t drop in December.)
  • The per-page rate in January, 2017 is much higher than it was in January, 2016.  It was at an all-time low of $0.00411 one year ago. Compared to the previous January, $0.004754 is sweet.
  • The per-page rate has been fairly consistent. It was over half a penny per page for a few months in a row, at a lengthy relative high, and before that, $0.004754 would have seemed like a good number. Again, it’s typical to see a drop in January, so I wouldn’t panic.
  • The KDP Select Global Fund hit a new high, climbing up to $17.8M for January (from $16.8M in December). It’s also typical to see the Global Fund rise in January. It’s a good sign: Amazon paid $1M more than usual, which shows that Kindle Unlimited is holding strong.

Copyright © 2017

Chris McMullen

How Much Did Kindle Unlimited Pay per Page Read in April, 2016? (Good News)

Image from ShutterStock.

Image from ShutterStock.

KINDLE UNLIMITED PAGES READ: APRIL, 2016

The Kindle Unlimited per-page rate improved nearly 4% up to $0.00495663 for April, 2016. (Compare this to $0.00477885 for March, 2016.)

This is up 21% over January’s rate of $0.00411. A nice trend.

The KDP Select Global Fund held steady at $14.9M for April, 2016 (identical to March).

The improved per-page rate and steady global fund are positive indicators. The nearly $15M per month global fund is a huge amount paid out in royalties to indie authors (and that’s on top of royalties for sales). The per-page rate has almost returned to half a penny per page. When many critics have predicted a drop below $0.004 to come fast, the payment has nearly returned to $0.005.

These trends are consistent with seasonal effects of the original Kindle Unlimited version as well as the original Prime KOLL borrows back before Kindle Unlimited was introduced. The payments for borrows were always lower during the holidays and increased significantly afterward.

In other countries:

  • United Kingdom: £0.00315 per page (British pounds).
  • Germany: €0.00333 per page (Euro).
  • Canada: $0.00487 per page (Canadian dollars).
  • India: ₹0.108 per page (Indian rupees).
  • Brazil: R$0.0114 per page (Brazilian Real).

Write happy, be happy. :-)

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 2016

Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

Click here to view my Goodreads author page.

  • Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
  • Volume 2 on marketability and marketing
  • 4-in-1 Boxed set includes both volumes and more
  • Kindle Formatting Magic (coming soon)

Follow me at WordPress, find my author page on Facebook, or connect with me through Twitter.

Comments

Click here to jump to the comments section.

Kindle Unlimited KENP per Page Rate DROP January, 2016

Background image from ShutterStock.

Background image from ShutterStock.

KINDLE UNLIMITED KENP PAGES READ JANUARY, 2016

The KENP pages read rate has reached a record low, paying $0.00411 per page in the United States.

That’s a drop of 11% from the December payout. That’s a substantial change for just one month.

But it’s a drop of 29% from the first month of Kindle Unlimited v2 from July’s $0.0058 per page rate. That’s a much larger drop when put in the long-term perspective.

However, there was also a record high set in January, 2016, with the KDP Select Global Fund reaching $15 million.

That’s a rise of 11% over December’s Global Fund.

And it’s a rise of 30% compared to July. This means that Amazon is paying 30% more money in Kindle Unlimited (and Amazon Prime) royalties than when v2 started.

The KENP per-page rate has consistently dropped, while the KDP Select Global Fund has consistently risen, and by approximately the same percentages (one down, the other up).

Two are main effects going hand-in-hand:

  • More pages are being read through Kindle Unlimited (and Amazon Prime) every month. ← This is definitely a plus.
  • Amazon KDP is paying a little less for each page read every month. ← This is a minus.

NOT A BIG SURPRISE IN THE PER PAGE RATE

The numbers for January, 2016 actually make sense:

  • Amazon sold a record number of Kindle Fire devices on Black Friday.
  • Many customers took advantage of the free trial month.
  • Amazon included free Kindle Unlimited subscriptions during a few of their promotions.
  • Amazon discounted Kindle Unlimited subscriptions during some of their promotions.
  • Some promotions targeted Amazon Prime.

Therefore, we could have predicted:

  • an increase in the number of Kindle Unlimited (and Amazon Prime) subscribers
  • a large increase in the number of pages read
  • many more pages read where Amazon didn’t earn more money from the monthly subscription

Yes, FREE has benefits, but it also has a cost:

  • Those free trial months bring readers, but it costs Amazon money.
  • Those free subscriptions packaged with Kindles during rare promotions bring many more customers and pages read, but it costs Amazon a lot of money.
  • Those discounted subscriptions entice more subscribers, but cost Amazon a little money.

(Amazon ordinarily earns 30% or more on the sale of a KDP Select e-book. What percentage do they earn from borrows? We have no idea. It could be more than 30%. It could be less. Amazon could even take a loss with KDP Select, using it as a loss leader, expecting those regular Amazon customers to buy other products. We don’t know.)

The promotions worked: There were more subscribers and pages read. That’s why Amazon paid an extra $1.5 million compared to December.

But it’s probably not realistic to expect Amazon to absorb 100% of the cost. They passed some of that cost onto the authors, dropping the KENP per-page rate 11%.

Amazon has made Kindle Unlimited viable and substantial. Paying $15 million dollars in royalties each month, that’s a significant share of the e-book market.

And many of those Kindle Unlimited subscribers have taken a chance on indie e-books. This aspect is good for indies.

THE FUTURE OF KINDLE UNLIMITED

I doubt it’s a coincidence that KENPC v2.0 rolled out the month after the KENP per-page rate hit a record low.

Remember, KENPC v2.0 kicked in for February; it had no impact on January’s payout.

If you saw a significant decrease to your KENPC (but realize that actually increased for a few books), that drop on top of the 11% drop for January may seem scary.

Maybe the KENPC upgrade was put in place to help keep the KENP per-page rate from dropping further.

Maybe the per-page rate will actually go up somewhat for February. Probably, some of those free trial months won’t be renewed. The KENPC change may help a little.

Maybe, also, if Amazon is trying to help the per-page rate for the future, they are looking at ways that a few authors or publishers may have been trying to take advantage of the system. Maybe Amazon will help limit that: This could be part of the reason that the KENPC has changed. They might also change the way that KENP pages read are counted (to try to prevent anyone from gaming the system too much).

These are a lot of MAYBE’s. And even if it does rise in February, we will left to wonder if it will start dropping again after that. We are on a downward trend.

If the per-page rate drops too much, down to whatever your magic number is, the question you need to ask is whether you can do better outside of KDP Select than you can inside. It’s not an easy question to answer, and it varies from one author and even one book to the next. (Keep in mind that every borrow helps your sales rank, which is one thing you’ll lose if you switch to the other side.)

We haven’t reached my magic number yet. But I wouldn’t mind if we didn’t dip below $0.004…

Sure, I’d love it if Amazon would pay more per page. But Amazon didn’t ask for my opinion. They offered me a choice: Enroll in KDP Select, or opt out. I enrolled, and I still prefer this option for my books.

But I’m also glad that Amazon promoted Kindle Unlimited, offers free monthly trials, and promoted subscriptions and Kindle devices this holiday season.

If Amazon had given me a choice—do none of those things and leave the per-page rate at $0.0046 per page, or do all of those things and drop the per-page rate 11%—I would have happily accepted the 11% drop. Not everyone will feel that way. But I do.

On the other hand, it started at $0.0058 back in July, and now it’s 29% less, down to $0.0041. I sure would like to see it stop going down…

It will be interested to see how it pays in February and beyond.

KENP PAGES READ BY COUNTRY

Here are the pages read payouts for a handful of countries:

  • United States: $0.00411 per page (US dollars). That’s a drop of 11% from December’s payment of $0.00461.
  • United Kingdom: £0.00262 per page (British pounds). That’s also a drop of 14% from December’s £0.00306.
  • Canada: $0.00476 per page (Canadian dollars).
  • Spain: €0.00408 per page (Euro).
  • India: ₹0.1008 per page (Indian rupees). That’s nearly identical to December.

Write happy, be happy. 🙂

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 2016

Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

Click here to view my Goodreads author page.

  • Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
  • Volume 2 on marketability and marketing
  • 4-in-1 Boxed set includes both volumes and more
  • Kindle Formatting Magic (coming soon)

Follow me at WordPress, find my author page on Facebook, or connect with me through Twitter.

Comments

Click here to jump to the comments section.

The KDP Delivery Fee for Large Books: Is it really worth trying to reduce the file size?

Delivery Fees

DELIVERY FEE MATH

If you price your Kindle e-book between $2.99 and $9.99, you’re eligible for the 70% royalty option.

However, Amazon charges a delivery fee of 15 cents per megabyte (Mb) for US sales. (It’s £0.10 per Mb for UK sales. I will focus on US sales in this article.)

The delivery fee is subtracted from the list price before multiplying by 70%.

Example: List price = $2.99, file size = 6 Mb

Delivery fee = $0.15 × 6 = $0.90

Royalty = ($2.99 – $0.90) × 0.70 = $2.09 × 0.70 = $1.46

The only file size that matters is the converted .mobi file size that you see on page 2 of the publishing process at Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). The size of the file that you upload isn’t the number to go by.

The delivery fee is most significant for books that include many pictures.

IS IT WORTH TRYING TO REDUCE THE FILE SIZE?

If you’re planning to set the list price of your Kindle e-book between $2.99 and $9.99, you know that a smaller converted .mobi file size results in a smaller delivery fee.

So it’s intuitive to assume that reducing the file size will lead to a larger royalty.

I had some fun with the math the other day, working through several examples. I observed that in many cases, reducing the file size wouldn’t have a significant impact on the royalty unless the file size was substantially reduced. But there are cases where a change in file size has a greater impact on the royalty.

One factor is that for a very large file size, the 35% royalty rate actually pays a higher royalty. The delivery fee only applies when you select the 70% royalty option.

It also depends on the list price that you set and the converted .mobi file size that you’re starting with (i.e. before you proceed to reduce the file size).

We’ll get to the math in a moment (and some handy tables that will do the math for you).

But there is one more point that you should consider: It may be better to delivery high quality pictures to the customer than to try to reduce the file size. (Besides that, Amazon KDP automatically compresses pictures in the file that you upload.)

So when we look at the math, remember that the quality of the pictures is important, too.

DELIVERY FEE MATH

Here is an example, illustrating whether or not it’s worth it to reduce the file size for a particular situation:

Example: List price = $2.99, file size = 12 Mb

Delivery fee = $0.15 × 12 = $1.80

70% Royalty = ($2.99 – $1.80) × 0.70 = $1.19 × 0.70 = $0.83

35% Royalty = $2.99 × 0.35 = $1.05

If you reduce the file size 30%, down to 8.4 Mb:

Delivery fee = $0.15 × 8.4 = $1.26

Royalty = ($2.99 – $1.26) × 0.70 = $1.73 × 0.70 = $1.21

You earn a whopping 16 cents more by reducing the file size 30%. (Ignore the $0.83 since the 35% royalty paid better at the original file size.)

However, if you reduce the file size 50%, down to 6 Mb:

Delivery fee = $0.15 × 6 = $0.90

Royalty = ($2.99 – $0.90) × 0.70 = $2.09 × 0.70 = $1.46

You earn 41 cents more by reducing the file size 50%. It takes a substantial change in file size to significantly improve the royalty in this example.

I had some fun with this and made several tables. The tables do the math for you.

KDP DELIVERY FEE TABLES

There are 8 tables below, one for each of the following price points: $2.99, $3.99, $4.99, $5.99, $6.99, $7.99, $8.99, and $9.99.

Each table shows you how much you would need to reduce your file size in order to see a significant improvement on your royalty.

Here is how to use the tables:

  • Find the table with your list price. The list price appears near the top left corner of the table.
  • Find your current converted .mobi file size in the left column. (You need to upload your file to KDP and continue onto page 2 of the publishing process to find out what your file size is. Don’t look at the size of your Word file or any other file on your computer.)
  • The next column over (the 0% column) shows you what your current royalty is. (Check this on page 2 of the publishing process. It may be slightly different, since your exact file size might not be listed.)
  • As you continue to the right, the row tells you what your royalty would be depending on what percentage you reduce your converted .mobi file size.
  • The cells in green (and the figure at the top of the table, near the left) correspond to the 35% royalty option. For these cells, the 35% royalty rate pays higher than the 70% royalty option.

Here is an example:

Example: List price = $3.99, file size = 18 Mb

Find the table with the $3.99 list price near the top left.

Scroll down to 18 MB in the left column.

The table shows that the 35% royalty option pays a higher royalty, which is $1.40.

Now scroll to the right: The royalty won’t increase unless the file size is reduced at least 30%, and even then it only pays 7 cents more.

Scroll further to the right: If you reduce the file size 50%, then the royalty would improve to $1.95, compared to $1.40.

Table 1: $2.99

Delivery Fees 299

Table 2: $3.99

Delivery Fees 399

Table 3: $4.99

Delivery Fees 499

Table 4: $5.99

Delivery Fees 599

Table 5: $6.99

Delivery Fees 699

Table 6: $7.99

Delivery Fees 799

Table 7: $8.99

Delivery Fees 899

Table 8: $9.99

Delivery Fees 999

TEST IT OUT

If you find that reducing your converted .mobi file size may have a significant impact on your royalty, the next step is to see if you can reduce the file size as much as you expect, and, if so, what quality output you get.

Usually, most of the file size comes from images.

Amazon already compresses images when you upload your book to KDP, so if you compress them yourself, they get compressed again.

If you have an idea for possibly reducing the file size, make a test book with a small number of images. Upload the test file with the original images, see what your converted .mobi file size is on page 2 of the publishing process at KDP, make a new test file using the method that you’re testing out, and see how much it reduced the converted .mobi file size (if at all).

If the file size reduced enough, preview the book carefully to see how well it came out. If you can sideload it onto a Kindle Fire with a large display size (in terms of pixels) and another device with a much smaller display size (in terms of pixels), that will help to see if the pictures are good enough.

(The Kindle Textbook Creator produces an efficient file size, maintaining quality images. It’s suitable for an image-heavy book, or a textbook. But the resulting e-book has fixed format, works with pinch-and-zoom, and the e-book won’t be available for purchase from some devices, like the Kindle Paperwhite. This is suitable for some kinds of e-books, but not others.

If you have a very large file size, and you have a e-book that might be suitable for the Kindle Textbook Creator, it might be worth testing Amazon’s free tool out.)

Write happy, be happy. 🙂

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 2016

Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

Click here to view my Goodreads author page.

  • Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
  • Volume 2 on marketability and marketing
  • 4-in-1 Boxed set includes both volumes and more
  • Kindle Formatting Magic (coming soon)

Follow me at WordPress, find my author page on Facebook, or connect with me through Twitter.

Comments

Click here to jump to the comments section.

Sorting out your Amazon 1099-MISC forms from KDP and CreateSpace (Tax Year 2015)

Taxes

AMAZON KDP & CREATESPACE 1099-MISC TAX FORMS (YEAR 2015)

I received 12 different 1099-MISC forms for tax year 2015 from Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), and 3 more 1099-MISC forms from CreateSpace. I obtained my KDP tax forms online, but received my CreateSpace forms in the mail (on February 5).

Check yours against my list below to see if you’ve received them all.

Also, my list below will help you check which international marketplace each form corresponds to.

Verify that the amounts are correct. Occasionally, a mistake is made. (One year, they issued replacements a few weeks after mailing the originals.)

Note that, contrary to rumor, there is NO limit of $600 for book royalties. For book royalties, the limit is $10, meaning that if you earned at least $10 in royalties, you should account for this in your tax return. Amazon will have sent the information to the IRS. Most authors can use Schedule C-EZ, but if you earned too much, you need Schedule C instead, and also if you earn enough, you need to file SE (in addition to Schedule C) for self-employment tax (but if you file SE, there is another place to deduct a little on the 1040). You can subtract reasonable business expenses. (If you feel that writing is a hobby, don’t go by your feeling: There is a chart on the IRS website that can help you determine whether or not the IRS will agree with you about this.) Note that I’m NOT an accountant or tax attorney, so I’m not qualified to advise you on your taxes. You should consult a qualified tax professional for help. I’m just trying to help you find all of your forms and get you pointed in the right direction, and if you do hire a tax professional, you should try to follow along to ensure that they aren’t making any mistakes.

Here are the 12 different 1099’s that I received from KDP:

  1. Amazon Digital Services (United States)
  2. AMEU – UK Digital Services (United Kingdom)
  3. Amazon Digital Services CA (Canada)
  4. Amazon Australia Svcs (Australia)
  5. Amazon Mexico Svcs (Mexcio)
  6. Amazon Media EU SARL (NL) (Netherlands)
  7. Amazon Media EU SARL (IT) (Italy)
  8. Amazon Media EU SARL (ES) (Spain)
  9. Amazon Europe Holding Tech (France and Germany)
  10. Amazon Servicos de Varejo (Brazil)
  11. Amazon Digital South Asia (India)
  12. Amazon Svcs International (Japan)

Here are the 3 different 1099’s that I received from CreateSpace:

  1. On-Demand Publishing (United States)
  2. AMEU – UK Digital Services (United Kingdom). It’s for print sales even though it says Digital, provided that you see CRTSPACE in the bottom left box.
  3. Amazon Europe Holding Tech (continental Europe)

You may have yet another 1099 if you use Amazon Associates, for example. This 1099 is designated ASSOC in the bottom left box.

How do I know which marketplace corresponds to which 1099? I visited KDP and CreateSpace and totaled up all the payments I received in USD from each marketplace in tax year 2015, and checked these numbers against my 1099’s. You should do the same, just to make sure there were no mistakes.

When you log into KDP, click Reports, then click Payments. Next, choose the appropriate marketplace from the dropdown menu. Be sure to look at the Date column, not the Sales Period, and look for 2015.

Write happy, be happy. 🙂

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 2016

Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

Click here to view my Goodreads author page.

  • Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
  • Volume 2 on marketability and marketing
  • 4-in-1 Boxed set includes both volumes and more
  • Kindle Formatting Magic (coming soon)

Follow me at WordPress, find my author page on Facebook, or connect with me through Twitter.

Comments

Click here to jump to the comments section.

KENPC v2.0 Amazon KDP Changes Normalized Page Counts (February 1, 2016)

Images from ShutterStock.

Images from ShutterStock.

KENPC v2.0 February 1, 2016

Amazon KDP changed how it determines the Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count (KENPC).

This affects Kindle e-books enrolled in KDP Select, which can be borrowed via Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime.

KDP Select books borrowed through Kindle Unlimited or Amazon Prime pay by the page read, where a Kindle Edition Normalized Page (KENP) is determined based on the book’s KENPC.

(This has no impact on royalties earned through sales, just borrows.)

On February 1, 2016, the method that Amazon uses to compute the KENPC changed.

The new value of KENPC is called KENPC v2.0.

Visit your KDP Bookshelf and click the Promote and Advertise button next to a title to see what its new KENPC is.

According to Amazon, on average the KENPC has changed by 5% or less.

I checked several of my books, which had KENPC’s ranging from 170 to 2039, and the KENPC v2.0 was nearly identical to the original KENPC.

So my books were virtually unaffected by this. I’m curious about your experience with the KENPC change. Is it significant?

One notable change reported by Amazon is that books with a KENPC exceeding 3000 will now be capped at 3000. (When a customer reads 100% of those extremely long books, the author actually earns more from a single book read than the monthly subscription cost.) This only affects a few books, like encyclopedias (which could be broken down into smaller pieces…).

If you want to read the KDP help page describing KENPC v2.0, you can find it here:

https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=AI3QMVN4FMTXJ

Write happy, be happy. 🙂

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 2016

Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

Click here to view my Goodreads author page.

  • Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
  • Volume 2 on marketability and marketing
  • 4-in-1 Boxed set includes both volumes and more
  • Kindle Formatting Magic (coming soon)

Follow me at WordPress, find my author page on Facebook, or connect with me through Twitter.

Comments

Click here to jump to the comments section.

Kindle Unlimited Pages Read & Global Fund Trends from July, 2015 thru December, 2015

KU Trends Jan 2016 GF PR

KINDLE UNLIMITED FOR DECEMBER, 2015

First, let’s look at the Kindle Unlimited payments for December, 2015. Then we’ll look at trends for the past six months.

What did Kindle Unlimited pay for pages read in December of 2015?

Kindle Unlimited paid $0.00461 per KENP page read in the United States in December, 2015. That’s a 6.3% drop compared to $0.00492 per page in November.

However, this was compensated as…

The KDP Select Global Fund was $13.5M for December, 2015. That’s a 6.3% increase.

The KENP pages read continue to drop somewhat, while the KDP Select Global Fund continues to increase significantly.

This suggests that:

  • More readers are joining Kindle Unlimited and/or on average they are reading more pages.
  • More books are having more pages read each month, on average.
  • Kindle Unlimited is continually increasing its share of the total e-book market.
  • But while Kindle Unlimited readers and pages read are on the rise, they payment per page has been dropping.

The holiday season may have impacted both the payment for pages read and the KDP Global Select Fund.

According to a December 1 press release, Amazon had a record Black Friday weekend for the sale of Amazon devices, over 3 times the previous year. Amazon had several new devices out and really pushed them.

So perhaps Kindle Unlimited subscriptions and pages read were both pushed upward considerably during December, and if so, perhaps the payment for pages read will settle down a little in the near future.

Another important figure to keep in mind is that over 40,000 books are added to Kindle Unlimited each month. There are now approximately 1.2M books in Kindle Unlimited.

More books means greater selection, which may help to attract more customers. (Indeed, the Global Fund trends suggest this is happening.)

The competition probably helps more than it hurts, e.g. through customers-also-bought lists. When customers finish one Kindle Unlimited book that they enjoy, they tend to search for another like it.

KINDLE UNLIMITED BREAKDOWN BY COUNTRY

Here is a breakdown of how much Kindle Unlimited paid per page read in various countries:

  • United States: $0.00461 per page (US dollars). That’s a drop of 6.3% from November’s payment of $0.00492.
  • United Kingdom: £0.00306 per page (British pounds). That’s also a drop of 6.4% from November’s £0.00327.
  • Germany: €0.00389 per page (Euro). That’s a drop of 8.5% from November’s €0.00425.
  • France: €0.00429 per page (Euro). That’s a drop of 6.3% from November’s €0.00458.
  • India: ₹0.1008 per page (Indian rupees). That’s a drop of 6.2% from November’s ₹0.1075.

It pretty consistently dropped about 6.3%.

KINDLE UNLIMITED PAGES READ TRENDS JULY THRU DECEMBER, 2015

The following graph and table show the trends in Kindle Unlimited payments for KENP pages read from July, 2015 thru December, 2015.

KU Trends Jan 2016 PR

  • $0.0058 per page in July, 2015
  • $0.0051 per page in August, 2015
  • $0.0051 per page in September, 2015
  • $0.0048 per page in October, 2015
  • $0.0049 per page in November, 2015
  • $0.0046 per page in December, 2015

KDP GLOBAL SELECT FUND JULY THRU DECEMBER, 2015

The following graph and table show the trends in the KDP Select Global Fund from July, 2015 thru December, 2015.

KU Trends Jan 2016 GF

  • $11.5M in July, 2015
  • $11.8M in August, 2015
  • $12.0M in September, 2015
  • $12.4M in October, 2015
  • $12.7M in November, 2015
  • $13.5M in December, 2015

Write happy, be happy. 🙂

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 2016

Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

Click here to view my Goodreads author page.

  • Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
  • Volume 2 on marketability and marketing
  • 4-in-1 Boxed set includes both volumes and more
  • Kindle Formatting Magic (coming soon)

Follow me at WordPress, find my author page on Facebook, or connect with me through Twitter.

Comments

Click here to jump to the comments section.

Kindle Unlimited: Global Fund Stability and Marketplace Changes

Image from ShutterStock.

Image from ShutterStock.

KINDLE UNLIMITED UPDATE

Amazon announced that the KDP Select global fund for November, 2015 will be at least $12M.

It has consistently been $11M or more since May, 2015.

So this shows some nice stability.

Under the original Kindle Unlimited scheme, critics used to comment on how Amazon would low-ball the KDP Select global fund, promising around $3M at the beginning of the month, and then providing a much larger fund after the month’s end. Some tried to argue that Amazon was taking a loss because they raised the fund much higher than their initial projection.

When the new Kindle Unlimited unrolled this summer, critics revised their argument, saying that just because Amazon is offering $11M or more up front doesn’t mean they will continue to do this. Maybe it would drop down much lower later on, or maybe after a brief welcoming period, they would revert back to their old habits.

Yet from May thru November, the KDP Select global fund has held steady from $11M to $12M.

This stability is nice, and I haven’t heard such arguments from the critics recently.

Maybe the proponents for the new Kindle Unlimited who argued that the new system is more viable than the old system were right. Maybe it is more viable for Amazon financially, maybe it has added stability.

Whatever the reason, the global fund has held steady for 7 straight months.

The payment for pages read has dropped to just over $0.005 per page. There was a significant drop after the first month of the new Kindle Unlimited program, but that last two months held steady.

A new variable to the KDP Select global fund and to the KENP pages read is the added marketplaces offering Kindle Unlimited.

For example, Kindle Unlimited recently launched to India.

Whereas it costs $9.99 per month to subscribe to Kindle Unlimited in the US, the local India subscription price is the equivalent of $3.00.

This could significantly impact the payment for KENP pages read, and it probably will for October, 2015.

However, Amazon announced that they would revise their one-size-fits-all plan for pages read beginning in November, 2015.

The payments for pages read in each marketplace will take into account differences in local marketplaces. This should help to stabilize the payment per page.

However, there may be a drop for October, 2015 (we’ll find out on November 15), where this wasn’t yet factored into the payment for pages read.

The best news to me was this statement from Amazon KDP:

“Our long-term goal, as always, is to build a service that rewards authors for their valuable work, attracts readers around the world, and encourages them to read more and more often.”

Of course, it’s difficult to balance the rewards for authors with the other goals of attracting readers and getting them to read more.

But I believe this is a great long-term goal, and I do feel that in a number of ways Kindle Unlimited has helped with this goals.

Write happy, be happy. 🙂

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 2015

Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

Click here to view my Goodreads author page.

  • Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
  • Volume 2 on marketability and marketing
  • 4-in-1 Boxed set includes both volumes and more
  • Kindle Formatting Magic (coming soon)

Follow me at WordPress, find my author page on Facebook, or connect with me through Twitter.

Comments

Click here to jump to the comments section.

You Can Extend the Deadline for AMS ads via KDP

Image from ShutterStock.

Image from ShutterStock.

AMS AD DEADLINE

When you create an advertisement for KDP Select books via AMS, you must choose an end date.

The end date must be within the next 6 months.

But suppose you have a successful advertisement running, but when the deadline approaches, you don’t want to stop your AMS ad campaign.

Especially, if you spent several hours handpicking books to target, and your ad is doing well; you don’t want to have to do that research again, and you might not choose such a good list next time.

Fortunately, you can extend the deadline of your KDP ad.

Extend the deadline before the ad runs its course.

When the deadline is near, simply view your AMS ad report.

Click the Edit button next to your ad.

Revise the end date. It will let you choose a date up to six months from today.

Click save.

Return to your ad report, just to check that the end date has properly updated.

When the new deadline comes up, you can repeat the process, if you want.

A FEW TIPS

The real trick is getting the AMS ad to work well enough that you actually want to extend the deadline when the time comes.

So here are a few tips:

  • Don’t overbid. Most authors can’t afford to spend 50 cents or more per click. Start out very low. Wait three days (or more) because ad report data can be significantly delayed (if it seems like nothing’s happening, wait 3 days to find out if indeed nothing is happening, or if you’ve already spent a lot of money that just hasn’t posted to your report yet because of delays). If nothing happens after a few days, raise your bid just a little. Then wait a few more days. This strategy gets you affordable clicks. It won’t drive a ton of daily traffic to your book, but it will help you generate some interest without overspending. Time is on your side. Take what you can afford to get, even if it comes very slowly. Too many authors bid much higher than they should, blowing their budgets before they realize it with little to show for it. I have several ads that perform well, with very low bids, even though it may take weeks for them to deliver significant results. Personally, I prefer to be patient and get a good return on my investment.
  • Test it out. I ran a few dozen tests in the first couple of months before I learned the most effective ways to make these ads work for my books. You’re not obligated to spend the entire $100 budget. You can pause or terminate your ad at any time. (But if you bid high, you can blow your budget without realizing it because there can be significant delays.) So you can try an ad over a short period, then cancel it and start a new ad. Maybe you try changing your targeting list, or maybe you try a different catch phrase. Some trial and error can help you learn more effective ways to use this advertising tool.
  • Close the deal. If your sales to clicks ratio is 3% or less, this suggests that you could improve (A) your targeting or (B) your product page. Is your product page closing the deal as well as it could? Does the cover properly suggest what to expect? Does it achieve this goal in the tiny ad thumbnail, too? Does the book description arouse interest and curiosity without giving away too much? Does the Look Inside grab the reader right away? Does everything look professional? The great thing about AMS is that you can test out the performance of your product page. You can get two weeks of data, then revise your book description, get another two weeks of data, and compare. Did changing the product page actually make a difference, for better or for worse? Your AMS ad report can be a tool to help you perfect your product page. A closing rate of around 5% is reasonable achieve; a closing rate of 10% or more is rare, but it can be done. A closing rate of 1% or less isn’t good, but it happens.

Write happy, be happy. 🙂

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 2015

Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

Click here to view my Goodreads author page.

  • Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
  • Volume 2 on marketability and marketing
  • 4-in-1 Boxed set includes both volumes and more
  • Kindle Formatting Magic (coming soon)

Follow me at WordPress, find my author page on Facebook, or connect with me through Twitter.

Comments

Click here to jump to the comments section.

KDP’s AMS Advertising now offers Subcategories… Finally

Image from ShutterStock.

Image from ShutterStock.

ADVERTISING IMPROVEMENT WITH AMS AT KDP

Kindle books enrolled in KDP Select can be advertised on Amazon via AMS through KDP.

There have always been two targeting choices:

  • product targeting. Select specific products to target.
  • interest targeting. Select a category to target.

Until now, the category choices for interest targeting were very broad.

But now, after you select a category, you can select a subcategory.

Some of the subcategories are still themselves quite broad.

  • For example, for a math or science book, I must choose the category called Other.
  • Then the appropriate subcategory is Math and Science. But that includes very many different subjects.
  • It would be better if the subcategories were further divided. For example, I might choose astronomy, if available.

However, it is an improvement. Interest targeting is better now. It’s a nice step in the right direction.

If you want more precise targeting, the obvious solution is to choose product targeting instead.

KINDLE ADVERTISING TIPS

  • I used to recommend product targeting. I still favor that, but I just tested out the refined interest targeting so that I can compare. It has some merit.
  • Set the end date as far in advance as possible. It lets you go about six months ahead.
  • Choose to display your ad as quickly as possible. Generally, it’s not easy to make impressions unless you overbid. This option helps if you bid reasonably.
  • Make a catchy headline that’s likely to help create interest in your book, and which is quite relevant for your content.
  • Bid low to begin with. It’s okay to underbid.
  • Wait 3 days before raising your bid. Sometimes reporting is significantly delayed. See how it’s going before you ‘fix’ it.
  • Try expanding your targeting before raising your bid to see if that helps make more impressions.
  • If you do raise your bid, just raise it a little. And wait 3 more days before raising it again.
  • You’re not obligated to invest the whole $100. You can pause or terminate your ad at any time.

With my strategy, I have several affordable bids. Sometimes, I’m able to generate 100,000 to 400,000 impressions in one month with less than $10 spent. I have multiple ads where I spent about $12 to generate $24 in sales (at 70% royalty).

I observe some nice indirect effects on similar books and on my print books. (I tend to sell more print books to begin with, so that makes sense for my books.)

Write happy, be happy. 🙂

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 2015

Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

  • Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
  • Volume 2 on marketability and marketing
  • 4-in-1 Boxed set includes both volumes and more
  • Kindle Formatting Magic (coming soon)

Follow me at WordPress, find my author page on Facebook, or connect with me through Twitter.

Comments

Click here to jump to the comments section.