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Katharine Tree
06-15-2015, 08:46 PM
Just got an email from Amazon KDP. Starting July 1, they will revise their pay structure for Kindle Unlimited checkouts.

Previously (and still currently) an author gets a lump amount for any borrow that is read past the 10% mark. This payout has generally been between $1 and $2, which means that authors make a lot more on checkouts of cheap books, and a lot less on checkouts of expensive books. Many authors have requested their books be excluded from KU for this reason, and many other authors (me included) have found it financially sensible to either write shorter books, or to release books in serial.

The new structure will pay authors by number of pages read. As before the actual payout per unit isn't known ahead of time and will change from month to month, according to the whims of Amazon's accountants, but the new structure removes the disincentive to publish longer books, or to publish omnibus editions of serials and series.

I'm pleased. I'm still going to release my current thing in serial, but with the new structure I'm also happy to release an omnibus edition of it. Anything that makes it easier for readers to eat up those pages, eh?

thethinker42
06-15-2015, 09:58 PM
This will be interesting. I have a pretty wide range on my KU books (8500 words up to 110K+, plus a couple of 200K+ box sets). I'm really curious to see how this plays out.

JalexM
06-15-2015, 09:58 PM
Seeing how much a reader reads of your book will be interesting. Making me nervous.
I'm going to pull my novella though, but I just put a full length novel in select just last week.

thethinker42
06-15-2015, 09:59 PM
Seeing how much a reader reads of your book will be interesting. Making me nervous.

That too. I'm quite curious.

SBibb
06-15-2015, 10:10 PM
Seeing how much a reader reads of your book will be interesting. Making me nervous.

I don't have anything with Kindle Select, but I'm curious to see how this plays out.

J. Tanner
06-15-2015, 10:12 PM
This should diminish the value of a lot of the scammy 5 page "books" and share the pool money more equitably. My short stories don't deserve as much for a borrow as a thousand-page fantasy doorstop.

It's a good change, but I wonder how the dashboard will handle tracking page reads versus unit downloads. It's going to be a mess: "I have no idea how many people downloaded my books, but they read 8000 pages. What does that actually mean in terms of readership?"

Katharine Tree
06-15-2015, 10:16 PM
Yeah. I'm not pinning my hopes on getting detailed feedback from Amazon, just--as always--trusting them to tell the truth and pay me what I'm owed. But it is awesome that we've got a direct pecuniary incentive to keep readers reading.

heza
06-15-2015, 10:39 PM
Can you tell whether payment on page views starts after the first 10% or includes it?

JalexM
06-15-2015, 10:55 PM
This should diminish the value of a lot of the scammy 5 page "books" and share the pool money more equitably. My short stories don't deserve as much for a borrow as a thousand-page fantasy doorstop.

It's a good change, but I wonder how the dashboard will handle tracking page reads versus unit downloads. It's going to be a mess: "I have no idea how many people downloaded my books, but they read 8000 pages. What does that actually mean in terms of readership?"
Are you still going to put short stories on there? I can see this destroying the serial market.

Can you tell whether payment on page views starts after the first 10% or includes it?

By the way they worded it, I think the 10% figure doesn't matter anymore.
Here is the full info on it.
https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A156OS90J7RDN

bearilou
06-16-2015, 02:28 AM
I don't see this destroying the serial market.

8 stories at 10k vs 1 story at 80k. With serial, what are the chances of getting 100% read through each of the 8 versus getting 100% read through on one book of 80K?

From all the hubub I'm reading on other forums, seems like a lot of writers are forgetting the fact that the author is only getting paid per page read. And they're banking that their books will get 100% read through.

What are the chances of that?

J. Tanner
06-16-2015, 04:46 AM
Are you still going to put short stories on there? I can see this destroying the serial market.

I will still publish shorts there. This news has no negative impact for me. I never expected the overcompensation of shorts to last. It wasn't good for readers.

I don't think it will "destroy" the serial market. KU temporarily created an inflated serial market with its initial system. That should be fixed. A true serial will still be most effectively released in serial format. What it changes is that people won't be breaking up their non-serials into faux-serial format to game the KU payment method. That's a win for readers (who won't have to search through as much stuff intentionally miscategorized due to financial incentives) and for serial writers (who won't be competing with faux-serials.)

The writer who takes the biggest hit (from this somewhat sketchy early info) appears to be the illustrated children's book author. These books have always had a high price per page ratio and the new payment, should it hold for that market, will really de-incentivize KU/KOLL as an attractive market.

AlexisRadcliff
06-16-2015, 05:17 AM
This provides a strong incentive for authors of nonfiction to pad their books... and I already end up skimming a lot of non-fiction books which are over-padded. :/

That said, I'm cautiously optimistic that this is on-the-whole a good thing for authors and publishing in general (at least in fiction markets) as long as Amazon still pays out reasonable rates, since the proposition is "the longer you keep the reader entertained, the more we will pay you."

J. Tanner
06-16-2015, 06:11 AM
This provides a strong incentive for authors of nonfiction to pad their books... and I already end up skimming a lot of non-fiction books which are over-padded. :/

Possible. I'd guess it would more than balance out with users who stop reading the book entirely and go find a better KU book on the topic instead.

JalexM
06-16-2015, 08:03 AM
I don't see this destroying the serial market.

8 stories at 10k vs 1 story at 80k. With serial, what are the chances of getting 100% read through each of the 8 versus getting 100% read through on one book of 80K?

From all the hubub I'm reading on other forums, seems like a lot of writers are forgetting the fact that the author is only getting paid per page read. And they're banking that their books will get 100% read through.

What are the chances of that?
I mean for the people who wrote serials just for KU. With amazon's pay per page they'll get a far less payout in the end. It won't effect people who don't write just for KU. I already know some people who claim this will hurt their bottom line as they were getting the full 1.35 on a borrow for a lot shorter book. If my guess of them paying 1 cent a page, a short, novella or serials clocking in less then 30k words will be getting a lot less money per borrow. Some where splitting their books and releasing them episodically and getting alot more money than if they released a full novel.

I will still publish shorts there. This news has no negative impact for me. I never expected the overcompensation of shorts to last. It wasn't good for readers.

I don't think it will "destroy" the serial market. KU temporarily created an inflated serial market with its initial system. That should be fixed. A true serial will still be most effectively released in serial format. What it changes is that people won't be breaking up their non-serials into faux-serial format to game the KU payment method. That's a win for readers (who won't have to search through as much stuff intentionally miscategorized due to financial incentives) and for serial writers (who won't be competing with faux-serials.)

The writer who takes the biggest hit (from this somewhat sketchy early info) appears to be the illustrated children's book author. These books have always had a high price per page ratio and the new payment, should it hold for that market, will really de-incentivize KU/KOLL as an attractive market.
Well as long as you weren't writing with KU in mind when releasing your serials then I think you'd be fine. But alot of people were. I'm not one of those people but some people built a career over it.

This provides a strong incentive for authors of nonfiction to pad their books... and I already end up skimming a lot of non-fiction books which are over-padded. :/

That said, I'm cautiously optimistic that this is on-the-whole a good thing for authors and publishing in general (at least in fiction markets) as long as Amazon still pays out reasonable rates, since the proposition is "the longer you keep the reader entertained, the more we will pay you."
Since it's pay per page, I doubt if people padded their books readers will get far in it which would still end out with those scammers to lose out.

J. Tanner
06-16-2015, 09:40 AM
Well as long as you weren't writing with KU in mind when releasing your serials then I think you'd be fine. But alot of people were. I'm not one of those people but some people built a career over it.


It's been available for less than a year. I don't think it's possible to even consider it a career option in that amount of time. :)

It's true some legit writers were writing serials as a tactic to take advantage of this opportunity, but I doubt many of them thought it was going to last too long in this format. (The only constant is change...)

veinglory
06-16-2015, 05:37 PM
There will always be people who stampede from side to side trying to wring maximum money out of algorithm-of-the-week. I think solid writing in sensible units of consumption will always do okay. Serials that really were just books chopped into pieces, not so much.

EMaree
06-16-2015, 05:48 PM
Seems like a wise move.

aruna
06-16-2015, 07:11 PM
As a result I just put my one SP book back on Select. I was going to wait a few more days but this definitely makes sense for a 300 page book. On other forums, people are griping -- but it's mostly authors who were profiting by writing short fiction.

I think it's good for writers who can hold a reader's attention till the end. Not good for people who pad just to get their 10%...

WriterBN
06-16-2015, 08:12 PM
I write (collections of) short fiction, and I'm reasonably happy with the changes. It was the only rational response to the millions of "scamphlets" flooding the system.

I took my books out of Select last month, so the change doesn't affect me at the moment, but I may seriously consider going back. Sales on other channels have been dismal compared to KDP.

Motley
06-17-2015, 09:53 PM
20 pt font and 2 inch margins, just like high school essays. Ha. (I know it doesn't work that way.)


I've been following this since I was just getting ready to release some shorts. It makes sense rather like piece-work in a factory. You get paid for how much quality product you put out (if you measure quality by readers).

WeaselFire
06-20-2015, 05:54 AM
This provides a strong incentive for authors of nonfiction to pad their books... and I already end up skimming a lot of non-fiction books which are over-padded. :/

This brings up another point I haven't found in any of Amazon's documentation. If I have a 1,000 page book and someone reads pages 1-200, I get paid for 200 pages. But what about the reader who reads pages 1-50, 150-300 and 400-427? That's actually 227 pages read, but is it counted as 427? I'm working on several non-fiction books for Kindle that are more reference works so it's logical that nobody would read everything cove to cover.

Jeff

JalexM
06-20-2015, 08:08 AM
This brings up another point I haven't found in any of Amazon's documentation. If I have a 1,000 page book and someone reads pages 1-200, I get paid for 200 pages. But what about the reader who reads pages 1-50, 150-300 and 400-427? That's actually 227 pages read, but is it counted as 427? I'm working on several non-fiction books for Kindle that are more reference works so it's logical that nobody would read everything cove to cover.

Jeff

You will only get paid for the pages read. So let's say someone skips around and reads page 3,5,7,9. That would count as 4 pages read.
Your example would be counted as 227.

WeaselFire
06-21-2015, 05:20 PM
You will only get paid for the pages read. So let's say someone skips around and reads page 3,5,7,9. That would count as 4 pages read.
Your example would be counted as 227.

But how can Amazon tell I read a page? If I scroll to the next page, then the next, then the next, does that count? If I click on a chapter heading in the TOC and go to chapter 6, but I wanted chapter 5 so I click back until I get to chapter 5, have I read those pages?

These types of actions aren't common in fiction, but in the non-fiction I have written it could be significant. Though my non-fiction publishers have opted out of Kindle Unlimited... :(

Jeff

Katharine Tree
06-21-2015, 05:26 PM
I suspect they measure the length of time spent on the page, and count it as "read" if it's been up for a minimum reasonable length of time.

aruna
06-21-2015, 07:12 PM
... which means that speed readers would have to slow down, which won't happen, since readers don't give a damn about author earnings -- or even know that their time spent on page is money for us!

Reziac
06-22-2015, 03:49 AM
Now wait a minute. If it's pay-per-page-read, why would it matter if the book is long or short? Someone explain this to me. From Amazon's own page, pay is the same for 100 pages read of a 100 page book or 100 pages read of a 200 page book.

Seems to me they could skew this very heavily toward not paying at all for fully-read books if their timer excludes faster readers (who also tend to be more-voracious readers).

You can bet the bean-counters have already thoroughly spreadsheeted this scheme, and the net benefit is not to authors, but to Amazon, and they're pushing it because it's more beneficial to Amazon than is selling on a per-book basis.

Katharine Tree
06-22-2015, 04:24 AM
If they're gonna screw me, I'd rather they screw me in a way that reflects my authorial prowess. Or something. And while I agree that everything Amazon does is in the best interest of Amazon, it is also true that 3 out of 4 books I "move" are through KU, not through straight-out purchasing. It gets people to read the book who wouldn't spend any money on it otherwise, which gets more money into my bank account and my name in more people's heads. So I'll take it.

And I don't know they're going to measure time-on-a-page, that's just my wild-ass guess.

Thewitt
06-22-2015, 05:21 AM
It's high time Amazon did this, and as for padding books - if the readers are dumb enough to go through and read page after page of drivel, then the author should get paid...

I believe this will do what Amazon wants, and that's reward authors for quality content distributed through the KDP Select KU program, and stop rewarding people for putting up trash and simply getting a high number of borrows.

Reziac
06-22-2015, 12:17 PM
It gets people to read the book who wouldn't spend any money on it otherwise, which gets more money into my bank account and my name in more people's heads. So I'll take it.

There's the real point for authors -- if you can get more people to at least TRY the book, you're ahead.

izanobu
06-22-2015, 01:59 PM
They count a page read if you scroll over it at all. Look at your Kindle. If I scroll through 20 pages super fast, close the book file, then open it and tell it to go to further read, it goes to whatever the last page I stopped on was, and the little black dot thingies are full up to that point. They won't discount faster readers (my Kindle Voyage knows roughly my reading speed which is quick and tells me how many minutes I have left each chapter, adjusting for how fast or slow I'm reading that particular book).

If you skip chapters/pages via the ToC though, only the pages you actually scroll over will count. The skipped ones won't. This was apparently asked and confirmed by a couple of Amazon author reps.

Lauram6123
06-24-2015, 05:35 AM
Doesn't it bother anyone that an author can potentially not get paid if a reader buys their book but simply doesn't get around to reading it? Sitting by my computer at this very moment are 5 books that I've bought on Amazon that I want to read, but haven't yet. I guess Amazon thinks it's fine if they get paid while making the authors wait for me to clear my schedule.

Taylor Kowalski
06-24-2015, 06:40 AM
Doesn't it bother anyone that an author can potentially not get paid if a reader buys their book but simply doesn't get around to reading it? Sitting by my computer at this very moment are 5 books that I've bought on Amazon that I want to read, but haven't yet. I guess Amazon thinks it's fine if they get paid while making the authors wait for me to clear my schedule.
I think the difference here is that a book read (or not read, as in this case) through Kindle Unlimited isn't necessarily "bought" by the customer. Realistically, the book is being borrowed, and Amazon in turn offers the author compensation for the ability to loan it out to the customer for X amount per month.

I dunno, I think it's a pretty good approach for gaining the loyalty of that reader who wouldn't have considered paying for your work before trying it through KU. It's like Spotify for books.

Sage
06-24-2015, 06:52 AM
Amazon gets paid by that customer whether a book is borrowed or not, so it doesn't matter to them whether the reader gets the book and doesn't read it or doesn't get the book.

One thing I thought was interesting is that it's not strictly the author getting paid by the page turn. It's the author getting paid by the page turn as compared to all the page turns through KU and based on whatever amount is in their KDP fund (however that's determined).

https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A156OS90J7RDN

thethinker42
06-24-2015, 10:07 AM
Also, you can only have 10 books at a time on your KU, so there's less of an inclination to build a huge pile of unread books.

aruna
06-24-2015, 12:23 PM
Doesn't it bother anyone that an author can potentially not get paid if a reader buys their book but simply doesn't get around to reading it? Sitting by my computer at this very moment are 5 books that I've bought on Amazon that I want to read, but haven't yet. I guess Amazon thinks it's fine if they get paid while making the authors wait for me to clear my schedule. (my bold)

The authors have been paid for those bought books sitting on your computer, even if you never get around to reading them.
Books in the KU programme (whihc is what we are talking about here) are not bought. They are borrowed, and paid for through a subscription service. They are free for the reader, who pays $10 a month for an unlimited supply of books. (But can only have a few, 10 I think, downloaded at any given time.)

Even now, a borrowed book is only paid for when the reader reaches 10%. Only then does it appear on the author's dashboard. In future, they will be paid for even after just a few pages, even if onlya few cents. The more the book captures the reader, who keeps turning the pages, the more he or she will read. So better write good books!

Books can be bought and borrowed at the same time.

Thewitt
06-24-2015, 01:25 PM
I don't understand why people keep saying BOUGHT when they talk about KU BORROWS. No one bought the book. They borrowed it.

If they BUY the book, the author gets paid the full price.

The only people who are going to get screwed in this deal, are people who are trying to game the system today.

If you are writing books that people want to read, you will get paid if they read them.

They will count pages turned as read. They are not going to implement a timer. Yes, it's possible that you could flip through a book and not actually read it, but that's not the scam they are trying to stop. They want the junk, 10 page books gone.

Reziac
06-24-2015, 01:26 PM
One thing I thought was interesting is that it's not strictly the author getting paid by the page turn. It's the author getting paid by the page turn as compared to all the page turns through KU and based on whatever amount is in their KDP fund (however that's determined).

https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A156OS90J7RDN

I noticed that. My cynical little voice immediately piped up with, "But what if there's no money in the KDP fund?"

Another take on all this:

http://madgeniusclub.com/2015/06/23/and-panic-ensues/

I just read thru Amazon's agreement.

Nowhere does it say they're obligated to keep money in the KDP fund.

The "borrow" wording seems to mean that a book is first sold to a user, then lent BY that user to another user. <scratching head>

Thewitt
06-24-2015, 01:55 PM
You are borrowing the book from the KU program, just like you would borrow a book from the library.

aruna
06-24-2015, 05:02 PM
If there is no money in the fund authors will not get paid. If authors do not get paid they will withdraw their books and KU will fail. It looks though as if Amazon wants KU to succeed, and to succeed with readable books, so there's no reason for them to empty the fund. The better the books, the more subscribers, and more money in the pot. I personally hope for many subscribers and fewer books! :)

Reziac
06-24-2015, 05:12 PM
Go to https://kdp.amazon.com/bookshelf
Use the Printer Friendly link below the scrollbox to get a clean copy (which you should save).

This is the entire and only section where either the "KDP select fund" or borrowing are mentioned:
==============
2.3 KDP Select Fund. We will establish a fund on a monthly basis and you will be eligible to earn a share of that fund for each of your Digital Books included in the Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Owners’ Lending Library Programs. You will earn a share of the monthly fund, calculated as the number of qualified reads of your Digital Book through Kindle Unlimited plus the number of qualified borrows through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library as a percentage of the number of total qualified reads and borrows of all KDP Digital Books. This share is your total Royalty for customer access to your Digital Book through the Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Owners’ Lending Library Programs. For example, if the fund for a particular month is $1,000,000, your Digital Book has 1,000 qualified reads through Kindle Unlimited, 500 qualified borrows through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, and there are 300,000 total qualified reads and borrows for all participating Digital Books in that month, your Digital Book will earn $5,000 ($1,000,000 x 1,500/300,000 = $5,000). We will determine in our sole discretion the criteria for determining which customer events qualify for this calculation. A maximum of one event per customer account will qualify for each Digital Book. We may publically announce the top Digital Books, including the author, publisher, number of qualified reads and borrows, and KDP Select fund royalties earned.
==============

Sheryl Nantus
06-24-2015, 05:35 PM
You play with Amazon, you agree to their rules.

Simple as that.

Just don't call Amazon your "publisher". It's your distributor and they can change the terms of their agreement with you at their whim. They don't have to give six months notice; they don't have to do anything other than just tell you what's going to happen and then you have to decide what to do.

Just remember Amazon is always going to do what's best for Amazon. As you do what's best for you as an author and as a publisher.

Reziac
06-24-2015, 06:21 PM
Yep. Mind you, I think this new program could be a good thing. Or it could mean a lower average payout. Only sales comparisons will tell, but I'd bet Amazon is banking on the latter to reduce costs while opening a new line of profit. Now, from Amazon's POV it doesn't really matter if the reduced cost is because authors get paid less, or because fewer customers complain thus requiring less paid support (Amazon is too big for customer complaints alone to really have an impact, and they'll never run out of people aching to be published). And I think there will indeed be fewer complaints. I will be very surprised if this program fails.

They're not the first to suggest pay-per-page, just the first to be in a position to massively implement it.

Katharine Tree
06-24-2015, 06:45 PM
It will reduce costs to Amazon because they'll being paying out far less for ten-page scamphlets.

Whether authors will make more money on multi-hundred-page Grown Ass Novels remains to be seen.

PinkUnicorn
06-26-2015, 04:41 AM
Wow... and I'm right now editing a 400+ page book, that's due out in a day or two.

Based on what I read in the example in the ToS, they expect the payouts to be around .10c a page? Or did I read that wrong. Does that mean if just 1 person read my 400 page book all the way through, I'd make $40? That can't be right, can it? Did I do the math wrong or did I read their example wrong? That still means a 10 page book is going to make a $1 every time it's read all the way through.

I think I must have done the math wrong, but they said:

Here are some examples of how it would work if the fund was $10M and 100,000,000 total pages were read in the month:
The author of a 100 page book that was borrowed and read completely 100 times would earn $1,000 ($10 million multiplied by 10,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).

The author of a 200 page book that was borrowed and read completely 100 times would earn $2,000 ($10 million multiplied by 20,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).

The author of a 200 page book that was borrowed 100 times but only read halfway through on average would earn $1,000 ($10 million multiplied by 10,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).

Doesn't that come out to .10c a page for each of those examples? That seems rather high to me. I can't see Amazon paying me $40 for 1 person to read all 400 pages of a book that I plan to sell for $4.99.

Do they really plan to put $10million in the fund or are they just using that in the example to make it sound better then it really is? I seems more logical that they'd pay something closer to .01c a page ($4 for a 400 page book) then .10c a page ($40 for a 400 page book) doesn't it?

Oh well, either way, I can't see this resulting in me changing the way I write. I've always written a scatter-brained hit and miss of flash, short, novelette, novella, serial, and light novels, mixed in with short non-fic essays and mega long winded textbook sized rants, I mean non-fiction books.

I didn't change my writing style when KU came out, don't see any reason to change my writing style now that it's changing.

J. Tanner
06-26-2015, 04:53 AM
They'll likely put more than 10 million in the fund, but the pages read will be astronomically higher. They were just using a round number for easy math in the example so people would understand the concept.

There's wagering (just for fun) going on about what the first actual payout will be with the guesses tilting toward under a penny a page.

(My personal guess is it will be well under that. Right now you're getting around $1.35 for a "book" with the caveat that many items aren't truly book length. I can't see the shift being so monumental that a 400 page novel is suddenly getting $4.00 for a borrow when so many sell for $2.99.)

Amazon for certain knows exactly how much they would have payed out last month using the new calculation and to whom. I can't imagine them finding the shift that far to their benefit even if it helps with the other noted problems. I bet a novel ends up being worth a couple bucks a borrow which was their original target range with borrow funding.

thethinker42
06-26-2015, 11:55 AM
The fund has been $3-4 million most months. I don't think I've ever seen it higher than that, and I've had books in KU since it launched.

JalexM
06-26-2015, 06:34 PM
The fund has been $3-4 million most months. I don't think I've ever seen it higher than that, and I've had books in KU since it launched.
That's the base, it's risen significantly since launch.
July 2014 was $2.785 million in payout
August was $4.7 million
September was $5 million
October was $5.5 million
November was $6.5 million
December was $7.25 million
January 2015 was $8.50 million
February was $8.00 million
March was $9.30 million
April was $9.80 million
May was $10.8 million

thethinker42
06-26-2015, 06:39 PM
Ah, okay. I thought it was lower, but I may not have looked at the updated fund at the end of the month (it grows throughout the month, and it was $3M last I looked)

Katharine Tree
07-01-2015, 04:14 PM
G'morning everybody, it's July 1! Those who participate in KU lending will find a second graph on your sales dashboard this morning . . . Kindle Edition Normalized Pages (KENP). Ain't THAT a breath of fresh air. I like this scheme already just because it's so fun to see biiiiiiig numbers on a graph :)

aruna
07-01-2015, 04:56 PM
I see a flat line! I guess nobody has read my book today! It's only one book and it sells or borrows only one a day so I'll be patient.

ETA: and now, nothing. They are having technical problems.

aruna
07-01-2015, 06:02 PM
There's a thing called Book Report you can install and it shows you all your sales going back years -- really nice! It works with the new KU system. https://www.getbookreport.com/install.html

thethinker42
07-01-2015, 06:40 PM
G'morning everybody, it's July 1! Those who participate in KU lending will find a second graph on your sales dashboard this morning . . . Kindle Edition Normalized Pages (KENP). Ain't THAT a breath of fresh air. I like this scheme already just because it's so fun to see biiiiiiig numbers on a graph :)

Yeah, I'm enjoying that! :D Plus I had a free book promotion last week and one this week, so the numbers be jumpin', yo. :D

Obviously we won't know anything actually useful until royalties come out, but it's still fun to watch the graph.

J. Tanner
07-01-2015, 08:04 PM
So the email from Amazon arrived this morning signaling the start of the program, and it had the estimates for if it had been running last month.

1.9 billion page reads.
11 million in funding.

My math says about half a cent per page, right?

The Kindle "Normalized" page count also appears in my Dashboard now. It seems to run long. My 4500 word story that lists as 18 pages on its store page, shows as 40 normalized pages in the dashboard and it doesn't have any significant front or back matter, just 2-3 pages. It'll be interesting to see if that holds as works get longer. If so, fully read novels could be pushing closer to the $3 payout rather than the $2 I guessed earlier in the thread.

JalexM
07-01-2015, 08:36 PM
Won't lie i'm extremely butt hurt, some authors have far higher page counts than me with less than 2/3rds the words. If that isn't fixed i'm going to have to reformat my novel to suit their system more. If they didn't want people to game the system they better fix the huge discrepancies.

J. Tanner
07-01-2015, 09:01 PM
Won't lie i'm extremely butt hurt, some authors have far higher page counts than me with less than 2/3rds the words. If that isn't fixed i'm going to have to reformat my novel to suit their system more.

This is a truly awful idea. You should format your book the "right" way for your reader regardless of the system. That's what'll be best for you financially in the long run.

The formula could change next month, ruining all your gaming efforts in addition to potentially hurting your reads due to delivering an intentionally sub-optimal product to readers. Just like it changed today ruining the gaming efforts of people breaking up their books into individual chapters at the expense of readers.

aruna
07-01-2015, 09:07 PM
Won't lie i'm extremely butt hurt, some authors have far higher page counts than me with less than 2/3rds the words. If that isn't fixed i'm going to have to reformat my novel to suit their system more. If they didn't want people to game the system they better fix the huge discrepancies.
I can't see my page count as I edited something and the book is in pending mode. But I understand you can see your page counts under your dashboard. But how do you get to see the page counts of other books? I don't get that at all.

J. Tanner
07-01-2015, 09:19 PM
I can't see my page count as I edited something and the book is in pending mode. But I understand you can see your page counts under your dashboard. But how do you get to see the page counts of other books? I don't get that at all.

You can see the normalized count ONLY for books enrolled in KDP Select by pressing the Promote And Advertise button for the book on the Dashboard. The button won't exist for books that aren't enrolled. You'll have to estimate for the rest.

Katharine Tree
07-01-2015, 10:04 PM
All my published titles have NPCs close to twice their sale-page length. Innnnnteresting.

FWIW I do no funny formatting anything at all.

JalexM
07-01-2015, 10:06 PM
This is a truly awful idea. You should format your book the "right" way for your reader regardless of the system. That's what'll be best for you financially in the long run.

The formula could change next month, ruining all your gaming efforts in addition to potentially hurting your reads due to delivering an intentionally sub-optimal product to readers. Just like it changed today ruining the gaming efforts of people breaking up their books into individual chapters at the expense of readers.

The look ahead is already messed up for my book, there must be something wrong with the formatting if someone with 80k words is getting 500+ pages when I'm at 112k and only getting 367. So i'm going to try and fix it. Almost everyones pages doubled except for mine and a few other authors. It's not right.

aruna
07-01-2015, 10:21 PM
You can see the normalized count ONLY for books enrolled in KDP Select by pressing the Promote And Advertise button for the book on the Dashboard. The button won't exist for books that aren't enrolled. You'll have to estimate for the rest.

The book is in Select. My page number isn't visible at the moment because it is right now in limbo. I know where to look but unfortunately I did a revision at the wrong time! A few hours more...

But I was wondering because Jalex said he could see the page counts of other books (ie by other authors). How's that possible?

JalexM
07-01-2015, 10:47 PM
The book is in Select. My page number isn't visible at the moment because it is right now in limbo. I know where to look but unfortunately I did a revision at the wrong time! A few hours more...

But I was wondering because Jalex said he could see the page counts of other books (ie by other authors). How's that possible?

I can't see other authors, I'm on kboards too where they're discussions about peoples page counts. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
Otherwise you should be able to see it once it publishes, it seems with all these changes Amazon is being slow as hell in the last week or so.

J. Tanner
07-01-2015, 11:27 PM
Yep. Authors are talking like crazy about the normalized page counts elsewhere.

thethinker42
07-01-2015, 11:53 PM
I went through the normalized page counts for all of my KDP books (27). They're reasonably consistent (the longer books are on the long end, shorter books are on the short end -- no 20,000 word books showing longer than 30,000 word books, etc).

It's definitely fun to watch that graph rise! lol

Reziac
07-01-2015, 11:53 PM
Seems to me the obvious thing for Amazon to do is publish a specification: "This here base font at NN points and X-by-Y page-dimensions equals our notion of one page." Then you could do a copy at their spec and see if it's right rather than agonize over it.

Katharine Tree
07-02-2015, 12:02 AM
All the NPCs for my books calculate out very close to one NPC per 185 words. They say graphics are taken into account--I wouldn't know, I don't really do graphics in my books.

J. Tanner
07-02-2015, 12:03 AM
Seems to me the obvious thing for Amazon to do is publish a specification: "This here base font at NN points and X-by-Y page-dimensions equals our notion of one page." Then you could do a copy at their spec and see if it's right rather than agonize over it.

They explained the basic idea already.

The author doesn't really need to know more unless they're trying to game the system, and it's not in Amazon's or readers' best interest to have authors gaming the system, so I expect no specifics.

JalexM
07-02-2015, 01:14 AM
All the NPCs for my books calculate out very close to one NPC per 185 words. They say graphics are taken into account--I wouldn't know, I don't really do graphics in my books.

I'm getting one NPC per 305 words. Which is why I believe there is a problem. It's not gaming the system when everyone else has far different results than you and you're trying to fix it.

Here's a site with people posting different results
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,217384.0.html

Katharine Tree
07-02-2015, 01:20 AM
Who converts your ebooks for you? Sounds like they're doing something weird.

J. Tanner
07-02-2015, 03:34 AM
What's your word count?

406 print pages listed on your store page seems kind of long based on the length of the sample. Your sample has some other oddities with the font size, but according to Amazon's info that really shouldn't impact your normalized page count.

JalexM
07-02-2015, 03:59 AM
What's your word count?

406 print pages listed on your store page seems kind of long based on the length of the sample. Your sample has some other oddities with the font size, but according to Amazon's info that really shouldn't impact your normalized page count.

112k, that would be 275 a page for 406 for the paper back. Most are claiming to get 150-200 words per page on the new system. I convert it myself, but i'm going to nuke it and redo the formatting. I kept the same font and font size from my createspace version which is what i'm thinking caused the problem.

J. Tanner
07-02-2015, 05:24 AM
Yeah, 275 a page is pretty sparse for a paperback. They'll tend to have 350-400. Regardless, that shouldn't matter for normalized page count. I was just guessing wrong about the length of your book which I put more like 80-90K from the length of the sample (which is about 10% of the book.)

So they're calculating your book at 367 pages it looks like. You're right, that's among the lowest I've noticed. (If your book actually had been 80Kish, it would be right on target with what others have noted.)

aruna
07-02-2015, 06:57 AM
I can't see other authors, I'm on kboards too where they're discussions about peoples page counts. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
Otherwise you should be able to see it once it publishes, it seems with all these changes Amazon is being slow as hell in the last week or so.
Jaled, my book is now live again but I don't see any page count on the promote and advertise page. It looks just the same as it always has -- no change whatsoever, and no page count info. Also no pages read on the reports page; I only usually have 9 borrows a month on average, but surely, since I do have regular borrows (ie over 10% read), SOMEONE should be reading it right now? Weird. If there's no change I'll contact amazon this weekend.

Katharine Tree
07-02-2015, 07:11 AM
aruna, are you sure that the old system gave us blue blips for copies read to 10%? Somehow I thought they were just checkouts, and you didn't find out whether you got paid or not until the royalty reports came out.

In any case: my graph was high when I woke up this morning but hasn't changed all day, so I wonder if they only update the pages read once every 24 hours, to save processing power (maybe somebody who has gotten more frequent pages-read updates could disprove this theory). Maybe you'll have a nice surprise tomorrow morning. Also, remember that users have to connect their Kindles for the numbers to be reported. People with Wifi-only Kindles, like me, often don't connect more often than every week or two. I bet page reports will tend to come in great big gobs, for that reason.

aruna
07-02-2015, 07:23 AM
I read that the 10% borrow count on the Kboards. Plus, it's recorded on my sales report.

OK, it's only one book and I know I get very few borrows (it has never been promoted) but I can't wait for something to move!

thethinker42
07-02-2015, 11:07 AM
aruna, are you sure that the old system gave us blue blips for copies read to 10%? Somehow I thought they were just checkouts, and you didn't find out whether you got paid or not until the royalty reports came out.

The blue blips were 10% reads only.


In any case: my graph was high when I woke up this morning but hasn't changed all day, so I wonder if they only update the pages read once every 24 hours, to save processing power (maybe somebody who has gotten more frequent pages-read updates could disprove this theory). Maybe you'll have a nice surprise tomorrow morning. Also, remember that users have to connect their Kindles for the numbers to be reported. People with Wifi-only Kindles, like me, often don't connect more often than every week or two. I bet page reports will tend to come in great big gobs, for that reason.

Mine was moving throughout the day yesterday. Not sure if it was real time per se, but it was definitely updating frequently.

aruna
07-02-2015, 04:22 PM
Ha! It's moved! 2 pages read!
At least I know it's working. Hope that person manages to read a little further!

Katharine Tree
07-02-2015, 05:15 PM
Mine was moving throughout the day yesterday. Not sure if it was real time per se, but it was definitely updating frequently.

Ah, me. And I woke up to zero new pages read this morning. Time to eat worms.

JalexM
07-02-2015, 06:46 PM
So amazon really needs to fix their system that counts pages. After getting a nonanswer from them after asking about my page count, I reformatted my book and changed the font to 12 pt, new times roman and my count know comes out to 507, alot better. Not under 200 a page yet though like most others but it's a start.

brkingsolver
07-08-2015, 04:19 AM
My books that they've posted a KENPC for so far came in at 60K words = 321 pages (186 words/page), and 85K words = 424 pages (200 words/page).

The books are formatted exactly the same because I start all my books using a Word template I created. 12 pt New Times Roman, single spaced with indented paragraphs and 3 pt between paragraphs.

aruna
07-08-2015, 06:29 AM
600 pages read, two days ago. So, one whole book.

Mclesh
07-08-2015, 07:01 AM
Mine is showing 1,917 pages read, so almost ten dollars? I had 52 borrows last month (which was one of my best months for borrows). It'll be interesting to see the page count at the end of the month and compare.

thethinker42
07-08-2015, 02:42 PM
I did a promotion at the end of June, offering two re-released books free and advertising one on BookBub. I've found that whenever I do free promos, I get a huge spike in free downloads, and then over the next 30 days, around 10-20% of that number pop up on KU. (So for every 10 free downloads, 1-2 people use KU) I deliberately scheduled these to coincide with the new payment structure because I wanted to see how the numbers stacked up to a promotion I did in May with a book of roughly the same length.

I won't really know for sure how it compares until statements come out, and I also want to compare August to June (see how it looks with no free promos), but just to compare:

Books were free for 5 days apiece, all in the same genre (male/male contemporary romance). All three books were previously published and re-released (the May book was re-released in 2014, and has had a number of promos during that time; the July books were re-released the day their promos started...obviously this will factor in as far as how many people download the book, etc)

May Promo:
(434 KENP, just to compare):
Free downloads: 9,068
KU reads: 444 (+311 in June)

July promos:
Book 1
(627 KENP)
3,046 free downloads
89,880 pages read

Book 2
(349 KENP, BookBub promo)
11,186 free downloads
111,465 pages read

I'm fairly certain this is just the post-promo spike, so it'll be interesting to see how it tapers/levels out over the next few weeks. Once I have some royalty statements to compare, and can really see how the payout compares from previous months, I'll make some decisions about whether or not to continue with KU, particularly for my shorter books.

Katharine Tree
07-08-2015, 04:44 PM
thethinker42, how do you sell so many books? Inquiring minds want to know.

aruna
07-08-2015, 06:21 PM
Another person has borrowed SoG and started reading. So everything is continuing at the normal rate, except that I get more money for the borrows.

thethinker42
07-08-2015, 06:35 PM
thethinker42, how do you sell so many books? Inquiring minds want to know.

Large backlist, promotion from publishers (Riptide and Samhain have excellent marketing departments), frequent releases, and a LOT of trial and error. I've been published since late 2009, releasing books often (ideally at least one a month), and my fan base has been steadily growing since then. I've also found that co-writing and collaborative series (solo written books within a jointly owned universe) are HUGE boosters because you tap into each other's fan bases. Ditto with cooperative promotion.

Also writing to the market -- while I still have my passion projects, and I still enjoy the hell out of the books I write for the market, it *does* come into play when I'm planning out my projects for the year. If I release a contemporary gay romance, I can reasonably expect it to sell a certain amount of copies (and if it's military, about 10-15% more). A SFF LGBT novel will likely sell a fraction of that, as will a historical or (in my case) a hetero contemporary. So I make sure that at least half of my releases for a year are contemporary gay romances, and at least half of those are military. The rest can be whatever I feel like writing.

Mostly, it comes down to trial and error. Try something, see if it works, try something else.

Katharine Tree
07-08-2015, 06:38 PM
All good stuff to know. Thanks!

thethinker42
07-08-2015, 07:05 PM
All good stuff to know. Thanks!

Happy to help :)

Mclesh
07-09-2015, 12:28 AM
I did a promotion at the end of June, offering two re-released books free and advertising one on BookBub. I've found that whenever I do free promos, I get a huge spike in free downloads, and then over the next 30 days, around 10-20% of that number pop up on KU. (So for every 10 free downloads, 1-2 people use KU) I deliberately scheduled these to coincide with the new payment structure because I wanted to see how the numbers stacked up to a promotion I did in May with a book of roughly the same length.

I won't really know for sure how it compares until statements come out, and I also want to compare August to June (see how it looks with no free promos), but just to compare:

Books were free for 5 days apiece, all in the same genre (male/male contemporary romance). All three books were previously published and re-released (the May book was re-released in 2014, and has had a number of promos during that time; the July books were re-released the day their promos started...obviously this will factor in as far as how many people download the book, etc)

May Promo:
(434 KENP, just to compare):
Free downloads: 9,068
KU reads: 444 (+311 in June)

July promos:
Book 1
(627 KENP)
3,046 free downloads
89,880 pages read

Book 2
(349 KENP, BookBub promo)
11,186 free downloads
111,465 pages read

I'm fairly certain this is just the post-promo spike, so it'll be interesting to see how it tapers/levels out over the next few weeks. Once I have some royalty statements to compare, and can really see how the payout compares from previous months, I'll make some decisions about whether or not to continue with KU, particularly for my shorter books.

Good grief, those are some big numbers! It must be a good feeling to see your books being consumed like that. :)

thethinker42
07-09-2015, 12:38 AM
Good grief, those are some big numbers! It must be a good feeling to see your books being consumed like that. :)

It's pretty cool to see!

Katharine Tree
07-09-2015, 01:26 AM
It's pretty cool to see!

Looked you up on Amazon, in all your many forms. You weren't kidding about having a massload of titles!

thethinker42
07-09-2015, 01:41 AM
Looked you up on Amazon, in all your many forms. You weren't kidding about having a massload of titles!

lol It's...been a busy few years.

aruna
07-09-2015, 07:40 AM
Well done, Lori!

As for me, I'm delighted to see one new reader has read 24 pages of SoG. I like KU2 -- it seems so much more personal when you are actually follow people reading.

ShaunHorton
07-09-2015, 08:21 AM
Just curious, with the discrepancies about page counts, has anything been considered or said about whether that could be because of how people have their kindles set up? I know they say not to worry about formatting your font size when you upload to Kindle because of that, but if someone has their Kindle set to a large font because they have vision problems or something, that will certainly up the page count.

Old Hack
07-09-2015, 12:43 PM
thethinker42, how do you sell so many books? Inquiring minds want to know.


Large backlist, promotion from publishers (Riptide and Samhain have excellent marketing departments), frequent releases, and a LOT of trial and error. I've been published since late 2009, releasing books often (ideally at least one a month), and my fan base has been steadily growing since then. I've also found that co-writing and collaborative series (solo written books within a jointly owned universe) are HUGE boosters because you tap into each other's fan bases. Ditto with cooperative promotion.

Also writing to the market -- while I still have my passion projects, and I still enjoy the hell out of the books I write for the market, it *does* come into play when I'm planning out my projects for the year. If I release a contemporary gay romance, I can reasonably expect it to sell a certain amount of copies (and if it's military, about 10-15% more). A SFF LGBT novel will likely sell a fraction of that, as will a historical or (in my case) a hetero contemporary. So I make sure that at least half of my releases for a year are contemporary gay romances, and at least half of those are military. The rest can be whatever I feel like writing.

Mostly, it comes down to trial and error. Try something, see if it works, try something else.

Thinker, you missed out a very important factor: you write really good books. That's significant in your sales, I think.

Reziac
07-09-2015, 04:40 PM
Where did I see this? Can't recall, but anyway: T'other day I read someone's breakdown on pay-per-page, and their pay came to about 0.6 cents per page read.

How does that compare for you folks?

thethinker42
07-09-2015, 04:44 PM
No one has been paid yet. Royalty statements won't come out until next month.

That said, I've been hearing the $0.0057 figure from most sources. Which, if that turns out to be true, I'll be making significantly more per book than I was on the original payment structure (aside from short stories, but most of my KU books are novels or novellas).

M. H. Lee
07-10-2015, 04:23 AM
Yeah, that .0057 number is what people calculated based upon number of pages Amazon said were read in June and the payout of $11 million Amazon has promised for July for the pool. It's a starting point of sorts, but completely meaningless at the same time. Will page reads in July be about the same as in June? Who knows? Will Amazon add more to the pot? Who knows? But it's a number to start with and far more realistic, I think, than the 3 cents or more a page some were predicting at one point. Keep in mind there are at least some authors that are in KU that are reporting 200,000+ pages read PER DAY.

M. H. Lee
07-10-2015, 04:27 AM
Just curious, with the discrepancies about page counts, has anything been considered or said about whether that could be because of how people have their kindles set up? I know they say not to worry about formatting your font size when you upload to Kindle because of that, but if someone has their Kindle set to a large font because they have vision problems or something, that will certainly up the page count.

Supposedly Amazon determines the KENPC (or page count for borrow purposes) using some sort of standardized approach that is applied to all books. Doesn't matter so much what the user's settings are, although I guess I could see how someone who has things set to larger font could read to the exact same spot as someone else and cost you one page read because of where the bottom of their page falls versus that other person. But no more than a page I'd think.

Reziac
07-10-2015, 05:17 PM
These are indeed encouraging numbers.

Katharine Tree
07-10-2015, 05:53 PM
Very encouraging. At .0057, I'll be making 95% of the cover price on my books, for fully-read KU borrows.

Which makes me suspect .0057 is too good to be true. Or that my books are priced too low. Or that the burden of scamphleteers on the old system was truly off the chain.

J. Tanner
07-11-2015, 03:06 AM
...or the preponderance of short serialized fiction was collecting an excessive amount of the pot.

Reziac
07-14-2015, 05:24 PM
Another take on it:

http://madgeniusclub.com/2015/07/14/some-preliminary-thoughts-on-the-new-ku-rules/

cutecontinent
07-22-2015, 03:15 PM
The new page count is determined when the book is published... you can view a book's KENPC in the bookstore, under "promote and advertise". Font size won't affect it. For those writing children's books, a full-page image seems to count as two pages, which seems fair to me.

The new model was largely due to the romance writers who started pumping out 30-page short stories -- there's a certain sub-genre of romance that's really hot right now, and the ones that got traction in there before it really took off, with their series of shorts, just wow... let's just say Amazon was losing money. :(

veinglory
07-22-2015, 05:52 PM
I would say at had at least as much to do with non-fiction scamphlets promising to fix your [every problem there is] but only delivering a few pages of Wikipedia advice.

cutecontinent
07-22-2015, 07:13 PM
Were people actually buying those things?

Tora Uran
07-22-2015, 07:37 PM
Were people actually buying those things?

I think the bigger question would be if people with KU were reading them. If they were then they were costing Amazon quite a bit for something that probably took no effort for the people creating them. Also being so short all one would have to do is basically open the book and they would hit the 10% threshold for the author to get paid even if the reader never made it any further.

That said even though I am writing in a short serial format I have no issue with the new system. Sure I would have made more already with the old system, as it does seem from the chart numbers people are reading what I have all the way through. But on the other hand I can see why the new system was put in place. It does seem more fair when it comes to the longer books and it is set up so it is harder to scam or find an exploit with it so Amazon can sustain the program better.

I think this is just hitting the people who could make a living off of their writing hardest, unlike someone like me who is just starting out and and just earning anything from my writing is good enough.

thethinker42
07-22-2015, 08:24 PM
I think this is just hitting the people who could make a living off of their writing hardest, unlike someone like me who is just starting out and and just earning anything from my writing is good enough.

I make my living off my writing, so any time something changes, it makes me uneasy. But so far, I'm cautiously optimistic about this. My page reads are staying reasonably high and consistent, so we'll see how it plays out on my royalty statements.

cutecontinent
07-23-2015, 12:27 AM
Sadly, I don't think many have considered just how many page reads someone like JK Rowling must be getting, what with just one HP book being 750 pages, meaning big name authors will get even more of the pie than they were before. So if the payout was much less than 0.0057, I wouldn't be surprised. :( For what it's worth, I'm averaging about 45k page reads per day

Mclesh
07-23-2015, 12:54 AM
Sadly, I don't think many have considered just how many page reads someone like JK Rowling must be getting, what with just one HP book being 750 pages, meaning big name authors will get even more of the pie than they were before. So if the payout was much less than 0.0057, I wouldn't be surprised. :( For what it's worth, I'm averaging about 45k page reads per day


cutecontinent, the big name authors would have to have their books enrolled in the Select program to reap the benefits of high page counts, so this wouldn't be a factor.

45K page reads per day seems like quite a bit to me. Congrats!

Reziac
07-23-2015, 01:35 AM
For what it's worth, I'm averaging about 45k page reads per day

That sounds significant to me!

thethinker42
07-23-2015, 02:00 AM
Sadly, I don't think many have considered just how many page reads someone like JK Rowling must be getting, what with just one HP book being 750 pages, meaning big name authors will get even more of the pie than they were before. So if the payout was much less than 0.0057, I wouldn't be surprised. :( For what it's worth, I'm averaging about 45k page reads per day

Are the HP books even enrolled?

I'm seeing around the same number of reads.

izanobu
07-23-2015, 03:26 AM
The trad published books in KU are part of something totally different from the deal self-pub authors are getting. They aren't paid on pages, so don't worry about them.

cutecontinent
07-23-2015, 08:12 AM
Both the Harry Potter series and Hunger Games are available on KU.
@izanobu: Can you link me?

edit: Hmm, seems you are correct. This is good news for us. :P

Batspan
07-25-2015, 06:05 AM
.06 the latest figure I've seen. I've been calculating with that in BookReport. Taking a major loss this month after making most of my income in fiction for several months. Amazon won't give final figures until mid August. I'm pulling out of KU in stages.

Branching out to other distributors. It may take months to recover revenue.

Ralyks
07-29-2015, 06:16 PM
I didn’t receive the e-mail and didn’t know about this, and one day I checked my monthly report and did a gig because my borrows had jumped up 100 times, and I thought I’d be getting $1.30 per book as in the past. Then I realized it was normalized page count, not number of borrows. Talk about a bubble burst.



The new page count is determined when the book is published... you can view a book's KENPC in the bookstore, under "promote and advertise". Font size won't affect it. For those writing children's books, a full-page image seems to count as two pages, which seems fair to me.

The new model was largely due to the romance writers who started pumping out 30-page short stories -- there's a certain sub-genre of romance that's really hot right now, and the ones that got traction in there before it really took off, with their series of shorts, just wow... let's just say Amazon was losing money. :(

How could they have been losing money? They had a pre-defined pot for KU payments that was divided up among authors according to number of borrows. They didn’t set that pre-defined pot at higher than they could afford to pay, did they? Payment per borrow varied month to month based on the number of total borrows, but Amazon spent only the pre-determined pot each month. Isn't that how it worked?

Tora Uran
07-29-2015, 06:40 PM
The new payment is only for July and onwards, so if you are looking at your June stats you still get paid according to the old pay system. It is the current month, where you cannot exactly see how many borrows you have just pages read, that you will see the new system take affect.

Well the 10% thing is no longer factored in at all with the new system. Any pages read count no matter how many or few a reader reads. So if someone only reads the first five pages of a 100 page book the author will get paid for those five pages instead of getting nothing with the old system.

In theory the new system is to reward reader engagement, not necessarily book length. So those longer books do not automatically benefit from the new system if they cannot get readers to finish them. On this point I think shorts have a bit of an advantage, as I know as a reader I am more willing to stick with a short story even if I do not completely enjoy it compared to something longer that I would rather drop than try to finish. And I have noticed that by the page counts I've gotten this month people have been reading my short all the way through when they do read it and it's about 50 KENP. So I may not earn much but at least I am earning the full amount.

And it is measured by the pages that the reader opens to read. They do not measure the time on the page just that it has been "paged through", so yes, if someone pages through to certain parts of a book all those pages will count. But if they skip through pages without going through the pages themselves but just going directly to a page then all those pages skipped will not count. And while people can just flip through pages to help get the page count up for an author it only counts the first time the page is loaded, will have to be done by someone who knows how authors get paid unlike the scamphlets that any reader could open out of curiosity without knowing that the author was getting a payout for that, and most likely will still cost them less as it is not nearly as easy to do as getting to the 10% mark and the payout is lower.

In your example of someone not finishing a book in the same month the pages just get divided for when which page was "read" when. So if someone reads 180 pages in July then 320 in August for the same book then the 180 applies to the July payout and the 320 the one for August. It may seem more confusing but Amazon is probably using their system that tracks where a reader is in a book so they can start where they left off for this so it probably is not that difficult on their end.

Writers Choice
08-07-2015, 03:28 AM
I am anxious to find out how this new system worked. Since it's August, I hope the new system has caught up and paid everyone accordingly.

I have not published yet, but hoping to by next month.

thethinker42
08-07-2015, 11:36 AM
I am anxious to find out how this new system worked. Since it's August, I hope the new system has caught up and paid everyone accordingly.

I have not published yet, but hoping to by next month.

Statements won't post until the 15th.

aruna
08-07-2015, 01:01 PM
How could they have been losing money? They had a pre-defined pot for KU payments that was divided up among authors according to number of borrows. They didn’t set that pre-defined pot at higher than they could afford to pay, did they? Payment per borrow varied month to month based on the number of total borrows, but Amazon spent only the pre-determined pot each month. Isn't that how it worked?A reader pays round $10 for a monthly subscription. Let's say a reader reads one short story per day -- that's 30 short stories, all for free. Yet Amazon has to pay $1.30 (approx) for EACH story read. 30 x $1.30 -- it's not hard to see how uneconomical that is! And how profitable for short story writers.

The same reader might only read 2 or three full novels a month, so, 3 x $1.30. A profit for Amazon. It was i Amazon's interest for readers to read more novels than short stories, but novelists were pulling their books. It's much harder to get an impatient reader to read 10% of a 300 page novel, than 10% of a short story.

grayworld
08-08-2015, 09:14 AM
Based on July's numbers regarding sales and pages read, I'm about to rake in the most money I have since my fourth month of self-publishing way back in early-2014. Somewhere between Hamilton and Jackson, if my fleeting memories of folding currency are to be trusted. But upon first glance, it looks like the new pay schedule benefits the more verbose among us (he noted as he attempted to add more content to his comment). I don't have a problem with it. Yet.

Katharine Tree
08-08-2015, 09:22 AM
Yeah, at the projected .0057 multiplier, I'll make at or above the cover price of all my books for complete read-throughs. Either the multiplier is too good to be true or I need to raise the prices of my books :D

July looks to have been my best month ever, too, and August ain't looking shabby either. Assuming the payouts are as projected, anyway.

Writers Choice
08-08-2015, 04:33 PM
Katharine, Grayworld,

May I ask how many books you have on Amazon?

I keep hearing advice that I should wait until I have several completed manuscript before I put anything out on Amazon or other sites. I only have a collection of short stories (60 pages) and a full-length novel of about 350 pages. I feel like there is something missing from my novel. I decided to write several novella of about 150 pages - prequel - and hold on to the full length. That would make it five novella, one full length and one short story collection - putting it out three months apart??

Thanks/

Katharine Tree
08-08-2015, 06:51 PM
I have a novella, a trilogy of novels, and a seven-part doorstop novel available either in separate parts or as an omnibus.

It's so hard to know what to do, Writer's Choice. It is certainly true that nothing sells back-catalogue like front-catalogue, and that having books in a series is your best shot at getting readers hooked and willing to buy more of your stuff.

Having said that, if you are an unknown writer without a publisher's PR machine behind you, your sales are going to be, shall we say, meek at the beginning. In my experience there's no reason not to go ahead and publish as soon as you're ready. Your best PR move is going to be distributing something free, either via a permafree maneuver or via the five quarterly giveaway days on Kindle Select. You want to start giving away books ASAP to get as many copies out there as you can.

thethinker42
08-08-2015, 07:16 PM
Based on July's numbers regarding sales and pages read, I'm about to rake in the most money I have since my fourth month of self-publishing way back in early-2014. Somewhere between Hamilton and Jackson, if my fleeting memories of folding currency are to be trusted. But upon first glance, it looks like the new pay schedule benefits the more verbose among us (he noted as he attempted to add more content to his comment). I don't have a problem with it. Yet.


Yeah, at the projected .0057 multiplier, I'll make at or above the cover price of all my books for complete read-throughs. Either the multiplier is too good to be true or I need to raise the prices of my books :D

July looks to have been my best month ever, too, and August ain't looking shabby either. Assuming the payouts are as projected, anyway.

Same here. In fact, if the .0057 figure is correct, this will be one of the biggest payouts I've had in six years of being published. So, I'll take it.

Still remains to be seen how this will work in the long run, but for the moment, I remain guardedly optimistic. Will report back in a week when statements actually post.

Reziac
08-08-2015, 08:03 PM
Your best PR move is going to be distributing something free, either via a permafree maneuver or via the five quarterly giveaway days on Kindle Select. You want to start giving away books ASAP to get as many copies out there as you can.

"Free Samples!" is the best marketing method ever.

WriterBN
08-08-2015, 09:34 PM
"Free Samples!" is the best marketing method ever.

Only if people actually read them.

thethinker42
08-15-2015, 06:36 PM
Just downloaded my statement. Definitely happy with this month's numbers! Of course we'll see how the global fund fluctuates over the coming months, but I'm quite pleased with my numbers for July. I'm still updating my royalty spreadsheet, but once I've finished really combing through the statement, I'll post some actual figures.

thethinker42
08-15-2015, 07:45 PM
Some numbers for those who are interested...

It does appear that the $0.0057 figure was pretty accurate. I had estimated that a 445-page read would pay $2.54, and on my statement, it paid $2.57. A 110-page read was estimated at $0.63, paid $0.65.

Freebies definitely pay off. I mentioned earlier in the thread that I did a free giveaway at the end of June, and then another at the beginning of July with a BookBub promotion. Here were the numbers earlier in June:


July promos:
Book 1
(627 KENP)
3,046 free downloads
89,880 pages read

Book 2
(349 KENP, BookBub promo)
11,186 free downloads
111,465 pages read

On my statement:

Book 1: 384,198 pages read
Book 2: 516,042 pages read

Note also that these were newly re-released titles that were available from a publisher until a few days before I released them onto KU at the end of June. Those two books, along with a third, reverted back to me from the same publisher, where they had been steadily selling 20-50 copies per month for the past two years. The third book, re-released at the same time, but not free or promoted, had 214,163 pages read.

Obviously those three titles are outliers because they're (sort of) new releases, and two of them were promoted via giveaways. When I remove them from the equation, my royalty check is still about 25% higher than my April, May, or June statements, which were all within the same ballpark of each other.

The other books on my backlist (largely slow-selling books that have been out for a few years) ranged from 2-3,000 pages to around 50,000. My slowest sellers saw increases in royalties, some big, some small. One book that normally made $20/month brought in $50. Another that's roughly the same length and normally $30-40 brought in over $100. Some stayed roughly the same.

Most significantly, none of my books pulled in less money in July than they did in May or June.

(I have 26 English titles under two pen names on KU, plus several foreign translations.)

Based on all of that, two conclusions:
1. Freebies, BookBub, and KU are a winning combo.
2. I'll be sticking with KU for the moment, but keeping an eye on the global fund each month.

Katharine Tree
08-15-2015, 07:53 PM
Yup, it was .00577. Square on the nose.

I had my best month ever. I am very pleased.

Reziac
08-15-2015, 08:04 PM
:e2dance: :PartySmil :e2stooges

Writers Choice
08-16-2015, 05:15 AM
Oh, wow!! Congrats to all of you.

I decided to do the KDP/Createspace for my first one. I have a few stories that I am working on, but finally gonna make that leap and get one of them out there. I'll be happy to have 10 people download it which will make me about $17.00 - with all the editing cost that would net me a whopping negative (-$243.00)!! ;) - Hee, hee!

Yes, I know, the goal is to make money, not lose money - I'm getting better at doing all the editing myself. I learned a great deal from the pro's that I would have never known on my own. Maybe with my third or fourth one, I'll break even or make a few.

SunshineonMe
08-16-2015, 10:47 AM
Congrats everyone! My month was pretty good, but I had a Bookbub ad.

Writers Choice
08-16-2015, 04:17 PM
Katharine & Thinker,

I noticed that you two have a number of books on Amazon. I am not a member of KDP, but seriously thinking about signing up - for only $10 a month, I can support all the new indie writers out there. I am also very curious about taking a peek at your books - storyline, yes, but more for your writing style. It may give me an idea if I am any good - yes, I am taking advantage of you - sorta. I'd like to think it's a compliment when someone thinks your writing is so good they want to emulate it - I do NOT mean steal your ideas, just your writing style.

Are you exclusive to Amazon? If so, how long have you been with them? How are the ebook vs actual book sales? Do you get paid under KDP if you sell the hard copy vice the electronic version?

Thanks/

thethinker42
08-16-2015, 04:59 PM
Are you exclusive to Amazon? If so, how long have you been with them? How are the ebook vs actual book sales? Do you get paid under KDP if you sell the hard copy vice the electronic version?

My self-published books are all Amazon exclusive, and they're all on Kindle Unlimited. I used to self-pub via Draft2Digital, and had books on other channels, but the sales just weren't there. By putting them on KDP, I can also do freebie promotions that get more traction than similar promotions on other channels. I started self-pubbing in 2013, and moved everything exclusively to Kindle at the end of 2014. (My books with publishers are available everywhere. Amazon still has the strongest sales, though.)

I'm not sure what you mean about ebook vs actual book sales. Ebook vs paperback? Or sales vs Kindle Unlimited borrows? As far as ebook vs paperback (ebooks are still actual books!)....across the board, I sell more ebooks than paperbacks, whether via my publishers or self-published. For every paperback I sell, I sell 50 ebooks (that's not hyperbole -- I mean I literally average one paperback sale for every 50 ebook sales). And yes, of course we still get paid if a hard copy is sold.

I think you might be confusing KU and KDP. KDP is the self-publishing platform. Books sold through there aren't necessarily available on Kindle Unlimited (KU). We get paid via KDP whenever a copy is sold, whether it's paperback or ebook. The "pay for pages" only applies to books downloaded via KU.

Hopefully that's helpful.

Katharine Tree
08-16-2015, 07:21 PM
Writer's Choice--you can read a free preview of ANY Kindle book by clicking the "Send a Free Sample" button, just beneath the buy buttons on the book's page. It's 10% of the book, so for the Omnibus edition (http://www.amazon.com/Bears-Wife-Omnibus-Katharine-Tree-ebook/dp/B012B7M7IW/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1439738294&sr=8-2&keywords=the+bear%27s+wife+katharine+tree) of The Bear's Wife, that's like 70 pages, which oughta be a pretty good sample :D For some reason this is one of the best-kept out-in-the-open secrets on Amazon.

I am exclusive to Amazon so I can be in Kindle Select. I find that having all your titles in that program boosts sales ... for a self-pubbing author with no PR machine behind me, anyway, it makes all the difference. I make much more money from Kindle Unlimited checkouts than from eBook sales, and much more from eBook sales than from physical book sales--in fact, I have sold zero physical copies. CreateSpace's POD books are so expensive (at the length of book I write, anyway--The Bear's Wife in print is 642 pages) that even my mom won't buy the paperbacks.

Kindle Select gives Amazon the exclusive rights to distribute the electronic version of your book. That leaves you free to do whatever you want for print and audio. Print-wise most people go with Amazon's affiliate company, CreateSpace. I'm only starting to research audio, but they have an affiliate for that, too.

Writers Choice
08-16-2015, 10:17 PM
You are correct, I was getting KU confused with KDP/Createspace. I suppose when I get around to launching my first one sometime in the next two months, I'll get it straight!! ;)

Ralyks
08-19-2015, 11:24 PM
I got about half the royalties in July compared to April, May, and June. I don't know if people borrowed fewer books, or just didn't read the ones they borrowed. Is there a way to see how many of your books were borrowed, even though we are now paid by pages read, just so I know? As for the per book royalty - I think it is slightly lower for one of my novellas, read all the way through, than it was for one of my novellas, borrowed, under the old system. Because I primarily write novellas, the old system was to my benefit.

Here's hoping I see an uptick in pages read and that people just haven't gotten around to reading the borrowed books yet. If I don't, and total royalties continue to be at half what they used to, I will probably not renew with KDP Select and will release the novellas on additional platforms in the future. Borrows from KU have offset any loss in sales from other sources in the past, but under the new scheme, I may do better to drop out of KU and release the books for sale on more platforms instead.

SunshineonMe
08-19-2015, 11:52 PM
I'm sorry Ralyks. Hopefully it's just a weird summer slump and things will pick up for you.

M. H. Lee
08-20-2015, 05:02 AM
I definitely earn less per title in KU2 vs. KU1 and Ralkys you likely do as well if you write novellas. They no longer tell you how many of your books were read to the 10% mark (that's really what they used to tell you, not all borrows). But...you can calculate an equivalent to full reads. Take the KENPC for a title (you can find it if you click on the promote option from the bookshelf) and divide that into total pages read. So if you have a title with 150 KENPC and you have 1500 pages read, then you'd have the equivalent of 10 full reads of that title. Not quite apples to apples, but at least a number to work with for comparison's sake.

Katharine Tree
09-15-2015, 09:43 PM
August numbers are out. The KENP multiplier fell from ~.0057 in July to ~.00514 in August. That makes me feel awfully "meh".

August was still my best royalties month ever, though. I blew past my original "I would be happy as a clam if I made ... " number.

WriterBN
09-16-2015, 06:04 PM
Yeah, I foresee a steady downward slide in the payout per page, especially now that KU is open to India. The problem I face is that Select is still better than the alternative for me, because I've tried going wide a couple of times and the numbers favored staying in Select.

thethinker42
09-16-2015, 06:30 PM
I'm going to keep riding it for the moment. The payout for pages read is still higher than the royalties from a purchased book (most of my books are novel length), so it's working out nicely. If that changes, I'll start pulling books.

Interfaced
09-18-2015, 05:17 PM
It's inspiring to see all your successes on KU, for my first month with a single book I'm relatively happy with the results at 3,063 KENP.

I've found the exercise to also be quite useful for morale, as on days with no sales I often get some pages read and that keeps me happy :)