Still worth to be on Amazon KDP Select?
You might have read this recent blog post here at SavvyBookWriters.com/blog. I just came over a discussion on Amazon KBoards. Title: Amazon is intermittently admitting to errors in it’s KU page reporting. KBoards is a discussion board for owners of Kindles, readers of Kindle e-books, and writers of Kindle e-books.
Mystery: Number of Pages Read?
Have you ever wondered how Amazon is able to figure out and correctly state how many pages of a certain book were read? And what happens if the book is read only a year or two later? And does Amazon even increase their own revenue, when they do not pay the author? Question after question… And discussions by authors for over this topic for years now.
Becca Fanning wrote: “For the past few weeks dozens of authors have been reporting that their page read counts on new releases have been…off. Not off by ten percent, but by 50-95%. These are for consistent releases with expected patterns of performance (as expected as you can be in this industry). Sales numbers and sales ranks are as expected, but page reads are drastically lower. Just to make a few points clear: the pool of authors who have noticed things aren’t right includes those with fewer than five books under their belt and NYT bestselling authors with over 100 books who regularly break into the top 100 or top 50.”
And further: “As authors have started to come together in their genre-focused forums and support groups, they started to compare their data and take action. Emails began to fly, initially meeting with a stalwart wall of “We looked into your pages read and can confirm that they are accurate.” Most of us took that and gave up. But one didn’t. They insisted on getting someone on the phone and elevating their issue up the chain.
On Friday Sept 30, Amazon admitted that there’s a problem on their end and that they have to get their legal team involved. Since then, a handful of authors have gotten emails stating that a “small number of pages” were erroneously left out of their reports and were now being credited due to a software glitch. One author saw their September page total go up by a little over 1,000 KENP and another saw it go up by over 30,000 KENP. .
The author who first broke through the Amazon shield wall and got the admission that there was something wrong hasn’t received an email about additional page credit yet. In fact, concurrent with these developments this weekend, Amazon was still emailing authors with massively suppressed page reads that everything was fine.
Authors are advised: “If you recently published and your page reads look off, you should reach out to Amazon and let them know. If you have books enrolled in KDP Select and you think your reported page reads have been unusually low recently, you should send an email to:
email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Provide them with data and if your numbers don’t look right, be firm. You might get results that are worth your time. Others have.”
When I canceled my own KDP Select in summer for all my books, I did it only out of a feeling that something isn’t right in the Amazon statements, regarding the “pages read” in the KindleUnlimited program. But how can you prove it to them? It’s always better to have full control over your business – and I hate to call them up, so I pulled the plug. I am glad that I stepped out a while ago, when I found these writer’s post.
Just hours after I wrote about an upcoming rental service it is now officially announced by Amazon… Amazon is offering an e-book rental service: “Kindle Unlimited”. The “all-you-can-read” book service will cost $9.99 per month. Amazon’s big advantage here: they are offering nearly 8,000 titles in Audio-book format and over 600,000 book titles. The current Kindle Owner’s Lending Library has a one-book-per-month cap, so this could be an option for Prime users who want more access.
Lots of Competition Already
Amazon certainly enters a crowded field and will have to compete with Scribd and Oyster. Scribd, which launched a book subscription service last October, charges $8.99 for access to best-sellers, classic books and new releases from bigger trade publishers. They have 80 million users and offer works from 900 publishers. They allow users to contribute works. Oyster boasts access for $9.95 to more than 500,000 books, but the majority of those titles come from self-publishing service companies, such as Smashwords.
. How Much will Authors Receive? Amazon’s official announcement for writers/publishers: “KDP authors and publishers who enroll their books with U.S. rights in KDP Select are automatically enrolled in Kindle Unlimited. Inclusion in Kindle Unlimited can help drive discovery of your book, and when your book is accessed and read past 10% you will earn a share of the KDP Select global fund. For the month of July we have added $800,000 to the KDP Select global fund bringing the total to $2 million.
KDP Select is an optional program that makes your book exclusive to Kindle and eligible for the following benefits:
Reach more readers – With each 90-day enrollment period, your book will appear in Kindle Unlimited in the U.S. and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL) in the U.S, U.K., Germany, France, and Japan which can help readers discover your book.
Earn more money – When your book is selected and read past 10% from Kindle Unlimited or borrowed from KOLL, you’ll earn your share of the monthly KDP Select Global Fund. You can also earn a 70% royalty for sales to customers in Japan, Brazil, India, and Mexico.
Maximize your sales potential – Choose from two promotional tools including: Kindle Countdown Deals, time-bound promotional discounts for your book, available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, while earning royalties; or Free Book Promotion, where readers can get your book free for a limited time.
Gigaom.com explains: “If you’re a self-published author participating in KDP Select, however, it looks as if your book can be included without your explicit permission simply under the terms and conditions you already agreed to: According to one poster on the Kindle Boards, “Books in Select will automatically be enrolled. Like the KOLL you won’t be able to opt-out if you’re in Select. You will be payed [sic] if you someone reads 10% or more of your book. The payment will come out of the same KOLL fund, just as if it was a borrow.” That “same KOLL fund” is a set pool of money from which self-published authors are paid each time their book is borrowed.”
Author-publishers have an advantage: Amazon doesn’t have any books from the so-called “Big Five” publishers: Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Macmillan, and Hatchette. Some of these big houses have agreements with Oyster, as well as Scribd, and are likely not cooperating with Amazon’s new service. Read also Joe Wikerts‘ commenting blog post on this. Amazon seems to become the 21st century’s digital library. “Kindle Unlimited” could completely change the market. Why purchase individual e-Books or bulky physical copies when you can read hundreds of thousands of books for just $9.99?
Also Available: “Kindle FreeTime Unlimited” for Children
Amazon already offers a and-curated subscription of kid-safe apps, books and videos. They explain on their website:
“Kindle ‘FreeTime Unlimited’ is the first-ever all-in-one subscription that brings together all the types of content that kids and parents love – books, games, educational apps, movies and TV shows. With unlimited access to thousands of hand-picked titles for kids ages 3-8, parents don’t have to spend time (and money) guessing what their kids will enjoy, and kids can explore a world of age-appropriate content on their own – NO ads, NO in-app purchases.”
“Kindle FreeTime Unlimited gives kids the freedom to choose from thousands of the most popular books, games, apps, and shows for hours of fun and learning. Unlimited access starts at just $4.99 per month, with special pricing for Amazon Prime members from $2.99 per month.”
“Many parents choose to limit their child’s screen time, but doing so without the proper tools is difficult. With Kindle FreeTime, parents can set daily limits, or restrict certain categories – like games and video – while leaving unlimited time for reading. In Kindle “FreeTime” mode, web browsing and purchasing content are also disabled.”
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