Back in May, I’d been hearing that KDP Select was the way to go as far as sales were concerned and since my self-published books were in a slump, I thought a 90 day experiment wouldn’t hurt anything. So I signed up all my medieval series, including the brand new novella, Beloveds. I started to see some activity on the blue graph and thought this might not be half bad. When the statement came out for June I was very pleased to find a substantial increase in revenue from the books on KDP select. This was a great idea!
However, also in June, we all got the email saying Amazon was changing their payment scheme, so that now authors didn’t get paid by the book, but by the page READ. I couldn’t tell, at first, if this was a good thing or not.
It was actually quite exciting the first time I saw that someone had read 43 pages of Betrothal. I kept thinking, “Okay, so they must be about where they are talking in the table in the great hall.” And the day the blue line hit over a thousand pages read, I was elated.
Then I found out the royalty per page read that I would receive was approximately .006 cents. So I got out my calculator, found my books’ Kindle Edition Normalized Pages counts, and figured out that if a person in the program read my brand new novella Beloveds from cover to cover, I would be paid .44 for the book. Forty-four cents.
I went on to calculate (mind you I HATE to do math) what each of my books would make if it was read cover to cover. Only one book, the one with more than 350 KENPs, would make the same amount as if the book had been purchased at the regular Kindle store. I’d read early on that longer books would fare better in this new system, but seeing was believing.
Looking at statements for both months, I made about half of what I did in July as I did in June. Therefore, I decided when my contract with KDP Select was up at the end of August, I would not renew it. I’ve now gone back to the “traditional” self-publishing paradigm of selling my book for a set price and leaving it up to the reader as to when or if they want to read them. My books will soon appear on Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Apple and Sony once more.
Perhaps I’m not a big enough name to make this work well for me. Perhaps the books I put in the program weren’t long enough to make it worth my while under the new system. So, I’ll continue with what has worked in the past and chalk this up to an experiment that simply didn’t work for me.
Has anyone else out there made a decision to stay or to leave KDP Select ?