The Naysayer’s Rant
Golly. Not a day goes by that I don’t read a blog spewing unhappy rhetoric about Amazon, KindleUnlimited subscriptions and KENP. I was going to quote a blog post today before I responded here, but wisely I visited Amazon and looked at the author’s book ranks. Here they are:
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #843,296
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #588,727
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #690,870
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,959,586
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,371,610
The author complains in high dudgeon about Amazon paying authors by pages read in the KENP. The author is wonderfully offended and makes a big showing of removing all books out of Amazon Select and KENP. Let me clue you in: With book ranks like the above, Amazon ain’t paying the author anything more than a few pennies. The books are not selling…doesn’t matter whether the units are exclusive to Amazon or not. Some of the blogger’s books don’t have a sales rank at all–because a book doesn’t generate a rank until a book sells one copy.
I have a different take on KENP, which is a companion to KindleUnlimited. I am happy to be paid at all, and paying me by pages read when an Amazon customer borrows my books is not offensive. It is grand. And far more than my books earned per unit when trade published. Best Selling authors published by the BIG 6/5/4 or whomever are in a different stratosphere. All other authors in those publisher’s stables do NOT earn big bucks. Most do not even earn out a 5k advance in two years–if that. My best royalty rate when traditionally published was six cents on the dollar in the USA. Dropped to a penny or less per book sold in all foreign markets. In KENP, I get the same royalty rate for Canada, UK, Germany, Australia or wherever my titles are borrowed or sell on Amazon’s venues. Please, let’s not overlook that Amazon owns 74% of the global on-line retail market. Is that a monopoly? Nope–because we have a choice to market exclusively with Amazon or not.
Another of the blogger’s complaints is he never knows from one month to the next how much Amazon will pay or how much will land in his checking account. Hey! Legacy pubbers pay every six months and an author hasn’t a clue how much a book has earned until the agent siphons off 15% to 20% and sends along a check. I know authors who have NEVER received a royalty check. I know one who was paid 38¢. Try to buy a latte in Starbucks with that. All those authors have is the glory of being legacy pubbed…and finding their books on remainder tables at B&N. No royalty is paid on remainders. It is true Amazon sets a limit on KENP payout–ten million up to 13 million thus far. And that is shared among pages-read. So any author leaving Amazon Select is good for me–I get a larger slice of the pie. Happy Dance.
I founded a small group of indie authors, eNovel Authors at Work. Many of the members are exclusive to Amazon. Some are not. Members who have books on all venues and titles that resonate with readers, sell on all venues. Their promotions reach across all venues.
No book sells without promotion.
Those of us who are new or less established use the tools Amazon provides in Select to get our books visible. Moreover, those tools are convenient. One stop to set up a FREE or discounted promotion. It is time consuming to price pulse on all venues…and chancy to change prices in time for a promo date. I may one day find myself with enough of a readership that I can sell my books on all venues. I do not discount other markets–virtual bookshelves. But, I’m not there yet. I may never be. Many yet established indie authors paddle the same canoe I do.
My suggestion is when you read a rant–look at the author’s books and rankings on all sales venues. Notice how many or how few reviews. Books that readers are enjoying will have at least 50 reviews ranked 4.3/5.0 or better. At least one book should have a nice rank…that will clue you in that the author is promoting the book. Or register for free to Kindle Nation Daily EBook Tracker which will give you the history of sales and rank of any book you pop in. Indie authors who do not promote and do not sell books are often in a blue funk. Thus, rant against the system. Same as people who are as vocal as all get out about government, but don’t vote. Don’t buy into it. Think for yourself. Above all, make the best decision you can for your book–because nobody else will do it for you.
Also on this site is a series of articles telling you the actual results of promotions by eNovel Authors at Work members. True figures. No exaggerations. Facts that will help you decide where to promote and what to expect. Start HERE.
Do you have a beef? Of course you do. Tell us about it and the title of your book. Perhaps we can help.