Can you make money on Kindle Unlimited?


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Thread: Can you make money on Kindle Unlimited?

  1. #1

    Can you make money on Kindle Unlimited?

    Okay, I was off KU-KOLL for a couple years and decided to try them again.
    But I have always been suspicious about how they pay out.

    See, they don;t pay a flat rate.
    Every month they add X dollars...the amount changes with their mood and has no bearing on overall membership revenue.
    They just pluck a number from the air and decide that's the pot for the whole thing.

    So I decided to do the math and see just how much they actually pay.
    On one hand, they only paid $0.0046 per page...
    On the other, it was $208 worth of revenue I may not have seen otherwise.
    There are pros & cons to everything.


  2. #2
    Mentor Dluuni's Avatar
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    I think the main point of KU has been agreed to be how much it tweaks your analytics, and I suspect that's harder to get good numbers on.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Dluuni View Post
    I think the main point of KU has been agreed to be how much it tweaks your analytics, and I suspect that's harder to get good numbers on.

    10-9?

  4. #4
    Member NathanielleC's Avatar
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    See I don't mind using Amazon as a customer. But when it comes to using it as a proprietor, I just hear too many negatives. And I could ignore one or two of them but when the majority of people who publish through Kindle tell me roughly the same thing, it's a big red flag.
    I write because if I did anything else with the ideas in my head, I'd go to prison.

  5. #5
    Good topic. Thanks for sharing. I've been thinking off and on about putting one of my books into KU just to test the waters and see how it goes. Might try that next spring for my first book, but still not sure.

    I think there are 2 ways to look at KU.

    On the one hand, KU pays terrible royalties per page compared to ebook royalties earned outside of KU. Just for comparison sake, my brand new book (about book marketing) is 146 pages and it currently earns 1.37 cents per page royalties, which is 3X more than the Sept. KU payout. As another example, my 2nd book (a self-publishing guide) is only 64 pages and I currently earn about 6.25 cents per page, which is 13X more than the Sept. KU payout.

    On the other hand, you could compare being in KU and having access to KU readers. If you assume for a moment that KU readers never pay full price for eBooks, then the KU payout is add'l revenue that you can tap into with no downside. However, if you assume that at least *some* KU readers would buy your full price ebook, then that means you are trading KU payout rate (0.0046 cents per page) for full price eBook payout rate (upto 6.25 cents per page in one example). But that trade-off only applies to the extent that KU readers choose to read your book in KU rather than pay the full-price.

    UNKNOWNS ABOUT KU THAT I WISH I KNEW:
    1) What % of KU readers ONLY read books that are available on KU (rather than buying full-price eBooks)
    2) What % of KU readers ONLY read FICTION books (mine are all nonfiction, so I wonder if KU would really be beneficial to me)
    3) Are KU readers more likely to leave Amazon reviews as compared to full-price eBook readers? (if so, it might be worth it to put my books into KU just to get more reviews!)
    Mikeyboy_esq
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  6. #6
    Like I said, it doesn't pay as well as regular sales, but then again that is revenue you would otherwise not have realized. Also, it is a good place to pick up reviews because KU-KOLL readers are always happy to find anything worth reading in the mosh-pit. Since KU-KOLL is considered the same as a verified purchase, those reviews stick.

  7. #7
    KU-Koll can also be used as a marketing tool.
    You can release an old book into KU-KOLL as a way to build interest into your new book.
    People who belong to KU-KOLL still buy books, but it's gotta be worth it.

    But KU-KOLL still has the same parabolic sales arc as conventional sales. Your downloads will climb to a pinnacle, then fall sharply back to something close to zero as you reach saturation.

  8. #8
    Thanks again for the info, Ralph.

    I decided to test the waters and put my first book (about college teaching tips) in KDP Select/KU a few days ago. I already have 1 book (209 page reads) showing on my KDP sales dashboard. We'll see how it goes. If I have good luck with this book, I will probably put my other 2 paid books into KU as well.
    Last edited by Mikeyboy_esq; January 8th, 2019 at 09:53 PM. Reason: add info
    Mikeyboy_esq
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  9. #9
    If they have reviews posted on them already, then they will be floated higher on the KDP NEW list, so when they first go in they will be highly visible.
    With Amazon, it's all about the lists.

  10. #10
    UPDATE:
    Since putting my first book (a nonfiction book about college teaching tips) into KU/KOLL one month ago today, my book has only had ~1200 page reads. I'm guessing that equates to about $5 of royalties. This compares to about 40 paid sales of the same book during the same time period (which equates to about $200 of royalties). I received no new Amazon reviews since putting my book into KU (I was hoping that perhaps KU readers might be more likely to leave reviews). Obviously, I'm not impressed with KU so far. I'm not sure if KU is just better suited for fiction books or perhaps the KU crowd does not contain many readers in my first book's target audience.

    In any case, I have decided to try 2 more tactics with KU. First, I'm going to run a countdown deal for my first book in about a week or so and see if that spurs more sales and/or any book reviews. Second, I'm going to put my second book into KU/KOLL today to see if that one has better luck. This book is a self-publishing guide and has a different target audience (aspiring authors). Hopefully, I'll have better success. We'll see. I'll try to keep folks posted on my results as time goes forward.
    Last edited by Mikeyboy_esq; February 8th, 2019 at 08:53 PM.
    Mikeyboy_esq
    Check out my books for authors including SMART MARKETING FOR INDIE AUTHORS and 14 STEPS TO SELF-PUBLISHING A BOOK.
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