I’ll be the first to admit that I have hammered Amazon and their CEO Jeff Bezos for decades.
However, I’ll also be the first to admit that the new KENP royalty system at Amazon is GREAT.
The reason I view KENP as grea,t is that it’s the first time Amazon has initiated a program that gives authors more money based upon the quality of their work rather than the usual publishing industry fluff such as sales figures. Sales often have nothing to do with a books quality. Some of the greatest books in history didn’t sell many out of the gate and are now considered ‘classics’. Today’s authors are usually just package hacks that got a book deal with a big publisher and now they are on the groomed media list and their best work is often years behind them by the time the reach the power of their wordsmith skills.
I have long argued that $9.99 an e book set by Amazon as the Holy Grail as to upper threshold of what an eBook can sell for, is just too little for quality niche market work that can take an author years to create and the potential market for such academic level nonfiction is so small that Amazon was penalizing authors of large well researched books in the NF(nonfiction) genre, which is where most of my own books I wrote are in.
Before Amazon knew what an eBook was, I was writing and selling my voluminous academic level books on my own network of websites for years at $19.99 to even $99.99 per title.
So I didn’t need Amazon to sell my ebooks.
Over the years however, Amazon became the dominant channel to distribute ebooks so my books had to be on Amazon.
NF books are not mass consumed brainless pulp that hacks like Rice and King can churn out in copious masses since fiction emanates from creative minds and NF emanates from research and analysis.
I can churn out 15,000 to 20,000 words a day of fiction when I do it. King thinks 3,000 words is a work day.
Over many decades I have created a huge catalog of NF work and now my new books often have previous works of mine added to newer works. So a 200 or 300 page new book on a NF topic can have 2 or 3 of my previous works attached as post reference works since I usually have earlier works on the topics my new works are related to as part of new releases.
Some of my new books are now 800 to even 1200 pages in length. 200 to 400 new pages and 400 to 800 pages of additional previous material a reader interested in a topic a new title is on should read.
These books if printed would retail for 79 bucks to 99 USD and be multi volume works.
$49.99 is a fair eBook price for large academic level books when you realize how small the market is for academic level work on topics such as the paranormal, occult, serious religion research and government conspiracies, etc. The reason is most units that are sold are ebooks so revenue must be created from digital files to pay the author and or publisher for their time.
The masses consume fiction pulp in the millions of reads compared to hundreds or minor thousands of reads for nonfiction and academic level NF on niche topics
KENP is actually setting the payouts fairly to authors based on PAGES READ and not just borrowed titles.
Amazon allowed crap for years to earn the same money that major works earned in borrows even if it was pulp crap with 40 pages of miss-spelled children’s fiction that some ‘reader’ borrowed with an old Amazon subscription plan.
A title was a title to Amazon, so the 40 page kids pulp earned an ‘author’ that churned it out in a few hours the same money as a book with academic research level work that took years for an author to bring to fruition. Quality of work was not recognized by Amazon in their earlier attempts at compensating authors for quality work.
The old Amazon Select borrow royalty rates for authors gave crap authors with crap work huge monthly royalties on borrows which made crap authors more on borrows than the usual .99 cent rates such crap sells for on Amazon.
Now a major work with 800 pages can be borrowed and if the work is quality work the author will EARN 800 pages in KENP royalties from a borrow and the 40 page crap gets a royalty credit for only 40 pages if anyone even reads the whole crappy book.
Before KENP Amazon gave each author or publisher in the example above the same borrow royalty of around $1.30 per title borrowed. So 800 page great works earned an author or publisher the same amount as the 40 page hack title earned
Amazon has way too much garbage masquerading as books on its network. The reason is gamers of the Amazon system realized volume of low priced titles in Select meant lots of royalties in borrows over sales.
KU or Kindle Unlimited is a great buy for an avid reader. The problem is elite publishers and authors don’t like to put a new title exclusively into Amazon for eBook distribution since there’s many other channels around. for ebooks
Well I took a shot recently on Amazon by committing some new titles to Select and our usual massive page counts of 800 to 1200 page for new books was trimmed to the 400 range page counts
Now Amazon is paying our company based on performance. 400 pages read earns us $2.00 or so in KENP.
Am 800 page fully read book earns $4.00.
1200 page colossal works earn $6.00 if borrowed and fully read.
I honestly don’t see any other publishers with huge books in the 600 to 1000 page ranges that people actually read through in the KU program. KU is Kindle Unlimited. The reason is publishers now cater to pulp, 200 to 300 pages of hack fiction that often have no read through ratios. People pick up a fiction book often based on the name of the author and by the end of the first chapter the reader decides not for me.
Sure some fiction hacks like King and Rice have large fan bases and their fans devour every word of their copious word and page count novels.
But Amazon is 99% garbage, it’s filled with authors self-publishing small word count fiction and authors with huge garbage catalogs that were used for years to game Amazon via their old royalty systems where crap works earned the same royalties as great works if borrowed.
Unknown authors need Amazon and Select since they don’t have a huge network promoting them as I have to use to sell my books without Amazon.
Many ‘authors’ gamed the old Amazon system and by equating royalties based on titles borrowed and not KENP where PAGES READ is how authors are PAID, Amazon gave no incentive to legit authors and publishers to use Select and feed Kindle Unlimited subscribers quality content.
If you have large page count books that readers like and read through the game at Amazon has switched in my opinion to quality large page count books that can earn nice amounts as borrows.
$9.99 was our normal price point on Amazon due to Amazon reducing 70% royalties on any title priced over $9.99 to only 35%.
Now we are reducing titles to as low as .99 cents on Amazon for some old titles in order to find a larger audience on Amazon so those buyers of low priced old back catalog titles may end up borrowing newer titles from the same authors that are priced at rates from $2.99 to $9.99. $2.99 is the minimum price for an author or publisher to earn 70% royalty on sales at Amazon.
Low priced books do sell on Amazon. But what effects a titles sales most is how the Amazon SERPs (Search Engine Response Pages) show a title based on keywords within the Amazon search algorithm. So now we believe getting as many new readers familiar with our authors so new titles can sell and KENP page counts can climb is the best way for any author or publisher to view Amazon now in light of KENP royalties.
I believe KENP could become a large percentage of royalties for publishers and self pub authors on Amazon now. Borrowing royalties for large works can be larger royalties than royalties from discount sales prices.
Amazon has proven readers will commit $9.99 to Amazon to READ unlimited books.
I’ll be happy to inform my fans to buy Kindle Unlimited for only $9.99 a month and when I release new books with 1,000 pages or so, my fans can read 1000 pages and Amazon can pay me $5.00 which is close to what a sale brings me at $9.99 with 70% royalty and then the Amazon file size penalty or distribution fees. Amazon charges publishers and authors to distribute files if they chose to use the 70% royalty rates and it forces authors and publishers to stay at a minimum of $2.99 as the low point of pricing if a publisher or author wants to earn 70%. The distribution fees are outrageous when you realize how much a mega byte Amazon charges publishers.
Select with KENP royalties is the near future for Indy publishers and authors in my opinion now that I have seen some impressive KENP figures based on some new titles we put into select to test the KENP system and WE LIKE what we see.
KU removes the obstacle of selling ebooks. You create content and if it gets read through by a borrower you make what YOU EARN.
200 pages of romance pulp earns $1.00 in a KU borrow for the author if it is read through. 600 pages of a historical work earns $3.00 if read through.
I hated selling 1000 page books for only $9.99 on Amazon. But a borrow can net me $5.00 now and its way easier to get titles into the hands of KU readers for free since their monthly plan gets them unlimited downloads
A new title is in fact far easier to have borrowed than a sale for $9.99 or even $2.99, unless the author is a household name and can get tons of free press
$9.99 is a great deal for anyone that loves to read books in volume. Most people don’t read that much, but avid readers should love unlimited borrows for $9.99 month.
If you tried to sell ebooks on Amazon you know the competition to SELL is fierce. If you commit a new title to Select you may not see much in the way of sales but if you use the 5 day free promotion you will see lots of KENP page counts on your reports. KENP doesn’t count pages from free downloads but it counts pages from KU borrows.
Select also gets your title into the Amazon 5 day free promos which give new titles traction on various top seller lists and you will get KU borrows after a book has been in the Amazon Free Pro.
If your work compels people to read through you will see KENP totals climb.
Amazon is paying authors around half a penny a page in KENP so now the onus is on authors to produce large page count titles that are compelling so KENP totals skyrocket.
KENP is also supposed to count in how Amazon computes top sellers now. So titles bought and never read due to a famous authors name might get over taken by authors willing to let their works be borrowed and be paid on what matters most how many pages did your readers actually read.
Amazon could revolutionize eBook reviews by merely creating a new rank on all books. Read thru/through rank. This book is read through X% of readers. Or readers of this book read X% of this book.
Amazon knows this number, its how they track KENP. So in the future expect Amazon to have average percentage read ratios in a books information.
A new book may have a 2 to 4 week incubation period to report such numbers and Amazon would need to differentiate between ratios for buys, borrows and free downloads since the variance would be huge.
I’d love to know what percentage of a book is actually read to judge authors and a new title.
The fake reviews all over Amazon is a cottage industry now. But seeing Amazon state X% of book read average buy, borrow and free download would become the ultimate number for Amazon to push to show people what is really a great book.
In our era of ‘big brother’ books aren’t banned as they were in 1984, but our big brother companies in our reality now know what you read, and how thoroughly you read what you open on an electronic reader.
Your internet provider knows what sites you read as well as what books you read and Amazon knows every detail about every book you read, borrow or look at on their site.
Your smartphone provider knows as well. This is the information age. Everything you do electronically is tracked.