Some of you have already read my previous post, expressing the KDP Select formulation in terms of the Prisoner’s Dilemma–as well as the update on that post, which was the result of Catana, one of my writer friends, pointing out that the Kindle Library only allows for one book download per month. The basic recap, for those who have not read them, is that with the one book per month limit for Amazon Premium members, it seems pretty clear that for an author like me: 1) whose price point is below a certain threshold, and 2) who isn’t particularly high profile as a writer, opting into KDP Select–and thereby having to go exclusive with my listings and remove them from Smashwords and all its distribution outlets–probably isn’t worthwhile (conceptually it’s upsetting to have to do anyway, but my hypothesis was that even at the level of revenue, it wasn’t worth it). Most Amazon Premium members, in order to make their membership worth it, would more likely use their “free” signout on someone far higher profile, whose books are significantly more expensive. I know I would.
I also decided to test this, by enrolling several of my contemporary romance novels, published under a different pseudonym, which I hadn’t gotten around to listing on Smashwords. I was just curious to see how they did, and since they were already exclusive by default, I wasn’t losing much. I also figure that for those of you who are wondering how well this might have worked for you, I can at least provide some kind of baseline.
So, the basics: I enrolled four books. Three of them were 50K word contemporary romances at $1.99 each. The fourth book is a 3 in 1 bundle of the individual books for $2.99.
ASIDE: Those of you familiar with the royalty scheme at Amazon (books priced at $2.98 and lower, as well as books priced above $9.99, only provide the author with a 35% royalty off the cover prices, while books in the sweet spot range between $2.99 and $9.99 provide the author with a 70% royalty) will note that I’m getting exactly the same royalty by selling all three books for $2.99 as I am for selling each book at $1.99–even though the reader is paying double. I wanted to see to what extent people would go for the half price value bundle versus the individual books (fyi, they mostly go for the value bundle, which sells about as well as An Immodest Proposal, my top seller as Kathryn Anthony, but I still do get the occasional single sale).
I enrolled them on the date of my previous post or thereabouts–namely, around the 10th of December.
So–what kind of big buck$$$ did I rake in as a result of enrolling these books into the KDP Select, exclusivity deal that prevents me from listing them elsewhere? How many eager readers downloaded my indie-priced books for free, thereby making me eligible for some as-yet unknown portion of the KDP Select Fund pie? Continue reading