It looks like Kindle Unlimited is around the same for April, 2015, a hair under $1.36 per KU borrow read to 10% (and all Prime borrows).
What's really remarkable is that KU added $6.9 million on top of the $3 million initial commitment, bringing the total to nearly $10,000,000. That's a HUGE payout, which shows that the number of books borrowed through KU (and read to at least 10%) is quite significant (people borrow with Prime, too, but that number pales in comparison).
So, how do you feel about the KU payout? Do you think it's about to level off here?
Edited by: extradimensions on May 15, 2015 11:37 AM (Because I originally wrote March, 2015. Whoops!)
I still think it is too low and that they should scale it by length of the book. The fact that they are adding so much to keep it around $1.35 tells me they don't want to commit to any payout and keep it flexible to fit their needs. That is like paying a waitress $1 per hour and telling her that she will make a lot if she gets tips. Only difference here is we can't even influence the amount they add to make more like a waitress can. In the past 6 months they haven't added less than 3 million, so just make the base 6 million and guarantee at least that much... why they aren't doing that is shady at best. If KU starts to fail (or they decide to pull the plug), they can just drop our royalties to $.50 and say "We only guaranteed 3 million, sorry" and that is that. You might be happy they added that much, but in the end all I see is them reducing the amount they are paying out. $1.40 is low but acceptable, but they are conditioning us to accept $1.35 as a "norm" so when they pay us $1.30 we will not bail, hoping it goes back to $1.35 the next month when in fact we should be screaming about $1.35. Amazon has a number in mind, and I don't think we have seen it yet. Unfortunately they control it 100%.
Conditioning us to accept a lower average and still be happy is just like the energy companies are doing with gasoline. When oil came down, gas dropped to around $2.80 per gallon, and we were HAPPY because we were used to $3.50 per gallon. But the last time oil was this cheap, gas was $1.40. Nobody is screaming any more because they conditioned us to accept it and be content with it. Amazon is doing the same here, conditioning us to accept lower and lower royalties so when they drop it further, we don't bail from Select.
I took my first book out of Select at the start of this month, after being in Select for over 2 years (with a 6-month break). Previously, that 6-month break where I made the book available on all the other major channels, did little for me. One month of borrows in Select was far more than the 6 months of sales on all other channels, combined.
However, all that was before KU. Even though borrows accounted for about half my sales this year, I decided to opt out of Select. So far, it ahsn't been a good decision, but I'm going to give it some time.