I guess what's confusing me is how you're estimating earnings off the month-to-date report when all it shows are how many sales you've had of each title. Not whether they collected 35% or 70%.
Okay, so now my question is: Do you actually show less sales than you did the prior look at that report?
Title 1 had 100 sales, and the next day, only showed 50 sales?
My next question would be: What two days did you check it on?
Because if you checked it on Sept. 30th and Oct. 1st, sales reset for the new month. If you checked it on Sept. 29th and then the 30th, then yes, contact Amazon and have them look into it.
Really not trying to be snotty here, just confused.
I could use the month-to-date and estimate my earnings based on what the set percentage of each price is, but that doesn't mean it's by any means accurate, since some 70% titles may have 35% sales.
The six weeks report does show what percentage each sale earned, so to me, seems the better choice for getting an earnings total.
It's purpose is just to show you a running total of your earnings/sales. The one problem I have with the six week report is that it often has a few days from the prior month included, in order to show weekly sales.
Like this last one, Oct. 1st is included in the last week of September. First week of September has four days from August included.
So there's often confusion about more or less earnings per month because of the prior six weeks report.
The way Amazon records sales is confusing to most. Wish they would revise their system so its easier to understand.
But as my girlfriend preaches...wish in one hand shit in the other...see which one fills up first....its all shit...lol
Yep, Amazon steals, and has been exploiting KDP vendors for a long, long time, and with a variety of techniques.
BTW, those who rush to Amazon Corporate Greed Inc.'s defense (like Goliath really needs yer help, LOL) if you're not being paid the full royalty due off of your MSRP (manufacturer's suggested retail price) then guess what, folks? AMAZON'S STEALING FROM YOU.
That, and giving our titles away for free in its Kindle store WITHOUT paying us royalties for them (unheard of practice, btw) are just the most obvious methods thus far. There are many, MANY other sleight-of-hands going on here, too, such as those noted in the original post.
Actually, it's not an 'unheard practice'. Books have been given away for free at different sites and by different publishers.
You get the royalties you agree upon when signing up at KDP.
70% in countries marked as 70%, $&35% everywhere else, when you have sales.
It's not jumping to Amazon's defense to point out that someone just didn't read and comprehend what they were agreeing to when they come on the forums here to throw a fit because they had some 35% sales.
It's just pointing out that they didn't pay attention, and are throwing a fit over something they agreed to, whether they read everything or not.
And that's exactly what happened here. Maybe some of us are tired of seeing new members pop up and instantly accuse Amazon of stealing because they didn't read the dang TOS/agreement and have no clue what's going on.
I've been publishing with Amazon since Kindle came out, and I have never had any of my Kindle books given away for free, nor do I have disappearing sales. I record my sales periodically throughout the day on a spreadsheet using the month-to-date. I compare that end total at the end of the month with what Kindle says I've sold when they figure the month-end total. I've never lost a sale, although I have had one or two show up.
I've worked with Amazon, and I've worked with "real" publishing houses. I'll take Amazon over the alternative every time. Read your TOS agreement. Amazon isn't stealing from you and you don't have any 'facts' stating otherwise. If you did, you'd be talking to your lawyer instead of throwing a tantrum on here.
There's a few problems with your facts... namely, they aren't.
Let's just toss up the obvious that others have pointed out first, just to get it out of the way. Not every sale will net you 70%. That's what you agreed to when you signed up, sales outside of the US, Canada, UK, and a few other countries will drop to the 35% royalty rate. Depending on your market, this could account for a significant portion of your profits.
Next, however, is the fact that Amazon's reporting isn't in realtime. I noted this when I started, people would report buying a copy to me within minutes of doing so... it would takes sometimes hours to show up. Later, when I was selling more copies, I noted that sometimes I could go days without seeing more than a sale or two reported, yet not lose ranking. Sales were still being made, but the reports didn't filter through for quite a while. At other times, likely when their servers are less stressed, reports seem almost realtime.
This means that your carefully charted patterns... aren't. They're crap data because you don't have all the information and can't predict Amazon's server lag.
As to the, admittedly important issue of oversight... well, yeah, there is none. This is a concern we should all share to one degree or another, I agree... but it's not as big a deal as you seem to think.
First, this is Amazon. The company selling the Kindle Fire near or below cost because they're playing the long game, remember? Skimming a few bucks off of each of us, even if it adds up to millions, is peanuts. The reward isn't worth the risk.
Second, it's not in the financial interest. By sabotaging sales, Amazon would be driving away content providers by attrition, if nothing else, to say nothing of what would happen when it came out... and if WOULD come out.
No, discrepancies are much more likely to be attributed to software glitches and delays in reporting than malicious intent.
Just a note: I wasn't the one throwing the tantrum, but one of those telling the tantrum thrower they were fussing over things they'd agreed to.
However, I've seen free books (not my own, but others') because of Amazon's price bots checking out other sites. In fact, if you lower your price to zero at Smashwords, and then that price change shows up on B&N a couple of weeks later, there's a good chance Amazon's bots will catch it. And then yes, that title of yours will be free here on Amazon for a while.
But, we also agree in the TOS that Amazon basically has the right to ignore our price in order to match prices, etc.
The complaints about 35 percent royalties are amusing. For the first two years of the KDP platform (then called DTP), 35 percent is what we got, and we were delighted to get it, given that print royalties run 6-15 percent. Apple broke that mold. (Thank you, Steve Jobs! Though your iBookstore stinks.)
For years, I've had sales showing by 0900 New York Time, or 0600 in Seattle. So I concluded that the delay in posting sales was something like five hours, since it made more sense that people were shopping after midnight than in the very early morning. October 2011 was the first time that pattern broke--I think it was about noon before I saw my first sale. Ergo, either the delay has increased or this is the shabbiest month imaginable. At first I assume it was the delay. Now I'm not so sure, and I suspect that either it's a very shabby month or the entire Amazon reporting system has broken.
(And no, I don't t think Amazon is stealing from me!)
We've been with Amazon for a decade and would have to say NO to your question. We have experienced Amazon being honest month after month - year after year. It may be best for you to log in to your publisher account and click on "contact us" and ask your questions with examples from the month you are concerned about.
Amazon makes enough money - they don't steal.
Basically, I dont see any way to prove that Amazon is stealing your profits. They are, after all, the only ones with the ability to record your sales figures, and report them back to you.
The way I see it, with the KDP you get a publishing platform and an international audience with zero overhead to the author. Thats really something special. The downside is of course Amazon sets all the terms, and some of the payment issues like I'm experiencing right now (no Remittance email for UK and US STILL!)
Its a great deal. For guys like me, who probably wouldnt ever get published otherwise, its also the only game in town.
I don't know if you were paying attention to your sales last year or the year before, but this has become a recognizable pattern for me. From now until literally the day after Christmas, sales will decline slightly as people spend their money on the approaching holidays. The day after Christmas, however, you can expect a boom in sales. At least that was the case in the last couple years.
And no, I don't think Amazon is not stealing from me either.
Honestly, what you're saying is BS, and we have Kindle books for sale just like everyone else.
As another post said "you don't know how good you have it" (paraphrasing) we highly advise that you chill out.