In the past, I have referred to Amazon as my “overlords.” If it wasn’t clear, it was always done somewhat fondly. They did, after all, give me my chance to do what I love. And to meet all of you. Today, unfortunately, I am not doing it with love.
So for the past several months, I have noticed a sizable change in my income. Meaning, it went down. WAY down. Even as my fanbase kept growing. Even as my books kept hitting (or just BARELY MISSING) the #1 positions in their category. This, understandably, led me to thinking something was wrong, somehow my fanbase has started to give up on me more, that my quality of writing must be in the toilet, etc. It’s been a bad couple months in my career confidence.
Today, for whatever reason, I went onto my author account and started looking around. Then I started doing some googling. Well. As it turns out, my fanbase hasn’t been dwindling or losing interest.
Amazon is no longer paying me what it used to for Kindle Unlimited.
As many of you know, in KU, we are paid per page read. This had always added up to about .005¢ per page read. It roughly equaled out to $1.65 a book (keep in mind, I sell my books for $2.99, so this is already a drop in its value). But recently, that number they pay us has dropped to .004¢ per page read which takes it down to $1.32 each time a reader reads my book.
Yes, you read that right. I am now making 33¢ LESS per book on KU than I would have made off the same book just six months ago. That means for every 1,000 times my books are read, I am losing $330 that I used to make. And, let me tell you, it is adding up to a big loss of income this year.
Now, does this mean I am pulling my books from KU? Honestly, I would love to. Because this is inexcusably unfair from a company whose CEO was recently just named the richest man in the world. A company who just bought Whole Foods and slashed prices. A company who practically fully funds the American Post Office thanks to the Prime service. THEY CAN AFFORD TO PAY US FAIRLY. They are choosing not to. But, I can’t do that for several reasons. One, I make most of my income from KU still. I can’t afford to leave it, not even to prove a point. And two, some of my readers can’t afford to buy all my books. I get that. I’ve been there. And I want to make them as accessible as possible for everyone. Three, it makes it hard to keep your rank without KU pages to bolster you up.
So, for now, I will be staying.
But I thought that this was something you guys would want to know about. I know I have been asked in the past several times which way I would prefer you to get my books – a purchase or KU. And in the past, I always said KU finding the service fair. Now, I’m not so sure. I appreciate any way you guys support me, but as it stands, I am absolutely making a more fair wage through sales instead of KU.
As a reader myself, this is something I will be keeping in mind. I may still read on KU. But if I like it, I will be making sure to buy a copy as well. Should I have to pay more to offset Amazon’s unfair wages? No. But I feel the plight of authors who maybe aren’t as established as I am, who might be hit even harder than I am being hit with the drop in wages. I want to make sure they can keep living their dreams as well.
In conclusion, the Overlords are on my shit list.
* Rant over *