If you haven’t been following publishing news in the last few days, Amazon.com just announced last week it is increasing the bonus funding for its KDP Select program by $2.2M for the remainder of January and for February.
Select is a program for publishers that make their eBooks available through Amazon. By agreeing to a 90-day exclusivity period (the digital version of a book can only be sold through Amazon), authors are allowed to offer their books free for up to five days, and the publications are eligible to be borrowed from Amazon’s Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.
It’s this latter benefit the bonus money targets. Each month, Amazon allocates a payment pool of cash to pay enrolled authors for borrows. The current number is $700,000 a month. Every time an author’s book is borrowed, he or she gets a piece of that money. The total sum is divided by the total number of borrows that month.
In November, Amazon announced a $1.5M bonus to the pool for December, January, and February. The bonus they committed last week is on top of that money. So Amazon is putting an extra $1M into January’s fund on top of the $1.4M it already had. An additional $1.2M will be added to February’s pot.
So, if you’re an author enrolled, you can get a pretty decent payout for borrows in January and February. November’s number was $1.80 per borrow. With double the money in the pool for December, the payout is likely close to double as well. Let’s assume it’s $3.60 for the sake of argument. That number rises to around $5.12 for January (assuming the number of borrows stays roughly consistent).
Here’s where this is really exciting news for independent authors. Many of us price our books between 99 cents and $4.99. We earn a 35% royalty for anything below $2.99 and a 70% royalty for anything $2.99 to $9.99. So by borrowing a book through the Amazon Prime program, you’re getting an author a royalty that might actually be larger than the retail price of his or her book, and is certainly bigger than the usual royalty for a sale!
If you’re a member of Amazon Prime or you’ve been considering it, now is absolutely the time to take advantage of it. You can help make a difference for your favorite indie author by borrowing on of his or her novels.
I’ve got three books enrolled in KDP Select (and therefore eligible for borrowing) at the moment:
“Sleeping Beauty” is an 8000-word short story that re-imagines the classic fairytale in modern times. A father puts his daughter in a magical coma to protect her. Her mother plots to wake her. Neither is motivated by love. “Sleeping Beauty” is a cautionary tale about parents going too far.
State of Grace is the first novel in the Wolf Dasher series of fantasy-thriller mashups. Blending James Bond-style action with Tolkienesque fantasy, State of Grace sends secret agent Wolf Dasher to the magical land of elves, where he must solve the murder of his colleague and prevent a coup attempt from slaughtering thousands of elves and toppling the balance of power.
Red Dragon Five is the second Wolf Dasher book. This novel, which may be read as a standalone book or as a sequel to State of Grace, sends Wolf deep undercover with no official backup. When he disappears, his new love goes off in search of him as the two race against time to prevent a stolen top-secret weapon from being used by terrorists. As much a love story as an action-adventure yarn, Red Dragon Five is a true genre-bender.
I’d be very pleased if you’d click on the links to borrow one or more of those books. Or if you know someone who might enjoy one of them, pass on the information.
It’s an exciting time to be an indie author, with Amazon committing more resources to help grow the market. It’s also a struggle with so many books out there to muscle out some market space for oneself. Why not take the time to help out your favorite indie author in January and February? He or she will definitely appreciate it.
I know I would.