How Much Do KDP Select Borrows Pay?
With the introduction of Kindle Unlimited (read more about Kindle Unlimited by clicking here), many authors are wondering how much Amazon will pay for each qualifying download (i.e. where the customer passes the 10% mark).
Although that’s a complicated question (since customers can download several books through Kindle Unlimited, whereas Amazon Prime customers were only able to read one free KDP Select book per month), we do have data for KDP Select going back to the launch of the program in December 2011.
So I went through my KDP monthly royalty reports for 2011, 2012, 2013, and thru June of 2014 to tabulate the KOLL per-borrow payments by month.
You can see this displayed graphically above. Below, you will find the data in a table.
Notes regarding KDP Select with Amazon Prime:
- The lowest KOLL payments were December, 2011 ($1.70) and January, 2012 ($1.60), when KDP Select was first introduced.
- The lowest KOLL payment was $1.60 (December, 2011) and the highest was $2.51 (October, 2013).
- The most recent KOLL payment was $2.24 (June, 2014).
- Most months, KOLL payments were $2 and a little change.
- The average KOLL payment since December, 2011 has been $2.15.
- The average in 2012 was $2.10, in 2013 it was $2.23, and so far in 2014 it has been $2.15.
Notes regarding Kindle Unlimited:
- If it’s like the beginning of KDP Select, the first two months of Kindle Unlimited will have lower KOLL payments than in subsequent months. (But perhaps it will be different.)
- Kindle Unlimited offers unlimited downloads, whereas Amazon Prime only permitted one free borrow. This may cause the Kindle Unlimited data to be considerably different from prior KDP Select data.
- Amazon has already added $800,000 to the KOLL Global Fund for July, 2014 (and Kindle Unlimited was only introduced with two weeks left in the month), bringing the total fund to $2,000,000 for July. Will this be enough to maintain per-borrow payments of about $2? That’s the million-dollar question.
- Update: The results are in now. Kindle Unlimited paid $1.81 per borrow/download in July, 2014, much higher than I was expecting.
- Update: More results: Kindle Unlimited paid $1.54 and $1.52 in August and September, 2014, respectively.
- Update: In October, 2014, Kindle Unlimited payments dropped down to $1.33.
Copyright © 2014 Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers
- Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
- Volume 2 on marketability and marketing
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