The KOLL Payment is up 6 Cents per Borrow

KU Trends 2


For the first time since the launch of Kindle Unlimited, the KOLL payments have risen.

Only by 6¢ per borrow. But a step in the right direction.

Kindle Unlimited downloads read to 10% (and all Amazon Prime borrows) paid $1.39 per borrow in November, 2014.

KU Trends 2b

Amazon launched several new Kindles this 4th quarter, they were giving away Kindle Unlimited subscriptions early in Black Friday week, and they have an option to gift Kindle Unlimited subscriptions. All these new Kindle Unlimited subscribers will lead to many Kindle Unlimited downloads for the next 2-3 months.

This means there will be many customers reading books via Kindle Unlimited, but it also means that the payout for the KOLL Global Fund probably won’t rise significantly at least until March, 2015.

The question remains: Is it better to be in KDP Select, or out? Personally, I like seeing a large number of subscribers actively reading books in Kindle Unlimited, even if the KOLL payment has decreased somewhat from the days where it was only Amazon Prime. My sales continue to improve slightly overall each month, and the KU downloads are a sweet bonus, even at the lower royalty. Not every book is thriving in the program, but many are.


Like Wall Street, but just for Kindle finances. (I made this up, by the way.)

We don’t care about the dow. We care about the ku.

We invest our books in the ku.

And hope to see a return on our investment.

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 2014 Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

  • Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
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9 comments on “The KOLL Payment is up 6 Cents per Borrow

    • They keep rolling out KU in new countries, and many more new KU subscribers keep coming in. During the first couple of months, most KU subscribers go wild. So there are a ton of downloads (some books are benefiting from this). But even with the huge increase in the KDP Select Global Fund, the downloads have increased even more.

      In the first couple of months of a typical KU subscription, if a customer is reading 10 books per average per month to 10%, Amazon only earns $1 per book (directly; those customers who keep coming back may buy videos, music, clothing, etc.; I do). There should come a point where the average KU customer starts reading fewer books on average, but it’s still too new for many customers as Amazon keeps finding new ways to attract new subscribers. My guess is that we’ll reach this point around March (but maybe there is another surprise in store).

    • I see D2D attracting some authors whose books have slid with KU. Some may find early success there, as they will gain “new release” exposure for their republished books at other outlets. It will be interesting to see if they can sustain it. In the long run, if things drop off elsewhere, it might not be so easy to revive the Kindle sales, if they happen to drop off with the transition.

      I think Amazon still has plenty of pull in KU, even with some books dropping out. So many new books are coming out each month, and KU seems even to be attracting new books. Whichever books are thriving from all these extra readers are likely to remain, plus there are 100,000 traditionally published books (one possible surprise is for that number to rise).

  1. Amazon – in business for Amazon. They may be calibrating how little KOLL authors will tolerate before leaving en masse.

    Don’t get me wrong: I hope to take advantage of all that Amazon offers, and I am grateful I will have the ability to be an indie author, and I buy lots of stuff from them, and finally got Prime, and love Alpha House.

    But they are in business – have to be – for themselves and their bottom line, not mine.

    That’s fine – but I bet they use their data very carefully. To THEIR advantage.

    • No doubt. Fortunately, very often things that work to Amazon’s advantage also work to our advantages. Much of the book industry has improved for me both as an author and as a reader, largely because of Amazon. I’m enjoying KU both as a customer and author. (I just recently started watching movies with Prime, too.)

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