KDP authors can now add A+ Content to their product pages at Amazon.

What is A+ Content?

In addition to the product page (and in addition to pages that you can access from Author Central, like the author biography or a From the Author section)…

A Plus Content lets you add additional sections of writing or images to help showcase your book or provide more information about yourself.

It can be a sales tool that you put right on your Amazon product page.

There are several formats to choose from, such as a single wide image (with or without text displayed in front of it, or with text added below it) or 3-4 square pictures with information beside each picture.

For authors of multiple books, you can add a comparison chart to show the differences between similar books (or help readers easily see which other books you’ve written). The comparison chart lets you link to your other ASIN’s; it will automatically create hyperlinks.

I discovered the option to add A+ Content on Amazon one week ago and have been adding A+ Content since.

How do you find the option to add A+ Content? One way is to visit KDP and click on the Marketing tab. Scroll down. Select you Marketplace. Click the yellow button.

First click the other links to read the Guidelines and browse the Examples. A couple of the samples were very nicely done.

When you get there, click the button to Start Creating A+ Content.

Give it a name. Click the button to Add Module. You can add multiple modules (until it won’t let you click to add a new one). If you have multiple modules, you can use up/down arrows to reorder them.

Be sure to click Edit. When you’ve made good progress, click Save to prevent losing a lot of work at once. If you have a lot of unsaved work, you can run into a problem where the Save button gives you an error message, so I’ve learned to save frequently.

On the next page, enter the ASIN’s that you want the A+ Content to apply to. Once you have A+ Content for one ASIN, you won’t be able to also add additional A+ Content to the same ASIN (but you can change which content is associated with each ASIN).

Once you’ve created A+ Content, you can open it and Duplicate the content. This makes it easy to create similar content for other books. Though if you delete stuff afterward, sometimes a little of your information disappears in the new one and you need to rewrite it (which is easy to do via copy/paste if you open the previous A+ Content in a different tab).

It currently doesn’t seem to let you duplicate A+ Content for one country to use in a different country, however. Maybe it’s because they expect you to change the language: Even from the US to the UK, they probably expect you to make the spelling/language differences. The Content Guidelines mention spelling and grammar.

In case you may be interested in what I’ve done, here is a link to one of my product pages that includes A+ Content:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/194169134X

Once you get there, scroll down to the From the Publisher section. The visual part of this is A+ Content. (After that, the From the Author section had been done in Author Central months ago.)

Write Happy, Be Happy

Chris McMullen

Author of the Improve Your Math Fluency series of math workbooks

Kindle Vella is Now Live!

KINDLE VELLA

Amazon just launched the new Kindle Vella.

What is Vella? Stories that are told one episode at a time. It has to be new content (not content that has been made available previously), so there shouldn’t be material that you’re familiar with from the past that gets repackaged in Vella. There should only be fresh new content.

There are a few points regarding Vella that appeal to me:

  • Customers can read the first 3 episodes for free. This is basically equivalent of the Look Inside for a book. For Vella, the free sample has been standardized.
  • Customers can buy the story one episode at a time. Normally, you read the description, Look Inside, and reviews, then decide whether to buy an entire book. With Vella, you just buy one episode at a time. It’s a smaller investment. If you don’t end up liking the story, you don’t end up wasting a lot of money. I like this feature. It’s customer friendly.
  • The platform rewards authors for writing engaging content. Each episode needs to be good enough to make the reader want the next episode. Engaging content can do well (provided that it gets noticed; right now is the best chance for exposure, since content will only grow from this point forward).
  • The royalties appear to be fairly author friendly, but only if the content is engaging enough that most readers finish the story.
  • I like that the price is standardized (see below for info about prices and royalties). Of course, Vella is optional. You can choose to publish Kindle eBooks and paperbacks instead of using Vella.
  • The formatting couldn’t be easier. Vella is for stories that have pure text with no special symbols or special formatting. You upload a square image for the cover (1600 pixels by 1600 pixels), and this will be cropped to a circle. You don’t even have to put text on the cover because it will be displayed next to the cover. For the story, the only formatting options are bold, underline, and italics. Everything is left aligned (ragged right), no indents, with space between paragraphs. This is probably so that the formatting looks fine on cell phones. The idea is for the episodes to be phone friendly. For customers who like to read on small screens, this seems like a good idea.

Vella episodes are purchased using tokens:

  • You can currently get 200 free tokens from Amazon. This encourages customers to check out Vella and start reading episodes.
  • You can purchase 200 to 1700 tokens at a time. Tokens cost slightly less than 1 penny per token. For example, 1700 tokens currently costs $14.99 (this is the best value), while 200 tokens costs $1.99.
  • Authors earn 50% of what customers spend on the tokens that they use to redeem the episodes. (It appears that episodes read with the 200 free tokens will not earn royalties, since 50% of free is nothing. But those free tokens are Amazon’s marketing tool to encourage customers to get hooked on Vella stories.) So on average authors will earn about half a penny per 100 words. It’s interesting to compare this rate to Kindle Unlimited, which usually pays half a penny per normalized page. How many words are on a page that has pure text? Half a penny per 100 words is better than what Kindle Unlimited pays (for books with text only). If you write 100,000 words, Vella pays $5 when readers read the entire story.

Once you purchase tokens (the free ones don’t count for this), you can Fave one story for that week. This helps Amazon determine which stories are popular each week, and the most popular stories receive added exposure.

You can also Follow stories. At the bottom of each episode, you can click a Thumbs Up (to Like the episode). Authors, remind your readers to choose a Fave every week, to Follow your story, and to click Thumbs Up for each episode. These stats will only help you.

Vella stories stand out in search results because they all show in circles. If you type text in the search bar, you see Sponsored Products and sometimes see other results that aren’t Vella stories. The fact that all Vella stories have circular covers makes it easy to tell which search results are Vella stories and which aren’t.

I currently have three stories in Vella (I started out by publishing 5 episodes, and plan to release new episodes weekly, if not more frequently):

  • Romancing the Novel. This is unlike any romance that you’ve ever read, and it’s unlike most of my writing (since I normally write math and science workbooks). Melissa Stevens designed this wonderful cover for me years ago, and until Vella came out, I hadn’t found the courage to publish it. This was a fun story to write.
  • Monkeys Discover Inertia. I wrote these monkey stories to help inspire interest in physics concepts. There are no prerequisites; anybody can enjoy these stories. When I teach physics, I draw monkeys on the board and use monkeys in the examples and problems. For Vella, I had the idea to write stories with the idea that the stories would be fun and engaging and happen to teach a few physics concepts along the way.
  • Math Word Problems with Answers. I normally write math and science workbooks, so I wanted to have something on Vella that is more aligned with what I usually write.

For the first week, my Fave is The Adventures of Sandy the Cat, which are cool stories (written for kids, especially those who love cats, but even adults may enjoy them) written by Julie Harper. I know Julie Harper personally; she has some interesting handwriting workbooks (both printing and cursive).

I plan to start my first sci-fi novel in the coming months, and I’m leaning towards publishing it on Vella.

Readers can find Kindle Vella stories on the web (at Amazon) by first choosing the Kindle Store (just click the Search button with an empty search after selecting the Kindle Store category). They are also available on the Kindle for iOS app. (Unfortunately, I tried finding Vella stories on my Paperwhite, but didn’t find them there, even though it is Kindle Vella. The main target seems to be smart phones, but I was able to read them on a Mac or PC.) When I browse my digital orders, it will let me deliver Vella episodes to some of my Fire devices and to my phone (and as I mentioned, you can read them on a Mac or PC, for example).

Authors can publish stories on Kindle Vella through KDP. To see royalties for Vella, use the beta report feature (not the usual reports). There is also a special category for Vella in the KDP community help forum.

I tried searching Vella for some authors I know whose books I have read in the past, but unfortunately didn’t find any matches. If you’re a Vella author, you’re welcome to mention your author name and the title of your story in the comments for this post.

If you’re a Vella reader, you’re encouraged to share your Vella reading experience in the comments.

P.S. I was really happy to find the Classic Editor here at WordPress when I wrote this article today. Thank you, WordPress!

Write Happy, Be Happy

Chris McMullen

Author of the Improve Your Math Fluency series of math workbooks

Intrigued by Amazon’s Vella

Vella is coming soon.

Writers will publish stories in episodes. A single episode may be anywhere from 600 words to 5000 words.

Readers will read stories one episode at a time.

One neat feature that I like is that the author can include optional notes at the end of each episode. An author might share insights into how the story came about or share a personal note. There are many ways that authors can use this space.

Ordinarily, when you read a novel, such notes don’t appear between the chapters, and would seem to break up the momentum of the story. But with Vella, readers aren’t buying the entire book at once, but are reading one episode at a time. I might like some of the tidbits that get included here. Another possible use of author notes is to generate interest in the next episode.

Author notes are capped at 200 words per episode, so a single note won’t be too long. But after reading several episodes, there is a lot of potential for readers to learn more about the characters or the author.

Covers are simplified. It isn’t necessary to include any text on the cover itself. You just need to make a 1600 by 1600 square image (less than 2 MB) to generate interest in your story. Amazon automatically places the title and author name below the image.

Formatting the story is incredibly simplified. Every story will appear in block paragraphs with no indents, with spacing between the paragraphs. This is done automatically. You type, paste, or upload a story with paragraphs and that’s how it will come out.

There are no pictures to worry about in the content file. There are no bullet points, no subscripts or superscripts, no headings, no subheadings, no drop caps, or any of the kinds of things that complicate formatting.

Since Vella is designed for sharing stories, it is designed for plain text.

It is also phone friendly. For the phone, it makes sense not to indent paragraphs, but to instead put space between them. You can type with indented paragraphs with no space between them, and when you upload the file for each episode, it will automatically be converted to block paragraphs with no indents, with space between paragraphs.

The description is limited to 500 characters, which forces you to be concise. Most readers don’t read beyond the Read More point at Amazon, especially for fiction. It pays to learn how to be concise here, and to generate interest without spoiling the story.

The first three episodes are free. This basically serves as the Look Inside. The first three episodes need to be good enough to make the reader to want more.

For me, the most challenging part is to come up with the tags. I think this will be easier once Vella gets underway and we can explore the different tags in use.

The category choices are currently very limited. There are basically no subcategories. You’ll need to use a couple of tags to function as your subcategories.

The pricing is interesting. Readers buy tokens in bulk. The examples suggest that a token will cost about a penny. The exact cost depends on how large a quantity of tokens the customer buys. They can buy more and save a little per token.

The token idea makes sense because you can’t charge small dollar amounts on a credit card; the fees would make it impractical. But you can charge for hundreds of tokens on a credit card and let readers use tokens to buy low-cost episodes.

It looks like Amazon is taking prices out of the hands of the author. It looks like one token will unlock 100 words. For example, if an episode has 753 words, a customer will need to use 7 tokens to unlock the episode. If an episode has 799 words and you add one word to it, a customer will need to use 8 tokens instead of 7.

It looks like the author earns 50% of the customer’s cost of the tokens. So if customers spend approximately 1 penny per token, an author earns about half a penny per token spent. In this example, an author is earning about half a penny per 100 words read.

It’s interesting to compare this with Kindle Unlimited, where authors in KDP Select earn a little under half a penny per KENP page read. A KENP page read typically has well more than 100 words, right? So half a penny per 100 words in Vella seems to be a much improved rate compared to Kindle Unlimited.

Here’s another way to look at it. Suppose that you write a 100,000 word novel and break it up into episodes for Kindle Vella. (Before you get any ideas, you’re not allowed to publish currently or previously available books on Kindle Vella.)

At 100 words per episode, a 100,000 word novel would require spending 1000 tokens, which is a lot of tokens. If a customer spends 1 penny per token, it will cost the customer $10 to buy every episode of your novel (well, the first three episodes are free), and you would earn about $5 in royalties for the novel. So the royalty rate, if it stays this way, appears to be favorable for authors, much better than Kindle Unlimited, even better than sales of novels.

Seriously, most indie authors don’t price a 100,000 word novel at $9.99 and proceed to sell it like hot cakes.

But the novel was just to get an idea of the royalty rate, not to suggest that a novel is a good fit for Vella.

Vella is designed for stories that can be told one episode at a time.

Another important consideration is that customers will buy the story one episode at a time.

The customer isn’t paying the price for the book and buying the entire book.

The customer will read the first three episodes for free. If they are good enough, the customer may buy the first episode. The sequence of episodes needs to hold the reader’s interest, otherwise, the reader will just spend a small number of tokens and abandon the book.

If the reader only reads 10% of the book, the author only earns royalties for the tokens spent to unlock 10% of the book. If the book is good enough for most customers to read all of it, then the author earns the maximum possible royalty for the book. So just having 100,000 boring words won’t be earning authors $5 per book. But 100,000 captivating, spellbinding, marvelously crafted words can bring a favorable royalty per customer.

The pricing appears to reward reader engagement. Personally, I like this, whether as a reader or as an author.

Vella has appeal to me both as a reader and as an author.

As a reader, I look forward to Author Notes. For me, it’s like a bonus feature. You sometimes get these things in front matter or back matter. But with Vella, when they are available, we’ll get them in tidbits between episodes. I like the potential.

As an author, until now I’ve only written nonfiction, mostly math and science workbooks. I’ve considered writing stories for several years, but until Vella was introduced, had never attempted it. But now, I’m planning to write some stories. I may publish some or all of them under a pen name. We’ll see.

I’ll definitely be registering the copyrights for my work though.

Write Happy, Be Happy

Chris McMullen

Author of the Improve Your Math Fluency series of math workbooks

Amazon KDP Coming to Australia

AUSTRALIA KDP

Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is finally opening a print-on-demand (POD) facility in Australia, which is great news for authors, small publishers, and Amazon customers in Australia.

The new facility is set to begin its launch on May 19, 2021.

KDP authors should check their paperback pricing options starting on May 12, 2021. On this date, you will be able to check your list price and royalty for Australia, and if necessary, you can adjust the list price for AU. The printing costs are apparently higher in Australia, so you want to make sure that your royalty isn’t zero or very low (if it is, you can adjust the royalty by increasing the list price, if needed).

For authors who live in Australia, the big question is whether or not you will be able to order author copies and proofs printed in Australia. The answer appears to be YES according to the KDP help pages and an answer from KDPSasha on the KDP community forum. (However, unfortunately, authors in Canada currently have their copies printed in the US.)

Write Happy, Be Happy

Chris McMullen

Author of the Improve Your Math Fluency series of math workbooks

A Great Gift for Writers (How Did I Ever Manage without This?)

XL Book Stand

My neck was sore from proofreading and revising. Tired of looking down at an angle, I wondered if there was something I could stand atop my desk that could hold books and papers more at eye level. I found this cool book stand on Amazon.

Book Stand

I bought the XL size (15.4″ by 11″). I set my 1700 page Webster’s College Dictionary on this, opened to the page I’m using, and it supports it just fine. I also print out my manuscript and set it on the book stand, and it works great for proofreading or typing revisions from my proofreading.

The angle is adjustable. I don’t like the steepest angle because materials tend to fall off easily with that angle, but the other angles work great. Two metal bars in the front adjust so that you can hold the current page in place. I use these bars with my dictionary, but don’t need them with my printed manuscript.

My neck feels much better since I purchased this.

(What happened to WordPress? I really miss the Classic Editor. I did manage to find everything I’m used to so that I could write this post, but I’m not yet a fan of this recent change.)

Write Happy, Be Happy

Chris McMullen

Author of the Improve Your Math Fluency series of math workbooks

Recent Improvements to Amazon KDP

RECENT CHANGES AT KDP

There have been several changes to Amazon KDP recently. Have you noticed?

SERIES. One interesting change is the introduction of the series page and the series manager. It seems like this new tool isn’t 100% complete yet, but it’s a giant step in the right direction. From the publishing end, it makes it easier to manage series. Now you get a series landing page and you can even write a series description (by default it uses the description from the first book).

From the customer’s perspective, there is a change I would personally like to see. When I shop for sci-fi books to read, for example, I see every volume of a series as a separate search result. Sometimes a really popular series has several volumes and these volumes take up a great deal of space when I’m looking for a new book. Seriously, if I didn’t want to read Volume 1, why would I get interested in Volume 6 and read that one? I wish these would show up as a single series in the search results. They should show the first volume of the series unless I’m logged in and the system realizes that I’ve already read one or more volumes, in which case it would be really helpful if the search results put the next volume in front of me (but, please, not every book in the series). I run into the same trouble when I’m looking for t.v. shows to watch on Amazon Prime, though it is much better now than it had been a few years back.

SPONSORED BRANDS. AMS introduced a new feature: Sponsored brand advertising. If you have three or more similar books (with the same author name) that you would like to advertise, you can put them together and make a special landing page with them. This makes it easy for the customer to find a set of related books, which is really handy if you’ve published a variety of books where grouping would be convenient. Of course, advertising costs money, and not all ads are cost-effective, but I like the concept, and it is benefiting some authors.

EXPANDED UK. Expanded Distribution is now available in the UK. If the UK price of the paperback edition is high enough to enable this distribution channel (and earn a reasonable royalty for it), this offers a little added visibility.

BETA REPORTS. For several months now, there has been a KDP Reports Beta option on the Reports page. This has changed recently. For authors of multiple books, tracking the performance of multiple books is a little easier in a couple of ways.

AUTHOR CENTRAL. Amazon Author Central received an overhaul. It seems like it is more mobile friendly now. Perhaps that was the main reason for the update. There are a few things that I like about it, but a couple of things I liked better the old way. The sales rank page makes it easier to keep track of the ranks of several books. It appears that whichever edition (paperback, Kindle, audio, etc.) has the best sales rank shows by default, which is convenient. For the most part, my better selling books are at the top of the page, but I note that it isn’t ordered perfectly by the better sales rank (maybe it averages the ranks of the different editions?). We seem to have lost a feature or two, such as the option to rename the url of the author page. But other features, like From the Author, are just harder to find (this seems to work for paperbacks, but not consistently for Kindle anymore).

UNIFIED AMS. If you advertise in multiple countries and would like a unified view, create a manager account or click the option to manage your accounts by clicking your account name at the top right corner.

KDP COMMUNITY. A few changes have been made to the KDP community, including the occasional presence of a KDP representative. I’ve seen an occasional post from a KDP representative. It’s nice for them to have at least a small presence in the community.

KENP AT AMS. Finally, estimated KENP royalties are included with AMS reports.

NOMINATIONS. You can nominate a book for Kindle Deals or Prime Reading. It’s not easy to get a nomination accepted, obviously, and these may be more helpful for some kinds of books than for others, but it’s nice to feel included by being able to nominate books. I actually had my astronomy book included once before these nominations were made possible (in the past, you would receive an invitation by email to nominate a book, if you were so lucky, and then you would wait again to see if they accepted your nomination). Now the nomination part is easy, but the acceptance part is rare. For me, when my astronomy book was accepted, the experience had been great for me. For books that get accepted in popular categories, you probably also need to get a little lucky not to get buried in the back of the list.

CANADA/AUSTRALIA AMS. It’s now possible to advertise KDP books in Canada and Australia (in addition to the US and Europe).

Which changes have you noticed at KDP or Amazon?

Write Happy, Be Happy

Chris McMullen

Author of the Improve Your Math Fluency series of math workbooks and self-publishing guides

A New Form of Book Piracy

Image licensed from Shutterstock.

BEWARE OF BOOK PIRATES

Earlier this year, after publishing a new book, I visited Amazon to check it out. When I finished inspecting the Amazon detail page for my new book, I clicked the link by my author photo to visit my Author Central page. And, boy, was I surprised by what I found.

(A little background: Author Central now shows only my Kindle eBooks by default. Customers have to click the Paperback tab to find my paperback books.)

I noticed one of my better selling books near the top of the list. What stood out is that book is only available in paperback. (For good reason. With thousands of math problems, this particular workbook would not be ideal for Kindle.) Yet, there it was on the list of my Kindle eBooks.

At first thought, I had hoped that Amazon was finally starting to show all of my books by default (like they had once upon a time), instead of just the Kindle eBooks. Some of my books are only available in paperback, and so customers can’t find them on my Author page unless it occurs to them to click the Paperback tab.

But I soon realized that it was indeed a Kindle eBook. What a surprise! This book is only available in paperback. How was a Kindle edition of this book on my author page?

I visited KDP just to see with my own eyes that this book wasn’t showing on my Bookshelf in eBook format. Indeed, it was only available as a paperback.

When I explored this mysterious Kindle eBook, it was obvious to me that it wasn’t mine. Yet it had the same title, the same cover, and even my own name listed as the author. Only it wasn’t a book that I had published (or authorized). When I opened the Look Inside, it looked like someone had used OCR to convert my paperback to a Kindle eBook (which is NOT a good way to convert a book to Kindle format, by the way). When I reached the exercises, I immediately saw a problem. The paperback has the exercises arranged in three columns. In this mysterious Kindle edition, the three equations from the three columns merged together, so that a customer wouldn’t be able to tell when one equation stopped and another started. It was a formatting nightmare, rendering the math unreadable. So not only was there a pirated version of my book available for sale, but any customers who purchased the eBook would likely be quite displeased. Yet the book had a sales rank of about 100,000, so people had evidently been buying the book. What is even more incredible is that the list price was exactly the same as the price of the paperback. The publication date showed that the eBook had already been available for a few weeks before I discovered it.

Fortunately, Amazon has a special form for people or businesses to report copyright or trademark infringement. If you published through KDP, visit KDP’s Contact Us page, and when you select the appropriate menu item, it will automatically take you to Amazon’s copyright infringement form.

I’m not a big fan of the form itself. You have to state your problem clearly in 1000 characters or less. I struggled with this because it was my own name on the pirated book, and I wanted to make it very clear that someone else was using my name and content without my permission (to try to avoid confusion). Plus, the form has lawyer-ish language that seems nonspecific to books. One question wants to know if it is a physical item, and, well, it was an eBook. Is that a physical item? There wasn’t an option for a Kindle eBook. Other questions like this ran through my mind.

Unfortunately, it can take an agonizing couple of days to receive a response. I submitted my request on a Saturday, and Monday was a holiday, so this evidently added to my waiting period. Remember those snow and ice storms that some states had earlier this year? Guess what. This book piracy happened to occur at about the same time, so that while I was constantly checking my email for a response and Amazon to see if the pirated book would ever get taken down, at home I was experiencing frequent rolling power outages. It was a nightmare in a nightmare. (Pinching didn’t help.)

After this waiting period, I received a response and the pirated eBook was taken down. (Thank you, Amazon.)

I can’t imagine what the “pirate” was thinking. Somebody invested some time to get the book, OCR the book, and make the Kindle edition (as little effort as that might have been, and as poorly formatted as the result was). What did they expect to gain from this? Amazon doesn’t pay authors for a couple of months after the purchase specifically so that in the case of infringement or other violations of the TOS, the infringing author won’t ever receive one penny. Did the person expect not to get caught? The book used my cover, my name, even got linked to my actual paperback. Kind of hard not to notice. I’m guessing the “pirate” must have done this to several books, not just mine. The copyright team hopefully checked out any other books that person had published when they blocked the book that I reported.

The lesson is to make sure that nobody else is selling your book on any major retailers, such as Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Smashwords, etc.

A more common mosquito-like book piracy problem is to find websites that claim to be selling or giving away unauthorized copies of your book. Often, these websites don’t actually have the book. With all of the viruses, malware, and phishing that plagues the internet these days, my advice is to avoid visiting untrusted websites, avoid clicking links, and avoid downloading files. Hopefully, most customers will be wise enough not to try to obtain books from unknown sites. People shop for books at places they trust, like Amazon. If you find your book being sold or given away, you can issue a takedown notice. Unfortunately, this can become a regular occurrence, taking up a great deal of time and energy.

If you’re an author, I hope you never have your book pirated. I hope you sell enough books that other people “wish” that they had written your book, but I hope they don’t try to actually sell unauthorized copies of your book.

Write Happy, Be Happy

Chris McMullen

Author of the Improve Your Math Fluency series of math workbooks and self-publishing guides

Expanded Distribution Has Expanded

EXPANDED DISTRIBUTION

Amazon KDP now offers two Expanded Distribution channels. In addition to the usual Expanded Distribution channel for the US, they have added an Expanded Distribution channel for the UK.

Authors and publishers using Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing for paperbacks may now add the Expanded Distribution channel for the UK. Each title must be individually enrolled. To sign up for Expanded Distribution in the UK, find a book on your Bookshelf, and go to Page 3 of the publishing process for the paperback edition (the pricing page). You may need to click an option to show prices in other countries. If your list price is too low, your book won’t be eligible for Expanded Distribution in the UK (unless you’re willing to raise your UK list price). Check the Expanded Distribution royalty amount that is displayed and make sure that you’re comfortable with that royalty. The process isn’t complete until you click the button at the bottom to submit the book for publishing (or for “republishing”). The changes won’t take effect until the book is republished.

Every little bit helps. 🙂

If you had edited your book description through Author Central, beware that the description in your KDP description field (Page 1 of the publishing process) will now overwrite the Author Central description. If this may be an issue for you, copy/paste the HTML version of your Author Central page into the KDP description field before you submit the book for publishing. (If you receive an error message, it might be that the syntax for KDP’s description HTML is different than Author Central’s regarding br for manual line breaks.)

Write Happy, Be Happy

Chris McMullen

Author of the Improve Your Math Fluency series of math workbooks and self-publishing guides

Author Central Has Changed

CHANGES AT AUTHOR CENTRAL

If you haven’t already done so, when you next visit Author Central, it will ask you to sign up (even if you are already signed up). This part should be easy. It found my previous information and quickly transferred it over. I checked my biography and author photos, which were the same (although I noticed a couple of duplicate photos and deleted the duplicates). At first, it seemed like my blog feeds were missing, but when I proceeded to add them, I saw that they were still there.

The way that books, reviews, and sales ranks are displayed has changed, and it is not as clear how to edit a book’s information.

(With thousands of authors currently checking out the new Author Central, it’s possible that you will experience delays or that the site will appear to be temporarily down when you visit. This happened to me briefly once, but was working again just a few minutes later. The other times I visited this morning, it was working fine.)

PLUSES

I like the Sales Rank report (but see the Minuses below) and Customer Reviews report. It’s basically the same information that we have seen before, presented in a new way.

Visually, these appear nice, in my opinion.

I also like that I can scroll down to see more ranks; I don’t need to paginate my way back and forth through all of my books.

The sales ranks are displayed according to popularity.

You can also change the marketplace to see how your books are selling in other countries, or to see recent reviews in other countries.

If you are looking for a specific book, the search tool (accessible by clicking All Books) makes it easy to search for one.

Back under Profile, it is easy to visit Author Central in other countries where it is available. You can also add a biography in a new language.

MINUSES

The Sales Rank report and Customer Reviews report can only be sorted by popularity.

In contrast, when you go to the Books page, you can change the sorting to alphabetical, newest to oldest, etc. It seem an obvious “oversight” that you can’t similarly change the sorting of the Sales Rank and Customer Reviews reports. Very often, I like to see how my most recent books are doing (sales rank or reviews), without having to search for each book specifically, so such sorting options would have been useful.

The Books page has changed. I see all of my titles (without having to paginate, which is nice), but with the old Author Central, we used to be able to see the total number of reviews/ratings and the average star value next to each book. Now we just see the book covers, nothing else (without additional clicks). I liked being able to monitor review totals and averages for several books on the page without having to click on one book at a time to access this information.

When I do click on a book from the Books page, with the first click it only pulls up a minimum of information, and it may not be immediately obvious to all authors that they can click again to see more information and get more options. It is necessary to click on one of the thumbnails if you wish to edit your book description or access other fields like From the Author or Editorial Reviews. Most authors will have two thumbnails (one for paperback, one for Kindle). After you click the thumbnail (really, the second time you click on a thumbnail), you will see slightly more information: the full title, the review tally (finally), and a little product information. You will also see an Edit Book Details button. Currently, this takes you to the classic editor. Beware that if you edit your book description, you need to copy/paste the HTML of the description into the book description field at KDP, otherwise the next time you republish your book (even just to change the price or keywords) it will revert to the old description (as KDP now overwrites the Author Central description).

SURVEY

On Home page or the bottom of other pages, you can find a quick Survey.

There was only one place to enter a comment, and it was a small box. It reminded me of the joke where an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper has a tiny rectangle drawn on it, with text above it stating, “Enter your complaint in the space provided.” I partly understand that if they allow thousands of authors to submit comments, they will be overwhelmed with an encyclopedic amount of feedback. Writers love to write, after all. But if they really want to know what needs to be improved and why, the survey really needs more than the few questions it asked.

If you have specific feedback that you would like to offer, there is a Contact Us button at the bottom of the Author Central page.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Do you like the new Author Central better, or the classic one?

What do you like about it? What do you dislike?

Write Happy, Be Happy

Chris McMullen

Author of the Improve Your Math Fluency series of math workbooks and self-publishing guides

What Is the Kindle Unlimited Per-Page Rate? A Current Month-by-Month Breakdown

Image from ShutterStock.

HOW MUCH DID KINDLE UNLIMITED PAY PER PAGE?

Following is a monthly breakdown. I’ll update this page monthly to add the latest amount when it becomes available. I won’t be making a new post every month as I have done in the past; I’ll just update this article once per month. Check around the 15th of each month to find the per-page rate for the previous month. For example, July’s per-page rate will be available around August 15.

If you bookmark this page, around the 15th of each month you’ll be able to quickly pull up this page to see what the per-page rate is. (You might need to wait until later in the day or even until the 16th, depending.) By bookmarking this page in your web browser, you’ll have easy access to this page. Remember, I won’t be posting a new article each month like I did in the past; I’ll just update this page.

This list is for Kindle eBooks enrolled in KDP Select, for pages read through Kindle Unlimited or Amazon Prime borrows (where an official page read is called KENP). These are the KENP per-page rates. (Going all the way back to when Amazon started paying for pages read in the summer of 2015, the per-page rate has never fallen below $0.004 per page. It has come very close a couple of times, but it has often been in the 0.0045 to 0.005 range. If you read through the list, you’ll see that some fluctuation is typical.)

  • August, 2021: $0.00426
  • July, 2021: $0.00430
  • June, 2021: $0.00444
  • May, 2021: $0.00441
  • April, 2021: $0.00450
  • March, 2021: $0.00444
  • February, 2021: $0.00455
  • January, 2021: $0.00422
  • December, 2020: $0.00451
  • November, 2020: $0.00464
  • October, 2020: $0.00454
  • September, 2020: $0.00459
  • August, 2020: $0.00432
  • July, 2020: $0.00429
  • June, 2020: $0.00455
  • May, 2020: $0.0042
  • April, 2020: $0.00423
  • March, 2020: $0.00426
  • February, 2020: $0.00455
  • January, 2020: $0.00441
  • December, 2019: $0.00466
  • November, 2019: $0.00493
  • October, 2019: $0.0047
  • September, 2019: $0.0047
  • August, 2019: $0.00439
  • July, 2019: $0.00439
  • June, 2019: $0.00464
  • May, 2019: $0.00466
  • April, 2019: $0.00467
  • March, 2019: $0.00451
  • February, 2019: $0.00478
  • January, 2019: $0.00442
  • December, 2018: $0.00487
  • November, 2018: $0.0052
  • October, 2018: $0.00484
  • September, 2018: $0.00488
  • August, 2018: $0.00449
  • July, 2018: $0.00449
  • June, 2018: $0.0046
  • May, 2018: $0.00454
  • April, 2018: $0.00456
  • March, 2018: $0.00449
  • February, 2018: $0.00466
  • January, 2018: $0.00448
  • December, 2017: $0.00506
  • November, 2017: $0.00463
  • October, 2017: $0.00456
  • September, 2017: $0.00443
  • August, 2017: $0.00419
  • July, 2017: $0.00403
  • June, 2017: $0.00422
  • May, 2017: $0.00433
  • April, 2017: $0.00457
  • March, 2017: $0.0046
  • February, 2017: $0.00497
  • January, 2017: $0.00475
  • December, 2016: $0.00524
  • November, 2016: $0.00538
  • October, 2016: $0.00519
  • September, 2016: $0.00497
  • August, 2016: $0.00458
  • July, 2016: $0.00481
  • June, 2016: $0.00493
  • May, 2016: $0.00469
  • April, 2016: $0.00496
  • March, 2016: $0.00478
  • February, 2016: $0.00479
  • January, 2016: $0.00411
  • December, 2015: $0.00461
  • November, 2015: $0.00492
  • October, 2015: $0.0048
  • September, 2015: $0.0051
  • August, 2015: $0.0051
  • July, 2015: $0.00578

The list below is for the KDP Select Global Fund. It’s amazing that the KDP Select Global Fund climbed above $30 million dollars. These are royalties that Amazon pays to KDP Select authors in a single month purely for Kindle Unlimited (and to a much smaller degree, Amazon Prime) borrows. It doesn’t include royalties for purchases; it’s just pages read for borrows. That rate is over $300 million per year, which is a huge audience. Back in the summer of 2015, it had first jumped above $10 million. It tripled in the 5 years since. If you go back to before Amazon introduced the notion of paying for pages read, in July 2014 it was a mere $2 million (15 times smaller than it is now).

  • August, 2021: $39.6 million
  • July, 2021: $38.1 million
  • June, 2021: $36.5 million
  • May, 2021: $35.9 million
  • April, 2021: $35.5 million
  • March, 2021: $35.4 million
  • February, 2021: $33.5 million
  • January, 2021: $36 million
  • December, 2020: $34 million
  • November, 2020: $33.2 million
  • October, 2020: $32.9 million
  • September, 2020: $32.7 million
  • August, 2020: $32.6 million
  • July, 2020: $32.4 million
  • June, 2020: $32.3 million
  • May, 2020: $32.2 million
  • April, 2020: $30.3 million
  • March, 2020: $29 million
  • February, 2020: $27.2 million
  • January, 2020: $28.2 million
  • December, 2019: $26.2 million
  • November, 2019: $26.1 million
  • October, 2019: $26 million
  • September, 2019: $25.9 million
  • August, 2019: $25.8 million
  • July, 2019: $25.6 million
  • June, 2019: $24.9 million
  • May, 2019: $24.6 million
  • April, 2019: $24.1 million
  • March, 2019: $24 million
  • February, 2019: $23.5 million
  • January, 2019: $24.7 million
  • December, 2018: $23.7 million
  • November, 2018: $23.6 million
  • October, 2018: $23.5 million
  • September, 2018: $23.4 million
  • August, 2018: $23.3 million
  • July, 2018: $23.1 million
  • June, 2018: $22.6 million
  • May, 2018: $22.5 million
  • April, 2018: $21.2 million
  • March, 2018: $21 million
  • February, 2018: $20 million
  • January, 2018: $20.9 million
  • December, 2017: $19.9 million
  • November, 2017: $19.8 million
  • October, 2017: $19.7 million
  • September, 2017: $19.5 million
  • August, 2017: $19.4 million
  • July, 2017: $19 million
  • June, 2017: $18 million
  • May, 2017: $17.9 million
  • April, 2017: $17.8 million
  • March, 2017: $17.7 million
  • February, 2017: $16.8 million
  • January, 2017: $17.8 million
  • December, 2016: $16.8 million
  • November, 2016: $16.3 million
  • October, 2016: $16.2 million
  • September, 2016: $15.9 million
  • August, 2016: $15.8 million
  • July, 2016: $15.5 million
  • June, 2016: $15.4 million
  • May, 2016: $15.3 million
  • April, 2016: $14.9 million
  • March, 2016: $14.9 million
  • February, 2016: $14 million
  • January, 2016: $15 million
  • December, 2015: $13.5 million
  • November, 2015: $12.7 million
  • October, 2015: $12.4 million
  • September, 2015: $12 million
  • August, 2015: $11.8 million
  • July, 2015: $11.5 million

Write Happy, Be Happy

Chris McMullen

Author of the Improve Your Math Fluency series of math workbooks and self-publishing guides