WOW! Kindle Unlimited Paid $1.81 in July, 2014 (Updated)

Fourth Quarter Pic

Kindle Unlimited

KDP Select historically paid approximately $2 per Amazon Prime borrow.

Kindle Unlimited allows customers to download multiple books, whereas Amazon Prime used to allow only one borrow per customer.

Also, Kindle Unlimited readers don’t need to read their books on a Kindle device.

So there was much concern that Kindle Unlimited may pay much less than the usual $2 per borrow.

Well, the results are in, and Kindle Unlimited paid $1.805 per download/borrow.

Three factors helped out:

  1. Amazon added $800,000 to the July, 2014 KOLL fund, bringing the total to $2 million for the month.
  2. Then Amazon added another $785,000, bringing the KOLL fund up to $2,875,000 for July, 2014. That’s more than double the usual fund.
  3. Customers had to reach the 10% mark of the book before authors would receive royalties for Kindle Unlimited downloads.

The August, 2014 KOLL fund will again be $2 million.

Although July was a partial month, it also received a big boost of activity as the program was new and many customers were trying it out and using their free trial periods.

Update: In August and September KOLL paid $1.54 and $1.52, respectively; while in October, it paid $1.33. It’s up to $1.39 for November, 2014 and $1.43 in December.

I had been predicting significantly less, yet I’m very happy to have been wrong. 🙂

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
  • Volume 2 on marketability and marketing

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KOLL Payments for Kindle Select Borrows from December, 2011 thru June, 2014

KOLL Payments

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.
2011 December $1.70
2012 January $1.60
February $2.01
March $2.18
April $2.48
May $2.26
June $2.08
July $2.04
August $2.12
September $2.29
October $2.36
November $1.90
December $1.88
2013 January $2.23
February $2.31
March $1.94
April $2.27
May $2.24
June $2.24
July $2.04
August $2.26
September $2.42
October $2.51
November $2.46
December $1.86
2014 January $1.93
February $2.24
March $2.10
April $2.24
May $2.17
June $2.24

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
  • Volume 2 on marketability and marketing

Follow me at WordPress, find my author page on Facebook, or connect with me through Twitter.

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