When the select program first started it represented a great deal for authors because it was mostly just indie authors in the catalog, and you got a few good promotional tools as well.
How KDPSelect works now, in reality, is not how Amazon presents it.
They will say something like there is 12 million for the month (Aug 2016 )to entice authors to join it.
They need the regular authors so that the Catalog has more than 50,000 titles.
Eighty-five percent of all titles in the select program are from Indie authors.
The deal you get from Amazon is not the same as regular publishers.
In order for you to qualify for a payment on a book the user must read 60% of the book.
For main-Stream publishers, they get paid FULL price ( minus Amazons 30% cut ) when someone downloads it.
They also tend to charge 8.99 to 14.99 for an ebook
People who use the KDP Unlimited tend to download the main-stream publishers E-Books and a small percentage of indie authors.
That means that the Indie authors are now supporting the main-stream publishers.
For the total of 12million, 9.4 million will get paid out to main-stream publishers.
The indie authors get the rest, maybe.
It gets even worse, with the advent of Unlimited and Prime, scammers have figured out a way to make major income from Amazon. For the Unlimited program, the author is paid per page. Amazon has no way to actually collect data for each page that has been read. Instead, they go by the percentage of the book divided by the number of pages in a given book. They will not admit that they have no way to accurately count what people are reading. The scammers figured this out and have dumped mass quantities of books into the KDSelect program. These books are just filled with any amount of garbage that they can think of. They fill as many pages as possible, often resorting to dumping entire text from Wikipedia on random subjects to fill up the book. Now of course people would figure this out right away and not make it past the first ten or fifteen pages at best. Here’s the rub, they like to put a link at the front of the book. That link will bring you to the end of the book thus is far as Amazon is concerned, you read the entire book, 100% and now they get paid for every page read. The link could be anything but more likely it is to entice you to click the link. Something like get a new Kindle for free. One scammer, has recently published the fact that Amazon is paid him in the excess of seventy thousand dollars for one month.
What little was left after the main publishers are paid is being further reduced by Amazon’s inability to fix that kind of a problem, and they revert to band aid style solutions. Some authors have come under fire because they put the TOC at the back of the book. This used to be the accepted practice, but Amazon is penalizing those particular authors because of that. Now all TOC’s must be at the front of the book. This is no way, stops the scammers, who put their link on the very first page after copyright information etc. So the only ones that are truly suffering, are authors that were attempting to do the right thing.
As soon as Amazon rolled out the Unlimited [PRIME]( to kill competition from ScribD and other ) , it started affecting sales.
One author we know, has 35 books and was getting 1500 to 2000 book sales a month.
This has dropped to an all-time low of 30 to 50 a month.
Amazon's main sales (70%) come from ebooks (INDIE) priced at 99 cents and because of that, to make even more from authors, they only pay 35% or about 35 cents a copy.
Amazon is not your friend and never will be even though Indie authors have put them firmly in the Ebook market at the TOP.
Amazon continues to screw them.
I keep telling authors what a bad deal that really is but most are sucked into the glitz of promises of big money and the promotion schemes you can only use if you are enrolled.
There are no good solutions , spread the word to every author you know and tell them the consequences of listing their books in the Select program and perhaps it will dent the market for them and cause them to rethink how they deal with INDIE authors.
One of the most important things that most authors do not realize is that if your book is not KDSselect program, you are free to publish it where ever you want. Sales at Amazon continued to tumble for the regular Indie author and in very least, because of that, all authors should be looking to distribute their books on every available platform. There are many companies out there now that can help with that. Smashwords was one of the first to help authors get their books out there on multiple platforms, but they have competition. One of the most notable is Draft 2 Digital. There is also Google play and several others. They can help but your book into kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple and all the other major distributing platforms.
The two most serious contenders that Amazon has to worry about right now are Apple and Google play.
Promotion is the KEY to everything
We here at Spangaloo promote 24 hours a day, but it is not enough.
As an author you have to promote heavily on Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Pinterest and everywhere else you can think of.
FREE works the best so don't get sucked into paying to promote on a website.
USE TAGS in your tweets #ASMSG #IAN1 #SPUB #IARTG #KINDLE #NOOK #KOBO as well as genre’s #SCIFI #ROMANCE #THRILLER and others help to promote.
Stay active on Twitter and Facebook, respond to people.
Tell everyone you know about your books.