An Observation About Amazon in Joe Konrath’s Sales Breakdown

In a way Joe Konrath feels like the Richard Dawkins of self-publishing: unapologetic and divisive. But I’m not interested in people’s reaction to him today, I’m merely reposting a link to his detailed financial breakdown of sales. Obviously this isn’t a guide to how to make a lot of money – Konrath doesn’t operate in the space of up-and-coming writers, and his sales don’t reflect how well your own ebooks are going to sell.

What is interesting here is two-fold: the significant disparity between his income from Amazon and all other platforms combined AND Konrath’s own ambivalence about Amazon’s demands for exclusivity. It seems that despite the much larger income he’s receiving from Amazon titles, even Joe Konrath is starting to consider the slow rise of alternative platforms (I note Kobo gets a mention).

Now this might simply be how I’m reading it, and it might be my own bias against Amazon coming through, so do check it out yourself. I did find it noteworthy though:

Amazon still demands KDP Select [Kindle Direct Publishing – ed.] be exclusive, and recently offered a 70% royalty in India for KDP Select titles. They seem to like the exclusivity of it, even though their customers get fewer titles, and Amazon scares away many authors from the Select program.

Kobo is on the rise. Nook seems to be holding steady. The same with Apple.

So what is an author to do? Pull all titles and go all-in with Amazon, to hopefully make more money? Or self-publish on multiple platforms, encouraging competition, and perhaps earning less?

I want to hear from writers on this issue. Do you go with Amazon Select or not, and why?

I’m going to remain on multiple platforms for the time being. But come the holidays, I’m not sure what I’ll do. A lot of my KOLL [Kindle Owners’ Lending Library – ed.] earnings, and KDP earnings, were the result of the Select freebie program and resulting bounceback to the paid bestseller lists. But all signs point to the bounceback being not as effective as it once was. I want to hear from writers on this issue as well.

Read the breakdown here:


2 thoughts on “An Observation About Amazon in Joe Konrath’s Sales Breakdown

  1. I agree with you. I had these same thoughts about Konrath.

    Did you see that lately he is pushing KDP Select? It works for him and for other writers of his ilk. But no one else. And that is a point he avoids: if you are not in the business of writing genre books, you will not make it with KDP Select. There may be an exception for cookbooks, but after all these years it has not ever happened with literature. The whole Amazon KDP system is based around cheap entertainmet and not serious art. No “indie” KDP author has ever sold thousands of books of literary fiction, poetry, ltierary criticism, non-fiction narrative, or any serious narrative prose of any sort. It doesn’t happen in the way that you can sell thousands of your standard pot-boiler thrillers, horror, romance or erotica.

    It makes one wonder: are these types of books dying out? Or are the readers of these types of books simply attached to print books? Or do they simply rely on The New Yorker and other old gatekeepers, and are unwilling to try new authors? Or is Kobo, Barnes and Noble or another Amazon competitor ready to experiment and launch a new series for serious work?

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