Author Topic: Does Amazon punish those partially in KDP Select? Rewards those 100% in?  (Read 218 times)

missingalaska

I have a series that is underperforming in KU -- so I decided not to renew it in KDP Select for another 90-days and go wide with a perma-free.  When it's 90-day period expired, the page reads and sales for a DIFFERENT and unrelated series plummeted to nothing.  This is the second time I've noticed this pattern.  Whenever I've been all-in with Select, my novels do okay (prawn money that pays for groceries).  When I'm half-in and half-out, ALL of my novels quickly lose sales and reads, even those that had been performing well before.  Is this due to decreased Author Rank, feeding into the algorithm?  Punishment for not going in 100%?  Or my imagination? Have others seen this pattern?

Michael S. Nuckols
 

TimothyEllis

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It's not about percentage in.

Any book not in KU gets a rank hit a week or so after it comes out of KU. The rank hit causes a loss of sales, which then causes a rank drop. Added to no borrows holding the rank up, books can lose 100k in rank very rapidly, after which they dont have enough visibility to hold onto the sales they did before.

Putting a book back in KU can see a rank rise of 50k or so without any sales or borrows to drive it.
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missingalaska

It's not about percentage in.

Any book not in KU gets a rank hit a week or so after it comes out of KU.

I'm not talking about the books I pulled from KU, I'm talking about different books that remain in the KU program.  Borrow and page reads for these should continue at the same rate as before.

Michael S. Nuckols
 

angelapepper

I don't think it's anything deliberate on Amazon's part, just one of those quirks that happens due to reader behavior. Your alsobots are reinforced to keep featuring your own books only when people also-download them, and that keeps discoverability higher.

Lots of things don't make sense, such as why 99-cent titles get more borrows than $9.99 titles. You'd think people would shop for value and filter for price, but they don't.
 

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I don't think it's anything deliberate on Amazon's part, just one of those quirks that happens due to reader behavior. Your alsobots are reinforced to keep featuring your own books only when people also-download them, and that keeps discoverability higher.

Lots of things don't make sense, such as why 99-cent titles get more borrows than $9.99 titles. You'd think people would shop for value and filter for price, but they don't.
Yes, I've noticed the disconnect between sale price and KU pages read. My cheapest full-length book is the biggest KU page earner in most months.

Some reader behavior is hard to explain, but that pattern may not be. The $9.99 title would beat out the $0.99 if it were an either/or choice, like "You can have one of these for free." But when a reader could have both, the extra motivation to filter for price disappears. Sure, a KU reader can only line up ten books at a time, but the overall number of books per month isn't regulated. If it were, I suspect the reading pattern would favor more expensive books more.


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As a counterpoint, Brian Meeks claims to have run the numbers and he says that higher-priced books do better in KU. I can't find the link just now, but he's a data freak so I don't doubt that he tried to do the research. Whether his assertion is true or not is another matter.
 

Bill Hiatt

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As a counterpoint, Brian Meeks claims to have run the numbers and he says that higher-priced books do better in KU. I can't find the link just now, but he's a data freak so I don't doubt that he tried to do the research. Whether his assertion is true or not is another matter.
The question would be how large a data set he has to work with.

There are individual authors who've seen a correlation between higher price and KU pages read. Others haven't. We don't know what the big picture looks like, just some of the individual pieces. Perhaps Brian Meeks has collected enough data to get a better idea of what the individual picture is.


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