Sunday, 20 May 2012

The Amazonian Boo-Boo?

By Pandora Poikilos

For almost three weeks, I’ve been reading articles and comments from other authors who feel that they have been shortchanged by Amazon. At least 20 different authors have noted that their sales have taken a drastic plunge, rankings are a mess and royalty payments seem questionable.

On my end, everything seemed to tally. Until yesterday.

Peas and I released Elevenses from Around the World on Sunday, 6th May 2012.

This book is enrolled in KDP Select and a five-day free promo was carried out. This free promo started on 8th May and ended on 12th May.

As with all my other books, the results were quite satisfactory. The book made it to the Top 100, and started selling quite a few copies once the free period was over.

In total, we gave out 6,902 free copies. Yes, that’s a lot of free books but let’s save the free or not free discussion for another time, shall we?

Yesterday, on 19th May 2012 at approximately 0900 hours GMT, I noticed the free downloads counter had started moving again. I wasn’t too concerned at first.

Then by 1600 hours GMT, more than 100 copies had been given away. I wrote to KDP Support but have not yet received a reply.

As of 1000 hours GMT this morning, 178 copies had been given away for free.

Additionally, at 1700 hours GMT yesterday, the free downloads counter for Books, Blogs & Smiles 2 had started moving as well and that book hasn’t been free in months.

So the point that Amazon was tidying up its monthly accounts and playing catch up was out the window.

For the benefit of doubt, let’s say they were playing catch up.

Elevenses from Around the World went free last week, copies were downloaded. At mid-month when they are finalizing their monthly accounts, they realize a few discrepancies (178 copies and counting in this case) and they add this to the total amount. No issue.

But ah, therein lies the issue of rankings. 178 copies downloaded, free or not, usually means a significant change in overall ranking. The fact that these are added one week later means nothing to my rank.

Next issue. Why the fuss? We’ve already given away 6,902 copies, what’s another 178? Playing catch-up or not, I’m more than concerned now that something is definitely wrong.

If they can get the figures of free downloads wrong, how accurate are the sales figures? What else are they getting wrong?

I'm trying to stay as objective as I can. But I'm a little on edge. In the past three months, at least two of my books and several reviews have disappeared. Customers rely on book reviews and rankings to purchase books. Let's not forget that getting reviews isn’t the easiest task in the world.

But if these aren’t accurate and authors are being short-changed, has KDP Select finally lost the shine it promised authors when it was launched in December 2011?  


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Books Sold - 6 Nov 2011 to 31 May 2012

Some of you have asked me for my total number of books sold to evaluate KDP Select so here it is. Bear in mind, that results will vary based on genre and author. Good luck and remember, Keep Moving Forward.

Total - 120,836

1. Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out
Amazon Kindle - 42,559
Paperback -
Smashwords -

2. Frequent Traveller
Amazon Kindle - 35277
Paperback -
Smashwords -

3. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 1
Amazon Kindle - 462
Smashwords -

4. Mirror Me Martha (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 281
Smashwords -

5. Drive On Hope (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 190
Smashwords -

6. Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012
Amazon Kindle - 1
Smashwords -

7. Pandora's Reading Room 1
Amazon Kindle -
Paperback - N/A

8. The Cat That Barked (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle -

9. Dora's Essentials - Examining Anxiety
Amazon Kindle -

10. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 2
Amazon Kindle -

11. Elevenses from Around the World
Amazon Kindle -

12. Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability
Amazon Kindle -

Blog-A-Licius - Sherbet Blossom



Dealightfully Frugal

Blog-A-Licious - The Few, The Proud, The Wife


My Soul Slippers

Blog-A-Licous - Textbook Mommy

Blog-A-Licious - Blue Frogs Legs

Blog-A-Licious - Pretty All True

Pretty All True

Blog-A-Licious - tbaoo



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Blog-A-Licious - The Invisible Art

Blog-A-Licious - Rediscovering Domesticity

Rediscovering Domesticity

Blog-A-Licious - Quiver Full

Blog-A-Licious - Cori's Big Mouth

Blog-A-Licious - Great Fun


Blog-A-Licious - Busy Wife

Blog-A-Licious - Steps To Happiness

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Blog-A-Licious - Toby & Max

Blog-A-Licious - Amelie

Raising Amelie

Blog-A-Licious - Peas In A Pod

Blog-A-Licious - Riley

Blognostics - Poetry


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