Let’s chat about quantitative data for Kraken, woot!
Actually my sales figures are hard, if not impossible, to extrapolate from, because we’re talking tiny sales, of a single book, over a very short time period. But, for what it’s worth, back in November I put Kraken on Kindle Unlimited.
Since then 23 people borrowed it on KU, and 34 people purchased it; a total of 57 units.
In the three-month period prior to going on Kindle Unlimited Kraken sold 49 units on Amazon and 10 on Smashwords; a total of 59 units.¹
Because Kraken only sells for US $2.99 I take a 33% hit in royalties when people read it on KU instead of buying it. That’s not great, but it’s not as vast a loss as it would be if Kraken was selling at $5.99 like other m/m books of similar length. And in any case, for me this is a moot point: for the whole last six months my total income on Kraken is zero. Because of where I live Amazon won’t do a bank transfer for royalties. I have to get paid by cheque. And Amazon don’t issue cheques until royalties reach over US$100. Over $100 in each market, that is (that’s my favorite part).
So, for example, in May 2014 a single solitary person bought Kraken in Italy. Thank you, Italian tentacle-sex fan! But I won’t actually get that money until approximately 93 other Italians buy Kraken (or some other book I might potentially write in the future), pushing the total amount I would get paid (after tax) over US$100.²
The situation is slightly better in the UK. Kraken sold 31 copies in the United Kingdom in the last year. But again, I won’t get any actual money from those sales until I sell another 60-odd books in the UK market.
So, yeah, in the last six months Kraken sold 83 units outright and 23 units were borrowed on Kindle Unlimited. Money I received: nada.
Luckily I didn’t write tent porn for money. I wrote it for squishy, oozy joy! And so others could have fun reading it. Admittedly, going by ratings, some people really loathed their Kraken experience. Sorry, fellow humans! I shall endeavour to improve in future.
So, should I keep Kraken in KU for another 90 days?
Figures suggest not. Total readership didn’t change, but I would have made more money on sales over KU borrows (assuming a theoretical world in which I actually made money, but yanno *shrugs*). This would be in line with figures released by pretty much every self-published author who’s been blogging on this.
While you are thinking, here is actress Joan Caulfield in 1941 with an appropriate number of kittens (click to embiggen for extra fluff):
¹ For interest’s sake, today as I write this Kraken sits at #10 in LGBT Horror, and #98,676 in paid Kindle overall. This is a fluke, and only happened because in the last three days Kraken sold three units. In the two weeks before that, it sold just one. QED: Amazon sales rankings are not worth the pixels they’re displayed with.
² Update: 6 March 2015. Exciting news today: Amazon now do wire transfers to my country! So now my payment threshold is only USD$75 after tax, instead of $100. Plus Amazon no longer want an EIN from me, but can do the tax treaty thing with my own country’s tax ID, so I now pay 5% withholding tax, instead of the 30% I’ve been paying. That might not sound like a huge deal, but it is. That Italian tentacle-sex fan? Now I need him to be joined by only 41 comrades and I will get paid! I’m going to be rich, muahahahahaha.