Amazon tops up KDP Select Fund to $5 million for September as Kindle Unlimited payout rate for authors holds steady at $1.51

Amazon have again topped up the monthly KDP Select Global Fund, with September’s total fund ending up at a new high of $5 million after $2 million was added this week to the $3 million originally set, but the payout rate for authors on Kindle Unlimited borrows still dropped to a new low of $1.51 per borrow.

The September payout is only slightly down on August’s $1.54 when the total KDP Select fund amounted to $4.7 million, so it could be that the rate has reached some sort of stability and perhaps a sustainable level after falling sharply from $1.80 in July, which was only a partial month for Kindle Unlimited as it was launched on July 18.

Amazon recently added the UK and Germany to Kindle Unlimited, which started off as US-only, but anecdotal evidence suggests that early response from both these countries has been much weaker than in the US. Amazon’s grip on the ebook market in Germany and the rest of continental Europe is nowhere near as strong as in the US and UK.

KDP Select books that are most popular with customers are being awarded KDP Select All-Stars and hefty cash awards each month for the 100 most-read authors and 100 most-read titles.

The All-Star accolade is being applied not very prominently on book detail pages, as shown above for Amish Baby by Kristina Ludwig, which was 95th on the list of 100 for August. The cash bonuses for All-Star status range from $25,000 each for the top 10 most-read KDP Select authors to $1,000 apiece for authors placed 51-100. The top 10 most-read titles get $2,500 while 51-100 receive $500.

To calculate the rankings, Amazon combines the total number of books sold, plus qualified borrows from Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library during the month.

A separate bonus of $100,000 has been allocated for all loans outside the US, including Kindle Unlimited loans in the UK.

It’s difficult to ascertain for sure whether Amazon pays the All-Star bonuses from the KDP Select fund or if they’re from a separate cash pile. If the KDP fund is considered to be $5 million paid on borrows only and not including bonuses, then there would have been around 3,311,258 loans in September, up substantially by 27% from 2.6 million in August.

If, however, the $670,00 set aside for All-Stars plus non-US borrows is taken from the total of $5 million, then there would have been about 2,867,549 loans during the month, a rise of almost 10%.


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