Kindle Unlimited payout for March 2015 falls to $1.33 despite record high KDP fund as borrows soar

Just when you were getting used to a new normal of around $1.40 for Kindle Unlimited borrows, the payout for March has slumped to $1.33 although the KDP Select fund has hit a new high.

The March payout to authors equals the record low for KU, seen in October 2014. Since then, the monthly figures have been $1.40, $1.43, $1.38 and $1.41. The March rate represents a 5% fall from February.

It’s all rather disappointing, particularly as the KDP Select fund, which is used to pay out indie authors in Kindle Unlimited, rose by 16% from £8 million in February to a new record high of $9.3 million, beating the previous high of $8.5 million set in January this year.

The fund for March was set at Amazon’s usual initial ‘paltry’ $3 million and then topped up by the curious amount of $6.3 million.

It looks as if March saw a boom in Kindle Unlimited borrowing. Using my tried and tested maths method of dividing the total KDP Select fund by the payout to get total number of books borrowed results in 9,500,000/1.33 = 7,142,857.

That’s a shockingly big monthly increase of 25% from 5,673,758 on the same calculations in February. In February, it looked as if KU was losing some momentum as that 5.6 million figure represented a fall from 6,159,420 in January.

The January figure was a 21% rise from December, so it looks as if ‘normal’ growth has been resumed at KU. At this rate of increase, it could be only a few months before Kindle Unlimited breaks through 10 million borrows a month.

The problem is that rising borrowing seems to mean falling payouts for authors unless Amazon starts to add massive amounts to the KDP fund to bolster rates.

Kindle Unlimited growth falters in February 2015

The Big Borrow — Kindle Unlimited heads for $100 million payout