As an independently published author, you have the ability to publish your works of fiction and nonfiction on many different publishing sites. The most common site is Amazon, using Amazon KDP. This gives you the ability to publish ebooks and print books at your convenience, locate a plethora of readers and monitor your sales virtually in real time. However, Amazon KDP’s sales reporting can appear to be inaccurate at times. In this article, I’m going to explain the common reasons your KDP sales may appear to be wrong.
No One Has Purchased Any Version of Your Book
The main reason authors see zero sales is obvious, even if it is unbelievable and incredibly disheartening. No one has purchased any of your online books or print books or flipped any pages, if your book happens to be part of the Kindle Unlimited program. This reason is incredibly discouraging, especially if your social media book posts are getting interest, and individuals have expressed an interest in purchasing your latest work of fiction. The hard truth is that until they click the Buy Button, there won’t be any sales, no matter how eager your audience seems to be to purchase and read it.
The really bad news is that you may even run into people who lie about purchasing the book. I ran into this when I first started. I’d have people tell me they purchased my books, and no sales ever appeared. What these people are assuming is that you’re getting so many sales, it’s impossible for you to tell who purchased the book. The reality is that when you first start, you’ll get so few sales, you could name everyone that bought a book and name their home state.
They Purchased a Print Book
Print books take time to print and ship, and authors will not see a print book sale until the book ships. This can create a lag time of between 24 hours and a week. I’m not kidding. I placed a print book purchase for my mom. That sale didn’t show up for about 5 or 6 days. If you’re running Amazon ads, and the individual happened to purchase your book by clicking a sponsored image of your fiction or nonfiction, you’ll see the print book sale faster because it’ll show as a purchase via an ad click about 24 hours after the sale.
The Kindle Can’t Find an Internet Connection
If you have your book in the Kindle Unlimited program, you’ll get paid between .004 and .005 of a penny per page flip. That comes out to about $1.50 for 300 page flips. If you do not see any page flips, it’s either because no one is reading your book via the Kindle Unlimited program, or the individuals who are reading your book do not have a readily available Internet connection. When the Kindle app or device isn’t connected to the Internet, it doesn’t sync with Amazon, which means the page flips will not be recorded until that Kindle device is turned on and syncs.
You Forgot Amazon KDP Runs on a 30 Day Cycle
Your Sales Dashboard Reports page, which can be found under Reports→Sales Dashboard shows the last 30 days of sales. This is the first report that you will see upon clicking on the Report menu link. Since it only shows the last 30 days, you won’t see any sales 31 days ago or beyond. This means that your total sales will fluctuate. If you see a sudden dropoff in your royalty total, you can change the date range. The date is located next to the Update button above the graph. Amazon gives you the option to see the week-to-date, the last 2 weeks, the last 30 days (which is the default) and the last 90 days. Changing this date range can help you see sales that may have fallen off the chart. You can also check other reporting tabs, like Prior Month’s Royalties, which will show you the current month and the previous month, your historical sales, which shows all sales from the first day you published your first book and the Month-to-date tab, which shows you all your sales and returns for the current month, including KNEP read.
Amazon Is Not Reporting Your Sales
Amazon has been experiencing sales reporting problems since September 24, 2018. This has been an ongoing problem with hundreds if not thousands of authors. This includes authors who have seen steady sales from the first day their book was available for sale. There have been reports of sales decreasing from $600 a month to $100 a month. Reports of authors who have never had a day of no sales reporting weeks of missing sales, and bestselling Indie Amazon authors reporting significant drops in sales of 30 to 50 percent or more as well as sales that are less stable and more sporadic than they’ve ever seen. Amazon insists everything is fine. That statement could mean a lot of things. It may mean that the sales are not being recorded (impossible, Amazon is still receiving funds for every purchase), Amazon is deliberately misreporting sales to Indie authors, or Amazon has changed its algorithm to rank Indie authors lower on the pages. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s the latter and Amazon doesn’t want to tell Indie authors that they have done this. So, what does that mean? Well, it means you’re going to have to spend more time promoting your books to overcome that algorithm problem.
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