KDP Sales Hold Steady, KU Borrows Drop From February to March

It may be just my sales. But I quit Kindle Unlimited/Kindle Select in early 2015; it was back when I noticed a steep 50% drop in Kindle Unlimited borrows from 28 days in Febrary 2015 compared with 30 days in March 2015. Fifty percent was huge. Could this be a sign that users are no longer interested in keeping their KU subscriptions active?

Meanwhile, although February sales were down slightly from January, February to March sales stayed fairly consistent. In my own case, sales were down 3.4% in March when compared to February sales. And that’s counting 2 additional days of sales (30 days in March; 28 days in Febrary). On March 31 I reduced my selling price on my top sellers from $3.99 to $2.99, in an effort to determine if the $2.99 pricing would spur sales. I lost about 70 cents on each sale by dropping the price $1.00 per unit. Ultimately, I dropped out of the KU program. It just didn’t seem worth it to me.

My results likely differ from other authors. My e-books are non-fiction, not genre fiction, a hot niche on the KDP platform these days.

The beauty of non-fiction, though, is that it appeals to people who have urgent desires to learn something new or solve a problem. Fiction is an entirely different type of e-book. I believe fiction authors have a much harder time marketing their work, as they need to build an audience and a brand, while my non-fiction ranks high in niche keyword searches on Amazon and Google searches. Thus, Kindle Unlimited might just be what they need to build an audience for their work.

I’ve come to the conclusion that sales and borrows are two different customer groups. I feel my borrows of my e-books were by readers who seldom/never would pay for Kindle books, but love to have an “all-you-can-read” option with Kindle Unlimited. Likewise, my sales have continued to be strong from that other group (God Bless Them!) that are willing to pay $3-$5 for good quality information.