Kindle Select Pays $1.70 Per Borrow

According to this news release from Amazon, the first authors who opted into the KDP Select feature will earn about $1.70 per book borrow for the first month.

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jan. 12, 2012– (NASDAQ: AMZN)—The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library is off to a strong start: customers borrowed 295,000 KDP Select titles in December alone, and KDP Select has helped grow total library selection to over 75,000 books. With the $500,000 December fund, KDP authors have earned $1.70 per borrow. In response to strong customer adoption of the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (as well as seasonal, post-holiday use of new Kindles),, Inc. has added a $200,000 bonus to the January KDP Select fund, raising the total pool from $500,000 to $700,000.

This is amazing news for this author, as I anticipated it to be closer to abotu $.10 per borrow. $1.70 sounds a lot nicer. :) Thanks Amazon. To put that into perspective, if you had 100 borrows you would earn $170 total.

In other related news that is not surprising, select authors are also seeing their sales numbers increase. Also, Amazon is increasing their monthly profit pool from $500k to $700k in a move to entice more authors.

“KDP Select appears to be earning authors more money in two ways. We knew customers would love having KDP Select titles in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. But we’ve been surprised by how much paid sales of those same titles increased, even relative to the rest of KDP,” said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President of Kindle Content. “Due to this early success and a seasonally strong January, we’re adding a $200,000 bonus to January’s KDP Select fund, growing this month’s total pool to $700,000.”

The top ten KDP Select authors earned over $70,000 in the month of December from their participation in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, a 30% increase on top of the royalties they earned from their paid sales on the same titles in the same period. In total (paid sales plus their share of the loan fund), these authors saw their royalties grow an astonishing 449% month-over-month from November to December. The list of top 10 KDP Select authors includes Carolyn McCray, Rachel Yu, the Grabarchuk family and Amber Scott.

What does this all mean? It means that Amazon is further trying to corner the market and own it. These aggressive moves pretty much ensure that every author will want to participate. I expect many new entrants to the select system in the next month to get a piece of the pie.