Amazon KDP have just announced that they will be rolling out a new printing cost increase on June 20th 2023.
This cost will directly effect your KDP royalties. How much this will effect them, will depend on various factors. Such as the trim size, whether it’s a paperback or hardback, colour or black and white.
The costs are not *all* about reduction either, as they say there will be a decrease in the per-page cost for certain color-ink print books, in certain marketplaces.
However, as you know, I primarily create low content books and these are in black and white.
The trim size and page size least effected appears to be in the: 6 x 9 inch or smaller, with 108 pages or less.
The Amazon printing cost and royalty calculator will soon be updated to reflect all the changes.
Amazon are also offering your the option to bulk change your prices, in order to remain at the same royalty position as today.
There is currently the option to do this on the KDP dashboard. I will not be taking them up on this offer for a couple of reasons, which I will explain in a moment.
How Will This Impact You? The Best Case Scenario…..
How much this will impact your KDP royalties, will depend on what type of books you have.
If you largely have low content black and white, 6 x 9 inch books that are 108 pages or less, you’re going to be less impacted by this change.
I do happen to have a bunch of books like this, a couple of my top selling books, (and one of my best selling overall) fall into this category.
So, how much will you be losing per book in this case?
The above example is with a 6 x 9 inch book, 108 pages in black and white.
This is also one of my best selling books.
So, in the USA my royalty is currently $1.86 per book and it will drop to $1.71. This is a decrease of 15 cents.
In the UK my current royalty is £2.25 and it will drop to £2.10. Which is a decrease of 15 pence.
Last month I sold 123 copies of that book in the UK – which would be a drop of £18.45
I sold 489 in the USA last month – which would be a drop of $73.35
I sold 79 copies elsewhere, largely Canada. Also 15 cents off so, around $11.85 Canadian.
Looking at this, you may not think it’s too bad. However, this is only one book and this is far less effected than books with more pages and different trim sizes.
My best selling book overall last month, was in fact an 8 x 10 inch size and over 108 pages. Which I check out in a moment.
Different Price Points Of Significance:
What you need to know is that you are going to be LEAST effected with books of 108 pages or less, with a 6 x 9 inch cover, (or less)
If your book is larger than 6 x 9, but still 108 pages or less, there is a fixed cost – but it’s much higher, especially in the USA.
If your book has MORE pages than 108…. then there is a one off charge, PLUS charges PER PAGE.
You can see the exact info below.
Pricing 24 – 108 pages….. (see large trim sizes on the right)
Pricing for 110 – 828 pages.
So, basically, the more pages you have at larger sizes, the more costly this is going to be for you.
If You Have 8 x 10 inch KDP Books:
I have a bunch of books in this size. One has recently become one of my top sellers and actually was the best seller for last month.
Unfortunately, this book also has over 108 pages – which means I must pay a one of rate of $1, plus 17 cents per additional page in the USA.
In the UK it’s 85 pence – plus 12 pence per additional page.
This will be the royalties before & after in the US/UK
In the US – I would need to increase my book from $6.99 to $8.20 to get the same royalty as I currently do.
By contrast it would need to be around £7.60 in the UK. Both prices would be too high in the niche I’m in there…. But especially high in the USA.
I may slightly rise the prices here, but not to that level.
It was this 8 x 10inch book that was my best seller last month and sold over 800 copies.
If you have 8.5 x 11 inch KDP Books:
The one below has 120 pages…………
This book is still priced at 6.99. But the price difference here looks more significant – especially in the USA. This is due to being charged over the 108 pages – 17 additional cents per page.
There is a 69 cents decrease here in the USA.
There is a 45 pence decrease here in the UK.
This book has 120 pages, which is a fairly standard amount. Many of the interiors sold online will have 120 pages.
What About Colour Books?
The price appears to have decreased in some marketplaces & up in others? I haven’t looked into the colour side of things much to this point.
I will update this post when I do so… But most of us doing low content, probably don’t venture much into colour – due to the cost.
If there is an improvement here from a colour standpoint, then that could be worth looking into.
It Will Stop People Pricing Ridiculously Low:
This is one of the small plus sides of this exercise.
For example; I noticed recently someone who copied one of my books very closely, but made it different enough that it would be difficult to have removed.
However, they priced it much lower as well at $4.99. With these new changes, that book would only make 2 cents.
So, this will encourage people to price their books at a reasonable level.
Will there be a mass increase in book prices? Well, there will be if people take up the bulk price change option.
Although…… I personally would not recommend this.
Should You Agree To Change Your Prices In BULK?!
As I mentioned before, Amazon are offering KDP authors the option to have their prices changed in bulk. This will mean you will get the same royalty as you did before the change.
This is definitely not something I’m going to do and I wouldn’t recommend it.
For one thing, this is going to put your book at a price that will exactly achieve the same royalty as you had previously …. But this will mean a couple of things:
- It will likely price it TOO high to be competitive in your niche anymore, (unless literally everyone does this, which I highly doubt).
- It will price your book at an odd price point, which doesn’t look professional. What screams “self-published,” more than a book priced at something like $8.12?
Also, when you’re talking about mass change like this and you have hundreds of books, it just seems to me like there will be a margin of error and if you have hundreds of books to check through – you may not notice that your simple notebook is now priced at $10 or something.
I think you’re better off assessing which books will be most effected and slightly upping the price, if you feel that’s something you can do without effecting your sales too much.
In my case – I feel that the main book effected is priced at the right level. But if other competitors also raise their prices, then I will likely rise mine slightly too and see how it goes.
What Am I Going to Do?
I have to admit, when I first saw this news on the KDP dashboard last night, I was worried about what this would mean for low content publishers and KDP publishers in general.
Then on first reflection, it didn’t look too bad.
Then when I did some calculations…. I realised that naturally, these amounts really do add up. Especially when you’re selling in large quantities.
When it comes to the books with the higher reduction, I will raise the price somewhat. But not to the point where I will be getting the same royalty as I am right now.
What I am going to do, is create more books in the specifications that are less effected.
If anything, this has given me the motivation and the inspiration to get back to creating more books on KDP.
This is also another reminded that we don’t have much control over our KDP businesses. Amazon can change the rules at any time.
I have been conscious of trying to make additional income streams elsewhere for sometime and this news certainly doesn’t change my mind regarding that.
Of course, you have to expect they will increase printing costs over time. This is the first I have personally experienced it so far and I started in Q4 2019.
So, we just have to suck in up and do the best we can do to limit its impact on our profits.
What are YOU going to do? Let me know in the comments.
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