KDP Hiccups: Where are my Sales & Who Jacked my Royalty Rates?

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I discovered a few little things very recently after combing through my KDP sales… some of my numbers weren’t adding up correctly. Here are two little known issues that I got to the bottom of after spending some lengthy time on the phone with support.

  1. Why are some ebook sales showing up as $35% when I am at the 70% royalty rate?
  2. I have a huge spike in sales on my chart but they aren’t there when I generate a report—where are my missing book sales?

Number one was easier to get to, although it was from something buried deep in the TOS that I was unaware of until now. A book may be sold outside of countries where the 70% Royalty Option is currently applicable in Amazon.com. When that happens (based on whatever those countries are,) you will only get the 35% royalty.

“For sales to customers outside of the 70% territories, royalties are calculated at 35%, and these transactions appear at a 35% rate in the sales report. For sales to customers in Brazil, Japan, Mexico, and India, the 70% royalty option is only available for titles enrolled in KDP Select.”

The countries include Andorra
Australia (including territories Christmas Island (CX), Cocos Keeling Islands (CC), Heard & McDonald Islands (HM), and Northfolk Island (NF))
Austria
Belgium
Brazil*
Canada
France
Great Britain
Guernsey
Germany
Gibraltar
India*
Italy
Ireland
Isle of Man
Japan*
Jersey
Lichtenstein
Luxembourg
Monaco
Mexico*
Netherlands
New Zealand (including territories Cook Islands (CK), Niue (NU), and Tokelau)
San Marino
Switzerland
Spain
United Kingdom
United States
Vatican City

The second question was more concerning and took longer to ferret out… in fact, customer service couldn’t even figure it out until we spent a long time on it. If a sale goes through but the payment is not logged in the same royalty period it can cause this disruption. What it was in my case was a block of ebook gifts purchased for others many months ago that finally posted. They don’t show up as an actual sale until the download code is used.

In the very specific case above, I purchased a block of 30 books to give as gifts in a period when my book was not in KDP select. I dropped the price to 99 cents for a day in order to get a bunch of redemption codes I could give away to book reviewers (since it was a sale, I still get $0.35 from each) and then enrolled in Kindle Unlimited. I sat on the codes for a while and apparently once the first giveaway was downloaded they all registered as being sold on the daily sales chart, but not on the report causing a discrepancy.

As an author, that is worth knowing about so you don’t get bent out of shape thinking the Zon stole your money. Like, of course they’re ripping us all off, but this isn’t one of the ways they are doing it. It was my own hand in my pocket all along!

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