Amazon KDP Lifetime Earnings Report and What You Should Consider Before Opening Your Account

Part 2 of my 10 years of failure blog series. Check out part 1 where I dissuade you into starting that t-shirt line you care nothing about.


I did nothing. Really. I wrote a book that took me a week to finish (because I debated on finishing it), and I made a few pennies from it. No promotion, just me and whatever keywords Amazon customers used to find my product. Starting back in March 2014, I wish I would’ve delved deeper into how to make money with KDP, but I had so many other businesses floating around, I couldn’t keep up.


Back in the day, the Amazon KDP program was different. Authors were paid on average $2/book when people read via Kindle Unlimited. Now, it’s a mere $0.005/page, and that number is only for US audiences. Of course back then the competition was much less, but people complained loudly that scam artists were sticking up mini pamphlets of 2-5 pages onto the platform and getting paid, so why should a 300 page novel get the same payout?


Since the change, the payout is less, the competition is fierce, and the global KDP fund has not increased. That’s pretty unfortunate for those of us that aren’t running ads, but you can surely make good money on this platform if you put effort into it. Overall, I’ve made $2,504.57 during my 8 years on the platform. Not much at all, just enough to cover the monthly expenses of the streaming services I love.


That number is supposed to give you a realistic view of life with the Amazon Kindle Unlimited Program. Of course there are people that make thousands and millions of dollars on the platform, but for most of us, earnings will be $20 or less per month. I’ve tried my hand at almost every category from planners, novels, DIY, coloring, puzzle, children’s and business books. My best sellers come from the planner and DIY categories. Makes perfect sense as people are more likely to purchase in these two categories without the need for extensive reviews.



So what are my take aways from Amazon KDP?



Don’t focus on the romanization of the platform. There’s always a swindler or two proclaiming anyone can make millions while doing nothing. They often leave out the pertinent information like their ad spend, the contractors they paid to write the book and edit it, the money they forked over for promotion outside of the site, the number of books they actually have for sale, and much more.



In order to make a steady income, you will need to run ads. There are a few authors that had the luck of the draw and sold a huge number of books without a peep, but spending money to make money is the name of the game here. If you aren’t really into spending money for ads or promoting your book on different platforms, whether free or paid, then you’ll have a hard time making revenue.



Go into this new journey with an open mind that it’s possible to make money, but it may not happen overnight. The cool thing is that everyone gets at least one sale, so if you’re hesitant about positing, this is your sign to do it! 


Never be afraid to try something new. KDP is a wonderful platform and can easily cover the cost of a week’s worth of Starbucks coffee. :)