Even after launching a discounted Kindle Unlimited service in India in September, Amazon still paid the same rate. But now that is going to change.
Amazon has sent out an email with the news that they're changing the rules again in November:
As we’ve expanded KU to more countries, a number of the program’s elements – such as exchange rates, customer reading behavior, and local subscription pricing – now vary substantially by marketplace, making it clear that a ‘one size fits all’ approach won’t work. As just one example, we recently launched KU in India with a local subscription price of 199 rupees ($3.00) per month. As a result, starting with the November fund, we will work to take these marketplace differences into account and payouts per country will differ based on local country factors.
You will be able to see the amount you have earned in each country in your royalty report. Our long-term goal, as always, is to build a service that rewards authors for their valuable work, attracts readers around the world, and encourages them to read more and more often.
This isn't the first time that Amazon has arbitrarily altered the payment terms for Kindle Unlimited.
In June Amazon abruptly announced that it would no longer pay authors and publishers for each time a book was loaned in Kindle Unlimited, but would instead pay based on the number of pages read. In spite of the uproar, that ultimately proved a popular move, so much so that publishers are signing under the same terms offered to authors.
But will this move prove equally beneficial? That remains to be proven.
What we do know is that Kindle Unlimited is now offered in ten countries with subscribers paying in seven currencies (US, UK, Italy, Spain, Brazil, France, Mexico, Canada, Germany, and India).
Depending on how you split things up, those ten countries are at least six different markets with different price expectations and different pressures, which is why Amazon wants to adjust prices to match local conditions.
So how will they respond to the markets?
We don't know. I have queried Amazon and have yet to get a response, so the only advice I have is that authors who do not approve of the change should contact KDP support and see if you can use this as a reason to withdraw from Kindle Unlimited.