On May 28, a friend bought the eBook version of my book on Amazon. But the royalties for the book have not yet shown up in my Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) account five days later.
I definitely know the book was bought and that Amazon even has a record of it because Amazon paid me affiliate commission of 40c (yes, that is correct) on the book. Here is a screenshot of my Affiliate account showing the book sold on May 28th:
However, as of this writing (Jun 2nd) 5 days later, the royalties for the book have not yet shown up in KDP. Here is the report from KDP showing no eBook sales on that day:
I wrote to KDP support and they didn’t even read my email properly. They assumed I was complaining about affiliate revenue and asked me to contact affiliates program support.
I have replied back explaining again that I’m asking about missing eBook royalties. I don’t have any expectation that they will fix it.
As an independently published author, Amazon is essentially the only game in town. I sell more books on Amazon than any other platform. In fact, there are so few sales on other platforms, that it makes no sense to even bother with them. And that being said, while tiny, this missing book from the sales reports has me spooked a little.
I was planning on delisting from other platforms so I can join KDP Select, but now I’m having second thoughts. Do I want to be part of the problem that gives Amazon such a monopoly? But on the other hand, Amazon already is the monopoly and I have to deal with it anyway.
I will update this blog post if Amazon support fixes the problem. Even if they do fix this one, how many others exist that I don’t know about?
Update 6/3: Amazon responded again with this:
However, to be sure could you please provide the order number, so we can investigate further with our technical team why this order isn’t showing in your reports yet.
I am very sorry for this extra step, but please keep in mind that we need this information in order to investigate thoroughly.
How am I supposed to find order numbers if Amazon can’t? Luckily I know who bought this book. But how do I know how many others are missing that I don’t know about?
Update 6/4: Issue resolution and description from Amazon:
My name is Singh from Amazon KDP Senior Support!
I received an update from one pf the concerned department that it appears that the missing order is an unclaimed gift order.
When a Kindle book is gifted, it will show up as a sale only when the recipient redeems the gift for the same Kindle book. Recipients can choose to redeem their codes at any time in the future and there is no time limit on redemption.
The recipient has the option to exchange it for a Gift Card. In such a case, the gift won’t show up as a sale in your KDP Reports and you won’t receive any royalties for this gift sale, as the recipient may not choose to redeem the Gift Card for the same Kindle book.
Your royalties for a gift sale will be based on the price and royalty option selected at the time the Kindle gift was purchased.
If you need any additional assistance with this, or any other matter, don’t hesitate on contacting back and we’ll be more than glad to help with your request.
Thank you for your understanding and your continued support. We will remain at your deposition for your further assistance.