So, in past posts I have recommended Kindle Publishing to people interested in self-publishing. But due to the shocking changes they are making to their royalties policy, I will no longer do so.
In the past, when you bought a book self-published in Kindle, Kindle Publishing would pay the author royalties as a percentage of the price of that book - as is the norm in the industry.
However, the new royalties policy indicate that while the reader might spend 5$ on an ebook, the author will no longer be paid a percentage of that sold book, but will be paid instead by the number of pages read. So if I buy a book, but archive it and never read it, amazon gets their money but the author will not get paid. If I start the book, but doesn't finish it, the author will again not be paid in full. Amazon says this is to encourage page turners. I say, bullshit. If it were about encouraging page turners, then the reader would only be charged by the page read as well, but this isn't the case. This is a scam designed to cheat authors out of their royalties.
Not only that, but it also raises very uncomfortable questions about the kind of data Amazon can get from Kindle users. Therefore, I no longer recommend publishing or buying books on Kindle. From the 1st of July, if you do buy books via Kindle, please flip through every page to ensure the author gets paid.
EDIT: I'm unclear whether the scheme only applies to books rented. Either way, not a good thing.
looking at the article, it links to an official amazon page that explains this further, and while i still vehemently oppose this new policy, it doesn't actually affect everything-just books borrowed through kindle unlimited or the kindle online lending library. it does, however, seem to also lower the royalty rates entirely within that group, giving these examples (direct quote, bolding mine):
Here are some examples of how it would work if the fund was $10M and 100,000,000 total pages were read in the month:
- The author of a 100 page book that was borrowed and read completely 100 times would earn $1,000 ($10 million multiplied by 10,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).
- The author of a 200 page book that was borrowed and read completely 100 times would earn $2,000 ($10 million multiplied by 20,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).
- The author of a 200 page book that was borrowed 100 times but only read halfway through on average would earn $1,000 ($10 million multiplied by 10,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).
meaning that, essentially, no matter how much the author themselves is charging for the book, a shorter book earns less than a longer one.
and that's fucking lunacy. sure, ebook writers tend to lower prices on their shorter books anyway, but this is punishing people who don't do that. and what about people who write books of an average length? a 300-page novel vs. a 400-page novel, for instance. you wouldn't be opposed to those costing the same. but in kindle unlimited and the kindle online lending library, the 300-page novel is inherently worth less.
i literally have no idea how they justify that. i'll talk to my dad about this tonight-he's an author whose books are also published on kindle, and he's always been a big proponent of it. he's talked at length about how traditional publishing is failing and needs to catch up. i wonder what he'll think about this.
i do have to emphasize again, though, that this is not for all kindle purchases. just the borrowed ones. i'm not sure what percentage that is. whatever it is, though, it's a percentage that's still supposed to give the writer money, and this change will reduce that.
I had corrected my post after finding out more to reflect that it only affects books read via the Kindle Unlimited and lending library services.
But everyone can read this for further info of how the new scheme works.
futuresoon, I'd be very interested to hear your father's thoughts as a Kindle-published writer. Will you give me a shout when you've discussed it with him?
Everybody buy my books on Amazon and just fucking page through them every spare minute you got
That’ll teach them