Amazon Creates a Fair Royalty System, and Everyone Hates it

Last week Amazon did something drastic. They changed how authors are paid when Kindle books are borrowed. But let me give you a little more information before I get into the good stuff.

Are you familiar with the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL)? No? Okay. KOLL is set up for Prime members who also happen to own a Kindle device. These individuals are able to download one free eBook per month as part of their Prime subscription. Authors are compensated from a fund that Amazon sets up at the start of each month that is divided up among all downloads. Let’s just say that for a given month the royalty per download is $2. If your books are collectively downloaded 100 times, then you’ve made yourself $200. Got it? Okay.

Second, are you familiar with Kindle Unlimited? No? Okay. It’s Amazon’s eBook subscription service that allows for subscribers to download and read as many books as they want to for $9.99 a month. Keep in mind that not one Big 5 publisher has its titles enrolled in the program. Got it? Okay.

In the past, authors would receive their royalty when their book was downloaded as long as the reader read 10 percent of the book. This threshold applied to all books. It didn’t matter if it was a 50 page novella or a 1000 page brick. The reader had to read 10 percent or no royalty would be paid out. And what were people doing? They were publishing very short works and enlarging the print so that it would be incredibly easy to reach that 10 percent mark. They would get their royalty just the same as someone who published a novel worthy of Big 5 publication.

My book is 216 pages, right? Which is very short for a book. Does it seem fair that someone would need to read 22 pages of my book in order for me to get my royalty when there are works published that are even shorter in length than that? No. It wasn’t fair and Amazon knew it.

The entire system has been overhauled and now authors will be paid per page read. The 10 percent threshold has been eliminated. How is this new system unfair to anyone? How can people be writing article and blog post after blog post denouncing Amazon for this? THEY MADE IT MORE FAIR!

Just to give you an idea of the kind of people who have spoken out against the new system, one blogger who claimed to be an author and reader said that Amazon has invaded her privacy by tracking how much she reads of a given book. How the hell does she think those lists are compiled each year about the books being read on Kindle? Magic? I mean, get a fucking clue. Her Kindle is MADE by Amazon. Her Kindle is BOUGHT from Amazon. Her Kindle is REGISTERED ON AMAZON.

Remember guys, this new system applies only to books enrolled in KDP Select, which automatically enrolls them in Kindle Unlimited and KOLL. This does NOT apply to books purchased, only books borrowed. A book bought is a book bought, no matter if the reader reads the whole thing or two pages. And also don’t forget that no one says any book has to be in KDP Select at all.

You can read exactly how the system will work by clicking here. It goes into effect July 1.

I’m ready to open the floodgates. What do you think of Amazon abandoning the 10 percent threshold for a pay-per-page model for books borrowed?

 

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Will you Consider Downloading a Free Book?

free-ebooks

Photo Credit: GoodEReader

This question ultimately asks if you read self-published books, but not all self-published books are free at some point. In my experience I’ve found that people are typically “I read a lot of free books” or “I will not ever read a book if it’s free.” I’ve rarely found someone who sometimes reads free books and sometimes doesn’t. I’ll never sit here and say that one person’s reasoning for their decision is wrong while another person’s is right, so this is just me repeating what has been said about why people do or don’t download books that are free.

“If it’s free it must be bad”

This goes along with the stigma that still exists for self-publishing. Maybe self-published authors are making strides when it comes to their literary merit, but talk to someone who knows nothing about the publishing industry about your book. One of their first questions is sure to ¬†be who published your book. I mean, there are MANY great books out their that have been self-published, but some readers will never find them because they don’t give them a chance. Like when they’re free.

“I have too many books I actually WANT to read”

There’s no doubt in my mind that when said in this context this statement is an excuse not to read a particular book or perhaps a book that is free. I understand that most avid readers have dozens and dozens of books they want to read, maybe hundreds cause some people are crazy, but the notion that reading one book that’s not necessarily on your never ending TBR list is going to mess with the alignment of the universe is simply absurd. After all, you have to keep adding new books to your TBR list if you intend to keep reading, right? Just say you don’t want to read the damn book and be done with it.

“I have too many books on my Kindle”

This is probably more valid than you might think. There are plenty of readers out there who navigate the Kindle free store on a daily basis just downloading books. This isn’t bad and I’m not going to knock anyone for it, but this really does create the dilemma of having too many books. I’m talking hundreds of unread books just collecting figurative dust in the depths of your Kindle. From what I’ve been told and understand, many of these readers just pick titles almost at random once downloaded because there’s no easy way to pick which book to read when you have hundreds at your fingertips.

I’m quite certain that I could continue the list here because the likelihood is that you’ve had some experience with this question. Maybe you’re a reader who never downloads free books. Or maybe you’re an author who has offered your book for free through KDP Select. Me? I’ve never actually downloaded a free book. And I have offered my book for free a couple of times. I think my best free promo garnered 6571 downloads in a couple of days, but obviously I don’t have a gazillion reviews of my book.

Do you download free books?

Chapter Four in the Books

Divided Within (Andrew Banks #1)

I’d promised to tell you all about a new chapter either this past Sunday or Monday. Well, obviously I didn’t, BUT I have some extraordinary news for all of you! Really.

I’m sure most of you will remember my offering my book for free a couple of weeks ago. It was my attempt to get my book into the hands of as many new readers as possible, and I thought it was wildly successful. At the time. As we all know, this past Monday was Cyber Monday, one of the biggest online shopping days of the year. I’ll get back to that in a second.

After my one free day a couple of weeks ago I read a book called Winning with KDP Select: 5 Steps to Hit #1 in the Amazon Free Store. This was after I’d sold what I thought was a good amount of books during my free day, 206. This book outlines several sites that really promote Kindle free days, usually for a minimum fee or no cost at all. After reading this book I decided to offer my book for free once again on Cyber Monday because of what I now believed to be a lack luster attempt at utilizing KDP Select my first time. Well, although I chose not to use every tip listed in the book, I used most of what was offered and I managed to sell 6531 books during my two free days! I’ve read stories of authors selling far more and I believe it, but that number is fantastic for me. My goal going in was 1000. I think I reached that around noon the first day.

For those of you wondering what KDP Select is, it’s a program offered by Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing that allows authors to enlist their books in the program for 90 day periods. Each period the author is given five free promo days that he or she can choose to use or not. The drawback is that the eBook must be exclusive to Kindle during those 90 days.

Andrew Banks Book Two

I do have a new chapter to talk about with you guys. I mentioned last week that Andrew and Sydney were planning to add to their small family. I won’t elaborate further, but that plays heavily into the chapter that follows. The two of them are literally running around with these giant smiles across their faces and telling any person who will listen. Andrew also comes to realize the importance of the job ahead of him. He’s set to attend a major event with his client and it’s nothing but money, politicians, and celebrities attending.

That’s all I have for now!

Don’t forget that my first book is permanently $0.99 in the Kindle store if you haven’t taken advantage of any of my free days! Get it here! And free for Kindle Owners with Prime memberships!

I’ll have that picture I promised from Andrew’s office for you guys soon!

Lastly, I’ve now come up with the title for the second book! But like I did with the first one, I’ll be revealing that a little later in the writing process. Stay tuned!