The new KU system
Amazon is always looking for new ways to improve their publishing and reading program, and trying to make things better for readers and authors.
I got this email from KDP and I took a closer look:
They wrote, "We’re always looking at ways to make our programs even better, and we've received lots of great feedback on how to improve the way we pay KDP authors for books in Kindle Unlimited. One particular piece of feedback we’ve heard consistently from authors is that paying the same for all books regardless of length may not provide a strong enough alignment between the interests of authors and readers. We agree. With this in mind, we’re pleased to announce that beginning on July 1, the KDP Select Global Fund will be paid out based on the number of pages KU and KOLL customers read. We will similarly change the way we pay KDP Select All-Star bonuses that will be awarded to authors and titles based on total KU and KOLL pages read. We think this is a solid step forward and better aligns the interests of readers and authors. Our goal, as always, is to build a service that rewards authors for their valuable work, attracts more readers and encourages them to read more and more often."
What is the new Kindle Unlimited program means for authors?
To my best understanding, the authors won’t know the number of people who borrowed each book, they will get a report of the TOTAL number of pages read in each book. My understanding is that the 10% rule will no longer apply when the reader borrowed a book, read 10% of it and the author gets paid for the whole book as borrowed. From July 1st, the authors will get paid for only the pages that the readers will read.
The present system
In the present KU and KOLL system, the author gets paid by the number of borrows, if the reader reads at least 10% of the book.
Let's break this down a little and take a closer look:
The first book of my fantasy series (not in KU until September) is 264 pages long for 99 cents (promotional price in June)
Book two (presently in the KU program) is 326 pages for $3.95:
The new covers are coming soon
Short books versus long books
Let's compare my book two with short books, because it's in the program, with the thousands of short books that are currently in the KU program:
The reader borrows my 326 pages book, and no matter how much they read above the required 10%, I get paid by how many reader borrows my book.
I've seen short stories published with very attractive covers and blurbs that are ranging from 4 (yes, you read it right, I've seen four pages long and even shorter books) to 30 pages, for the same price as my book. Because in the KU program the reader doesn’t pay the price for individual books, they're not concerned with the highly priced short book, they just click to borrow it. So, the author of those short books can write and publish ten books, while I write and publish one, and gets paid ten times more than I do.
However with the new system
The reader borrows the 4 pages long book, reads 100% to the end:
The author gets paid for 4 PAGES.
The reader borrows my 326 pages book, hopefully, likes it, and reads it to the end:
I get paid for 326 PAGES.
Is it fair for writers who spend years writing, editing, rewriting and polishing one story or a series ?
In my opinion, yes, it is fair!
My short books
I didn't enroll my short books in the KU program, because I always felt that it was unfair to get paid the same amount for my 47 and 73 pages long "shorter" books as for my 326 pages long book, and I set a much lower price for those readers who wished to purchase them.
Now that the new program will take effect soon, I might enroll my shorter books in the borrowing program, because if readers will borrow my books, I will get paid fairly by the number of pages they will read.
And so it goes for the two anthology books I published with fellow authors and poets, the royalty is donated to animal shelters and sanctuaries.
I'd love to hear your opinion
You, as a reader or author might not agree with my opinion and the way I see and understand thing, therefore I'd really love to hear your opinion about the new KU system.
As always, thank you for visiting my website and have a fabulous day,