And Panic Ensues

Eight days ago, Amazon announced a change to their Kindle Unlimited Program. For those who aren’t familiar with KU, it is a two-pronged program. For readers who pay $9.99 per month, you can borrow e-books enrolled in the KU program. This also includes a number of audio books as well. There is no time limit on when you have to return the books except you can only borrow 10 books at a time. If you are a voracious reader, KU can be a godsend for you because of the money you can save. As an author, KU is simply another method to help promote your books. Under the current rules, you get paid a share of the global fund put aside each month by Amazon, once 10% of your book or short story has been read. Simple so far, right?

Now, from the beginning, a number of authors have had issues with the KU Program. Initially, there were the Amazon haters who saw this as a way for Amazon to make money while not paying authors. That was the knee-jerk reaction. The real issue many of us had with the program was that every title received the same share of the pot, no matter how many “pages” it might be. In other words, a short story that regularly sold for 99 cents that would receive a 30 cent royalty for a sale would, on average, receive $1.40 for a borrow. That is the same amount per borrow that the $4.99 full length novel received. It didn’t matter how long your story was or how many words you wrote. You got the same amount out of the global fund per borrow.

And that led to the system being gamed by a number of authors. It was a very well-known “secret” that certain authors would put out short, very short works and put them into the KU Program because they knew they would make more per borrow than they would per sale. Hitting the 10% mark in a short story often happened before getting past the legal page at the beginning of the story. So they would get paid before the reader even knew if they liked the story or not. Conversely, for a novel, several chapters — or more — had to be read before payment would be accrued.

Folks complained and Amazon listened. Eight days ago, the company announced changes to the KU Program that will take effect the beginning of next month.

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.

For novel and long non-fiction authors, this is a very good thing. But there have been a number of authors panicking over this announcement. It hasn’t been helped by articles such as the one posted by The Telegraph with a headline shouting “Amazon to pay Kindle authors only for pages read.” The misrepresentation continues in the first two paragraphs:

If you are an author whose book fails to grip in the opening chapter, it could prove costly.

Amazon is to begin paying royalties to writers based on the number of pages read by Kindle users, rather than the number of books downloaded. If a reader abandons the book a quarter of the way in, the author will get only a quarter of the money they would have earned if the reader stuck it out to the end.

I can’t blame any author reading that for worrying. It is an example of not only poor journalism but lousy research, not that it surprises me.

A couple of paragraphs down the author of the article then notes that such a change in policy brings into question just how much data Amazon can mine from its customers. Give me a break. Every time you sync your Kindle or your Kindle app, or any other e-reader for any other vendor, you are giving them information about what you have been reading and how far you have been reading. This is nothing new. If you read the terms of service you agree to when you sign up for their services and the FAQs, you will see this. But, this particular journalist has to reach for the most sensational non-issues possible. Don’t believe me, it isn’t until the fifth paragraph before she clarifies that this new payment method applies to the KU program.

This sort of reporting is fanning a flames of fear and Amazon hate simply because folks aren’t reading the e-mails sent out by Amazon.

Will this impact the bottom line for authors? Absolutely. How much, one way or the other, we won’t know until we see the new rules in action. However, it will do exactly what many of us have wanted — it gives novelists the opportunity to earn more per borrow than short story writers. I say it gives us the opportunity to do so because we still have to hook and hold a reader. If we can’t do that, then we need to know that. And guess what, we will be able to have an idea if we are doing our job because one of the new items to come out of the program is we will be able to see how many pages of an enrolled work were read.  Something else to think about, we no longer have to hit that 10% threshold. So, if someone reads 15 pages and decides that book isn’t for them — and it will happen — we will still get paid for those 15 pages. That is better than nothing.

And I convinced that this new program answers all the concerns I’ve had about the program? No. One question I have is when we get paid for pages read. Say John borrows a book in June and starts reading it in July but doesn’t finish it until September. Do we get paid for the number of pages he read each month? Or do we get paid after he finishes the book in September? Or do we wait until he turns the book in? And what about if he reads the book again? Do we get paid a second time?

Still, instead of doing as so many are threatening and pulling my books out of the program before the changes go into effect, I’m going to wait and see what happens. Frankly, I am more concerned about folks finding new ways to game the system than I am about the change in payout levels. Amazon has already taken steps to try to prevent one way of increasing the number of “pages” an e-book has. It will implement a system of “normalizing” type. That should prevent folks from having a single word or two per page. (Not to mention how readers would react to that sort of thing. I can see the negative reviews now.) But, where there is a will, there is a way.

So, what are your thoughts about the changes to the program and are you going to stay in or pull your titles out until you see what happens?

82 Comments

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82 responses to “And Panic Ensues

  1. I’m gonna miss getting more than the cost of my book for a borrow. 🙂

    But people were screaming about that for ages, this is the answer to what they got. We shall see if they like it.

  2. Mine are in. Simply put, I’m a relative unknown who needs readers. The borrowing allows someone who finds my titles interesting to try one of my books. My novels run from 205 ti 355 pages, so I expect the new system to benefit me.
    I’ve tried other publishers, and got almost nothing in sales. So I pulled them off the other sources and put them in Amazon to take advantage of the assistance Amazon gives to unknown authors. Result? The two books that were on various outlets through D2D and also on Google Books made about $5 in two months, but since I put them on Amz’s Kindle Select, they’ve earned about $50 from borrows. And I expect that to go up next month.
    This isn’t advice, it’s just my experience. I’m very interested in how the books sell, and in any patterns I can detect. I keep running tabs daily on what happens. I analyze data from sales to find out whether the promoter is promoting his site or my books. This has been very helpful to me; it’s similar to what Peter Grant does with his marketing efforts.
    But if you’re an independent author/publisher, you get to make your own decisions, so now it’s up to you to decide. In? Or out?

  3. Eric

    Coming from the voracious reader’s perspective, and not the writer, I think it’s only fair to pay the novelists more if they can grab my attention. I personally have not joined KU as I don’t mind paying between .99-5.00 for a book or story if it sounds interesting based on the blurb, and I didn’t like the original flat rate idea .. I still plan on buying my books that way, but if my financial situation changes I would not be as opposed to the idea under the new system as I was to the old one

  4. I enrolled my novels in KU as soon as it was available. This past weekend I saw my first borrow–one person borrowed my latest novel. So it’s really a non-issue as far as I’m concerned.

  5. I’ll admit it, I like making good money on my short stories and my novelette, and that’s gone. However, I don’t actually disagree with this move. I really should get paid more for my novels than my short fiction. I know how much time got put into each, and so I’m fine with this move.

    But I kind of like making more on borrows of my shorts than they actually cost. It’s been a nice moneymaker for me, and I’m going to lose some money over this, but we’ll see how it shakes out in the grand scheme of things.

    • Reality Observer

      Depends on where your strengths are, too. Somebody with the ability to kick out shorts that get read completely will still make a good chunk of money – probably still more than the novel writer who can’t hook people into reading past the first ten pages or so.

  6. I was dubious about KU when it was first announced, not seeing the attraction myself–but, knowing tastes differ, I took a look at the books available in my genres. I was not impressed, so I decided to keep my books on wide distribution instead. However when my first YA was published I did put it in KU for the first three months, precisely because I had no previous exposure in that area. Sales were … not stellar, but noticeable. Not enough to keep me in past the three month line, but I don’t regret doing it. It got me some publicity and probably reviews.

    KU is a tool, and everyone has different needs. You have to assess whether or not KU will help *you*. There is no single magic right answer.

  7. The Telegraph story makes me think the writer or his bosses have an interest in traditional publishing. and fear and loath Amazon.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      One gets the impression that the declining newspapers often enough are in bed with people from the declining mainstream publishers.

  8. I’m going to leave my novels in KU for the foreseeable future. I’ve been at a fairly steady average of 1 ‘borrow’ for 1 ‘sale’ over the past few months. That may change with the new system, because I’ll no longer be paid for the number of ‘borrows’. I’m not sure how Amazon will account for that; but I’m willing to bet they’ll be fair, according to their lights. That may not suit all KU participants, but at least the playing field will be level for all of us.

    If I find I lose too much money in the new system, there’s always the option of pulling my books out of KU and KDP Select and publishing them on other outlets. That wasn’t a success last time I tried it, but the market evolves from year to year. Who knows what we’ll be doing in five years time?

    • Peter, that is basically where I am right now. Some of my books run about 1 to 1 borrows to sales. Others have more sales to borrows and some have more borrows than sales. For the latter, the KU program has been a great tool because these books are in a genre where the “buyers” are notorious for buying, reading and returning. So not only has KU helped my numbers but it has helped my income where they are concerned.

    • Interesting. I’m not all in, but enough so to see figures. I’m doing roughly 2 sales:1 KU/KOLL… BUT… the older the book the closer that comes to 1:1 – which says possibly hardcore fans buy it as soon as they find it, and then gradually it gets ‘found’ by KU browsers?

  9. Lea

    If you are an author whose book fails to grip in the opening chapter, it could prove costly.

    This is kind of a funny complaint though. Am I supposed to feel bad for people who can’t manage to write a first chapter that makes you want to read the second?

    Also, you can read the first chapter (ish) of most books for free anyway using the sample program…

  10. I like this move. But. Really, couldn’t they do the change a year after they started KULL? I’d like to have year-to-year comparisons. Now we’ll get our first impression from the summer slump and back-to-school crash.

    • No, I don’t think they could wait. Authors / publishers were yanking books left and right because, yeah, they were getting screwed.

    • James is right. I was on the point of pulling some of mine for that very reason and I know other authors who were doing the same thing. Still, time will tell if this new system is any better.

  11. Max

    Reblogged this on Unusual Things and commented:
    A good look at the furor over Amazon’s new KU changes and why some people are upset.

  12. Max

    I’m glad they’ve made this shift. There have been plenty who have been taking advantage of the way this system works, the most grievous of which have been the authors who knowingly split a 300-page book into 10 30-page segments so as to maximize their KU library proceeds and profits (charging $2 per chunk of the book out of KU instead of $6 for the whole and make $20 instead of $6). Worse, there have been readers that have felt “taken advantage of” as a result and been turned away from Amazon’s market, which is never good for anyone else.

    The authors that pulled this kind of chicanery are going to make a fuss over this, but to those who were interested in providing the best value books rather than solely seeing a customer as a mobile wallet, they’re going to walk out of this in a better situation.

    I’m personally quite happy with this change. I’m staying on the program, which I already though was an interesting system (a sort of “Netflix for books”), but this change can only improve what I make from the KU system so I’m sticking with it. Basing the amount earned on word count and page numbers read honestly makes a lot of sense to me.

    Plus, it makes it a bit harder for the system to be gamed by those downloading their own works over and over again, too (I’ve not heard of this, but I have to imagine someone has done it, just like early-90s website creators would click their own ads for hours on end). Not by too much, but harder.

    Thanks for the write up. Shared.

  13. I like it. I mean, I like getting more than $.99 when someone borrows a short story, but getting donkey kicked you know where when the same price for paid for the $2.99 novel sequel was also getting annoying.

    I do wonder how Amazon is going to fix things like where I have 90 pages of another novel in a book. I don’t do that to game the system–my plan is to hopefully expose someone to a genre (alternate history) they might not otherwise read.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      It seems to me like an option might be to ask Amazon. ‘I would like to be able to specify that title and copyright page shouldn’t count against page count, and that the promotional material at the end is not charged to Amazon.’ I dunno, I’ve no certainty what just is here.

  14. Another reader here.

    I use KU like I use the library. I skim the genre I like, check out likely looking works, and read them. If I like them, I look for more works by the same author, If I really like them, I’ll pay Kindle prices for additional works. If I really like them, I buy hardbacks.

  15. I personally really, really hope they’ll give the authors an average page-read breakdown per book.

    Ideally, each book would have a little chart, as follows:
    Title
    18% of readers stopped within the first three pages
    25% of readers stopped at location 245
    52% of readers finished the book

    This would tell me that I really need to check what led up to location 245, and see if I had a giant plothole, infodump, or introduced a third main character with no warning, or other structural problem in the book. But I don’t need to worry about the plot twist at 123, or the villain’s speech at 350. Right now we’re in the dark, trying to reverse-engineer this data out of reviews.

    It would also tell me that I may want to look at my beginning, because a significant chunk of people who were interested enough to get the sample after seeing the cover and blurb didn’t turn out to be interested in reading on. On the other hand, I may not. After all, how many people typically put a book back on the shelf after the first two pages? We don’t know, because nobody’s ever tracked it before.

    • Ok, that right there? That’s BRILLIANT, that is. That’s because Dorothy Grant is a GENIUS and we all stare at her writings with our jaws dropped, because she sees a writing-improvement tool, and the rest up us see a horsey and a duckie.

    • TRX

      One of the several reasons I haven’t bought into the Amazon ecosystem… I don’t choose to share how much I’ve read of a book, and at what times, and how long I spent on each page.

      • I have a problem with that, as well. Plus I prefer to convert them to epubs and read them on FBreader. I don’t care for the kindle app, much.

        I’m interested in KULL for similar reasons as Pat, but I have a feeling no one would get paid with my method.

  16. Timid1

    A question from one warming cold feet over KDP: Payment options are EFT or check. Check has 60 day after closing month before they’re “cut,” with thresholds of $100. EFT has no threshold, but can be subject to bank charges, which is obviously beyond Amazon control. Yet what does this mean for returns? Immediate EFT debit? And are authors notified daily/monthly/never about EFT payments or debits?

    • Think of the 60-day after closing like this: What you sell/lend in January, you get paid for at the end of March. What you sell/lend in February, you get paid for at the end of April.

      Thus, if you sell 10 books in January, with no returns, the payment for 10 books shows up right around March 30; if you sell 15 in February, and somebody returns one, then you get paid for 14 around Apr 30.

      If you sell 20 books in March, and 25 are borrowed – but only 20 are read past the 10% mark, then you get paid for 20 sales and 20 borrows around May 30. Should they be read later, they’ll apply to the month read.

      If, theoretically, you sold 2 books in January, and none in February – but one of the books was returned in February – no, Amazon is not going to debit you. They’d pay January as normal, and for February you’d get no money. I believe, but have not confirmed, that they’ll move that return against the next sale – So if you sold 2, -1, & 4 in those three months, you’d get paid 2, 0, & 3 respectively. It’s not really a situation that tends to come up.

      We get monthly notifications for our EFT payments; it’s actually a brace of notifications, at one per country. (Amazon.co.uk, amazon.de, amazon.au, etc.)

      • Timid1

        Thanks. So that 60 days applies to both check and EFT. The idea of one payment sixty days after the closing month makes me feel better than constant EFT transfers, first because it eliminates churn on EFT, and second because it makes accounting easier.

        • Yes, it also means that you can look at your royalties and know what’s coming, as opposed to waiting and praying that the legacy publishing houses remember to send the check with the royalty statement, and that the two match, and that the two reflect reality.

          • sabrinachase

            What *is* it with you and reality, anyway? 😀 I mean, nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there…. I suppose you want the check to clear too!

  17. Uncle Lar

    I guess I’m a non typical Kindle owner. I synced my Kindle exactly once, when I first bought it and registered the device. From that point on every e-book I read on it is downloaded from my desktop and manually loaded via USB. I don’t like to have to scan through tons of pages so I keep the load on the Kindle down to just 4 or 5 pages, deleting the e-book file and the helper file the Kindle creates when I’m done.
    I expect Amazon gets some information from my Kindle for Mac account, but I expect it’s rather sparse compared to users who maintain a regular link with the Borg. And I don’t see how they can get any data on all the books I download directly from Baen Webscriptions each month, even the ones I choose to get in mobi format for the Kindle. I do real a good bit on the computer, and for that I prefer the epub format.

  18. I’d already decided to step back from KU before the announcement – but that’s because I want to see what my books can do with a wider distribution, not because of any issues with Amazon or KU. I have one book that started out in the KU program and is now widely distributed, one that’s in the KU until August, and the next one I’ll try going wide from the start. (All full-length novels, btw.) We’ll see with book #2 how the new KU thing works. :shrug: Just seeing where my books sell the best.

    Personally, this KU thing is nothing more than the latest kerfluffle. If an author doesn’t like the way KU is paying, they need to wait until their 90 days is up and take their book out. If they don’t like the way Amazon is treating them, they can always publish elsewhere. Seems pretty clear to me. Jus’ sayin’.

    • Reality Observer

      Particularly for people who have (or contemplating) a series.

      I read some of the pieces on the navigation of traditional publishing, and wonder how anyone ever made a living from it. Books not published until “the season” – and then, if the first (or second, or third) doesn’t “meet expectations” the rest are never seen. One and only one marketing “plan” – whatever the publisher thinks will work.

      Amazon, you publish when you want, you see how it does, and then can change it (either within Amazon, or “go wide”). Change the cover price. Hold sales (including promotions of earlier books when the next volume comes out – or promotions of the new series when the established one is published).

      And you can get hold of at least some numbers to tell you how you are performing your job – not the Byzantine mess that traditional royalty statements are. One thing that struck me especially is Dorothy’s note that we might get an idea of how many people read the first two pages and then put it back on the shelf – I do that all the time in the bookstore. That’s a customer that you got to walk into the store, with the cover, or the blurb – and then walked out again without buying anything. Retailers watch that kind of thing very carefully; authors should too.

  19. Just a minor whimper from the voracious-and-retired reader section: I’m ever so glad the inequities are being worked out of the system. I HOPE nobody pulls their stuff from KU because that’s the only way I can read it. I can budget $9.99 per month, and I will return (now that keyboard issues are solved) to reviewing the heck out of your work on Amazon. Baen gave me a VIP membership after years and years of paying, because I have the great good fortune to be permanently and totally disabled. Gutenberg gives me access to older books, Australia’s Gutenberg a few more. My regional library has an e-check out service, but it’s rather limited in scope. Castalia House (and Vox Day personally) has been gracious to provide me with books for my Hugo review. BUT: when I have to cough up five bucks to get a copy of “The Five Love Languages” because my small group at church is studying that, that pretty much ends my book buying. Getting to the library is a really BIG deal, for me. Vanessa, my gift-from-God, happily-ever after trophy wife, the elegant, foxy, praying black grandmother of Woodstock, GA can make it to the library (and that’s why we now have a copy of Babette Cole’s “Hair In Funny Places, A Book About Puberty on hand, so she can have the Talk with Alicia), but for me it’s an ordeal.
    So, y’all write more, and I’ll read ’em and review ’em, but only if you send me a review copy, or if it’s KU or Baen.
    But I still love you, each and every one!

    • Max

      You know what? I will 100% take you up on that offer. I wasn’t planning on pulling my stuff from KU anyway, but with an impassioned plea for authors to stay, how could I say no now? I won’t drop a link here (I don’t want to litter this thread with my stuff), but both my books are on KU and you can find them from clicking my avatar pretty easily. If you’re in a dry spell and looking for something to read, I welcome honest reviews and would hope that you enjoy them. If not, well, warn the rest of the world. 😀

      • Psst. Pat – If you click Max’s name, it takes you to his webpage. Fortunately, he’s got a nice big books tab to spot, and from there, you can check them on KU 😛

      • Otay, internet friends, the kind offer is sincere, and I am now 33% finished with ‘One Drink’ by Max Florschutz. Which I guess means you’ve already gotten full credit, since it isn’t July 1 yet.
        The Hugo run-up and life have distracted me from my primary purpose, which was to read and review all MGC works, including hangers-on. I actually DID complete my read of all MGC authors’ KU works pre-Hugo, and Amazon rated them, but I didn’t start echoing them to my blog until post Hugo, at which point my blog hits when from around 10 per day to approaching 100 per day with a peak of 500+ views, due to some Snidely Whiplash tactics I’ll never, ever, ever reveal, nyah-ah-ah.
        Right now, I owe reviews to Peter, Cedar, and Alma, plus Tom Kratman and David Coe. Those are for books read during the Time of Nasty Stanken Keyboard Death Followed By Pneumonia Lassitude. And I’ve still got P L; actually, I suppose I still technically have pneumonia since I’n still on antibiotics and was still bubbling when I saw the doc five days ago.
        But I can fracken READ! And write, a little bit, too.

        • Glad to hear you’re feeling better, and getting better, too! Give our love to your lovely wife, for taking care of you!

        • Max

          Oh. Whoa. I wasn’t expecting at all to cut in line. Hopefully you feel it’s worth the credit I got! And if not, well, that’s what I get. Like I said, go honest on it. Either way, thank you for trying it!

          And good luck with kicking that pneumonia out of your system for good! Hope to hear you’re feeling even better next I hear from you online!

    • Readers like you are a big reason why I love the KU program. It’s like Netflix–there’s no way that I can swing the cost of cable with all the premium channels, the last time I checked it was upwards of 100$ a month to get all of the shows I wanted on cable. However, I can pay Netflix a flat monthly fee and get most of them, even if I can’t see them when they are aired.

      Personally, I do most of my pleasure “reading” via audiobooks, so I have a subscription to Audible rather than KU, but the principle is the same.

      My books are in KU, and if someone writes me and says that they want to read them but can’t swing 3 bucks each, I’ll comp them copies. It’s not like I’m making a living from this writing gig anyway.

    • Mark Alger

      OK. Got a question on etiquette for allayouse. I would gladly take Pat up on his kind offer, but… The file I get from Amazon of my book, when I dl’d a proof copy on first publication is 11MB. Graphic designer I say “Pfft!” to that. I regularly handle files in the gigabyte range. 11 megs is picayune. But as an email attachment — perhaps without warning, perhaps to someone who doesn’t have unlimited bandwidth at his disposal and has to eke out minutes online… It strikes me as a tad rude.

      So, for your consideration, this question: What’s the thing to do?

      M

      • Laura M

        For my new book, which isn’t in KU, I loaned Pat a copy from Amazon. I figured I’d buy it for those occasions when I needed to send out review copies. Look in the upper left of the sale page.

  20. I wonder if this will have the opposite effect of the previous payment scheme. If one combines three 300 page books into an omnibus and someone borrows it, are they more likely to read the whole 900 pages, than if they have to remember to borrow the next book, and the next?

    • It would for me. A book in the hand is worth any number in series.
      I’m forgetful and disorganized.

    • Reality Observer

      I don’t think so – unless there are a lot more people than I think that are of the “I started it, so I have to finish it.” type.

      One thing I just thought of to wonder about – what of non-fiction? I just finished with a book on Japanese history (dead tree version). I was interested in this particular author’s “take” on the Edo period – so I skipped the first couple of hundred pages, then more pages that were about the changes in graphic arts, music, etc. If I had read this from KU – as I understand the new algorithm – the author would have been paid for pretty close to 300 pages – when I really read somewhere between 60 and 70 pages. I don’t see any way around that situation, unless they start running data collection on how long you spend with a page actually showing and do some kind of magic metric on people’s “average” reading speed (mine is very fast, for instance, compared to my wife’s).

      • I was thinking fiction. How has the KULL program affected non-fiction? Borrowing’s all well and good, but for non-fiction, I tend to, as you have, dig into the parts I want, right then. But next month, or next year it may be a different part I need. So if I like it, I want to own it. Borrowing just won’t do. So I wonder how many people borrow a book, and then buy it.

      • It shouldn’t hurt you, the reader much, since you’re still paying the flat fee for KU. As for the author, It’s hard to say because the pool is being sliced into much finer pieces before being divvied up.

        • For authors who write novels, and who aren’t trying to scam KU, this is a great deal. For authors who put out tons of shorts, and just plain crap, this is a very bad deal.

          So for me, it’s a good deal, and I can’t wait to see it implemented. Hopefully I’ll start getting more than a $1.35 for 200 page books, and especially for 500 page books.

          And all those people who were getting a $1.35 for 10 and 20 page books are now going to get what they’re worth. Which means they’ll no longer be sucking the pool dry with their gaming the system.

    • Laura M

      Also, do we think this will lead to a resurgence of the double space after the period? Or, really long names?

      • The page count is actually going to be a word count. Amazon will determine how many words are in your book, then divide it by how many words they feel make up a page. Probably 350.
        And that will determine how many pages are in your book, and how many were read. They’ve already said this, they just have said what their word count per page is going to be.

      • I think I can answer that, Laura. Amazon is going to fit all books into some sort of ‘standard format’. I’m reasonably certain that single-spaced lines and single spaces after a period will be standard. That’s a guess, but whatever their standard, it will apply to everyone. You can read Amazon’s comment on their announcement which was cited earlier in this thread.
        I’ve long attached the first chapter of my next book or another book in a different series, so I’m wondering if Amazon will strip that out or leave it in. I don’t suppose it matters.

        • Laura M

          I bet they leave it in. If someone reads it, you can get paid. If they don’t you don’t.
          I’m a little sad. I miss the double space after the period, and have to do a search and replace to rid my documents of theirs because my thumbs just do it automatically. I was hoping this would be an incentive for its return. Doesn’t look like it.

          • It took me a while to learn the new protocol, Laura. But if I learned it, you can too. After all, I learned to touch type in 1957, so I had a LONG habit to break! 😀

  21. morrigan508

    I’ll be leaving my work on KU, I support the idea.

  22. Since I’m the new kid on the block, and don’t have any real advertizing, I’m leaving mine up. I’m seeing about 2:1 sales to KU/Koll on my second book, and the third (now out two days), is running about 10:1 sales to KU/Koll.

    • Joe Spiker

      Just read the grey man payback thru ku enjoyed it

    • WOW!!!! Old NFO, do you know who you are? YOU’RE J L CURTIS!!! I just found that at over atr Peter Grant’s blog!
      Okay, I am officially OVER authors having screen names now unless I get a scorecard!

      • No screen name, Pat. Just my real name. My books, my blogs, and my reviews are all posted under Jack L Knapp. I’m proud of my writing.
        Which means I have to be careful what new stuff I write! I mean, I’ve got grandkids and I don’t want them to be ashamed. 😀

  23. Laura M

    I just published my first SF adventure this month. I put it up everywhere on the theory that since my other two books had only about a dozen sales each on the other platforms, that I’d like to at least get those sales before going into KU. I have my second book in KU, and it’s hard SF. It gets 2 sales or more per KU borrow. (Btw, I’m finding the adventure sells a lot more than the hard SF).

    I like the idea of being paid by the page. It levels the paying field.

    • Randy Wilde

      I’d like to at least get those sales before going into KU.

      I’m not an author or familiar with the business side of things, but this sounds like the way to go.

      If KU is Netflix, then putting the book up for sale before it goes into KU is the box office and DVD release.

      • Laura M

        That works.
        It’s been up a couple of weeks now, and the ratio of Amazon sales to all the other platforms combined is 40 to 1. I think everyone who owns a kindle owns it to read, but everyone who own an ipad uses it for lots of other ereasons (that was a typo but then I left it in). I don’t have a theory for nook.

  24. I am SOOOOOOO looking forward to this! And I laugh at the people complaining, because they KNOW that they were gaming the system!
    I know my books get read all the way through by the majority of readers. How do I know? Simple: They buy the next on in the series!!
    This will encourage me to write longer works, and to put my longest novels into KU.
    And the scammers, the ‘short story’ authors who were gaming KU, and the ones who people couldn’t finish their books because they SUCKED will all stop taking money from the well that they didn’t deserve.
    A lot of fortunes are going to crash at the end of the month, all those people who were writing strictly for KU.
    And a lot of new fortunes will be made, by all of those people writing for THE READERS!

    Ah, it is a good time to be alive…

  25. Harmony

    I hope this fixes the current mess in Romance KU books. Right now authors trying to game the system divide their novels into parts typically ~25 pages/part. The reader then has to log back in to get the next part several times during the story, disrupting the flow of the reader. Or you can try downloading all parts at once (using up multiple slots on KU) and discover you don’t want to read past part 1. And then there is the real bummer….getting to the last section only to discover that the final section won’t come out for another month or two.

    Is romance the only catagory with this problem? I haven’t seen it in SF/F books. I read both voraciously so the KU is still cheaper for me as a reader.

    • I have seen it with some SF/F authors as well as with some horror. I’m hoping this new policy stops it as well.

    • I think Romance abuses it the most, because Romance is the big money market and Romance readers are pretty willing to put up with that kind of thing.
      I will just be curious to see how this impacts my KU royalty. Up until now Amazon has been forced to put more money in the fund, to keep the royalty up because of all the scammers. Now that the scammers won’t be getting the kind of money they used to, the hope by those of us not ripping the system off, is that we’ll be rewarded for actually putting up novels.

  26. Bandwidth isn’t a problem.