Friday, June 26, 2015

S.D. Skye's Hell or High Water 365-Day Blog-athon Day 12 -- Kindle Unlimited Part Deux

So, just as I mentioned in my Day 2 blog, Amazon announced plans to pay by the page and there was a great cry across the land. Authors who write shorts have started complaining  out the wahzoo about the new payment structure on Kindle Unlimited--that is paying by the number of pages read rather than the number of times borrowed.

I get the problem for shorts and novella authors. They were making a killing in the old system. But there is some faulty logic out there that I would like to dispel.

So, I was perusing the internet for interesting stuff when I came across this blog and the post--The New Kindle Unlimited--What Does It Mean for Authors and Readers? 

The blogger indicated she was raising cane with Amazon about this controversial decision and Amazon did what they usually do--listen then ignore and do what they want anyway. She likened borrowing a book from Kindle Unlimited to buying a DVD and never taking the plastic off, but someone still earns a royalty whether you watch it or not. Right? I understand the principle--if you buy a book you don't read, the author still earns the royalty right? That would be fair.

Now, not that I feel the need to defend Amazon but the logic there is faulty. People in the Kindle Unlimited program ARE NOT buying books listed there. They don't get to keep them forever. They get access to them for a time, while they pay to participate in the program, and then they give them back (so-to-speak). So what they are buying in actuality is a membership to a club that allows people to borrow books. It's like if you had to pay a yearly fee to borrow books from the library.

Now, in libraries, authors don't get paid by the borrow. They get paid one time for the initial sale and that's it.

So comparing book purchase to a borrowing program is all apples to oranges. What Amazon is essentially paying authors for is the right to list authors book in their catalog so they can charge the membership.  So, if you're going to be mad at least be mad with the right understanding of the business model.

For authors who only write 50-page books, they are really going to lose out in many ways, but maybe not. I know a bunch of authors who cut a single book into 10 smaller pieces to make quick reads and charge readers more. If you keep the reader engaged for all 10 pieces, you earn the same. But I would think there is some incentive in keeping the reader hooked and reading the whole thing while you have them captive.

The other thing blogger mentions is that authors who write mysteries, thrillers, action, or spy thrillers (like moi), we are going to make out big time (which is what I said in my Day 2 blog).  Might be longer books but if you can spin a tale that leaves the reader wanting more, I don't think you have anything to fear in the new model.

I'm still playing wait and see with this whole thing. I think it will definitely make for interesting news later this year when the royalty checks start (or stop) rolling in.

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