Sunday, July 05, 2015

Lots of Noise Over Kindle Unlimited

Before I get to this week’s topic, just a friendly reminder that Imajin Book’s Summer Sizzles party is Sunday July 12, from 4 to 8 pm. The event starts with their 'Share the Imajin Books Buzz' purchase necessary to enter. You can find it at Facebook:

Now onto this week’s topic. A lot of ink and noise has cropped up from Amazon’s decision to pay authors enrolled in Kindle Unlimited (KU) by the number of pages read rather than by the number of book titles. As mentioned last week, there’d been a lot of complaints about authors “gaming the system” which was to write quick 50-page books, for example, list them in KU, then collect a portion of the pot at the same rate that authors with full-length books received. Needless to say, those who were writing shorter works stood more to gain than others. Thus, Amazon’s change.

The brouhaha this has created is fascinating. Some bemoan the fact that those who write romance and erotica specialize in shorter works and will now lose much-needed incomes. According to one article, some of these writers are disabled or stay-at-home-mums or veterans. There is much banter about how authors are leaving KU in droves, crying tears, crying foul, and well, just crying. On the other side of the fence, authors who write full-length novels only applaud the change. Of course, this doesn't mean that readers will actually finish the book or read more pages than they would in a shorter work. Maybe it won't effect full-length novelists' income that much at all. Who knows?

And then there are those who say, wait a sec, let’s just take a look at the numbers before we wring our hands and shout ‘the sky is falling’. One of those is Chris McMullen, who takes a commonsense approach to the situation. He says look at the numbers, and shows you how to do this.

Hugh Howey has also written a good piece which also states that it’s too early to tell anything. KU’s changes have only been in effect since July 1st for heaven sake, so why freak out so soon? And here’s another excellent point: KU is voluntary. No one’s forcing authors to join or stay. If they don’t like it, there are other options. No kidding.

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