Several days ago, Amazon announced a new pricing system for those authors enrolled in the KDP Select/Kindle Unlimited program (an agreement in which authors may only sell their e-books on Amazon’s website in exchange for promotional deals and “free” days).
Starting on July 1, 2015, books downloaded by readers subscribed to the Kindle Unlimited service will pay-out to authors in a different way—a paid-per-page-read policy, as opposed to the “first 10 percent” policy that Amazon was using when it unveiled the KDP Select program last year.
Many are stating that Amazon’s policy came about due to complaints—some authors who were “gaming” the system. And it makes sense; an author with their short story enrolled in KDP Select would make the same amount as the author with an epic fantasy submitted, in half the time (10 percent of the short story would be reached much more quickly than a 100-thousand word tome).
So how will Amazon “calculate” a page? E-readers are notorious for their flexibility—readers can change font size and style, as well as the size of the e-readers themselves. A “page” on a Kindle Fire versus a Kindle Voyage versus a Kindle Paperwhite could constitute three completely different sizes.
On their website, Amazon’s revealed the “Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count (KENPC v1.0)”: a calculation based off traditional standards of margin spacing, font size, etc. They state that it will begin “counting” at the page the reader begins (and it’s automated to skip to chapter one); so multiple title pages, copyrights and other front matter cannot be used to “game” the system further.
The actual amount of “payment-per-page” for authors remains unknown; much like the KDP Select Global Fund, it changes based on the current number of Kindle Unlimited subscribers. Every month, the fund is distributed accordingly, but has reportedly been languishing around the $3/download mark for the last several months.
With the new system, however, an author won’t have a clue how much money they’re receiving based on number of downloads—it could vary with each, depending on the number of pages read.
What does this mean for authors, editors, and especially those who have published indie?
- As of now, according to the OBSERVER, Amazon’s policy only applies to self-published authors—those who have published through their KDP program. In the OBSERVER article, a variety of self-published authors reached out to share their thoughts about the new policy, with mixed reports; some stated they felt it encouraged indie authors to publish books to a higher standard, while others said that the policy will most likely favor “page-turners”: light, fluffy prose that readers quickly gobble up, as opposed to the notably more “strenuous” literary genre.
- A consensus remained that books will need to be that much more compelling and professional for success. Grammatical errors? Money is lost. Poor plotline and character development? Money is lost. Messy, improper formatting? Money is lost. Now, it’s not just about “making it” to the first 10 percent—it’s about keeping the reader all the way through.
Aside from the reminder to all self-published authors that the behemoth named Amazon can change payment and policies whenever it wants to, we at Midnight Publishing feel that this is a call to action for indie authors: to write fantastic, compelling, professional books.
And how does one do that? Most importantly, by hiring an editor to hone and correct, to push and prod an author into exploring the deep facets of their manuscript, all to make it shine above the rest.
To get you recognition, and now, even more so, to get you paid.
Contact us today for a free quote, and we’ll make sure your KDP Select-enrolled book is being read all the way to the end.