Monday 22 June 2015

Amazon Pay Per Page

Beginning on July 1st, authors who self-publish through Amazon’s KDP Select Program will become part of a new publishing experiment... In the new scheme, authors will be paid for each page that remains on the screen long enough to be parsed, the first time a customer reads the book.

It's partly to do with addressing the sentiment that has apparently been aired by writers of longer books that they are shortchanged when their books sell at the same price as shorter works.

This article came up on a forum I follow, and here's some of the reactions:

This appears to be sending out the message that authors should be producing quantity over quality in order to make money. It also seems to be sending out the message that Amazon are snivelling shits who want to rip off authors. If authors are not paid if a reader doesn't read much of their book, will the reader get their money back? Or will Amazon keep their money and not pay the author, making even more profits for themselves? Pay your taxes Amazon you greedy bastards! 
...anything Amazon tinkers with I'm leery of as it tends to screw the authors. 
It only affects Kindle Unlimited users, and from what I understand it's to address the balance issue of authors who were submitting tiny e-books and getting paid the same as authors submitting full novels. As much as I dislike Amazon sometimes, I think this is a good move. 
George RR Martin and all the other popular authors who cynically pad out their series arcs with an extra book or two to milk their fan bases for every last cent should do very well out of it. 
 I don't entirely want to be paid by how many pages, I just want my book to be bought. It kinda deters me from publishing on Amazon first. I didn't really want to do it to begin with. 
If I buy a fantastic e-book and read it thirty times, does the author get paid again every time I finish it? 
Mmmmm. Not too sure about this. Will have to wait and see how it affects me.

I think only time will tell if the idea works out, but whether it's helpful to authors or not, Amazon will always have to battle the overriding legacy of tax dodging and employee abuse it's fallen to over recent years. It could be a great idea, but the simple fact Amazon thought of it automatically places it in the 'approach with caution' pile.

[UPDATE: EU launch an investigation into antitrust between Amazon and publishers.]

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