Amazon’s about to make a pretty major change to the way it pays some of its authors. As things stand, authors enrolled in its Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Select program whose books are offered in the subscription-based Amazon Lending Library or on Kindle Unlimited receive a portion of a pool of cash at the end of each month, according to how many downloads their work received.
From July 1, however, this royalties system is set to change in a significant way, with writers set to be paid per page turn. That’s right, if a reader fails to make it past page 20 because the book’s a yawn, the author will receive noticeably less than if they sail happily through to the end. Amazon said it’s making the change in response to feedback from authors “who asked us to better align payout with the length of books and how much customers read.”
Of course, page counts can vary hugely depending on the device as well as the particular settings chosen by each reader. Taking this into account, Amazon has created what it calls the “Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count” (KENPC v1.0).
In the company’s own words: “We calculate KENPC based on standard settings (e.g. font, line height, line spacing, etc.), and we’ll use KENPC to measure the number of pages customers read in your book, starting with the Start Reading Location (SRL) to the end of your book.”
Significantly, “non-text elements within books including images, charts and graphs will count toward a book’s KENPC.” This suggests the inclusion of “non-text elements” may soon be about to become remarkably popular among authors creating books for Amazon, with a hefty page count potentially leading to improved royalties.
While the new system could richly reward authors with truly engaging content, it may at the same time adversely affect creators of books such as guides, manuals, and textbooks where reading cover-to-cover isn’t the norm.
Authors can keep track of “pages read” by marketplace and title in a new addition to their account’s Sales Dashboard, a section that’s set to get plenty of attention from the start of next month.
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