In a new move by Amazon, self-published authors are now required to make their books a real page turner because they will only be paid for as many pages that the reader completes.
New rules that Amazon plans to put into action say that self-published authors will only be paid as little as $0.006 per page read instead of paid for every complete copy that is downloaded onto a kindle. Thanks to the Amazon’s Kindle Owner’s Lending Library and the Kindle Unlimited service, those whose books are read in their entirety will be paid more than those whose books are only read halfway or just for a few pages.
This also means, of course, that not only should self-published authors make sure that their books are un-put-down-able, but books that are longer will also receive potential higher payments than shorter novels. Currently, most self-published authors make around $1.30 from each book that is downloaded by a customer, and under the new rules those same authors will have to write a 220 page book and have every single page turned by the reader in order to make the same amount of money.
This means that, according to Casey Lucas, a literary editor who spoke to the Guardian, some self-published writers have decided to stop publishing altogether because of a reduction in royalties that could be as high as 80%. Ms Lucas, who works exclusively with self-publishing authors, said that she has already lost six clients who have decided that a more regular job would more reliably pay the bills.
“People are shedding a lot of tears over this,” said Ms Lucas as she described how a lot of her self-published authors are disabled, stay-at-home mums or veterans, all of whom cannot hold down a regular job. Other self-published authors have also noted that they may soon be unable to make a living by writing as they have done previously, rendering them unable to do some of the other work that they were doing before, and for some people, unable to continue training, volunteering or caring for their families.
Of course, not all authors will find themselves making less money, and Amazon’s intention is for the payment for each book to be the same, however that seems to be leaning towards those who write longer novels, leaving those who write shorter works out in the cold. This emphasis on length rather than quality is a step in the wrong direction, according to Ms Lucas, and will have the biggest effect on writers of nonfiction books and short children’s books.
How do you feel about these proposed changes? Will it make much of a difference to you? Let us know in the comments.