Chapter 60 – Money On The Pages

So, Amazon changed the KU/KOLL payment system from per borrow to per page read. It might be too early to say since a month hasn’t even passed yet, but so far the system seems fine to me.

ontheplatform_by_Mo_Riza
Picture by Mo Riza

Now, I understand the arguments against this per page system. Movie producers or bands don’t get paid when we watch a movie from start to finish or listen to a whole album – they get paid the moment we buy the movie or the album. But I think the main difference here is that – for now – this new Amazon model only applies to KU/KOLL books. Borrowed books aren’t quite ‘sales’ in the first place.

Kindle already tracked how far the borrowed book was read before. You only got paid for the borrow if it was read for more than 10% which always sounded fair to me. I’m sure many people fill their Kindle library with books they might never read, so I understood why Amazon didn’t want to pay for them too.

A big problem with the per borrow system was that it was easily exploited. If you wrote a book, you could just as well chop it down to chapters and publish it that way, and get the per borrow payment several times. Or you could get a friend to flip through the first 10% and then abandon the book.

Of course not everyone did it. Per page still sounds like a good solution. In my eyes, it rewards good writing. I don’t think the system would work for actual sales and I hope it doesn’t extend to them. Time will tell, I suppose.

Obviously, as I mentioned earlier, it hasn’t even been a month. It’s hard to say how exactly this will affect sales and payments, and what will happen in the future. My book is a full novel so the page count seems alright at least, but for those writing short stories this might mean lower sales.

I’ve been tracking the pages read for my book this month but I can’t make much out of them. Sometimes there’s hundreds of pages read, sometimes none – but they could offer valuable information to any writer. How far did people get before quitting? Was there something on that page that explains it?

pages_read
A section of my “pages read” in July.

What do you think about the new system? Do you think your sales will rise or drop because of it? If you’ve been participating in the KU/KOLL program, have you considered pulling your book out of it because of this?

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