Kindle Unlimited’s New Payment Terms: An Author Does a Math

August 6, 2015 - Kindle Unlimited


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By Lynn Messina

When Alex Hern reported on a Guardian’s tech blog in early Jul that Amazon’s new compensate structure for Kindle Unlimited books competence volume to authors being paid as small as $00.6 cents per copy, it set off an fusillade of grumbling. I’m a grumbler, and, as a womanlike author who got held in a chicky illuminated recoil of a mid-aughts, there’s zero we adore angry about some-more than a edition industry. Oh, a injustice! Oh, a double standard! Oh, a small-minded editors who can’t see over an capricious pinkish cover!

Seriously, we could go on for hours.

As a champion grumbler, I’ve spent months wanting to get in on a grumbling movement over a Kindle Unlimited program, that from a unequivocally commencement paid authors reduction per book than an tangible sale. In a subscription service’s initial 10 months, it paid an normal of approximately $1.40 per book, a substantial dump from a $2 dollars an author would make on a $2.99 sale. Clearly, this was an emanate abundant with unfairness. Oh, a injustice!

To my regret, we only couldn’t work adult a indignation. As a interloper from normal publishing, I’m too in astonishment of a $1.40 kingship to complain about it. $1.40 is roughly 3 times what we warranted for my final traditionally published novel–a paperback strange for teenagers expelled in 2010. The book sole for $8.99, and we warranted a 6 percent royalty. That came out to 54 cents per copy.

My chicky illuminated novels retailed for some-more and my kingship rate was somewhat higher, though we still warranted reduction than a dollar per book–hardly a elegant sum.

This lane record is because we couldn’t get my complain adult over Kindle Unlimited’s strange metric, that paid a prosaic price whenever a book was review upheld a 10 percent mark, and because we can’t move myself to dispute over a new devise to compensate authors for each page read. The $00.6 figure seems discouraging, though $1.30 for a 220-page book sounds wholly reasonable to me.

The figure becomes twice as reasonable when one factors in what Amazon’s Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count (KENPC) algorithm considers a page. The tough duplicate of my book taps out during 278 pages. The novel was formatted regulating a attention standards determined by Createspace, Amazon’s print-on-demand service. Kindle Unlimited, however, clocks it during 535 pages, that is roughly double a book’s tangible page count. Going by this metric and Hern’s severe calculation, I’m unequivocally being paid $.012 per page, or $3.12 per book. That’s 60 percent some-more than I’d get for a $2.99 sale!

This means that where a reasonable tellurian being would demeanour and see a 220-page novel, a Kindlebot looks and sees a 440-page epic value about $2.60. Oh, a ka-ching!

Obviously, everyone’s knowledge is different, and we don’t doubt that some of a snub over a new process is wholly justified. The box for a new metric penalizing cookbook writers in sold seems strong, as people typically don’t review a cookbook from commencement to end. In general, however, it strikes me as a small beforehand for writers to forgo their craft. It’s during slightest value watchful to see how a numbers indeed shake out in Aug before unresolved adult one’s laptop for good, and if my 535-KENPC book somehow turns out to be value reduction than 54 cents per copy, we will be grumbling a loudest.

* * *

Lynn Messina grew adult on Long Island and complicated English during Washington University in St. Louis. She has worked during a Museum of Television Radio (now a Paley Center for Media), TV Guide, In Style, Rolling Stone, Fitness, ForbesLife, Self, Bloomberg Markets and a horde of smashing magazines that have prolonged given disappeared. She mourns a genocide of imitation broadcasting in New York City, where she lives with her father and sons.

She is author of 7 novels, including Fashionistas, that is in growth as a underline film and has been translated into 15 languages.

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