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.006 per page read?


Fiery Keeper of the Hat
I think people are forgetting something about this. This is for the lending system. The reader who ends up borrowing your book could then buy it, and you would get paid twice.

That said, unless I'm understanding it wrong, it looks like you get paid per page read, with the full value of the book coming if they read the entire book. I would feel more comfortable if you were paid per page until maybe the 50% mark, and then received the full value. To me that sounds like it would better reflect people's reading habits.
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Myth Weaver
I think an important point is that, in my understanding, Kindle Unlimited still pays the same total amount to the participants - only the method for deciding who gets what has changed.

The old way made writing shorts arguably more profitable than novels. To me (as a novelist ; ) ), the new way seems more fair.


The old system paid out exactly the same flat fee to every book borrowed, regardless of whether it was a 20 page short story, a 600-page epic fantasy, an illustrated children's book or a cookbook. Naturally, authors of longer novels found it unprofitable, and the pool of books available for borrowing became stuffed with short stories. There was also a huge influx of non-fiction scammers who scraped information from the internet and packaged it up into 20 page parcels to take advantage of the generous payout. That system was unsustainable.

The new system rewards authors who provide content that keeps readers turning the pages, and yes, authors of longer works will benefit. I'm already seeing a big uptick in revenue as a result. The exact payment per page won't be known until August, but the estimated half cent (or thereabouts) isn't quite as stingy as it sounds, since Amazon's estimates of book lengths is quite high. My longest book, for instance, which is 560 pages in paperback (220K words) is 1200+ pages for the purposes of the new system.

So this is a good scheme for authors of standard length novels, or longer. And just to be clear, because there's been a lot of misinformation bandied about, it only applies to books which are part of Amazon's KDP Select program, which is entirely voluntary, and only for books which are borrowed. Authors still get a full royalty, set by themselves, when a book is purchased.
I would feel more comfortable if you were paid per page until maybe the 50% mark, and then received the full value. To me that sounds like it would better reflect people's reading habits.

Unfortunately, my understanding is that people were finding ways to game systems like this. (For instance, padding the front of the book with non-relevant start matter - tables of contents, other material - so that you had to flick through to the payment point in order to actually start reading.)

Rachel Aaron/Bach wrote a good blog post dissecting how the old system was broken and how the new system looks better.


While I know there has always been a difference, this amount per page makes me simply sad. Many markets have paid .03 or .05 cents a word...and I would hate to tell you what my wife gets for writing non-fiction.


Felis amatus
3 to 5 cents a word is to acquire rights in a work. It's not a royalty paid out for sales, as here. If Amazon paid 5 cents a word everyone some purchased your 100k word novel, they'd be paying you $5000 per sale. Yeah, nice but not going to happen :)


Absolutely, but how many self pub people return a net profit on every novel of say $5000?

And in non-fiction work there are plenty of people making a buck a word or more.

Strange business this fiction writing.
This isn't even a royalty for sales. It's a lending royalty, so it's a little more like public/education lending rights (or whatever the equivalent is in non-Australian places -- and except that you have to be exclusive to the program to participate). As noted above, you earn sales royalties on top of this payment if someone who borrows your book then buys it. (I'm a borrower-before-buyer, though admittedly with hard copy libraries and sales. I don't know if the electronic format reduces the likelihood of that repeat earn.)

Not to get repetitive, but Rachel Aaron/Bach's made another post on the updated info from the program, which might be of interest: Let's Talk Numbers.

For the novelists among us the system is fairer. For example many of my novels are say 500 pages long in kindle. Which means I get under this system $3 a borrow provided the read the book in its entirity. Under the old system I would have got around $1.30 to $1.50 per borrow - as would those who pubbed short stories under KU. So this new system gives me the potential to earn more - even more than I would on a sale of a $3.99 book which is my standard price.

For those who write short stories, yes the incentives have decreased to go in KU, but they're still pretty good. Yes a 50 page story may only earn them 30c, but they can make up for that by writing and publishing more of them.

And by the way, staring at your graphs of sales and watching all those numbers burn up into the thousands every day is quite a lot more fun than before!

What I'm hoping for is that Amazon will take the system further and start providing more stats. Say a hundred people borrow your book, what's the average percentage of the book that they read? That would be interesting.

Cheers, Greg.


I worked out the crossover point. I saw a figure of $1.35 per book under the old system, and for that the crossover point is about 234 pages - if your book is longer than that, and signed up to the lending programme, you'll get more for a book read cover to cover than previously. And if indeed the way they count pages is quite generous, then really that's a short novel, maybe even a long novella.