As of July 1st, you’ll have a whole new reason for feeling guilty about not finishing books.
Amazon has announced that they’re about to implement a new system for paying authors with books available via their Kindle Unlimited service and Kindle Lending Library. Instead of paying a flat percentage of sales or a fixed monthly fee for offering these books, Amazon plans to compensate authors by the number of pages read.
Here are some examples of how it would work if the fund was $10M and 100,000,000 total pages were read in the month: The author of a 100 page book that was borrowed and read completely 100 times would earn $1,000 ($10 million multiplied by 10,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).
The author of a 200 page book that was borrowed and read completely 100 times would earn $2,000 ($10 million multiplied by 20,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).
The author of a 200 page book that was borrowed 100 times but only read halfway through on average would earn $1,000 ($10 million multiplied by 10,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).
Sure, not a terrible system if you’ve written a trilogy of 800 page fan fiction novels, but you’re out of luck if they aren’t good enough to hook people in. Don’t think you can just increase the font-size to fifteen and add a lot of pictures either, as Amazon has developed what’s being called a Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count to determine what does and doesn’t constitute a fully read page.
To determine a book’s page count in a way that works across genres and devices, we’ve developed the Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count (KENPC). 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.
Amazon claims that this system is only being implemented because authors have been clamoring for a better way to get paid for their work, and so far this change won’t affect any of the major publishing houses, but it’s hard to imagine that Amazon won’t try and sneak this in across all of their platforms if it takes off.