Kindle Unlimited

Amazon launches new plan to pay some authors based on number of pages read

Self-published authors who make their works available through Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited or Kindle Owners Lending Library, will now be paid per page read and not per copy downloaded as they were previously paid. Amazon unveiled a new policy which started in July.

“We’re making this switch in response to the great feedback we received from authors,” Amazon said on its self-publishing portal.

How Will It Impact Independent Authors?

The way Amazon determines the payments for self-published authors is complex. Payout made to every independent author is based on a fund, the size of which is set by the company.

But, this new plan will enable authors to get a share of the fund directly proportionate to the number of pages read.

According to Amazon, nearly 1.9 billion pages have been read last month by its customers and it is expected to make a payment of around $11 million per month for June, July and August.

Currently, the independent authors get paid $1.30 if a book is downloaded, but if we go by the new rule, it means an author has to write a book of around 220 pages to reach $1.30 at a rate of $0.006 per page read. It must be noted, that it is only possible if every page is read by every person downloading the book. Needless to say, it’s not going to be that easy.

On the one hand, this opens up a higher-earning potential for those authors of longer books. But, on the other hand, this means that the authors of shorter works have to work much harder than before to earn a living.

Reaction from Authors and Publishers

This new move by Amazon has raised some eyebrows from several independent authors and publishers. It has led to the argument that the new policy is the company’s intention to cut down the income of authors of the shorter books in an effort to alter the composition of the library.

“By placing the emphasis on length of a book rather than the quality of book, Amazon is shutting out more than just erotica authors. Nonfiction authors and especially children’s book authors – whose works tend toward the shorter side – are also going to be hard hit by this change.

“The author of a cookbook used to receive a flat fee anytime someone borrowed one of their books. Now, they will receive a pittance unless the reader scrolls all the way through to the end of their book. And even then, they might not make much unless their book is long. And who reads cookbooks beginning to end?” said Casey Lucas, an editor who works with self-publishing authors to The Guardian.

So what do you think about Amazon’s recent move? Please share your comments below.

Scroll to Top