Kindle Unlimited’s New Payment Terms: An Writer Does The Math
When Alex Hern reported on the Guardian’s tech blog in early July that Amazon’s new pay construction for Kindle Limitless books might quantity to piumino stone island authors being paid as little as $00.6 cents per copy, it set off an barrage of grumbling. I’m a grumbler, and, as a female author who got caught in the chick lit backlash of the mid-aughts, there’s nothing I really like complaining about more than the publishing industry. Oh, the injustice! Oh, the double standard! Oh, the small-minded editors who can’t see past an arbitrary pink cover!
Seriously, I could go on for hours.
As a champion grumbler, I’ve spent months wanting to get in on the grumbling motion over the Kindle Limitless program, which from the very beginning paid authors less per e book than an precise sale. In the subscription service’s first ten months, it paid a median of roughly $1.Forty per e book, a considerable drop from the $2 dollars an writer would make on a $2.99 sale. Clearly, this was a difficulty rife with unfairness. Oh, the injustice!
To my regret, I simply couldn’t work up the indignation. As a refugee from traditional publishing, I am too in awe of the $1.Forty royalty to grumble about it. $1.40 is sort of 3 times what I earned for my final traditionally printed novel–a paperback authentic for teenagers launched in 2010. The guide bought for $eight.99, and that i earned a 6 % royalty. That came out to fifty four cents per copy.
My chick lit novels retailed for extra and my royalty price was slightly larger, however I still earned less than a dollar per guide–hardly a princely sum.
This track document is why I could not get my grumble up over Kindle Unlimited’s original metric, which paid a flat payment every time a guide was learn passed the ten percent mark, and why I can’t convey myself to gripe over its new plan to pay authors for every web page read. The $00.6 figure seems discouraging, however $1.30 for a 220-page book sounds totally cheap to me.
The determine becomes twice as cheap when one factors in what Amazon’s Kindle Edition Normalized Web page Depend (KENPC) algorithm considers a page. The onerous copy of my e book taps out at 278 pages. The novel was formatted using the business requirements established by Createspace, Amazon’s print-on-demand service. Kindle Unlimited, nonetheless, clocks it at 535 pages, which is nearly double the e-book’s precise web page rely. Going by this metric and Hern’s rough calculation, I am really being paid $.012 per page, or $3.12 per e-book. That is 60 % greater than I’d get for a $2.99 sale!
Which means that where a reasonable human being would look and see a 220-web page novel, the Kindlebot appears and sees a 440-web page epic value about $2.60. Oh, the ka-ching!
Obviously, everyone’s expertise is completely different, and I do not doubt that a few of the outrage over the new policy is fully justified. The case for the brand new metric penalizing cookbook writers specifically appears robust, as people sometimes don’t learn a cookbook from starting to finish. Generally, nonetheless, it strikes me as a little bit premature for writers to renounce their craft. It is a minimum of price ready to see how the numbers actually shake out in August earlier than hanging up one’s laptop computer for good, and if my 535-KENPC guide by some means turns out to be worth less than fifty four cents per copy, I will probably be grumbling the loudest.
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Lynn Messina grew up on Lengthy Island and studied English at Washington University in St. Louis. She has labored on the Museum of Tv & Radio (now the Paley Middle for Media), Tv Information, In Type, Rolling Stone, Fitness, ForbesLife, Self, Bloomberg Markets and a number of great magazines that have long since disappeared. She mourns the demise of print journalism in New York City, where she lives together with her husband and sons.