Kindle Limitless’s New Payment Phrases: An Author Does The Math
When Alex Hern reported on the Guardian’s tech weblog in early July that Amazon’s new pay construction for Kindle Limitless books might quantity to 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 like complaining about greater than the publishing industry. Oh, the injustice! Oh, the double customary! Oh, the small-minded editors who can’t see beyond an arbitrary pink cover!
Severely, I could go on for hours.
As a stone island sky blue jacket champion grumbler, I’ve spent months eager to get in on the grumbling action over the Kindle Unlimited program, which from the very starting paid authors much less per e-book than an precise sale. Within the subscription service’s first ten months, it paid a mean of roughly $1.Forty per book, a considerable drop from the $2 dollars an creator would make on a $2.99 sale. Clearly, this was a difficulty rife with unfairness. Oh, the injustice!
To my regret, I simply could not work up the indignation. As a refugee from traditional publishing, I’m too in awe of the $1.Forty royalty to grumble about it. $1.Forty is almost three times what I earned for my final historically published novel–a paperback authentic for teenagers released in 2010. The book sold for $eight.Ninety nine, and that i earned a 6 p.c royalty. That came out to 54 cents per copy.
My chick lit novels retailed for extra and my royalty fee was barely increased, however I nonetheless earned less than a dollar per e-book–hardly a princely sum.
This track record is why I could not get my grumble up over Kindle Limitless’s authentic metric, which paid a flat charge at any time when stone island sky blue jacket a e-book was learn handed the ten % mark, and why I can’t bring myself to gripe over its new plan to pay authors for each page learn. The $00.6 determine appears discouraging, however $1.30 for a 220-page e book sounds completely affordable to me.
The determine becomes twice as affordable when one components in what Amazon’s Kindle Edition Normalized Page Rely (KENPC) algorithm considers a page. The exhausting copy of my e-book taps out at 278 pages. The novel was formatted using the business standards established by Createspace, Amazon’s print-on-demand service. Kindle Unlimited, nevertheless, clocks it at 535 pages, which is almost double the e book’s precise page rely. Going by this metric and Hern’s rough calculation, I am actually being paid $.012 per web page, or $3.12 per e book. That’s 60 p.c more than I would get for a $2.Ninety nine sale!
Which means the place a reasonable human being would look and see a 220-web page novel, the Kindlebot looks and sees a 440-web page epic value about $2.60. Oh, the ka-ching!
Obviously, everyone’s experience is totally different, and I don’t doubt that some of the outrage over the brand new policy is completely justified. The case for the brand new metric penalizing cookbook writers particularly appears sturdy, as folks typically don’t read a cookbook from starting to end. Typically, nevertheless, it strikes me as somewhat premature for writers to renounce their craft. It is no less than price ready to see how the numbers actually shake out in August before hanging up one’s laptop computer for good, and if my 535-KENPC e-book in some way seems to be worth less than 54 cents per copy, I will likely 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 worked on the Museum of Television & Radio (now the Paley Heart for Media), Television Information, In Type, Rolling Stone, Fitness, ForbesLife, Self, Bloomberg Markets and a bunch of fantastic magazines that have lengthy since disappeared. She mourns the dying of print journalism in New York City, where she lives along with her husband and sons.