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Amazon's New Plan to Pay Authors Every Time Someone Turns a Page

Amazon s New Plan to Pay Authors Every Time Someone Turns a Page The Atlantic


Soon, the maker of the Kindle is going to flip the formula used for reimbursing some of the authors who depend on it for sales. Instead of paying these authors by the book, Amazon will soon start paying authors based on how many pages are read—not how many pages are downloaded, but how many pages are displayed on the screen long enough to be parsed. So much for the old publishing-industry cliche that it doesn't matter how many people read your book, only how many buy it.

For the many authors who publish directly through Amazon, the new model could warp the priorities of writing: A system with per-page payouts is a system that rewards cliffhangers and mysteries across all genres. It rewards anything that keeps people hooked, even if that means putting less of an emphasis on nuance and complexity.

Currently, to pay the authors who publish through Amazon directly, the company sets aside a pool of cash each month—this month it is $3 million—and divides it among the authors. In the past, Amazon measured the number of "borrows," or downloads, and computed each author’s share of the pool accordingly. In February, one "borrow" of one of my books was worth $1.38. That's not a bad amount for a short book, but it's much less than the royalties that a big book might earn.

Stashed in: Awesome, Amazon, Monetization, Kindle!, Writing!, Jeff Bezos, Consumer Trends

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This would be REALLY cool if it works. I hope it works.

Then again, this is the endgame how Amazon completely pwns the publishing industry and becomes the only game for authors because it pushes all the publishers out of business.

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