Thoughts on the New KU Payout Structure

I’m sure everyone’s heard about the new KU payouts for authors, starting next month. If you haven’t, they’re going to start paying on number of pages read, not passing 10%. Some people think it’s a positive step, others see it as negative. I suppose that depends on the length of the books they have in the programme.

But, let’s not forget that Amazon’s ultimate aim is to benefit Amazon. They need to make money.

The thing is, when you have an all-you-can-eat subscription service, you don’t care about finishing books. You might read beyond the ten per cent, because that’s only 30 pages in a 300 page book. But if you decide you don’t like the book and you’re a quarter of the way through, or half way, you can just give up on it and try something else. It doesn’t cost you any more.

Amazon already knows how many books are abandoned, and exactly where.

I imagine there will be a significant number of authors who are shocked by how many people abandon their books a long way from the end and how little money they will now make.

Is it fair? Yes, and no. It is fair that if you have a great book that people can’t put down, that you are properly compensated for that. But, if someone bought the individual book, you’d get paid for the complete book, even if it was abandoned.

This is the digital age, and things change every day. Everyone who wants to be a success in KU is going to have to start writing page-turners. I wonder how long it will be before the other subscription services decide to do something similar.


2 thoughts on “Thoughts on the New KU Payout Structure

  1. This is kind of a confusing issue and you’ve provided one of the easier to understand explanations I’ve read.

    It’s hard to say but I feel like the 10 percent option would be better. A reader borrows a book, flips around through it out of curiosity, in doing so there’s a high likelihood that flipping will reach 10 percent.

    Meanwhile, while reading halfway through a book only to give up, abandon it, get distracted by life etc happens all the time, I feel like the mildly curious flip through the book I’m sort of interested happens more.

    • I agree, it is confusing and we’ll only really know the pros and cons once it’s been in operation for a few months. The trouble with the ‘mildly flip through the book’ scenario is that Amazon ends up paying out for that when someone is in KU, when the person might not have bothered if they had to buy the book. There has to come a point when they say this is the maximum percentage of the KU subscription amount they can afford to pay out and, perhaps, this is one way to solve that problem and still pay something to writers whose books are abandoned. Thanks for you comment.

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