Publishing a book isn’t what it used to be. Now with sites like Amazon, anyone can upload a few pages, tack on a cover, and become a published author.
This is both a good and bad thing (good for those writers that can’t get a publishing break, and bad for those writers that don’t deserve one), but it’s also something that Amazon wants to make simpler for people that do publish through the site.
It used to be that any author publishing through Amazon’s Kindle Direct platform was paid based on the number of times that the book was borrowed. Now, Amazon is changing that pay structure to payment based on the number of pages read. Why is Amazon making this move? The company believes that paying authors based on the number of pages read as opposed to the number of times a book is borrowed will provide better payouts for authors.
Since some books are much longer than others, paying every author the same price based on the number of times a book is borrowed isn’t fair or equal according to Amazon. So, now authors that do publish using Kindle Direct have an incentive to make books a lot longer. Since it is possible for an author to edit and change a book once it has been published (a perk of publishing through Kindle Direct), current authors publishing through this platform can add pages to a book right now and get paid more for doing so.
Amazon’s Sticky Past With Publishers
While self published authors love the ease and simplicity of Amazon, brick and mortar publishing houses don’t feel quite the same way. Not too long ago, Amazon was caught in an online war with publishing house Hachette, but that fight ended when the two companies reached an agreement. Hachette wanted more pay for its authors, and Amazon didn’t want to increase payout amounts. In the end, both companies settled on an amount that was fair for the next few years.
Amazon reps claim that the payment plan is being changed based on what current Amazon authors have asked for. Right now, Amazon uses a complex payout system to determine how much each author will make per book published, but that turns out to be very little if a book is only taken out of the e-library a few times. Now, if a book is only taken out a few times but that book has more than a few hundred pages, authors will get a bigger and better reward.
Not only is the new payment structure a good idea, it may also be a way for Amazon to entice self-published authors to create better books. If you wanted to create a short book and make a few dollars off of that book through Amazon, you can, but you could make a lot more money if you added some hundred pages to that book (provided people find your book and check it out of the virtual library).
Amazon is constantly looking for ways to make its publishing platform better for self-published authors, and while it’s not perfect it’s one of the best publishing options out there at the moment.