OMG, Amazon Changed How They Pay For Borrows, The Sky Is Falling!

The sky is falling, the sky is falling!


Amazon changed how they are paying authors for books borrowed through Kindle Unlimited. Panic is spreading, there appears to be a great gnashing of teeth, Amazon is an evil overlord out to kill the very authors it makes money from, THE WORLD IS ABOUT TO END!


At least that seems to be the general consensus out there and I’m not sure why. Authors petitioned Amazon for this change, why is there a bunch of screaming about it now that Amazon listened to them.

First of all, despite what some fear mongers are posting, this does not affect sales. Amazon is not going to start paying royalties by pages read. According to the email I got from Amazon this affects borrows ONLY.

Before, if someone borrowed a book and read 10% then the author got the amount paid out for a borrow and the amount was the same if it was a 10 page “book” or a 200,000 word tome.
Now it will be paid per page when the book is borrowed (this does not affect sales). It’s estimated that the pay out will end up being around 1 cent per page. Which is a much better deal for those of us who write longer books.
I have seen some comments from people upset because before, as long as someone read at least 10% they got paid and now a reader has to actually read the whole book. Oh. My. Gosh. What a strange and new idea. Sorry to sound snarky about this, but if you are seriously worried about getting paid less than the average dollar and change for a borrow because someone might not read your whole book, then you need to go back and reexamine your story. If you write an engaging story, the majority of people who borrow it are going to keep reading to the end. The idea isn’t to rope the reader into reading 10% of the book and the rest can be crap because hey, you’re getting paid for that borrow now anyway.
I’m pleased to see this change in Amazon because even if it ends up being half a cent per page, I will still be making more per borrow than I did under the old system. So kudos to Amazon for listening to authors and for adjusting the way they pay out for Kindle Unlimited borrows.

4 thoughts on “OMG, Amazon Changed How They Pay For Borrows, The Sky Is Falling!

  1. Actually, I understand the change was for pay problems between short stories uploaded into Kindle Unlimited and full-length novels, to keep them from getting paid the same rate. And I agree that something needed to be done.

    However, the change that has been put into place to correct this flaw in the system has not taken into consideration children’s books. Children’s books are shorter in length but take just as much time and effort to write and cost just as much to produce, probably more because of the cost of illustrations. But now, in Kindle Unlimited, those borrows of those books will not be paid as much.


    • For the authors whose bread and butter are children’s books, the best solution is to pull those books out of Select. Then they won’t be in the KU program and the payment for borrows will no longer be an issue. Hopefully since Amazon listened to the issue to begin with then with enough voices for children’s stories they will adjust their payment for borrows of them in the future.


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