Now that it’s been six weeks since the “dreaded” Kindle Unlimited payout changes took effect, we authors have some more concrete numbers to look at and analyze. Many have done the math and instantly freaked out at the .00577 payout per page that it seems we’ll be getting for pages read during the month of July. The question is, is there a reason to pull out the pitchforks?
The answer is that it depends on your perspective.
In the months of June and July, many authors (myself included) added their titles to Kindle Unlimited. While I can’t speak for other authors, I know I took a look at what I was earning on other outlets and made the decision to gamble based on the new payout structure paying a proportionate amount based on the length of the book read. Basically, it made sense for me as a way to reach out to new readers who may not want to take a gamble on a new-to-them author.
My gamble paid off. My titles average 400 “Kindle Edition Normalized Pages” (which appears to be the number of screens on a standard Kindle device at normal font size, but don’t quote me on that). This means my average borrow paid out about $2.30, compared to approximately $1.35 per borrow in the month of June under the old system.
In the time since I enrolled my books, I have received messages from several readers who bought my backlist after reading something on Kindle Unlimited. These are sales I wouldn’t have had without the program. This is what Kindle Unlimited should be to authors. If you look at it as a revenue stream, you’re likely to be upset at some point along the line. It’s a marketing tool, meant to be used as a means to promote your books the same as you would on Facebook, Twitter, or anywhere else.
There’s a lot of talk about how this is screwing the authors. I suppose there are some who are being screwed by this change. Those who write quality novellas are paying the consequences for the shady business people who thought publishing the shortest, most outrageous book possible was a great way to make money. And it was…for a while.
Many authors originally complained about the low payout and how everyone earned the same. This was Amazon’s solution. Now, we’ll have to see who’s left standing when the dust clears. As for this author, I’m grateful to every single person who has found me through the program and will continue placing my full-length novels in Kindle Unlimited from time to time.