The Ground Shifts – Authors Stumble – KDP/KU

kdp shiftThe name of the game now is to entertain, excite, and captivate the reader—for as many pages as possible – all the way to the very last page.  And that’s a good thing. 

Amazon’s new KDP / Kindle Unlimited (2.0),  is now paying out to authors based on total percentage of a given ebook’s pages being read, vs. the old system (1.0) where authors were paid for any book that got read above the 10% mark. It’s a dramatic change and, although some authors are fine with it, even thrilled that the playing field has been leveled, others, mostly those that write shorter works, are up in arms about it. Personally, I think the graphic novelists and children’s book authors (shorter books with lot’s of illustrations), are getting the short end of the stick, but I have a feeling that aspect will be adjusted by Amazon soon. It has to be.

I write fairly standard-sized novels, 280 to 350 pages. So this Amazon shift, will probably change my numbers for the better. The truth is, after only six days, I haven’t checked my KDP pages-read dashboard numbers yet.

This change, although not perfect, was necessary. Gaming the system had become rampant, where shorter books being published (on Amazon), that kept the reader interested just long enough to reach that 10% mark, were getting published at a crazy rate. Some were good, even excellent, but lots and lots of junk being published, too.

With the old KDP KU 1.0, I think the numbers came out to $1.30 per KU (book borrow). To put this in perspective, the amount being paid an author for a three hundred page book was the same to an author with a little forty-page book. With a limited amount in the pot – the Select Global Select Fund, which all KDP Select authors share / get paid from, things got out of kilter and authors were becoming  more and more frustrated. I certainly was.

So … what will become EXTREMELY important for authors who opt to stay in this program, (there’s a minimum of a 90-day commitment requirement from amazon), is to write books that will keep our readers totally engaged – all the way to the end of the book!

As a voracious reader, myself, I personally use KU sporadically. There’s so many books I’ve downloaded over the last year of so, that ended up being … well … crap. Hell, I don’t even make it to the 10% mark, not even the 2% mark! So I tend to pay up, often substantially more, for my tried and true fav Authors – the ones I know will provide a solid read … ones that I can count on to keep me interested all the way to the end of the book, like Lee Child, Michael Connolly, Joseph Finder… Now sometimes these books are offered within the Amazon KU program (rarely), and that’s great. On the other hand, sometimes I’ll spot a KU offered book that’s  brimming with 4 and 5 star reviews that I’ll take a chance on and quite often, am glad I did.

What authors do you look for – can count on as being a good bet? What do you do to increase your odds of finding a winner book – in KU or otherwise?




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