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Kindle Limitless’s New Fee Terms: An Author Does The Math

When Alex Hern reported on the Guardian’s tech blog in early July that Amazon’s new pay structure for Kindle Unlimited books might quantity to authors being paid as little as $00.6 cents per copy, it set off an barrage of grumbling. I’m a grumbler, and, as a feminine author who obtained caught in the chick lit backlash of the mid-aughts, there’s nothing I love complaining about more than the publishing accessory industry. Oh, the injustice! Oh, the double normal! Oh, the small-minded editors who cannot see beyond an arbitrary pink cover!

Significantly, I may go on for hours.

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As a champion grumbler, I’ve spent discount stone island months eager to get in on the grumbling motion over the Kindle Limitless program, which from the very starting paid authors much less per e book than an precise sale. In the subscription service’s first ten months, it paid a median of approximately $1.40 per guide, a substantial drop from the $2 dollars an creator would make on a $2.Ninety nine sale. Clearly, this was a difficulty rife with unfairness. Oh, the injustice!

To my remorse, I simply could not work up the indignation. As a refugee from conventional publishing, I’m too in awe of the $1.40 royalty to grumble about it. $1.Forty is almost thrice what I earned for my final traditionally printed novel–a paperback authentic for teenagers launched in 2010. The guide bought for $eight.Ninety nine, and that i earned a 6 p.c royalty. That got here out to 54 cents per copy.

My chick lit novels retailed for more and my royalty fee was barely increased, but I still earned lower than a dollar per book–hardly a princely sum.

This monitor document is why I could not get my grumble up over Kindle Unlimited’s authentic metric, which paid a flat charge every time a ebook was read handed the ten percent mark, and why I can’t convey myself to gripe over its new plan to pay authors for each web page learn. The $00.6 determine seems discouraging, but $1.30 for a 220-page e book sounds completely cheap to me.

The figure turns into twice as affordable when one factors in discount stone island what Amazon’s Kindle Edition Normalized Web page Rely (KENPC) algorithm considers a page. The onerous copy of my e book taps out at 278 pages. The novel was formatted using the business standards established by Createspace, Amazon’s print-on-demand service. Kindle Limitless, however, clocks it at 535 pages, which is almost double the book’s precise page count. Going by this metric and Hern’s rough calculation, I am really being paid $.012 per web page, or $3.12 per ebook. That is 60 p.c greater than I might get for a $2.99 sale!

This means that the place an affordable human being would look and see a 220-page novel, the Kindlebot appears and sees a 440-page epic value about $2.60. Oh, the ka-ching!

Clearly, everyone’s expertise is totally different, and I don’t doubt that some of the outrage over the new policy is solely justified. The case for the new metric penalizing cookbook writers particularly seems robust, as individuals sometimes don’t learn a cookbook from beginning to finish. Usually, however, it strikes me as just a little premature for writers to renounce their craft. It is no less than value ready to see how the numbers really shake out in August before hanging up one’s laptop computer for good, and if my 535-KENPC e-book someway turns out to be price lower than 54 cents per copy, I will be grumbling the loudest.

* * *
Lynn Messina grew up on Long Island and studied English at Washington University in St. Louis. She has labored at the Museum of Television & Radio (now the Paley Middle for Media), Television Information, In Type, Rolling Stone, Health, ForbesLife, Self, Bloomberg Markets and a bunch of wonderful magazines which have long since disappeared. She mourns the dying of print journalism in New York Metropolis, where she lives with her husband and sons.

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