Why the new pay-per-page Amazon system means more money for me

June 25, 2015

Why the new pay-per-page Amazon system means more money for me

The two prerequisites for this post are:
1. The pay-per-page system applies only to the Kindle Unlimited & KDP Select Global Fund (to date 3 million dollars per month). This is a subscription program that applies to borrowed books.
2. Me = any writer who’s feedback from readers is that his/her books are page-turners.
The “marriage” of a writer with the Amazon store is simple:
1. A writer asks Amazon to sell his/her books.
2. Amazon sells the book in any way they think best.
3. Everybody gets paid.

The Good

The entire pay-per-page drama is about the fact that Amazon sells your books also by page and pays more for this than what you get paid for the normal sale of a book. You get paid this money from a special project that Amazon created, a special fund. Your books sell in the normal online store just the same as before.
What happened until this change was that every time a book was borrowed by an Amazon Prime member you got a cut from this fund. If you had more books (usually splitting a normal book in a trilogy) you got more money. Quantity was king.
What changed is that now you get paid for quality. You get paid if your readers decide that what you write is good and worth reading. If the 100,000 page novella you wrote and split in two or three books is crap, you get nothing. If my reader gets “pulled” in the alternative universe I create in my book and read it until the last pages, I get paid. And this is a good thing. If you don’t like it don’t opt-in in the first place or opt out. Is this simple!

[Tweet “If my reader gets “pulled” in the alternative universe I create in my book, I get paid”]

The Bad

You have to write for your readers if you want to make money from the KDP Select Global Fund. You will have to work harder in listening to your readers. Or you can just write what you like and see what happens.
Most of the articles published on this subject present an apocalyptic view on the future of books selling if Amazon decides to apply the same system to the entire online bookstore. If this happens it will be messy for writers in general.
One solution is to understand that a book can get to a Kindle without going through the Amazon store (that’s a story for another article).

The Ugly

Most writers still give all their creative power cheap or free to publishing companies or online store. It’s like having one of the most powerful engines of human civilizations used to make few people rich and have them focused on holding everybody back.
There are solutions for this too. One is to support companies that do more on providing writers and readers with a much better experiences like Kobo.