Kindle Unlimited from the Reader's view:
Kindle Unlimited (KU) is like “Netflix” for books. If you pay a $9.99 monthly fee, you can rent and read as many books as you would like, just as long as the book you want happens to be enrolled in the program.
I love the unlimited program and I've always gotten my money's worth. Once in a while, KU doesn't have the book I want. But most often they do.
If you read a lot, KU is an easy choice. Or if you like to find what's new on the market, what's popular in your genre, and get turned on to new authors.
Kindle Unlimited from the Author's view:
In July, new changes went into effect regarding the way that authors are paid for the books they enroll in the KU program.
The way it used to work is, Amazon would count their earnings at the end of the month, and they would divvy up the money equally between all the authors. To qualify, your book had to...
- get rented
- get read at least 10% through
If your book got borrowed and even partially read, you would receive a credit for that. $1.30 is a ballpark number I've heard thrown around in the past. It could have been higher or lower of course, but you could make that amount per each "purchase" of your book. Of course the reader is getting your book for "free" by paying $10/month to Amazon.
In July, Amazon changed the way they pay out authors. The still take the total monthly earnings and divide them between all authors. But the units are different. Now authors get paid by the amount of pages read.
It's still the same money getting passed around, but the divvying up process has changed.
The change at first glance seems to benefit longer books. Because if you have more pages to sell, then you can earn more money, right?
An important point that I got from Hugh Howey is that, in this new system, longer books aren't favored. The truth is that the old system favored shorter books. Now the playing field has been somewhat leveled. With the "10% read rule", it was easier for short fiction borrows to get a piece of the pie.
I personally don't have any money in the game. I just think it's interesting. Lot's of people are upset and arguing about the changes, and that makes sense because those authors have a lot to gain and lost by it.
It seems to me that Amazon's recent change will better reward authors who write quality work. The units are "pages read", so it doesn't benefit an author just to get a reader 10% through the story. It benefits the author to write a gripping book all the way through.
Long books or short books doesn't matter. You could write six 10,000 word short stories, or one 60,000 word novel. As long as the content is great and readers are interested, those authors will be rewarded.
Once again, it seems to me that Amazon made a change to their program that ultimately benefits readers and incentivizes authors to keep writing quality material.