Tuesday, June 30, 2015

How many pages did you read?

Amazon will pay some authors based on how many pages were read.
In the new scheme, authors will be paid for each page that remains on the screen long enough to be parsed, the first time a customer reads the book.
This applies to self-published books that are routed directly from the author to Amazon to customers, rather author to publisher to Amazon....

As a wannabe writer, I don't like this.  Perhaps this means I am too insecure in the quality of books I might one day bring to market. If I sell books I should expect them to be read to the end.

Hmm. I don't expect the readers to pay less if they read less - that would be a remarkable development and one hard to argue against.  That would cost Amazon money.  Their proposal only harms the authors.

What arguments do I have against this new policy?
Privacy: the Kindle needs to record not merely my bookmarks and progress but also how long I spent per page.  Will it record what page I paused at? I don't read porn specifically but I have lingered on the sexy parts of books in the past.
One set of book I didn't linger on the sexy parts was the ASOIAF, GRR Martin's famous series full of incest and pedophilia.  Now, I'm grateful I didn't.

Amazon's greed.  Again, if Amazon is keeping money from the readers, it is not fair.  If Amazon refunds readers, then this is cool development, although I don't understand how it would work.  That is, I sometimes buy a stack of books at once - my birthday is coming and I will treat myself to five or six books and read them eventually.  How does Amazon decide how long to wait?  Do readers have to turn the book in?  Then they would expect a discount.

  Shuck at the discussion forum on Boingboing asks about re-reads:
"the first time a customer reads the book."
They're not paying for re-reads? So if a book is so terrible that no one reads more than a few pages, the author doesn't get paid, but if the book is so great/ such a useful reference that it gets read over and over the author also doesn't get paid? Sounds like a good deal for Amazon...

An interesting idea.  The pendulum swings back to established publishers as useful for authors.

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