Erotica authors were
impatiently waiting for July 1, for a look at the new dashboard and the opportunity for a glimpse into the Bezos crystal ball at what they might be paid for the month of July, when the Kindle Unlimited changes took place.
Looks like the numbers are (kind of) in... and the outlook is rather dismal. Erotica shorts authors knew it was going to be bad. I just don't think most of them thought it was going to be quite *this* bad. Because it looks as if authors will be making about $0.0057 per page. That's slightly more than half a penny a page, folks.
This was every erotica shorts author's face when they heard this news:
But we're erotica authors. We are the most versatile, adaptive and scrappy bunch of people I have ever known. And if Amazon thought we were going to take this lying down?
Bwahahahahahahahahahaha. Then they don't know us very well!
Introducing the #releasetherate campaign
The objective is twofold:
1. Get Amazon to tell us how many people are borrowing our books, without which our page counts are utterly useless
2. Get Amazon to tell us how much they mean to pay us - NOW. IN ADVANCE. No more of this, "Enroll your books, choose to go exclusively with Amazon, and we'll tell you later how much you'll make" crap!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
1. Won't Bezos get mad at us? We might get in trouble!
Look, if we don't stop this ride now, we may never be able to get off. And this particular ride ends at welfare-ville. So let's not go there. There are plenty of erotica authors who have made a nice living from writing. And we are satisfying a very voracious readership. Why shouldn't they have books they want to read, too? And why shouldn't we get paid for them?
2. Why don't we just go wide?
That's part of the message we need to send. If you haven't already sign up for an Excitica Publisher Account, do that now.
3. You sound mad, calm down.
Yeah, losing 50-70% of my erotica shorts income? I'm mad.
What do I have to do? SIMPLE!
A. PULL YOUR EROTICA BOOKS FROM KU. Every book you leave in is telling them YES, CONTINUE SCREWING ME OVER.
Wait, what about my romance? I need to eat! Fine, leave it in, but if you have erotica get it OUT.
B. COMMENT, LIKE, SHARE THE FOLLOWING FACEBOOK POST & TWEET:
C. EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org
Be polite, cordial, and clear. Keep it short and sweet and include the following info:
-We want to know how many individual people are actually borrowing our books
-We want to know how much you actually plan to pay us.
-If you followed through on pulling all your short fiction (I know not everyone can do it, seriously. Don't do something you can't afford, but remember you're getting paid like ten cents for a full read now anyway) mention this in the email!
D. ASK YOUR NEWSLETTER/FANS/FRIENDS/RELATIVES/PETS to email Bezos, too. The more emails they get the more likely they are to act.
Here's a form email you can give to your readers:
Hello, Mr. Bezos
I am an avid reader, and I am contacting you today on behalf of my favorite authors who participate in your Kindle Unlimited book subscription program.
Under the new reporting system, authors have no idea how many individual people are borrowing their books through KU. This is vital information and authors NEED to have it. Please amend the KDP reporting system to share this information, which you are already collecting anyway and shared up until July 1, with authors.
Also, authors have no idea how much to expect to be paid. The email they received today suggests the payout could be as low as $.0057 per page. As a reader, I want as many authors to keep as many books in the KU program as possible, and it would help if Amazon would tell authors how much they're going to be paid. It's not fair that they have to guess and hope for the best when they sign up for KU and give up the fixed royalty rates they receive outside the program.
TEXT YOU CAN USE TO SHARE WITH YOUR READERS
(and feel free to right-click and use the graphic at the top of this page).
Help Authors Spread the Word – PLEASE SHARE!
Many of you know that I've been a HUGE proponent of the Kindle Unlimited program. It's allowed me to gain a broader readership and new fans who would have never discovered me without being able to borrow my books and take a chance on them through KU.
That said, you may not be aware that Amazon made massive, sweeping changes to the KU program starting today. Beginning today, they will only be paying based on pages read, rather than books borrowed.
This change has left authors in the dark regarding royalties since Amazon isn't telling us how many readers are borrowing our books or how much we'll earn for each page read.
How can authors make good business decisions without knowing how much money they are earning? The short answer is, we can’t. And that makes many of us question whether we should remain part of the Kindle Unlimited program at all.
That’s why I’ve joined #releasetherate, an author-led initiative with a simple goal: getting Amazon to release more information to authors. We’re not asking for much. We're asking for two small pieces of data that Amazon can easily produce that will help self-published authors make informed business decisions.
1.) Number of units borrowed per book -- Amazon has this data; they have been providing it to us since the Select program began. Why withhold that number now? The only reason is to confuse authors. Give us the total number of customers who have clicked the “Read for Free” button on our book’s sales page. Or, at the very least, give us the total number of customers who have read a minimum of one page of our book.
2.) #releasetherate – Authors are aware that Amazon has a ballpark rate-per-page-read that they are expecting to pay for Select and KU pages read in July 2015. We hope it's not the .0057 cents per page based on the June 2015 Select Fund and pages read, a rate that would decimate the income of many authors and make it impossible for us to remain part of the Kindle Unlimited program.
If you’re an author or reader who feels that Amazon should #releasetherate, please help us spread the word by sharing this post.
And if you’re as angry and frustrated about the lack of information being provided to authors, as I am, please let Amazon know by sending an email to email@example.com and letting him know that withholding basic business information from authors is making many of your favorite authors wonder if Kindle Unlimited is really the right program for them after all.
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