Kindle Unlimited and New Royalty System – Good or Bad

There has been a lot of grumbling on the self-publishing loops lately about Amazon’s newest change with the Kindle Unlimited royalties. However, I can’t understand why the change was a bad thing. Here’s how I see it:

-Some writers were gaming the system. They’d write several short stories or novellas in the same time it took other authors to write a novel, but the short story writer would get paid more because he/she had more “books” in the Kindle Unlimited catalogue.

-Indie authors are still fighting the stigma that comes with self-publishing because not everyone hires a developmental editor (like me) or a copy editor, which means readers are disappointed in the read and equate indie published books with poor quality books. That doesn’t have to be the case. And Amazon is putting a stop to it, at least in this particular catalogue. This change won’t affect books SOLD on Amazon, only the books in the Kindle Unlimited portion of the site.

-With this new system, authors will only get paid for the pages read. Why is that a bad thing? If you produce quality books, readers will read every page. Isn’t that the goal? For readers to read our books—and more than the 10% requirement that was used in the old system? The new system will no longer reward authors who don’t publish quality material. In fact, they’ll be discouraged because most readers won’t read very far before deleting the book from their Kindle library and the author won’t receive much for royalties.

Author Ciara Ballintyne goes into more details on her blog. Check it out.

Change can be hard, but I think Amazon is trying to do the right thing here.

My next available editing slot is August 31. If you need a developmental editor, I’m your gal.

If you’re planning on entering Pitch Wars, Brenda Drake’s annual contest, I’m a PW mentor, so keep watching my posts for deets. Who knows, I may end up mentoring you!

Lynnette Labelle
2015 Daphne du Maurier Finalist

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2 Responses to Kindle Unlimited and New Royalty System – Good or Bad

  1. Graeme Ing says:

    I think the change is a great thing. I have read a lot of books that really sag in the middle (and believe me I know how hard it is to keep the pace up all the way through. People may well have leveled that complaint about my books too). I hate giving up a book before the end, but alas I find myself doing it more and more. But readers are the only thing that matters. All our work is for their benefit. We owe them our best attempt. If this makes us work harder then it’s a win-win for everyone.

  2. Lynnette Labelle says:


    When the reader is happy, the author is happy.

    Lynnette Labelle
    2015 Daphne du Maurier Finalist

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