Carolyn Jewel wrote a very interesting article linked by Jane of DearAuthor. I particularly love the point where Carolyn Jewel forgets for a second about books and goes on a tangent about data management. 🙂
Some background to these issues. Amazon has a Kindle Unlimited service, where for a subscription fee you can read books without paying for each individual title. Of course, the writers still need to be paid, so Amazon set aside a large amount of money as an incentive to the writers who enrolled their books into KU. If your book was read past 10% mark, you were paid $1.34 no matter how long your book was.
Scribd, which used to be a pirate site, decided to compete with Amazon and basically created a slightly cheaper similar service.
The article makes a point about profitability of these services; in particular, where romance readers are concerned, because a lot of romance readers read a book a week at a bare minimum. I used to be one of those power readers. I would bring home a stack of books from the library and five days later everything was ready to go back. My kids are the same way.
To remain profitable, Amazon changed the way it pays the KU authors. Now, instead of being paid once the reader hit 10% mark, they are paid per page read. Scribd, on other hand, came out and said that romance readers are too expensive, so they will be dropping romance books from their catalog.
As a reader, I have no problem with the per page mark. I usually read about 10% before I decide to DNF the book. Gordon compared it to going to the book store, picking up a book, and reading the first chapter to see if you like it. If the book is great, you buy it so you can take it home and if not, it goes back on the shelf.
As authors, we do not participate in KU program. We’ve met with Amazon representative a while back and I can tell you that they are very big on exclusivity. We are not. It’s kind of a deal breaker for both us and Amazon.
Update: I have made more typos in this post than is humanly possible.