Remember learning back in high school that authors like Charles Dickens would publish their books by installments, depending on popular magazines to continue featuring their stories and paying them for it only if readers were satisfied? (That’s why his chapters always ended with those dramatic cliffhangers, the more you know).
Well it would appear that history really does repeat itself, because Amazon has announced that they will start paying self-published authors on Kindle per page read by the reader, rather than per book download.
They?ll be factoring in the fact that font sizes, margins, and other details vary from book to book when measuring page count. They’re calling this formulaic unit of measurement the Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count, or the KENPC. Illustrations, graphs, and charts count as pages, though.
So how do the authors feel about this? Some are predictably upset, but the new system actually developed out of authors’ requests for increased monetary reward and recognition for books of longer length.
This new payment method only applies to free books in the Kindle Lending Library or the Kindle Unlimited section, so the readers’ billing methods will stay unaffected.
Some argue, however, that this change will affect readers in a different way: Up-and-coming authors are now being encouraged to write cliffhangers and page-turners, which may turn focus away from other things that attract bibliophiles like character complexity and narrative nuances.
So will this new method satisfy Kindle readers and authors alike? Only time will tell.