Erotica Readers & Writers Association Blog

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Release the Rate!

By Lisabet Sarai




You’ve probably heard by now that Amazon has revised its payment system for authors in the Kindle Unlimited program. The new rules are vague, but the basic criterion for author payment is now the number of pages read, rather than the number of books borrowed or bought read and at least 10% consumed.

This change will dramatically reduce many erotica authors’ income. Amazon hasn’t actually released specific figures (more on this below) but based on the information that is available, award-winning author and ground-breaking publisher Selena Kitt has calculated that authors will be paid about half a penny per page.

Previous rates were based on percentage of the book read, not pages. So an author who published wildly popular short fiction had a chance to make as much as a less popular author who produced lengthy tomes. Under the new scheme, this is not longer true. The change tends to disproportionately hurt erotica authors because many of the sexy books out there tend toward the short side. (Keep the heat raised for too long and your readers might collapse!)

In response to this modification in terms, a group of erotica authors has launched a campaign called #releasetherate. You can read about it in detail at Selena's blog. Basically, KU authors are encouraged to write to Jeff Bezos, asking two perfectly reasonable questions:

1. How many people are downloading our books?
2. How much are you paying us per page?

No business owner can be expected to survive without data on sales volume and market pricing. Yet Amazon is now withholding this information.

All we're asking is a bit of transparency. (And maybe a bit of respect...)

This campaign can succeed only if both authors and readers step up to challenge Amazon’s secretive policies.

Selena’s post includes sample text for letters to Amazon, for authors and for readers, as well as suggested Facebook and Twitter posts to share info about the campaign.

If you want erotic stories to be distributed via the KU program...if you believe that the quality of a reading experience should not be measured in pages...take action!



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