Poll

Would this get rid of scammers?

Yes because they would lose money from click-farm
2 (7.7%)
No
24 (92.3%)

Total Members Voted: 26

Author Topic: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....  (Read 2084 times)  

Offline VEVO

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Just brainstorming this idea. 


Paying Subscriber A pays $10 in June.
Paying Subscriber A read 2000 pages in June.
Payout is 80%.  Each page would be $8 / 2000 pages = $0.004 per page

Authors whose books this subscriber A read would be paid at $0.004 per page for that book.


Paying Subscriber B pays $10 in June
Paying Subscriber B read 1000 pages in June
Payout is 80%.  Each page would be $8 / 1000 pages = $0.008 per page

Authors whose books this subscriber B read would be paid at $0.008 per page for that book.


Using an author with the book "Brainstorming" as an example.  300 pages was read by Subscriber A and 200 pages was read by Subscriber B.
This author KU payout would be 300 x $0.004 + 200 x $0.008. 


Benefit to Amazon for doing this:


1) Scammers would be gone:  No scammer would pay $10 for an account and only getting back $8 from it.  Each account they create would cost them $2.  For example, scammer pay $10 to create an account to click on their 30,000 pages.   Each page will be paid at $8 / 30,000 = $0.0012.  The scammer would get back only $8.  So a loss of $2 for click farm. 


2) Amazon would have 20% margin (take in $10 and pay out $8). 




I wouldn't be surprised if Amazon does this in the near future to combat clickfarm on KU.  Amazon can never win in a game of whack-a-mole with KU clickfarmers, especially since a $10 account (or free account) could generate a huge return by fake clicking page reads.  The only way to prevent scammers is to make so it wouldn't do it in the first place.  No scammer would be stupid enough to make a $10 account in order to get back only $8. 


p.s.  This is under the premise that the 1 month free trial does not payout. 

« Last Edit: June 16, 2017, 06:20:29 AM by VEVO »
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Online Amanda M. Lee

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Scammers are always going to find a way. All they have to do is secure thousands of credit cards (which they already do) and then use each credit card to read one book in KU and then not pay the balance on the credit card. Then the scammers will actually be getting more under your scenario.
Even ignoring that, though, you're not taking into account the super readers who probably read two books a day and 1,000 pages a day. These are legitimate readers. Then the authors will be getting paid nothing, which will make them leave KU, which will make KU a failure.
Amazon doesn't care about making money with KU. They want to use it as a funnel for people to buy other things. If all of the authors people want to read leave the program then readers won't use the program and won't go on to buy televisions or whatnot.
How does that work in any feasible way from Amazon's perspective?

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Offline VEVO

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Edward wrote about how economic is broken with KU but not with a sales. 

KU eliminates the pricing mechanism that makes economics work. The bot costs $9.99 a month, and earns $0.004 every time it 'reads' a page. So it can trivially generate far more income than it costs.

Giving scammers the ability to print money is not something that can be fixed. KU is broken by design, as anyone could have told Amazon before they created it.

You can't do the same by having bots buy your books, because Amazon takes a 30% cut.
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Online RBN

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Scammer A creates 100,000 KU subscriptions with stolen credit card numbers, has 100,000 bots "read" 1 page for $10 per page, costs him nothing, and he makes $1 million in about 20 seconds.

You don't stop scams with cutesie payment schemes. Scammers looooooooove those. You stop scammers by paying human beings to know what's going on and shut down violating publishers and subscribers, every single day.

The rate-per-reader idea screws genres with voracious readers who are most likely to find $10 fiscally attractive. A romance reader going through only 3 books a week is reading more like 6,000 pages a month. Those authors would get $0.0017 per page. KU would be empty of romance in 90 days or less because we won't stand for being penalized for reader behavior. Finding nothing to read, KU subscribers would bail. Mass exodus looks really bad on status reports, and nobody at Amazon is going to want to hang for that one.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2017, 06:38:33 AM by RBN »

Offline VEVO

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Scammers are always going to find a way. All they have to do is secure thousands of credit cards (which they already do) and then use each credit card to read one book in KU and then not pay the balance on the credit card. Then the scammers will actually be getting more under your scenario.
Even ignoring that, though, you're not taking into account the super readers who probably read two books a day and 1,000 pages a day. These are legitimate readers. Then the authors will be getting paid nothing, which will make them leave KU, which will make KU a failure.
Amazon doesn't care about making money with KU. They want to use it as a funnel for people to buy other things. If all of the authors people want to read leave the program then readers won't use the program and won't go on to buy televisions or whatnot.
How does that work in any feasible way from Amazon's perspective?

There are super readers but there are also subscribers who read a lot less.

Avid readers paying rate might be $0.001
Typical reader paying rate might be $0.005
Subscriber but don't read a lot the paying rate might be $0.009

It will even out. 

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Online Amanda M. Lee

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There are super readers but there are also subscribers who read a lot less.

Avid readers paying rate might be $0.001
Typical reader paying rate might be $0.005
Subscriber but don't read a lot the paying rate might be $0.009

It will even out.
No, it won't.

Amanda M. Lee

Offline VEVO

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Scammer A creates 100,000 KU subscriptions with stolen credit card numbers, has 100,000 bots "read" 1 page for $10 per page, costs him nothing, and he makes $1 million in about 20 seconds.

You don't stop scams with cutesie payment schemes. Scammers looooooooove those. You stop scammers by paying human beings to know what's going on and shut down violating publishers and subscribers, every single day.

The rate-per-reader idea screws genres with voracious readers who are most likely to find $10 fiscally attractive. A romance reader going through only 3 books a week is reading more like 6,000 pages a month. Those authors would get $0.0017 per page. KU would be empty of romance in 90 days or less because we're not taking that garbage. Finding nothing to read, KU subscribers would bail. Mass exodus looks really bad on status reports, and nobody at Amazon is going to want to hang for that one.


If a scammer have access to 100,000 stolen credit card that can be used...why would they scam KU that don't pay out until 2 months later?  A lot can happen in 2 months...for example, victims of these stolen credit cards will contact Amazon....

This scammer would use this 100,000 stolen credit cards and buy gift cards instead.  The gift cards can be used right away.   



Kindle Unlimited probably has around 4-5 million paying subscribers. There are some voracious readers but they are a tiny minority.   The majority of KU readers read maybe 4-6 books a month.   

As for "genres with voracious readers" that's basically all the popular genres (romance, thriller/mystery, sci fi, fantasy).

The 4 major fiction genres will have some voracious readers that read 1 book a day.  But they are in the tiny minority among the 4-5 million paying KU subscribers.

IT WILL EVEN OUT.   
« Last Edit: June 16, 2017, 06:51:12 AM by VEVO »
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Online RBN

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It will even out.

Like paying everybody the same page rate already does?

Online Amanda M. Lee

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If a scammer have access to 100,000 stolen credit card that can be used...why would they scam KU that don't pay out until 2 months later?  A lot can happen in 2 months...for example, victims of these stolen credit cards will contact Amazon....

This scammer would use this 100,000 stolen credit cards and buy gift cards instead.  It can be used right away.   
Yes, and the gift cards can be used toward KU and then the scammers can double dip. The scammers already have access to thousands of credit cards. That's how they're running the bot farms. All they have to do is get more -- and now read less -- and they'll be making even more money. They simply won't pay the balance on the credit cards. Since the credit cards will probably only have a ten dollar charge, the companies are less likely to go after those credit cards.

Amanda M. Lee

Offline brkingsolver

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From what I understand, the majority of the click farms are using stolen credit cards to set up 30-day free introductory KU accounts. They don't renew, then use another set of cards to create new free accounts. Or, as Amanda says, they don't pay on the stolen cards. And for anyone who isn't paying attention, the cards might get paid by the real owner. The scammers are never paying Amazon for anything. Screwing with the payments only hurts real authors.

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Offline Bards and Sages (Julie)

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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2017, 06:51:19 AM »

If a scammer have access to 100,000 stolen credit card that can be used...why would they scam KU that don't pay out until 2 months later?  A lot can happen in 2 months...for example, victims of these stolen credit cards will contact Amazon....

This scammer would use this 100,000 stolen credit cards and buy gift cards instead.  It can be used right away.   

A few things:
You can't buy gift cards with credit cards anymore. Not in large quantities, anyway. Most places now limit the number of gift cards you can buy with a credit card or require photo ID over a certain amount.

The scammers have layers of fake accounts between them and Amazon. The publisher account won't be linked to the credit card account. EVER. So even if the fake credit card account is snagged, it won't generally tie back to the publisher.

There is next to no communication between different parts of Amazon. So even if Amazon's fraud investigation department realized there were 100 fake accounts and closed them all down, that information won't get relayed to the KU people responsible for handling publisher payouts.

The scammers don't just read their own books (just like the paid book reviewers don't just review paid books.) They pad their accounts by also "reading" legitimate books to hide their activities. This makes it next to impossible for Amazon to know which publishers are involved and which aren't unless they actually have real people, not algorithms do the work.

Amazon will not pay to have real people do the work, because the entirety of the system is set up on the economic model of self-service. The more actual people that have to be involved, the less the economic model works.

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Offline VEVO

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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2017, 06:53:11 AM »
1 month free trial does not payout anything to authors. 

scammers can create 1 million account and click 1 billion pages on the free trial, the payout will still be $0.



It costs the scammers $10 for the account.
But Amazon only pay $8.

Scammer lose $2 since Amazon takes 20% cut. 



Look at how scammers don't buy ebooks as a scam because Amazon takes 30% cut. 


It is not worth it for a scammer to use a stolen credit card, pay $10 on that stolen credit for KU, in order to get back $8 two months later after bots clicking their scammed books.

That scammer have many more profitable ways to use that stolen credit. 
« Last Edit: June 16, 2017, 06:57:33 AM by VEVO »
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Offline Bards and Sages (Julie)

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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2017, 06:55:54 AM »
And for anyone who isn't paying attention, the cards might get paid by the real owner.

This is becoming a really big scam opportunity because so many people DON'T pay attention to small charges. I reconcile all of my accounts down to the penny, but the number of people who don't even reconcile their accounts and just call to check their balances is frightening. I have a friend who for MONTHS paid a $6.99 charge on his phone bill because he didn't know what it was and ASSUMED IT WAS SOMETHING HE BOUGHT and forgot about because he used his phone to buy stuff all the time. You can throw a recurring charge of $3 on a person's credit card and their is a high probability 50% of the victims won't even notice for months.

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Offline Bards and Sages (Julie)

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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2017, 06:56:57 AM »
1 month free trial does not payout. 

Who told you this? This is not remotely true.

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Online Amanda M. Lee

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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2017, 06:57:24 AM »
1 month free trial does not payout. 

scammers can create 1 million account and click 1 billion pages, the payout will still be $0.



It costs the scammers $10 for the account.
But Amazon only pay $8.

Scammer lose $2 since Amazon takes 20% cut. 



Look at how scammers don't buy ebooks as a scam because Amazon takes 30% cut.
And what happens when they buy an account, click one page, and never pay out on the credit card? How are they losing money on that?

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Offline brkingsolver

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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2017, 06:58:23 AM »
1 month free trial does not payout. 

If this policy is implemented, then Amazon at that point has no authors enrolled in KU. Problem solved.

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Offline VEVO

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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2017, 07:01:16 AM »
Who told you this? This is not remotely true.

If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....

then the free trial payout would be $0.


Right now, Amazon does pay for the free trial and scammers are taking advantages of it.

$0 cost of the free trial
many $$$ for bots clicking on KU

= profits
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Online Amanda M. Lee

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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2017, 07:05:29 AM »
If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....

then the free trial payout would be $0.


Right now, Amazon does pay for the free trial and scammers are taking advantages of it.

$0 cost of the free trial
many $$$ for bots clicking on KU

= profits
So you think authors are going to just sit around and not get paid? I'm confused why you're clinging to this idea when it would actually allow scammers to claim more money, not less.

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Offline VEVO

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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2017, 07:08:26 AM »
Like paying everybody the same page rate already does?

What I mean by "IT WILL EVEN OUT" is that

There are 4-5 million paying KU subscribers.

Some will read a lot, so their individual payout rate is low.  ($0.001)
Many will read an average amount, so their individual payout rate is medium.  ($0.005)
Some will read not a lot, so their individual payout rate will be high. ($0.009)

Your average payout rate will be near the middle.


This is true for all the 4 major genres.  Romance, Thriller/Mystery, Sci Fi, Fantasy. 
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Online Amanda M. Lee

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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2017, 07:09:24 AM »
What I mean by "IT WILL EVEN OUT" is that

There are 4-5 million paying KU subscribers.

Some will read a lot, so their individual payout rate is low.  ($0.001)
Many will read an average amount, so their individual payout rate is medium.  ($0.005)
Some will read not a lot, so their individual payout rate will be high. ($0.009)

Your average payout rate will be near the middle.
Where are you getting your KU subscriber numbers? To my knowledge, Amazon has never released that figure.

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Offline Bill Hiatt

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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #20 on: June 16, 2017, 07:10:02 AM »
If this policy is implemented, then Amazon at that point has no authors enrolled in KU. Problem solved.
I have to agree. Losing the payout on free accounts potentially hurts every legitimate author. Since no one knows how many of his or her pages read come from free accounts, it is hard to estimate how much the impact will be, but I would guess it will be substantial.


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Offline VEVO

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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2017, 07:10:33 AM »
So you think authors are going to just sit around and not get paid? I'm confused why you're clinging to this idea when it would actually allow scammers to claim more money, not less.

How would scammers get more money when it cost them $10 to sign up for 1 month of KU but they can only get back $8?

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Offline VEVO

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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #22 on: June 16, 2017, 07:13:39 AM »
Where are you getting your KU subscriber numbers? To my knowledge, Amazon has never released that figure.

Just an educated guess basing on how much KU is paying out. 

KU payout + All-Star will be around $230 million.
Other publishers/Amazon imprints will be around $230 million.

So the total payout will be around $460 million.

4 million subscribers at $10 a month x 12 months = $480 million.
5 million subscribers at $10 a month x 12 months = $600 million.

So with the payout in 2017 of $460 million too all publishers, their revenue would be around there / a little higher. 
« Last Edit: June 16, 2017, 07:15:34 AM by VEVO »
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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #23 on: June 16, 2017, 07:16:33 AM »
How would scammers get more money when it cost them $10 to sign up for 1 month of KU but they can only get back $8?
Because they will buy KU accounts with credit cards they never pay off. So, they will charge $10 to a credit card, buy an account, read one page and get $8 for that one page. Then they will not pay off the credit card. They're not out money. They're up $8 and with less work.

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Offline VEVO

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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #24 on: June 16, 2017, 07:24:01 AM »
I have to agree. Losing the payout on free accounts potentially hurts every legitimate author. Since no one knows how many of his or her pages read come from free accounts, it is hard to estimate how much the impact will be, but I would guess it will be substantial.

It sucks to not earn anything on the free accounts. 

But if free accounts have payout like a paid account, then it would defeat the whole purpose of this.  Scammers can just create free accounts and use bots. 

Maybe Amazon can put in place a policy where a free trial that lead to 4 months paying subscription, the pages in which the free trial read would be paid out.  Just 4 months late. 

So authors would get paid for the free trial if the free trial = paying subscriber.   

Scammers wouldn't be paying $10 a month for 4 months while the maximum they can take in is only $32.  A loss of $8. 


 
« Last Edit: June 16, 2017, 07:26:02 AM by VEVO »
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