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 2362 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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Offline 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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Offline 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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Offline 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.

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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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Offline RBN

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It will even out.

Like paying everybody the same page rate already does?

Offline 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.

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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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Offline 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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Offline 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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Offline 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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Offline Amanda M. Lee

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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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Offline Amanda M. Lee

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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #25 on: June 16, 2017, 07:28:34 AM »
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. 


 
Except that's not how the bot farms work. They don't pay off the credit cards so they're not out anything.

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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 #26 on: June 16, 2017, 07:30:58 AM »
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.

If they buy $10 KU account on a credit card, then Amazon would get $10.  Amazon has been paid. 

The credit card company will charge them $10 for this purchase.

If they don't pay off the $10 charge on their credit card, then they owe the credit card company $10.



------------------------------------

If this is possible, why don't scammers do it for $9.99 EBOOK?

Because they will buy $9.99 EBOOK with credit cards they never pay off. So, they will charge $10 to a credit card, buy the ebook, get 70% for that ebook purchase. Then they will not pay off the credit card. They're not out money. They're up $7 and with less work.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2017, 07:44:36 AM by VEVO »
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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #27 on: June 16, 2017, 07:36:01 AM »
Except that's not how the bot farms work. They don't pay off the credit cards so they're not out anything.

Then they can just scam EBOOK SALES. Much easier.  Why bot farms KU when they can

Put up 20 ebooks at $9.99 each

Buy those 20 ebooks with credit card.

Get 70% royalties from these.  20 ebooks x $9.99 x 70% royalties = $139

Never pay off the credit card.

« Last Edit: June 16, 2017, 07:46:56 AM by VEVO »
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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #28 on: June 16, 2017, 07:38:40 AM »
Edward M. Grant wrote why scammers target KU but not Ebook 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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Offline LilyBLily

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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #29 on: June 16, 2017, 07:50:42 AM »
This is a confusing thread, but I know for sure that were Amazon to implement something that paid me, a romance author, a tiny amount because lots of romance readers read lots of books really fast, I would be out of KU like that. There's no making it up or evening it out for the author by higher payments to authors of different genres. That does not make sense on the face of it.

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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #30 on: June 16, 2017, 07:56:12 AM »
Edward M. Grant wrote why scammers target KU but not Ebook Sales.

And none of his analysis made any sense. None of yours is making any sense either.

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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #31 on: June 16, 2017, 07:57:29 AM »
Laran Mithras wrote that Edward analysis make sense. 

Makes sense. You upload 100 "books" of 1000 pages. Open a "trial account" and have your bot click through the pages. $5 per book X 100. Open another trial, have your bot do the same. Endlessly. Even if they pay the $9.99, it's still far worth the effort of the scam. $500 per month for a $10 investment?
 :P

And while the payout gets smaller and smaller, aren't the Amazon infusions getting larger and larger?



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Offline Speaker-To-Animals

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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #32 on: June 16, 2017, 08:16:01 AM »
For people who are saying "they'll just get credit cards and not pay the bill," I think you are drastically overestimating the willingness of these people to commit criminal credit card fraud. These people don't see scamming KU as a crime. They see it as exploiting a badly designed system, which is what you do if you're not a sucker and they see themselves as smart people.

Offline Gentleman Zombie

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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #33 on: June 16, 2017, 08:32:23 AM »
For people who are saying "they'll just get credit cards and not pay the bill," I think you are drastically overestimating the willingness of these people to commit criminal credit card fraud. These people don't see scamming KU as a crime. They see it as exploiting a badly designed system, which is what you do if you're not a sucker and they see themselves as smart people.

That's very naive. I worked for many years for one of the worlds largest online dating companies.  Part of my job involved dealing with customer service and our fraud detection department. Do you know what our biggest number one complaint was -- fraudulent mail order"brides" from Russia, Africa, and Asia. How did they pay for their accounts? With stolen credit cards. I would say 25% percent of calls to our customer service department were from confused little old ladies who didn't know why they were paying $25 a month. The card numbers were almost always linked to the profile of an attractive foreign woman looking for an American husband. Of course these women weren't' real. They were scam artists using stolen credit cards to set up accounts.

Click farmers and scam artists are almost always based outside the U.S. There's no way for any U.S. authority to arrest to them. They steal credit card numbers and identities with impunity -- and the banks just write off the debt. Of course they pass off that debt to the rest of us in the form of fees and interest rates --- but that's another topic.

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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #34 on: June 16, 2017, 08:56:54 AM »
This is a confusing thread, but I know for sure that were Amazon to implement something that paid me, a romance author, a tiny amount because lots of romance readers read lots of books really fast, I would be out of KU like that. There's no making it up or evening it out for the author by higher payments to authors of different genres. That does not make sense on the face of it.

Exactly. There is no averaging out. Who pays $10 a month to read as many books as you can find? Voracious readers. Who are the voracious readers? romance readers, mystery readers including cozy, urban fantasy, probably some other genres I can't think of right now.

Look what happened to Scribd. That is a perfect example at who the reader base of monthly subscription models are. I was one of them. For a while it was like nirvana. They had a lot of good stuff, especially towards the end. Then they found out us romance readers read too darn much. They yanked about any kind of romance out of the store. Gone, poof.  Many of us romance readers left the program. Now they are even limiting the unlimited. Its 3 per month and some are picked by them. Still at 8.99.

Its why KU does it the way it does. So far they haven't had to kick us romance readers and writers out.

I have said this before and I say it again. They need to curate it. Not in the way that they only handpick some stuff like a editors pick. But nobody gets in until it has been looked at by eyeballs. Start with those that are already proven publishers, many indies been doing this for a while.

So you apply to get in and then they look at it. The selection would grow and grow. And every publisher would be looked at before it goes into the program. Eliminate any box sets. And no bonus books. No scamlets. It would help writers and readers alike. I wouldn't have to sift through 1000's of victorian regency highlanders which is stuffed full of thinly veiled erotica shorts set in contemporary times. Or a "book" that ends at 20% and the rest again, stuffed full of "bonus".

Over time the selection of books would grow and grow, as they are being looked at one by one.

It shouldn't matter what you write, payout has to be the same based on a formula. One shouldn't get punished for writing a popular genre just like one shouldn't get punished for writing in genres that are more obscure.

Another thing is that before you can subscribe to KU, one must have made a purchase of some kind. I think it would be a tiny percentage of customers that subscribes to KU and not have at least bought $50 worth of stuff over the years from Amazon. That eliminates the fake KU accounts. At least many of them.


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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 #35 on: June 16, 2017, 09:39:51 AM »
Exactly. There is no averaging out. Who pays $10 a month to read as many books as you can find? Voracious readers. Who are the voracious readers? romance readers, mystery readers including cozy, urban fantasy, probably some other genres I can't think of right now.

Look what happened to Scribd. That is a perfect example at who the reader base of monthly subscription models are. I was one of them. For a while it was like nirvana. They had a lot of good stuff, especially towards the end. Then they found out us romance readers read too darn much. They yanked about any kind of romance out of the store. Gone, poof.  Many of us romance readers left the program. Now they are even limiting the unlimited. Its 3 per month and some are picked by them. Still at 8.99.

Its why KU does it the way it does. So far they haven't had to kick us romance readers and writers out.

I have said this before and I say it again. They need to curate it. Not in the way that they only handpick some stuff like a editors pick. But nobody gets in until it has been looked at by eyeballs. Start with those that are already proven publishers, many indies been doing this for a while.

So you apply to get in and then they look at it. The selection would grow and grow. And every publisher would be looked at before it goes into the program. Eliminate any box sets. And no bonus books. No scamlets. It would help writers and readers alike. I wouldn't have to sift through 1000's of victorian regency highlanders which is stuffed full of thinly veiled erotica shorts set in contemporary times. Or a "book" that ends at 20% and the rest again, stuffed full of "bonus".

Over time the selection of books would grow and grow, as they are being looked at one by one.

It shouldn't matter what you write, payout has to be the same based on a formula. One shouldn't get punished for writing a popular genre just like one shouldn't get punished for writing in genres that are more obscure.

Another thing is that before you can subscribe to KU, one must have made a purchase of some kind. I think it would be a tiny percentage of customers that subscribes to KU and not have at least bought $50 worth of stuff over the years from Amazon. That eliminates the fake KU accounts. At least many of them.

Atunah, you make entirely too much sense for this thread.  8)

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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #36 on: June 16, 2017, 02:43:14 PM »
You will never understand Amazon's decisions if you persist in this deranged belief that neutralizing scammers is one of their highest priorities (or even that it should be).

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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #37 on: July 17, 2017, 04:20:08 AM »
https://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/2017/07/15/scammers-break-the-kindle-store/#more-4447




The only way to stop scammers is to make it UNPROFITABLE for them to scam. 

Amazon paying out 80% of what it takes in from each paid subscriber = unprofitable to scam.

Equation is very simple:

$10 from subscriber number X,XXX,XXX
-$2 Amazon's commission from subscriber X,XXX,XXX
=

$8 payout to KU authors who subscriber X,XXX,XXX read.





Under this new policy where the payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool, FREE TRIAL will have to pay out nothing in order to prevent scammers from using the FREE TRIAL to earn money.

However, 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.  The payout will be $8.

So authors would get paid for the free trial if the free trial lead to a paying subscriber for 4 months.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 04:43:51 AM by VEVO »
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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #38 on: July 17, 2017, 07:37:33 AM »
https://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/2017/07/15/scammers-break-the-kindle-store/#more-4447




The only way to stop scammers is to make it UNPROFITABLE for them to scam. 

Amazon paying out 80% of what it takes in from each paid subscriber = unprofitable to scam.

Equation is very simple:

$10 from subscriber number X,XXX,XXX
-$2 Amazon's commission from subscriber X,XXX,XXX
=

$8 payout to KU authors who subscriber X,XXX,XXX read.





Under this new policy where the payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool, FREE TRIAL will have to pay out nothing in order to prevent scammers from using the FREE TRIAL to earn money.

However, 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.  The payout will be $8.

So authors would get paid for the free trial if the free trial lead to a paying subscriber for 4 months.

The problem I have with this scenario is that you are punishing legitimate authors.

I did the free KU trial and read the KU books on my pc because I didn't have a device. No point in dropping $125 on a device if I didn't like it, right?

So I decided I liked KU and would buy a kindle. I cancelled my free subscription to see how easy/difficult it would be.

Then I bought a Kindle. I was all ready to start up my subscription again when they introduced KU 2.0.  Since I expected a ton of authors to flee KU, I waited. No sense in paying for a subscription if the books I wanted were gone. So I waited a couple of months for things to settle down then started up my KU subscription.

So under your scenario, the authors whose books I read wouldn't have gotten paid a cent. All because of things out of their control. Doesn't make sense to me.

ETA: Your scenario also makes accounting a nightmare. Imagine having to track how long each subscriber had their account and how much they paid, the books they read, the KENPC pages....

Not everyone pays $9.99 a month. Occasionally Amazon runs a deal where you can get 6/12/24 months at a discounted rate.

« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 07:40:16 AM by dianapersaud »

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Offline TimothyEllis

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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #39 on: July 17, 2017, 08:09:43 AM »
Vevo, like a lot of the world's good ideas, you've been shown just how impractical it is.

2 points.

1. The processing necessary to do your way of allocating money to authors is mindbogglingly big. The first implementation would be a total disaster, and it would take months to fix, and still have holes in it. KISS - Keep it simple stupid! First rule of programming.

2. If you pay me what you propose, I'm out of KU immediately. My KU readers consistently read my entire 15 novels within 1 month. By your method, I'd be paid nothing for it.

3. The whole dont pay out on trial memberships is just shooting authors in the head. You will never get anyone to agree to it.

I just found this thread, and I think this horse has been flogged to death already. Like all the great ideas, it should now be buried before someone actually takes it seriously. I agree if it was actually done, KU would be dead inside 2 months. But maybe that's the whole point?  ;D
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 08:11:17 AM by TimothyEllis »

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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #40 on: July 17, 2017, 08:14:33 AM »
I don't understand this argument.

Subscribers to PRIME get free deliveries and a host of other benefits of which book page reads is only one. It's not simply their $10 gets allocated to ebooks. What about TV, films etc., It's that same $10 that is being allocated to them too. None of this computes which is why $18 million was allocated this month by Amazon to keeping the authors sweet. Bezos isn't making money out of KU, he's giving money away - hand over fist to control a marketplace.


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Offline Chrissy

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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #41 on: July 17, 2017, 08:21:32 AM »
Many question if Amazon can accurately count the pages a KU reader reads. 

I would have grave reservations about Amazon's ability to calculate the proposed  payment rate described in the OP.

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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #42 on: July 17, 2017, 08:24:18 AM »
Quote
A romance reader going through only 3 books a week is reading more like 6,000 pages a month.

A truly frightening thought.
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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #43 on: July 17, 2017, 09:18:59 AM »
How in the world would amazon be able to break the data down at that level?

You want them to link every single KU book to each KU subscriber and determine page read cost based on the $10 that subscriber paid?  So if the subscriber read 25 books, those 25 authors would all get a cut of the $8 available for royalties? Thereby maintaining a $10 in, $8 out per each individual KU account?

Yes, this would eradicate the underlying mechanics of how scamming works (which is essentially dispersing the stolen money the scammers take across all authors in KU).

But the complexity in such a system is well beyond Amazon's capabilities. Moreover, it becomes almost impossible to know what you're getting paid (as the page read payout is constantly floating). And for authors with a huge back catalog, this would be disastrous. As you say, someone could read their whole catalog for all of .0012 per page. So you're punishing people for being good writers.

KU cannot be fixed. It's eternally broken. Any subscription model that has no barrier to entry will be abused.

Amazon is fully aware of all this and is okay with it. Their logic is very simple. Take advantage of desperate authors to basically create an all-you-can-eat buffet to draw in the masses. The people who come in and eat 10 times what everyone else does are fine, that's built into the business model. The issue KU has is that people are backing up large trucks to the front doors and filling them up with buffet food then driving away. An hour later they are back with another truck.

Right now Amazon can make up those losses three ways.

1) They can charge customers more for the buffet
2) They can identify and ban the people stealing from the buffet
3) they can offload the cost of the food on the vendors providing the food. So the more food that gets stolen, the less Amazon pays the vendors providing the food.

They are currently doing #3. They will never do #1. And they only do #2 when a thousand people all scream and yell at them that there's a truck parked outside stealing all the food.

What's most important to understand is that Amazon doesn't even care about the buffet. They just use it to lure in people to the casino. They make their money at the blackjack tables.

This system eventually implodes when it becomes well known that you can back up a truck to the buffet and you won't be arrested. Then everyone starts doing it and the whole system breaks down for good.

KU was just a gimmick to take advantage of authors to make Amazon look good. "Amazon is awesome, for $10 I can eat all the books I want"... no one ever thinks the hit the authors are taking to enable that model.

To Amazon the scammers are more like annoying flies, but they don't ruin the fundamental purpose of KU (not yet anyway).

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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #44 on: July 17, 2017, 12:07:40 PM »
I don't understand this argument.

Subscribers to PRIME get free deliveries and a host of other benefits of which book page reads is only one. It's not simply their $10 gets allocated to ebooks. What about TV, films etc., It's that same $10 that is being allocated to them too. None of this computes which is why $18 million was allocated this month by Amazon to keeping the authors sweet. Bezos isn't making money out of KU, he's giving money away - hand over fist to control a marketplace.


I am a Prime subscriber, I am not a Kindle Unlimited subscriber.  They are two different programs and the subscription rate for one has nothing to do with the subscription rate for the other.

The somewhat more curated Prime Reading library for borrows to those belonging to Prime is not paid to the authors by page read either, is my understanding.
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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #45 on: July 17, 2017, 12:15:12 PM »
A truly frightening thought.
Would it be less frightening if I read 3 mysteries a week?

Or  are you just scared of us romance readers.

Lots of us reader are just voracious readers. No matter what the genre. Why else would someone join a subscription service if one wasn't going to use it.

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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #46 on: July 17, 2017, 07:59:00 PM »
I am a Prime subscriber, I am not a Kindle Unlimited subscriber.  They are two different programs and the subscription rate for one has nothing to do with the subscription rate for the other.

The somewhat more curated Prime Reading library for borrows to those belonging to Prime is not paid to the authors by page read either, is my understanding.


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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #47 on: July 17, 2017, 08:27:38 PM »
Vevo, like a lot of the world's good ideas, you've been shown just how impractical it is.

2 points.

1. The processing necessary to do your way of allocating money to authors is mindbogglingly big. The first implementation would be a total disaster, and it would take months to fix, and still have holes in it. KISS - Keep it simple stupid! First rule of programming.

2. If you pay me what you propose, I'm out of KU immediately. My KU readers consistently read my entire 15 novels within 1 month. By your method, I'd be paid nothing for it.

3. The whole dont pay out on trial memberships is just shooting authors in the head. You will never get anyone to agree to it.

I just found this thread, and I think this horse has been flogged to death already. Like all the great ideas, it should now be buried before someone actually takes it seriously. I agree if it was actually done, KU would be dead inside 2 months. But maybe that's the whole point?  ;D


Since 1 month free trial (without payout until 4 months later) is a bad idea.....maybe Amazon could do a 1 WEEK Free Trial.  If this Free Trial leads to a 1 month paid subscription, this 1 Week Free Trial will payout $2 for the authors that this subscriber read during this 1 week  ($8 for 1 month so $2 for 1 week).

If this 1 WEEK Free Trial does not lead to a 1 month paid subscription, that Free Trialists only read a few free books during that 1 week before he/she canceled. 
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 08:43:09 PM by VEVO »
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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #48 on: July 17, 2017, 08:35:02 PM »
Amazon have the technology to do this.  It just some coding/instructions for the computers to calculate. 

Example:

Subscriber X,XXX,XXX read 2000 pages.  The payout would be $8 / 2000 pages = $0.004 per page.
The books that this subscriber read will be paid $0.004 per page. 

Amazon do this for all the paid subscribers they have.  Not a hard thing for computers to do.  Computers are designed to calculate data like this after the programmer input the coding instructions. 
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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #49 on: July 17, 2017, 09:27:58 PM »
Amazon do this for all the paid subscribers they have.  Not a hard thing for computers to do.  Computers are designed to calculate data like this after the programmer input the coding instructions.

I used to be a programmer. What you're suggesting is so complicated, there is no way at all the code would be written bug free, and not cause a total disaster leading to KU simply dropping dead.

You obviously have no knowledge of programming. This falls under the category of nothing is impossible for the person who doesn't have to do it themself.

1 WEEK Free Trial

They do 1 month for a reason. Its the time period which works the best.

This horse is dead. Why keep flogging it?

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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #50 on: July 17, 2017, 10:33:02 PM »
Would it be less frightening if I read 3 mysteries a week?

Or  are you just scared of us romance readers.

Lots of us reader are just voracious readers. No matter what the genre. Why else would someone join a subscription service if one wasn't going to use it.
I just found this thread. So funny Atunah! I was reading it and thinking like you- hello, ever heard of Scribd? Romance readers "broke" Scribd. They kicked us out! And like you, I miss the good ole days when Scribd was a romance readers all you can eat buffet. Aaah...those were the days. Cancelled my subscription with them long ago. You gotta give KU props for being able to handle us voracious romance readers without blinking.

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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #51 on: July 18, 2017, 04:56:26 AM »
PRIME MEMBERS
"Receive all the benefits of Amazon Prime including FREE Two-Day Shipping for eligible purchases, unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Prime Video, and the ability to borrow books from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library {KOLL} for $99 a year or $10.99 a month. KOLL is the mechanism by which authors get paid.

Sure, Prime members can borrow one book per calendar month from the KOLL and they don't get to return it and borrow another until the next calendar month.  They must also have an actual Kindle or Fire to borrow it (not a Kindle app on a phone, tablet, or computer).  If they also have a KU subscription they don't get to borrow an 11th book, it's still only 10 at any given time until another is returned, so that small Prime perk is eliminated even if they are paying for both subscriptions.

If scammers are opening $99 Prime accounts to up borrows and page reads for ONE book per month with KOLL, I think the money base for author payouts would be increasing if you believe some portion of an annual Prime subscription also goes toward the page-reads pot.   

I know Amazon doesn't share a lot of subscription information, but I believe there are millions of Prime subscribers. The subset of Prime subscribers who are also digital book readers, and own an actual Kindle device, and bother to find one book a month to read when they already have hundreds on their devices (I don't most months), and aren't also KU subscribers, is surely much smaller.

So if some portion of all Prime subscriptions (even those millions who don't or can't use the KOLL benefit) is allocated to the page-read pot in addition to the KU subscriptions, the pot should grow because of the number of Prime subscribers who create zero or only one-book's worth of page reads per month, right? Or at least help balance the voracious page-read KU subscribers?

Sorry if this has been a thread hijack that has nothing to do with the workability of VEVO's scenario.
A book, I think, is very like a little golden door.
That takes me into places where I've never been before.
It leads me into fairyland or countries strange and far.
And, best of all, the golden door always stands ajar. - Adelaide Love

Offline Atunah

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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #52 on: July 18, 2017, 06:19:05 AM »
I just found this thread. So funny Atunah! I was reading it and thinking like you- hello, ever heard of Scribd? Romance readers "broke" Scribd. They kicked us out! And like you, I miss the good ole days when Scribd was a romance readers all you can eat buffet. Aaah...those were the days. Cancelled my subscription with them long ago. You gotta give KU props for being able to handle us voracious romance readers without blinking.
Yep, I dropped that subscription like a hot potato once they treated us romance readers like garbage. The funny thing is, just a few months, 2 I think? before they yanked all the romance out, they courted Harper Collins and HC threw in 15000 harlequin backlist titles from all lines. Readers were ecstatic. This was promoted all over the romance sites. They courted us at Scribd and then bam, one day I look at my wishlist and it was all gone. 200 books, poof. There was nothing left to read. They wanted us to read the books they put in the program and when we did, they basically threw us out. I went back to KU after that. By then they cleaned up KU a bit and more novels where back in it.

The reason KU has been able to absorb heavy readers like romance, mystery, etc is the way they are doing it now. I think they will continue the fiddle, but I don't think they'll every get rid of a pool. Its the only system that works and is overall the fairest to authors and readers. That is if they could get rid of the scammers. To me, curation seems to the the only way to do that.

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Offline GeneDoucette

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Re: If KU payout is based on each paying subscriber instead of a pool....
« Reply #53 on: July 18, 2017, 08:06:51 AM »
this suggestion is essentially about leveraging a piece of information Amazon probably has but probably doesn't use: individual reader statistics. That is, they know that person X read Y many books over Z period. Which is interesting, but I don't think it helps anyone.

Fundamentally, if you make the $ per page read (or book read) a variable, you'll punish the oft-read authors in the oft-read categories for the sin of participating in the oft-read category.

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