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 2083 times)  

Online 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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Offline 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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Offline 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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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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Offline VEVO

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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.

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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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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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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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Offline Seneca42

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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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Offline TimothyEllis

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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?