Author Topic: KU 3  (Read 39368 times)  

Offline Going Incognito

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #250 on: August 04, 2017, 06:33:30 PM »
This may be neither here nor there since maybe not enough time has passed to be sure, but- a friend of mine in Canada (I'm in the US) realized that she'd never borrowed her own newest series. Wanting to experiment, she borrowed all five of her own books in that series. She 'read' one by skipping to the end on the kindle app on her phone, one by skipping to the end on her kindle, and the other 3 on the computer, on the read in cloud/online viewer. Of the three she read online on Amazon ca, one she skipped ahead by touching the far end of the slider, one she slid the slider slowly left to right and the third she clicked thru every single page. No pages have shown up as read/paid yet at all, but it's only been about 3 hours, but the super weird part was that she also noted her ranks. At the next hourly rank update, about one hour after she borrowed them all at the same time, all 5 books fell almost exactly 2k in rank. 'Like a punishment,' she said. And they haven't moved again in the 2 hours since.
Has anyone else who has been experimenting noticed a punishment rank drop? I borrow mine when they go live to check the formatting, so I haven't been able to play with my own anything.

Offline Ava Glass

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #251 on: August 04, 2017, 06:36:48 PM »
But what would be the advantage or reading like that. Swiping isn't it because swiping is how one could always read a book before page flip. Why would someone chose the menu with the ugly frame around it, smaller font and all the menu items displayed. There is no advantage at all.

I see this coming up all the time from authors in these type of threads. But I have yet to find even one regular reader that would go out of their way to read a book in such a ugly way. For no reason. Any time you brush the edge, it goes back to normal reading mode. Anytime you go out of the book it goes back to normal. When I lay mine down and it goes to sleep it goes back to normal. So you guys are saying that readers go through all this trouble, having to constantly activate a menu item, make font smaller and have all the ugly menu items appear. Why?

You're reading on an ereader? My iPad is different. On the iPad, it's easy to keep the thumbnails and swiping is faster and easier. I can see people wanting to read this way.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2017, 06:38:46 PM by Ava Glass »

Offline Atunah

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #252 on: August 04, 2017, 06:42:52 PM »
You're reading on an ereader? My iPad is different. On the iPad, it's easy to keep the thumbnails and the swiping is faster and easier. I can see people wanting to read this way.

I read books pretty much only on kindles. But I have fires and I tested this and my husband has ithingies including different ipads. I wanted to see what it looks like and how it navigates. I did not find a a difference in swiping between normal reading mode and being in page flip menu mode. I did notice it looked ugly with the frame and I knew it wasn't normal reading mode. So I still don't see the advantage. It still came out of that mode as soon as you do anything, change font, open another book, touch an edge. So its clear its a menu mode.

I am not saying there isn't some reader out there reading like that for whatever reason. I do not think its the majority but rather a very small minority.

But hey, this has come up before and you guys believe what you want to believe. Its ok. I am just sharing my experience as a reader and that I have yet to find even one reader that reads like that. ;)

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Offline Ava Glass

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #253 on: August 04, 2017, 06:50:38 PM »
I am not saying there isn't some reader out there reading like that for whatever reason. I do not think its the majority but rather a very small minority.



I wouldn't say it's a majority either, but I have read about *some* readers doing this, and in my tests of the iOS version of Page Flip, I can see why they would.

« Last Edit: August 04, 2017, 06:53:58 PM by Ava Glass »

Offline brkingsolver

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #254 on: August 04, 2017, 06:56:55 PM »
But hey, this has come up before and you guys believe what you want to believe. Its ok. I am just sharing my experience as a reader and that I have yet to find even one reader that reads like that. ;)
I agree with you, but I guess we're old fashioned. When I read, I just like to read, and the easiest way to do that is in full-page mode, no matter what device I'm on.

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Offline MmmmmPie

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #255 on: August 04, 2017, 07:02:43 PM »
Wanting to experiment, she borrowed all five of her own books in that series. ... No pages have shown up as read/paid yet at all, but it's only been about 3 hours, but the super weird part was that she also noted her ranks. At the next hourly rank update, about one hour after she borrowed them all at the same time, all 5 books fell almost exactly 2k in rank. 'Like a punishment,' she said. And they haven't moved again in the 2 hours since.

Wow. Interesting! I hope you'll keep us posted on whether the ranks bounce back, hopefully higher. That sure is weird.

Offline JRTomlin

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #256 on: August 04, 2017, 07:57:32 PM »
Agreed. I make more with most of my books in KU than I think I could make outside it, at least for several months after going wide. So my tentative exit strategy for at least one name is an incremental one, likely starting next year. I'd like to get established wide for those in-case rainy days.

I do think that those who want to leave need a strategy. Marketing becomes a lot more important wide, so anybody headed that way should girl their loins and make a plan for it.
I agree that we need a strategy to leave. In spite of the accusations and disparagement that we had Stockholm syndrome or something, being in KU was always a business strategy for me. I need a strategy as well for leaving. I am taking my books out one series at a time, starting near the end of the year. Becoming profitable 'wide' isn't going to be fast but I'm going to work on it.

ETA: I am going to miss the ability to have a 5 day freebie for the first novel in a series. That is going to be an ouch to give up.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2017, 07:59:57 PM by JRTomlin »

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Offline Going Incognito

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #257 on: August 04, 2017, 08:04:24 PM »
Wow. Interesting! I hope you'll keep us posted on whether the ranks bounce back, hopefully higher. That sure is weird.

Ok, she just got her big rank jump. Still no page reads.

Offline PhoenixS

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #258 on: August 04, 2017, 08:09:51 PM »
At the next hourly rank update, about one hour after she borrowed them all at the same time, all 5 books fell almost exactly 2k in rank. 'Like a punishment,' she said. And they haven't moved again in the 2 hours since.

It would depend where they were in rank and how many sales they typically get throughout the day. A #2K rank drop from one hour to the next isn't uncommon. Nor is it uncommon for the rank updates to skip some hours. I chose two books in the same one of our series at random and checked their hourly ranks via KND's Tracker tool. There have been a few times today where the ranks skipped an update (so you'll see the same rank reported for two consecutive hours). And these two books lost about #2-3K ranks when there aren't any sales/borrows, then gained them back when there were. Remember, too, rank updates often lag by 5-6 hours. So, I wouldn't consider this odd unless there wasn't a reversal in rank in the next 3-4 hours.

BOOK 1:
Date    Salesrank    Price
22:25    14,046    $3.99
21:24    14,046    $3.99
20:23    12,348    $3.99
19:22    12,675    $3.99
18:21    12,675    $3.99
17:20    11,127    $3.99
16:19    11,405    $3.99
15:19    11,405    $3.99
14:17    11,134    $3.99

BOOK 2:
22:17    28,878    $3.99
21:16    28,878    $3.99
20:15    32,416    $3.99
19:14    31,127    $3.99
18:13    31,127    $3.99
17:12    28,167    $3.99
16:11    27,005    $3.99
15:10    27,005    $3.99
14:09    24,703    $3.99

Ok, she just got her big rank jump. Still no page reads.
Saw you posted this just when I hit Post ;)

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #259 on: August 04, 2017, 08:29:58 PM »
The more I read this thread, the more sickened I become.

Here's my logic:

Amazon has built Page Flip, and rolled it out to more devices, thus showing they want it used.
Amazon knows KU reads while in page flip, dont get counted, and the author doesn't get paid.
Amazon penalizes any author for a reader using page flip to read their books, by dropping their rank. (I know this has been happening for a long time, because it explains why after a good KU day, the following day is a disaster!)

I find this whole thing morally and ethically bankrupt!

I've had one of my readers confirm she has been using page flip to read in KU, and had no idea I wasn't getting paid. That is potentially 5500 pages I didn't get paid for, from a single reader.

Its $23 I dont have, and Amazon has deliberately let someone read my books for free, without my permission. Worse, Amazon got paid for the month, but they are refusing to pay me.

I hate to say it, but the sentiment expressed in the other thread is taking hold with me. The A word is feeling more and more appropriate to the situation.

All I can do now is wait. But if the payout for July goes down again, I think that will be the last sword cut I can take.

And the thing is, even if the rate goes back up, if it doesn't fully cover the loss in reads, it's still a step backwards.

I'm going to poll my FB group and see if I can find out what proportion are in KU. I need to know in order to make a decision the next time Amazon makes a change.

Offline SusanMayWriter

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #260 on: August 04, 2017, 08:34:59 PM »
It would depend where they were in rank and how many sales they typically get throughout the day. A #2K rank drop from one hour to the next isn't uncommon. Nor is it uncommon for the rank updates to skip some hours. I chose two books in the same one of our series at random and checked their hourly ranks via KND's Tracker tool. There have been a few times today where the ranks skipped an update (so you'll see the same rank reported for two consecutive hours). And these two books lost about #2-3K ranks when there aren't any sales/borrows, then gained them back when there were. Remember, too, rank updates often lag by 5-6 hours. So, I wouldn't consider this odd unless there wasn't a reversal in rank in the next 3-4 hours.

Phoenix, I just started a thread about the sales to reads ratio being out. Mine is down 30% and my ratios have been the same since KU started. There's a pattern where page reads go up or down a few days after sales. Have you noticed any great variances? If so, do you mind posting them on the thread I just created please if you have noticed?  Not panicking yet because if the payout goes up then it will amount to the same thing. However if it doesn't, this is a huge hit.

Today is the lowest page reads I've had across my books this year, but my ranking and sales do not reflect that I have had less borrows. Not worrying because there's nothing I can do at the moment. I haven't written to KDP because I expect I'd receive a boilerplate that all is okay, so I'll wait until I have more data before doing that.

Offline Ava Glass

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #261 on: August 04, 2017, 08:50:33 PM »
Amazon knows KU reads while in page flip, dont get counted, and the author doesn't get paid.

That's the way it's supposed to work. Why should authors get paid for skipped pages in a system that pays by the page?

Now, reading huge chunks of books via the navigation thumbnails? That's an issue, but I think it might be better to educate readers than remove the mechanism that prevents skipped pages from registering.

Amazon penalizes any author for a reader using page flip to read their books, by dropping their rank. (I know this has been happening for a long time, because it explains why after a good KU day, the following day is a disaster!)

KU *borrows* affect rank, not reads.


I've had one of my readers confirm she has been using page flip to read in KU, and had no idea I wasn't getting paid. That is potentially 5500 pages I didn't get paid for, from a single reader.

Do you mean reading the navigation thumbnails? Because if you ask readers if they read in "Page Flip" and aren't more specific, they might not understand what you mean.

And again, I do think readers should be educated not to read huge chunks of KU books using the navigation thumbnails.

Offline Jo Lane

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #262 on: August 04, 2017, 11:07:14 PM »
What I don't understand is how Amazon can bring in something like Page Flip in its current state and get away with it. Surely it could be seen as fraud? They have a service that you can put your book in, for which they pay you per page read. Then they introduce a tool that allows readers to read the book without counting any pages as read. Crazy.
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Re: KU 3
« Reply #263 on: August 04, 2017, 11:13:34 PM »
What I don't understand is how Amazon can bring in something like Page Flip in its current state and get away with it. Surely it could be seen as fraud? They have a service that you can put your book in, for which they pay you per page read. Then they introduce a tool that allows readers to read the book without counting any pages as read. Crazy.

I totally agree.

Amazon have crossed a line here. They pay by page, but give everyone a way of avoiding the pages being counted.

Its not crazy. Its unethical behavior!

What should be happening is, until they can tell if a page is read or not, page-flip should be removed as an option for everyone in KU.

Offline Ava Glass

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #264 on: August 04, 2017, 11:22:35 PM »

What should be happening is, until they can tell if a page is read or not, page-flip should be removed as an option for everyone in KU.

But what about the skip-to-the-back scammers?

Wouldn't it be better to just make thumbnail mode less appealing to stay in? Or read mode more appealing?

I wonder if a setting that adjusts the level of drag between pages in read mode would work? People can make the pages flow more like the thumbnails in flip mode.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2017, 11:29:06 PM by Ava Glass »

Offline UK1783

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #265 on: August 04, 2017, 11:31:01 PM »
Can Amazon just do exactly as they please with KU3, 4, 5, 6 and beyond?  They know that most people will stay and repeat to themselves "Well, it's better than the old days of traditional publishing". Shocking treatment of writers in my humble opinion.

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #266 on: August 04, 2017, 11:34:09 PM »
But what about the skip-to-the-back scammers?

They should be making it impossible to do this.

No page-flip - no fast skip to the back.

Remove any link from the front of the book to the back of the book - no skip to the back. [Edit: I've said this before. They already have a bot check every submission. It should be looking for links which dont go to chapter headings, or links which go further than 1 chapter ahead. This shouldn't be difficult, and if a suspect link is found, the book should be rejected at submission time, or sent for human evaluation.]

Edit2: Back in the day, I could've written a Cobol program which would read in a whole book, and then check for a whole series of criteria being met. Its relatively simple array handling. Sure, the program would be big, and need some grunt to run it, but we dont have those issues now like we used to. I dont understand why Amazon is unable to do what for me, 30 years ago, would have been straight forward programming.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2017, 11:42:55 PM by TimothyEllis »

Offline Ava Glass

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #267 on: August 04, 2017, 11:42:09 PM »
They should be making it impossible to do this.

No page-flip - no fast skip to the back.

Remove any link from the front of the book to the back of the book - no skip to the back.



Page flip allows a reader to skip around a book without registering unread pages. The only problem is that some people want to stay in it and read.

ETA: There's the skip-to-the back scam, but there are also legit reasons people would want to skip around a book. There are box sets. Doesn't page flip ensure that only read stories register pages? Amazon could ban everything but single titles, but maybe they see this as easier.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2017, 11:55:08 PM by Ava Glass »

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #268 on: August 04, 2017, 11:44:10 PM »
Page flip allows a reader to skip around without registering unread pages. The only problem is that some people want to stay in it and read.

Yeah, and I'm saying - Anyone in KU shouldn't be able to use page-flip at all. Membership in KU should completely turn off the feature.

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #269 on: August 04, 2017, 11:56:52 PM »
I dont get it.

I know Amazon is compartmentalized and they dont talk to each other.

But why isn't the boss of the KU section standing in the office of the boss of the page-flip section screaming, "YOU'RE F*CKING UP KINDLE UNLIMITED! REMOVE PAGE FLIP UNTIL YOU CAN HANDLE IT PROPERLY!"

And then doing it again in both boss's offices. And taking it to the top and screaming it up there.

I see this as an ethical problem. One part of Amazon is screwing the people supplying another part. Its wrong. Its unethical. And the KU department should be screaming this all the way up the organization. If for no other reason than they refuse to condone unethical behavior. Or they take pride in doing a job well, and what they are doing is being undermined by a bad job somewhere else.


Offline Ava Glass

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #270 on: August 04, 2017, 11:57:52 PM »
Yeah, and I'm saying - Anyone in KU shouldn't be able to use page-flip at all. Membership in KU should completely turn off the feature.

But if PF is a mechanism to ensure only read pages register, why would Amazon do that? It just needs tweaking.

« Last Edit: August 05, 2017, 12:04:12 AM by Ava Glass »

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #271 on: August 05, 2017, 12:08:19 AM »
But if PF is a mechanism to ensure only read pages register, why would Amazon do that? It just needs tweaking.

Huh? As far as I can tell, page-flip has nothing at all to do with page reads. Its a totally different function, independent of KU.

But its buggering up KU, simply because it wasn't designed for KU. It was designed by engineers to make device usage easier. And no-one developing it even thought about its impact on something like KU.

Offline Ava Glass

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #272 on: August 05, 2017, 12:17:08 AM »
Huh? As far as I can tell, page-flip has nothing at all to do with page reads. Its a totally different function, independent of KU.

But its buggering up KU, simply because it wasn't designed for KU. It was designed by engineers to make device usage easier. And no-one developing it even thought about its impact on something like KU.

People using the cloud reader, which doesn't have page flip, report that skipped pages register as if they are read. However, devices with page flip-- like phones or whatever, do not register skipped pages.

I can see it. Pages that appear in read mode count, while the thumbnails don't. Linking also wouldn't count. Just pages that render in read mode.

This ensures that if a reader gets bored with a story in an anthology and skips to the next one, the skipped pages don't count. Pages don't start registering again until they render in read mode.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2017, 12:39:07 AM by Ava Glass »

Offline Mercia McMahon

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #273 on: August 05, 2017, 12:49:22 AM »
Well there is a mystery solved for y'all. Sorry to be the bearing of bad (old) news, but there is a one page view in Page Flip as well as a nine page view. And yes that is page flip on one page and it is perfectly readable on a small smartphone with a high pixel density screen. It is not the one page view of normal reading, but one surrounded by a box and you can see the boxes and a little text of the previous and next pages.

On the Android app you are given a little tutorial on opening a Page Flip enabled book and tapping a page  defaults to one page Page Flip with nine page seen as an overview. If you tap the overview button you are taken to normal mode, but tap the screen again and you are back into one page Page Flip. I prefer reading in Page Flip because scrolling is much smoother although I normally read on a Kindle e-ink. The shift into Page Flip happens just by tapping the screen and unless you get curious about what that funny icon is in the bottom left corner many would continue reading in Page Flip. Page Flip is preferable because it has smooth scrolling as opposed to the need for a major swipe to jump to the next page. I have severe RSI and would always read in Page Flip if I didn't have an e-ink Kindle (the non-touchscreen one with left and right page navigation buttons). The force needed to trigger a page scroll in normal mode is sufficient to trigger arm pain. Page Flip is not without pain, but a mere flesh wound by comparison with normal mode. I am so glad to have a non-touchscreen Kindle. Some people would struggle to read the text, but its as likely to be those with poor eyesight that can read as good eyesight. Because my eyesight is poor I never through out old glasses and switch between three prescriptions plus my natural eyes until I get one that works.

If I subscribed to KU and you asked me not to read in Page Flip I would probably never read another book by you again unless I really really liked your work. Those with disabilities do not appreciate the able-bodied telling us what to do. If I trigger arm pain and ignore that pain and keep swiping I would be in pain for hours after I stopped reading. I feel you pain about Amazon's failure to communicate between tech teams and the KDP team, but I guarantee that you would not want to feel my pain.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2017, 12:53:24 AM by Mercia McMahon »


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Offline Ava Glass

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #274 on: August 05, 2017, 12:54:27 AM »
Well there is a mystery solved for y'all. Sorry to be the bearing of bad (old) news, but there is a one page view in Page Flip as well as a nine page view. And yes that is page flip on one page and it is perfectly readable on a small smartphone with a high pixel density screen. It is not the one page view of normal reading, but one surrounded by a box and you can see the boxes and a little text of the previous and next pages.

On the Android app you are given a little tutorial on opening a Page Flip enabled book and tapping a page  defaults to one page Page Flip with nine page seen as an overview. If you tap the overview button you are taken to normal mode, but tap the screen again and you are back into one page Page Flip. I prefer reading in Page Flip because scrolling is much smoother although I normally read on a Kindle e-ink. The shift into Page Flip happens just by tapping the screen and unless you get curious about what that funny icon is in the bottom left corner many would continue reading in Page Flip. Page Flip is preferable because it has smooth scrolling as opposed to the need for a major swipe to jump to the next page. I have severe RSI and would always read in Page Flip if I didn't have an e-ink Kindle (the non-touchscreen one with left and right page navigation buttons). The force needed to trigger a page scroll in normal mode if sufficient to trigger arm pain. Page Flip is not without pain, but a mere flesh would by comparison with the normal mode. I am so glad to have a non-touchscreen Kindle. Some people would struggle to read the text, but its as likely to be those with poor eyesight that can read as good eyesight. Because my eyesight is poor I never through out old glasses and switch between three prescriptions plus my natural eyes until I get one that works.

If I subscribed to KU and you asked me not to read in Page Flip I would probably never read another book by you again unless I really really liked your work. Those with disabilities do not appreciate the able-bodied telling us what to do. If I trigger arm pain and ignore that pain and keep swiping I would be in pain for hours after I stopped reading. I feel you pain about Amazon's failure to communicate between tech teams and the KDP team, but I guarantee that you would not want to feel my pain.

What if there was a setting that reduced page drag in read mode and made regular reading smoother?

ETA: I notice that a light tap can trigger a page turn in read mode in at least iOS.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2017, 01:11:46 AM by Ava Glass »