Author Topic: KU 3  (Read 33740 times)  

Offline TwistedTales

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #300 on: August 11, 2017, 09:19:39 AM »
I agree with this. Trust is very important to me. I see a good reason to worry when claimed fact cannot be verified. And even more so when the information I receive contradicts the reality I'm presented to. Transparency is usually denied where secrecy is needed.

In my experience what we see is only the tip of the iceberg. When Amazon saw fit to implement a "feature" allowing books to be read without pages being recorded I wondered what their definition of a "page read" was. It made me check the TOS and then I realized it's whatever they want it to be. Added to that was the realization they couldn't even count pages in the first place and they were using last page markers. It's this lack of integrity in the KU system that leaves it open to scammers.

It left me wondering what else is going on behind the scenes. Just how reliable are the page counts? Although I pulled all my books out of KU I watch this space with interest. And they keep fiddling with KENPC, definition of a page read and monthly pot, so just how low will the payout go? Every author will have their "final straw" point. I wonder how many have to leave and of what type before Amazon pay any attention.

Offline Marian

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #301 on: August 11, 2017, 01:30:54 PM »

Long-term, of course, Amazon can't sustain KU without indie authors. Most publishers have stayed away from it, and there aren't nearly enough Amazon imprint books to sustain the appetites of KU readers. That means it has to weigh short-term gains from not paying for some of the pages against potential long-term losses in enough authors pull out to jeopardize the future of the program. How much does Amazon make on KU and on extra purchases made by KU browsers? We don't know that either, but I'd bet it's considerably more than the amount it makes (purposely or by accident) from Page Flip.

KU is one of the most valuable assets Amazon has because it lures customers into Prime. According to the latest figures I've read, Prime customers spend an average of $1500 a year on Amazon, which is considerably more than nonmembers spend. They spend more because of the free shipping.

KU has been a bonanza for Amazon. If enough authors pulled out to jeopardize the program, Amazon would act quickly to lure them back in. The problem is that the authors in KU are independent. It's doubtful that they'd act together in a mass exodus from the program to push for the changes they want. The writers who participate on this forum are just a fraction of them.

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #302 on: August 11, 2017, 02:23:23 PM »
The trouble is that those of us who went all in with KU have trained our readers to go to Amazon. What we now need to do is to become hybrid and diversify a series or two into the wide market. Not only would we pick up readers on other platforms who don't like Amazon, but then if we want to get out of KU we already have a foothold elsewhere.

Authors leaving KU happens every day. Authors leaving KU and taking Amazon's business with them will be a little harder for them to swallow.

Amazon made indie authors a force to be reckoned with, so we need to use that force for our own good because Amazon have proved time and again that they don't value what we have done for them. They may think that they have an endless supply of authors waiting to step into KU, but amazon was an infant company once, and there are always businesses snapping at the heels of giants to bring them down. Amazon don;t have any loyalty - why should we?

Offline Abalone

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #303 on: August 12, 2017, 03:05:14 AM »
I haven't really noticed any difference other than more accurate page reporting, and a few increases in book KENPC. I think current events and two adult males going at it like little kids are the cause of everyone's problems. So, in other words, nothing new.

Offline MelD

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #304 on: August 12, 2017, 06:14:35 AM »
I haven't really noticed any difference other than more accurate page reporting, and a few increases in book KENPC. I think current events and two adult males going at it like little kids are the cause of everyone's problems. So, in other words, nothing new.

Interesting. How can you tell that it's more accurate? Did you get too few or too many before KU3 happened?

Offline Abalone

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #305 on: August 12, 2017, 03:18:24 PM »
Interesting. How can you tell that it's more accurate? Did you get too few or too many before KU3 happened?

Steadier read rates with negligible differences. In KU2, I'd go days without reads and then either nothing would show up or a large chunk of reads would show up overnight. I keep my page rate between .0040 and .0042 so I can be surprised each month. Better than expecting a large windfall and getting less!

Aside from that, my KENPC for certain books increased. Additionally, page reads since the change have been higher on average compared to the beginning of 2017 and this time last year.

Offline Ryan W. Mueller

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #306 on: August 12, 2017, 03:34:35 PM »
Maybe I don't understand the issue with Page Flip, but statistically speaking, I'm not sure how it changes what we'll get paid. If readers in KU end up reading fewer pages because of Page Flip, doesn't that mean that everyone's payout per page will go up? In the end, that should even out, but maybe I don't understand it.

Offline David VanDyke

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #307 on: August 12, 2017, 03:56:30 PM »
Maybe I don't understand the issue with Page Flip, but statistically speaking, I'm not sure how it changes what we'll get paid. If readers in KU end up reading fewer pages because of Page Flip, doesn't that mean that everyone's payout per page will go up? In the end, that should even out, but maybe I don't understand it.

Because when the average temperature is 72, but it varies wildly between freezing and boiling, Grandma dies. Lots of people's grandmas die, in fact.

Allow me to explain.

Page flip becomes a huge variable, especially for those with fewer page reads. Those at the lower end--who might really need that money to make ends meet--might have wild variance, with ups and downs of 70% month to month or more. Those at the higher end have a much larger sample size, so individual behavior, or even small group behavior, will even out.

It's the same principle that keeps a big casino in business while the individual gambler may go bust--a broad base reduces volatility, and deeper pockets allows them to ride out the variations.

Given that most indie authors are individuals, if page flip plus all the other factors that seem to go into KU cause wild swings, larger and larger numbers of them will get hurt, even if the average is a wash.

Put another way, let's say a new tech or resource trend--less coal, more natural gas and renewables, say--changes the job market. Some industries shrink, others grow, and say the overall trend is slightly positive job growth. Nevertheless, there are big pockets where coal miners are all out of work, and those locals suffer. They don't care that the overall trend is positive: the change (economic volatility) hurts them individually.



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Re: KU 3
« Reply #308 on: August 12, 2017, 04:42:14 PM »
Maybe I don't understand the issue with Page Flip, but statistically speaking, I'm not sure how it changes what we'll get paid. If readers in KU end up reading fewer pages because of Page Flip, doesn't that mean that everyone's payout per page will go up? In the end, that should even out, but maybe I don't understand it.

Would someone please do the math to show how the payout rise wont cover what you lose by fewer pages read?

(I'd give it a try, but my caffeine hasn't kicked in yet.)


Offline David VanDyke

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #309 on: August 12, 2017, 07:14:36 PM »
Would someone please do the math to show how the payout rise wont cover what you lose by fewer pages read?

(I'd give it a try, but my caffeine hasn't kicked in yet.)



It would, if everyone lost exactly the same amount at the same time.

Here are two problems with that.

One, the scammers will ensure all their scam pages get read. Their bots do not use page flip. So, let's say (just for ease of math) that scammers are 40% of KU and legit authors are 60%. If when page flip is introduced, it lowers every legit author's page reads by 50% (again, just for ease of illustration), then those 60% now only have 30% instead of 60%, and the scammers, who lost no page reads, now have 70%. So, no matter what the numbers, page flip only hurts legit authors who rely on real readers to generate real page reads.

Two, some sectors and demographics probably use page flip more than others. I have no idea the actual numbers, but let's say for the sake of illustration that Romance readers, or older readers, or college students, or whatever, disproportionally use page flip. Authors serving those sectors will lose disproportionally.

« Last Edit: August 13, 2017, 01:22:00 PM by David VanDyke »


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Re: KU 3
« Reply #310 on: August 12, 2017, 09:36:37 PM »
It would, if everyone lost exactly the same amount at the same time.

Here are two problems with that.

One, the scammers will ensure all their scam pages get read. Their bots do not use page read. So, let's say (just for ease of math) that scammers are 40% of KU and legit authors are 60%. If when page flip is introduced, it lowers every legit author's page reads by 50% (again, just for ease of illustration), them those 60% now only have 30% instead of 60%, and the scammers, who lost no page reads, now have 70%. So, no matter what the numbers, page flip only hurts legit authors who rely on real readers to generate real page reads.

Two, some sectors and demographics probably use page flip more than others. I have no idea the actual numbers, but let's say for the sake of illustration that Romance readers, or older readers, or college students, or whatever, disproportionally use page flip. Authors serving those sectors will lose disproportionally.

Excellent point

Offline EmparentingMom

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #311 on: August 12, 2017, 09:43:00 PM »
I write MG and my page reads seem to have definitely decreased this month and do not appear to accurately reflect ranking from borrows.

Offline PaulineMRoss

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #312 on: August 13, 2017, 03:11:45 AM »
One, the scammers will ensure all their scam pages get read. Their bots do not use page flip. So, let's say (just for ease of math) that scammers are 40% of KU and legit authors are 60%. If when page flip is introduced, it lowers every legit author's page reads by 50% (again, just for ease of illustration), them those 60% now only have 30% instead of 60%, and the scammers, who lost no page reads, now have 70%. So, no matter what the numbers, page flip only hurts legit authors who rely on real readers to generate real page reads.

That just proves that scammers hurt legitimate authors, which we're probably all on board with already.

Quote
Two, some sectors and demographics probably use page flip more than others. I have no idea the actual numbers, but let's say for the sake of illustration that Romance readers, or older readers, or college students, or whatever, disproportionally use page flip. Authors serving those sectors will lose disproportionally.

It seems unlikely to me that certain groups would use page flip to read more than others. I'd have thought it was more a device issue - some devices lend themselves to it more than others. But since no one has a clue one way or the other, it's pointless to speculate.
   

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Offline MelD

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #313 on: August 13, 2017, 04:11:09 AM »
Quote from: David VanDyke
Because when the average temperature is 72, but it varies wildly between freezing and boiling, Grandma dies. Lots of people's grandmas die, in fact.

Thank you for this brilliant explanation and making me laugh so hard my coffee came out my nose. :)

Offline P.T. Phronk

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #314 on: August 13, 2017, 07:22:36 AM »
It seems unlikely to me that certain groups would use page flip to read more than others. I'd have thought it was more a device issue - some devices lend themselves to it more than others. But since no one has a clue one way or the other, it's pointless to speculate.

I agree that speculating about specifics is pointless without data. However, we can make reasonable assumptions about whether or not there are differences between groups, and my assumption is that differences do exist. With any product, there are identifiable groups with big differences in how they use the product, which marketing they respond to, etc. Businesses fail if they don't tailor their efforts to each group. I don't think Kindles are immune to that principle.

You bring up a good point yourself: different devices could correspond to different Page Flip usage rates. And devices almost certainly differ between demographics. Young people and certain geographical regions are more likely to use their phones to read books, for example, and Page Flip may be less viable to use on a tiny screen, so they'll get a disproportionate share of the pot. Maybe I'm right, maybe I'm wrong, but it's something like that is almost certainly happening, just like it does everywhere else.

It's probably small differences, but those can translate into millions of dollars and disruptions to a few career trajectories if you let them build up (and for no good reason that I can see ... we're talking about counting pages here, it's not rocket science). I don't think it's worth freaking out over or anything, but we can't deny that it's a problem.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2017, 01:11:00 PM by Phronk »

Offline Sapphire

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #315 on: August 13, 2017, 08:10:54 AM »
FWIW, I got it when you put up the post and spent almost half an hour looking for an animated GIF for that. No joy. :-\
BUT
Yeah, I got it.  ;D
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Offline David VanDyke

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #316 on: August 13, 2017, 01:29:51 PM »
Thank you for this brilliant explanation and making me laugh so hard my coffee came out my nose. :)

You're welcome. I stand on the shoulders of giants. See: Nassim Nicholas Taleb. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nassim_Nicholas_Taleb



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Offline David VanDyke

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #317 on: August 13, 2017, 01:37:15 PM »
That just proves that scammers hurt legitimate authors, which we're probably all on board with already.

It seems unlikely to me that certain groups would use page flip to read more than others. I'd have thought it was more a device issue - some devices lend themselves to it more than others. But since no one has a clue one way or the other, it's pointless to speculate.

Because my comments were in reply to a question about why the problem exists, when the poster's intuition says it shouldn't, I brought up these observations. Yes, they're obvious in one sense, and speculation may seem pointless in identifying the specific problem--but it's not pointless when it clarifies how problems could arise in general.

An analogy: Someone says to me, "I can't believe we're still having wildfires with all the rain that's fallen. It makes no sense." I could then identify several low-probability cases that nevertheless, over time and square mileage, lead to wildfires. In one sense, it's pointless for me to speculate on how any specific wildfire will start, as low-probability cases are usually useless as predictors. But in a general sense, it's very valuable to provide an answer for how things do occasionally happen, if only to help someone come to terms with the dissonance between intuition and statistical reality.



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Offline MelD

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #318 on: August 13, 2017, 02:37:23 PM »
Quote from: David VanDyke
An analogy: Someone says to me, "I can't believe we're still having wildfires with all the rain that's fallen. It makes no sense." I could then identify several low-probability cases that nevertheless, over time and square mileage, lead to wildfires. In one sense, it's pointless for me to speculate on how any specific wildfire will start, as low-probability cases are usually useless as predictors. But in a general sense, it's very valuable to provide an answer for how things do occasionally happen, if only to help someone come to terms with the dissonance between intuition and statistical reality.

I am now your new fan. :) Very well explained.

Offline David VanDyke

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #319 on: August 13, 2017, 03:50:43 PM »
I am now your new fan. :) Very well explained.

Great!

Now buy my books.

;)



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Offline spellscribe

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #320 on: August 14, 2017, 10:00:14 PM »
That just proves that scammers hurt legitimate authors, which we're probably all on board with already.

It seems unlikely to me that certain groups would use page flip to read more than others. I'd have thought it was more a device issue - some devices lend themselves to it more than others. But since no one has a clue one way or the other, it's pointless to speculate.
As I mentioned a few pages back, I use page flip for some genres and not others. Those I've spoken to do the same. Page flip will skew towards affecting 'fast reads' more than longer or more complex books.

I use it to skim faster paced books that are fun and easy to read.

I do not use it for epics,or for informative NF books.

The increased page payout will favour the epic writers while killing the pages of my casual reads. For the record, I don't page flip my borrowed books, only purchased ones - but that's only because I know what happens to those payments and I care enough to make myself uncomfortable when reading.

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Offline devalong

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #321 on: August 15, 2017, 07:44:24 AM »
 :o

This is with a paperback, but the something similar could probably be used to swipe on a device...

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ir5ZanXy6nc" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ir5ZanXy6nc</a>

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #322 on: August 15, 2017, 08:08:56 AM »
The increased page payout will favour the epic writers while killing the pages of my casual reads.

This is nothing more than a hope. There is no evidence the payout per page will improve. And we wont know for sure for another month.

All I see at the moment is a 30% decrease in page reads, and a definite gap between reads and ranks, indicating I'm getting the borrows, but not the reads.

Consequently, after KU being 65% of my income since KU2 began, its now dropped to 48%, and appears to be still going down.

I'm no longer thinking KU has to be rethought. I'm now planning how the hell I get out without losing 65% of my fan base. And I dont have an answer yet. Just readers begging me not to leave KU.

But the sad fact now is, KU cannibalizing sales is no longer covering them in terms of money.

We might get an improvement in the payout per page, but I seriously doubt its going to cover my 30% loss in page reads.

Offline David VanDyke

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #323 on: August 15, 2017, 11:02:16 AM »

I'm no longer thinking KU has to be rethought. I'm now planning how the hell I get out without losing 65% of my fan base. And I dont have an answer yet. Just readers begging me not to leave KU.


Some of my fans grumbled when I left KU, but nobody abandoned me as far as I know. Are they really a fan if they abandon an author they connect with over what boils down to a few dollars a month? So I doubt you'll lose 65% of your fan base. You're not making your books unavailable; you're just taking them out of the service that makes them feel free. So in fact, you might have them valuing your books more now that they have to buy them individually.

It also helps to explain it to them if you have a good mailing list. Tell them why you're pulling out of KU--that it's no longer tolerable for you, you're sorry but it has to be this way, etc. And I bet the fans you pick up from the other vendors will more than make up for the few you actually lose from leaving KU.





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Offline Joseph M. Erhardt

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Re: KU 3
« Reply #324 on: August 16, 2017, 06:20:36 AM »
The payout for July, per a post on KDP forums, is now .00403x / page.

If there's been a disallowal of scam pages, no positive effect is showing in this figure.

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