Author Topic: KU 3  (Read 30086 times)  

Online BillyDeCarlo

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 143
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Billy DeCarlo, Author
Re: KU 3
« Reply #300 on: August 05, 2017, 01:23:19 PM »
Maybe someone should get onto one of those websites that make online petitions easy and start up an indie author campaign/petition to the Zon to let them know at least there are a significant number of us that are p*ssed off and considering bolting. It's possible they have no idea we're on to them and/or the adverse effect of this change on us.
Vigilante Angels Book I: The Priest: 100%

Vigilante Angels Book II: The Cop: 100%

Vigilante Angels Book III: The Candidate: 85%
Vigilante Angels Series Books I, II, III all available on Amazon!
Billy DeCarlo | Website/blog | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Amazon | BookBub | Goodreads | LibraryThing

Offline Bill Hiatt

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1785
  • Gender: Male
  • California
    • View Profile
    • Bill Hiatt's Author Website
Re: KU 3
« Reply #301 on: August 05, 2017, 01:47:43 PM »
Amazon are only thinking of their customers and the only reason they introduced KU3 was to get rid of the scammers who were cheating Amazon, not out of any cause to protect Amazon writers.
I would agree with the general point that large corporations are primarily worried about their own profits rather than their distributors or anyone else. Still, in the interest of fairness, it's worth noting that none of us have a clue why Amazon took steps against the scammers. The notion that they were cheating Amazon is really only true if Amazon was injecting extra money into the pot to keep the payout from falling below a certain level--which may or may not be true. I think a more likely scenario is that the bulk of the scamming activity was costing us collectively far more than it was costing Amazon. (At least, that's what a lot of people in this thread would have said a few days ago.)

Whatever Amazon's motive was, making the system harder for scammers to game does benefit all of us in the long run.

Should Amazon fix Page Flip? Yes. I read a suggestion somewhere that a page counts if a reader spends enough time on it, whether it's being read in Page Flip or not. However, we don't really know how much of an impact Page Flip has. Nor do we know that it's responsible for the decline in the last few days. After reading the other thread on August stats so far, I'm persuaded there could be several possible reasons the drop some people are seeing.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2017, 07:38:07 AM by Bill Hiatt »


Tickling the imagination one book at a time
Bill Hiatt | fiction website | education website | Facebook author page | Twitter

Offline Jim Johnson

  • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
  • *******
  • Posts: 5922
  • Gender: Male
  • Alexandria, VA
  • Storyteller and Cat Minion
    • View Profile
    • Ineti Press
Re: KU 3
« Reply #302 on: August 05, 2017, 05:22:30 PM »
Maybe someone should get onto one of those websites that make online petitions easy and start up an indie author campaign/petition to the Zon to let them know at least there are a significant number of us that are p*ssed off and considering bolting. It's possible they have no idea we're on to them and/or the adverse effect of this change on us.

Online petitions are a waste of time. Write up a professional-sounding email and email it to jeff@amazon.com. You'll get a response from someone in the executive client relations. They do read emails. Harder to know if they're making changes, but so far any time I've emailed Jeff or ECR, I've gotten responses. Enough of us send emails to them, they'll get the picture. Whether they do something about it is another matter.

Offline Laran Mithras

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 399
  • Butte MT
    • View Profile
Re: KU 3
« Reply #303 on: August 06, 2017, 04:18:22 AM »
For whatever reason, Amazon wants to maintain KU and wants to maintain incentives for exclusivity.

Amazon sure seems to be trying just the opposite.  ::)

Offline devalong

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 201
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • My site, sign up for my list
Re: KU 3
« Reply #304 on: August 10, 2017, 11:51:50 PM »

I wrote it in a couple of days. Surely Amazon's crack team of programmers could do the same.

Fixing the bug would actually cost Amazon money though so it's way down on the backlog under the last Sprint before the end of time and way after all the 'make Pageflip even better so more people use it to read' Stories.

Kinky/sexy billonaire/shifter novelettes.
Deva Long | My author page | My website

Online BillyDeCarlo

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 143
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Billy DeCarlo, Author
Re: KU 3
« Reply #305 on: August 11, 2017, 03:31:34 AM »
Yesterday I had some sales and a few hundred page reads sometime before noon, and then book report ca-chinged and I looked and it was down to almost nothing - 28 cents for just a few page reads. It stayed that way until last night, although the KDP reports still shows the sales and page reads. Not sure what that was all about, but it seems things are still in flux.
Vigilante Angels Book I: The Priest: 100%

Vigilante Angels Book II: The Cop: 100%

Vigilante Angels Book III: The Candidate: 85%
Vigilante Angels Series Books I, II, III all available on Amazon!
Billy DeCarlo | Website/blog | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Amazon | BookBub | Goodreads | LibraryThing

Offline Amanda M. Lee

  • Status: A A Milne
  • ******
  • Posts: 4557
  • Gender: Female
  • Listen to me, you will.
    • View Profile
Re: KU 3
« Reply #306 on: August 11, 2017, 05:46:17 AM »
Yesterday I had some sales and a few hundred page reads sometime before noon, and then book report ca-chinged and I looked and it was down to almost nothing - 28 cents for just a few page reads. It stayed that way until last night, although the KDP reports still shows the sales and page reads. Not sure what that was all about, but it seems things are still in flux.
That was a Book Report thing because Amazon made a change in a file name. There are other threads about it. Ultimately it had nothing to do with KU3.

Amanda M. Lee

Offline Bill Hiatt

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1785
  • Gender: Male
  • California
    • View Profile
    • Bill Hiatt's Author Website
Re: KU 3
« Reply #307 on: August 11, 2017, 07:56:56 AM »
Fixing the bug would actually cost Amazon money though so it's way down on the backlog under the last Sprint before the end of time and way after all the 'make Pageflip even better so more people use it to read' Stories.
It would cost them money in the sense that they'd have to pay programmers to do it. It could be viewed as a cost if we assume that Page Flip was intended as a way to avoid paying for lots of pages read. I suppose that's possible; stranger things have happened. However, it's certainly a high-risk strategy if Amazon wants to maintain KU, which it seems to. I think it's more likely Amazon actually believed in the beginning that readers wouldn't read books in Page Flip. (Some authors have expressed the same opinion.) Anyway, we know that some people read books in Page Flip, but we have no idea how many. It's hard to know how much Amazon gains from that.

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.


Tickling the imagination one book at a time
Bill Hiatt | fiction website | education website | Facebook author page | Twitter

Offline TwistedTales

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 796
    • View Profile
Re: KU 3
« Reply #308 on: August 11, 2017, 08:05:20 AM »
I think it's more likely Amazon actually believed in the beginning that readers wouldn't read books in Page Flip. (Some authors have expressed the same opinion.) Anyway, we know that some people read books in Page Flip, but we have no idea how many. It's hard to know how much Amazon gains from that.

I don't think it matters how many readers do or don't read using page flip. The fact is Amazon have implemented a method where a reader can read a book in KU without the pages being counted. And, whenever anyone has asked Amazon about it, without bothering to supply any supporting numbers much less evidence, they tell us it's a small percentage and we shouldn't worry about it.

It's this sort of behavior that breaks trust between Amazon and the authors. Sure, some authors don't care, but there are enough that do for Amazon to do something other than nothing.

Online PaulineMRoss

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2596
  • Gender: Female
  • Nairn, Scotland
    • View Profile
    • The Brightmoon Annals
Re: KU 3
« Reply #309 on: August 11, 2017, 08:30:54 AM »
I don't think it matters how many readers do or don't read using page flip.

This I agree with (although for different reasons from you). Yes, the page flip issue means that pages read are being systematically under-reported, but unless you assume that page flip is used more for certain authors' works or certain genres (which seems unlikely to me), then the under-reporting will be spread over the whole pool of pages read and the payout rate will be fractionally higher as a result. So it all comes out in the wash. In my opinion.

Now, scamming, botting, bundling, etc, designing to increase the share of the pool for certain authors at the expense of everyone else - that's something I get incensed about. But page flip, no.
   

Pauline M. Ross (epic fantasy) Website | Mary Kingswood (Regency romances) Website 
Bookbub rejections: 56 and counting...

Offline MelD

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
Re: KU 3
« Reply #310 on: August 11, 2017, 08:58:02 AM »
I don't think it matters how many readers do or don't read using page flip. The fact is Amazon have implemented a method where a reader can read a book in KU without the pages being counted. And, whenever anyone has asked Amazon about it, without bothering to supply any supporting numbers much less evidence, they tell us it's a small percentage and we shouldn't worry about it.

It's this sort of behavior that breaks trust between Amazon and the authors
. Sure, some authors don't care, but there are enough that do for Amazon to do something other than nothing.

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.

Offline TwistedTales

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 796
    • View Profile
Re: KU 3
« Reply #311 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

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1450
    • View Profile
Re: KU 3
« Reply #312 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.

Offline Atlantisatheart

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 234
    • View Profile
Re: KU 3
« Reply #313 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

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 891
    • View Profile
Re: KU 3
« Reply #314 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

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
Re: KU 3
« Reply #315 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

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 891
    • View Profile
Re: KU 3
« Reply #316 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

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 43
  • Gender: Male
  • Missour, United States
    • View Profile
    • Ryan W. Mueller
Re: KU 3
« Reply #317 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

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1246
    • View Profile
Re: KU 3
« Reply #318 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.



Futuristic Thrillers, Mysteries and Science Fiction
David VanDyke | Blog | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Contact

Online TimothyEllis

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3197
  • Gender: Male
  • Somewhere in space.
  • Aussie in the 27th century.
    • View Profile
    • Timothy Ellis Author
Re: KU 3
« Reply #319 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

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1246
    • View Profile
Re: KU 3
« Reply #320 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 »


Futuristic Thrillers, Mysteries and Science Fiction
David VanDyke | Blog | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Contact

Offline hopecartercan

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 145
    • View Profile
Re: KU 3
« Reply #321 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

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 162
    • View Profile
Re: KU 3
« Reply #322 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.

Online PaulineMRoss

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2596
  • Gender: Female
  • Nairn, Scotland
    • View Profile
    • The Brightmoon Annals
Re: KU 3
« Reply #323 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.
   

Pauline M. Ross (epic fantasy) Website | Mary Kingswood (Regency romances) Website 
Bookbub rejections: 56 and counting...

Offline MelD

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
Re: KU 3
« Reply #324 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. :)