Author Topic: Lowering the KNEP Cap from 3000 to 1000 Pages  (Read 9731 times)  

Offline SeanHinn

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Re: Lowering the KNEP Cap from 3000 to 1000 Pages
« Reply #125 on: April 15, 2018, 11:58:11 AM »


Hopefully this will put to bed the idea that it's reasonable to apply an arbitrary cap making a longer book the same value as a shorter book. There's a reason Oathbringer is almost 2x the cost of the other books, and it's not the cost of the extra paper. These are all well-known authors, so it's not about popularity, either. It's about the risk, effort, and expense required to produce the longer title.

Offline Becca Mills

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Re: Lowering the KNEP Cap from 3000 to 1000 Pages
« Reply #126 on: April 15, 2018, 12:22:49 PM »
Hopefully this will put to bed the idea that it's reasonable to apply an arbitrary cap making a longer book the same value as a shorter book. There's a reason Oathbringer is almost 2x the cost of the other books, and it's not the cost of the extra paper. These are all well-known authors, so it's not about popularity, either. It's about the risk, effort, and expense required to produce the longer title.

Are you sure those differences aren't at least in part about the cost of paper and shipping, Sean? As an Amazon ebook, the Sanderson only costs about 20% more than the next most expensive of those books (Glass), despite the fact that it's three times longer. It's the equivalent of someone pricing at $5.99 instead of $4.99 -- well within the range of standard differences. It's not really like most of us making $2.05 to $4.10 per ebook sale and a few people making $13.50 per sale.

Offline SeanHinn

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Re: Lowering the KNEP Cap from 3000 to 1000 Pages
« Reply #127 on: April 15, 2018, 01:04:10 PM »
Are you sure those differences aren't at least in part about the cost of paper and shipping, Sean? As an Amazon ebook, the Sanderson only costs about 20% more than the next most expensive of those books (Glass), despite the fact that it's three times longer. It's the equivalent of someone pricing at $5.99 instead of $4.99 -- well within the range of standard differences. It's not really like most of us making $2.05 to $4.10 per ebook sale and a few people making $13.50 per sale.

Certainly in part, but if you ever have some time on your hands, price out big-order hardcover offset printing; the page number is a very small piece of the puzzle. You open those books up, and the real differences become apparent. Part of it is the art: maps, illustrations, original hand-painted scenes for the jacket. Those are expected in the epic genre, not just bonuses that the well-to-do include. And then, above all, is the editing. You can't get away with a beta team and a proof team in epic. There are too many moving parts, too many characters, and all-original terms, themes, religions, calendars, units of measurement - the appendices alone on these books can be 20-30 pages. You need full-on, developmental editing, not only for the book being produced, but the editor must also be familiar with the world you've created. They charge to read and review the previous books in the series. Consistency checking alone can take many weeks of work, before you ever get to line editing or proofing. Top-notch editors in this genre charge 3c/word just for the developmental edit, and if you don't pay top dollar, it *really* shows. Readers in this genre will bomb a book with even a slight consistency issue. Rightly so, I might add - the quality bar is set really, really high when you're trying to be the next Tolkein.

And, again, it's the advertising. The demographic of epic consumers tends to be on the higher-income side, which makes targeting them on ANY platform more expensive. I'll shoot you a PM of my AMS ads if you'd like to see what the bids are - you'll need your fainting couch. All that has to be built in to the pricing and revenue models. And, just like in any other genre, it takes a few books to gain any traction, so you're years into a series before you begin to have a clue as to what your readthrough is going to look like, and whether or not you have a story that is even *maybe* someday going to be profitable enough to complete. Which is the #1 reason trads don't buy epics from noobs - it's just too big a risk.

By the way, I'm not complaining even a bit - I love writing in this genre.  It's the biggest challenge of my life, and I have never felt so fulfilled. But if I can't earn a living, I can't keep doing it, and again, I'm not anywhere near as invested as many of my peers.

This is a genre worth supporting, folks, even if you don't read in it. There are great literary works being created right now by brilliant, dedicated people who have bet the farm on being able to break into the genre and maybe, just maybe, have a chance to be the next author of a timeless classic.

Offline idontknowyet

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Re: Lowering the KNEP Cap from 3000 to 1000 Pages
« Reply #128 on: April 15, 2018, 01:13:27 PM »


Hopefully this will put to bed the idea that it's reasonable to apply an arbitrary cap making a longer book the same value as a shorter book. There's a reason Oathbringer is almost 2x the cost of the other books, and it's not the cost of the extra paper. These are all well-known authors, so it's not about popularity, either. It's about the risk, effort, and expense required to produce the longer title.

Hardcovers have a different value perception than paperbacks or ebooks. People assign value based on the cost to manufacture the book. Hardcovers have been valued in the $20-30 range regardless of length for a very long time. A paperback of the same length would only sell for 7.99 to maybe 13.99 and the ebook even less. Much of this has to do with the buyers perception of value and costs involved in production.  Try selling a fiction ebook for $20-40. See how many actual sales happen.

Established authors with a huge following and name recognition are an exception to this range.

Offline writerlygal

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Re: Lowering the KNEP Cap from 3000 to 1000 Pages
« Reply #129 on: April 15, 2018, 01:28:57 PM »
In a thread full of people advocating to willingly give up their own current rights & ability to make money in KU to stick it to the allged scammers, it's refreshing to read the posts from those of ya'all standing up against that.

Limiting the page cut off & therefore ability of a book to make more money in KU or taking away All Star bonuses [which many authors of longer novels such as in sci fi receive] is not going to stop scamming. It is cutting off your nose to spite your face.


Offline writerlygal

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Re: Lowering the KNEP Cap from 3000 to 1000 Pages
« Reply #130 on: April 15, 2018, 01:33:23 PM »


Hopefully this will put to bed the idea that it's reasonable to apply an arbitrary cap making a longer book the same value as a shorter book. There's a reason Oathbringer is almost 2x the cost of the other books, and it's not the cost of the extra paper. These are all well-known authors, so it's not about popularity, either. It's about the risk, effort, and expense required to produce the longer title.

I agree w/ you.

It takes longer to plot, write, edit, & proofread a longer book. Therefore there is a bigger risk that you sink all that time or money [which are the same thing, to me anyway] into a book that doesn't sell. So, it makes sense to me that longer books would be priced higher.

I do understand the arguments that say it can be just as painstakingly hard for writers & editors to trim words down to only the most essential. But in general if it's [ghost]written or edited or proofread by anyone but the publisher, that's likely done on a per word basis so longer books cost more for the publisher to produce whether they are in hardcover or eBook format.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2018, 01:35:24 PM by writerlygal »

Offline SeanHinn

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Re: Lowering the KNEP Cap from 3000 to 1000 Pages
« Reply #131 on: April 15, 2018, 01:39:17 PM »
Established authors with a huge following and name recognition are an exception to this range.

That's exactly the point - one cannot reach the level where their work is valued on par with the "big" folks - even if the quality is comparable, or superior, in the minds of readers - unless they can manage to keep at it and earn a living long enough to command the higher prices. Reduce the incomes of those authors, and significantly fewer will ever have a chance to make it to the promised land. We indies don't get to produce hardcover epics, it's cost prohibitive, so all we get is a chance to earn with ebooks. If you make it impossible for an author to break even on longer works - and a 20-30% reduction in revenues is all it would take - those works simply never see the light of day. That's a tragedy.


Offline jckang

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Re: Lowering the KNEP Cap from 3000 to 1000 Pages
« Reply #132 on: April 15, 2018, 01:44:42 PM »
I don't have much to add beyond what has already been said, but I wanted to add my support to the following points that have been brought up:

1.  Lowering the KENP max to 1k isn't going to punish the scammers.  It will just make them work a little harder as they add more books for their KU clickfarms to readthrough.


2. It will harm authors with larger books:  at 150k words, my largest single book is 1015 KENP; a box set of mine is 2900 KENP.  There are plenty of authors with 200k+ books in KU, and I agree with others who've said that if you support a lower KENP limit because it doesn't affect you, that is pretty selfish.

3. Multi-Author box sets ads value to KU subscribers, and can help newer authors with discovery.

4.


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Offline idontknowyet

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Re: Lowering the KNEP Cap from 3000 to 1000 Pages
« Reply #133 on: April 15, 2018, 01:47:14 PM »
Certainly in part, but if you ever have some time on your hands, price out big-order hardcover offset printing; the page number is a very small piece of the puzzle. You open those books up, and the real differences become apparent. Part of it is the art: maps, illustrations, original hand-painted scenes for the jacket. Those are expected in the epic genre, not just bonuses that the well-to-do include. And then, above all, is the editing. You can't get away with a beta team and a proof team in epic. There are too many moving parts, too many characters, and all-original terms, themes, religions, calendars, units of measurement - the appendices alone on these books can be 20-30 pages. You need full-on, developmental editing, not only for the book being produced, but the editor must also be familiar with the world you've created. They charge to read and review the previous books in the series. Consistency checking alone can take many weeks of work, before you ever get to line editing or proofing. Top-notch editors in this genre charge 3c/word just for the developmental edit, and if you don't pay top dollar, it *really* shows. Readers in this genre will bomb a book with even a slight consistency issue. Rightly so, I might add - the quality bar is set really, really high when you're trying to be the next Tolkein.

And, again, it's the advertising. The demographic of epic consumers tends to be on the higher-income side, which makes targeting them on ANY platform more expensive. I'll shoot you a PM of my AMS ads if you'd like to see what the bids are - you'll need your fainting couch. All that has to be built in to the pricing and revenue models. And, just like in any other genre, it takes a few books to gain any traction, so you're years into a series before you begin to have a clue as to what your readthrough is going to look like, and whether or not you have a story that is even *maybe* someday going to be profitable enough to complete. Which is the #1 reason trads don't buy epics from noobs - it's just too big a risk.

By the way, I'm not complaining even a bit - I love writing in this genre.  It's the biggest challenge of my life, and I have never felt so fulfilled. But if I can't earn a living, I can't keep doing it, and again, I'm not anywhere near as invested as many of my peers.

This is a genre worth supporting, folks, even if you don't read in it. There are great literary works being created right now by brilliant, dedicated people who have bet the farm on being able to break into the genre and maybe, just maybe, have a chance to be the next author of a timeless classic.

No one is discounting the costs of your books, nor the time or dedication. You have to love it maybe even live it to write them. That doesnt overide the fact that a work of fiction has a value cap placed by readers. This value has been decided not by your fellow authors but by your readers for years and years. As has been stated before very few people will pay more than $10 for a fiction ebook. That has nothing to do with how well written or how long the book is. KU is a synthetic market subject to the whims of Amazon. Currently Amazon is paying more than the market demands for your genre. It is wonderful for you because it gives you time to write and develop a following, but it's nothing you can base a long term career on.

One book read costs more than that person is paying for a month to read it. Amazon is losing money on your books. As a reader I prefer longer books and if well written even like stuffed books. (If i had my way every book an author has ever written would be linked together. Allowing me to easily read all of your books.) My guess is there are many people like me and that's why Amazon has continued to allow stuffing. One thing a company doesnt like is losing money. Once KU accomplishes all its goals set by Amazon, they will change it to be more profitable for them. As others have suggested that might be through a curated list or they might get rid of it all together.

In order to save this system, which many people love, the system must be fixed. As others have stated the cost and effort need to be minimal for Amazon  otherwise they just wont listen. The only other way to enact change is offer them something that will make them large amounts of money in a short period of time. Then they might be willing to spend money.

It does sound reasonable that the cap would help in many genres.  Making an exception for Boxed Set and traditionally long genres might be an option, or it might decimate those genres just like it already is doing to others.

I don't have much to add beyond what has already been said, but I wanted to add my support to the following points that have been brought up:

1.  Lowering the KENP max to 1k isn't going to punish the scammers.  It will just make them work a little harder as they add more books for their KU clickfarms to readthrough.


2. It will harm authors with larger books:  at 150k words, my largest single book is 1015 KENP; a box set of mine is 2900 KENP.  There are plenty of authors with 200k+ books in KU, and I agree with others who've said that if you support a lower KENP limit because it doesn't affect you, that is pretty selfish.

3. Multi-Author box sets ads value to KU subscribers, and can help newer authors with discovery.

4.

I dont think there is any one thing that will fix scammers. As soon as you fix one hole they will find or create another.  The only one that can get rid of scammers is Amazon and it will be a constant and expensive battle. Will lowering the KENP get rid of stuffers for the most part yes.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2018, 02:13:35 PM by idontknowyet »

Offline SeanHinn

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Re: Lowering the KNEP Cap from 3000 to 1000 Pages
« Reply #134 on: April 15, 2018, 02:13:02 PM »
No one is discounting the costs of your books

Actually, that's exactly what's being proposed. That the writer of a long book should earn less per page than the writer of a short book.

One book read costs more than that person is paying for a month to read it. Amazon is losing money on your books.

That's a widely assumed idea, but it is incorrect. Amazon earns a specific dollar amount based on the number of subscribers to the program. The total pool of revenues, minus whatever margin they set for themselves, is divided by the number of pages read. Authors are rewarded a share of the pool based upon the volume of entertainment - pages read - they provide to the customers of the program. You are also assuming that a reader of an epic fantasy book consumes the content faster than a reader of, say, a romance book, and therefore reads more pages per month, simply because the books are longer. That is an assumption without statistical support, and in fact, runs contrary to what would seem logical. Epics are not easy reads, generally. They are extraordinarily complex tales with huge casts of characters, plots within plots within plots... and a learning curve just to get the feel for the world being created. Many readers spend weeks or months, maybe a chapter or scene per night a few nights per week - reading through an epic story. The theory that Amazon loses money on any KU book, as popular as that theory is, is contradicted by data.

Offline David VanDyke

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Re: Lowering the KNEP Cap from 3000 to 1000 Pages
« Reply #135 on: April 15, 2018, 02:25:19 PM »
Are you sure those differences aren't at least in part about the cost of paper and shipping, Sean?

Very little. Just check the prices for 10000 copies of an offset-printed hardback at a reputable book printer. Costs a couple bucks for even a huge book. Shipping might be a factor, but even all together, we're only talking about 10% of retail cost. 90% of retail cost is middlemen, profit, royalties, marketing, overhead, etc.


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Offline David VanDyke

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Re: Lowering the KNEP Cap from 3000 to 1000 Pages
« Reply #136 on: April 15, 2018, 02:29:04 PM »

1.  Lowering the KENP max to 1k isn't going to punish the scammers.  It will just make them work a little harder as they add more books for their KU clickfarms to readthrough.

2. It will harm authors with larger books:  at 150k words, my largest single book is 1015 KENP; a box set of mine is 2900 KENP.  There are plenty of authors with 200k+ books in KU, and I agree with others who've said that if you support a lower KENP limit because it doesn't affect you, that is pretty selfish.

3. Multi-Author box sets ads value to KU subscribers, and can help newer authors with discovery.

1. It's not about punishing them. It's just one more layer of difficulty for them to fight. If the cap didn't matter at all, we'd still have no cap and the scammers would be publishing 100,000-page monstrosities.

2. Minimal harm to a minimal number of people, compared to the benefit. Every regulatory change to any system always trims a little at the edges. No fix is perfect, but this one would be helpful.

3. Those box sets for discovery could still be published for discovery. They just wouldn't pay $14 for a read in KU. Remember the days of 99-book box sets making $150 per read? See #1.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2018, 02:31:04 PM by David VanDyke »


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Offline JWright

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Re: Lowering the KNEP Cap from 3000 to 1000 Pages
« Reply #137 on: April 15, 2018, 02:33:00 PM »
I write epic fantasy but I'm not sure I want to be in KU, so I don't necessarily feel I have a big personal stake in this.

I have great respect for romance writers.  Most of them work very hard, are very savvy business people and give great advice here and in other writing forums.  They have a huge pool of voracious reader that no other genre comes close to.  As great as we think our books are I think most romance readers would probably be yelling at their Kindle readers to get to the point already and would be bored to tears. Don't get me wrong, I love epic fantasy, but not everyone does.  So yes the books take longer to write but we all have our own audiences.  And we don't get paid based on how long it takes to write something or how much we spend to produce it.

In theory, being paid by page count sounds great because if people actually are reading the pages then they have an interest.  If it's bots or incentivized then it's not real readers enjoying the book.

Trying to level the playing field through a page count limit makes zero sense to me.  Those who are doing things unethically have economies of scale and way too much firepower to overcome it by just instituting a page limit.   I don't like bonus content because I think it's deceptive, but if people actually read it then I do think the writer should get paid for it.  And if people want to hire ghostwriters and cover designers and pay lots in advertising then that's not illegitimate either - they are acting as a publishing company.  Many legitimate writers spend thousands of dollars a month on advertising.  We are self-publishers.  The issue is whether it's real readers reading the stuff or not. 
« Last Edit: April 15, 2018, 02:34:59 PM by JulesWright »

Offline kw3000

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Re: Lowering the KNEP Cap from 3000 to 1000 Pages
« Reply #138 on: April 15, 2018, 02:39:38 PM »
Said it before, I'll say it again with regard to this issue...this is why we can't have nice things. The mastermind group and probably others using similar tactics are likely responsible for an even higher percentage of gamed page reads and problems in KU than we even realize. I think what we know publicly barely scratches the surface.

I don't see a good solution to this and I suspect Amazon doesn't either outside of responses that will continually cost them more and more money with no end in sight, not to mention a further eroding of the customer experience, which for Amazon is untenable. Given that, I can see Amazon reaching a point some time sooner than later where they decide to cut bait and close KU to submissions entirely, leaving it populated with trad and APub books only.

Kinda crazy to think that all of the nefarious activity in KU, and the costs/damages associated, could actually lead the biggest of the self-publishing platforms to revert back to gate-keeping a major part of their platform. Of course, indies would likely still have the ability to sell wide in that scenario and use KDP that way, but it's a shame that these internet marketers, or whatever you want to call them, could potentially spoil things in a big way for legitimate authors more than they already have.

Here's hoping a proper solution is realized before indies lose access to KU altogether.

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Offline David VanDyke

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Re: Lowering the KNEP Cap from 3000 to 1000 Pages
« Reply #139 on: April 15, 2018, 02:43:42 PM »

Trying to level the playing field through a page count limit makes zero sense to me.  Those who are doing things unethically have economies of scale and way too much firepower to overcome it by just instituting a page limit.   


I don't think anyone's suggesting ONLY a page payment cap is the answer. Not a page limit, by the way--you should still be able to publish whatever size. You just won't get paid more than the cap allows. Combine that with other measures and we will all be better off.

The second argument, that scammers can overcome it, doesn't mean we shouldn't fight. Crime will always be with us, but we do lots of things to minimize it, even though we know we can't stamp it out entirely.


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Offline JWright

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Re: Lowering the KNEP Cap from 3000 to 1000 Pages
« Reply #140 on: April 15, 2018, 02:46:08 PM »
Why would we be better off if it doesn't stop the scammers?


Offline idontknowyet

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Re: Lowering the KNEP Cap from 3000 to 1000 Pages
« Reply #141 on: April 15, 2018, 02:47:08 PM »
Actually, that's exactly what's being proposed. That the writer of a long book should earn less per page than the writer of a short book.

I don't say your books costs less than what your saying. I believe you when you say it costs 10s of thousands to produce.

I do point out that reader market value is different than KU value. A reader will not pay many people $14 per ebook. I can understand why you want to continue making $14 per read rather than the $4-6 you would make otherwise. I would not want to lose that money. 

That's a widely assumed idea, but it is incorrect. Amazon earns a specific dollar amount based on the number of subscribers to the program. The total pool of revenues, minus whatever margin they set for themselves, is divided by the number of pages read. Authors are rewarded a share of the pool based upon the volume of entertainment - pages read - they provide to the customers of the program. You are also assuming that a reader of an epic fantasy book consumes the content faster than a reader of, say, a romance book, and therefore reads more pages per month, simply because the books are longer. That is an assumption without statistical support, and in fact, runs contrary to what would seem logical. Epics are not easy reads, generally. They are extraordinarily complex tales with huge casts of characters, plots within plots within plots... and a learning curve just to get the feel for the world being created. Many readers spend weeks or months, maybe a chapter or scene per night a few nights per week - reading through an epic story. The theory that Amazon loses money on any KU book, as popular as that theory is, is contradicted by data.

I will use myself as an example. I love and hate KU. Daily I read 5 books not novellas books. I try to find ones in the 300 page range or higher which is around 100k words. Daily I cost Amazon money to pay for my reads. $10 doesn't cover the amount I read in a month. $10 doesn't cover one read of your book. What amazon is doing if they are making a profit on KU is using other readers to subsidize my reading and your books. Or if what you say is true one person is pay $10-20 maybe even 30 for the privilege of borrowing your book for 3 months  or more. I think many borrowers are a little more cash savvy then that. They might be reading something else in between your book. I know I would just buy your book outright if I knew it would take me 3 months to read rather than renting it.

We dont know if amazon is making or losing money on KU or not.

I just did the math though on what i read in a year. I will admit there are weeks I dont read anything.
Assuming that i read just 15 days out of a month
.00445x15x2500KENP= Im reading almost $166 a month in books for $10.  That sounds insane to me.   
« Last Edit: April 15, 2018, 03:09:36 PM by idontknowyet »

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Re: Lowering the KNEP Cap from 3000 to 1000 Pages
« Reply #142 on: April 15, 2018, 03:13:59 PM »
Daily I read 5 books not novellas books. I try to find ones in the 300-page range or higher which is around 100k words.

That's quite a reading pace. You must be a speed-reader in Howard Berg's league. The average human reads 200 words a minute, or 12,000 an hour, or about sixty KENP pages (200-word count -- funny how that matches up). The average book on Amazon is 60k, or about five hours worth of reading. Reading five in a twenty-four hour day would be a challenge for the average reader.

I'm not questioning your reading speed. I wish I shared it. An ex-wife read in Berg's league. This was pre-Kindle, and the page flipping "swoosh" every thirty seconds became extremely annoying.


Offline idontknowyet

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Re: Lowering the KNEP Cap from 3000 to 1000 Pages
« Reply #143 on: April 15, 2018, 03:21:44 PM »
That's quite a reading pace. You must be a speed-reader in Howard Berg's league. The average human reads 200 words a minute, or 12,000 an hour, or about sixty KENP pages (200-word count -- funny how that matches up). The average book on Amazon is 60k, or about five hours worth of reading. Reading five in a twenty-four hour day would be a challenge for the average reader.

I'm not questioning your reading speed. I wish I shared it. An ex-wife read in Berg's league. This was pre-Kindle, and the page flipping "swoosh" every thirty seconds became extremely annoying.

Pages on a kindle don't always match up, but for trade paperbacks I read 200 pages an hour.  I've been reading this way since I was young. If I have a headache I read slower, but yeah just the rate I've always read. Don't know who Howard Berg is though. I'm at the point I've read so much I have a hard time remembering what I have and haven't read. It is quite often that I rebuy (even in paperback) books I've already bought or borrowed. I wish KU had a flag for already read books.

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Re: Lowering the KNEP Cap from 3000 to 1000 Pages
« Reply #144 on: April 15, 2018, 03:39:12 PM »
Why would we be better off if it doesn't stop the scammers?

It won't stop them entirely, but it would greatly cut into their profits, because they would have to triple their advertising expenditures to make the same amount.

It does seem that aside from romance authors, a lot of people aren't terribly bothered by the fact that you can make more on a borrow than on a buy. In fact, for some authors, this appears to be working wonderfully.

Personally, I'm leaning toward petitioning Amazon to lower the romance cap to 1,000 or even 500. In romance, a 500-page cap would cover 99% of the books. it's true that the scammers would move on to other areas, but I guess at that point, it would be up to the authors in those particular genres to handle it or petition Amazon however they see fit.

A similar solution is to ask Amazon to cap the amount you can earn per-borrow at the amount you can earn per-buy. No doubt, fantasy authors would object to that, too. So once again, I'd be happy to propose that for romance only and see how this shakes out.

Offline Jack Krenneck

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Re: Lowering the KNEP Cap from 3000 to 1000 Pages
« Reply #145 on: April 15, 2018, 03:41:19 PM »

I do point out that reader market value is different than KU value. A reader will not pay many people $14 per ebook. I can understand why you want to continue making $14 per read rather than the $4-6 you would make otherwise. I would not want to lose that money. 


The figures you're providing aren't accurate. For example, the one book I have that would breach the suggested cap earns me close to the same royalty whether by page reads or sales. Page reads is $6.74 and royalty for a sale is $5.46.

I think many of the supporters of the suggested cap underestimate how many legitimate authors would be negatively impacted. And they overestimate the benefits of a "solution" that scammers would laugh at.

Offline JWright

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Re: Lowering the KNEP Cap from 3000 to 1000 Pages
« Reply #146 on: April 15, 2018, 03:43:05 PM »
It cuts into everyone's profits, not just the scammers and they have more resources.

I do think it's a problem that people can charge 99 cents and make so much more on a borrow.  There are legitimate reasons for pricing a book at 99 cents - first in series, getting established as a new writer, promo price.  I would be more in support of limiting earnings based on sales price than pages.


It won't stop them entirely, but it would greatly cut into their profits, because they would have to triple their advertising expenditures to make the same amount.

It does seem that aside from romance authors, a lot of people aren't terribly bothered by the fact that you can make more on a borrow than on a buy. In fact, for some authors, this appears to be working wonderfully.

Personally, I'm leaning toward petitioning Amazon to lower the romance cap to 1,000 or even 500. In romance, a 500-page cap would cover 99% of the books. it's true that the scammers would move on to other areas, but I guess at that point, it would be up to the authors in those particular genres to handle it or petition Amazon however they see fit.

A similar solution is to ask Amazon to cap the amount you can earn per-borrow at the amount you can earn per-buy. No doubt, fantasy authors would object to that, too. So once again, I'd be happy to propose that for romance only and see how this shakes out.

Offline writerbiter

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Re: Lowering the KNEP Cap from 3000 to 1000 Pages
« Reply #147 on: April 15, 2018, 03:48:06 PM »

If your objective is to ONLY punish the wrongdoers, to the benefit of the community at large, I assume, then, that you would be open to carving out an exception for writers of legitimate epics, yes? Your answer to that question will expose your motive.

I can't help but shake my head at how folks don't see how this wouldn't work at all, and would probably screw things up even worse. Do any of you guys use AMS? You know how it works, right? The more titles being advertised, the more expensive the bids become. When these stuffers/scammers start chopping their books into 1k chunks, you're gonna have a problem FAR worse than what you have now. Yeah, they will lose some margins, and they'll still print money. Your stuff will become INVISIBLE. Fine, forget whether it's fair or not, or whether it will severely harm good, honest people - clearly, many of the people in this thread don't care a whit about harming other authors, so long as they benefit - at least use common sense. It's a bad idea that won't work, and could make things a hell of a lot more awful.

Expose my motive? I'm not deliberately proposing a solution to the rampant exploitation of the Kindle Unlimited program by targeting epic fantasy writers.

But to answer your question--no. I would not ask Amazon to make exceptions for fantasy as they wouldn't do it. The more cravats we put on a proposed solution, the less likely they'd be to institute it.

I apologize if this isn't what you wanted to hear. You're free to disagree. But there's a problem with the store now, and demanding Amazon eliminate the bonus books as a whole is not working. We need a different plan of attack, and some innocent writers will be swept up in the fallout. I am sorry about that, but limiting the cap would be a net benefit to the majority of writers in the program.

And, if we limit the amount of pages these people can earn per file, we will dramatically reduce their advertising budgets. Yes, I use AMS ads. And yes, I'm seeing the costs creep higher and higher. What used to be a $.15 click is now $1.50. The ones grossly exploiting the system have moved half of their advertising to AMS ads and are spending $5 or $6 a click. The longer we allow those who exploit to profit from this system, the higher those ad costs will become.

They cannot launch double or triple the amount of books per month on a third of their income. The worst offenders would be dramatically limited in what they could do with any new release.

Offline David VanDyke

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Re: Lowering the KNEP Cap from 3000 to 1000 Pages
« Reply #148 on: April 15, 2018, 03:57:58 PM »
Why would we be better off if it doesn't stop the scammers?



Because life is not binary. It's incremental. Lowering the payment cap would cut into the abuse.

It's like why you put a lock on your door. People can still break in--it just makes it harder.


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Offline P.J. Post

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Re: Lowering the KNEP Cap from 3000 to 1000 Pages
« Reply #149 on: April 15, 2018, 04:04:57 PM »
To the epic fantasy folks -

So what's your solution here, all hail Hydra?

 :(

And if so...what do we say to the romance writers losing their collective asses? This is a serious question.
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