Poll

Should long-book writers be forced to sacrifice KU income to benefit shorter-book writers (by lowering the KENP cap)?

Yes. It's OK to take from the minority to benefit the majority.
No. A solution to the bookstuffing problem should be fair to all legitimate authors.

Author Topic: Poll:Should long-book writers sacrifice KU income to benefit short-book writers?  (Read 3691 times)  

Offline SeanHinn

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 184
    • View Profile
Thank you to all who vote.

The purpose of this poll is to identify fellow authors who are willing to collaborate (work together!) on a fair-minded solution to the bookstuffing problem that doesn't harm legitimate writers of longer books. It's not enough to merely claim that the page cap lowering idea is flawed. We need to come up with a superior plan, and I am volunteering to organize a small team of smart, positive, conscientious folks who would be willing to brainstorm on ideas to address this challenge.

If you'd like to participate, I've started a Facebook group where we of a like mind on this topic can work together to the benefit of all legitimate KU writers. You can apply to join the group here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/KUSolutionsGroup/

Is anyone here in the thread qualified to really detail what the makeup of these stuffed books looks like? Are they basically, in essence, making multiple bundles with rearranged content, in addition to the individual titles? Are they really shoving 500 pages of recipes into the books (I thought I read that somewhere). I've never read through one, but I know many of the folks here on Kboards have investigated this problem in far more detail than I have.

If anyone here can provide technical information about the architecture of the stuffed books, we could really use you in the group. I'd be happy to get an organized analysis project started that we could present to Amazon to help them root these things out in an automated fashion. I would also be willing to contribute some capital towards hiring a developer to write some code, as a prototype system for flagging potential violators. If we take a project management approach to surgically removing the bad actors from the mix, we might be able to solve this thing fairly quickly, and no legitimate author suffers harm.

I can't do it all by myself, but if some of you guys are willing to get behind a fact-finding initiative to get this off the ground, I can organize the moving parts into place, and if necessary, go about raising any capital needed to develop a solution and lobby Amazon to give it a serious look.

I'm all-in on making this thing happen. Would any of you be interested in joining the FB group to brainstorm and offer input, or better yet, volunteer some useful skills that might be needed for this kind of project? Again, this is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/KUSolutionsGroup/  All who are willing to roll their sleeves up and dedicate a little bit of time to this endeavor are welcome. More than welcome: you might all end up heroes to the indie author community, if we can pull this off. Or we could fail horribly and come up empty, but I don't think that's how this will go.

Here is that link again:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/KUSolutionsGroup/

Hope to see you in there. I will check to see who has applied in the morning and we can get the conversation started right away.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 12:00:16 AM by SeanHinn »

Online MmmmmPie

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 162
    • View Profile
Well, this isn't phrased in a biased manner or anything.

Online L_Loryn

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 231
    • View Profile
KU is a broken system overall.

However, I don't think it's fair to robin-hood it and somehow make it more "fair" for short book writers. If bookstuffing didn't exist and someone wrote a 300k novel, it wouldn't feel right to slash their earnings in KU because I chose to write something shorter. That's not how it works.


Offline Carol (was Dara)

  • Status: Isaac Asimov
  • ********
  • Posts: 11838
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Although I'm not entirely unsympathetic to your argument, as a fantasy writer myself, I think it would be beneficial to word the poll as neutrally as possible if it's going to provide any useful data. Anything else will just provoke heated responses and spiral into an argument that can't be resolved.

(Edited for typo.)
« Last Edit: April 15, 2018, 10:29:36 PM by Carol (was Dara) »

Offline spellscribe

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 840
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Define long. Because Id be ok with the 1kKENP cap, but thats not the same as saying anyone who writes over 100k words should be shortchanged to give a 20k book a lions share of the pot...

Fantasy and LitRPG author
Amy R. Hopkins | Website | Facebook | Twitter

Offline TimothyEllis

  • Status: A A Milne
  • ******
  • Posts: 4117
  • Gender: Male
  • Somewhere in space.
  • Aussie in the 27th century.
    • View Profile
    • Timothy Ellis Author
The one thing I dont vote on is emotionally charged polls. Either present all the options without the guilt trip, or dont bother.

I also dont see the problem. If the 3000 page limit comes down to 1000 or 750, then anyone with a bigger book just breaks it into several, and takes the original out of KU, re-badging it as a box set.

It's just the opposite of KU1 becoming KU2. Those writing short had to start presenting long to get the money from KU.

If the limit comes down, those writing long will simply have to adapt, as those writing short have already had to.

The only sacrifice for long writers is if they choose not to adapt.

The only thing constant in ebooks is change. The landscape changes every 6 months, and those who fail to adapt, fall.

If a 750 cap makes things in KU better, then we all adapt to it. Amazon after all will do what Amazon will do, and endless argument over it, makes no difference. In the end, whatever they do, we adapt, or fall off into the abyss.

Offline SeanHinn

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 184
    • View Profile
The only sacrifice for long writers is if they choose not to adapt.

That's where the problem is, though. The only solution for doorstop writers is to stop writing doorstop books, and there's a HUGE audience for doorstop books. It would be a real tragedy for that genre to die (and those authors to lose the ability to pay their bills) because we didn't work hard enough to solve the real problem, while protecting real authors.

Let's really try, together, to see if a solution can be had that's fair to all. As I said at the top of the thread, I will go all in on organizing this thing. What I need is sharp, positive, like-minded folks to sacrifice some time and brainpower to help, because I can't do it on my own. Not asking for a lot - from each to their own ability - but I know we can do this. I've solved much bigger problems than this in my corporate life when I had the right team of folks to work with. I know you're in the other "camp" right now, but if you want to turn your hat around and roll up your sleeves with us - with the understanding that we are looking for solutions that do not harm legitimate authors - your insights would be valuable and welcome.

Offline SeanHinn

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 184
    • View Profile
Define long. Because Id be ok with the 1kKENP cap, but thats not the same as saying anyone who writes over 100k words should be shortchanged to give a 20k book a lions share of the pot...

You hit the nail on the head, though I am not sure you meant to. Whoever gets harmed thinks the cutoff is in the wrong place. Which leads me to believe a cutoff is not the right solution. What if there is a better way to this, but legit authors are not harmed? Would you get behind that? Then I'd ask you to help us build one, contributing where you can. Your insights would be most welcome.

Offline SeanHinn

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 184
    • View Profile
Although I'm not entirely unsympathetic to your argument, as a fantasy writer myself, I think it would be beneficial to word the poll as neutrally as possible if it's going to provide any useful data. Anything else will just provoke heated responses and spiral into an argument that can't be resolved.

(Edited for typo.)
I felt it was important to encapsulate the conversations from the other thread. There are two camps - first, those who think it is OK to harm a minority of authors to benefit the majority (in those nearly-exact words were those sentiments were put forth) and those who feel that any solution re: bookstuffers needs to make sure no innocents become inadvertent casualties.

You are a very well spoken, thoughtful, knowledgeable and intelligent person, if your previous post is any indication. I would love for you to be on this Facebook Group team, to whatever degree you are able to assist.

Offline SeanHinn

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 184
    • View Profile
Well, this isn't phrased in a biased manner or anything.

As I mentioned above, I felt it was important to encapsulate the conversations from the other thread. There are two camps - first, those who think it is OK to harm a minority of authors to benefit the majority (in those nearly-exact words were those sentiments were put forth) and those who feel that any solution re: bookstuffers needs to make sure no innocents become inadvertent casualties. I agree that the tone of the poll pulls no punches, but neither does it fail to accurately distill the two competing opinions.

Offline TimothyEllis

  • Status: A A Milne
  • ******
  • Posts: 4117
  • Gender: Male
  • Somewhere in space.
  • Aussie in the 27th century.
    • View Profile
    • Timothy Ellis Author
That's where the problem is, though. The only solution for doorstop writers is to stop writing doorstop books, and there's a HUGE audience for doorstop books.

I didn't say that at all! I said adapt.

Write the doorstop. Release it as a 3 novel trilogy (and use part 1, part 2, part 3 instead of the normal book 1 etc), all at the same time if you want, and put them in KU. At the same time you release the doorstop as a sale only full version. You dont even need 3 covers. You use the part number or 'full version' in the titling, and all 4 books look the same, except for which bit it is.
 
The writing is the same. The release takes a small amount of extra work.

Nothing is lost. And probably a great deal gained.

The only way you can lose doing this, is if your first 1/3 is so bad, no-one wants to read the next 2 books. But if that was the case, you wouldn't be getting full reads now.

I dont see any problem here. Release 4 books instead of 1, the buyers all buy the doorstop, the KU readers all read the 3 KU parts. Everyone is happy.

Where's the hit to doorstop writers? All I see is benefit to them.

Edit: Reality? I think the trilogy released at the same time is going to do a great deal better than the doorstop. You will most likely find the sales of the trilogy exceed those of the doorstop. And most likely book 1 will also benefit as being a taste test for people who dont like long books, so you'll pick up a lot of people who wont read a huge book, but will read a trilogy.

Edit 2: I've had 2 bundle books out so far. 800 and 1400 kenpc respectively. What I found was people still bought and KU'd the original books. I de-listed both eventually as not worth being there. 1 is back so people can update it. But it will be pulled again soon.

Epic bookstops might be a thing in that genre, but I think your readers will adapt to same time released trilogies very readily. And your actual fans, will do what provides you with the most return, because that's what fans do. By staying doorstop only, you may actually be shooting yourself in the foot and not knowing it.

Edit 3:

As I mentioned above, I felt it was important to encapsulate the conversations from the other thread. There are two camps - first, those who think it is OK to harm a minority of authors to benefit the majority (in those nearly-exact words were those sentiments were put forth) and those who feel that any solution re: bookstuffers needs to make sure no innocents become inadvertent casualties. I agree that the tone of the poll pulls no punches, but neither does it fail to accurately distill the two competing opinions.

I call BS on that.

This is your interpretation of a very long thread. Nothing more. The vast majority of people on that thread, and I suspect refraining from posting because of the emotional content distorting things, do NOT fit into either of your competing opinions.

What we all want is for Amazon to fix the situation. If a 750 cap does that, it means anyone who writes longer, will simply have to adapt to what Amazon really want anyway, which is the trilogy approach.

Amazon reward those who release monthly. Breaking up the epic doorstop might actually do you a great deal of good, since your release rate will quicken, and holding momentum between releases will be easier.

Readers will adapt. Fans will adapt to what pays you the most.

When Amazon changes something, everyone has to adapt. That's my point. Your whole argument is based on NOT adapting. And take it from me, who failed to adapt to AMS coming in, not adapting is suicide!

This whole argument about a minority being hurt only applies if you FAIL TO ADAPT. And we get forced to re-adapt every 6 months! If you fail to adapt, that's your choice, but it has nothing to do with anyone but yourself.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 12:48:03 AM by TimothyEllis »

Offline SeanHinn

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 184
    • View Profile
I didn't say that at all! I said adapt.

Write the doorstop. Release it as a 3 novel trilogy (and use part 1, part 2, part 3 instead of the normal book 1 etc), all at the same time if you want, and put them in KU. At the same time you release the doorstop as a sale only full version. You dont even need 3 covers. You use the part number or 'full version' in the titling, and all 4 books look the same, except for which bit it is.
 
The writing is the same. The release takes a small amount of extra work.

Nothing is lost. And probably a great deal gained.

The only way you can lose doing this, is if your first 1/3 is so bad, no-one wants to read the next 2 books. But if that was the case, you wouldn't be getting full reads now.

I dont see any problem here. Release 4 books instead of 1, the buyers all buy the doorstop, the KU readers all read the 3 KU parts. Everyone is happy.

Where's the hit to doorstop writers? All I see is benefit to them.

Edit: Reality? I think the trilogy released at the same time is going to do a great deal better than the doorstop. You will most likely find the sales of the trilogy exceed those of the doorstop. And most likely book 1 will also benefit as being a taste test for people who dont like long books, so you;ll pick up a lot of people who wont read a huge book, but will read a trilogy.

Thanks very much for your reply, and sorry I missed your point. And you make a lot of sense, but there is one problem that still isn't addressed: how to you cut Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (257k) into multiple books? How do you chop up Oahtbringer? Being shoved into a "box" will cause many stories to end at awkward points, and diminish the value of the work in the eyes of the reader. And what if the series were always designed to eventually consumed as a single-volume tale with a wide story arc? Or in the case of my story: 6 volumes, two acts (each act intended to be released as a mini-collection)?

I think we still need to look at something like a dramatic page cap cut as a last resort - particularly since it may very well make the conditions worse, not better.

I'm putting together a group of people to brainstorm on this, and see if we can come up with a superior solution. I have some ideas that I think are workable, and certainly more surgical than this approach. Can I count on you to join the group, and help us find a better way, before we surrender and say "it's too hard, it can't be done"?

Online Becca Mills

  • Moderator
  • Status: Emily Dickinson
  • *****
  • Posts: 9143
  • Gender: Female
  • California
    • View Profile
    • website
That's where the problem is, though. The only solution for doorstop writers is to stop writing doorstop books, and there's a HUGE audience for doorstop books. It would be a real tragedy for that genre to die (and those authors to lose the ability to pay their bills) because we didn't work hard enough to solve the real problem, while protecting real authors.

You still haven't quite convinced me of this dire threat, Sean. The Lord of the Rings was written as a single complete novel of many hundreds of thousands of words, but Tolkien was forced by the economics of publishing in his day to break it up into three parts. He did so with, as I recall, fairly minor revisions. Yeah, it's hard to imagine an already published mega-book divided into two or three shorter books, but we'd probably feel that way about LotR if it had never been divided. And yet it was divided -- successfully. I suspect authors have often had to work around annoying and artificial impositions and restrictions of that sort, and being inventive types, they've managed. There's no particular reason such restrictions should lead to the death of a genre or any one author's dream, IMO.

Online MmmmmPie

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 162
    • View Profile
I suspect authors have often had to work around annoying and artificial impositions and restrictions of that sort, and being inventive types, they've managed. There's no particular reason such restrictions should lead to the death of a genre or any one author's dream, IMO.

I agree with this 100%. One nice thing about a 1,000 page limit is that it would hurt the scammers bigtime, and yet, allow genuine authors who write longer sagas to compete just fine after making relatively minor adjustments, such as by dividing their books into a trilogy. You guys are genuine authors. You write compelling stories that people want to read. You hook them in book 1 and keep them coming back for more.

I have a romance trilogy that did great in KU before the genre was overrun with scammers. I advertised book 1, and then happily watched as the KU readers (and buyers, too) went on to buy/borrow/read books 2 and 3. It was a great system. I had three books in this story, but only advertised one. As such, my advertising costs were fairly reasonable. I never felt held back by the fact that it wasn't in one huge book. And in fact, I made a lot of money on "buys" too, as people paid $3.99 per book instead of $4.99 or $5.99 for a single huge story.

In contrast, the scammers won't have this ability. Their content is a hodgepodge of only loosely related stories. If they have three 1,000-page books, they'll be forced to advertise all three of them, which will triple their advertising expenses. This is not true for fantasy writers. They still will only need to advertise one book, meaning the first in their trilogy.

That's one reason the 1,000-page solution seems like a great start in reining these guys in. It naturally favors genuine story-tellers, not people who throw a bunch of crap together and rely on creative clicking to rack up quick cash.


Offline TimothyEllis

  • Status: A A Milne
  • ******
  • Posts: 4117
  • Gender: Male
  • Somewhere in space.
  • Aussie in the 27th century.
    • View Profile
    • Timothy Ellis Author
Thanks very much for your reply, and sorry I missed your point. And you make a lot of sense, but there is one problem that still isn't addressed: how to you cut Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (257k) into multiple books? How do you chop up Oahtbringer? Being shoved into a "box" will cause many stories to end at awkward points, and diminish the value of the work in the eyes of the reader. And what if the series were always designed to eventually consumed as a single-volume tale with a wide story arc? Or in the case of my story: 6 volumes, two acts (each act intended to be released as a mini-collection)?

I think we still need to look at something like a dramatic page cap cut as a last resort - particularly since it may very well make the conditions worse, not better.

I'm putting together a group of people to brainstorm on this, and see if we can come up with a superior solution. I have some ideas that I think are workable, and certainly more surgical than this approach. Can I count on you to join the group, and help us find a better way, before we surrender and say "it's too hard, it can't be done"?

First, I've added to my reply you quoted. You might like to check the 3 edits.

2nd, Magician was released as a doorstop in Australia, and as Trainee and Master halves in the US. Any book can be broken up somewhere if you pick a good spot. Just release both at the same time, so no-one complains about cliffhangers.

3rd, all my ideas for fixing KU are out there, and roundly ignored, or rejected. I really dont need the aggro of putting them out again, just to have them shot down again.

The main problem is a lack of will on Amazon's end. Put me in charge of Amazon IT for a month, and I'll fire the entire department, or every IT person in the entire organization, and bring in people who can actually code. The whole copying chunks of a book problem is just array handling on a huge scale. Needs a decent cobol programmer and a super computer. Amazon scan every book as it's uploaded. There is a ton of things they could also be doing at that point, if they only wanted to.

It wouldn't surprise me if Amazon's failure to address the issues of KU stems purely from only hiring internet programmers, and not having any old style cobol problem cruncher programmers. If they do, the people in charge are not using them properly.

I can cope with a 750 cap.
I can cope with no box sets in KU.
I want KU ranks put in their own rank chart, and displayed separately.

So the buying chart is not influenced by the KU reads at all. This also highlights easily when a book is 1 in the KU chart, and 200k on the sales chart. All Amazon have to do is investigate every book with a serious discrepancy between KU and sales ranks, and weed them out.

There should be 3 rank charts. Free, Bought, KU. If a book is in both bought and KU, it displays both ranks on the product page.

KU should never have been put into the bought ranking system. It should always have been built separately. And it's not too late to separate them out. But no-one will agree to it, because KU boosts their sales rank, and everyone wants that boost. But that boost is exactly what is wrong with the whole system. But if the ranks are separate, your book ranks based on performance in 2 separate forums according to how they do there.


Online MmmmmPie

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 162
    • View Profile
I can cope with a 750 cap.
I can cope with no box sets in KU.
I want KU ranks put in their own rank chart, and displayed separately.

So the buying chart is not influenced by the KU reads at all. This also highlights easily when a book is 1 in the KU chart, and 200k on the sales chart. All Amazon have to do is investigate every book with a serious discrepancy between KU and sales ranks, and weed them out. There should be 3 rank charts. Free, Bought, KU. If a book is in both bought and KU, it displays both ranks on the product page.

OMG. YES!!!! Especially the last point. See, that's a huge problem in romance right now. It's not just that the KU scammers are claiming an oversized portion of the pot, it's that they're mucking everything up so badly that it's become nearly impossible for a non-stuffed book to gain any visibility. Your idea would also go a long way in solving the click-farm issue, because borrows (especially fake borrows) wouldn't be driving a book's rank artificially high, at least not on the "buy" chart.

Even if we don't all agree on the other stuff, surely we can all agree on this? To suggest that Amazon create a separate chart for KU borrows?

Offline TimothyEllis

  • Status: A A Milne
  • ******
  • Posts: 4117
  • Gender: Male
  • Somewhere in space.
  • Aussie in the 27th century.
    • View Profile
    • Timothy Ellis Author
Even if we don't all agree on the other stuff, surely we can all agree on this? To suggest that Amazon create a separate chart for KU borrows?

I've suggested this a number of times.

No-one wants to lose the KU rank boost. And its touted as being the big draw to going into KU to offset the lousy payout.

So it's number 1 on the dont mess with list.

Offline C. Rysalis

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1491
  • Gender: Female
  • The Writer's Lair
    • View Profile
If the limit comes down, those writing long will simply have to adapt, as those writing short have already had to.

The difference is that the new 'system' is infinitely more customer friendly. Authors now get paid for however many pages the reader enjoyed reading - because if they don't enjoy it, they stop, and the author doesn't get paid for the remaining pages. It sucks that scammers and botters abuse the system, but there must be better solutions.

People keep forgetting that not every KU borrow is a full read-through. The average payout is lower than the maximum possible for that amount of pages. It's a fair system and I'd hate for it to become unfair again. If the KENP cap was 1000 or 750, the average payout would be limited to, say, 500 or 700 pages - because as I said above, not every borrow is a full read-through.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 05:18:14 AM by C. Rysalis »

Olivia Rising | Author page

Offline Bards and Sages (Julie)

  • Status: Harvey Chute
  • *********
  • Posts: 13576
  • Gender: Female
  • New Jersey
  • Her Royal Sithiness
    • View Profile
    • Bards and Sages Publishing
People keep forgetting that not every KU borrow is a full read-through. The average payout is lower than the maximum possible for that amount of pages. It's a fair system and I'd hate for it to become unfair again.

But it isn't a fair system. It is a completely artificial system.

This is the thing:

If I don't finish my meal at a restaurant, I still have to pay for the entire thing. Unless there was a cockroach or something in the meal (i.e. a customer return) there is no reason why I should expect to only pay for the amount of food I eat.

My dad buys a newspaper every morning. He only reads the sports section, but he is still paying for the entire newspaper. He has no expectation that he would only pay for the sports section and not the rest of the paper.

When I buy an album, I don't get refunded for the two songs on it I didn't like. I can't say, "Hey, I only actually listen to 10 or the 12 songs on here, so I'm only paying for 10, okay?" (Sure, I could buy the songs individually, but if I am buying the album, I have to buy the WHOLE album."

Zenimax doesn't reduce my subscription fee to ESO simply because I don't do the PVP content. I can't say, "Hey guys, look, I'm never gonna go to Cyrodill city, so I'm going deduct $2 off my sub each month, okay?"

So why then is it "fair" that writers are only paid for the alleged pages readers read? This is of course assuming Amazon can even track such correctly (and we know they aren't.) The entire concept just furthers the push toward the commodification of books. Books are an artform, not a commodity. You don't consume them like oil or corn futures.

I'm a big fan of the Drizzt books, but I could never stomach Drizzt's whining soliloquies (admit it, for a bad*ss swordsman he was a big whiner). So I would skip those when they come up in the book. Should I be asking R.A. Salvatore to refund me the pages I didn't read?

The entire notion of what is or isn't fair is based on a flawed, artificial, and economically-unsustainable-thus-used-as-a-loss-leader gimmick Amazon cooked up to drive people into the ecosystem at the expense of authors. And the more we whine at each other about what is or is not fair, the more they simply abuse all of us.

Writer, Publisher, Game Designer, Resident Sith
Julie Ann Dawson | Blog | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | eFesitival of Words

Online Puddleduck

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 936
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Well, this isn't phrased in a biased manner or anything.

I know, right? LOL. Come on, OP, this is just silly.

The purpose of this poll is to identify fellow authors who are willing to collaborate (work together!) on a fair-minded solution to the bookstuffing problem

Sorry, but you totally lost any "fair-minded" cred you had when you worded the question and possible choices the way you did.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 06:05:53 AM by Puddleduck »

Offline C. Rysalis

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1491
  • Gender: Female
  • The Writer's Lair
    • View Profile
But it isn't a fair system. It is a completely artificial system.

Now that you put it this way, I kind of see the point. Okay, it's not a fair system, but arguably still more customer friendly than KU 1.0 was. And the customer is the guy Amazon really cares about.

Having to split longer books into shorter ones definitely wouldn't benefit the reader at all.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 06:16:31 AM by C. Rysalis »

Olivia Rising | Author page

Offline TimothyEllis

  • Status: A A Milne
  • ******
  • Posts: 4117
  • Gender: Male
  • Somewhere in space.
  • Aussie in the 27th century.
    • View Profile
    • Timothy Ellis Author
Having to split longer books into shorter ones definitely wouldn't benefit the reader at all.

Why not?

This is KU. This is all you can read. 3 books or 1 book, it makes no difference to the reader.

Online Bill Hiatt

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3231
  • Gender: Male
  • California
    • View Profile
    • Bill Hiatt's Author Website
I didn't say that at all! I said adapt.

Write the doorstop. Release it as a 3 novel trilogy (and use part 1, part 2, part 3 instead of the normal book 1 etc), all at the same time if you want, and put them in KU. At the same time you release the doorstop as a sale only full version. You dont even need 3 covers. You use the part number or 'full version' in the titling, and all 4 books look the same, except for which bit it is.
 
The writing is the same. The release takes a small amount of extra work.

Nothing is lost. And probably a great deal gained.

The only way you can lose doing this, is if your first 1/3 is so bad, no-one wants to read the next 2 books. But if that was the case, you wouldn't be getting full reads now.

I dont see any problem here. Release 4 books instead of 1, the buyers all buy the doorstop, the KU readers all read the 3 KU parts. Everyone is happy.

Where's the hit to doorstop writers? All I see is benefit to them.
Initially, I would have rejected the idea of splitting a large book into smaller pieces, but you have very good ideas about how to make it work. Buyers would be unaffected. KU borrowers would on most readers be offered the next book in sequence automatically when the finish the preceding one--not really a huge imposition.

The one problem I can see is that a book not written as a trilogy originally might not have very even break points, and cliffhanger-sensitive readers might be alienated by a really abrupt split. That could potentially take some work to smooth out the rough edges. Still, it wouldn't be impractical.

Of course, lowering the cap makes click-farming more difficult, but it doesn't eliminate the possibility. Amazon is still going to have to act in other areas to completely solve the problem.


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

Offline C. Rysalis

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1491
  • Gender: Female
  • The Writer's Lair
    • View Profile
Why not?

This is KU. This is all you can read. 3 books or 1 book, it makes no difference to the reader.

If they can binge through the whole series, sure! But if the series isn't finished and hasn't even reached a natural breaking point, and they have to wait for the next book...

Regards, a very slow writer. :D

Olivia Rising | Author page

Offline HopelessFanatic

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 413
    • View Profile
I'm neither for or against a KENP cap. I'm undecided.

But I take real issue with these poll options.

For you, lowering the KENP cap is detrimental. It's clear you are passionate about not being negatively affected by an Amazon change. That's very understandable.

But it also limits your view.

There is no possible solution that will be fair to all legitimate authors. First you'd have to define legitimate. Plenty of legitimate authors stuff. Just because they are using an ethically questionable and possible TOS violation (which I believe) tactic, doesn't mean they aren't still authors.

What about publishers who use ghostwriters? They wouldn't technically be a legitimate author (because many times they aren't an author) but plenty of publishers who are not behaving badly use ghostwriters. Probably more than you would think since it isn't advertised. And it's not just in romance.

But putting aside the issue of defining legitimate, THERE IS NO POSSIBLE SOLUTION THAT WOULD BE FAIR TO ALL! Even doing nothing isn't fair since it affects visibility, all-star bonuses, and potentially the KU pot.

Someone is going to get the short end of the stick. Doesn't mean it has to be because of a lowered KENP cap. There are other solutions we can come up with, but none of them will be fair to everyone.

And Amazon isn't going to implement something that isn't beneficial to them.

So your poll is ultimately flawed as well as biased.