In an article in today’s Guardian, Casey Lucas, a literary editor who works with self-published authors, said she had lost six clients as a result of the move. Authors, she said, did not feel it was worth their while continuing with books in light of the new arrangements.
Amazon emailed authors on Wednesday, saying that writers who make their work available through the Kindle Owners Lending Library and Kindle Unlimited would no longer be paid per copy downloaded – payments instead will be based on how many pages have actually been read.
Longer books, therefore, have the potential to receive higher payments. The Guardian says the payment per page could be as low as $0.006 – and that authors will need to write a 220-page book and have every reader who downloads the book read every page to make the same $1.30 they currently receive from a book being downloaded.
Lucas said her clients had decided to stop writing after estimating a 60 to 80 percent reduction in royalties. She said many self-published romance authors were disabled or stay-at-home mums for whom a regular job and income wasn’t possible.
The Amazon changes are thought to benefit writers of longer books that are read in full.
Lucas argues that those writing shorter books, such as children’s fiction and cookery books will be hard hit by the change.