27 June 2015

Amazon Royalty System

By the time you read this, Limited Liability may have been voted Book of the Year. Thanks to everyone who voted for it.
This whole book promotion and awards thing got me thinking. What am I really trying to achieve with my writing?

Then the news came from Amazon that they were changing the way they pay authors on Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Owners Lending Library. It used to be that if someone borrowed one of my books I got an equal share of the fund with everyone else whose book had been borrowed. Now I get a share which is calculated from the number of pages read. I don't know about you but that seems perfectly fair to me. It means that a writer is rewarded for writing well and that authors whose readers can't get beyond the first awful page get nothing.


The KU/KOLL thing only applies to books which are exclusive to Amazon so almost all of them are unreadable self-published crap anyway. The new arrangement will be interesting.

Which brings me back to my original question which I'll pose in a more specific way. If a hundred thousand people bought my book but none of them read it, would I be happy? I doubt it, even if I did have all those royalties in my bank account. What if they all read it but none of them liked it? Again, I'd be rich but unhappy.

Which leads me to the conclusion that I'm writing in the hope that my books will be read and that my readers will enjoy them. So why not give away my work for free? Two reasons. First I need to at least pay my editor, proof reader and cover designer. Secondly, it would brand my work as worthless. There are so many free books out there that most people are no longer interested in them.

I've been very fortunate that my books have been promoted by best selling author Stephen Leather without whose help I wouldn't even be published. Because I've had this help, the Jenny Parker series has done well in terms of sales. The question I ask is have the people who bought my books actually read and enjoyed them?

I just realised that I can answer that question. I have sold several thousand copies of the second Jenny Parker novel, Proceeds of Crime. Those readers will almost certainly have read the first, Due Diligence, and liked it enough to buy the second.

So there you are, I can be officially happy according to my own terms of reference. I can also stop agonising over book sales and Amazon reviews.

I've just finished a fantasy novel involving a character called Tyrant. I enjoyed writing this more than anything I've ever written. It will be out in September and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.