The total sum Amazon reserves for Kindle Unlimited authors is growing alongside the subscription program, which arrived in Mexico and Canada last week.
But the size of the individual payouts authors receive every time their titles are borrowed isn’t keeping pace.
Publishers Lunch puts that figure at nearly $1.38 for January, about 5 cents lower than it was in December and the second-lowest since the program’s launch.
Last month, Amazon added $5.5 million to the pool through which it compensates Kindle Unlimited authors, bringing the total fund to about $8.5 million—to be split 6.175 million ways.
Responding to criticism that Kindle Unlimited is a bad deal for some authors, Kindle head Russ Grandinetti said, at Digital Book World 2015, “We treat authors the same way we treat buying customers” and asked for patience as Amazon tinkers with the model.
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France Curbs Kindle Unlimited (Ink, Bits & Pixels)
Authorities determine the subscription ebook program is illegal under the country’s laws that ensure French publishers’ prerogative to set book prices, effectively forcing Kindle Unlimited and several subscription-based competitors to rethink their current models.
App Developers Shy Away from Fire Phone (GeekWire)
As a result of the Fire Phone’s faceplant last year, many of the developers that created apps for the new device say they don’t plan to do so again, should Amazon move forward on plans to release another version of its smartphone.
Digital Tools to Get More Boys Reading (Futurebook)
The latest data appears to bear up what many children’s publishers already understand about the market: it’s more difficult getting boys to read than girls. An expert at children’s app developer Nosy Crow explains why there are encouraging signs that e-reading and book apps may have an edge over print when it comes to appealing to younger male readers.
Related: Children’s E-Reading Habits by the Numbers
Diversity Widening in Children’s Books (PW)
The We Need Diverse Books campaign recently turned its focus on children’s content, and it appears some publishers are already moving in a direction that the organization is advocating. A study by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center finds that more books by and about people of color are steadily entering the children’s market.
Kobo Launches Writing Contest (Good E Reader)
The ebook retailer announces the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize for first-time authors. Winners in three categories will receive a cash prize as well as professional-level resources to market their titles and build a platform.
Amazon Prime Cashing in on Customer Satisfaction (Forbes)
By recent accounts, Prime members overwhelming report being satisfied with the service, and many of them spend substantially more on Amazon than other customers. That’s drawn criticism from some quarters, but one observer sees it as an object-lesson in how to deliver quality service and reap the rewards: “Amazon has created a product that people love, that works well and that comes with a quality guarantee. It might not always be the cheapest, but for its users, it’s the best.”
Christian Bookseller’s Reorganization Raises Eyebrows (Pub Lunch)
The bankrupt Family Christian Stores outlines plans to sell its 266 retail locations to one of its own affiliates. The biggest Christian bookstore chain in the U.S., FCS owes Christian publishers and other creditors about $40 million.
About Twenty Shades of Grey Too Many (Popular Science)
This one’s just for fun—but it turns out humans are only capable of distinguishing about thirty shades of grey from one another, depending on lighting and other conditions. Here’s an irony, though: This insight came about from researchers working to develop new e-reader display technologies.