Kindle Unlimited and the Great Amazon Page Count Mystery

Kindle Unlimited and the Great Amazon Page Count MysteryHow Amazon pays authors for work included in Kindle Unlimited (KU) made headlines across the inter-webs recently. Ann Christy’s post “KU Scammers on KU – What’s Going On” even made it on to the homepage of Hacker News. The discussion raises many interesting questions about what reading data Amazon collects and how Amazon uses reader analytics.

First, a little background: Amazon introduced KU, its all-you-can-eat ebook offering, almost two years ago, not long after Oyster launched its much lauded, but now defunct, ebook subscription service. Authors were initially compensated by Amazon based on the number of ebooks downloaded, but that system was being abused by some clever folks who realized that short books, such as novellas, would earn the same amount of money as full-length novels, and that splitting a full-length book into multiple books would optimized payouts.

Readers did not like this practice, so Amazon changed its policy and introduced “pay by page” in June of last year.

However, enterprising souls once again quickly discovered another loophole, as the way in which Amazon measures pages read for KU is not what one might think.

Much more.

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