According to Amazon, its authors want a better way to be paid. For years, they've been paid based on how much readers borrow their books on Kindle devices. A new pay scale will affect authors who are signed up for Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Owners' Lending Library. It's one that may not be attractive for concise writers.
Under the new setup, authors' pay will be proportional to the number of their pages read compared to the total number of pages read in all books (on Amazon devices). They'll receive that percentage of Amazon's author's fund, which is a sum calculated using a complex equation each month. According to NBC, the fund's size corresponds somehow with the number of paid subscribers reading books. So, the name of the game is "keep them interested" rather than "get it into their device." The system is fairly comparable to those of streaming music companies like Spotify, where artists are paid per stream. Musicians have criticized Spotify for their model, but self-published authors using Amazon's platform tend to support the e-retailer's decisions.
On its website, Amazon said "We're making this switch in response to great feedback we received from authors who asked us to better align payout with the length of books and how much customers read. Under the new payment method, you'll be paid for each page individual customers read of your book, the first time they read it." The new structure goes into effect on July 1st.