If you pay attention to the indie writer scene, it would be hard to miss the community's reaction this week to an announcement from Amazon. In the past, Amazon compensated writers for the borrowing of their books according to how many books were borrowed, as long as a reader made it at least 10% of the way through the book.
This financial incentive encouraged writers to make books available for borrowing through Kindle Unlimited (KU, which is Amazon's Netflix-style subscription service for avid readers) and the Kindle Owners' Lending Library (KOLL). This week, Amazon announced a radical revision to the compensation structure, where writers will be paid according to how many pages are read, regardless of percentage.
At first glance that might not sound like a big change, especially if you're looking at it only as a reader, but this is actually a fundamental revision: Nowhere else are books paid for by the page. This change takes effect on the first of July, just over two weeks after it was announced. Readers presumably won't see any difference, but writers with e-books exclusive to the Kindle, via KDP Select, will see a big change. There have been positive, neutral, negative, and wait-and-see responses from other writers. Read on for my analysis.