Before I start to
explain the hidden Gem of Goodreads I want to first say to you that If you LOVE
to read I urge you to start a Goodreads account.Goodreads is a social media
site where users can share what they are reading with one another. It has
similarities to Facebook in that you can have a friends list but also
incorporates a library of books that you can add to your profile and show
others what you are reading or what you have already read.

Goodreads explains that you can, “See which books your friends are reading. Track the
books you’re reading, have read, and want to read. Check out your personalized
book recommendations. Our recommendation engine analyzes 20 billion data points
to give suggestions tailored to your literary tastes. Find out if a book is a
good fit for you from our community’s reviews.”

I have my own Goodreads account and love
its main feature of being able to list, write and share reviews of the books
that I have read. There are other features too with the site that I feel do get
overlooked and wanted to shine some light on the hidden gem that I found that
gives access to its users to read Free stories. Here is how you can access Free
stories:
1) Login to Goodreads
2) Click the Home tab, you should see a view
similar to my own.
3) Click to Expand the Explore menu
4) Click Creative Writing. This is where all of the
Free stories and books are. The great thing about this page is you can browse
by Categories, Genres, Active, Popular, Friends and New. There is also a small
link, just to the right of “New” called “My Writing” where you can write and
post your own writing. Your writing would then be saved to the “Creative Writing” area for the Goodreads community to see.
5) When you find a story that you are interested in
reading, you can simply read the chapters by clicking on the story title and at
the end of each chapter there is a like button and also share buttons to share
on other social media sites.
Now it is time for you to get started and have a look yourselves.
 
About the Author: C.R. Misty is currently writing a romance trilogy. Her first book, is available online at KindleNookKoboibookinkteraOverDriveAmazon & Createspace
Her second book, Deeply Bound is currently in the editing stages & excerpts are available to read at WattpadWrite On &Mibba.
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Traditional Publishing: What’s It Good For?

traditional publishing

When I first started working in publishing, no one questioned the value of a publisher.

Now they do.

When I tell nonfiction writers they need to demonstrate to the agent/editor they have a big enough platform—enough visibility—to sell books without the help of a publisher, they’ll ask, “What’s the publisher for then?”

When I tell fiction writers that their work needs to be compelling, polished, and ready for publication before they query, they’ll ask, “What’s the publisher for then?”

Find the full article by Jane Friedman here: https://janefriedman.com/traditional-publishing-whats-it-good-for/

 

Jane Friedman has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. From 2001–2010 she worked at Writer’s Digest, where she ultimately became publisher; more recently, she was an editor at the Virginia Quarterly Review, where she led digital strategy. Jane currently teaches writing and publishing at the University of Virginia and is a columnist for Publishers Weekly. The Great Courses just released her 24-lecture series, How to Publish Your Book. She also has a book forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press, The Business of Being a Writer (2017). Jane speaks regularly at conferences and industry events such as BookExpo America, Digital Book World, and the AWP Conference, and has served on panels with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund. Find out more.

Hello Authors – One of the basics about proofing is to review your manuscript in various formats. This keeps your mind from taking ‘shortcuts’ that gloss over habitual errors. Change fonts, convert to a PDF, read on screen, print it out… and now thanks to Lee’s mighty brain you can proofread your unpublished manuscript on your very own Kindle.

This is killer, you get to see what your developing novel looks like in Kindle format. And take note, you DON’T want to push the same MS version to both print and Kindle. This can save you a pile on editorial services, if you put in a little time.

I’ve found this a quick way to get “fresh eyes” as I review my MS, here’s how you do it.

Most Kindles these days have their own email address. You can find it under Manage Your Content and Devices beneath Your Account when you’re signed in to Amazon.

Click the SETTINGS tab and scroll down the long list of options until you see PERSONAL DOCUMENT SETTINGS.

You’ll see your device’s SEND TO KINDLE EMAIL (something @kindle.com), which you can edit to your liking. (If you don’t see an address, your current device is not capable of receiving email.)

Below that, you need to add your usual email address to the APPROVED PERSONAL DOCUMENT EMAIL LIST. This will let that email send to your Kindle.

Now, when you attach a Word or Word-type doc to that address, it will show in your Kindle library within minutes. It won’t have a cover, but you’re not here for that. NOTE: Only include the attachment. Any subject line or note will arrive on your Kindle as separate garbage you’ll have to get rid of.

As you proofread, you can use the NOTES and COLOR HIGHLIGHTS capability of your kindle to mark up your MS according to how you want it to appear when your readers get it. I use the color coding to advantage, for example, purple (at left) means delete what’s highlighted. Yellow touching the end of a para and the start of the next means ‘join these up.’ Orange means rethink the word choice (if I’m too lazy to make a note about it). You’ll find your own preferences and shortcuts.

When you take your Kindle to your workspace, touch the NOTES icon at top. The markups will appear in a list. Touch the first one and your Kindle will take you to that markup in the text. On your computer, make the necessary edit. Delete the markup on your Kindle copy, and find the next one.

Extra bonus: You can send your cover as an attachment separately, just to see how it looks.

TV geek that I am, I frequent forums to discuss my favorite shows like Mad Men and Game of Thrones.  I keep seeing people post comments like, “This is the show’s protagonist?  THIS guy?  But he’s so unlikeable!  I don’t know if I can keep watching.”

I’m sorry . . . I thought that was the point?

Don Draper.  Pretty much every character in the GoT universe.  Walter White.  Dexter Morgan.  Nancy Botwin.  Al Swearengen.  Tony Soprano.  All these characters do horrible things– shocking things.  We hate them for it.  And yet, we don’t stop watching—we can’t stop watching.

Characters shouldn’t have to be likable—they should be compelling.

What purpose does that serve?  Well, mainly they’re just mesmerizing to watch.  How often are the villains more interesting than the heroes?  Anti-heroes give us the best of both worlds– they may have good intentions, but they’re flawed, crippled by desires or ambition.  Like us, they make horrible mistakes.  Often, they keep making them.  Or they keep making the same mistake.

We read and watch films and television shows to step out of ourselves.  Fiction gives us the opportunity to think the unthinkable, to speak the unspeakable, to do the nasty.  If you want a boy scout, go watch Captain America.  If you want someone sweet as pie, check out Pollyanna.  But don’t complain when you tune into a show about people who lie for a living, or a medieval-style fantasy featuring broadswords.  Somebody’s going to get mercilessly whacked.

No one said Don Draper was the hero—just the focus of the story.  And just because Don’s the focus of the story, doesn’t necessarily mean you should like him, either.  And, good Lord, I hope you don’t fucking identify with him.  If you do, what’s wrong with you?  (Unless you grew up in a whorehouse, in which case, I’d say your foibles are understandable.)

We’ve always been fascinated by reprehensible characters—Macbeth was not a nice guy.  He was weak and easily manipulated, and ultimately responsible for a lot of deaths.  Sherlock Holmes, one of my personal favorites, is actually the consummate Victorian gentleman in Doyle’s stories.  But he has been altered in recent adaptations to come across as a high-functioning autistic or even a sociopath because we are fascinated by the image of Holmes as a crime-solving machine with no social skills.

The Greek gods were petty squabblers and back-stabbers.  Lancelot and Guinevere were adulterers—and so were Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina.  Indiana Jones, Han Solo and Rhett Butler are all scoundrels.  Humbert Humbert is a perv.

Alex DeLarge and Hannibal Lecter are hypnotic.  Becky Sharp and Scarlett O’Hara didn’t play by the rules, and neither did Jane Eyre.  Tom and Huck and Bart Simpson are all rascals.  Homer Simpson is a gross, selfish asshole who paved the way for Peter Griffin.  Patrick Bateman is a psycho.  Tyler Durden is schizo.  Even the Cat in the Hat lured children into misbehaving.  James Bond is a stone-cold killer.  And that’s why we love him.  We love our characters with skeletons in the closet, with monsters under the bed, with toys in the attic.

There are happy stories and happy characters.  I like Disney and Anne of Green Gables.  I was amazed at how much I loved Captain America—I had expected to find him a boring boy scout like Superman, but he turned out to be pretty cool.

In my own stories, I have found that the difference between an anti-hero and a straight-up hero is their backstory.  Usually, something broke them and made them go dark.  People have said, ad nauseum, that the fact that these fictional characters had awful childhoods does not excuse the fact that they’re awful adults.

Well, no.  But it does explain why they are the way they are.  Most characters need an origin story.  History is not an excuse.  It’s a reason.  We are inescapably shaped by our experiences.

People complain that after six seasons, Don Draper is still the same fucked-up guy pulling the same, fucked-up shit.  Why doesn’t he move forward?

Well, change is hard ya’ll.  I don’t understand why people look for redemption in these characters.  Sometimes there isn’t any to be found because often, people don’t change.  Some of them even get worse.

Like in life.  Which is the point.

If you’re looking for sheer escapism, choose your material carefully.  Not all of it’s entertainment—some of it is art.  And sometimes, it’s the job of art to make us uncomfortable.  That’s why it’s sometimes called provocative—it provokes.  If you want light and foamy, stick to your fucking-close-to-water beer.  Sometimes, the rest of us need something dark and full-bodied.

 

 

 

If you are writing a book or you have written a document
where you want to add headers, footers & page numbers BUT you don’t
want the headers, footers and page numbers to show on your title and copyright
pages, these are the steps that I learned on how to do this.
1) Open your Microsoft Word 2010 document.
2) Select The “Home” tab, click on the “Show / Hide” button circled below. You need
it set to show all of your spaces, formatting and page breaks.

 

 

I highlighted below the items that will show when you click
the “Show/Hide” button.

 

3) In the image below I circled where I put my pointer. What
I am doing on the screen is I am placing my pointer where I want to add a “Section Break”. A section break divides your document into sections. So in my
document I want a “Section Break” there because in my second section is where I
want my Headers and Footers to start and I want my page numbers to display. I
don’t want headers, footers and page numbers to display on my title and
copyright pages.
4) Click “Page Layout” tab circled below.
5) Click “Breaks” button circled below.
6) In the “Breaks” menu, click “Next Page” highlighted in
the image below.
I highlighted the Section break below that was added to the
document once you complete the step. Note when I started I had a “Page Break”
and so I have just deleted my “Page Break” since it is no longer needed for the
page in the image.
I have divided my document into two sections and now I want
to add headers, footers and page numbers to my second section.
7) Click “Insert” tab as you see in the image below then
select, “Header”, a drop down menu appears as seen in the image below and
choose a format you want. (I selected the first option & centered my text afterwards)
8) When you complete the previous step a “Design” tab will
open, see below image, highlighted in green. Also, look at the image noting
that my title page shows the Header as “Section 1” and on my Chapter 1 page,
the header shows as “Section 2”. I want to leave my “Section 1” header blank
and add text to the “Section 2” header.
9) Place your pointer into “Section 2” Header and type the
text that you want. I entered “C.R. Misty” and then centered the text. Note:
that in the image below the highlight “Link to Previous” Make sure that this is
NOT selected because what it will do is put your “Section 2” Header text
into “Section 1”.
10) My document in the images is a book that I wrote and I
wanted different headers on the odd and even pages. Make sure that you check “Different
Odd & Even Pages” highlighted below and again when you put your odd and
even headers in double check that “Link to Previous” is NOT selected.
At this point, you have now created two Sections and you
have added odd and even Headers to “Section 2” of your document. Next is adding
Page numbers.
11) Put your pointer where you want your page numbers to
start. In the image below, I put my pointer in “Even Page Footer Section 2”
& while still on the “Design” Tab, select “Page Numbers” button then select
“Current Position”. In my document, it added the page number 4 and the
following “Even Page Footer Section 2” followed suit with page numbers (6, 8,
10, 12 etc) Note: Again make sure “Link to Previous” is NOT selected.
12) Repeat step 11 for the odd numbers by clicking in “Odd
Page Footer Section 2”
Once you are done adding your Headers, Footers & Page
numbers you can uncheck the “Show/Hide” button to see what your work looks
like. I have included a couple of images below to show you what my document
looks like after completing the above steps.
In the image below note that my two top pages have no
numbering because I sectioned it off. That is my “Section 1”. The bottom left
pages is also a title page and you can see there is no header. My Header starts
in “Section 2”, which is Chapter 1 of my document.
The second image below is scrolled down partway so that you can
see my page numbers. Page 4 starts on my Chapter 1 page.
Now you should  be a
pro at this!

 

Perchance to Dream

I recently came across this article by Michael Chabon about why dreams suck, both in general and as a literary device.  He is not the first person I have heard express this sentiment.

It has been said that dream sequences in literature (and, to a lesser degree, film and television) are evidence of lazy writing, or worse, a cop-out– a way for the writer to sidestep troublesome plot development and resolution.

I couldn’t disagree more.

The crux of the article for me was this paragraph:

Worse still than real dreams, mine or yours—sandier mouthfuls, ranker lies—are the dreams of characters in books and movies. Nobody, not even Aunt Em, wants to hear about Dorothy’s dream when she wakes up at the end of The Wizard of Oz. As outright fantasy the journey to Oz is peerless, joyous, muscular with truth; to call it a dream (a low trick L. Frank Baum, who wrote the original story, never stooped to) is to demean it, to deny it, to lie; because nobody has dreams like that.

Um . . . I do, actually.

I’m sorry your dream life is so dull as to not warrant a place in either conversation or fiction, but that is not the case for everyone.  While I agree that, by and large, dreams should be reserved for sharing with only our nearest and dearest, they are certainly worth incorporating into art.  Freud said that whether we intend it or not, we are all poets, so perhaps Mr. Chabon is simply not viewing his nighttime experiences through the right lens.

Dreams provide an invaluable source for imagery and scenarios—they are a part of life, after all, and shouldn’t all aspects of life be considered worthy for artistic examination?  The average person spends one-third of their life asleep, which means, we spend a substantial part of our lives dreaming.  Should we dismiss such robust cerebral activity?  We share dreams with all vertebrate animals, so it could also be said that dreaming seems to be something significant as a primal cognitive function, an experience we’ve shared up and down the evolutionary ladder.

I mean, yeah, dreams are frustrating.  I get that.  Our dreams speak to us in riddles and fortune cookies; they chuck non sequiturs at us.  Nobody can seem to agree on why we dream, or how much.  And yet, there are people who are capable of lucid dreaming.  Particularly potent dream images stick with us for years.

My dreams are integral to my creative process—but, in the immortal words of LeVar Burton, you don’t have to take my word for it.

Far more illustrious examples of dream scenes in literature include:

  • The Bible, (yes, I’m treating it as literature for purposes of this essay)
  • The Epic of Gilgamesh
  • The Iliad and The Odyssey
  • The Dream of the Rood
  • Shakespeare (sleep and dream motifs are common in his plays, most notably, Macbeth, Richard III, A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, and The Tempest)
  • Paradise Lost
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  • “Kubla Kahn”
  • Innumerable fantasy, horror and science-fiction works
  • Children’s literature
  • The majority of Kafka’s works
  • Finnegan’s Wake

To name a few.

In addition to works that have dreamlike settings and subjects, there have been many major works that have been inspired by the artists’ dreams, such as Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. 

Of course, dreams are frequently utilized in TV and film, and thank God for that.  Would you want to live in a world without the dancing dwarf on Twin Peaks?  Without the cheese guy from Buffy?  Without Tony Sopranos’ visions of talking fish and Annette Benning?  I know I wouldn’t.  These images are provocative, iconic.  They are defining moments in the artistic and pop cultural landscape.

It goes without saying that dreams play a significant role in the visual arts as well—we all know the nightmare tableaux of Bosch and Dali.  There are the works of William Blake, who is considered by some to be the greatest artist Britain ever produced, and whose dreams are rendered not only in his poetry, but in paints, watercolors, and intaglios.  Where would modern painting styles be without dreams—without the emphasis on the variance of human perception?  We would have no impressionism, no cubism, no surrealism.

If we rule out dream sequences, does that mean we must also ban depictions of madness, hallucination and drug trips?  Because I sure do love Homer Simpson’s Guatemalan Insanity Pepper trip, and Hunter S. Thompson, and Trainspotting. 

Dreams help us explore the nature of perception and reality.  Where would philosophy be without dreams?  There is the famous quote from the Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi, “Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man.”  To explore realism, perhaps it is necessary to plunge into nonsense.  More modern works blur the lines between reality and fantasy.  The very nature of creative nonfiction acknowledges the inherent unreliability of all human perception, which is reflected very nicely in the shenanigans our sleep-selves get up to.

There is also the factor of religious visions, which verges into the non-fiction territory.  Again, Chabon asserts that people should not share their dreams.  But if they did not, we would be without significant portions of mystical and spiritual accounts, such as St. Teresa of Avila’s or Carlos Castaneda’s.  We would also be without a significant body of psychological literature.  Carl Jung chronicled his dreams for sixteen years, recently released by his heirs as The Red Book.  Jung referred to it as his “confrontation with the unconscious.”  It seems to me that it’s actually the other way around—dreams are the subconscious’ confrontation with our waking selves, forcing us to examine topics (indeed, immersing us) in subjects that our waking selves would perhaps rather not face.  It is the original virtual reality experience, dumping us into the deep end of the pool and daring us to swim.

In narratives, dreams are extremely useful vehicles for foreshadowing and flashbacks.  For character development, they can depict wishes, motivations and emotions, sometimes with visceral immediacy, sometimes with much-needed levity as the narrative requires.

Chabon goes on to say that, “If art is a mirror, dreams are the back of the head.”  That’s all surfaces and reflections.  Dreams live somewhere underneath the surface.  They are the undertow.

The tendency to read too much into dreams is undeniable.  It’s easy to regard them as omens—and once you start doing that, you start to see signs everywhere.  Part of the dubious appeal of dreams is their ability to seduce and deceive.  They can mean everything, or nothing.  For the sake of politeness and sanity, sometimes it’s best to choose nothing.

But not in art.

Today, I am writing to share with you two resources that I hope you will find useful: the first one is a list of sites where authors can submit their books at no cost, whether they run a KCD or a FREE promo. The second one is my personal tasklist that I follow for all my promos. I have always been highly organized so making lists comes naturally to me. Other than the sense of achievement I get when I cross tasks out, it also helps even more to write things down these days, as my memory is not what it used to be!

A. THE LIST OF SITES

I have been promising my blog followers to share this list for a while now, but I am a perfectionist, and wanted to get it just right. Also, I kept coming across new lists here and there. It took me just over a year to create this one list, and although it’s not significantly beneficial for KCD promos, it is very useful when you give out your book for FREE. I ran FREE promos for both my books last year, without paying a single dime for ads and still got thousands of downloads just by working this list. Get your copy of it right here. I wish you good luck with it!

In this list, you’ll also find a bunch of Facebook pages and groups to submit your books to, including a Facebook group for Thunderclap campaigns! Join that if you have a Thunderclap campaign and you’ll hit the magic number of 100 supporters easily.

B. THE TASKLIST

I divide this in three parts: Before, during, and after the promo:

BEFORE THE PROMO

  • Start working on the list of sites I gave you one month in advance.
  • For paid ads, give priority to Bookbub, Booksends and EreaderNewsToday, then book any others around those.
  • Email: office@askdavid.com of the site AskDavid.com and request an email with 10 links free of charge. These 10 links will grant you 10 free tweets to their thousands of followers.
  • Optional: Consider joining a cross-promotion group via Beezeebooks.com. Email Mike Smith at mike@beezeebooks.com and ask him to be registered for this. Very sparsely, he will send you a one-liner to post on Twitter and Facebook. Just copy paste. That’s it. In return, when you have a free or KCD promo, just email Mike, and he’ll get the people in your group to post for you too. It costs nothing and as I said, it won’t take much of your time.
  • Ask a bunch of your author friends to blog about your promo or to tweet about it. It is thoughtful to send them the content ready (for the blog or the tweets). Always offer reciprocation or do something that’s helpful to them. If you prefer to hire a company to organize your book tour, I recommend Book Partners in Crime Promotions.
  • If you have given your book to any readers and their review on Amazon is pending, ask them to download your book during a FREE promo. This way, when they post the review, it will show as ‘verified purchase’.
  • If you have ample time on your hands, you can run a Thunderclap. After all, every little helps. Join this Facebook group to get 100 supporters in a couple of days. I warn you though, you’ll have to dedicate a few hours supporting others first before you can also reap the benefits. If you’re pressed for time, don’t bother with Thunderclap. I’d do it for a new launch, but not sure if it’s more of a time waster than a substantial help with promos.
  • Add a Goodreads event to inform people of the promo.
  • Prepare the text for the tweets and Facebook posts you’ll be issuing during the promo. Use a scheduling service to schedule the tweets so that they go out every couple of hours (I choose a 3-hour interval). For the scheduling service, consider Socialoomph, Hootsuite or Pluggio. Choose about 10 different tweets and run them in a queue on a loop during your promo days. Use any of these hashtags depending on your type of promo: #free #freebie #freebook #freeEbook #freekindle #free4kindle #kindlepromo #sharethefree #99c #99cents #99centkindle. Also, use author-related hashtags that’ll get you retweets. Examples: #ASMSG #IAN1 #IARTG #BYNR

DURING THE PROMO

  • Post about your promo on your blog. Share the link on the social media. Make this your pinned tweet too.
  • Go to your blog’s or site’s dashboard and change the header to add an image or a text informing your visitors of your promo. I use headers that I create on the site Canva. You can also use it to make Facebook & Twitter banners and a lot more. It is free, and very easy to use. Below you can see the blog header I created on Canva for my last KCD promo. I used the ‘Blog Title’ option on Canva to create it. I also pinned it on Twitter and Facebook.
When she falls in love, Sofia is haunted
  • Start issuing tweets and Facebook posts about your promo 24/7. Or, if you don’t want to schedule them, at least remember to issue a few manually throughout the day.
  • Submit to the sites on the list I gave you (some accept submissions once the promo is underway and not before). Also start submitting on the Facebook pages/groups you’ll find on that list.
  • Keep track of the blog posts your author friends issue for you. Make sure to comment and share on the social media. Say thank you, including to any visitors or friends of theirs who comment or share.
  • Every night during your promo, around 11pm to midnight EST when things tend to peak, you need to check the Amazon rank for your book. Go to your book product page to find it. If you get to number 1 in any category which means your book will gain bestseller status, make sure to do a screen print at once. Then, use a basic program like Windows Paintbrush to paste it, then crop it and save it for your records. Examples:
necklace 161114 bestseller necklace 131114 1_2_2

AFTER THE PROMO

  • Go to the queue of tweets you had set up, amend them all by taking out the hashtags and put in these: #amazonprime #kindleunlimited. Tweet those a couple of days after your promo ends. This is a way to take advantage of your book’s temporary high rank. Now that it has good visibility, tweeting with these hashtags will get you borrows. Obviously, the more you will have advertized your book during promo and the more downloads you will have had, the more borrows and proper sales you’ll be getting at this point. Tip: If you run your promo to finish at the exact end of a month, you’ll get more borrows after. This is because many subscribers choose books to borrow in the very beginning of each calendar month.
  • Remove the header from your site/blog, pin something else on Twitter, change back your Facebook and Twitter headers if you had updated them also for the promo.
  • Blog about the results of your promo and share your insights. Pay it forward. It’s good to share information. I’ve just done it for you, and it feels great!

I hope you’ll find my resources and various tips useful! Go on, leave a comment and chip in with your own ideas, any tips, anything that you have found useful during promo. Let us all benefit from it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


REBLOGGED VIA: http://jmkeep.com/half-a-cent-per-page-is-not-a-living-wage-for-novelists/

Amazon has made some huge changes to how it’s paying authors for borrows under its Kindle Unlimited program.

Previously, all authors were paid the same for all books, regardless of length – an average of $1.39 that has constantly been dropping over the last 6 months.

Now, authors will be paid per page read.

Some of you may be cheering, saying this is much fairer of a system, and on its face, it appears to be. A novel takes more time to write than a short story, right? So it should be paid higher.

As a novelist, I disagree, and I’m going to outline why. I’d really like you to read through this and think about what the logical conclusions will be. I’m going to outline what the payout would have been in June, what it may be in July given the past fund amount and borrow amounts, and what it could be in 3 months time, so stay with me.

This is the information we have so far:

If this change had gone live in June, Amazon has given us the following information:

Base Fund: 11 Million

Pages Read: 1.9 Billion

Average pages per borrow: 210 (I got this number by taking the estimated borrows for June given the typical growth rate, and dividing it by the number of pages Amazon has released)

From this calculation, you can easily find for yourself that in June, we would have been paid $0.0057 per page, and some novelist may be clapping with glee.

So let’s look at July. Given the growth of the fund, and the growth of the borrows, we can estimate the following:

Fund: 13.7 Million

Borrows: 10,261,113

Average pages read: 2.4 billion

Average pages per book: 210

Payout: 0.0057

So it’s the same! Yes! Go novelists! Novelists writing over 240 pages (higher than the average) will be making the same as what they did before.

Except we have a problem…

Well, we have a lot of problems.

Firstly, this assumes that 100% of readers read 100% of the book. Now, traditionally when someone paid for a book, they are not likely to finish it.

Given the fact that Kindle Unlimited is a borrow program, people are even less likely to finish a book. Readers are able to treat the Kindle Unlimited program like a buffet, sampling different dishes to find their favourites, then going back to those for more. They leave the rest on their plate.

And there was nothing wrong with doing that.

So no, you won’t get 100% completion rate all the time.

Secondly, you’re not able to see when and where readers stop. Let’s say, for instance, you have a really strong book, with great cover, blurb, editing, the whole shebang. You do some promotion, except there’s something tripping people up at the end of Chapter 5. Let’s say that 70% of people stop here. Maybe it’s a clumsy or confusing paragraph, maybe it’s something the characters did. Maybe something shocked them and they didn’t like it.

So they stop reading.

Amazon isn’t going to tell you where they’re stopping reading. They know it, they just won’t tell you. They are taking the control that they could easily give you, and withholding it. This is vital information for people trying to make a living on their writing, and Amazon is not going to tell you how many people are even reading your books. You don’t know if you have 10 readers who only got to page 10, or 1 reader who read all 100 pages.

This is why the #releasetherate campaign started (which is created and supported by some of my favourite novelists, people who are making the vast bulk of their earning on their novels).

You can support #releasetherate on Facebook and on Twitter.

Thirdly, Amazon hasn’t informed Kindle Unlimited subscribers of these changes, but when their favourite authors start pulling out, they’re going to figure it out. If they’re only able to read 5 novels a month and 5 shorts a month, Kindle Unlimited is a bargain. But once they’re only able to read 5 novels a month, they might not be so inclined to go with the subscription model.

Readers are pulling out of Kindle Unlimited because of this change, make no mistake, and that will hurt novelists whether we want to admit it or not.

Fourthly, as novelists, we’re sacrificing the rights to publish our books with other companies for a three month period. In exchange, we’re able to discount our books or provide them for free for 5 days within that three month period. If your novel is selling for $3.99, you make $2.40-$2.80 per sale. I want you to keep this in mind, as it should affect your way of thinking about this all.

Finally, I want you to think in the future. What will these changes mean for novelists? The money has to be going somewhere, right? The borrows increase, the fund increases, the money is going into someone’s pocket.

However, let’s look at the Amazon eco-system of 2 weeks ago, when the changes were announced (I chose categories where short literature is most often present):

1,003,037   Kindle Unlimited Books

(9%)    94,155   Erotica

(2.8%)   28,864   Poetry

(4%)   40,517   Short Stories

(10%) 102,000   Children’s ebooks

(5%)   55,000   Teen & Young Adult

(34.7%) 348,032   Kindle Short Reads

Titles that are categorized as Erotica are unable to be in the Kindle Short Reads section, so let’s assume, for arguments sake, that of the 1 million titles in Kindle Unlimited, around 400,000 are under 100 pages long, and we know according to Amazon the average length of a book read is 210 pages long. I’m not positive that Kindle Short Reads includes Children’s ebooks or non-fiction books, and if it doesn’t, this would add on at least another 100,000 books (bringing it up from 40% of the books being under 100 pages to 50% of the books being under 100 pages).

What will happen to the fund and how it’s paid out when those 400,000 books are removed from the Amazon ecosystem?

That is the absolutely most important question that the novelist has to be thinking about, because when the average page length creeps up from 210 pages, to 240 pages, to 300 pages,that fund will be spread thinner and thinner over more and more pages.

That means that instead of getting $1.35 for a 240 page book, you might have to write a 300 or 350 page book and hope that every single reader reads through 100% of the way.

Right now, short reads are skewing the average down. Once the short reads are gone, the average will go up. When the average goes up, the Amazon fund will be spread across a lot less variety in books, with a lot higher lengths.

This is how the landscape has changed in two weeks before the system even goes live:

+19,439  Kindle Unlimited Books

+616   Erotica

+468  Poetry

-1,947  Short Stories

+2,408   Children’s ebooks

+2,364   Teen & Young Adult

+6,852   Kindle Short Reads

But people in these categories are removing their books now, enmasse. What will the landscape look like once short reads are no longer making up 40% of Kindle Unlimited? What will the payout be for a 240 page novel in six months? In a year?

Amazon is making novelists think they’re going to come away the winner in this, but once the shorts are disappearing because people don’t want to earn less than 15 cents for a short story, I don’t feel we will be.

Let’s say you disagree. Let’s say you feel that if all the Kindle Unlimited subscribers read 1.9 billion pages in a month, that’s not likely to go up or down, whether those pages are divided among shorts or novels.

Let’s say, for argument sake, that you’re right.

1.9 billion is a low estimate. We are in what is commonly referred to as the ‘summer slump’. June was a month when the nice weather was finally hitting, people spending time with kids, getting ready for school to finish up, preparing for their vacation so they’re busy at work, etc.

In short, June is a month that historically people do not spend a lot of time reading.

Come October, once people are getting chilly and want to cozy up with a book? Those pages read are going to go up by a lot.

So novelists, I’m begging you… don’t write this off as a way to get rid of people you don’t feel are real writers (and while I have your attention, please stop saying that. Some of my favourite authors like H.P. Lovecraft and Ambrose Bierce and Margaret Atwood all wrote short stories).

Don’t act like this is going to be perfect for you, and that if you come out ahead in June, you will always come out ahead.

They are changing the landscape in a fundamental way, and it’s not necessarily going to be great for the novelist, especially for midlist novelists.

Yes, this change hurts short story authors most. People who write children’s books, travel guides, cook books, erotica, serials, and poetry will hurt the most, as this is a direct slash to the bottom line. These people have been writing and publishing before Kindle Unlimited, and will continue without it, and consumer dollars will still be spent.

Depending on how the market reacts, they might make out better in the long run than novelists as the price normalizes and consumers return to paying for short books at the usual rates.

You might argue that this gets rid of ‘scamlets’ but there were better and more efficient ways to get rid of them.

Short fiction authors haven’t been ‘gaming’ the system. They’ve been writing these books for years and enrolled them in Kindle Unlimited as a way to expand readership and, yes, potentially increase their earnings. But people paid $2.99 for travel guides and erotic shorts before Kindle Unlimited, and authors were taking a hit if you assume all borrows would’ve translated to sales.

You might argue that this will encourage better writing, and you’d be right if Amazon #realeasetherate and gave us information to better our writing. You might argue that it’s only fair that novelists make more than short story authors, and I wouldn’t argue.

But this is a bad move for everyone.