Amazon is experimenting with a new scheme that will see it pay authors by the number of pages that readers actually see, rather than the number of books authors sell.
Amazon is launching an experiment called “Kindle Unlimited Pages Read” that will track how many pages of each book readers actually see. It says that it’s launching the scheme as a response to authors “who asked us to better align payout with the length of books and how much customers read.”
The new payment scheme starts on July 1, and Amazon will track how long readers spend on each page. If a reader is on a page long enough, then they will count as having read the page, and the author will get paid.
Amazon includes some examples of how the scheme will work on its page introducing the idea. It says that “the author of a 100 page book that was borrowed and read completely 100 times would earn $US1,000.” It also explains that “the author of a 200 page book that was borrowed 100 times but only read halfway through on average would earn $US1,000” too.
This experiment could have some interesting effects on books published through the Kindle platform. Authors who write long, wordy books and charge more for them could get punished if readers don’t make it all the way through. But authors who release suspenseful page-turners could earn more money if they encourage readers to reach the end of a lengthy book.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.