Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Why are digital newsrooms unionizing now? “This generation is tired of hearing that this industry requires martyrdom”
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
June 22, 2015, 3:41 p.m.

It could soon pay more to write lengthier books, if you are an author self-publishing on Amazon.com’s Kindle ebook platform. Starting next month, the e-commerce giant will pay independent authors based on the number of pages read, rather than the number of times their book has been borrowed. Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform lets authors set list prices, decide rights and edit the book at any time.

Self-publishing has transformed what it means to be an author. Simply uploading a document and adding a cover layout to it can turn anyone into a published writer on ebook platforms such as Kindle and Smashwords.

New Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 Tablets are displayed during a launch event in New York September 17, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

New Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 Tablets are displayed during a launch event in New York September 17, 2014. Photo: Reuters/Brendan McDermid.

Amazon said on Monday the move would better align payout with the length of books and how much customers read. “We’re making this switch in response to great feedback we received from authors,” Amazon said on its self-publishing portal.

Amazon uses a complex method to determine payments for independent authors — payouts are based on a fund, the size of which is set by Amazon every month. Under the new plan, authors will get a share of the fund proportionate to the number of pages read.

While independent authors have largely embraced Amazon’s self-publishing platform, the company has in the past been involved in bitter fights with large publishers. The company had a stand-off with publisher Hachette Book Group and some authors last year over pricing. The fight ended when Hachette and Amazon reached a multi-year agreement for e-book and print book sales in November.

(This story was written by Reuters. Reporting by Sai Sachin R in Bengaluru; editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty.)

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
 
Join the 50,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Why are digital newsrooms unionizing now? “This generation is tired of hearing that this industry requires martyrdom”
“These are professional-class jobs paying working-class wages, and these people have working-class worries about being downsized, laid off, cast aside in a market that is really stripped down.”
The New Humanitarian (no longer an acronymed UN agency) wants to move humanitarian crisis journalism beyond its wonky, depressing roots
“It’s one thing to have been an internal information center for an international NGO. It’s another thing to become a full newsroom, and an independent newsroom at that — it’s not a switch you turn on and off.”
Research from Canada suggests journalists’ creed can withstand government support
Social psychologists have demonstrated a significant link between people’s behavior, their values, and the norms of their milieu, and that they feel rewarded when they act consistently with their beliefs.