Amazon’s new Kindle policy for royalties’ compensation

Amazon announced the change of its Kindle policy (Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Owners’ Lending Library) concerning payment of loyalties to self-published authors which will be based from 1st of July 2015 on the number of pages read.

This paradoxical strategy is justified by Amazon with the following statement: “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”.  


In addition, Amazon developed the Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count that will be used to standardize a page count across devices that takes into account objective criteria, such as line spacing, line height, font etc. This means that a page on a tablet and on a smartphone does not correspond to the same result. “Non-text elements within books including images, charts and graphs will count toward a book’s KENPC”.

The Kindle Unlimited program gives access to more than 800000 books for a cost of 9,99 dollars per month, while the Lending Library is based on an annual cost of 99 dollars.

Up until now authors were compensated according to the number of downloads of their work divided among all authors, element that motivated them to publish short books. The new method of payment shall justify a writing motivation to grab reader’s attention till the end of the book.

This system has advocates and opponents. On the one hand, there are authors that claim that this system is based on objective criteria, because this compensation system does not penalize authors who write long books or authors with low download rates but whose books are entirely consumed. On the other hand, opponents tent to claim that this system of royalties’ compensation is unfair, because it calculates “each page individual customers read, the first time they read the book”.

anna plessaAnna Plessa                                                                       Etudiante en Master 2 Droit de l’économie numérique, inspirée par la problématique des données personnelles, le droit du numérique, le e-commerce et l’innovation.



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