Erotica Authors Pull-Out on Amazon KU – Time to Come To The Dark Side!

releasetherateErotica authors were impatiently waiting for July 1, for a look at the new dashboard and the opportunity for a glimpse into the Bezos crystal ball at what they might be paid for the month of July, when the Kindle Unlimited changes took place.

Looks like the numbers are (kind of) in… and the outlook is rather dismal. Erotica shorts authors knew it was going to be bad. I just don’t think most of them thought it was going to be quite *this* bad. Because it looks as if authors will be making about $0.0057 per page. That’s slightly less than half a penny a page, folks.

This was every erotica shorts author’s face when they heard this news:

06

But we’re erotica authors. We are the most versatile, adaptive and scrappy bunch of people I have ever known. And if Amazon thought we were going to take this lying down?

Bwahahahahahahahahahaha. Then they don’t know us very well!


Introducing the #releasetherate campaign

The objective is twofold:

1. Get Amazon to tell us how many people are borrowing our books, without which our page counts are utterly useless

2. Get Amazon to tell us how much they mean to pay us – NOW. IN ADVANCE. No more of this, “Enroll your books, choose to go exclusively with Amazon, and we’ll tell you later how much you’ll make” crap!


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

1. We don’t want to make Amazon mad at us!

Look, if we don’t stop this ride now, we may never be able to get off. And this particular ride ends at welfare-ville. So let’s not go there. There are plenty of erotica authors who have made a nice living from writing. And we are satisfying a very voracious readership. Why shouldn’t they have books they want to read, too? And why shouldn’t we get paid for them?

2. We’ll just opt out of KU and distribute our books everywhere!

That’s part of the message we need to send. If you haven’t already sign up for an Excitica Publisher Account, do that now.

3. Aren’t you overreacting? You sound kinda mad…

Yeah, losing 50-70% of my erotica shorts income? I’m mad.

Erotica authors are awesome. They provide you with some great, fun, thrilling, and let’s face it, damned hot stories to get lost in – they deserve to be paid for their work. Don’t you think?

I really don’t think a short story’s worth should be judged by the time spent reading or writing it. O’Henry would be appalled by this new system. Plenty of people pay a hefty ticket price to ride a roller coaster. That only lasts minutes. The length of something should not determine its worth.

AUTHORS: WHAT YOU CAN DO

A. PULL YOUR EROTICA BOOKS FROM KU. If you want to keep your longer romances in, great. But if you have erotica get it OUT.

B. COMMENT, LIKE, SHARE THE FOLLOWING FACEBOOK POST & TWEET:

TWEET

FB POST

C. EMAIL jeff@amazon.com

Don’t yell. DON’T USE ALL CAPS (even though I am 🙂 ) Be nice. Concise. And clear!

Tell Jeff, hey look, this is simply a courtesy for business owners. We need to know these things to run our business.

-Show us the borrows. How many people are actually borrowing our books?

-Show us the money. How much are you actually going to pay us?

-Tell him you pulled out (heh). I understand not everyone will. But if you pulled out, yell it from the rooftops!

D. ASK EVERYONE YOU KNOW to email jeff@amazon.com We want him inundated with letters. We want him yelling, “Oh Em Gee, STAAAAHHHHP these self-published authors, Jane, get me off this crazy thing!”


Here’s a form email you can give to your readers:


Hello, Mr. Bezos

I am an avid reader, and I am contacting you today on behalf of my favorite authors who participate in your Kindle Unlimited book subscription program.

Under the new reporting system, authors have no idea how many individual people are borrowing their books through KU. This is vital information and authors NEED to have it. Please amend the KDP reporting system to share this information, which you are already collecting anyway and shared up until July 1, with authors.

Also, authors have no idea how much to expect to be paid. The email they received today suggests the payout could be as low as $.0057 per page. As a reader, I want as many authors to keep as many books in the KU program as possible, and it would help if Amazon would tell authors how much they’re going to be paid. It’s not  fair that they have to guess and hope for the best when they sign up for KU and give up the fixed royalty rates they receive outside the program.


TEXT YOU CAN USE TO SHARE WITH YOUR READERS

(and feel free to right-click and use the graphic at the top of this page).

Thanks go to Natalie Deschain and Cassandra Zara for spearheading this campaign!


Help Authors Spread the Word – PLEASE SHARE!

Many of you know that I’ve been a HUGE proponent of the Kindle Unlimited program. It’s allowed me to gain a broader readership and new fans who would have never discovered me without being able to borrow my books and take a chance on them through KU.

That said, you may not be aware that Amazon made massive, sweeping changes to the KU program starting today. Beginning today, they will only be paying based on pages read, rather than books borrowed.

This change has left authors in the dark regarding royalties since Amazon isn’t telling us how many readers are borrowing our books or how much we’ll earn for each page read.

How can authors make good business decisions without knowing how much money they are earning? The short answer is, we can’t. And that makes many of us question whether we should remain part of the Kindle Unlimited program at all.

That’s why I’ve joined #releasetherate, an author-led initiative with a simple goal: getting Amazon to release more information to authors. We’re not asking for much. We’re asking for two small pieces of data that Amazon can easily produce that will help self-published authors make informed business decisions.

1.) Number of units borrowed per book — Amazon has this data; they have been providing it to us since the Select program began. Why withhold that number now? The only reason is to confuse authors. Give us the total number of customers who have clicked the “Read for Free” button on our book’s sales page. Or, at the very least, give us the total number of customers who have read a minimum of one page of our book.

2.) #releasetherate – Authors are aware that Amazon has a ballpark rate-per-page-read that they are expecting to pay for Select and KU pages read in July 2015. We hope it’s not the .0057 cents per page based on the June 2015 Select Fund and pages read, a rate that would decimate the income of many authors and make it impossible for us to remain part of the Kindle Unlimited program.

If you’re an author or reader who feels that Amazon should #releasetherate, please help us spread the word by sharing this post.

And if you’re as angry and frustrated about the lack of information being provided to authors, as I am, please let Amazon know by sending an email to jeff@amazon.com and letting him know that withholding basic business information from authors is making many of your favorite authors wonder if Kindle Unlimited is really the right program for them after all.

Selena Kitt
Erotic Fiction You Won’t Forget
www.selenakitt.com
LATEST RELEASE: Highland Wolf Pact: Blood Reign

highlandwolfpactbloodreignMED

24 comments to Erotica Authors Pull-Out on Amazon KU – Time to Come To The Dark Side!

  • Kelli Wolfe  says:

    Honestly, I don’t care what they do any longer. KU and Select are dead as far as I’m concerned. This move showed exactly what they think of us and exactly what they think our work is worth, and I will never trust them again. From now on everything I write will be published wide.

  • Robin Malone  says:

    I’ve shared on both accounts for Facebook, Twitter and Google. (I’ll make a post tomorrow on my blog that will also reach bloglovin, etc.) I also emailed. Hopefully this will get the changes you all deserve!!! ♥
    Many blessings!
    Robin Malone
    Book Reads and Reviews

    PS LOVE your books! 😀

  • […] for their efforts, and can continue to provide the books you love. If you want to read more Selena Kitt has a great post summarising what you can do to let Amazon know. We need more information and to not have our […]

  • Karen Henderson  says:

    I just tried to email him and got a return email saying his account if full

  • […] to the rest at Selena Kitt and thanks to Toni for the […]

  • Nirmala  says:

    Slight correction: $0.0057 per page is slightly more than half a penny, not slightly less.

  • Chris Meadows  says:

    Isn’t $0.0057 per page slightly more than half a cent per page, not slightly less?

  • Bob Mayer  says:

    On the issue of fairness, please don’t ignore that a short story was making as much as a full novel under the old system. Let’s accept that the system was “gamed” to an extent? And now that game is over.

    I don’t believe it’s what “Amazon thinks of us”. It’s business; and frankly Amazon only thinks in term of numbers. Some things work, some don’t. Frankly, I didn’t see any outrage about a short equaling a novel in payment before in KU. But certainly, that wasn’t fair?

  • […] ADDENDUM: there’s a movement called #releasetherate campaign. Find out more HERE. […]

  • Nya Rawlyns  says:

    Already pulled everything out of KU/Select. Weight. Lifted.

  • Sessha Batto  says:

    I oppose all subscription reading as it will end with our work completely devalued (just look what streaming did to musicians!)

  • […] is asking for erotica authors to “pull-out on KU” and remove their erotica stories from the service. Kitt wants Amazon to pledge to make both number […]

  • carylle  says:

    hi.I don’t think that thy should charge by thy page it takes the writers a long time to write there books so charging by the page is please forgive language a bloody
    cheek and thy should try writing them,thy should not mess around with there writers as thy may lose

    out and the writers could pull out all there works,then thy would then lose money and
    thy could lose a lot more then thy bargain for too,I am sorry thy are doing this to
    you and other writer’s as I pay to read your’s and others work,good luck with your campaign to keep your books for sale as they are,thank you for your hard works.

    Carylle one big fan of all your stories keep up the fight.

  • Fiona Jayde  says:

    Great post!

    Authors should consider selling books on their own websites and cutting out the middle man. All authors I know are already doing all the promo work themselves, so why not send people to their own site, and allow cross-sells of their own books rather then what Zon picks?

    WordPress has a fairly easy ecommerce plugin. A company called “Gumroad” allows people to sell their content online with minimal effort, and will even email a Kindle book to a buyer’s Kindle. (They take a percentage if I remember correctly). There ARE options out there!

  • Jojo Lott  says:

    It’s ashame how LOW a company can get. Writers should not be getting less than what they supposed to since LOTS of CARING READERS out there depend Amazon on reading EROTICA books or any book for FREE either from Kindle or Kindle Unlimited. Bad for Writers. Bad for You the Readers. And Bad for Amazon. This is WHY I got an Android Tablet. To read some really GOOD, STEAMY, STORIES from Authotrs like SELENA KITTS. Jojo Lott (Starchaser-TXRD)

  • Can subscriptions take the heat?  says:

    […] to “pull out” (yes, the choice of words was noted more than once) of Kindle Unlimited. At the author Selena Kitt’s site, a post asked itself, rhetorically, “Aren’t you overreacting?” Kitt […]

  • Lisa Lang Blakeney  says:

    I hate to see that this new system is penalizing authors who write shorts or serials. I actually prefer reading my stories in chunks because I raised on 1980’s soap operas:) I hope Amazon realizes it’s error and seeks to find more of a compromise for both types of authors.

  • Kelly Favor  says:

    Thanks for writing about this.

    It’s absolutely infuriating and heartbreaking to be treated this way. I don’t mind the system having to change, but the WAY Amazon went about this was simply awful and disrespectful.

    I pulled my very popular Billionaire’s Rules series from KU immediately when they sent the email about 2 BILLION pages read last month. That changed my math to make staying in impossible.

    However, what really gets my hackles up is how I could no longer even tell how many borrows or units moved I was getting in the new dashboard. To take that vital information away from my business was a slap in the face.

    I’m taking an enormous loss because of these changes. I built my business delivering content that readers enjoyed and that Amazon compensated and incentivized for. Now they turn around and change it on a whim and I’m supposed to simply smile and thank them?

    Heck no.

    So that’s my position and I feel for all of the other romance and erotica and picture books authors who’ve been raked over the coals by this sudden policy change by Amazon.

  • […] Here’s Selena Kitt’s very comprehensive post on the subject. […]

  • […] Source […]

  • Randi Everheart  says:

    And there I was making more money on borrows than sales, and they killed that a week after my latest release. The number of borrows is crucial as this really tells us if our marketing efforts are causing people to check it out at all. I’m a little surprised they screwed this up so much.

  • Future with Kindle Unlimited Uncertain | Ivy Willcox  says:

    […] Link to story about Kindle Unlimited payment plan […]

  • […] authors as little as $0.006 per page read – A Guardian article analysing Amazon’s latest move Erotica Authors Pull-Out on Amazon KU – Time to Come To The Dark Side! – Doesn’t look like Amazon’s changes are causing orgasms of the good kind… Analyzing Kindle […]

  • lawrence  says:

    Bob Mayer, if you weren’t aware of outrage over KU1 paying shorts as much as novels, then you simply weren’t paying attention. Virtually every discussion board I visited, every novelist FB page, everywhere I went that was all I heard for the first couple of months of KU. Novelists were complaining left and right, threatening to pull out…I actually saw more outrage over that than I’ve seen over KU cutting payments to a token. It was there…..

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