Amazon has been working on adjusting Kindle Unlimited – their streaming-service equivalent for writers – for a while. A fair number of people have been worrying about what that would mean. We’ve known for a while that the author money would come from a fixed-size pot – and that pot would probably be small. But we didn’t know for sure.
Now we do. Surprise! Pseudo-streaming for writers means the same thing as streaming means for musicians. Payment schedules which are somewhere between a joke and an insult.
I don’t know enough about the writer side of the world of things to know exactly how terrible this is, but given the zero-sum gaming of the system, and Amazon’s market dominance in the epub world, I’d have to say it sounds pretty damn bad – possibly even worse than for musicians, even if the actual rates are higher in some ways. The numbers being thrown around involve phrases like ’60-80% cut in royalties.’
Anyway, writers, you’ve been warned. Anybody with a better understanding of the book world want to chime in?