Teacher is Watching You

You may not have seen this Amazon announcement, as it sneaked in a little beneath the radar. Under their Kindle Unlimited Programme, customers are allowed to have free delivery of their purchases, to buy selected products, and can download books for free. Authors have previously been compensated on a book-by-book basis, so a 100-page book received the same payment as a 600-page book. Many believed this was unfair and so Amazon decided to change it, to payment based on the number of pages read. This means a 600-page novel with a boring second half that no one reads, will only receive half the amount than if the whole book was read, and assuming two books are completed, a 400-page book will receive 4x the payment of a 100-page book.

This raises a whole host of issues not least, how do they know? I assume it requires your Kindle to be turned on, or at least to be on stand-by and connected to the web. If you’re like me, and leave in Aeroplane Mode to preserve the battery, Amazon won’t find out what you’re reading until you switch Aeroplane Mode off.

Here are a number of other issues it raises:

  • Some readers will be uncomfortable knowing they are being ‘watched’
  • For authors, it creates a disconnect between sale and payment
  • Some authors will gain and some will lose. See my blog – 10 Books We Never Finish (Hilary Clinton watch out)
  • Where will end? A pack of vegetables will send an email to say, ‘well done,’ or a text will be received after finishing a bottle of beer telling you you’ve had enough?

What do you think?

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