June 15, 2015 Last Updated 6:49 am

Kobo adds instant book previews to iOS app; KDT Select payout mechanism changed by Amazon

Amazon to pay KDP Select Global Fund authors based on the number of pages KU and KOLL customers read, adds $7.8M to May fund

There will be changes to several book platforms that will effect both readers and authors – some very minor, some possibly effecting what a self-author makes.

KoboBooks-featureFirst, Kobo Inc. has updated its Kobo Reading App – Read Books and Magazines iOS app. It’s a fairly minor update, though it does introduce instant book previews, according to the app description.

If this is truly a new feature, it is one overdue as all the book platforms have been offering previews, and many are expanding these.

What’s New in Version 7.7

  • Start reading right away! Enjoy Kobo’s eReading experience with instant book previews, even if you don’t have a free Kobo account yet.
  • Bug fixes and general improvements.

The second change effects those self-publishers using KDT Select, Amazon’s program designed to give the online retailer an exclusive on a title.

According to the Amazon KDT Select support page, Amazon will now start paying authors based on the number of pages of their work that are read.

“We’re always looking at ways to make our programs even better, and we’ve received lots of great feedback on how to improve the way we pay KDP authors for books in Kindle Unlimited,” Amazon writes. “One particular piece of feedback we’ve heard consistently from authors is that paying the same for all books regardless of length may not provide a strong enough alignment between the interests of authors and readers. We agree. With this in mind, we’re pleased to announce that beginning on July 1, the KDP Select Global Fund will be paid out based on the number of pages KU and KOLL customers read.”

The change seems fair enough when you consider that prior to the change a short work was being paid the same as longer works. But the real issue is the amount paid out in total, and whether either the old system or the new one really works for authors.

In the end, it is what those who use KDP Select will have to live with, after all, they are dealing with the whims of the distributor. This is the nightmare traditional publishers are trying to avoid and they fight to maintain as much control over pricing as possible.

“I’m an indie romance author, and I refuse to participate in Select,” one author wrote on author Hugh Howey’s website. KU payouts have nothing to do with it. The reason I refuse is the exclusivity clause. I have major issues with relying on one source of income from a place that’s known for being unreliable and changing things that end up massively affecting an author’s income. Amazon is no more a friend to the indie author than they are the traditional author.”

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