The week just gone has seen a couple of changes relating to e-books that have implications for both writers and readers.
The unsettling announcements came days apart, so concerns and questions will depend upon which service is your priority...
I'd heard of Scribd, a subscription service for e-books, but never looked into it further.
I can see that if you're travelling every day then reading a book on your mobile device would be a good way to pass the time, and you could get through a number of books in a month, before you add on the number you could read at other times. So a one-off cost each month would be cost effective.
For the writer it's another sales avenue that doesn't rely on Amazon only, and gets their books out to more potential readers. But now it seems many romance writers will find their books delisted- though free offerings are being kept.
Smashwords who provide many self-published books to the service have an extensive post on their blog, and highlight the few advantages the culling of titles will bring- less competition being no.1, nice if your paying titles are kept, not so good if they've been removed...
For anyone who is unfamiliar with the news, here's a few links to find out more: Smashwords blog and the Guardian books section. And the Bookseller. Obviously there will be some duplication of content, but each has something different to say on the subject.
Now to the Kindle changes.
For those authors who have books in the KDP Select and the Kindle Owner's Lending Library, they will now be paid by the page read. This will be referred to as KENPC- Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count, so no matter how you've formatted it, it will be calculated to a standardized form that they've worked out.
There's a good explanation of how the money side works in this Bookseller article.
The brilliant thing about KDP was that there was finally a place to publish novellas- something many mainstream publishers didn't want. Every story has its own length, and not every one will be novel length, so authors of shorter works could suffer under this new regime- it depends on whether the amount they get per page equates to what they would have received under the previous system...
Writers who have been able to build up a readership over a number of books, probably have more choices available to them, plus the statistics to help them.
Likewise. those who have e-books with a mainstream publisher are in a different position to self-publishers.
Anyone just starting the self-publishing process needs to step-back for a moment and look at all the options available to them before they make a decision.
Yes, Amazon will triumph because they have the largest share of the e-reading market, and any writer who ignores that fact does so at their own peril. The option of which service you sign up to will be the difference...
It will be interesting to see what effect the Scribd and Kindle changes make, to both writers and readers of e-books, for the remainder of the year.