I love Amazon’s KDP Select almost as much as I love Buster, my 13-year-old Pekeapom, a mix of Pekingese and Pomeranian, the dog you see to the right.
But my rescue pup dirties up the carpet every now and then. And in a way that’s exactly what KDP has been doing lately.
Last month, some alert authors smelled mismatches and oddities in the reporting of their page reads from subscribers to Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited service (KU). “Page reads” is the number of standardized Kindle pages read—this varying amount usually brings U.S. writers between 0.4 and half a cent.
The page read numbers roughly tend to follow a KU author’s retail sales curve (the books people purchase, rather than read through KU), sometimes a day or two delayed.
Longer books normally have more page reads, of course. New releases tend to see a steep jump in page reads that rises to a peak a few weeks or months out as people read through their KU queues. So when long books get released and their KU page reads stay essentially flat even while selling hundreds of copies—well, something is seriously wrong.
As a quick aside, I’ll give you my short bona fides. I make a living as an indie author. I’ve sold over 300K books (sales, not free downloads) and had over a million free downloads, averaging something like 10,000 copies a month if you count KU borrows as sales. I’ve grossed an easy six figures for the past three years, and most of the time I’m firmly in the middle of the Amazon’s science fiction Top 100 authors list. I have several years of data and experience.
Gripes multiplying on KBoards
For extensive discussion of the oddities, KBoards has a long thread with a lot of posts, only some of which are valuable or even germane. As usual, absent hard information from Amazon, there is a lot of speculation, but the gist of it seems to be this: Authors are losing, or not getting credited for, page reads.
Several reputable posters to the KBoards thread claim that they wrote to complain and adjustments were made to their page reads, always upward. Sometimes the changes were relatively insignificant, but at least one poster claims a 30K difference, roughly $140 worth. Now multiply that $140 by the days since the problem was noticed, and you can see how this could add up to serious cash.
What has KDP to say about this? After I complained about my own page reads, which I will detail later, I received the form letter below, the same as others on the KBoards threads posted. I’ve added the bold for emphasis.
I understand you are concerned about lower than expected pages read in your reports. We’ve thoroughly reviewed all of your KU/ KOLL borrows and can confirm that the pages read displayed in your dashboard are accurate.
Kindle Direct Publishing
So, in essence, the first layer of customer service denied the existence of a problem, which seems to be normal for KDP. And for Buster, with that cute innocent face.
Now, I’d been noticing my own page reads falling off for the last month, but they really took a downward trend about two weeks ago, even while my retail sales stayed steady. (As I mentioned above, retail sales and page reads curves tend to be roughly similar.) Generally, within plus or minus ten percent on any one day, I tend to see about 500 pages read per retail book sale, usually more, but I am being conservative here.
Thirty percent decrease in page counts in the last two weeks alone
Yet my average page reads has fallen to about 350, which is a 30 percent decrease in the last two weeks alone, with no discernible reason for this happening. In fact, seasonally, page reads and sales tend to rise in September as children go back to school and the adults return from vacations. The weather tends to encourage indoor activities like reading and the holidays provide time for many to catch up on books. Note, if my retail sales had fallen off that much, I’d chalk it up to the vagaries of the market or my lack of effective promoting. But retail sales have stayed very much the same, or risen slightly, despite no particular marketing on my part.
Here’s a screen shot of my sales. Compare for yourself. The red line is retail sales; the blue line is pages read.
Still, this could simply be an extended statistical anomaly. Sure, similar things have been noted by other authors, but we could all simply be experiencing some kind of mass reader burnout or disenchantment with KU and a switch back to buying retail. Why avid readers would suddenly give up their $9.95 per month book fix to pay the same price for one to five books on average, I couldn’t say, but hey, it’s possible. Or could some kind of legitimate change in the algorithms have adjusted everyone’s numbers and how they were reported (although if that were true, you’d expect a quick one-day adjustment, followed by a plateau)?
Note that the blue line finally seems to be plateauing at this new lower level, despite the big red spike on the October 1.
What is that big red spike, you might ask? That was me releasing not one but two box sets of 3000+ pages each (long books are capped at 807 print pages/3000 Kindle page equivalents for KU payment purposes in order to discourage scammers). So, you say, maybe all is well and I’m starting to pick up significant page reads from those box sets? Nope. It’s hard to believe that Apocalyptic Fears III, a box set of ten full-length novels, has sold over 200 copies since being released six days ago, yet has not achieved a mere 3000 pages read. That’s right. By the math of my recent average of about 350 page reads per retail copy sold, you would expect 70,000 pages read, the equivalent of about 23-24 of those books, over the last six days.
Actual count? 2665 as of this writing, which is about 4% or about 1/26 of expectations. Here’s the screen shot of this individual book:
It’s hard to see, but there were actually four (4) pages read on the day it was released, October 1 (the sales on the 30th were pre-orders). So someone opened the book up and…you’re kidding, right? Read four pages? That doesn’t even take you past the front matter to the first story. So again, something wrong.
Then there are over 2000 pages read. So far so good. But then the page reads drop to under 300 the next day, and then under 100 for the next three days, despite over 200 books being sold at retail. Sure it’s possible that only, say, five or ten people in KU got the book while 200+ people bought it retail, but that’s extremely unlikely. Most of the time, the math says KU borrows and retail sales numbers remain within 20 percent of each other.
One other note: my page reads for non-English books have remained steady and apparently unaffected. Only my English-language books seem to be affected, so removing the non-English books from the equation would result in an even more dramatic drop than I’ve outlined here.
My empirical test: First-hand evidence of an accident on the carpet
So how could I really prove something was going wrong? Well, empirical testing is always great, so I opened up my own brand-new KU account and “read” the entire book of Apocalyptic Fears III. I even flipped through it page by page, albeit quickly, in case Amazon had changed their reporting system to not report skipped pages. i.e., vs. simply going to the end using the TOC. I’ve never done this before. I’ve never even had a KU account before, though my wife has, and then only to check the quality of our own books from a reader perspective.
I opened the same book in my Kindle reader and the Cloud reader and “read” through it to make sure KDP had multiple chances to record my pages read. That should have resulted in 3000 pages read. Just to be doubly sure, I did the same with Apocalyptic Fears IV, another 3000-page tome. I also closed and reopened both books, in case there was some sort of report triggers that needed tripping. Then I waited a few hours. Sometimes, KDP delays reporting for several hours. Occasionally, even up to 24 hours. So I waited 24 hours.
Kazam! The page reads showed up. But, subtracting out those page reads, the daily number for 3000-KENPC books which had sold hundreds of copies remained fewer than 100. PER DAY. For probably at least 100 people that have gotten it through KU, if the world has kept turning on its axis. So again, there’s an apparent software glitch.
In some of the recent posts to the KBoards thread, authors have noticed that books opened in the nifty new Page Flip mode don’t seem to register any page reads. In other words, people are reading the books, but authors are not getting credited with more than one (1) page read.
So, I did another experiment. Using my KU account, I borrowed one of my own low-selling books that gets fewer than 100 page reads per day, normally zero. I used my iPhone and the Kindle app, so that the book opened automatically in Page Flip mode and kept it there. I paged through the entire book. Result? One (1) page read exactly, up from zero (0). Yup. One. Just as many others are reporting on KBoards and elsewhere.
Here’s the next email I got from KDP Executive Customer Relations regarding the problem (with bold I’ve added). Note that they were not specifically addressing my experiments, but only responding to my complaints of at least two days ago:
My name is Ann Fairday with Kindle Direct Publishing Executive Customer Relations. Jeff Bezos received your message and asked that I reach out to you on his behalf. I apologize for the delayed response to your concerns about KENP [Kindle Edition Normalized Pages].
As you may have seen on our forum post https://kdp.amazon.com/community/ann.jspa?annID=1144, we completed the results of our monthly audit of September pages read data.
As the forum post indicates, total audit adjustments for the month were an increase of roughly 2% of pages read (though the amount will vary from author to author). We are currently updating reports and changes should be visible within the next day.
If you have any additional questions about your account, please contact us at https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/contact-us.
You will note that, unlike the first email, they are finally admitting there was some problem. However, when I tried to open that link in the email, it reached the KDP forums but there is nothing there. The post has apparently been deleted. Hmm.
Others have reported that KDP emails to them noted that their “2%” was restored on September 30. I checked my own September 30 page reads and they jumped by almost 10,000 on that day, an increase of about 30 percent day-over-day for me personally, before dropping by about 5000 the next day to the new plateau. This would tend to indicate I was credited with about two percent per day for 15 days, exactly in line with predictions. However, my page reads have been about 30 percent lower than normal for those 15 days, so in reality, I’ve been credited with less than 1/7 of what I’ve lost. But the key takeaway here is that, yes, Virginia, there is a problem. And I don’t believe it’s merely two percent.
Here’s an excerpt of what another KBoards poster reported getting back in a KDP email:
“Thanks for the recent questions from some authors about how Page Flip is being used by customers and its possible impact to pages read. Page Flip is designed to make it easy to explore and navigate in books while automatically saving your place, and that is how customers are using it. We checked for effects on pages read before launching Page Flip, and investigated it again to re-confirm that there is no impact. We do not see any material reading volume happening within this feature, but we will continue to monitor it closely.
“We greatly appreciate the questions and feedback we get from author; please keep it coming. If you have specific questions about your account, please contact us at…”
Clearly, some people at Amazon have not delved deep enough. At least some apps on some devices (such as my Kindle app on my iPhone) do not report page reads.
Interestingly, while my two major new releases of box sets have not seen any significant rise in page reads, just today my overall page reads have started climbing dramatically. As of this writing, they have jumped over 30 percent in less than a day. Coincidentally (?) most of the uptick seems to have come from seven (7) books that I made alterations to and re-uploaded yesterday.
Having noticed that, I’ve just re-uploaded my test cases (the new box sets) and also another box set, to see if re-uploading them has any positive effect on pages read. If the page reads take off tomorrow like gangbusters, at least I may have identified a potential solution without really understanding the problem. Right now, I feel like I am flailing around with partial information and little recourse except to keep pleading with KDP to find out what’s wrong and fix it.
Who has all the information needed? Amazon does, of course. And they don’t seem to be telling. There’s been reasonable speculation that KDP is underplaying or keeping silent on this issue at the advice of Amazon’s legal department. Some of the authors on the KBoards thread say they’ve personally been told the legal department would contact them, but they have received no callbacks or contact. Here’s hoping that Amazon gets its act together soon.
Fodder NOT for Amazon bashers
For those who point and say, “Aha, I told you so, you should have stayed out of KU, and wide on all vendors,” I get it. I agree in principle. I wanted to stay wide. I tried to stay wide. But, considering my income nearly doubled last year when I went all-in with KU (for my science fiction titles, that is: interestingly, my mystery titles do better wide on all vendors), I still have to go with Select/KU, despite the issues. I’m certain that we’re talking about software glitches—or human errors—rather than any malicious intent at Amazon. What’s more, I would hope that Amazon’s detractors in the business world not depict this situation as corporate iniquity, just “mistakery,” so to speak. Yes, Amazon is the Kong of digital publishing. Every time they twitch they may knock over 18 monkeys. But that doesn’t mean that Kong is bad. Kongs can simply make honest mistakes—I just want Amazon to fix this one ASAP.
As long as my page reads stabilize or recover, I’ll still be a big fan of KDP and Select, just as I’m a big fan of Buster.
Except when he messes up my carpet or keeps me up at night.
Great blog post! Sums up the situation very well. I hope someone at kdp reads it!
Color me cynical, but “glitches” are random events. They’re as likely to mean authors get paid more as less. Indeed, some research assumes that the two, being random, cancel out. When they don’t cancel out, fraud is a distinct possibility.
Color me digusted too. When I shifted from technology to writing, I soon discovered that most writers give every appearance of being spineless wimps, walking about with a “kick me” sign on their bowed-down-with-discouragement backs. Their obsessance to Amazon illustrates that. They’re like the little boy in a Dicken’s orphanage, “Please sir, could I have more gruel.”
Issues like this one and the related one of whether reported ebooks (and POD books) accurately represent real sales could easily be addressed without violating anyone’s privacy: Amazon, customer or author.
Simply require POD and ebook retailers to offer detailed sales information down to the zip code, date and time. For sales, that’d allow authors to have someone make straw purchases and see if that purchase shows up in the retailer’s sales data. A mismatch between an Amazon sale (by the customer) and the sales data (as received by the author or publisher), would trigger an automatic, government-supervised audit at the retailer’s expense. Penalities would be severe.
That idea could easily be expanded to cover Kindle page reads. Simply have that straw reader read all or part of a book and see if that data shows up in Amazon reporting.
Never, never forget that the current Amazon business model has not checks on Amazon misbehavior. An author’s only source for ebook purchases and reads is Amazon. An author’s only source for CreateSpace sales is again Amazon. It’s a bit like having a fox run a henhouse.
One additional fact. Contrary to this writer, we know that “Kong”—meaning Amazon is bad. For years, they shorted states the sales taxes they deserved, underfunding much-needed social services. They treat their warehouse workers lousy. As the NY Times reported in August of 2015, they bully their white-collar workers. And over the years they’ve tried to bully suppliers and publishers in various ways. It is ridiculous to believe that Amazon and Jeff Bezos have a heart. They don’t.
Living in Seattle, I met an early Amazon employee who was deeply bitter because she was fired just before she would have acquired Amazon stock as a part of an IPO. When you read about how rich Bezos is, that’s a key reason why. The creep shorted his dedicated early employees, so he’d get to grab more stock. The guy simply doesn’t have a conscience.
Amazon really is run by amoral people. There’s no question about that. But we need to keep in mind that “amoral” doesn’t mean it will break laws when there’s a distinct possibility of prosecution. A few years back I looked at the background of Amazon’s senior executives and was surprised to discover how many were trained as lawyers. Lawyers often come up lacking in ethics. We all know that. But they’re very leary of breaking laws since they understand the consequencies better than anyone else.
Those who want Amazon to behave need to look to laws suited to this new way of doing business with digital products and how it can be abused. It’s pointless to expect Amazon to be ethical if writers only send it enough whining “please sir, could I have more gruel” emails. But it is possible to make it behave by properly structuring our laws. That is what we need to do.
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You make some good points, but there’s an old saying: never attribute to conspiracy what can easily be explained by stupidity, or in this case, mistakery. I’ve worked for large complex organizations and I will tell you, the more complex something is, the more fragile it is, prone to unexpected and hard-to-correct errors. Just look at a computer; it has no malicious intent, but we often need highly skilled professionals to diagnose what’s gone wrong.
I’ve had a lot of dealings with Amazon KDP, Author Central and Createspace over the years and I’ve never gotten the impression they are malicious. Certain people are, as people will be, less than helpful and prone to denying a problem exists, because it’s often a pain to diagnose and fix problems, and people naturally avoid pain.
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@Mike: I totally agree with David V. about Amazon’s intent here. He has told how writers follow the relationship between sales and sub figures. Do you really think Amazon could so badly underestimate authors in this regard? Would Amazon really gamble so recklessly with writers’ trust? Amazon does some stupid and irrational things, such as adamantly refusing to include all-boldface options in Kindles and apps, but I just can’t see any malicious intent here—just less than full transparency. Ideally a complete fix will be along soon, and Amazon also will make certain that it fully compensates for the writers’ past losses due to the glitch or whatever happened.
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November 10 and no fix, alas. 😦
@Joseph: You’re right to be POed at Amazon. At the same time, keep in mind that the operative word here is “ideally.” Perhaps something will still happen and Anazon won’t disappoint us. I continue to believe that Amazon is not out to deliberately screw authors. But that is absolutely no excuse for the lack of a fix as well as compensation for past losses. Do keep speaking out! I remain just as baffled why Amazon is deaf to the complaints of those of us begging for an all-bold option for Kindles and other needed typographical choices. In Kindle matters, this company is not as author- or customer-friendly as it used to be.
Reblogged this on Ruth Nestvold – Indie Adventures and commented:
Here’s another, longer report than the one I did yesterday on the present Amazon glitch in pages read.
I have to agree with David in this regard. The upside for Amazon does not outweigh the potential downside, and there was no way for this to go on without being noticed.
If, as some have suggested, Amazon implemented page-flip with the intention of appeasing those that requested it for better/easier use of textbooks, were flipping back and forth between pages without losing one’s place is necessary, and never thought it would be used at scale for reading standard fiction, then this could very easily have been a software upgrade that went in the opposite direction of what it was intended for.
If people are reading on a Kindle or a phone then page-flip will NOT likely be their default choice, but for those reading on tablets with larger screens it’s been discovered to be a favorable one.
How this will be fixed is yet to be seen, but fix it they must, or they risk the removal of KU’s appeal. If an author’s books all develop a KNPC of 1 page, then there is no reason for that author to participate in KU anymore.
Excellent breakdown by the way, well done.
It’s problematic when one company (Amazon) wants to duplicate a great feature from another reader app (Google Play Books) when one company has a program that pays per page read while the other company does not have a program like that.
The only (short term) solution I can think of is to disable page flip with KU borrows. This will no doubt annoy readers, but I would think that a mass exodus from authors who don’t want to keep losing page reads to this glitch would annoy readers even more.
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They probably wouldn’t be able to disable page flip on just KU books. They’d likely have to push an update that either disabled the feature or, preferable, corrected it.
The problem is, there are thousands of readers for every author (thank goodness) and therefore any fix risks ticking off far more readers than authors. So, they have to get it right. I very much hope they’re working on getting it right.
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Thank you for the data in an easily understood format. One mystery remains for me. You said:
“One other note: my page reads for non-English books have remained steady and apparently unaffected. Only my English-language books seem to be affected, so removing the non-English books from the equation would result in an even more dramatic drop than I’ve outlined here.”
Am guessing that the foreign language Amazon sites may use different software than the USAmazon does, which leads to this question. Do the foreign language Amazon sites have the Flip Page feature? If they do, why is it not affecting the pages read total on those sites?
Any insights greatly appreciated.
According to my German translator, the Page Flip feature requires Enhanced Typesetting, which is not as widespread on the .de site. But some of my German books DO have Enhanced Typesetting and seem unaffected, or at least little affected. It’s still quite opaque.
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David is a fine man, good work on this article.
Here’s some more interesting data: large chunks of no-read days, which is again, extremely unlikely.
@davidvandyke: Thanks for the new info on the no-read days. I would encourage you, Ruth Nestvold and others to keep updating us.
I would ask who is making money off the page flip glitch? Because there the culprit would be.
Does anyone know how to turn off Enhanced Typesetting in one’s own books?
One way seems to be to use Vellum to format your books and make sure you have drop caps and text break symbols that are SVG files. I have heard other rumors that merely inserting a small SVG file into a book might do it as well. I’ve tried the latter, though, and can’t yet get the file to covert in KDP.
I guess I just don’t understand this whole controversy. I thought an author wrote a book and (luckily) got it published, and received a portion of the proceeds of sale.
This whole controversy is about Amazon KDP’s popular subscription reading model and how authors who choose to make their books available are compensated. Currently they are compensated by how many pages a reader reads. If Amazon is not properly counting those page reads, the authors are not getting paid correctly.
Interesting… some very impressive detective work on your part.
It’s a good thing Bezos has people like Ann to help him out or he’d never get anything done!
Reblogged this on Nicholas C. Rossis and commented:
An excellent post that sheds some light on recent complaints about low KENP counts (I, too, have noticed that, by the way). Let’s hope that Amazon sorts out any possible bugs.
An excellent article with hard facts. Several of my indie author friends are discussing this issue, while feeling deeply unempowered to get the Zon to listen to them. Thank you for sharing the screen shots., and the responses from Amazon.
KU has been a sales driver for indies like me who are just getting started. For my friends who have shifted to be exclusive to the Zon, KU has driven their sales dollars up. These same folks are reporting KENP pages read dropped 50-80% from normal in September. I released a new book and the pages read were about 2/3 the rate of the number of books sold, which I had wondered about; usually, my pages read are higher than the equivalent number of pages in books sold.
If we’re not going to get paid paid for pages read (or if for some reason we’re not getting those pages read anymore on the Zon), may as well withdraw from KU and go wide.
It’s a high switching cost for authors like me, who have only ever been exclusive to the Zon. I’ll put it off a while and hope that there’s a resolution. Like you, David, I don’t feel there’s a malicious intent, though indifference and the inertia of a giant bureaucracy may delay or impede resolution.
What’s most difficult is the emotional impact. That vague sense that you’ve been taken advantage of, that someone is messing with your trust – the way I feel when taking my car to a mechanic. Through some alchemical automotive mystique, they claim to know what’s wrong with my car and how to fix it, while I’m helpless to do other than hand over the credit card. It breeds a system rife with opportunity to overcharge (or, in this case, underpay).
Or… it could be that fewer people are reading my books.
Not knowing either way has an undeniable lowering effect on morale.
Reblogged this on Kim's Author Support Blog.
I have seen incidents where I would get 1 page read on any book in my novella series. I laughed it off as someone not being hooked, but now I wonder if it’s the page flip glitch causing it and I just missed out on a whole lot of reads. =S
It appears from recent testing that it is not ONLY Page Flip. The underlying issue (or at least the next layer of the issue) seems to be that Amazon recently changed its reporting algorithm to reflect the page where the book is closed, rather than the furthest page read.
In Page Flip mode, since the “bookmarked” page never changes, the problem is that a reader may open the book “marked” at Page 1, read in PF mode, the bookmark never changes, and then when they close the book, it shows 1 page read.
In normal mode, what may happen in a significant percentage of cases is that the reader may read the whole book, and then page or click a TOC link to go backward in the book–maybe to re-read a favorite passage (this seems to be particularly prevalent among romance readers), or to go back to the front of the book to find the “books by” list, or for other reasons. A number of KBoards authors (who are also readers) pointed out that they themselves routinely go back to the book cover to view it after a reading the entire book, which also would reset the page reads to 1.
Then there are the poor nonfiction authors. Imagine a book that is not linear–a reference text or a how-to with various sections on a number of different areas and techniques. They may never get paid for the whole book if the reader never reaches the “Z,” or the subject at the end.
It is not PageFlip, and it never was PageFlip.
That feature has been around fro a couple years, and no one has noticed any issue until now. Furthermore, PageFlip was updated in June, and yet no one noticed anything until September.
So no, it’s not PageFlip.
Page Flip apparently exacerbates the new anti-scamming algo change. That’s why it seemed to be a leading culprit. Here’s why.
If you read in normal mode, you read to the end of a novel and then you may or may not go back to check something out, or look at the pretty book cover (yes, some readers report they do this on every ebook), and then close the book. The Kindle then records and reports where you closed the book. If it is the book cover, it reports one (1) page read. If it was a cool scene on page 123, you get 123 page reads out of, say, 500 KENP.
However, if the reader reads entirely in Page Flip, the bookmark never moves off of Page 1. So every reader that reads in Page Flip mode, unless they drop to normal mode before closing the book, will only register 1 page read.
So you see, the new algo that apparently attempts to defeat scammers who go the the end of the book has combined with a quirk of Page Flip to make Page Flip even worse than the underlying problem. And, the scammers read the forums just like I do, and so they soon figure out how to get around the issue, for example by going to the end of the book and making sure they close the book at the end.
So, as with many overly restrictive and ill-thought-out controls, it mainly hurts the law-abiding, both authors and readers, and does nothing to defeat scammers. The cure is, again, worse than the disease.
“However, if the reader reads entirely in Page Flip, the bookmark never moves off of Page 1. ”
Dude, no one is reading entirely in PageFlip, or even mostly. It is too inconvenient. Furthermore, Amazon said that PageFlip is not affecting pages read.
Many authors on KBoards have reported that they personally do read in page flip mode, as do their fans that they have surveyed on this issue. On some devices, such as large tablets, it’s very convenient.
As for Amazon’s claims that it is not affecting pages read, that’s also demonstrably false, in the sense that anything, including Page Flip, that causes the reader to close the book anywhere other than at the farthest page they read, is causing page reads not to be recorded. When people read solely in Page Flip mode–and many do–the page location marker never moves off page 1.
I’d suggest you go to KBoards and read the 60+ page thread on the issue. There’s a lot of great information there, and I don’t believe dozens of reliable, intelligent, careful and successful indies and hybrid authors are lying about their empirical observations.
Hi, Dave. You and I corresponded a bit on Rocket Stack Rank last year. I used to work at Amazon, so I wanted to point something out that you might have missed. That e-mail from Amazon that said Bezos read your e-mail–it really means what it says. It provoked an executive response, and unless you responded to tell them it’s all fixed, that response is still open. This means someone in Kindle is working on this problem as his/her top priority at the moment, because that person will have to give Jeff a report explaining the whole thing.
If you haven’t done so already, you should send your latest results to the person from the executive escalations team who contacted you.
Forbes reprinted a post I made on Quora about how the escalation process works. Very few issues get that level of attention. You should really take advantage of it.
I’ve corresponded repeatedly with Executive Customer Relations. They continue to maintain there is no problem, no matter how much data I send them. They do, however, keep using qualifiers such as “material” when addressing the issues, such as “there is no material effect,” which means, to me, there is an effect. They simply don’t think it’s “material” in a legal sense (applicable or significant, as I read it).
If you go to the KBoards thread, you can see that a number of authors have received executive level attention, all denying that there is any “material” problem. Given the fact that I have tested and confirmed the problem myself, I find this incomprehensible. But, until someone with more clout forces them to face the obvious (Romance Writers of America, I’m looking at you), perhaps by filing a complaint with some government agency or initiating a criminal charge of fraud (criminal complaints bypass any TOS requiring arbitration), I have little faith that anything will be done.
For liability reasons, I’m not surprised they’re not admitting to a error at this point. That just tells me that either they haven’t figured it out yet or (more likely) they haven’t worked out a good fix for it yet.
However, I expect they’re taking everything you send them very seriously and forwarding it straight to the development team that’s working on it. So I’d suggest you (and others) keep sending them anything you find that might shed light on the problem.
One other point: it’s likely that your diagnosis is wrong; page-flip probably isn’t the actual cause. In my own experience with escalations, the customer’s diagnosis was almost never correct (there’s too much to the systems that they just don’t know about), but there was almost always a real problem. Most folks handling escalations should know this, but just to be safe, I’d suggest focusing on what you know for a fact: the reported numbers have changed, no longer match expectations, and simple experiments produce strange results.
The fact that the change took effect gradually is a strong clue. Do you know if it happened over the same set of dates for all affected authors? Are there any authors who were NOT affected?
I’ve had issues with KENP myself and thank you for this discussion – it prompted me to contact Customer Service.
On a related note, I was very excited about #poweredbyindie until I went to see what was in the Humor category, and at the top was Slaughterhouse Five. Yeah, okay.
What exactly is Amazon’s upside for fixing this problem if writers aren’t speaking up to be paid for the borrows they’re losing because of this ‘glitch?’ They’re still getting their same percent of the global fund, it’s the writers that are losing out. That Amazon hasn’t made any statements when multiple authors have pointed this out, that you need to fight tooth and nail to get what you’re owed–and who even knows if that’s what you’re owed? Their lack of transparency when they’re demanding exclusivity is appalling. You’re acting like our books do not contribute to their business model. We are partners that deserve the trust of the platform we’re putting our livelihood into, and the continued silence from Amazon has been alarming as I watch my page reads plateau and not recover no matter how many marketing strategies I’m employ.
But again, they’re the biggest game in town and they know it. Unless writers speak up for some transparency and to be paid for the reads they earned, what would ever compel Amazon to change? Complacency in business is foolish, especially when you’re self published and trying to carve a living.
I am Indie Auther.I published books on Amazon Kdp.I recently publishes some books.My audions and fans read my book through Kindle Unlimited but i did not able see Kenp pages reads on dashboard..They read online.They are on paid subsucription.