Honestly kids, I’m just raged out. You what I’m really truly sick of? Waking up this many mornings, ready to write, ready to work…and having to take yet another a fucking detour to deal with the latest Bezosteroid. And as always, no warning no alarm. And as always, the application of the change feels incredibly random, with no consistency I can measure from my own counts, some of which are…up. Or not. See the picture above.
TL;DR Amazon has changed a lot of titles’ KENPC page counts, with many titles’ page counts going down – or up… Also, they’ve installed a 3,000 KENPC-per-title cap.
As I predicted last summer, every change Amazon makes = a new system to game, and people will game it, whether by adding excerpts to the end or putting “free” books before the new book (causing lots of page flipping), etc. And I think that’s exactly what’s happened. Folks who got really, um, creative with formatting or bundling have found their page counts slashed considerably.
And of course there are those megabundles with “1,000 stories!” that were getting all the pages – if you were to read story #1, for instance, and skip to story #1,000, hey presto you just got counted for all those pages in between… So now the 3,000 KENPC count limits books to about, oh who knows anymore but let’s say 500,000 words. So don’t go writin’ no doorstoppers, ya hear?
Fine, great, thanks, less $ for scammers and spammers, we hope, but…how is it that some of my books, to which I’ve made no formatting changes or additions, are down and some are up?
Here’s my now and then page counts, for the titles I had in print when 2.0 launched (which I only did to measure diff between print and KENPC counts). Honestly, it never occurred to me that I needed to start keeping track, or that my counts would change. And if they did, I would expect them to be uniform in nature, not incredibly random as seen in the featured image. (This stupid WordPress theme doesn’t allow me to embed pix…)
The crazy part is, aside from Apollo’s Curse, from which I have cropped wordage again and again from the opening to make it “move faster,” I’ve made no changes to the other novels. So…why is Would I Lie to You? 6% “longer” and Given the Circumstances is 5% “shorter”?
Does this mean the pay-per-page will go up? Maybe. But as always, Amazon, the main problem is not with what you do.
The problem is how you do it.
The problem is how you fail to communicate about why you’re doing it.
The problem is how you fail to communicate how some titles are now longer and some shorter with no rhyme or reason.
The problem is how abrupt the changes are, how we wake up one morning and, hey presto, the world turned upside down again.
We’re not children. Your “proprietary and confidential” methods aren’t that hard to unpack and reason out. Why? Why do this the same way over and over, springing these surprises? Why not just…communicate with us? What are you so afraid we’ll do if you’re honest with us?
EDIT: Another quote from June. I was off by two months, but close enough. Lesson learned? Never doubt anything I say ever again.
Won’t Amazon catch on to this?
Of course! But they’re a giant behemoth of a corporation who will Entishly take six months of meetings and presentations and who’s-pissing-on-whose-shoes corporate infighting, horse trading and other bullshit before they even catch on, never mind decide what to do, and change the system so that it can be gamed in another way!