Since becoming part of a reading community over the last two years, I have picked up some bits of useful and little known information.

Whilst I do not subscribe to KU, I do know that books that have been loaned by readers, have to be read in order for authors to get their royalties. Some get paid for each page read and the book has to be thumbed / read through 100% in order for maximum royalty payment.

This is what Author Jessica Redland shared with me earlier today in an online book club dedicated to Heidi Swain.

Thanks so much for highlighting this Fiona as it’s such an important issue and I don’t think many readers would realise this at all.

KU payments fall under two methods – One is payments to indie authors and the other is for authors whose publishers participate in the programme. It should be noted that, for an indie author to participate in KU, they have to agree to ONLY have their books with Kindle and cannot ‘go wide’ with Kobo or Apple Books (or any other providers). It therefore is a sort of loyalty programme – stay with us and you can earn money from payments read.

INDIE – Indie authors do indeed get paid per page read so a subscriber borrowing a book and then returning it unread for whatever reason does, as you say, earn them absolutely nothing.

If someone reads an eBook on KU but doesn’t normally scroll through the acknowledgements and other bits at the back like previews of the next book, doing so will earn the author a little bit more so I’d encourage you to do that to support your favourite authors.

They won’t earn much more from the few pages this covers but every page read genuinely does make a difference to income.

When I was an indie author, I earned more from pages read than sales of eBooks. Neither income stream amounted to much as I was really struggling to make an impact back then but every page counted and I absolutely needed the income which came from pages read.

PUBLISHED – It works slightly differently for books where the author has a publisher who participates in KU as they don’t get paid for pages read. Instead they get paid a very small amount for a borrow which is less than the amount they’d get for a purchase of the eBook. However, this payment ONLY kicks in if a certain amount of the book is read.

I’m not 100% sure on what this figure is but when I’ve talked about this before with my publisher, they think it’s something like 20-25%. The published author, like the indie author, therefore doesn’t get paid anything for a borrow which is not read but they also have the scenario where they don’t get paid anything for a KU borrow which is only partially read 🙁

I said earlier that indies cannot ‘go wide’ with their books to participate in KU. Publishers can go wide but this is why they can’t earn as much from the programme as they’re not demonstrating that same loyalty xx

You can find Jessica Redland on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, her books are available via Amazon etc.