Publishing Article / by Kenneth Buff

I just finished reading a random blog post I stumbled upon on twitter. The post was over self-publishing and how it's a "train wreck" and how Amazon is evil, and no one's making as much money as they used to. These claims were backed up with incomplete data and personal anecdotes. These sorts of posts get me going for a couple of reasons. One being the obvious bias the authors have against Amazon. The disdain for them in these articles is so strong you can practically taste it. Now, I'll admit from a consumer perspective I love Amazon, from a business perspective I like them, but don't feel any kind of undying loyalty (if another company came around that offered an audience who wanted to read my books I'd publish with them and with Amazon. Currently no such market exists). 

The second reason these anti-Amazon articles get me going is because they generally lack meaningful data. This article claimed their $4.99 book is only 299 Kindle Edition Normalized Pages (KENP), which is absurd if true. That would mean this author's charging $4.99 for a short story. My novels are well over a 1,000 pages in the KENP format. So if a reader reads an entire book I have enrolled in Kindle Unlimited I will get roughly $5.00, where if they purchased it I would make $2.70. These numbers are typical for any author publishing the standard length of an average novel (60-70k) and charging the suggested prices. Knowing this, I was not only irritated when I read this post today, but also confused. Does this person not realize their book has more KENP pages than their post states that it does, or are they really over charging that much for a short story? Who knows, but the claim is ridiculous either way. If they are charging that much for a short story the data is irrelevant to the vast majority of authors who follow common pricing, and if they've simply misstated the data it only underscores that their argument holds no water (that being Amazon has ruined their income by having changed their KU payment formula over two years ago).

I won't get into the other argument this article stated, that the self-publishing industry is a train wreck. You can read plenty of articles that claim this, but if you look at the data you'll see the opposite trend. If you're genuinely interested in this I'd suggest checking out Author's Earning Report, or checking Hugh Howey's blog, which is a great resource for self-publishing information.