Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
Have you heard how the scamsters are abusing Kindle Unlimited? Get this: They trick you into advancing to the end of very long books, thus getting credit for hundreds, sometimes thousands, of pages that you didn’t really read.
Kindle Unlimited, of course, is the subscription service Amazon cooked up that allows you (sort of) to download as many books as you want for $9.99/month. Authors are paid something like four grains of sand for each page you read. If you read enough pages, soon the writer is sitting on a thimbleful of sand!
What these scamsters have figured out is that Amazon doesn’t literally count the pages read. It just notes the furthest point reached in the book, so, for example, if you zipped to the end to see if the author mentioned you in her acknowledgments, she’d get credit for all the pages between 1 and whatever page the acknowledgments are on. The Amazon hackers, exploiting this weakness, are publishing books full of nothing but gobbledygook, with a link on p. 1 that shoots you to p. 3000. Boom — they get 3000 pages worth of Kindle Unlimited credit. At $0.005 per page, that comes to only $15, but if a hundred people fall for it? And if they set up a “click farm” where thousands of the links are clicked? My my my.
Right now, the scammers are mostly an inconvenience to readers and authors alike. But the bigger they get, the fewer people are going to trust their work to Kindle Unlimited, and the less decent stuff there will be for subscribers to read. That, in turn, will mean fewer subscribers for Amazon.
Everything can be hacked these days. Shoot, the state of Michigan hacked Flint’s water supply! Trump has hacked the Republican primaries. Why on earth would Amazon not anticipate that someone would hack their semi-invasive algorithm that knows how far we get in the books we “license” from them?
Got to get to work on my next book now. I’m thinking it’ll run about 3000 pages and have a naked male torso on the cover.