This is why we can’t have nice Kindle Unlimited things.

According to Amazon, “Kindle Unlimited is a subscription that allows you to access a large selection of titles from the Kindle Store. You can keep up to ten titles to read on any Amazon device or Kindle reading app and there are no due dates.” It’s meant to give readers incentive to try new things, since they don’t have to pay per book.

On the author side, Kindle Unlimited can be a great deal. Since the readers don’t pay per book, Amazon pays per page read. Meaning, if I read three pages of a book that’s available through Kindle Unlimited, that author gets a few cents for my effort. If I read the whole thing, they accordingly get more money.

In a perfect world, this works for everybody. Not sure how your 2018 is going, but I’m confident in saying this isn’t a perfect world.

In this world, folks like Chance Carter use the pay-per-page algorithm and enough programming knowledge to know that Amazon doesn’t measure time spent on each “page” to game the Kindle Unlimited system. Game it and make tons of money doing so.

How did this “Chance Carter” do it? First, created super long books that were basically gibberish, cobbled together from many sources, but containing no real content. Next, put a request on the first page to flip to the last page to get a free giveaway. They were giving away authentic Tiffany & Co. bracelets, and other items of that caliber.

Once a reader flipped to the back, Kindle registered that as have finished the book, and paid the author accordingly. Chance Carter was making upwards of $20 per book this way, but also violating the KDP rules, and this is eventually what got them banned.

What they did is called “book stuffing” and it’s not technically illegal, but it sure is crummy. I’m glad that Kindle finally took action, and hope that they’ll introduce some steps to help prevent such tactics in the future.

 

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