In the last day or two, I read a really great article on “authors” who are really scammers. The article went into detail on how these scammers are able to publish books on Kindle Unlimited and make money. These scammers are putting multiple books in one (even though it’s not advertised as a box set). The actual story advertised is usually the last book in the series.
If you know anything about Kindle Unlimited, you know the authors don’t get paid a whole lot. They are paid per page read. But recently, it’s come to light they don’t track actual pages read, they go by what the last page the book was on when it’s returned to the library. That means if the actual story is 100 pages but there are 1000 pages in the book and it’s the last book, there’s 900 pages you’re skipping over to get to the story. Assuming you finish the whole story, there’s the 1000 pages. KU shows it as having read all 1000 pages and the author is paid per page.
The pay rate per page is very low. I don’t remember the exact rate I read but it’s significantly less than a penny per page. A lot of these scammers have several pen names and multiple “stories” that they share in each book and only rearrange the order. So that means they are taking a huge chunk of the shared pot for the KU authors.
One thing I have noticed with books that have more than one and tend to be like the books the other blogger described, they start out advertising what genre it is: paranormal, romance, vampire, historical, etc. If people really want to read a book, I don’t think that you should have to advertise what genre it is in order to pull someone in to read the book. Also, if you purchase the book (like I did before I read the article) you can try going back to the books page but you get either it’s unavailable because it’s in review or else a 404 document not found error. That’s a big giveaway that something was up with it. Also, if a book is advertised as 125 pages but the file size is 3587 KB, it’s a WHOLE lot BIGGER than that 125 pages advertised!
Since reading that article the other night, I’ve been going through my Kindle book list I have and I have been checking each book that starts with the genre. 95% of them have either taken me to the 404 error page. The rest have either been in review or else are legit books with only one book in there. I still have a long way to go on my list and checking but I’ve deleted 100 or so of the books with those traits.
I urge each and everyone of you to use your own judgement on books. I know I would much rather have the legit authors who offer their books in KU to end up being paid rather than the scammers. I read and review a lot. Even though I can’t review on Amazon as my account was wiped, I still have my blog, social media channels and Goodreads that I review on. Reviews are what help encourage authors to keep writing and creating. They also help other readers. A lot of readers read reviews before purchasing a book to see what, if any, the complaints are about the book.
I firmly believe that if reviews are left about these books, telling about any editing errors, misspellings, formatting and of course, the extra books that aren’t advertised, we could make a huge dent in the scammers not being able to do it so easily in the future. Amazon is cracking down on reviewers and I think they need to be focusing on the authors that are scamming the system for huge paydays rather than reviewers who receive products in exchange for honest reviews.