Update: Before you go further, let me warn you not to get angry. The subject of this post has retracted her post and apologized.
Katie Foley is misinterpreting the recent news about changes to KDP Select. Where a normal person would look at the available info and conclude that Amazon was modifying a single program, Foley has invented the wild idea that Amazon will expand the new terms in KDP Select to the entire Kindle Store.
Foley then goes on to plea for JK Rowling to save indie authors from the perfidious Amazon and serve as those authors’ champion while they bide their time waiting for the right agent and publisher to come along.
Yes, Foley really did invent a belief that all indie authors secretly want an agent, but that point pales in comparison to this sad excuse for incoherent ramblings:
The Kindle Direct Program, or KDP, is a self-publishing service offered by Amazon. Independent writers who are still in the process of finding an agent utilize it to publish their writings as a means of getting more eyes on their work. Amazon has recently announced that it will stop paying these writers for their work. Rather, writers who have opted in to a program that Amazon promises will “earn higher royalties,” “maximize your book’s sales potential,” and “reach a new audience” will actually only be paid for what Amazon determines the reader has read, despite Amazon’s own promise on their KDP FAQ that “you’ll continue to earn royalties from those sales like you do today.”
This move appears to affect only authors who opt in to the lending library (who wouldn’t, at the promise of higher royalties, and the opportunity to get their novels in front of a larger audience?), but according to the Telegraph, this change is “initially” going to affect those in the lending program. So, eventually, this will affect all independent authors who choose to publish with Amazon.
There are exactly three correct details in the above quote, and that would be the words Amazon, Kindle, and Telegraph. The rest of the quote is utter equine excrement.
But Foley, on the other hand, is an author. (She even claims to be an indie author, but given how many details she got wrong I simply don’t believe that.) Unlike John Scalzi, who simply didn’t do enough research and didn’t understand the topic at hand, Foley got so many details wrong that even Hanlon’s Razor can’t account for this pile of equine excrement.
No, I think she wrote this piece as FUD. She wanted an excuse to attack Amazon, so she invented enough details to justify an incendiary post (her assumptions about indie authors pining for agents back that up, IMO).
Edit: I’m crossing out this section because Foley has posted a follow up where retracted the post, admitted that she made a mistake, and said that she had learned a lesson on researching a story before writing.
Her post is so ridiculous that I could not come up with a coherent argument to explain why; my brain kept shutting down.
Luckily for me Bill Peschell left a comment over on The Passive Voice which refuted Foley with a minimum number of words:
A moment’s thought will reveal this to be nonsense. A sale is a sale. Amazon gets paid for the book and divides the payment with the author.
A borrow is for a limited time, so it makes sense that at the end, when the book is “returned” Amazon figures out how far it was read and make the appropriate payment.
Even if I was infested with ADS, I can’t figure out how Amazon would set up a system to screw authors by paying only for pages read in a book that the customer has already bought and paid for and can read for the rest of their life.
Nothing else needs to be said, I think.
image by Horrortaxi