Amazon has finally taken steps to squash the cheating in Kindle Unlimited once and for all. They just updated the KDP content guidelines with new rules about compilations, collections, and other multi-work ebooks:
If you're publishing multiple stories as one book, ensure the contents of your book are accurately reflected both in the title field and on the cover, by including terms such as "Boxed Set," "Bundle," "Collection," "Compilation," or "Series." Stories that are part of a series must be in sequential order within a book and collections of individual stories must have all stories listed in the metadata.
Collections of works and numbered series may include content you've previously published in your catalog. However, in order to provide an optimal customer experience, the same content may not be excessively reutilized across multiple books. We consider "excessive" any amount of content repetition that would create a poor shopping or reading experience.
Multi-work books must meet all program guidelines (e.g., you must have exclusive publishing rights for all content enrolled in KDP Select). For more information, see our content guidelines and Terms and Conditions.
These rules were added some time in the past month and apply to all content in KDP, which means that the cheaters who were stuffing books to boost page count in KU no longer have a place to hide.
For those just tuning in, here's a little background.
The story starts a little over a month ago when one of the problems Amazon was ignoring in Kindle Unlimited was promoted to a full-blown scandal. That's when bloggers such as myself started bringing everyone's attention the the "authors" like Chance Carter who would stuff multiple stories into a single ebook and then upload it to Kindle Unlimited.
Their goal was to get their fans to click through each book to the end, thus collecting up to $15 for each reader (a 3,000 page limit, time a half a cent per page, is a nominal $15) . But after all the public criticism, Amazon changed the rules to limit the duplicate content in KU, and then banned Chance Carter and other cheaters from the Kindle Store.
And now Amazon has changed the rules to make it clear that this practice is not welcome in the Kindle Store (finally).
image by Jonathan Gross