I subscribe to Kindle Unlimited — I’ve found it useful, and I’ve found several books that have been helpful. I downloaded a couple of camera tutorials, for instance, that were straightforward and direct and coupled practice and concept very nicely (for example, this one by Al Judge) that explained apertures and f/stops well (I already understood the concepts) by showing me how they were implemented in my camera.
Unfortunately, Kindle Unlimited turns out to be extremely exploitable, and there are scammers taking advantage of it. Follow that link for all the details, but the short summary is that a) all authors divvy up a pot of money from KU subscribers, b) the author’s share of the pot is determined by how many of their pages are “read”, c) Amazon has an awesomely stupid algorithm for measuring pages read, so that if someone downloads the book and just zips to the last page, the author is credited for the whole book read, d) so people are creating garbage books and getting co-conspirators to download it for free and jump to the end.
Would you believe people can earn $60,000/month with this game? I am not endorsing this. Do not leap into the action thinking you can make some quick bucks fast. It’s unethical, and at some point, I hope, Amazon will wake up and crack down on these thieves, at which point it will hurt the perpetrators.
Here’s an example of the kind of crap that’s filling up the virtual bookshelves. Notice that it’s got kind of a click-baity title to draw in people with very specific obsessions, ROMANCE: BWWM: Between Love & Friendship (BWWM Paranormal Scifi Romance Collection) (Interracial Alpha Male Pregnancy Short Stories) (I’m already a bit creeped out by just the title), and that it’s 3,000 (that’s THREE THOUSAND) pages long. But after a badly written opening section to get past automated spam detection, this is what you get:
I’m not against people reading racist porn pregnancy stories, I guess, but keep in mind — that author is stealing a bigger portion of the KU revenue than they deserve by padding their crappy book with scavenged random text, and the book is also so bad that they aren’t getting a real readership — they’re bringing in click-farms to download it and throw it away.
Let’s hope Amazon gets their act together and fixes this.