Erotica and changes in subscription services

Wow what a double whammy to start off July. Two weeks ago Amazon announced a change in the Kindle Unlimited payment system which went into effect on July 1st. While bloggers and authors gnashed their teeth and either bemoaned or cheered on the changes, another platform quietly announced a large change soon to affect many an indie author of erotica or romance. Scribd will be removing the bulk of their romance and erotica offerings as they are no longer able to afford the appetite of readers in those genres. These two changes will have a hard impact on your favorite erotica authors.


As far as the Kindle Unlimited thing goes, I’m going to let it play out and see how things work out next month. For those who aren’t aware yet, Amazon used to pay authors about $1.30 once 10% of a book had been read and will now be paying authors per page read. For authors of longer books this could be a boon while for authors of shorter books, which many erotica books are, it could be a disaster.


There are enough people dissecting this issue and debating both sides that for now I’ll hold my thoughts, at least until I have more solid numbers to see how this works out for me. With the numbers I have seen and the speculated amount of money to be paid per page, it could cut my income to as low as 10% of what it was under the previous system. For longer books though, it would mean making more money in line with the work and time that went into producing a longer story.


According to the Smashwords blog Scribd will be eliminating up to 90% of their romance and erotica ebooks, supposedly to balance out their offerings. In reality they aren’t able to financially afford keeping a large romance section. The announcement came out today, conveniently enough while authors were cursing out Amazon. What this means for erotica and romance authors, I can’t put in better words than what Smashwords has already blogged about:


While I understand Scribd having to make the decision to try and stem the financial loss, I think there are better alternatives out there than slashing the amount of books offered. To me this is a warning sign about Scribd and a problem that Oyster may face in the near future. This also potentially explains why Amazon made the move to paying per page.


Either way, the start to July has been a rough month for erotica writers between Amazon’s changes and now many ebooks being removed from Scribd.