But I can't help myself. I've seen some reoccurring statements that really bug me and I need to speak up:
1. The books doing well in KU2 are the ones that give readers a better reading experience
2. Amazon made this change because it's what readers wanted
The first thing to remember is for KU to make money, subscribers need to read less than they pay for. That's very important when figuring out what was going on and why it needed to change. Remember, the goal is to get someone to pay 9.99 a month while NOT reading 9.99 or more worth of pages.
And that brings me to the common misconceptions of Amazon doing this for readers and longer books being inherently better for readers. Real talk here, know why KU1 was hemorrhaging money? Billionaire Step-Brother Ravaged by the T-Rex.
Yep. People were eating that stuff up, so much so that more and more people subscribed to KU every month and more and more writers produced more and more short smut. And guess what, those readers were quite "satisfied". Thank you very much.
And yes, Amazon had every right to change a system that was causing them to lose money. That's not my point. What bothers me is the callousness towards the people who find their income utterly cut off with two weeks notice. I'm sorry, but even if your business is pseudo-incest monster porn, when you wake up one day and find with an email your entire business model has been rendered obsolete, you get to pout. If this were Wall Street, people have thrown themselves from windows for less.
So this smug attitude of "I'm making three times the income now because I deserve it" needs to stop. The reason Amazon is pushing for longer works is they are hoping the porn consumers leave and people willing to spend a month getting halfway through an elven tome will take their place. It's not because elven tomes are inherently better or give readers more satisfaction. It's because they take longer to read.
And I've also heard the argument that short story writers should just produce a page of short story for every page of novel that long form writers create. The problem with this is that it ignores genre. Now I can read an 800 page historical. I cannot read 800 pages of Milking the Babysitter: A Hucow Romance. And it's not because 800 page historicals are just naturally better. It's because these things are meant to be consumed differently. A big fat novel is like a juicy steak. A short story is like candy. While someone might eat a pound of steak, expecting them to eat a pound of candy is crazy.
It doesn't mean that steak is better and candy sucks. It just means these things are consumed in different quantities. And judging from how many writers are in tears since July, the public was eating a fair amount of candy. But people aren't going to start eating ten times more candy so writers can get paid the same they were making before.
So yeah, Amazon's bottom dollar will always come first and this time that reality hurt a lot of writers. But that's no reason to create this huge division based on things like length and genre.
TLDR; Hug a short story writer and don't believe the hype, KU2 is not a meritocracy.