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Dickens would LOVE Amazon's new writer payment plan

Dickens would LOVE Amazon's new writer payment plan
photo courtesy of SHUTTERSTOCK

Charles Dickens wrote so many weighty texts that it's often rumored he was paid by the word. In fact, high school kids often dread reading his work in English classes, because the renowned author is known for creating lengthy novels like the massive, 135,420-word "A Tale of Two Cities." Dickens wasn't actually paid by the word, but now modern-day writers can cash in on their huge books thanks to Amazon's new payment plan.

Under new guidelines, Amazon will pay some authors every time a Kindle reader turns the page. So, the longer the eBook, the bigger the payout the author receives, right? Not so fast. The new structure will only reward authors when pages are turned and viewed long enough to read, so writing a huge novel isn't quite good enough. Buyers have to actually read it, too.

Under the old system, Amazon paid authors based on the number of downloads. The new system is designed to reward authors who create more interesting and engaging content.

"We think this is a solid step forward," a spokesperson for Amazon told me in an email. "Our goal, as always, is to build a service that rewards authors for their valuable work, attracts more readers, and encourages them to read more and more often."

Next page: Is this new system good or bad?
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