From next month, Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Owners’ Lending Library will pay out royalties “based on the number of pages read”.
So if your book is opened on someone’s Kindle and they leave page 1 on there long enough that they could’ve read it, you get cash. It’s not entirely 1 page equals 1 payment: instead, the money comes from a pot that is shared amongst all authors whose work gets included and then gets read. Says Amazon:
Here are some examples of how it would work if the fund was $10M and 100,000,000 total pages were read in the month:
The author of a 100 page book that was borrowed and read completely 100 times would earn $1,000 ($10 million multiplied by 10,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).
The author of a 200 page book that was borrowed and read completely 100 times would earn $2,000 ($10 million multiplied by 20,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).
The author of a 200 page book that was borrowed 100 times but only read halfway through on average would earn $1,000 ($10 million multiplied by 10,000 pages for this author divided by 100,000,000 total pages).
I love ’em both, paper and ebooks. But it has been said and I have wondered whether I retain more from things I read on paper than on screens. Maybe so, but if it’s true, it looks like that may be more down to me than to the technology – except in one key respect.
A new study which found that readers using a Kindle were “significantly” worse than paperback readers at recalling when events occurred in a mystery story is part of major new Europe-wide research looking at the impact of digitisation on the reading experience.
The study, presented in Italy at a conference last month and set to be published as a paper, gave 50 readers the same short story by Elizabeth George to read. Half read the 28-page story on a Kindle, and half in a paperback, with readers then tested on aspects of the story including objects, characters and settings.
Anne Mangen of Norway’s Stavanger University, a lead researcher on the study, thought academics might “find differences in the immersion facilitated by the device, in emotional responses” to the story. Her predictions were based on an earlier study comparing reading an upsetting short story on paper and on iPad. “In this study, we found that paper readers did report higher on measures having to do with empathy and transportation and immersion, and narrative coherence, than iPad readers,” said Mangen.
But instead, the performance was largely similar, except when it came to the timing of events in the story. “The Kindle readers performed significantly worse on the plot reconstruction measure, ie, when they were asked to place 14 events in the correct order.”
Britain's Education Secretary doesn't want people reading. That's not the way Michael Gove has or would spin it, but he is trying to prevent people reading in general and specifically about poverty, social injustice and the how mobs can be led. Specifically, he's taking Of Mice and Men, To Kill a Mockingbird and The Crucible – my personal favourite – off the UK schools' syllabus.
So let's just keep buying them. Buy them for ourselves, buy them for our children, buy them for our schools.
You can argue whether this is screamingly productive of me or not, but I use Reeder perhaps forty times a day. In case you don't know it, Reeder is a newsreader so when I have a moment standing by my kettle, I'll flick through headlines and read articles there. At least it's quicker than going to each of the 200-odd news sites I read. And definitely quicker than going to them and finding that nope, they don't have any new news since the last time I checked them three minutes ago.
There are many newsreaders: just search the App Store for the phrase 'RSS' as it's that little-used Really Simple Syndication that powers them all. RSS makes news come to us and I can't fathom why it hasn't taken over the world.
But I got into it very many years ago and have used very many RSS apps yet now it would take primacord explosive wrapped around my waist to make me stop using this particular one. Reeder is that good. It used to be even better when there was an iPhone, an iPad and a Mac version and it will be better again in the same way. Some day. Hopefully soon.
In the meantime, Reeder was updated for iOS 7 while I was away on holiday and I bought the new version immediately. You and I hadn't met on here then or I'd have rushed to enthuse about it to you. Instead, I had to tell everyone in earshot and they all looked like thank you, yes, that's really great, William, whatever makes you happy.
But I'd also like you to know that among the myriad bug fixes and semi-demi-myriad new features, there is a particular fix I am going to enjoy. Recently when you ran Reeder in the iPhone and there was a new story with an embedded video, no power on Earth would make that play in landscape. It as solely in portrait. This was the only thing that ever made me think I preferred the previous version of Reeder. But now it's apparently fixed. At least on the iPhone it is.
I say apparently because that's how quickly I've rushed the news to you: the update dropped this minute, this moment, and as we've been speaking, the app has been updating itself on my iPhone. Off to watch some video landscape and also to go get it all for my iPad.