This issue is making the rounds through several self-publishing groups I frequent, and I figured more of us ought to give our fellow readers a heads-up warning as well:

This issue concerns a Kindle Unlimited exploit perpetrated by dubious authors. If you are not a member of Kindle Unlimited, this will in no way affect you.

FACT: In order for an author to be paid for a their content in the Kindle Unlimited program, a reader must download their work AND read past the 10% mark.

That part is awesome. But beware:

Certain clever, entrepreneurial folks (read: scheming shitheads) have uploaded and enrolled very short book-files into the Kindle Unlimited program.

  • The short files range from three to ten pages. These files might or might not be actual stories. (Usually they aren’t.)
  • When the unsuspecting reader opens the file, expecting a book, they don’t find one.
  • Because of the file’s short length, reading one page = reading at least 10% of the book, meeting or surpassing the 10% requirement.
  • The schyster gets paid because a reader read past 10%.
  • Even worse, oftentimes, these short files have stolen the blurb and title from other, actual books.

So how do you know whether the book you want to read is real or a sham? Check the estimated pages. If that calculation isn’t yet present, do what you should be doing anyway with your Kindle:


Whether you’re using Kindle Unlimited or not, sample first. It only takes a moment or two, and with the advent of Kindle Unlimited, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re getting what you’re paying for.

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