1. If I’m at dinner, my number one thing will be to look at how she treats our server. As a server myself, I have no respect for a girl who thinks she’s above the wait staff. – Drew, 24

2. If the girl is late because she’s taking so long to get ready, I’m already less interested. Get ready earlier. I know you’re trying to play a dating game already and it’s just a huge turn-off. – Jake, 29

3. How many selfies she posts, and how much duck face is involved in them. Self-love is great, but it tends to be the case that girls who post a lot of photos of themselves are seeking some kind of validation that I don’t want to end up being responsible for giving. – Caleb, 24.

4. I know she doesn’t really want that salad and she’s ordering it because she thinks she should. I would rather she just be herself and get what she likes. – Greg, 25

5. How much she looks at her phone. Obviously everyone’s gonna text, but if she’s on it the whole time when we’re first starting to hang out, it’s just such a huge turnoff. – Seth, 25

6. I don’t know where society got the idea that men don’t care that much about personality. All the men I know do. Strong, funny, interesting,smart women are where it’s at. Nothing more disappointing than a dull person, woman or man, honestly. – Clark, 30

7. If a woman says she likes a sports team I like just to agree with me, I’m out. We don’t need to like the same things. Just be honest. – Luke, 23

8. If she says something like, “Well, you’re a guy so you will do [really cliche thing]” I feel like I can’t be myself. I don’t think she has to do anything specific because she’s a woman, so why do I have to speak for my entire gender? – Kenneth, 28

9. One time I got drinks with a girl and she was like approving my tastes as if they were acceptable. I got this glimpse of the future, and it was just her molding me into everything she wanted. I threw up in my mouth. – Chris, 26

10. Personal thing, but food is by far my favorite part of dating – going to cool restaurants, being adventurous food-wise (food is sex). So if she’s vegan, vegetarian, on the anti-gluten team, we’re just not gonna be compatible. – Dave, 28

11. If a woman wears shoes she can’t even walk in from the parking lot to the movie theatre, I’m disinterested quickly. I get that women think we like high heels and maybe I’m the weird one here, but I’d rather my date wear something comfortable. – Clancy, 26

12. No sense of humor! I’m interested in a relationship. If we can’t laugh right from the beginning, we are never going to work. – Peter, 24

13. Girls who are funny are an immediate turn-on. Sometimes they’re exhausting and tough to keep up with, but such a turn-on. – James, 25

14. If I’m on a first date with a woman and she has no strong opinions and seems to care about NOTHING, I just die inside a little. WTH are we supposed to talk about for the rest of this date, never mind during a long-term relationship? Gross. – Jesse, 27

15. How much her ‘put together’ appearance differs from what she actually looks like. I’m totally about self expression and looking the way you want and being who you want, but I’m not wild about having dinner looking at once face and then going home to a completely different one. – Jon, 28.

16. Whenever I’m looking to get serious with a girl (so like twice), I like to go do something like karaoke. Karaoke is adventurous, and you put yourself out there in a way that’s really rare and bonds you with this look that I can’t explain, but is just so powerful. It’s great. – Marcus, 26

17. How she feels about Doritos. I hate Doritos, and cannot be around Doritos for prolonged periods of time. – Lance, 24

18. How basic she is. God you’re all going to kill me for this, but honestly, there’s a difference between enjoying the little things in life and acting like a 12-year-old. – Mark, 29

19. What books she has in her room/apartment. Always. – Kyle, 25

20. If she’s not down to go to Taco Bell pretty much at any moment, I am judging her hardcore for that. Who doesn’t like Taco Bell? Monsters, that’s who. – Jamie, 29

21. I have an embarrassing music taste. I don’t exactly flaunt my love for emo bands and boy bands, but they are a huge part of my rotation and can’t date a girl who has no respect for LMNT. – Derek, 23

22. How she puts herself together for the occasion. If we’re going on a coffee date and she’s wearing one of those Forever 21 bandage dresses (yes I know what those are) it’s just… very much a turn-off. (Forever 21 bandage dresses at the club, however, are not.) – Michael, 22

23. I feel like this is sad, but social media stuff. A girl that’s gonna post about me I’m not exactly down with. Seems to be more and more of a thing every day. – Rob, 31

24. Ok I know this is probably controversial, but I judge a girl who doesn’t at least OFFER to pay her half of the bill on a date. – Brandon, 33

25. How many ‘issues’ she has with her ‘friends.’ Girls who have problems with everybody in their lives are usually the problem themselves. – Mark, 29

26. How high her voice goes while she’s talking to you. Girls who drastically shift their tones or speak condescendingly with people are usually pretty fake about more things than they let on. – Jonathan, 30

27. There’s this Seinfeld clip that I can’t find, but George comes back from a date and says that he’s fine paying the bill, but you gotta at least go for the “reach” — like when you’re paying, the girl should at least reach for her wallet. I’ll always pay, but you gotta do the reach. – Jerome, 24

28. What they studied/did in college. I just can’t date a Communications major from a sorority. Not my type. (Y’all are great, but not for me.) – Marcus, 27

28. The first thing she says when you ask her what she likes to do with her spare time. If it’s “uhhhh… I don’t know,” well… she’s not going to “know” about a lot of things going forward, or as you get more serious (or not.) Women who know who they are, what they want, and what they like aren’t just hot… they’re ideal. – Steve, 34

29. I’m big into lifting, and I’d prefer a girl who’s into some sort of fitness; running, lifting, whatever. Not to be that guy, but it’s a way of life, and I want someone who’s into that too. – Russ, 22

30. Whether or not she likes kids. You have to be on the same page with the basics, at least in my book. – Ron, 29

31. What kind of shoes she’s wearing. You can tell a lot about a person by their choice of footwear. – Kevin, 24

32. Pretty simply, what she’s wearing. Not in a “that’s so out of style!” way, just in a, “Oh, this is who you are communicating you are” way. To be honest, most guys kind of evaluate girls by their appearances, and not on whether they’re “hot” or not… it’s about who they seem to be. That’s the first step toward any kind of relationship, girls get too sensitive about it. We aren’t judging how pretty you are, we’re judging whether we should give this thing a shot by who you seem to be saying you are, that’s all we have to work with, at least initially. – Brandon, 28

33. If a woman expects me to do everything and doesn’t take any initiative, it just feels inauthentic. Is that really how she lives her life? Probably not. It feels like she’s trying to be who she thinks I want her to be and that’s really unattractive. – Sam, 31

34. Smokers. Not for me. – Trent, 25

35. If she gets trashed to the point of me having to hold her up as we walk out of the restaurant/bar, yeah… it’s not going to work out. – Mike, 29

36. If she laughs at everything you say, or if she sincerely laughs because she finds something funny. There’s a huge difference, and most guys see it, even if you think you’re fooling us. – Caleb, 34

37. Whether or not she seems sincere. (We can tell.) – Brody, 23

38. How she approaches sex, especially right off the bat. Some girls go out of their way to seem really willing or really unavailable, but then do a 180 a day later. I will respect and comply with what you say you do and do not want, but the flip flopping gets confusing, and makes me uncomfortable. (Does she really want this? Is she just saying she does? I don’t know and I don’t want to be blamed for not being perceptive enough later on.) – Reuben, 31

39. My last girlfriend hated when I grew a beard, but acted like she was ok with it just because she felt like she had to. When we broke up, she admitted she hated it. So I guess just being honest about that sorta stuff. – Jesse, 22

40. If a girl can’t watch silly YouTube videos with me at 2am while snacking on some chips and salsa, then sorry, not the girl for me. – Danny, 22

41. If you’re too flirty… like, really, inappropriately flirty. I just assume you behave this way with everyone. You barely know me and you’re acting like we’re in a relationship, who am I to assume you actually like me as opposed to just being who you are? Who am I to assume you won’t act this way with other guys if and when we’re together? – George, 30

42. Whether or not you can communicate what you want in bed. I don’t want to have to guess, guessing and assuming only gets us in trouble, but you not responding clearly when I ask questions and then seeming like you contradictorily do or don’t want what you just told me to do makes it really hard (pun NOT intended.) – James, 29

43. If she’s talking about her ex, how much she hates her family, or it’s just clear there’s 7,000 different issues, then…she’s the girl for me. What can I say? I love an impossible situation. – Mark, 26

44. If a girl has to take a picture of our food for Instagram before we can dive in, I’m kind of like, “really???????” I get it, your Insta-game is strong, but let’s enjoy the moment. – Zane, 27

45. I’m going to judge a girl if she says she gets bored. Who gets bored? There’s so much to do in life! Boring people get bored. Sorry not sorry. – Trey, 20 TC mark

image – New Girl

Thought Catalog

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As cliche as this may be, I find a woman’s personality to be her most attractive quality, Of course I need to be physically attracted to her; find her pretty, be aroused by her body, be able to see her soul in her eyes, but none of that matters if she doesn’t have the personality.”

2. “Shes got to have those EYES..
…and that ass.”

3. “One word- INDEPENDENT..
a woman who is independent is extremely important. No body wants a woman that is dependent on of them to do things. I know i want a woman who is secure and can take care of herself.”

4. “An HONEST woman..
that’s one of my top favorite qualities.”

5. “Her ability to be DOWN TO EARTH..
a girl that knows how to hold a conversation and isn’t afraid to speak her mind. Beauty is one thing. You can be the best looking girl in the world, which some guys do go for, but looks only go so far. Looks grow old.”

I really love a girl that doesn’t take herself too seriously. Someone who isn’t afraid to be goofy with me…like a girl that can have a good time anywhere.. even if it’s in the damn grocery store.”

7. “A beautiful SMILE…
nothing is better than a girl with nice teeth and a beautiful smile.. especially if I’m the only making her smile.”

8. “A nice ASS…
I love a girl with a nice ASS and a great body.”

9. “LIPS..
I think the best quality in a woman is her lips. The way they smile, tease us, lick their lips, an drives us crazy has to be the finest asset in any woman.

10. “A woman who makes me better..
someone who understands and supports me and the sacrifices I’m making to better my future. A ride or die woman, a best friend. I put so much into a relationship, all i ask is for that in return.”

and I’m not just talking about well read. I’m talking a girl who knows what life really is all about.”

I don’t mind treating a girl when out on a date but I love it when a girl doesn’t always expect it!”

when she knows all about my past but judges me only on the person I am now instead of the person I was and the mistakes I made.”

14. “A woman’s MINDSET..
the way a woman thinks. Is she positive? Driven? Does she take care of herself? Is she genuine?”

15. “Has a strong FAITH..
most attractive quality to me is that she is like minded in faith and loves Jesus..”

16. “A woman who is ALWAYS BEAUTIFUL..
one that looks just as good without make up as she does with. One who loves to dress up just as much as she loves to be be in her sweats..”

a girl to be smart in life- street smart and book smart. Smart enough to have a great job, smart with money and smart with life decisions. That always makes for a strong relationship.”

18. “For me it’s CONFIDENCE..
and a woman who is comfortable with herself in any situation. She’s not insecure and not afraid to reach out to other people in unfamiliar situations; allows herself to trust me in a vulnerable situation.”

19. “A CARING woman..
that’s a quality i prefer.

with a warm smile, nice teeth, and an innocent (not corrupted) look.”

21. “That’s a hard one..
I think each woman has different attractive qualities..”

I was previously married and i caught my ex-wife cheating on me. Needless to say that devastated me and broke my heart. I swore to myself if i ever re-married I would have to be with someone who would never cheat and never make me feel insecure again.” TC mark

Thought Catalog

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“I hooked up with my boyfriend’s brother 6 years before I ever met him. It was some weird twist of fate that the brother and I went to the same college. I only found out about it after my boyfriend and I met and fell in love, when I finally met his family at Christmas. Suffice to say, it was a weird holiday, but it wasn’t really worth explaining to him that he was getting his little brother’s sloppy seconds.”


BCFC / iStockPhoto
iStockPhoto / BCFC


“My boyfriend — fiancé as of last week — thinks I’m a virgin. In fact, all of my friends and family think I’m a virgin; because of my religion I’ve vowed to stay celibate until marriage. What no one knows is that last year, I had an abortion.”


iStockphoto / diego_cervo
iStockphoto / diego_cervo


“I used to be a webcam model in college. It paid for my tuition for both undergrad, grad school, and let me add some to my savings. Although I haven’t cammed in a couple of years my boyfriend’s best friend sent me a message on Facebook one night that he found an old video of mine on a site somewhere. He said he wouldn’t tell my boyfriend but it’s always in the back of my mind he might find out.”


iStockPhoto / okeyphotos
iStockPhoto / okeyphotos


“When I was 19, I left the country and went to Spain and lived there for four years. I met a guy there and we had a kid. We broke up and I came back to the US. When I met my current boyfriend, I didn’t tell him I have a daughter. He’ll never know.”


iStockphoto / cclickclick
iStockphoto / cclickclick


“I’m currently dealing drugs out of our house.”


iStockphoto / pixhook
iStockphoto / pixhook


“I still keep an active Tinder and OkCupid account even though I’ve been married for two years.”


iStockphoto / warrengoldswain
iStockphoto / warrengoldswain


“I don’t plan on asking my girlfriend to marry me. I know she wants it, but I like how we are right now.”


iStockphoto / buzsu4ever
iStockphoto / buzsu4ever


For the past year, I’ve stolen about four grand in total from my girlfriend. I have so much debt to pay off and I know she’ll dump me if I tell her about it. So instead, I’ve stolen about from her wallet every day for the past year.


iStockphoto / AtnoYdur
iStockphoto / AtnoYdur


“I actually hate cats. Sometimes I try to shoo my girlfriend’s cat away from her apartment, but she lives in a ground-floor apartment with a garden, so the cat always knows how to come back. She loves that thing more than she loves me, so I know which one she’d pick.” TC mark

featured image – Flickr / Alex Dram

Thought Catalog

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no happy ending?
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iStockphoto / wgmbh
iStockphoto / wgmbh

‘I wish our conclusions could be more . . . conclusive’

But all things being equal? Authors are working without a net right now.

As with so many things in publishing at this point in its encounter with the digital dynamic, the potential contradictions loom large in the new AuthorEarnings.com report, just out today from the author-activist Hugh Howey and his unnamed technologist associate informally known as “Data Guy.”

Howey and his colleague have again provided an accounting of their latest quarterly observations — the October 2014 Author Earnings Report — and, for those interested, access to the figures.

Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey

It’s likely that he will be discussing some of the new findings later this week when he speaks on panels and in a workshop at the Novelists Inc. 25th Anniversary Conference in St. Pete Beach, Florida. There, hundreds of seasoned, veteran authors — many of them strong players in US genre midlists — will be discussing ways forward in a landscape that at times tend to look healthy only for authors of publishing houses’ blockbusters and high-earning outliers of the independent-author corps.

The purpose of the AuthorEarnings project, Howey reiterates from previous releases, lies in the challenge for many authors in trying to determine whether it makes more financial sense to self-publish or to pursue traditional routes of publication. His quick explanation also includes a reference to why Amazon figures so prominently in these surveys:

As with our previous reports, we are looking at projected sales and author earnings by pulling data for over 120,000 ebooks off Amazon’s product pages. Using known rank-to-sales rates, we are able to estimate the daily share of earnings by publishing path. The goal is to provide a deeper understanding of the ebook market than is afforded by reporting from major publishers or by tracking ISBNs, which many self-published authors do not use. Amazon is our focus by dint of controlling an estimated 60%+ of the ebook market.

Paul Kruger
Paul Kruger

As it happens, the level of Amazonian control is being sharply questioned by Paul Krugman in a Sunday New York Times op-ed, Amazon’s Monopsony Is Not O.K.

Kruger’s piece, having attracted more than 800 comments at this writing, does not end on a Seattle-friendly note:

Don’t tell me that Amazon is giving consumers what they want, or that it has earned its position. What matters is whether it has too much power, and is abusing that power. Well, it does, and it is.

Even at the Times today, however, a countervailing sentiment about a part of Amazon’s books business.

Farhad Manjoo
Farhad Manjoo

Commentator Farhad Manjoo, never one to pull a punch, refers to Amazon’s Kindle as “a tech-industry miracle. That sounds over-the-top; it’s not.”

He goes on to write:

Now, with its newest Kindle, the Voyage, Amazon is refining its e-reader once more. The Voyage’s main trick is a high-resolution display that mimics the look of a printed page. Text on its screen appears at a resolution of 300 pixels an inch, which is on par with the high-resolution displays now found on most of our other mobile devices.

For that matter, Krugman seems to feel he needs to shrug off a couple of conflicting sentiments on his way to decrying Amazon’s business practices:

Amazon’s defenders often digress into paeans to online bookselling, which has indeed been a good thing for many Americans, or testimonials to Amazon customer service — and in case you’re wondering, yes, I have Amazon Prime and use it a lot. But again, so what? The desirability of new technology, or even Amazon’s effective use of that technology, is not the issue.

A Softer Voice For Self-Publishing

In his AuthorEarnings studies, Howey is not, of course, trying to tackle the larger issues of Amazonian dominance in the marketplace. Since the retailer doesn’t release sales numbers, his mission is to try to use its book sales pages and authors’ actual revenue figures to develop a picture of what ‘s profitable in the Amazon ebook ecosystem and what authors might expect as potential results of their decisions to self-publish or try to traditionally publish.

In another interesting bit of timing, the new report also follows closely Howey’s last-week essay — covered here at Thought Catalog — on his belief that it’s time for independent authors to “back off a bit on the arguments for self-publishing.”

Mark Coker
Mark Coker

Even there, we find controversy. Mark Coker of Smashwords — a competitor self-publishing platform to Amazon — has left a comment on the Thought Catalog piece in which he condemns the “tactics of the Amazon partisans, of which Howey was a ringleader.”

Coker writes:

The Amazon partisans brought a level of bullying and animosity never before seen in the short history of the indie movement. The ugliness of indie authors attacking fellow authors was unprecedented and so unfortunate. I’d argue it harmed the indie movement because a large number of watchers — media, authors and readers among them – now see indies as angry, envious, bullying and blindly pro-Amazon, and this simply isn’t the case. The Authors United group of traditionally published authors – a frequent target of the Amazon partisans — were mercilessly attacked simply because they were asking for more respectable treatment from Amazon.

Howey may see such commentary as part of the ad-hominem phase of resistance he discussed in his original piece.

In in his new AuthorEarnings essay this time, he does seem to follow through with a tone consistent with  his call for a less belligerent footing. His conclusion, for example, includes these lines:

We’d like to remind those who read our reports that our results are not an indication that everyone in publishing is getting rich. As we warned in our very first report, self-publishing is not a gold rush. Publishing in general will disappoint most anyone who enters into the endeavor in order to make piles of money…However you publish, the chances of earning a full-time living are not great. Our contention, however, is that the chances have never been better.

The intended value of what he’s doing, Howey writes, is to get some light onto a data-starved marketplace that, as Bookseller editor Philip Jones has said, publishing must try to understand “by candlelight.” Howey writes:

What does it mean to see that, on average, more daily ebook revenue is flowing to self-published authors than traditionally published authors? This isn’t a game or a competition. It’s merely a glance at a massive sector of the industry that remains in the shadows due to an incredible dearth of data. Amazon won’t share this information. Publishers don’t have their hands on this information. Publishing experts have no clue about the size of this hidden sector of their trade. And Bowker can’t track it, because many of these titles don’t employ ISBNs.

Timely Input On Subscriptions, Exclusivity, and Hard Choices

This time around, Howey’s key interest is the effects of Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited (KU) subscription program on author earnings.

While Howey’s careful explanatory text in this new article is as helpful as always, there’s a quick way to get at what’s on his mind this time, a short blog post at his site, also headlined October 2014 Author Earnings Report. In it, Howey writes:

This is our first look at the effects of Kindle Unlimited — we’ll be diving in further in coming months. I wish our conclusions could be more . . . conclusive.

One controversial aspect of the Kindle Unlimited (KU) subscription program is its method of paying self-published authors. As Howey writes in the introduction to the new report:

Traditionally published ebooks downloaded from Kindle Unlimited earn the same amount as a sale, but for self-published authors, a “borrow” pays out differently than a purchase. The amount paid per borrow is independent of price and depends instead on how much Amazon funds a shared pool. The rate per borrow has averaged .62 over the three months since KU launched.

The more daunting consideration for authors trying to sort out whether KU makes sense for them is the requirement by Amazon that authors participating in the program must submit to the exclusivity requirements of the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Select program.

Michael Tamblyn
Michael Tamblyn

As Kobo chief Michael Tamblyn warned authors on Friday of Amazon’s author-exclusivity requirements in a much-discussed series of 32 tweets — covered at The Bookseller by Lisa Campbell — Howey in this AuthorEarnings cycle has focused on this exclusivity question as a new factor that authors must take on board in assessing their best course.

Howey has written in the past of the fact that he and other “Kindle Million Club” members — a group of high-earning self-published bestsellers that includes Barbara Freethy, who has a new distribution deal with Ingram — have been given an opportunity to experiment with Kindle Unlimited for a limited time without the exclusivity restrictions that are placed on other authors.

In his blog piece about the new report, he writes:

I’ve been leaning toward exclusivity and staying in KU once it [his exclusivity waiver] expires. I’m now leaning the other way. Even with the potential of All-Star bonuses [offered by Amazon for KU authors with high borrow+sales rates], I’m not keen on a system that rewards the top and bottom but leaves out the middle.

‘I’d love to see Amazon drop exclusivity as a goal’

Coker and others who say that Howey frequently is soft on Amazon as its “partisan” will want to take note that in this case he is taking his place now beside other critics of Amazonian exclusivity.

I’ll quote him at a bit of length here, since this is a notable moment:

What I’d love to see is for Amazon to drop exclusivity as a goal. They already have (by far) the best marketplace for discovering ebooks and purchasing them. They have the best lineup of devices (having seen the newest e-ink display). They have one of the best upload and stat dashboards (after having revamped the latter).

So why not make KU elective for all authors? Why not set the pay scale by page rather than reward shorter length works? Compete for readers in all the other ways that Amazon excels (customer service, one-click, search, also-boughts, recommendations, reviews, etc.) and let authors publish their works far and wide. I have a feeling most authors would continue to share Amazon links by default. I have a feeling Amazon would be just fine and continue to dominate in this space. And everyone else would be a little better off.

We have to assume that this is not the response the Amazon administration expected when it placed its bestselling self-publishers into the KU program to test it out without the burden of exclusivity. Here is Howey, perhaps Amazon’s most articulate and frequent author-defender, saying what Mercer Street didn’t think it would hear.

The report, itself, similarly is replete with uncertainty. That is the nature of publishing at this point. And the more that authors share in the industry’s fortunes and future, the more they, too, must parse some tea leaves to move forward.

Let’s look at some points from the new report.

‘A lower overall share of daily author earnings’

This chart, writes Howey in the new AuthorEarnings report, “highlights the roughly five times difference in earning rates between Big Five and indie ebooks.”

From AuthorEarnings.com's October 2014 report
From AuthorEarnings.com’s October 2014 report

Howey and his associate have elected to assume a 50-50 buy-borrow split for ebooks, after testing several scenarios, from all-borrows to all-sales. The adjustments create only minor changes in how the calculations allocate revenue.

And Howey is careful not to overstate can be inferred from this outcome of testing. He writes:

Despite what appears to be a dwindling share of ebook earnings for traditionally published authors, it’s too soon to discount seasonal variations and other effects. The next time we do a quarterly report, we’ll be able to compare year-to-year differences for the first time and might be able to say more.

There also is a rise detected in this quarter’s report for revenue on Amazon Publishing (APub) titles. Howey writes to that this way:

It’s too early to suggest trends for indie authors, but one might note that the share of earnings was on the rise until this last report, and that the big jump this time around has been for Amazon Imprint authors. It could be that KU is having an effect or that promotional and merchandising efforts are being reallocated. It could also simply be that Amazon’s publishing efforts were in their infancy when we began taking these snapshots and the number of titles are on the rise.

 ‘2,908,475 Kindle eBooks In The Amazon store’

Howey’s assessment of a total Amazon-store inventory of 2,908,475 is cut by 744,181 books that were eligible for Kindle Unlimited. This is a 25.6-percent quadrant of the total field.

With some 30.5 percent of all daily author earnings on Amazon’s Kindle store going to KU per the 50-50 borrows-vs-sales split, Howey and Data Guy tell us:

Thus we can estimate that KU borrows alone are generating 14.0% of all daily author earnings on Amazon. Keep in mind, however, that authors in this program are giving up income from other outlets, which must be taken into account and may mean a decrease in earning potential for some or even many authors.

Independently published titles, according to the AuthorEarnings calculations, accounted for 49 percent of KU titles. Amazon Publishing titles made up 2 percent of the KU field. Big Five publishers, of course, had none — to date, they’re not participating in Kindle Unlimited.

When AuthorEarnings assessed how titles in its July report fared as KU titles in its October report (KU was launched in July), here is what was found:

From AuthorEarnings.com's October 2014 report
From AuthorEarnings.com’s October 2014 report

After comparing both the question of download increases and download decreases for the independent KU  titles and independent non-KU titles, Howey comes up with this:

  • Daily author earnings of the 4,234 KU indie titles on average dropped 26.0%
  • Daily author earnings of the 3,073 non-KU indie titles on average dropped 34.7%

The hard indication for independent authors, once an average three-month decline in author earnings is taken into account is this, emphasis Howey’s:

If we assume that Amazon has even as high as 70% of the market for indie ebook sales, authors may be giving up 30% of their potential earnings in order to reap 13% more from a single outlet. And Amazon’s market share for indie ebook sales might be lower than 70%, which means giving up an even higher percentage sales.

What it all comes down to, writes Howey, is this, again with his emphasis:

For indie authors as a whole, Kindle Unlimited likely means a lower overall share of daily author earnings going to artists’ pockets. (Similar to the effect music subscription services have had for those artists.) The boost in sales do not seem to make up for the lost market share of other sales outlets. If exclusivity was not required to participate in KU (or if indie authors were paid the same as traditionally published ebooks), this would not be the case.

And thus we read Howey in his blog post, writing of how he now leans against staying a part of Kindle Unlimited after his non-restrictive trial period. He points out that “those just starting out and those at the very top” appear to be most rewarded by participating in Kindle Unlimited: “The former get more visibility. The latter get more money. Those in the middle benefit less.”

Howey’s is the clearest response to date to the quandaries presented authors by the advent of Kindle Unlimited with its exclusivity restrictions.

And a decision on how to proceed, for many authors, as he points out, is still far from obvious. In his blog post, this line takes on considerable meaning:

The best advice may be to experiment. TC mark

Thought Catalog

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(1) Whenever a guy committed a violent crime, people would ask, “But was he on his period?”

(2) To that measure, any time a man didn’t live up to expectations, we’d all first ask — “But was he on his period?”

(3) Dudes would never be pressured into sex by getting shamed for being a prude for not wanting to have sex while on their period.

(4) Nobody would ask them “Are you on your period?” when they’re having a bad day because, unlike women, men aren’t constantly expected to be smiling all the way through life.

(5) Advertisers would show men lifting heavy things or being extra masculine on their periods (instead of the dainty, happy women you see in ads now).

(6) Dudes would probably brag about it. “Bro, my flow was so heavy today, I had to use three pads.”

(7) As a result, super maximum absorbency pads would attain the status of Magnum condoms.

(8) The government and private companies alike would ensure that men got the very best pad/tampon technology. And all of it would be covered by insurance

(9) Women get told their period makes them make irrational decisions. Men would get told they’re at their most creative things/do their best work when they’re on their period.

(10) Men’s periods would not gross people out like women’s periods do now. We’d all talk about it openly. It wouldn’t be taboo.

(11) There’d be an extra seven days off a month to accommodate for men being in pain for a week. There’s not now, because patriarchy.

(12) Men’s first period would be cause for a giant celebration — it’d be like a bar mitzvah.

(13) For some dudes, periods would be a sacred time when they go into their quiet mancaves and are not allowed any disturbance.

(14) “Heavy flow porn” would be HUGE. (Yes, heavy periods would be fetishized if men got them instead of women.)

(15) Women would constantly be talked down to as “not knowing what pain is really like, at all.”

(16) During the halfway point between their last period and their next period — when men would be most fertile (women are most fertile thirteen to sixteen days after their period) — women would be under IMMENSE pressure to have sex with their male partners.

(17) Dudes would only buy pads. There’s no way they’d ever stick a tampon inside their bodies. TC mark

Thought Catalog

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