Amazon on Monday said it will start paying writers of e-books on its Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Owner's Lending Library services based on how many pages are read instead of the number of downloads.
"We're making this switch in response to great feedback we received from authors who asked us to better align payout with the length of books and how much customers read," the US-based online retailer said in a blog post.
"Under the new payment method, you'll be paid for each page individual customers read of your book, the first time they read it."
The change, which Amazon said applies only to authors who self-publish on Kindle, Amazon's own e-book reader, will take effect in July.
Amazon said that it developed a way to normalize page counts across devices and genres to account for differences in font size, line spacing and more.
The Seattle-based firm will continue the practice of setting a monthly Kindle Direct Publishing select global fund, the money from which will be divided between authors based on pages viewed instead of numbers of digital books downloaded.
Some critics of using book downloads to divvy payments argued that it favored short works, while the new system of calculation could wind up rewarding longer suspenseful books or 'cliff-hangers' at the expense of other genres.
Kindle Unlimited offers access to more than 800,000 e-books along with thousands of audio books for a monthly subscription fee of $10.