Katherine Hayton | BLOG

When my darling and I fall in love with a television show we immediately face a conundrum.

When you truly, truly love something you want it never to end but you also want it all the time.

When the love you have is for a limited supply, that can cause a few issues.

Just this last week, we began watching a show for which we had access to the entire first season at once. God loves cable. We watched the first episode and thought it was good. We watched the second and thought it was great. We watched the third, the fourth, and the fifth and thought it was a top rating show. Within our household anyway.

Since then we haven’t watched any episodes. There are only five left. We’re halfway through, and this is a great show. How did we squander so much so soon when we have so little?

So, although we love the show and have access to new episodes we can’t look at them.

It’s not as bad as it is with QI. We save those episodes as they screen, and then parcel them out less than one per month so we never run out. We don’t understand how people can safely live their lives without having constant access to new episodes of QI. It needs to be there when we need it.

Recently, we misjudged a series. We had two full seasons, and because the next season is due to start in August, we watched them with abandon.

We have none left.


I do occasionally miss the sweet old-fashioned days of television when to watch a show you had to be on the right channel at the time it was broadcast, or hope like hell that it would be repeated in a few years at a better time.

There are so many choices now. So many decisions to be made and every episode watched could spell future disaster. It’s a tough life.

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Since mid-June when Amazon first released news that its KDP Select program would be moving from a ‘books borrowed’ method of payment to a ‘pages read’ method of payment, I’ve been wondering what on earth that’s going to mean for my monthly income.

Well, rather than having to wait until mid-August to find out, Amazon have helpfully released some figures this morning that may allow me to calculate out the proposed payouts.

This morning they confirmed again that the size of the KDP Select fund will be at least $11m for July, and they’ve also released figures to say that the total pages read (using KENPs – more on that later) was nearly 1.9 billion.

Yah. Finally some figures that aren’t ‘to make this easy to understand’ figures pulled out of nowhere and good for nothing.

So, first things first, where do you work out how many pages your book is?

This information was released overnight (if you live in my time zone that is, God knows when YOU found out) into the KDP Select Bookshelf ‘Promote and Advertise’ button field. Exactly where Amazon said they would put it.

If you’re used to calculating the number of pages based on a physical book, then you’re probably in for a surprise.

My first novel ‘Found, near water’ clocked in at 366 KENPC (Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count). This is opposed to the physical page count I used previously which came in at 215 pages. My second novel ‘Skeletal’ clocked in at a massive 448 KENPC from a previous physical page count of 268 pages.

To turn that into word count figures it would be approximately 5.3 KENPC per thousand words. Unless you’re using exclusively large words whereupon it’s anybody’s guess.

Now for the fun bit. How much am I going to get paid?

Making the assumption that the 1.9 billion pages read during June was based on the US billion, of one thousand million, and not the UK billion, of one million million, – in which case we’re all screwed and are going to die starving in a gutter somewhere – then the formula seems to work out thusly:

$11,000,000 KDP Select Global Fund divided by 1,900,000,000 KENPC read equals 0.005789474

Multiply that figure by your individual KENPC to arrive at a payout figure for each book if read in full.

Therefore ‘Found, near water’ would nett me $2.11 in royalties, and ‘Skeletal’ would nett me $2.59.

That’s a vast improvement on the $1.33-$1.35 ish I’ve been receiving lately.

Who’d have thought? GO AMAZON!

The 1.9 billion pages read has an element of pause for thought, though. Either there are far more titles out there with low page counts than I’d assumed, or the readers just aren’t getting into the books on offer.

Either way, at this stage it looks like it might be an improvement for any writer who hasn’t been trying to game the system by putting exceptionally low page count books on offer.

My main concern would be for children’s books being taken out through KU or KOLL as their page counts will always be lower than young adult or adult offerings.

My current page read count (part way through day one of the new system) is currently showing at 272 KENPC read. Or $1.57 in cold, hard cash.

I just have to hope now that readers haven’t been only getting through 11% of my novels before abandoning them, and I’m on a winning ticket.

If any other indie authors have feedback or figures on how this new system may work out for them, drop a line in the comments field below and cumulatively we can all try to work out where we stand in this brave, new world.

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01 Jul / Birthday Gifts

As previously mentioned, my darling and I have eschewed gifts this year in favour of retaining money.

So my big day arrived and I thought I would end the day in much the same capitalistic state as I’d begun. No gifts more, no gifts less.

Instead, I’ve discovered that there is a wealth of gift giving communities out in the world that I usually don’t give a second through to. And no, I’m not talking about some sort of hippy-dippy lovey-dovey health and happiness routine, although there were a few of those besides.

EB Games sent me an email telling me I was awesome, and you’re never too old for gaming.

Ezibuy sent me a $10.00 off voucher and told me I was a VIP customer.

Bitgold sent me an email wishing me a happy birthday, and gifting me 0.042GAU of gold. That’s REAL GOLD. Gold you could hold in your hands, if it wasn’t such a small amount and in a virtual account online somewhere.

Vodafone wished me a happy birthday, and gave me 1GB of data to help me celebrate. That would cost me twenty bucks if I wanted to buy it.

An insurance company that I used to be the accounts contact for eight years ago sent me a birthday card. Through the mail. Using a stamp.

There were also birthday shout-outs from people I actually know and are friends and family with. They were more expected though.

I’m thinking of registering different birth dates when I sign up for stuff so I can keep receiving the goodies all year long. Is that wrong?

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28 Jun / Imaginary gifts

It’s my birthday on Wednesday. Why shucks, thank you, you shouldn’t have.

I’m taking the day off work to celebrate, and then the two days after that because I have a few days leave up my sleeve and I want to. My darling is taking the whole week off, in an example of shockingly uncoordinated forward planning.

My darling and I decided this year to forgo gifts to each other. Instead, we would buy ourselves something if we felt like it, or save some money if that was our preference.

I decided to go for the first route, and now have in my possession a hand-crafted pair of cognac Atheist Boots in pull-up leather that go with anything because they are all shades of tan and brown at once.

Well, they go with things that go with tan and brown and that’s a lot.

Last year my darling and I weren’t so stingy. I bought him a leather jacket, with an actual delivery date of February this year rather than May last year because neither of us could find one that suited him to a tee, and he bought me a ring clock.

What is a ring clock you ask? Well, I’m glad you did. At the moment it’s nothing because it doesn’t exist. It’s a dream of something that will fit on my finger like a ring, and tell the time like a clock, and will come in silver with blue LED lighting.

It’s been the perfect gift so far as, due to its lack of arrival, it has never broken down once and it always looks as good as it did on its original web page on Indiegogo.

Yes I know. Will I ever learn my lesson about crowdfunding? The answer is quite obviously a resounding no, and I stand resolute.

There was a tiny shred of hope that the ring clock which didn’t quite manage to make an appearance in time for my last birthday would make it for this one. Their last announcement removed most of that hope, and the next two days will definitely get rid of it altogether.

Never mind. One day, unless the company goes under which is also another possibility, I will be the proud owner of a ring clock.

It may even fit. My hips, bust and bum aren’t the only things that have experienced a growth spurt over the past year. My ring-finger rings now only fit on my little finger, and my large mid-finger rings now fit on my ring fingers. And some rings just hang on my necklace until my fingers remember what size they’re meant to be.

Being imaginary, my ring clock fits perfectly on the finger it’s meant to. For the time being.

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27 Jun / Bathroom envy

Last night, I was staying at a hotel in the suburbs.

It was nothing special, I can’t even remember the name. Something like a Travelodge, without actually being one.

My room was so basic that it was just a bedroom. To access the bathroom facilities I had to leave my room, locking the door tightly behind me because it was that sort of place, then made my way down the concrete path to the bathroom.

It was the sort of place that spiders look to congregate in, then abandon, leaving behind only their webs as evidence they were ever there. Proving that spiders have higher standards than I do.

There were wads of sodden paper towelettes across the floor. In fact, there was more paper on the floor than there was in the paper holders. One was completely empty, and the other was down to the last couple of sheets.

Inside the toilet cubicle it was an even worse mess. Flushing is a fine addition to the toilets of our modern day. This miraculous advance was something previous users of the toilet cubicle were unimpressed by, to the point they had neglected to use it altogether.

I was staring at the resultant mess in distaste when I suddenly realised that the reason this bathroom was in such a state was because it was the men’s bathroom.

I experienced a mild flood of relief, followed by a mild flood of dismay. This was both better and worse than not feeling anything at all.

The dismay was caused by me looking down at myself and remembering that I now had a penis. I remembered this when I looked down because it was looking back up at me.

I couldn’t remember why I’d ever wanted a penis, or if I was transitioning into or out of manhood, but I knew that its presence meant I wasn’t getting out of that bathroom.

The really odd thing was that even though I’d just remembered something so disturbing to my natural view of myself, I didn’t even wake up. Nor did I go to the toilet.

That last one I’m grateful for. Imagine the mess otherwise.

Instead, I went back to my hotel room without a bathroom and waited for an appointment that didn’t happen because a car crashed into the side of the hotel and I had to run back home before the police arrived and found out that I’d been waiting there.

I’m still not clear on the hows and the whys. Especially the why I was naked.

When I eventually did wake up I checked and found that I definitely don’t have a penis. I kind of miss it though. I didn’t even get the chance to waggle it about or insert it into anything.

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This morning got off to a great start. I sprang out of bed, took one step forward, and then somehow ended up on my side on the bed going ‘Wha?’

My darling disputes this. He doesn’t think I took one step forward.

Vertigo strikes again.

So annoying when you think you’re getting better only to have a relapse to a worse condition that you started with. I also wish my anti-nausea tablets were anti-fall tablets.

I mean, my balance is not the best thing in the world to be starting with – I still can’t walk on my treadmill without holding both handles in a death grip – but I can usually stand. You know, in the same spot. With my eyes closed briefly.

No longer. Gravity exerts a much stronger pull than my puny balance can fight against.

I have discovered that it’s no longer safe to apply moisturisers. Not because of all the harsh chemicals inside them – oatmeal for example – but because to apply moisturiser I have to take off my glasses and close my eyes for a couple of seconds.

This is not possible. I went down like a… a… thing going down quickly.

I also managed to hit the side of my beautiful, beautiful face on my darling’s bedroom drawers. (So in essence this is really his fault.)

If I’d had my glasses on I may have needed to use my spares for a while but my face would’ve been protected in its downwards dive.

But you can’t apply moisturiser with glasses on. At least, I can’t.

So now I have an egg on my eyebrow and an enlarged cheekbone. On the bright side I saw a glimpse of what my face would look like if my parents had better bone structure. It makes my skin look smooth and taut.

Maybe I should take up boxing for a regular beauty treatment.

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25 Jun / Wasting Time

Guess what incredibly useful thing I spent over an hour working (and I use the word loosely) on tonight?

Yes, that’s right. I spent my time wisely creating a new scene break picture for an ebook that may or may not be upcoming.

With this sort of time investment being made regularly, I don’t understand why I haven’t written more books, or sold more of the ones I have.

Obviously there were a few other things I could’ve been working on tonight.

Editing the book I have in the works. Scoping out the plot and character lines for the next book I’m going to write. Researching emerging book markets and working out a strategy to get my own works out there and selling.

But that’s so pedestrian, isn’t it?

Instead, I think my time has been well spent designing something that may not even end up in a published work. With the added attraction that even if it does, it may never be noticed by anybody. Even if noticed there’s a good chance that it won’t be appreciated.

Yep. I feel like I put in the hard yards tonight, and it was nothing to do with procrastination, or self-entertainment.

And if you believe that, you’ll probably also believe that I’m not lying to myself.

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24 Jun / NPs

I was watching a comedy-ish show tonight when I heard a rather wonderful new phrase.

‘But you’re always saying how much you hate NPs,’ the husband said.

What are NPs, I wondered? A moment later I was answered.

NPs are New People. And I hate them too.

Admittedly, it’s not entirely their fault. Even I find it hard to attribute blame to everyone in the world who hasn’t been part of my life yet for not being part of my life.

Especially since there is room for so few.

But there are days when I see that I have to ring someone I haven’t spoken to before, or go down to reception to meet someone I haven’t met before, and all I want to do is go, ‘NO! NO NEW PEOPLE!’

I have met all the people that I need to meet in one lifetime. I feel like I should have a stamp on my forehead that makes this abundantly clear to all and sundry.

I’m not saying that I hate all people. I’m an introvert, not a monster.

I genuinely enjoy the company of some of the people that I already know. I enjoy them for minutes and minutes at a time. But once you have a few people in your life, there’s less and less need for more of them to come crowding in.

Allocation full. Please apply elsewhere.

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22 Jun / Spinning

For those of you who are worried that I’ve abandoned my core principal of only exercising if it’s necessary to maintain life, do not be alarmed. I have not taken up a spinning class.

No. I’m so clever that my body has taken up spinning without needing a class to perform it in. It’s managed to discover the secret of spinning when lying completely still.

Now it’s discovered the secret, I rather wish it would lose it again.

Vertigo, which for some reason is now pronounced VER-TIE-GO maybe to avoid comparisons with certain classic movies, has struck me again.

When meant to be tracking my good GPs fingers my eyes instead keep flickering, and when I’m meant to lying flat on my back instead the room says ‘Play with me Mummy’ and takes me dancing.

The first time I had vertigo was seven years ago. It was not pleasant, but I was living through it for the first time so I took a week off work and then just got on with it until it went away.

The second time I had vertigo was less than a year ago. It was not pleasant, but at least I could assume it was an illness that would only strike every six years or so. I took a couple of days off work and then got on with it.

The third time is now, and I feel deeply aggrieved that it’s arrived so hard on the heels of the last time. Ten months is not long enough. There’s a whiff of unfairness about it all.

Granted, living in a first world minority country where I have paid sick leave type of unfairness, but unfairness for all that.

I’m now holding on until I can have my next dose of ‘unpronounceable, unremembered, and I can’t be bothered to look it up’ anti-nausea tablets. Unfortunately, they only last for about four hours so by the time I’m meant to be lying fast asleep in bed I think I’ll probably be dancing again.

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