How Much Will Amazon Pay for Kindle Pages Read?

Background image from ShutterStock.

Background image from ShutterStock.


How much will KDP Select authors earn for KU/KOLL pages read?

According to Amazon, nearly 1.9 billion (1,900,000,000) Kindle Edition Normalized Pages (KENP) were read during June, 2015 through Amazon Prime and Kindle Unlimited.

If the same number of pages are read during July, KDP Select authors will earn 0.58 cents per Kindle Edition Normalized Page (KENP) read.

Update: Amazon paid $0.005779 per KENP page read for July, 2015, almost identical to the forecast.

A little more than half a penny per page.

Or $1.00 for every 173 pages read.

How does Amazon calculate pages read?

Amazon keeps track of how many pages the customer has viewed.

So if the customer simply jumps to the last page of the book, that only counts as one page. They have to open every page for all of them to count.

Amazon starts counting from the start reading location.

Each KDP Select book has a KENPC (Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count), which may be different from the actual page count of the print edition and may also be different from the estimated page count.

It can be much different.

How do you find out what your KENPC is?

  • Visit your KDP Bookshelf.
  • Click the Promote and Advertise button.

How do I know how many people borrowed my book?

You don’t. You only know how many pages have been read.

If you have multiple books, click on the Month-to-Date Units Report to see a breakdown by book.

It would be helpful to know how many people borrowed our books. That way, we can figure out how many pages are read on average. This could be valuable data. Perhaps if KDP receives enough requests for it, they will supply this data…


Everybody’s pages read should be low on the first day.

Why? Because it takes time to read the books.

You know how many people usually borrow your book in one day.

You can’t expect everyone to read your entire book on the first day that they buy it.

So it’s silly to add up the pages read for day one, compare it with the number of borrows you normally get, and decide whether to opt out of the program.

Here’s my advice:

  • See if the number of pages read increases tomorrow, the day after that, and so on.
  • If the pages read per day (you’ll have to keep trackโ€”see the example below) is improving, this is a good sign.
  • Eventually, the number of pages read per day should stabilize. It might happen in a week, a few weeks, or months.
  • When the pages read per day stabilizes, compare that to how it was in the past. Use 0.58 cents per page to figure out what you’re making per day now, and compare that to the average number of borrows times $1.35 from previous months.

Don’t forget to check your KENPC. Your book might have more pages than you realize. I have books where the KENPC is 2-3 times the actual print page count. Things might be better than you realize.


  • July 1, 200 pages read.
  • July 2, 600 pages read. That’s 400 pages read on the 2nd.
  • July 3, 1200 pages read. That’s 600 pages read on the 3rd.
  • July 4, 2000 pages read. That’s 800 pages read on the 4th.
  • July 5, 3000 pages read. That’s 1000 pages read on the 5th.
  • July 6, 4000 pages read. That’s 1000 pages read on the 6th.
  • July 7, 5000 pages read. That’s 1000 pages read on the 7th. It has stabilized. This book is getting 1000 pages read per day now.

1000 pages per day yields an estimated $5.80 per day (multiply 1000 pages read by 0.58).

If this book averaged 4 borrows per day in the past, it was making about $5.40 in previous months. We want to compare the new estimated $5.80 per day to the old estimated $5.40 per day, but don’t do this until your number of pages read per day stabilizes, or you’ll be disappointed.

If you had based this off the 200 pages read on the first day in my example, it would have looked like this book was losing money in the new system, but that’s not how it looked after it stabilized.

On average, about half of the books will see improvement to some degree, while about half of the books will see a loss to some degree. It will be good for some, bad for some.

But you have to wait until your data stabilizes before you can tell how it’s working out for you. Good luck.

Write happy, be happy. ๐Ÿ™‚

Chris McMullen

Copyrightย ยฉ 2015

Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

  • Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
  • Volume 2 on marketability and marketing
  • 4-in-1 Boxed set includes both volumes and more
  • Kindle Formatting Magic (coming soon)

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59 comments on “How Much Will Amazon Pay for Kindle Pages Read?

  1. Can’t say I’m surprised about that low payment number. Do you think it might increase after a few months? Like people who entered the system thinking it was easy money will leave when they realize it isn’t much of a payout?

    • It will be interesting to see if reading habits change from June to July. The payout doesn’t seem small to me. It’s still $11M. KENPC seems very generous for most books, do .56 cents per page may be pretty good. A couple of my better sellers have 600 pages according to that. I also expect pages read to grow nicely for a while. I’m optimistic.

  2. Thanks for explaining this system so clearly! After reading so much discussion on this change to KDP Select, I’m really curious to see how this goes. I only published my book on KDP Select in May, so I won’t have much data to compare my sales were before and after the change. Thanks for the Don’t Panic! section – that’ll be helpful for keeping things in perspective as authors settle into this change.

  3. I just used your half-penny number to figure the royalty for the page count assigned my books. Much better than past KU amounts. I think I like it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I had about 19 pages read a day or so ago. Does that mean I get paid for all those or do I have to reach a certain point before the paying starts? I was trying to find this answer a few days ago and couldn’t. I read your article and it still doesn’t register with me.

  5. I’m confused about the way you’ve written the payout per page. .58 cent. $0.0058? So for my total of 8110 pages read so far, roughly $47?

  6. Chris – Once again, wonderful stuff. Your blog is top shelf. One question – I assume the KENP page count is not accumulative (as indicated above in your July 1 – 7 totals), hence the wavy blue graph line on the daily chart. Then again, it’s hot and humid today and I may not be thinking straight. Also, thanks for the heads-up on the KENP page count versus print page count. Quite a difference!

  7. Here’s the major problem as I see it. When a person gets one of my books through Kindle Prime or Kindle Unlimited, they’re getting the entire book to keep, regardless of how many pages they read. They’re not just getting the pages they want to read. Since the Kindle customer is getting the entire book, the writer should get a royalty for the entire book, no matter how many pages the reader reads. This new procedure seems to be unfair to the writer. If this new payment plan from Kindle reduces a writer’s income each month, there’s no advantage to giving Kindle an exclusive. I’m sure many writers after the first month or so may pull their books out of Kindle Prime and Kindle Unlimited and put their books in the other ebook sellers book lists. Generating three or four incomes from several ebook publishers may be a better deal for the writer than getting 1 cent per page by letting Kindle have an exclusive on that book. I’d like to know what you think. John E. Phillips with 50+ books in Kindle Select.

    • Kindle Unlimited customers don’t get to keep the books. They borrow them, and can only have up to 10 checked out at a time. If they leave Kindle Unlimited, they lose access to the books. And if they want to get an 11th book, they must return one of the first 10.

      Amazon is paying $11M for July and August. They aren’t paying less. They are just redistributing how it’s paid. Obviously, about half the authors will earn more than usual (some just a little, others a lot), and about half the authors will earn less than usual. Overall, it’s not unfair to writers: Collectively, they get paid the same as before.

      I don’t expect them to pay 1 cent per page. The expected payout is closer to $0.0058 per page.

      Authors with short books are more apt to consider whether or not it’s worth remaining in Select. Authors of long, engaging books are likely to love the new policy. A few authors will drop out of Select, but I don’t expect to see a large drop; in fact, I expect to see more new books added to Select than drop out, as it was at the beginning of July when some authors opted out with the change. There are a host of reasons that even authors who aren’t benefiting from the new payout will leave their books enrolled. It’s easy to keep doing what you’re doing. Publishing elsewhere requires learning new things, doing more work. If you’re getting a lot of pages read, you don’t know if you can make that up elsewhere with sales. I can think of a number of reasons. Prior to July, some authors of long novels were quite upset with the policy, but 95% kept their books enrolled in Select. Now some authors of short books are upset, but I still expect to see 95% remain enrolled. But we can find out easily by taking a screenshot of enrollment numbers today and comparing them in mid to late August.

      Good luck with your books.

  8. I don’t think your price per page is correct, seems a little high, 0.58 x 3558 of my pages read comes to $2063.64US pretty sure kindle is not going to pay me that. I hope they do, I aslo hope I have no idea what I am talking about and you are correct. Your blog is awesome..

    • It’s correct, but it’s tricky because it’s a units problems like we teach in physics and chemistry. Here’s the explanation:

      0.58 cents is the same thing as $0.0058.
      Put another way:
      0.58 cents = 0.0058 dollars

      If you want to know how many dollars you’ll make, multiply 3558 by $0.0058 to get $20.63.

      If you want to know how many pennies you’ll make, multiply 3558 by 0.58 to get 2063 pennies.

      Of course, $20.63 is the same thing as 2063 pennies.

      Note that my post says 0.58 pennies, not 0.58 dollars. Observe that 0.58 pennies equals 0.0058 dollars. It’s important to look at the units (dollars, cents, or pennies).

  9. I’m also terrible at maths. Someone explained it to me like this and it helped a lot: $1 = 1.0
    50 cents = 0.5
    5 cents = 0.05
    1/2 cent = 0.005

    It’s helped not only with working out KENP read but when looking for an editor a lot charge 1 cent or half a cent per word. At first I thought they wanted to charge me an arm and a leg, now I realise, it’s just an arm! But, totally worth it. (Just in case my editor reads this – you are worth an arm and a leg).

  10. I’m pretty upset. As a children’s book author my books are only 13 pages long but have illustrations as well. I just looked and the average payment per download since I’ve been in the program in November of 2012 was $1.97 per download. (of course that number has dropped to about $1.30 since January of this year- but previous years it was over $2)

    With this new policy my royalty was $0.08 per book ๐Ÿ˜ฆ One book that was downloaded 10 times (and fully read) would have been about a $16 royalty and instead I’m getting 76 CENTS.

    Needless to say I took all my children’s books out of the program.

    This new policy only benefits Authors of books who write OVER the average 240 pages per book. So that pretty much cuts out the entire Children’s books, Cook Books, Poetry, and other genres.
    I hope Authors of all those genres remove their books from the program and readers complain to Amazon.

    • I’d like to see Amazon find some way to help illustrated children’s authors in Kindle Unlimited. So far, all they have done is offer a separate All-Star bonus just for illustrated children’s books. That’s a great incentive for the top children’s authors, but unfortunately most won’t benefit from it.

  11. Chris, I was one of the most skeptical people about the pay per pages read program until I got my July royalty statement from Kindle. It was better than I could have ever been able to believe. Finally, I was able to wrap my head around how and why this deal works. If you sell one of your books to a library, you get one royalty payment for the sale of that book regardless of how many people read it. with this new pay per page program I get paid for every page that everyone that signs up for Kindle Select or Kindle Unlimited reads. I believe this is a much fairer way to compensate writers for their work. Also, the writers who write the biggest books and/or the most books get paid the most, because their work is what’s being read by most people. This pay per page would be the same form of compensation that a library would pay us every time someone checked one of our books out of their library and read our work. So, i’m real happy with the pay per page that Kindle has initiated. Now, a writer has the opportunity to get three checks from the same book – one from Kindle when a person buys their book in eBook form, one from CreateSpace when a person buys that same eBook as a print book, and one from Kindle for pages read. I’ve been writing books for more than 40 years and getting three checks for one book is the best deal I’ve ever seen for writers. If you write more you make more.
    John E. Phillips

  12. Thank you so much for very informative blog post. I had seen only 1 page read (LOL) in the last couple of months. Then, suddenly, after I posted a book giveaway on GoodReads I had 320 pages read in ONE day (yesterday). We’ll see what happens over the long-term. How many separate people are those? Only 1 person? The book is only about 170 printed pages…not sure what that translates to in “Kindle” pages. In one day I made about $1.75 using your calculations. For an author with very few sales, I consider this a ‘win’!

    • Congratulations. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s nice to see several pages read at once. You can find out how many pages it equates to (KENPC) on the same page where you would set up a Countdown Deal (try advertise and promote from your bookshelf). Good luck with your book. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. I appreciate your explanation. Went and looked at the KENPC for two of my novels. I see the page count, but I don’t see how the sales reflect the new way. They look pretty low. I see the graph where it shows what’s being read and I see the buys, but it’s low. I haven’t done a count down in a while nor do a free. (Penny pinching has kept me from doing a companion campaign like Book Bub and less expensive programs) I could have used that up for the enrollment in KDP select. The both novels have won awards. Just have to keep on trying.

  14. Thanks for the explanation, Chris, it really helped. Still waiting for my KENPC to stabilise after nearly 4 weeks in Select. My pages read vary from a few hundred per day to under a hundred then over a couple thousand, and some days nothing. I’ve got two books in KENPC (592 pages for the first one, and 491 pages for the second). So it’s impossible to estimate how much I earn per day.

  15. Hi Chris, great article and just what I was looking for. I just joined Kindle. Quick set of questions…does Amazon report cumulative KENPC like you show, or daily totals, because thats two different performance results?

    Also, I read an article showing that the new KENP system does increase your overall ranking a little vs those that dont use it. I wonder if Amazon has a separate ranking inside the KU system? In other words, the more a book is read the higher it goes in the KU ranking, like sales in the regular system?

    Thanks, Mitchell

    • KENPC is the effective page count for your book, which you can access from your promote and advertise page from your bookshelf.

      KENP read is how many pages were read. In addition to daily totals shown on your sales dashboard, you can find cumulative totals for each book in the month-to-date report.

      Every borrow definitely boosts sales rank when the book is borrowed. They just have overall sales ranks and category ranks. They don’t really need a separate rank for KU; just subtract all the other books.

  16. Thanks for the information, Chris. This came up as the third result in a Google search for “how much does amazon pay for normalized pages read”.

    Good information. And as much as authors might complain about the “low” rate, it’s a source of income we wouldn’t otherwise have. IMHO it’s also a tool for gauging the popularity and readability of our books.

    I’m not a fan of KDP’s exclusivity clause, but I’m testing the waters there again with a couple of books.

  17. Thanks Chris, this has been the most concise explanation I have read yet. It’s starting to make more sense now. If my book had 26 KENPC on the first day it was published then 0 pages for 3 days then jumps to 372 KENPC but is now back at 0 are you able to make any sense of that for me? Its not stabalising at all? Rather erratic really. And my MTD paid unit sales seem to be still averaging at least 2 sold copies on the days I have zero KENPC. Maybe I’m not starting to make sense of it at all… ha ha ha ha … appreciate your thoughts if you have a spare moment. Thanks so much

  18. I have my first book out yesterday, super newbie here. I don’t see where you can see where the KENC $$ is showing up in the royalty reports, just how many views…am I missing something?

  19. Thank you so much for replying. One more quick question: where do I get codes of the book to give to my friends for free? Or can I not do that because I signed up for the KENC?

    • Amazon doesn’t have that option. You could gift the book, but you have to pay for it. You can download the .mobi file as one of the file preview options and send that to friends, but your friends need to know how to sideload it to their device. You could make a PDF and send that, though they would read that on a tablet or computer, not a Kindle device. If you didn’t enroll in KDP Select, you could publish at Smashwords, which does allow you to create coupon codes. On the other hand, if you did enroll in KDP Select, you could run a free book promo, but then anybody could get your book for free during the promo days.

  20. Can I ask one more question and I’ll leave you alone? I’ve sold 5 books in the last few days. Is there any way to tell where they are clicking from so that I can market more effectively? Is there a way to tell?

    • Unfortunately, Amazon doesn’t provide tracking data for authors. (Well, if the book is enrolled in Select and you choose to advertise it with AMS, you can get a little bit of helpful tracking data. For example, with sponsored product ads, you can see which keywords were used.)

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