Kindle Unlimited: Global Expansion and Impact

Image from ShutterStock.

Image from ShutterStock.


Amazon’s payment for Kindle Unlimited KENP pages read has dipped a hair below $0.005 per page.

There is a downward trend for KENP pages read, although is a reason behind the most recent dip, and, as we shall see, there may be good signs to offset this trend.

  • July, 2015: $0.0058
  • August, 2015: $0.0051 (11% drop)
  • September, 2015: $0.0051 (1% drop)
  • October, 2015: $0.0048 (5% drop)

It started in July at $0.0058, likely to match the projections forecast when Amazon shared their pages read data for June.

It dropped 11% from July to August, likely because there were changes in the readership and/or reading habits when the Kindle Unlimited changes were implemented, and perhaps also Amazon was adjusting KENP settings and measurements.

We saw nice stability from August to September. When we finally see some long-term stability, that will be nice. I think we’ll get there.

The drop from September to October has a simple explanation: Amazon expanded Kindle Unlimited globally, introducing it to India. The subscription price is much cheaper in India (around $4 US per month).

This global expansion pulled more readers into Kindle Unlimited, which is a good thing. But the lower subscription price in India effectively lowered the pages read rate by 5%.

That’s about to change. Starting in November, Amazon will pay different pages read rates in different countries. So pages read in India will likely pay less than pages read in the United States, for example.

Does that mean the US pages read rate will rise back up to $0.005 per page? Good question! Maybe it won’t go up, or up much, maybe it will. But hopefully it won’t drop as much next month, if at all.

But I continue to see good news in the data. For example, the KDP Select Global Fund keeps growing:

  • July, 2015: $11.5M
  • August, 2015: $11.8M
  • September, 2015: $12M
  • October, 2015: $12.4M

I see two potentially good points for authors in these numbers:

  • continued increase in the number of Kindle Unlimited subscribers
  • continued increase in the number of Kindle Unlimited pages read

Not everyone is seeing growth, but overall, I’m seeing improved pages read data for my books on average.

Of course, there is another piece of data equally important: 38,500 Kindle Unlimited books added in the last 30 days. There are now over 1.1M books in the program (it was closer to 0.6M when Kindle Unlimited started). There were 85,000 Kindle books added in the last 30 days, so competition for sales is even more fierce than for pages read.

Most authors must keep writing, publishing, and marketing to keep up in the current marketplace. Otherwise, most likely, both sales and pages read will drop.

Write happy, be happy. 🙂

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 2015

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

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18 comments on “Kindle Unlimited: Global Expansion and Impact

  1. I noted the KUPR drop. I hope you’re right about a November increase. Thanks for keeping on top of these things. BTW, do you know if pages read figure in to a book’s sales rank?

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  4. Not in KDP Select but thanks for the information, Chris. As far as I’ve read in other places, the problem in India is that many people don’t have credit cards and therefore can’t join Amazon, so there is a big proportion of the population who can’t access Amazon. Other distributors use alternative options for payment.

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