What Did Kindle Unlimited Pay for Pages Read in November, 2015?

Image from ShutterStock.

Image from ShutterStock.


November, 2015 marks the first month that Amazon KDP is paying different royalty amounts in different countries for KENP pages read.

Here is the breakdown for November, 2015 by country:

  • United States: $0.00492 per page (US dollars). That’s an increase of 2.3% from October’s payment of $0.00481.
  • United Kingdom: £0.00327 per page (British pounds). That’s also an increase of 2.3% from October’s £0.003196.
  • Germany: €0.00425 per page (Euro). That’s a drop of 5.1% from October’s €0.00448.
  • France: €0.00458 per page (Euro). That’s an increase of 2.2% from October’s €0.00448.
  • Canada: $0.00608 per page (Canadian dollars). That’s a drop of 5.0% from October’s $0.0064. (Remember, these are Canadian dollars, not US dollars.)
  • India: ₹0.1075 per page (Indian rupees). That’s a drop of 66% from October’s ₹0.3163.

Are these changes to Kindle Unlimited pages read payments good or bad?

The most significant change occurred for India: KENP read for India dropped by 66% (from ₹0.3163 to ₹0.1075). As of today, 1 USD equates to 66.944 Indian rupees. So while ₹0.1075 may seem like a big number compared to $0.00492, it’s actually much less. Converting from ₹0.1075 (Indian rupees) to US dollars, it equates to $0.0016 per page read. (Compare this to October: The October payment of ₹0.3163 was equivalent to the US figure of $0.00481 per page read, using slightly different exchange rates from October’s reporting period.)

So we make about 1/3 the usual rate for Kindle Unlimited pages read in India, but every other country is within 5% of the US rate of $0.00492 per page. Why? It’s based on the local market. Whereas Amazon charges $9.99 per month for US subscribers to Kindle Unlimited, Amazon charges approximately $4 per month (after conversion) to customers in India.

Did you know that the population of India is approximately 1.3 billion, a close second to China’s 1.4 billion? Compare that to the United States, in third position with 0.3 billion. There are a lot of potential readers in India, but their subscription price is 2.5 times less. So the per page rate is now much less, too.

The US rate is slightly higher this month, and no doubt it’s because Amazon is paying different rates in different countries. India went down; the US went up. There was compensation.

I see positive indicators for Kindle Unlimited again this month:

  • The payout rose to a record $12.7M. That’s up 2.4% from October’s $12.4M payout. That’s a sign of either more subscribers or more pages read by the average customer. Either way, more pages are being read. Isn’t that what authors want? Our pages to be read?
  • The US pages read rate increased 2.3%. Although this is likely due to redistributing the payout by country (i.e. compensation for the significant reduction in India), it’s still nice to see the rebound.

Does it strike you as odd that Amazon is paying $0.00492 per page in the United States? It’s a mere $0.00008 per page from being $0.005. Wouldn’t $0.005 per page have psychological value? But while $0.00008 would scarcely make a difference to most authors, it would have cost Amazon approximately $200,000 to raise the per page rate from $0.00492 to $0.005.

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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28 comments on “What Did Kindle Unlimited Pay for Pages Read in November, 2015?

  1. Chris, ask any Indie author contributing their work exclusively to Amazon if they believe the page per page regime is fair recompense for all their hard work? The unequivocally negative response should tell you and Amazon exactly how we all feel!!!! 😦

    • I do interact with many authors, both on popular indie author community forums and from weekly emails from authors who have questions (and in person). My experience is that complaints of unfairness were stronger and more frequent before it changed to pages read. Certainly, not all authors think it’s fair, but there are many who have expressed favorable opinions of it, too. (Anyone reading these comments, please share your opinions, good or bad. The best way to know how authors feel is to hear directly from them.) Of course, I’m an author myself: Personally, I’m pleased with Kindle Unlimited, as most of my books have done well with it since the change to pages read.

      • I’m a new indie author and have put all 3 of my books on KU. Though the part of me that craves certainty wishes I knew what the payouts would be each month, I still find overall the format – pay per page read – is sensible and fair. I’m sure it depends on the genre though…I write chick lit and romance, so most of the market comes in at $.99-2.99 per title. You can often end up getting $3 in royalties on a KU read vs $0.35-2.05 (based on 35% or 70%) on the Amazon reads 🙂

      • Alicia Ehrhardt: Thank you for sharing that. It seems authors are overlooking how Amazon averages our book pages. I was once legacy published. With KENP, I am earning more per unit borrowed or sold than I did as trad pubbed. Over the years I’ve had colleagues who also were legacy published–midlist or trade paperback–print runs 5000. And that was it. Done. There were seldom 2nd print runs. They earned out about 1.50$ per unit less agent fees of 15%. Indie authorship has spoiled me. Even today, my colleagues who write ‘literary’ and are published by university presses seldom see more than a 2000 unit print run. They do enjoy the cachet of legacy, but I’d rather have the $$$.

      • People keep telling me I write ‘literary,’ but it isn’t quite, because the story, characters, and themes are primary – literary quality isn’t allowed to stop progress.

        I say I aim for a certain literary ‘quality’ to the writing – there is no reason not to do that. And it doesn’t mean BIG words, it means the RIGHT words.

        I love the new world of publishing – I decide what I want to attach my name to, you get to do what you want.

        And it’s there forever, with my name on it, so I want it typo-free, well formatted, edited to within an inch of its shiny little skin. I stand by my work.

        I look forward to people reading it, fine tooth comb in hand.

        It’s hard getting the exposure initially, but I don’t want to embarrassed by my books once they achieve whatever they achieve.

        I think your site has the same standards, from what I read. Wish I had the energy to join you.

      • That’s my point though Alicia, KENP has now taken over from genuine sales of copies of our books as a far cheaper option where Amazon is concerned. Paying out a half to a third of a cent per page read is a brilliant business move on their part, especially if a reader who has already bought access to your book, which by the way, you do not get paid for…

      • Jack Eason: Amazon sells subscriptions for 9.99 a month. That is a bargain for the avid reader. I subscribe. Amazon is our virtual bookshelf. Indie authors are allowed the privilege to stock the shelves at no charge. Well written books get read to the last page. As an indie author, it is up to me to produce a product that satisfies the customer. If I don’t–no paycheck. That is it in a nutshell.

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  4. Hi, Chris: Appreciate your figures and the opportunity to comment. My books are exclusive to Amazon. I’m new to indie authorship, two years. It is a steep learning curve. It is far easier for me to engage in book promotions in Select. I like KENP and even in months my books are not in promotion I see an average of 5K pages read a day. During promotions I often see upwards of a half million pages read. I network with thirty authors in Select and those authors, too see similar results. A few, mystery and thriller authors often report above a million pages read a month following a promotion–usually a Bookbub. That is a paycheck. I do hear indie authors lamenting a lack of sales with Kindle Unlimited. I also notice many indie authors do not promote smart. I’ve learned no indie book sells sans promotion unless the author has a huge footprint in a particular genre. I don’t. Few of us do. In May I ran a Regional/UK Bookbub, a $50 slot and nailed 761 sales. The goal is a return on investment. My books have to pay for themselves–i.e. editorial services, cover art and formatting and promotion costs. They do–when in promotion. Wroks for me.
    eNovel Authors at Work

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