January, 2019: What Did Kindle Unlimited Pay Per KENP Page Read?


In January 2019, Kindle Unlimited paid $0.00442 for each KENP page read through KDP Select.

This is down 9% compared to December, but it isn’t unusual.

It’s fairly common for Amazon to pay more for Kindle Unlimited pages read before and during the holidays, and then to take a dip when the new year starts.

The royalties for pages read varies from $0.004 to $0.005 (and rarely a little over $0.005) per page.

When it’s near (or above) $0.005 per page read, you have to realize that it’s better than usual and enjoy it while it lasts.

When it’s around $0.0045 per page, this is roughly normal. Actually, most of 2018 was significantly above $0.0045, which shows that the per-page rate has been better than usual for several months, but if you go back a few years and examine all the data, you’ll see a few periods where it dropped down close to $0.004 per page.

You can count on it to fluctuate a bit. You can’t expect it to be the same every month.

However, you can count on the KDP Select Global Fund. It hit a new record high of $24.7 million, a clear million above December’s payout of $23.7.

The global fund steadily rises (and the very few times it hasn’t, it was only a very slight drop).

When Amazon switched to paying per page read for Kindle Unlimited borrows (and to a much lesser extent, borrows through Amazon Prime), the KDP Select Global Fund was around $10 million. Over the past few years since the change, the global fund has steadily risen to nearly $25 million.

This shows that the Kindle Unlimited audience is significant and is growing, and that there is enough content worth reading to sustain the program (and the amount of content continues to increase, except for a few specific subcategories).

Amazon is paying nearly $25 million per month (a pace for $300 million per year) just for pages read through Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime for KDP Select. That’s a huge chunk of royalties for a huge audience. There are also a million authors and millions of books participating in the program, and the most popular books are drawing a larger share of these royalties. But the potential is there if you can successfully engage the Kindle Unlimited audience.

That’s what I like about the pages read system. Maybe it doesn’t seem like much per page, and if you don’t have many pages read it won’t add up to much. But if you see significant pages read data for your book, you know that you’re successfully engaging customers. You want people to read your book, not just buy it. When you see those pages read, you know that your book is being read. That’s why we write books, after all. So that people will read them.

And for the books that really engage Kindle Unlimited readers well, the authors and publishers can be well-rewarded for their reader engagement.

There are a few cases where this program might not seem quite equitable, and if you think hard enough about it you might find something you don’t like. It does provide a good value to avid readers, and it does revolve around the idea of reader engagement, which are a couple of pluses that I do like. (No matter what Amazon does, it’s not going to please everyone. But with the payout rising from $10 million to nearly $25 million since the change, it seems to be working well enough to draw in many more readers as well as authors.)

Write Happy, Be Happy

Chris McMullen

Author of the Improve Your Math Fluency series of math workbooks and self-publishing guides

13 comments on “January, 2019: What Did Kindle Unlimited Pay Per KENP Page Read?

  1. The January rate’s a little disappointing. Book report doesn’t allow us to go lower than the $.005 does it? Maybe it does with the paid version and not with my freebie version.

  2. This was so helpful. I’m still new at publishing through KDP as well, and wasn’t understanding Pay Per KENP Page reading credits. Thanks.

  3. In January 2019, I had a monthly KENP of 440,629. Which, calculating it at approx. .0044 to .0045 would have given me a payout of nearly $2000. I was only paid $1200. How does that figure in to the global fund for January, which was approx. $23 million, I think? My calculations have always been very close to what I was actually paid, and often I received more than I expected. I don’t understand this much of a loss in January.

    • You should open the Prior Months report for January, 2019. Look at the second page. If you use Excel, find a tab for the second page at the bottom called KENP Read. On any line, divide the royalty by the number of pages read. For royalties in the US marked USD, you should get $0.0044. However, if you had significant pages read in other countries, some other countries pay less per page read, which may explain the difference.

  4. This is interesting. Judging by the rate, I gather that the example KDP gives of a ten million dollar fund and 100 million pages read per month, which would suggest a dime per page read, is not realistic. Does KDP publish the total pages read per month or just leave it to authors to compute it if they’re interested? Thanks.

    • Their example is overly optimistic, but perhaps done in order to use nice round numbers. They don’t publish the numbers, except for the global fund. Not sure why.

      Before the 15th of the following month, you can estimate your royalties with the beta report tool. Unfortunately, you can’t use the same convenient tool once the rate is known.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s