In July, 2014, Amazon launched a new e-book subscription service called Kindle Unlimited:
- Customers pay $9.99 per month for unlimited reading of participating Kindle e-books.
- 600,000 Kindle e-books are participating all together.
- 100,000 published titles include popular series like Harry Potter. Most of the participating publishers are small presses.
- 500,000 titles are KDP Select books, mostly by indie authors.
- Author royalties are paid in the form of KDP Select borrows, similar to Amazon Prime, except that any customer can download several Kindle e-books each month.
- The KDP Global Fund for July, 2014 is $2,000,000. An extra $800,000 was added with the introduction of Kindle Unlimited.
- Indie authors must agree to publish the e-book edition of their book exclusively with Kindle in order to participate in Kindle Unlimited. (That’s how KDP Select has always worked.)
Articles about Kindle Unlimited and How to Use It to Your Advantage
Click the name of an article below to read the free article on my blog.
Read about KENPC v2.0 (Amazon changes the way that KENPC is calculated, effective February 1, 2016)
Should You Enroll Your Book in KDP Select? A 2019 Analysis)
How Much Did Kindle Unlimited Pay? A current month-to-month breakdown
What Did Kindle Unlimited Pay in January, 2020?
Kindle Unlimited Global Fund Stability
Changes to Kindle Unlimited policy beginning July 1
Ideas for Children’s Books in Kindle Unlimited
Kindle Unlimited 2.0—Should You Stay or Should You Go?
Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count
15 Questions & Answers about the new Kindle Unlimited Policy
Myths about the New Kindle Unlimited Policy
What I Love about the New Kindle Unlimited Policy
Kindle Unlimited Math with KENPC
Hugh Howey’s Great Analysis of the new Kindle Unlimited Terms
Are Authors Leaving Kindle Unlimited? (Actual Data)
- How the payment for borrowed books will change
- Why the 10% mark will become obsolete
Kindle Unlimited Trends—Updated
- Kindle Unlimited Myths includes data and facts
- Does Kindle Unlimited encourage shorter books?
- Does Kindle Unlimited favor authors?
Are Authors Earning More or Less with Kindle Unlimited?
- Is it better to enroll in KDP Select to benefit from Kindle Unlimited?
- Is it better to opt out of Select to benefit from other digital markets?
- Includes a link to the October 2014 Author Earnings Report, which studied the impact of Kindle Unlimited.
Kindle Unlimited—Good or Bad for Authors?
Is Kindle Unlimited Being Flooded with Short Books? (Researched)
Kindle Unlimited (January, 2015)
- Gives a clear, thorough introduction to what Kindle Unlimited is.
- How this program impacts indie authors.
- Comparison with Amazon Prime.
- Includes detailed notes.
How Can Kindle Unlimited Improve Your Sales?
- Marketing strategies to take advantage of Kindle Unlimited.
- Discussion of how promotional strategies, such as BookBub and freebies, will be affected.
- Explanation of how it will affect all authors, even those not in the program.
- How it could improve your sales.
- How it could hurt your sales.
- Proactive tips for KDP Select authors.
Kindle Unlimited & Marketing Strategies (for A-L-L Authors)
- How marketing strategies will change, for books in and out of KDP Select.
- Marketing opportunities for KDP Select authors.
- Discusses how series authors will be affected.
- How promotional pricing will be impacted.
- How advertising will be affected.
How Much Will Authors Make w/ Kindle Unlimited?
- A detailed analysis, but doesn’t try to pinpoint a number.
- Ideas and history to help you form your own opinion.
- Discussion of possible outcomes.
Prediction for How Much Kindle Unlimited Downloads Will Pay in July, 2014
- A projection of my data to offer some quantifiable guess.
- Don’t take it too literally.
- The detailed analysis is broken down.
KOLL Payments for Kindle Select Borrows from December, 2011 thru June, 2014
- Includes a graph and table of what KOLL has paid since KDP Select was first introduced.
- This table may help you with your expectations of what authors will make with Kindle Unlimited.
- Includes notes about Amazon Prime.
- Includes notes about Kindle Unlimited.
Marketing Children’s Books with Kindle Unlimited
- Why Kindle Unlimited is an unbelievable value for parents.
- An opportunity for children’s authors to market their books to parents.
- Bedtime stories, reading fluency, and education.
Twitter & Amazon Hashtags for Kindle Unlimited
- Which hashtags to use for Kindle Unlimited.
- How to use Twitter to drive Kindle Unlimited sales.
- Also describes the new AmazonCart hashtag.
- What impact Kindle Unlimited may have on e-book prices.
- How Kindle Unlimited may affect promotional strategies.
- How Kindle Unlimited may affect sales rank.
- Things to look for as Kindle Unlimited continues.
More KDP Select Books on Bestseller Lists
- How Kindle Unlimited has altered Amazon bestseller lists
- Which books are benefiting from Kindle Unlimited
- Which books Kindle Unlimited is hurting
How to Borrow Amazon Prime Books without Using Kindle Unlimited
- Comparing Amazon Prime to Kindle Unlimited
- How to borrow books through Amazon Prime
Thanks very much for all these resources, Chris. Really very useful information, clearly set out. I found what I was looking for here and I’ll come back for more. Cheers.
You’re welcome. I’m glad it was helpful. Thank you for taking time to provide encouraging feedback. 🙂
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Hey Chris…. is there any updated information about how Kindle Unlimited pages read impacts book ranking now in 2018?
That’s a good question. Not that I’ve come across.
It would be a challenge to get reliable data for this. Each borrow affects sales rank like one sale, at the time the book is borrowed. However, since Amazon doesn’t report when the book is borrowed, this greatly complicates Kindle sales rank analysis.
Back when the switch to pages read was made, I had heard speculation that pages read may someday influence sales rank, rather than just the borrow itself, but I have no reason to suspect that pages read have ever been factored in to how sales rank works. (Amazon Seller Central, for selling products on Amazon, makes it clear that customer satisfaction metrics have a small influence on sales rank, and although Seller Central has nothing to do with Kindle, it seems likely that customer satisfaction metrics also impact Kindle sales rank. It also seems like pages read would naturally factor into customer satisfaction, but again I don’t have any reason from my own data or from anything I’ve heard to believe that pages read actually does. The original borrow appears to be the main influence.)
Thanks Chris. It seems that Amazon loves being an enigma. As an author it makes it so hard to work out what works and what doesn’t.
That’s true, yet I also know that a few people try to take advantage of the system when they know how it works (and sales rank has adapted over the years specifically because of that). The main influences remain history of steady sales (number of books sold or borrowed over a long period like a month) and recent sales (number of books sold or borrowed over a short period like a day or less). Other factors tend to have smaller impacts in most cases.