KENPC v2.0 Amazon KDP Changes Normalized Page Counts (February 1, 2016)

Images from ShutterStock.

Images from ShutterStock.

KENPC v2.0 February 1, 2016

Amazon KDP changed how it determines the Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count (KENPC).

This affects Kindle e-books enrolled in KDP Select, which can be borrowed via Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime.

KDP Select books borrowed through Kindle Unlimited or Amazon Prime pay by the page read, where a Kindle Edition Normalized Page (KENP) is determined based on the book’s KENPC.

(This has no impact on royalties earned through sales, just borrows.)

On February 1, 2016, the method that Amazon uses to compute the KENPC changed.

The new value of KENPC is called KENPC v2.0.

Visit your KDP Bookshelf and click the Promote and Advertise button next to a title to see what its new KENPC is.

According to Amazon, on average the KENPC has changed by 5% or less.

I checked several of my books, which had KENPC’s ranging from 170 to 2039, and the KENPC v2.0 was nearly identical to the original KENPC.

So my books were virtually unaffected by this. I’m curious about your experience with the KENPC change. Is it significant?

One notable change reported by Amazon is that books with a KENPC exceeding 3000 will now be capped at 3000. (When a customer reads 100% of those extremely long books, the author actually earns more from a single book read than the monthly subscription cost.) This only affects a few books, like encyclopedias (which could be broken down into smaller pieces…).

If you want to read the KDP help page describing KENPC v2.0, you can find it here:

https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=AI3QMVN4FMTXJ

Write happy, be happy. 🙂

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 2016

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

Click here to view my Goodreads author page.

  • 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)

Follow me at WordPress, find my author page on Facebook, or connect with me through Twitter.

Comments

Click here to jump to the comments section.

Kindle Unlimited Pages Read Rate for August, 2015

Image from ShutterStock.

Image from ShutterStock.

KINDLE UNLIMITED PAGES READ

Amazon paid $0.00514 per KENP read in August, 2015.

Compare that to the $0.005779 pages read rate in July, 2015.

That’s a drop of 11%. If you had 10,000 pages read in July, would earned $57.79, but for the same 10,000 pages read in August, you only earned $51.40.

On the one hand, an 11% drop is significant, but on the other hand, unless you had a million pages read through Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime, that 11% doesn’t amount to a whole lot.

And if you had a million pages read, you’re thriving in the program (compared to most authors).

But the concern really isn’t over one drop in the payout of 11%.

The concern extends beyond that. 11% is a pretty sizable change. It’s not a small fluctuation.

So one concern is stability.

If it drops 11% in August, another 11% in September, another 11% in October, and so on, that would really add up.

Since these are the early days of KENP, we don’t have much data to go on. We don’t yet have a pattern of KENP payouts established to lend us a feeling of stability.

What we really need is more data. But authors also want to make sound decisions now. And it will take a few months to get solid data.

I expected the pages read rate to drop toward $0.0050. What I didn’t expect is for it to jump straight there in one fell swoop.

And hence stability is in question.

But I think it’s premature to run for the hills.

One drop of 11% isn’t too much for me. Maybe stability will be there. I need a few months’ more data to assess this.

If it levels off around $0.0050, that will be what I had been expecting anyhow; it will just have gotten there faster than I was predicting.

If it drops even below $0.0050, the question will be how much below. What’s your magic number, where if it goes below that, you feel like KDP Select isn’t worth it? This magic number will be different for everyone, but it’s worth thinking about. We’re not near my magic number yet.

And what’s your backup plan for the worst-case scenario? It wouldn’t hurt to sketch out a backup plan and store it in a safe place. If you’re not below your magic number, I wouldn’t initiate the backup plan yet. But it’s smart to have a plan in mind, just in case.

I feel I’ve given too much attention to this lone 11% drop. Who knows what next month will bring? We don’t have enough data yet to see a pattern emerge.

POSITIVE INDICATORS

But there are other positive indicators that may help offset that 11% drop. Let’s look at a few of these.

GLOBAL FUND STABILITY

The KDP Select Global Fund is suddenly more stable than ever.

It was approximately $11M for May, June, July, and now $11.8M in August.

It’s starting at $11M for September.

They used to commit a mere $3M to the pot, and then raise it to $8M or more.

Now they commit to $11M on a regular basis.

So while the pages read rate may have dropped 11%, the KDP Select Global Fund has been very stable, more stable than ever.

KINDLE UNLIMITED IS THRIVING

KDP Select authors are earning a combined $10M per month just from KENP read.

Amazon has paid out over $100M in royalties just for KDP Select borrows in 2015.

Approximately 2 billion pages of KDP Select books are read through Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime per month.

That’s a huge readership. And it’s been a consistent readership (if anything, it appears to be growing).

And this readership supports indie books. Not every indie book, but the top KDP Select books are thriving in Kindle Unlimited.

Most of these readers are reluctant to buy books any other way.

AMAZON PAID MORE ROYALTIES OVERALL

Although the per-page rate dropped from $0.005779 to $0.00514, the KDP Select Global Fund rose from $11.5M to $11.8M.

Amazon paid $300,000 more in KDP Select royalties in August than they paid in July.

Overall, KDP Select authors earned more than ever.

So although they paid 11% less per page, there were more than enough additional pages read to compensate overall, enough such that Amazon actually paid more money in royalties overall.

Either there were (A) more Kindle Unlimited subscribers or (B) Kindle Unlimited customers are reading more than usual.

Either way, in general, KDP Select books benefited from this additional reading and the extra $300,000 paid in KDP Select royalties in August compared to July.

MORE BOOKS IN KINDLE UNLIMITED

Another sign that the program is thriving is that the number of books in Kindle Unlimited steadily rises.

Even through the new Kindle Unlimited 2.0.

Even through the 11% drop in the per-page rate.

The number of books in Kindle Unlimited keeps climbing.

It’s up to 1.1M presently. It was about 1M just a few months ago, but despite the new program and even the drop in the per-page rate in August, still 100,000 more books have added in the past few months than have dropped out.

127,000 books were added to Kindle Unlimited in the past 90 days. Whereas only about 27,000 have dropped out during this same time. For every book that has dropped out, 4 more were added in.

44,000 books were added just in the last 30 days. The number of books added to Kindle Unlimited each month keeps rising.

There is plenty of content for customers, and plenty of new content each month.

The top KDP Select books are thriving with millions of pages read per month, and the customers enjoying those top books want more top books to read. And those authors feel motivated to write more similar books. And other authors want to become KDP Select All-Stars, so they’re working to try to please Kindle Unlimited customers.

Many books benefited from the extra pages read and higher KDP Select Global Fund for August.

For many books, overall, this made August better than July, even though the per-page rate dropped.

WHAT IF YOUR BOOK DIDN’T BENEFIT?

If your book didn’t benefit from the extra pages read and the higher KDP Select Global Fund, there are a number of possible reasons:

  • There are many complicating factors involved in a book’s sales. Most books go through sales slumps at some time all on their own. If your book’s sales slumped in August, it’s quite possible that it had nothing to do with Kindle Unlimited. In fact, more pages were read through Kindle Unlimited than ever, and the payout was $300,000 more than in July.
  • August is typically a slow season for very many books. If your book’s sales slumped in August, it may just be a seasonal effect. The interesting thing is that more pages were read in Kindle Unlimited in August, even though sales often slump in August. Overall, this seasonal effect didn’t impact KDP Select borrows (although it surely did for some KDP Select books, overall there were more pages read in August than July).
  • Many authors changed their publishing and marketing strategies when Kindle Unlimited 2.0 rolled out. Many authors believed that Kindle Unlimited 1.0 favored short books, and now many authors believe that Kindle Unlimited 2.0 favors long books. What Kindle Unlimited 2.0 favors is reader engagement. As many other authors adjust their marketing strategies, that impacts other books.

Here are a few proactive ideas:

  • Marketing, of course. For a book that has appealing content, the trick is to get more customers to learn about your book. Learn free and low-cost marketing strategies, and try them out.
  • Marketability is another factor. Are you writing the kinds of books that appeal to Kindle Unlimited customers? Are the cover, blurb, and Look Inside helping to close sales? If so, your book is more likely to benefit from KDP Select borrows in addition to sales, and those borrows can help your sales rank.
  • Are you making the most of Kindle Countdown Deals? Just scheduling the promotion isn’t apt to be as effective as searching out websites that can help you promote the Countdown Deal.
  • Are you using AMS wisely? Most authors tend to overbid. The safer route is to bid very low, wait a few days, raise your bid only slightly if necessary, wait a few more days, and use patience and frivolity to your advantage. It may take a month or more to generate significant activity, but it’s less risky that way. Also, once you have several similar books out, with good marketability, that improves your prospects for advertising success.
  • Personal interactions can go a long way. When you interact with your target audience, a personal interaction is more likely to inspire a sale during a slow period, and it’s also more likely to lead to a review. Get a few sales in a slow period and it can help you rebound.
  • Write more books. And do some research to see what kinds of books are selling. Which are a good fit for you to write. For which customers are likely to support indie books.

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FENCE

Is the grass greener in KDP Select or outside of it?

That’s a good question, and it may depend in part on the particular book, as well as the marketing capabilities of the author.

If you can build a strong following all on your own, you stand better prospects of growing a readership outside of KDP Select. But it’s not easy to do.

Another big factor is sales momentum.

If you start in KDP Select, once you get initial borrows and sales, you have sales momentum. Each Kindle Unlimited or Amazon Prime borrow helps your sales rank.

If you now opt out of KDP Select, you lose that benefit on sales rank. You lose your momentum.

Sales momentum is really tough to build. Once you have it, you don’t want to lose it. But you lose part of it when you switch to the other side.

Similarly, if you have sales momentum on several sites and join KDP Select, you lose it on those other sites.

Kindle Unlimited has a huge readership (2 billion pages read per month of KDP Select), which supports very many indie books (through KDP Select).

This audience can potentially benefit new authors. (But it takes a marketable book and marketing to improve your chances.)

Hence, it’s appealing to start out in KDP Select.

You can opt out after 90 days (but you must uncheck the auto-renewal box to do this successfully). But you risk losing that sales momentum.

Unless, of course, you hardly have any sales to speak of. But Kindle is the main market. If you hardly have any sales to speak of, the sales aren’t likely to be found elsewhere. But it can happen, and you might feel like there is nothing to lose in trying. (The real problem may be with the marketability of the book, or with marketing.)

One intriguing idea floating around is to write multiple series (or similar books) under multiple pen names, and rotate one (or more) of these series in and out of KDP Select. One idea behind this is diversification, and to try to reach customers on the other side of the fence.

But the risk in this strategy is that rotating a title in or out of KDP Select will hurt sales momentum.

It is wise to have a backup plan in place. But I wouldn’t do anything to risk hurting sales momentum unless and until the per-page rate goes below your magic number.

I’M STILL IN

KDP Select has been good to me.

I have pages read, but where I’ve seen the largest increases are (A) Kindle sales and (B) paperback sales.

I have no doubt that this is largely due to KDP Select.

First, all those KDP Select borrows improve my sales ranks.

Secondly, I’ve learned how to make effective use of AMS. It took a couple of months of overbidding to develop my low-bid strategy, and to refine my targeting, and it’s begun to pay dividends.

Not every one of my books has benefited (nor are they all in ‘my’ name), but overall my Kindle sales and paperback sales have improved.

Not all authors are thriving in KDP Select. But many are, and the potential is there.

Write happy, be happy. 🙂

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 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)

Follow me at WordPress, find my author page on Facebook, or connect with me through Twitter.

Comments

Click here to jump to the comments section.

New Opportunities with Kindle Unlimited?

Images from ShutterStock.

Images from ShutterStock.

KINDLE UNLIMITED OPPORTUNITIES

Now that Kindle Unlimited pays a royalty based on the number of pages read instead of the number of books borrowed and read to 10%:

  • Some KDP Select authors of longer books who see customers reading 100% of their books are jumping up and down with joy.
  • Some KDP Select authors of shorter books who are accustomed to seeing $1.35 per borrow are complaining of their frustrations.
  • (There are more than just two camps, of course.)

Complaining and feeling frustrated isn’t a strategy for publishing success. (Turning that frustration into motivation to unite others who feel the same toward positive action, that’s different.)

What seems disappointing and frustrating to some may serve as an opportunity for others.

Suppose that you had a series of 30-page stories, where the Kindle Edition Normalize Page Count (KENPC) is 50 pages. (This is just an example.)

In this case, based on the projected $0.0058 per page, these stories would earn 29 cents per borrow if read to 100%.

Naturally, you would look at the prospective 29-cent royalty for prospective borrows and complain that you were losing 80% of your royalties. But remember, that complaint isn’t a strategy toward publishing success.

(You wouldn’t? Really? You might be right. I’ve heard several authors step up and say something like, “I stand to lose 50% with the new Kindle Unlimited policy, but I agree that it’s more equitable.”

If you said something like that, stand up and take a bow. You’re my hero! You deserve a round of applause. Applaud, everyone. The world needs more positive attitudes in the face of adversity. And fewer people who want to take advantage of that positive outlook, or who want to try to change that positive outlook.)

I hear authors complaining—now think about this—of only seeing 1000, 5000, 10,000, or 20,000 pages read in their reports. Per day.

I really don’t mean this in a condescending way, like, “Oh, poor dears.” I just want to look at this same statement from two different perspectives.

On the one hand, an author might have 10,000 pages read per day, but the author is still earning 50 cents or less per book. This author is complaining because he or she is used to earning $1.35 per book, and 50 cents or less is a huge change, especially when 100+ customers are reading your books every day.

I agree, it’s a sudden change, it’s a big loss, you deserve to feel frustrated.

(Maybe one could have seen this coming. Maybe they shouldn’t have been making $1.35 for short works all along. Let’s not open that can of worms, too. It is what it is. You can’t change what it is or how it happened.)

But there is another perspective. Imagine that you (A) are just entering the publishing scene or (B) you have some publishing experience and have been thinking about writing shorter works.

  • You see people talking about 10,000 pages per day as if it were a bad thing.
  • You get out your calculator and realize that comes to $60 per day, or nearly $2000 per month. (Because when you’re wishful, you round up.)
  • You remember hearing that most authors never sell 100 books.
  • You start to think that 10,00 pages per day with 29-cent royalties per book don’t sound so bad.
  • You hear this author talk about leaving Kindle Unlimited.
  • You hear other authors in the same genre talk about leaving Kindle Unlimited.

So what do you do? You start to view this as an opportunity. $60 per day sounds pretty enticing to you.

(Note that I’m speaking of short books with text. Illustrated short books are a separate issue.)

The new Kindle Unlimited policy favors reader engagement. It doesn’t favor longer books.

It pays per page read.

Whether you write 200,000 pages in one book, 5 books, or 10 books, you’ve still written the same number of pages, and you still earn the same amount if customers read 100% of what you wrote.

What matters are:

  • Getting more customers to try your book. Some shorter books have an advantage here.
  • Getting more customers to read 100% of your book. Some shorter books have an advantage here, too.
  • Getting more customers to read your other books.

Authors who are used to getting $1.35 per borrow feel that the new Kindle Unlimited policy disfavors short books.

But if you’re thinking, “What should I write now?”  Well, Kindle Unlimited may actually favor shorter books in many genres by favoring reader engagement.

Basing what you should write solely on how Kindle Unlimited has changed my not be wise.

Kindle Unlimited may very well change again.

You should consider the whole market, and how it might change, when you come up with your writing and publishing strategy.

You should also consider such things as:

  • What genres are you familiar with?
  • What kind of writing are you a good fit for?
  • How long of a story can you tell well?

Writing short romance novels, erotica, etc. isn’t easy.

Just because you see a few authors leaving (or saying that they will, or might, leave), doesn’t mean it will be easy to jump over and fill those holes.

If they were getting 10,000 pages read per day and walk away from KDP Select, just because you jump in with similar works doesn’t mean you’ll get any pages read.

Publishing is a tough market to crack. First, you have to read and understand the genre and what the audience expects. You need to be able to tell the story well. You need to be able to tell a shorter story well if you’re aiming for shorter books, and that’s not easy.

You need to write several books to have a chance of breaking through, and there are no guarantees, even when you feel that you’ve done everything right.

And, as always, you need to market your books.

And you need to be passionate about what you’re writing.

It won’t be easy. It wasn’t easy for the authors who have been successful with those kinds of books. But they learned the genre, and others can, too.

While it won’t be easy, there is potential.

A lower royalty with the new Kindle Unlimited doesn’t mean that opting out of KDP Select is the best decision.

It’s easy to walk away out of anger or frustration, or to try to make a statement (more of a whisper if only a few walk away, but an exclamation mark if a huge percentage do—in most categories, I haven’t observed much movement).

But if your main goal is to earn the most royalties (or to reach the most readers), walking away isn’t necessarily the best choice.

You have to weigh the benefits of staying against the benefits of leaving.

Here are some of the benefits of remaining KDP Select:

  • Sales rank. Every Kindle Unlimited borrow helps sales rank. If you take away a large number of borrows, that will hurt your sales rank, which in turn may limit your exposure on Amazon.
  • Borrows. Even though the new Kindle Unlimited royalty may be less than authors of shorter books are used to, it’s still a royalty. You lose the borrows when you opt out of KDP Select.
  • Indie-friendly audience. Amazon is paying $11,000,000 per month presently (over $100 million per year) for Kindle Unlimited borrows. That’s a huge market, and it’s a fairly indie-friendly audience. Kindle Unlimited customers are unlikely to buy books outside of the program when they can borrow for free.
  • Countdown Deals (and freebies). Some authors don’t use these tools effectively. In that case, they don’t matter much. But for those who have used them effectively through external promotions, these are tools that you lose when you walk away.

There are also benefits of leaving KDP Select:

  • New markets. You can potentially reach customers at Nook, Kobo, and other e-book retailers. These are not necessarily easy markets to crack, and they may not be as indie-friendly.
  • Less competition. At other e-book retailers, there is less competition, since 1,000,000 e-books are exclusive to Kindle. However, through a potentially lower Amazon sales rank as a result of giving up exclusivity, you might have to exchange lower visibility on the #1 e-book retailer to gain visibility elsewhere.
  • Wider exposure. You spread your brand wider by selling at multiple platforms.

Which set of benefits outweighs the other? That’s a tough question, and it varies from one book to another.

The problem with testing it out is that your Amazon sales rank is apt to slide considerably while you’re testing the waters elsewhere.

Another factor is marketing. Do you have ideas or strategies for marketing at other e-book retailers?

It’s not bad for everyone!

On average, about half the books will earn more money for borrows through Kindle Unlimited.

Shorter books will earn lower per-book royalties.

However, many shorter books have an edge when it comes to reader engagement.

Many authors are benefiting from the new Kindle Unlimited policy.

It is the way it is. How do you make the most of it?

Whether you have a short book or long book…

Whether you are experienced, starting out, or switching genres…

Regardless of your genre or category…

You should be asking how to make the most of it, how to find a proactive solution, how to find a strategy for success.

That’s the way forward.

Write happy, be happy. 🙂

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 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)

Follow me at WordPress, find my author page on Facebook, or connect with me through Twitter.

Comments

Click here to jump to the comments section.

What I Love about the New Kindle Unlimited Policy

Background image from ShutterStock.

Background image from ShutterStock.

KINDLE UNLIMITED PAGES READ

I’m not saying that the new Kindle Unlimited policy is perfect.

I realize that it works better for some books than for others.

And it doesn’t seem to particularly favor my books.

But overall, there is much that I like about the new Kindle Unlimited policy.

I think it’s a nice improvement, a good step in the right direction.

NEW KINDLE UNLIMITED POLICY

In case you don’t already know, Kindle Unlimited now pays authors royalties for borrows based on the number of pages read.

  • Click the advertise and promote button on your bookshelf to discover your Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count (KENPC). That’s the official number of pages of your book, which is likely quite different than what you see on your product page.
  • You now see KENP read on your reports, which is the Kindle Edition Normalized Pages read. It no longer shows the number of borrows, but instead shows the total number of pages read.
  • Amazon announced that 1.9B KENP were read in June, 2015. If the same number of KENP are read in July, 2015, with the announced $11M Global Select Fund for July, this would mean that authors would receive $0.0058 for each KENP read.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THE NEW KINDLE UNLIMITED TERMS

There are several things that I like about the new Kindle Unlimited policy:

  • The reports give me some information about my customers’ reading habits. Last night, it appears that a customer read one of my science books from cover to cover. That’s pretty cool. I had a book that was started, but the page count is sitting there: It makes me wonder why. It’s more information about our customers than we’ve had before.
  • Although the new payout isn’t perfect, and seems to disfavor a few types of books like illustrated children’s books (perhaps), overall I feel that the new payout is fairer than it was before. There are exceptions, of course, but overall, it seems fair that the more words you type that actually get read, the more you should earn for your effort. Maybe not perfect, but I feel that it’s fairer than it was.
  • The new payout seems more sustainable for Amazon. That’s important, because if it wasn’t sustainable, in the long run the program wouldn’t have been good for readers or for authors. In the original program, a customer could easily read dozens of very short books per month, in which case Amazon was paying out $30, $40, even $50+ in royalties for a single customer that paid a mere $9.99 subscription fee. Now Amazon is taking the $11M payout and dividing by the number of pages read, so customers can read to their heart’s content without Amazon losing money as a result.
  • It doesn’t seem nearly as easy for authors to game the new system. Padding the book seems flat-out stupid: If the content isn’t engaging, extra pages will hurt, not help. Changing the font size has no impact. Breaking up paragraphs and other formatting nonsense that’s more likely to frustrate customers won’t get more pages read. Throwing in pictures where they don’t fit will frustrate customers. The new system rewards books that engages customers, not those that frustrate them. Building a robot to tap 1000’s of pages per day is likely to trigger the monitoring system.
  • I don’t hear authors complaining loudly and frequently about scamphlets. It was never good marketing for Amazon, or for any of the authors who publish Kindle e-books, to advertise about poor quality books. The new system won’t reward such nonsense (I’m not talking about engaging stories or useful nonfiction content that happens to be very short, I’m talking about shorts designed to game the system), and so it won’t encourage more of it.
  • The new policy doesn’t favor longer books, it favors engaging reads of any length. If you want to write 90,000 words, whether you write one 90,000-word book, three 30,000-word books, or nine 10,000-word books, if a customer reads all of it, you earn the same royalty for the same number of words written. But you should choose the option that’s most likely to get your pages read. Engaging reads, whether short or long, are favored in the new program. (If you compare short works in the new program to the old program, that’s different. But that’s a sunk cost. The old program is out the door.)
  • We finally earn money when customers read less than 10% of a book. Now if a customer tries your book out and decides it isn’t for them, you at least get paid something.
  • No customer should be worried about reading too much and abusing the system. As a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, I was reluctant to let my daughter read 3-4 children’s stories too many times during the month, thinking how much that would cost Amazon. Now, I have no reservations about using Kindle Unlimited to our heart’s content.
  • The new terms reward successful books (depending on how you would like to define success, of course). From the sense that successful books result in more pages read, that aspect is rewarded. Imagine very short books that were being opened thousands of times, but almost no customer was reading more than 20% of the story (and being very short, that might just have been a page or two). Was that a success or a failure? Now they will still get paid, but based on the pages read. If those authors can find ways to get their customers to read 100% of their stories, they will make more money from the improved success.
  • The new model seems to fit better for what is essentially an e-library. One goal of a library is for people to read the books. The books that get read more provide a good service to the library, and the new system rewards that. (Of course, any real library has valuable books that don’t get read much, but show their value in other ways. As I said, the system isn’t perfect, but I feel that it’s better than it was.)
  • Authors who wish to utilize KDP Select should be focused on how to write engaging content. That’s a great incentive, isn’t it? More engaging content will surely attract more customers, making Kindle Unlimited better than ever. (Again, while I can think of a few exceptions, overall, this seems like an improvement.)

BUT IT’S NOT ALL GRAVY

Obviously, the change to Kindle Unlimited won’t be good for all books.

What it really does is redistribute the $11M payout based on pages read instead of the number of borrows.

About half the books, on average, should do better (at least a little, if not a lot), and about half the books, on average, should do worse to some degree.

Overall, it seems fairer, and there are several qualities which I like, but it’s not perfect. It may be a good step in the right direction.

There are a few kinds of books that are losing out.

You can’t feel much pity about the short works which were intentionally designed to abuse the system.

But the well-thought out short stories, illustrated children’s books, graphic novels, and informative reference works likely to be read only in part, well, these may be a few examples of books that are disfavored by the new system, but which provide good value to Kindle Unlimited.

Engaging short reads, while they will likely earn much less than before, should make up for that somewhat by getting read to 100% more often.

Illustrated children’s books suffer from the KENPC, which counts fixed layout books literally, whereas reflowable books tend to have more pages than their print counterparts. Even worse, some children’s layouts show as two-pages per screen, which cuts the page count in half.

It’s an important issue for children’s authors and for parents who subscribe to Kindle Unlimited (since if the books pull out of Select, it may make the subscription less appealing).

It’s also a difficult issue to address. Some children’s books have much more involved, time-consuming illustrations, while others have pictures that were made with much less effort or time (sometimes, it’s also because the artist can produce high quality in less time, but other times it’s the nature of images that made the work easier). Some children’s authors also invest heavily in professional illustrators.

I don’t know what the solution is, if there is a good one. Maybe Amazon will address it in some way.

But if you’re wondering whether or not there is a mass exodus of certain kinds of books from Kindle Unlimited, I’ve been tracking the numbers and don’t see any significant movement yet.

No need to panic yet.

Amazon is surely monitoring the numbers, too, and is in a position to act if at some point there is any cause for concern. Based on the enrollment numbers, there isn’t cause to worry at this stage.

Write happy, be happy. 🙂

Chris McMullen

Copyright Â© 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)

Follow me at WordPress, find my author page on Facebook, or connect with me through Twitter.

Comments

Click here to jump to the comments section.

How Much Will Amazon Pay for Kindle Pages Read?

Background image from ShutterStock.

Background image from ShutterStock.

KINDLE UNLIMITED PAGES READ

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…

DON’T PANIC!

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 track—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.

EXAMPLE

  • 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. 🙂

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 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)

Follow me at WordPress, find my author page on Facebook, or connect with me through Twitter.

Comments

Click here to jump to the comments section.