The Kindle Unlimited KENP payout to authors for October hit a new high under the pay-per-page v2.0 scheme with a rate of $0.0052, a rise of 6% from September’s figure of $0.0049.
The October result means that the KENP rate has risen by 15.5% from $0.0045 in August, which was the lowest point since the introduction of KENPC v2.0 in February this year which brought a revised way of calculating the number of pages in a Kindle ebook.
October also saw another new high in the KDP Select global fund which rose by 2% to $16.2 million from $15.9 million in September.
The October figure means that Amazon has now paid out over $150 million to Kindle Unlimited authors in the calendar year so far and the total figure for the full year is likely to be well over $180 million.
That total would be over $50 million more than the $131.6 million paid out on Kindle Unlimited during 2015 — an increase of close to 40%.
In the UK, the KENP rate for October was £0.0035, up from £0.0033 in September and £0.0030 in August.
In straight exchange rate terms, the UK payout for October represents just $0.0043 and illustrates the effects of the plunge in sterling since the Brexit vote in the summer.
In Germany, the October KENP rate was €0.0036, compared with €0.0033 in August. That October figure equates in exchange rate terms to $0.0038.
The disparity in the European KENP figures is also due in some part to Amazon weighting its international markets differently.
The UK ebook market is overwhelmingly ‘owned’ by Amazon’s Kindle with around 90% of the sector and represents the second-biggest market after the US.
Germany is a fast-growing ebook market but is more fragmented with more loyalty to local brands and some resistance to Amazon.
Tolino, which sells ebooks and e-readers, was set up by a consortium of German book retailers together with phone firm Telekom and is reckoned to have a share of nearly 40% of the German ebook market.
Going back to the Kindle Unlimited KENP results for October, I estimate that a total of around 3.11 billion KENPs were read during the month. This is actually a fall from 3.24 billion KENPs in September and 3.51 billion KENPs in August.
My calculations are always a rough estimate as Amazon doesn’t release any figures. I divide the total KDP Select global fund by the US KENP rate as the US is by far the biggest market ($16.2 million/$0.0052). I use the same basis each month so although it doesn’t take into account the various weightings of international markets it does offer a benchmark of sorts.
It’s a strange turnout when you consider that this represents an 11% fall in KENPs read from August to October. As I pointed out in my Kindle Unlimited report for September, this is not a seasonal trend as last year saw a big rise in KU lending from August to September and then smaller rises through the autumn until another big increase in December.
The fall in pages read has obviously eased the pressure on the KENP rate to the extent that Amazon has felt able to raise the fund and the payout, which surely means that total Kindle Unlimited subscribers have not fallen off.
That must in turn mean that either Kindle Unlimited members are reading fewer pages, which is a possibility as membership becomes something slightly pushed into the background after a while, or that millions more pages are being read but not recorded due to page-flip problems.
As I reported last month, many KU authors believe their borrowing figures have fallen because Kindle ebooks can be read when in slide mode under Amazon’s new Page Flip system and they are not getting paid for these as the system doesn’t recognize them as reads.
Amazon has said it has looked into the page-flip issue and says ‘it is not being used for reading in any material way’.
The company extended Kindle Unlimited recently to Australia (Amazon.com.au) at a rate of AU$13.99 a month for subscribers. That works at at around $10.46, so it is priced at around the same level as the US cost for KU of $9.99.
The monthly KENP rates for 2016 so far are:
- January: $0.0041
- February: $0.0048 (the first month of KENPC v2.0, a revised way of calculating the number of pages in a Kindle ebook)
- March: $0.0047
- April: $0.0048
- May: $0.0046
- June: $0.0049
- July: $0.0048
- August: $0.0045
- September: $0.0049
- October: $0.0052
Average monthly KENP rate over January-October 2016: $0.0047
The monthly KDP Select global fund totals for 2016 are:
- January: $15 million
- February: $14 million
- March: $14.9 million
- April: $14.9 million
- May: $15.3 million
- June: $15.4 million
- July: $15.5 million
- August: $15.8 million
- September: $15.9 million
- October: $16.2 million
Total for January-October 2016: $152.9 million