The August 2015 Kindle Unlimited KENP payout to authors fell from July’s level of $0.0057 to $0.0051 per page read (half a cent).
The KENP rate is down by just over 10% on the July figure of $0.0057, which was the first month of Kindle Unlimited operating under the pay-per-page system.
It’s too early to say whether the downward move is more of a matter of finding a balance in the no doubt complex business of setting a KENP rate or the thin end of the wedge, but it does seem to be drifting a bit too close to comfort to $0.004.
The new rate means that a 100,000-word ebook representing about 534 KENPs (Kindle Edition Normalized Pages at an average of 187 words per KENP) would get a Kindle Unlimited payout of around $2.72 on a fully read borrow compared with $3.04 in July.
The KDP Select global fund for August hit yet another new high of $11.8 million, up from $11.5 million in July. The initial level of the KDP fund for September has been set at $11 million. Amazon has moved away from its previous method of setting the fund low and then topping up massively to setting the fund high and then topping up just a little.
Dividing the total August fund of $11.8 million by the KENP pay rate of $0.0051 gives a grand total of 2,313,725,490 — which means there were 2.3 billion pages (KENPs) read by Kindle Unlimited members in the month.
This is a substantial rise of 15% from July when the estimated total of KENPs read was 2 billion ($11,500,000/$0.0057 = 2,017,543,859) and June when Amazon revealed total page reads for the first time with 1.9 billion KENPs in the month.
I have previously calculated that the average read per Kindle Unlimited borrow is 228 KENPs, which means there were possibly 10,147,918 borrows during August — the first time the total number of borrows has gone over the 10 million mark.
My previous estimates of total borrows were 8,339,483 borrows in June and 8,848,876 borrows in July, so the 10,147,918 figure for August shows an increase of 14% in a month.
It must also mean that Kindle Unlimited total membership is now well over one million but, at $9.99 a month, the whole KU operation is probably only at best a break-even business for Amazon.
Kindle Unlimited launched in India in September at a bargain price and Amazon warned that although at present it’s sticking to one KDP Select global fund to pay for pages read by KU customers around the world, including India, that its pay-per-page system will need to be amended eventually for ebooks borrowed in the Indian market.