The first month of Kindle Unlimited’s pay-per-page system for authors’ royalties has seen the KENP payout rate (Kindle Edition Normalized Page) set at $0.0057 for July, as predicted in early July.
The KDP Select fund for July was set $11.5 million, which was another new high for the fund. KDP Select authors have now earned more than $100 million from the KDP Select fund since Kindle Unlimited launched last July.
All-Star deal to help Illustrated Children’s authors
Amazon has added Illustrated Children’s books to its All-Stars cash awards program, with the top 100 most read illustrated kids’ books in the US and the top 25 in the UK getting bonuses based on total KU pages read for the first time by KU customers during the month.
However, the illustrated kids’ bonuses are a lot less than the $25,000 apiece on offer to the top 10 overall All-Stars, with children’s authors on Amazon.com getting $1,000 for places 1-5, $750 for 5-10, $500 for 11-30, $250 for 31-50 and $150 for 51-100. Illustrated Children’s authors on Amazon.co.uk get just $100 for 1-25.
The illustrated kids’ bonuses look like an effort by Amazon to keep disgruntled authors of illustrated books in Kindle Unlimited.
As I explained in a previous post, the KENP calculations are not over-generous towards illustrated books and, on my estimates, Amazon is counting an image as being equivalent to around half a KENP or 80-90 words. This would hit illustrated children’s books particularly hard under the pay-per-page system, with very low payouts.
How to find out your book’s KENP count
Amazon has not officially revealed just what constitutes a KENP but they do publish the KENP total for each book enrolled in KDP Select, although they hide it away rather effectively. You can find out your own KENP totals by going to your Kindle Direct Publishing account, clicking on Bookshelf and then clicking on the Promote & Advertise option for a book found on the right-hand side of the page under Book Actions.
On the ensuing page, you’ll probably need to scroll down to see the option, Earn Royalties From The KDP Select Global Fund. There, in small type, you will discover your book’s Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count (KENPC) v1.0.
You can work out the average word count per KENP from the total and most authors are finding it to be in the region of 180-190 words, with an average of around 187 words.
There has been a lot of debate over the Kindle Unlimited switch from paying out a flat rate per borrow when a reader completed just 10% of a book to the new pay-per-page system.
The mini industry of publishing short books to profit from the KU flat rate after just a few pages were read has been hammered by the move while many other authors with longer books (mainly genre fiction) seem pleasantly surprised by the new deal.
The first payout of $0.0057 applied to a 100,000-word novel with a KENP count of around 534 pages (at the calculation of 187 words per ebook page) means an author would be paid $3.04 on a fully read borrow. That’s an increase of 125% on the final flat-rate KU payment of $1.35 per borrow in June.
The $3.04 payment would be the equivalent of the 70% royalty on an outright sale (a la carte, as Amazon likes to call a sale) of an ebook priced at $4.35. A read of 236 KENPs would be enough to reach the $1.35 payout, which would equate to around 44,300 words.
Problems could, of course, come if Amazon cuts the pay-per-page royalty rate for authors in future.