Thursday, July 9, 2015

My Experience So Far With the KENP (new Kindle Unlimited Program)

There are a WHOLE lot of varying opinions out there right now among authors, on the new KENP program.

First of all:  What is it?

The Kindle Edition Normalized Pages, is a new way of measuring pages read in the Kindle Unlimited Program. The Kindle Unlimited Program is offered through Amazon to readers. For $10 a month, they gain unlimited access to over 800,000 books and audible books. I think it's a great program, and for avid readers, it is certainly worth the money. How does a book become part of the program? By being offered exclusively through Amazon, or the KDP (Kindle Direct Program). This is where it gets a little more complicated.

Kindle Unlimited

I see it as a good opportunity for Indie Authors, so long as they have the right sort of product. For example, I chose to list my novels exclusively through Amazon, because it just made sense for me. I wasn't already a part of any on-line social media forums where I could take advantage of say...Smashwords or KOBO. I was also pretty much social media and ebook platform illiterate. So I just took advantage of the free information through Amazon and taught myself how to do all of the formatting, etc. and it has worked well for me.

The downside for an author with the Kindle Unlimited 'borrows' was the decreased revenue. I will use my first novel, Bloodline as an example. I have it for sale as an ebook on Amazon for $2.99. At %70, I get $2.05 per ebook sale. I averaged about $1.05 for each KU (Kindle Unlimited) download, after %10 of the book had been read. I probably received around $5-$10 in a month between all of my books (five).  (Please keep in mind that I am your typical Indie Author...meaning that if I have one or two sales a day, it's a good day)

(screen shot from my KDP page explaining the program)

That is how it used work. With the introduction of the new KENP program, they (Amazon) now keep track of all pages read, vs just the first 10%. We are yet to get through the first month so I haven't seen where the chips will fall, but basically, this is how they will figure out payment from now on:

They take the gross amount of money received from subscribers and divide that by the total number of pages read that month. That will give them the payment per page. For example: If KU took in ten million this month, and had 100,000,000 pages read, then us authors would be paid one cent per KENP read.

This started on July first, so lets' take a close and personal look at how it's going for me so far:

Here is the graph provided to me for tracking how pages have been read in the program:

I find this rather cool. So now, instead of having a dollar payment pop up once someone reads ten percent of a book borrowed through the program, it actually tracks each page read. I can also narrow the above graph to each individual book. Then...I can go to the 'Month to Date' unit sales, and get that breakdown. Here is my current stat for Bloodline:

As you can see, I haven't sold any ebooks yet this past month, but there have been 754 KENP pages read. 

You can find out how many 'pages' your ebook is calculated at by going to your KDP bookshelf and selecting 'Promote and Advertise' button. There is a box there that has the count. Bloodline is 252 pages (the paperback is 238)

If I were to get one cent per read page, then it would equal $7.54 so far. I am hoping for at least half a cent per page, which would be 3.77. I know by the number of pages that three books were borrowed and they read all of the pages (yay!) In the old program, I would have made $3.15, so even if the payout is a low I still stand to profit more from it.

If I look at how many pages have been read for all five of my books, it totals 2,844. I'm pretty excited about that number. For whatever reason, this has been a very good week for me as far as Kindle Unlimited borrows goes...and it is very encouraging to see that they appear to be reading the whole book once they start. Because that is where some authors are going to be in trouble.

This brings me to why some authors despise this new calculation method. First of all, if an author has forty titles out there, but they all average around 30 pages in length, they stand to loose a lot. Before, they would get a payout at 10% read...which would be three pages (the front matter of the book, basically) and they would make the same $1.05 that I would get for 40 pages read of my full-length novel. NOW...if someone were to read their whole novelette, they would get .30, (if we use the one cent a page formula) and I will get $2.54. Is that fair? HECK YES! 

I want to take this another step further, and I am sure there will be some who disagree with me. I have seen a WHOLE lot of poorly written short 'stories' out there that I am quite certain someone might pick up for free, but as soon as they get part way into it will quickly stop. Why should that author get paid the same amount of money for a full length, professionally put together novel that is read in its entirety? 

I feel that this new method of payout (KENP) will result in a much better and fair form of payment for the more professional, deserving novels. I have absolutely nothing against short stories and I think that the ones that are done well will also eventually pay off in this program. But I think it is just common sense to say that a 250+ page novel should have a higher pay-out than a 30-40 page novelette. 

This is my personal take on the KENP program so far. What is YOURS? I would really like to hear back from others and your own experiences to date. Have you seen a uptake in borrows on your books, too?


  1. The new system is much more fair. As you said, it rewards people more for longer books. Royaltywise, I'm currently making 33% more from KENP page reads than I am from actual sales.

    1. I agree. Last month, I had just over 5,000 pages read. I know that's not much, in comparison to others, but it's quite exciting for me. I'm on track for slightly higher numbers this month. :)

  2. I want to know the timeline for KENP payouts. Is it a monthly payout or some other cycle?

    1. It's a monthly payout, but it's variable, depending on the # of subscribers and the over-all number of pages read.