In July of 2015, Amazon told authors that they were changing the payout system for books enrolled in Kindle Select, which is an exclusivity option for Kindle Direct Publishing.

Previously, authors were paid a flat amount once a reader went further than 10% into their book. This system seemed to unfairly favor the authors of short stories, or novellas, as reading 10% of a 20 page story got generated the same royalties as reading 10% of a 400 page story. Plenty of authors found themselves “cutting up” a regular length novel of say, 70,000 words, into 3 or 4 smaller sections, and selling them all separately in order to get the maximum from their Kindle Online Lending Library borrows (KOLL).

How much does Amazon pay authors per page read through Kindle Unlimited?Now, authors are paid based on the individual number of pages read. In order to avoid people trying to artificially inflate the size of their book by using large fonts or by using large amounts of white space between paragraphs, Amazon has come up with the Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count (KENPC), which uses a somewhat secret calculation for how many words or page turns a book has.

Because the total amount of royalties available is divided by the total number of pages read across the ENTIRE Kindle Unlimited catalog, the amounts paid will can vary significantly from month to month.

These are the amounts of royalties paid per Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count (KENPC) read each month since inception.

  • July 2015 = .578 cents per page read, or $57.80 per 10,000 pages read
  • August = .514 per page read, or $51.40 per 10,000 pages read (Down 12% from previous month)
  • September = .507 cents per page read, or $50.70 per 10,000 pages read (Down approximately 1% from previous month)
  • October = .481 cents per page read, or $48.10 per 10,000 pages read (Down approximately 4% from previous month)
  • November = .492 cents per page read, or $49.20 per 10,000 pages read (Up approximately 2% from previous month)
  • December = .46 cents per page read, or $46.00 per 10,000 pages read (Down approximately 6% from previous month)
  • January 2016 = .411 cents per page read, or $41.10 per 10,000 pages read (Down approximately 10% from previous month)
  • February = .479 cents per page read, or $47.90 per 10,000 pages read (Up approximately 16% from previous month)
  • March= .478 cents per page read, or $47.80 per 10,000 pages read (Approximately even with previous month)
  • April = .495 cents per page read, or $49.50 per 10,000 pages read (Up approximately 3% from previous month)
  • May = .468 cents per page read, or $46.50 per 10,000 pages read (Down approximately 5% from previous month)
  • June = .492 cents per page read, or $49.20 per 10,000 pages read (Up approximately 5% from previous month)
  • July = .481 cents per page read, or $48.10 per 10,000 pages read (Down approximately 2% from previous month)
  • August = .457 cents per page read, or $45.70 per 10,000 pages read (Down approximately 5% from previous month)
  • June = .492 cents per page read, or $49.70 per 10,000 pages read (Up approximately 0.5% from previous month)
  • October = .518 cents per page read, or $51.80 per 10,000 pages read (Up approximately 4% from previous month)

As you can see, there was a drop over the first few months, although the decline seemed to have stabilized to some extent, and over the last 14 months have actually ended up right where they started. Only time will tell whether it continues remains stable at these rates. Either way, it’s a difficult situation for authors trying to plan their expected incomes over the next few months.

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