Sunday, August 16, 2015

Kindle Unlimited - Royalty per Page

It's the middle of August and that means that the numbers for Amazon's Kindle Unlimited new royalty by the page count are in. Earlier in July I predicted that the rate would be around $0.0068, a far cry less than Amazon's $0.10 per page that they used in their promotional literature. 

Many optimistic writers were hoping the number would be around $0.05 a page. While that was about 9 times higher that my estimate, I was secretly cheering for that number too. Sadly, that didn't work out.

For the month of July the royalty per page worked out to $0.005779.  A little more than half a cent a page.

Amazon's royalty plan for Kindle Unlimited (KU) doesn't guarantee a fixed monthly number, but the trend for the last few months has been for Amazon to adjust the pool the pay authors to keep the average royalty per book at around $1.35.  While it is still early, we can expect that Amazon might do something similar with the royalty by page plan and that around a half cent per page might become the norm.

At first glance, it would seem that books less than 240 pages in length will make less under the new KU plan, and books over 240 pages will make more.

But... And there is always a but, the royalty per page is based on the Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count (KENPC) which is often much higher than your physical page count. My first novel, Shaper of Stone, came in at 183 physical pages.  Based on that number of pages, I would make less per borrow under the new KU plan (183 x .005779 = $1.06), but that isn't what happened.  Shaper of Stone has a KENPC of 371 pages, and that works out to a little over $2.14 per borrow.  My second novel, Shaper of Air has a KENPC of 682 pages which results in a $3.94 royalty per borrow.  Considering the retail price for both books is $2.99, I'm very pleased with the new royalty plan.

Of course to earn that royalty readers need to read the entire story.  If they stop reading after 10 pages and never go back, the royalty is only for those 10 pages. That's OK. Getting the reader to finish the story is our job.