July marks the start of the new payment terms for KDP Select. Where Amazon used to pay participating authors based on the number of times an ebook was loaned in Kindle Owner's Lending Library or KDP Select, under the new terms Amazon will pay each author based on the number of pages that have been read by subscribers.
Amazon has defined a new standard for a page called the Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count (KENPC)*, and at the end of the month they'll count the KENPC and divide it into the funding pool.
Amazon hasn't announced the total funding for KDP Select for July, and we obviously don't know how many pages will be read. So at this point the payment per page is a little hard to pin down, but one author has come up with an estimate based on what we know about current activity.
According to Morris Rosenthal's back of the envelope calculation:
My first estimate for the Kindle Select royalty system that starts today is $0.0058, or 0.58 cents per page read. This is based on Amazon’s announcement that the global pool for July will be at least $11 million, and that last month, the number of pages read was almost 1.9 billion.
I think that his estimate is a little high (KU subscribers will read more pages) but I also think it is in the same neighborhood as the per KENPC payment for this month. That's good for authors because they can now use that estimate to calculate how much they might get paid for each book.
An author can calculate the payment they'll get for a book by finding the book's KENPC and multiplying it by the estimated royalty payment. Amazon says you can see a book's KENPC listed on the "Promote and Advertise" page in the author's Bookshelf (they can also see the total pages read on their Sales Dashboard report).
Amazon is letting authors opt out of KDP Select if they disagree with the new payment terms, but that's a tough decision to make when an author doesn't know how much money they could be earning.
but now we know that if a reader finishes a book with a KENPC of 100 then the author will be paid around 58 cents.
That is considerably less than the $1.35 Amazon was paying for an ebook loaned during April 2015, but then again Amazon was paying that fee for each short story or novel read by a subscriber, no matter the length. That tended to reward shorter works over longer ones, but the new system removes the financial incentive to split a work into multiple units.
Instead authors will be rewarded for volume. That means that some could be tempted to write even more short stories and novellas so they can stuff Kindle Unlimited with their work, but I don't know at this time whether that trick will be successful.
What do you think?
Is the half a cent per page worth it?
I would like to say that this is the better option than what Scribd did yesterday when they reduced their romance catalog from 30,000 titles to around 8,000 titles. But to be honest that argument smacks of Amazon fanboyism but it is still some truth to it.
P.S. Here's Amazon's explanation for the Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count (KENPC): "We calculate KENPC based on standard settings (e.g. font, line height, line spacing, etc.), and we use KENPC to measure the number of pages customers read in your book, starting with the Start Reading Location (SRL) to the end of your book. Amazon typically sets SRL at chapter 1 so readers can start reading the core content of your book as soon as they open it. Non-text elements within books including images, charts and graphs will count toward a book’s KENPC."