Kindle Unlimited Payment Dipped in August 2015 as KU Passes Nook Store in Terms of Revenue Generated

Kindle-UnlimitedAmazon has released the monthly stats on its streaming ebook service, Kindle Unlimited.

The retailer hasn’t told us the number of subscribers, but we do know that in August 2015 publishers and authors were paid from a pool worth $11.8 million.

According to the two authors who (quietly) sent me info, Amazon paid authors about $0.0051 per page read. That is down from the $0.0058 that Amazon paid authors in July 2015, with the decline due to the sharp increase in the number of pages read (2.23 billion, up from 2 billion pages read last month).

There is little commentary on the news just yet, but I do have one interesting datum for you: In terms of revenue paid to authors and publishers, Kindle Unlimited is now larger than the Nook Store.

B&N’s latest quarterly report revealed last week just how far B&N’s ebook empire has fallen. Not only were B&N digital revenues smaller last quarter than they had ever been before, the share paid to authors and publishers were also smaller than the amount Amazon paid out for Kindle Unlimited.

B&N sold $37 million worth of digital content in the May-July fiscal quarter, while Amazon paid $33.6 million to authors and publishers who had in Kindle Unlimited.

It’s past time to call it; Kindle Unlimited is one of the world’s largest ebook services.

So where do you think KU ranks on the list, before or after Kobo and Google Play Books?

P.S. The previous monthly pools were worth:

  • May 2014: $1.2 million
  • June 2014: $1.2 million
  • July: $2.5 million (Kindle Unlimited launches early in the month)
  • August: $4.7 million
  • September: $5 million
  • October: $5.5 million
  • November 2014: $6.5 million
  • December 2014: $7.25 million
  • January 2015 – $8.5 million
  • February 2015: $8 million
  • March 2015: $9.3 million
  • April 2015: $9.8 million
  • May 2015: $10.8 million
  • June 2015: $11.3 million
  • July 2015: $11.5 million
  • August 2015: $11.8 million

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Daniel Vian15 September, 2015

    Nate says: “According to the two authors who (quietly) sent me info, Amazon paid authors about $0.0051 per page read. That is down slightly from the $0.0058 that Amazon paid authors in July 2015…”

    It’s a drop of 12.1%, which is significant.

    1. Nate Hoffelder15 September, 2015

      you’re right. That is a big change.

  2. Will Entrekin16 September, 2015

    2.23 billion, up from 2 billion pages read last month

    Am I reading that right? Last month 230 million more pages were read? If a book is 300 pages, that’s like seven million books more.

    That’s pretty stunning.

    1. Nate Hoffelder16 September, 2015

      About, yes.

  3. fjtorres16 September, 2015

    7 million full books read.
    That’s about a million new subscribers.
    Unless they’re romance readers defecting from Scribd. 😉

  4. Daniel Vian16 September, 2015

    Maybe it’s worth pointing out that at the present rate Amazon is paying out to KU authors $142 million a year. There are authors in KU who have millions of pages of their writing read each month. And there are authors who have hardly any pages read. Since each author chooses what they write about and how they write it, and gets it published within a few hours after the work is finished, and keeps all property rights, this is maybe a significant revolution in the writing game.

  5. TheSFReader17 September, 2015

    “It’s a drop of 12.1%, which is significant.” On the other hand, the number of read pages has raised from roughly 10%, so IF it’s the same number of authors, all in all the authors get paid roughly the same.

  6. […] the past 18 months I have been arguing that  Kindle Unlimited was one of the major ebook channels in its own right just based on what it was paying publishers and authors each […]

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