Kindle Unlimited Payout Drops Below Half a Cent Per Page in October 2015
The Kindle Unlimited payout for October was 0.4809 cents per page, and as you can see from the chart to the right that is the lowest payment Amazon has offered since switching to the new model in July.
Amazon has deliberately allowed the payment to drop over the past 3 months by arbitrarily choosing just how much to boost the monthly payment pool.
Edit: a reader argues in the comments that this post is inaccurate. I disagree, but for the sake of completeness here is the counterpoint he made:
The KU payout per real book page (imaging a printed book) is about one cent per page. The KU payout of about half a cent is per KU KENP page, which is a constructed “page” to account for differences in paging in various ereader devices, phones, tablets, etc. KENP pages run about twice the count of real book pages. Also consider the following: a printed mass-market 300 page paperback book will produce a royalty in trade publishing of about 50 cents a copy–which is about 0.17 cents per page, much less than the 1.00 cents per page of KU for the same book.
Don’t forget: starting in November (this month), Amazon will adjust the payment based on the market where the subscriber is located. (I don’t know exactly what that means, either, and Amazon has declined to provide specific details.)
Here’s the running tally of monthly funding pools:
- 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
- September 2015: $12 million
- October 2015: $12.4 million
image by 401(K) 2013
Daniel Vian November 15, 2015 um 12:05 pm
For people not on the inside, the headline and article are misleading. The KU payout per real book page (imaging a printed book) is about one cent per page. The KU payout of about half a cent is per KU KENP page, which is a constructed "page" to account for differences in paging in various ereader devices, phones, tablets, etc. KENP pages run about twice the count of real book pages. Also consider the following: a printed mass-market 300 page paperback book will produce a royalty in trade publishing of about 50 cents a copy–which is about 0.17 cents per page, much less than the 1.00 cents per page of KU for the same book.
Nate Hoffelder November 15, 2015 um 1:40 pm
Daniel, I don’t think the post or title is inaccurate. Even for print books, a page size is not a standard size. It varies significantly.
But hey, if additional detail will improve the post I am happy to add it. So thanks!
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Smart Debut Author November 15, 2015 um 1:19 pm
what Daniel said.
I slammed my two books into KU the moment I heard they’d be paying by page read. Here’s why:
Book 1: 750 pages = 1200 KENP.
Earnings from a sale at $4.99 = $3.50
KU earnings at $0.048/KENP = $5.75
Book 2: 750 pages = 900 KENP.
Earnings from a sale at $4.99 = $3.50
KU earnings at $0.048/KENP = $4.30
Plus, the KU rank bump is measurably increasing my organic sales, too.
When it comes to other retailers, I’m not giving up much, because there isn’t much there.
I know. I’ve been featured on-device on the Nook, and been ranked top 5 in their store multiple times. I’ve been top 5 on Kobo US. And top 50 on Apple. I know how many books those other stores move. And it ain’t much.
Amazon could drop their KU payout to $0.0038 cents a page, and I’d still make more on a KU read than a $5 sale.
Smart Debut Author November 15, 2015 um 1:24 pm
Book 2 is 450 pages, I meant.
Smart Debut Author November 15, 2015 um 1:40 pm
Don’t get me wrong: not knowing what arbitrary amount you’re gonna get paid per page until the end of the month is some clown-ass bullshit. But it’s lucrative bullshit. And when it ceases to be, I’ll leave KU and go wide again.
Rick Murcer November 17, 2015 um 9:58 am
How did you get the KU/page number when it won’t be released until around the 28th of November?
Nate Hoffelder November 17, 2015 um 10:03 am
Do you mean, how did I get the half a cent figure?
Amazon informed authors on 13 November how much they would earn from KU for October loans, and then the authors did the math and shared their data. I got my figure from MobileRead, and confirmed it from a couple other authors.
Erik November 17, 2015 um 11:31 am
This is actually pretty concerning. You can argue all day about whether it is a penny or half a cent per page. The thing you should be looking at is the point of the article. In just 4 months since its inception, the program had dropped over 17% in payouts. If it were a business and your livelihood depended on it (which most indies do), 17% losses is considered a failing business. If Amazon keeps trending this way then the people arguing semantics will be praying for the 0.17 cents per page of a paperback.
I’m pretty sure the point of the article was to highlight this decline and to indicate the volatility and uncertainty of KU since Amazon can just arbitrarily decide how much they will contribute to the pool.
As long as they are a publicly traded company, we will ALWAYS take back seat to the shareholders who demand higher profits. So the easiest place to squeeze profits ids from their suppliers (us) to appease the profiteers.
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Anis January 8, 2016 um 5:37 pm
Daniel Vian. I didn’t get your point ,I mean are you saying that this new kindle unlimited payout per page is a scam or what ?And did you say that one page of an ebook which would be read by the reader ,will be more expensive than a page of a paper book? and what do you mean by KU KENP page and KU
please I really need the answer
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