For self-published authors, Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited (KU), version two, Kindle Edition Normalized Pages (KENP) Read, will, or perhaps already has become the absolute game-changer in ebooks.
For as long as I have been self-publishing ebooks, nothing has come close to changing the whole self-publishing ebook game as much as KENP.
At last someone, and in this case, Amazon has managed to find a new, inventive and fair means of rewarding authors, while at the same time, satisfying readers.
But will it work in the long-term?
Will self-publishers win under Kindle Unlimited KENP?
And let’s get one thing clear here. Kindle Unlimited KENP totally favours self-publishing authors, as the big five publishers have, as yet, decided to stay out of the game.
So here is a golden opportunity for self-published authors to garner new readers, earn a fair return and make some money. Thank you, Amazon!
While a set price for an ebook borrow was all well and good under Kindle Unlimited version one, it had a serious problem.
There was no guarantee at all that the borrower actually read the ebook. So to be paid for an unread borrow was nice, but not all that fair to anyone.
But under KENP, the return for an author is in pages of an ebook being read. Isn’t this the whole point of being an author?
Not only this but even if a reader fails to finish an ebook, which is far more often that one would like to admit, an author gets paid. This is very, very fair.
There’s a lot of money in the pot
Additionally, Amazon has really upped the ante, so to speak, by making the Kindle Unlimited (KU) monthly pool for KENP, well, damn huge.
From around $3 million under version one to about $11 million under KENP.
While I am only guessing here, I would venture to say that this is a ‘loss leader’ exercise for Amazon.
Something which it has done many times before to capture a market, and then as time goes by, turn it into a profit after having reduced (ie: killed, pulverised and destroyed) most of its competitors.
Apart from the competitive market dynamics at work here, self-published authors have a huge opportunity right now.
As more and more subscribers join Kindle Unlimited in the various Kindle Store regional markets, these subscribers will, almost totally, be offered self-published titles because the big five, and other traditional publishers are out of the game.
It’s now a one-click game for readers, who pay their $9.99 Kindle Unlimited membership subscription each month.
One small box to tick that favours self-published authors to the maximum!
Of course, there is one downside to this fantastic opportunity, and that is that an author will need to enrol in Kindle Direct Publishing Select (KDPS) and give Amazon exclusive rights to their ebooks to be able to have their ebooks listed in KU.
This debate has raged for as long as KDP Select has been in existence, but now there is a very serious reason to reconsider whether or not an author is prepared to forego other retailers and put all their eggs in Amazon’s basket.
Perhaps, KU and KENP have made a difficult decision even more difficult to avoid.
Long is in, but shorts are out
While KENP returns between $0.004 and $0.005 per page read, this is good for a full-length novel, compared to say a selling price of $2.99 to $4.99.
But for novellas, it might not be such a good return. In a recent post, Joe Konrath gives his findings on KU KENP. As a leader in self-publishing, his post and earning statement makes for compelling reading. He says:
So my KU income doubled under the new payment system. I have no idea what to attribute the extra twelve hundred in sales to, but it’s pretty clear that KU 2.0 benefits me.
Food for thought?
I am definitely not a bestselling author, but I am very happy with my little micro-niche.
However, with KU 2.0, I have experienced exactly the same surge as Joe Konrath.
My income is up by almost doubled since the introduction of Kindle Unlimited KENP.
Now that is something I have never experienced before.
So all I can say is – Kindle Unlimited KENP is a game, and income earning changer.
Further reading: Kindle Unlimited Has A Problem – It Can’t Count Words
I started my working life as a lithographer and then spent over 30 years in the printing and publishing business.
Originally from Australia, I moved to Switzerland 20 years ago. My days are spent teaching English, writing and wrestling with technology while enjoying my glorious view of the Alps.
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