Are People Reading Your Book Cover to Cover?
Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) announced they will be changing their royalty payment structure for all books sold to Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle Lending Library via the Kindle Select program on July 1 2015.
Up till now if your Kindle book is enrolled in the Kindle Select program your royalties for Kindle Unlimited and borrowed books is calculated according to the number of downloads.
Now Amazon is completely changing the game…
Instead of getting paid per downloads you will be paid by number of pages read.
This can’t be great news for most authors.
Since Amazon does not release any formal statistics it is hard to know exactly what percentage of books downloaded are read cover to cover. But it is safe to assume that a large number of downloaded books are not completed by the customer.
Be Careful What You Complain About!
Amazon claims to have made these massive changes to royalty structure based on complaints from authors about shorter books get the same royalties as longer books when downloaded by Kindle Unlimited users or borrowed.
Of course there is more effort that goes into writing a longer book and while in my opinion authors should be rewarded for that, this new royalty system for Kindle versions seems harsh.
After all when you buy a printed book in a store, the author doesn’t get paid according to how many pages you read!
It may just be that Amazon has made these changes to shut up authors who have consistently complained about the Kindle unlimited program, even though it only affects authors selling in large volume.
Now it seems that authors selling in large volume will be in for a rude awakening when they discover the real stats of how many pages of their books are actually being read.
Calculating How Many Pages Are Read
Since Kindle books are read on many different devices with varying screen sizes, Amazon came up with a way to determine the page count of your book and how much of it has been read. This calculation is called the KENPC (Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count).
Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count (KENPC v1.0)
The Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count calculation is based on basic settings like line height, font (some fonts take up more space), line spacing and other considerations to determine the length of your book.
Amazon then begins counting how much your book has been devoured starting at chapter 1 of your book; the Start Reading Location (SRL).
In addition to the book text content, non-text elements within books including images, charts and graphs will count toward a book’s KENPC.
You’ll be able to see your book’s KENPC listed on the “Promote and Advertise” page in your KDP Bookshelf.
What You Should Do
Time will tell whether there will be a mass exodus of authors from the Kindle Select program following these royalty changes.
One thing’s for sure, there are many more elements you now need to account for when publishing your book to Kindle under the Amazon Kindle Select program.
If your Kindle books are currently enrolled in the Kindle Select program, you can make a quick decision to remove them from there starting July 1 by contacting Amazon via your KDP contact link.
If you decide to take advantage of the many advertising opportunities available to authors enrolled in Kindle Select, you may decide to wait a couple of months and study your reader’s behaviour. How many pages are they reading? You will be able to see this information in your Sales Dashboard report.
Then, take this information and either add elements to your books to increase the chances of getting read cover to cover or make the most out of one Kindle Select enrollment period and leave…
What do you think of these changes?
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