On July 1st, Amazon will be switching up the model of how they pay royalties to self-publishing authors through their KDP Select Program. Amazon explains the switch of operations on their website:
“We’re making this switch in response to great feedback we received from authors who asked us to better align payout with the length of books and how much customers read. Under the new payment method, you’ll be paid for each page individual customers read of your book, the first time they read it.”
Through the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library (a perk of Amazon Prime) and the Kindle Unlimited subscription ($9.99/month subscription service), customers can access a massive catalogue of e-books, which they can “check out,” including access to titles through the KDP Program.
The KDP Program is a way for authors to self-publish exclusively on Amazon. Until this change in royalties, authors were paid based on how many times a customer adds their book to their library. This new change is similar to how Spotify operates, where artists receive royalties based on the popularity of their track.
Since the length of an e-book can vary (depending on what device you are using), Amazon has created a “standardized approach” to determine how many pages of an e-book have been read each month – The Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count (KENP).
The KENP is calculated by standard settings (such as font, line height, line spacing, etc.) to measure the number of pages customers read in the book. It starts at the “Start Reading Location,” which is Chapter 1 of the book. Authors who try to lengthen the amount of pages in their book through long introductions thanking all of their contributors and friends will not be paid for those pages.