Kindle Unlimited—an idea with a long payback for authors …

Kindle Unlimited—an idea with a long payback for authors …


Have you encouraged your eBook readers … your fans … your tribe to participate in Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited?

Think about it.

Did you know that your Kindle eBook is eligible for royalty payments from Kindle Unlimited (KU, or Abonnement Kindle in France) for pages an individual customer reads in your Kindle eBook for the first time?
Did you?
And the new question is … do you have your eBook enrolled so it is available for Unlimited … meaning reading your entire book … and not buying it?
Yup … that’s what I’m saying. Now, if someone clicks on the READ ONLY button … you will start earning a penny (plus/minus) for every page that the READ ONLY viewer clicks through.
Could you make money? Yes … YES you can. I have fiction authors who are gathering mega thousands of pages of reads. One month, he had over 300,000 pages read of his book that created over $2,000 to him.

Amazon customers can read your Kindle eBook as many times as they want when they download it using Kindle Unlimited (KU). But, Amazon will only pay you for the number of pages read the FIRST TIME a customer reads them. This is true even if your KDP Select enrollment period has expired, and you choose not to re-enroll.

In Amazon’s words:


You’ll get one royalty payment for Kindle Unlimited (KU). We’ll pay according to the same payment schedule and payment method you selected for your other KDP sales. We review the size of the KDP Select Global Fund each month to make it compelling for authors to enroll their Kindle eBooks in KDP Select. We announce the fund monthly in our community forum. The share of fund allocated to each country varies based on a number of factors, such as exchange rates, customer reading behavior, and local subscription pricing. Author earnings are then determined by their share of total pages read. They are able to earn a maximum of 3,000 Kindle Edition Normalized Pages(KENPC) read per title per customer.

For example, here’s how we’d calculate royalty payouts if $10 million in funds are available in a given month with 100 million total pages read. (Note: Actual payouts may vary. Check your Prior Month’s Royalty Report to see your earnings):

  • Author with a 100-page Kindle eBookthat was borrowed and read completely 100 times would earn $1,000 ($10 million x 10,000 pages for this author / 100,000,000 total pages).
  • Author of a 200-page Kindle eBookthat was borrowed and read completely 100 times would earn $2,000 ($10 million x 20,000 pages for this author / 100,000,000 total pages).
  • Author of a 200-page Kindle eBookthat was borrowed 100 times but only read halfway through on average would earn $1,000 ($10 million x 10,000 pages for this author / 100,000,000 total pages).

We support our authors’ efforts to promote their Kindle eBooks, but we also work to prevent any manipulation of the Kindle experience.

We do not permit authors to offer, or participate in marketing that incentivizes Kindle Unlimited (KU) customers to read their Kindle eBooks in exchange for compensation of any kind. This includes payment (whether in the form of money or gift certificates), bonus content, entry to a contest or sweepstakes, discounts on future purchases, extra product, or other gifts.

Because we’re continuously looking to improve our authors’ experience, we have systems in place to monitor for potential manipulation.


You can see your Kindle Edition Normalized Pages (KENP) Read in your Reports by marketplace and title. To see historical pages read, click Download report. If you’re enrolled in KDP Select, you will also see the following data on your reports:

For readers to take advantage of Kindle Unlimited, the cost is $9.99 a month. Amazon usually has a signup deal for new subscribers … right now it is two months free before you start paying. DO the Google thing–search for how to subscribe to Kindle Unlimited. With your subscription, you’ll have over 4 million books to select from.

My two bits: if your eBook is already on Amazon and under the Kindle Select program … mark the box to participate in Unlimited. Then do an eblast to all your contacts and let them know that they can read your book for FREE via Unlimited—include a link to your book page. Plus, create a social media campaign announcing that your eBook is available within the Unlimited program.

And here’s a bonus. It is not uncommon to get conversion. As in, the freebie eBook reader wants your book. He or she becomes a book buyer. Click. Nice.



Dr. Judith Briles is a book publishing expert and coach. Often, she must roll up her writing sleeves and become a Book Doctor, juicing up storylines and author words. She empowers authors and works directly with authors who want to be seriously successful and has been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the ’80s. Judith is the author of 44 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book PlatformsSnappy Sassy Salty: Success for Authors and Writers, and How to Create a Million Dollar Speech. Her personal memoir When God Says NO-Revealing the YES When Adversity and Loss Are Present is a #1 bestseller on Amazon and her historical fiction debut Secret Journey. Collectively, her books have earned over 45 book awards. Judith speaks throughout the year at publishing conferences. 

Throughout the year, she holds Judith Briles Book Unplugged in-person and online experiences: Publishing, Speaking, Marketing, and Social Media. All are two-day intensives limited to a small group of authors who want to be seriously successful. Join Judith live for the “AuthorU-Your Guide to Book Publishing” podcast on the Toginet Radio Network HERE

Follow @AuthorUYOUBooks and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorYOU, and join the Facebook group Book Publishing with The Book Shepherd. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact her.

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