HOW GOOD ARE KINDLE UNLIMITED RETURNS?

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I have completed a quick analysis of the US KENP rates over the past 15 months. I wanted to investigate the returns from Kindle Unlimited in the USA, and compare these with the royalty from eBook sales. For the analysis, I chose my best selling book, The Black Orchestra, which carries a selling price of $4.99. The average royalty on US sales for this book is about $3.39


The first chart shows how the KENP rate has changed each month. The red line is the page rate that equates to the sales royalty, ie.e $3.39/650. You will see that the KENP return has been consistently lower than the royalty from a sale, although between October and December 2016 it came close. In November, the return from Kindle Unlimited was greater than the sales revenue!

Another way of looking at this is to ask: How many KENPages would a book have to have for the KENP revenue to equate to the sales royalty? My book has a KENPage count of 650. Chart 2 shows the answer to this question. Over the period of the analysis, a $4.99 book would have needed an average of 700 KENPages in order for the KENP revenue to equate to the sales royalty. That’s an 8% increase. The actual page count of the paperback version of my book is 344, an 8% increase would push it up to 370 pages.

An identical analysis for a book selling at $3.99 with only 425 KENPages gives a breakeven KENPage count of 560. That’s 32.5%. The paperback equivalent numbers are: actual page count: 265, breakeven page count 350.

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