KENP – What is it good for?

New Markets

KENP stands for Kindle Edition Normalized Pages. If an author enrols their book in KDP Select then Amazon customer who are members of either Kindle Unlimited (KU) or Kindle Owners Lending Library (KOLL) get to read that book at no further cost to themselves. Amazon pay royalty to the author based on how many pages have been read. Although Amazon claims that an author can earn as much as $2000 for a book 200 pages long I have never earned anything close to this figure, my current royalty is listed as £1.25 ($1.67)! I have five novels enrolled in KDP Select and all of them are over 200 pages long but my royalty payments are paltry.

To be honest the money is not the real issue. It is a fact of life in ePublishing that reviews drive sales. The more reviews book has the more likely a browsing reader is going to stop, have a look, and maybe buy a book that has plenty of positive reviews. I might be wrong but it seems to me that KENP customer do not leave reviews. Despite having plenty of pages read I am not aware of any of my books receiving a review as a result under this system. This situation has led me to wondering if KDP Select is worth anything to me at all?

Exclusivity can be very beneficial if it brings with it certain, well, benefits. When I began publishing my work with Amazon it certainly appeared to be worthwhile, I was selling about 1000 books a year. As time has passed the number of books in the marketplace has increased enormously. I am a reader of eBooks as well as a writer and I have to admit that the quality of many books on offer is rather poor. I do not believe that the quota of bad to good books is as large as some people have suggested but it is probably greater than that in the traditional publishing medium. Obviously, this is because there are no quality checks in the eBook markets, either with Amazon or any other publisher. I have read complaints from several would-be eBook readers who have been put off because their first attempts of finding a book has resulted in them finding only badly written stories, which is a pity. As it stands both a good and a bad book can be enrolled into KDP Select. The only merit that this enrolment brings, in my opinion, is that KU and KOLL customers get to read it for free, although KU carries with it a monthly subscription and KOLL is a part of Amazon Prime, and that Amazon pay a pittance to the author.

There are other marketplaces out there other than Amazon of course. Yes, Amazon is just about the biggest at the moment but that does not mean that It is the best. If I choose not to enrol my books in KDP Select then what will I really be losing? A few pounds a month at worst. Now, if Amazon required or even encouraged their KU and KOLL customer to write even a basic review with an accompanying star rating for the books that they got to read I could see a genuine benefit to the exclusivity, but they do not. I cannot help wondering why this is? It seems to me that if readers exploiting the KDP Select exclusivity did submit reviews then this would help improve the quality of books available to them. In turn this would improve the perception of the eBook generally and this in turn would lead to more sales, which is surely what a business like Amazon wants is not it?

As things stand I see less and less appeal in remaining exclusive to Amazon. My books end their KDP Select enrolment at the end of this month and I have already deselected the the tick-box for automatic inclusion for another three months while I go and look at other market places. It seems to me that I can afford to lose £1.25 if it results in finding a wider audience out there, beyond the realm of Amazon.


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