On August 1, 2017 Amazon KDP announced the release of the third iteration of the Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count (KENPC) system. In case you’re not in the loop about this, KENPC is a unified page counting system that Amazon uses to track the pages read of kindle book’s borrowed through the Kindle Unlimited and KOLL programs. KENPC is also used to pay self-publishers for these pages read, which is why any changes to KENPC do have a significant impact for anyone who has chosen to enroll their book(s) in KDP Select.
Let’s take a look at what exactly they have decided to change and improve.
Here’s the email that they sent out to all Kindle Direct Publishing newsletter subscribers:
What they say in the email regarding changes is quite vague:
“This release makes a number of improvements to how we determine the length of books relative to one another and how we measure pages read.“
Judging from what KDP has said, it seems to be a less significant than the iteration from KENPC V1.0 to KENPC v2.0.
I looked further into what the information on KDP’s site says regarding this. Here’s some of what caught my attention:
“We always support our authors’ efforts to promote their books, but at the same time we work to prevent any manipulation of the Kindle platform.
We do not permit authors to offer, or participate in marketing that incentivizes Kindle Unlimited or Kindle Owners’ Lending Library customers to read their books 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 always looking to improve our authors’ experience, we have systems in place to monitor for potential manipulation.”
The Kindle Unlimited Scammer Issue
If you’re an active member of the self-publisher community and just have been exploring Amazon’s book market, you may be aware of people – scammers – who have been cheating Amazon’s system and taking advantage of KENPC in an unfair way. They have been using bot driven KU accounts to create click farms, to drive up their KENP pages read, whilst downloading other books as well to cloak the fact that these are fake accounts created for the sole purpose of getting KENP pages read for their books.
We will never know for certain if this update will take care of the scammer issue since Amazon likes to be secretive and is unlikely to admit to KENPC’s shortcomings thus far. To me, however, it’s quite clear that this update has made some serious moves towards eliminating the possibility of cheating the system.
Yes, they might sometimes be slow in implementing changes and it may seem that they are not listening to the community, however, they are smart people and I am sure that they do understand that a few scammers being able to manipulate their system in such a way is a serious issue for them and the whole system for a whole host of reasons.
Whilst we, self-publishers, might be unsatisfied with about this (and rightly so) and some may think that they are a giant behemoth of a company which doesn’t really care about issues like these. But… we also have to remember that it is far from easy running such a large and complex platform with many moving parts on all ends. Especially, a platform that is venturing into new areas like these.
Just trying to be objective here and to see things from their perspective (don’t burn me at the stake, please ?).
How will this impact your KENP pages read?
Well, Amazon says: “We expect payouts to the vast majority of authors to be largely unchanged as a result of these updates.”
What self-publishers have reported is very inconclusive to say the least. It varies from: “I have had a 15% drop” to “not affected at all” to “I have had a 300% increase for pages read”.
To check how many KENPC pages your book has, click the “Promote and Advertise” Button.
Your book’s KENPC page count will be displayed in the bottom field titled “Earn royalties”.
And as usual, to see your the KENP pages read for your books head over to the reports tab in your KDP dashboard. You can have compare the results before and after August 1 to make out whether KENPC 3 has affected your KENP page count.
Time will tell how exactly KENPC 3.0 will change the per page payout rates, if it will do so at all. It most likely won’t have a dramatic impact.
Here’s a table with all the KENPC per page payout rates over the past year:
In Summary about KENPC 3:
- The version 3 updates are:
- how KDP determines the page count of books relative to one another to ‘level the playing field’
- how pages read are counted
- The update has impacted self-publishers KENP page count in different ways, a conclusion still is to be drawn about the exact changes
- Through this update Amazon KDP seems to have made steps to stop the KU scammers
What are your thoughts about the new version of KENPC? Feel free to leave a comment and let us know.