How Does Kindle Unlimited Work for Authors?

Kindle Unlimited offered by Amazon allows readers to access a vast library of eBooks, magazines, and audiobooks. While it offers a convenient way for avid readers to discover and enjoy new titles, it can also offer considerable benefits for authors.

Wondering how does Kindle Unlimited work for authors? We’re going over everything you need to know about the subscription service and how it can help you expand your reach as an author.

What Is Kindle Unlimited Publishing?

Kindle Unlimited Publishing allows authors to publish and distribute their books in the Kindle format to millions of readers worldwide who have signed up for the subscription service. With Kindle Unlimited, authors can reach a vast audience and earn royalties from their work, all while giving readers the opportunity to access a wide range of titles for a monthly subscription fee.

How Do Authors Get Paid on Kindle Unlimited?

Authors get paid for the number of pages a Kindle Unlimited subscriber reads. Once downloaded, Kindle Unlimited subscribers can read your book multiple times over – but you will only be paid for the pages read the first time around.

Subscribers will pay a fixed monthly fee to access books in the Kindle Unlimited library. When a subscriber borrows and reads your eBook, you may earn a share of the KDP Select Global Fund. You’ll earn royalties based on the number of pages read by Kindle Unlimited users, rather than the traditional royalties per copy sold.

In other words, the more pages that are read by subscribers the first time around, the more money you may earn. This may prompt some authors to increase the length of their books, however, ultimately what will monetize best is a captivating story. So we don’t recommend getting too hung up on page count.

Understanding How the Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count (KENPC) Works

KENPC is a way for Kindle Unlimited to track and measure the number of pages read. It’s a formula that takes into account standard formatting settings (such as font, line height, and line spacing). Even non-text elements, such as images and graphs, will count towards your eBook’s KENPC.

How to Get Paid By Kindle Unlimited?

Generally, Amazon will pay you according to the same payment schedule and payment method for other Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) sales and royalties. Keep in mind that you will need to follow KDP’s policies in order to receive payment.

To get paid for your work on Kindle Unlimited, make sure to do the following:

Enrollment in KDP

Authors who want their books to be available through Kindle Unlimited must enroll in KDP Select, a program offered by Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). This means agreeing to make the eBook exclusive to Kindle and not available through other platforms.

Take Advantage of Promotional Opportunities

Enrolling in Kindle Unlimited provides authors with promotional opportunities such as Kindle Countdown Deals and Free Book Promotions. These tools can be used to increase visibility and attract readers.

Track Your Earnings

You can track your Kindle Unlimited performance through the KDP dashboard, which provides data on pages read, royalties earned, and the overall performance of enrolled books.

Benefits of Kindle Unlimited for Authors

As an author, Kindle Unlimited Publishing offers several benefits. For starters, the Kindle Unlimited program can offer quite a competitive royalty program while being relatively accessible. This provides an opportunity for you to earn money from your work based on your book’s popularity and engagement – while also benefiting from the built-in exposure that comes with Kindle Unlimited.

Kindle Unlimited is available in multiple countries, which allows you to reach a global audience. Your earnings will be based on worldwide subscribers who read your pages.

Kindle Unlimited Publishing can be a win-win for both authors and readers. The platform allows authors to share their stories and earn royalties, while also giving readers access to a wealth of books at an affordable price.

Drawbacks of Kindle Unlimited for Authors

Kindle Unlimited can come with a considerable amount of restrictions. For starters, authors must commit to keeping their eBooks exclusive to Kindle while enrolled in KDP Select. This means your eBook cannot be available on other platforms during the enrollment period, which is a minimum of 90 days. 

Also, when a book is enrolled in the KDP program, you may no longer be eligible to receive royalties from regular sales of your book.

Navigating the Pages: Kindle Unlimited’s Impact on Authors

By enrolling your book in Kindle Unlimited, authors can make their works available to subscribers who pay a fixed monthly fee for access to a vast library of eBooks and audiobooks. The royalty structure, based on the number of pages read, offers a unique compensation system, and authors benefit from promotional tools and global reach. However, the exclusivity requirement demands careful consideration, as it restricts the availability of enrolled books on other platforms.

Wondering if it’s the right decision? Take a look at our guide as to whether you should sell your book on Amazon.


How do authors benefit from enrolling their books in Kindle Unlimited?

Authors benefit from higher visibility and exposure as their books are included in the Kindle Unlimited library, which is available to millions of subscribers. They earn royalties based on the number of pages read by Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

Are there any limitations or restrictions on authors who enroll in Kindle Unlimited?

Yes, authors who enroll in Kindle Unlimited must make their books exclusive to Amazon’s Kindle platform during the enrollment period, which means their books cannot be available on any other platforms or in physical formats. However, they can still choose to offer paperback versions of their books separately.

How are royalties calculated for authors under Kindle Unlimited?

Authors are paid on a per-page-read basis. Amazon keeps track of the number of pages read by Kindle Unlimited subscribers and authors receive a share of the monthly Kindle Unlimited Global Fund, based on the proportion of their pages read compared to the total pages read across all enrolled books.