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Friday, January 20, 2017

What is KENPC?

Remember the big brouhaha a year or so ago when it was discovered a few independent authors using Kindle Unlimited were committing fraud by uploading humungous book files, having people zip the Kindle page slider from beginning to end, then claiming an unfair proportion of the Global Select fund? The effect was there was less of the pie for the legitimate books on the market. Legitimate authors were getting paid less than they should have. Well, Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and Amazon put an end to that in more ways than one.

I am an author whose publisher is now publishing exclusively on Amazon in order to take advantage of Kindle Unlimited since that is a service to which many of our readers subscribe. I have an interest in knowing what Kindle Direct Publishing is doing, particularly regarding Kindle Unlimited. 

First of all, KDP changed the rules regarding the size of the files that can be paid for on Kindle Unlimited. They will only pay for 3,000 pages. An author or publisher may upload a giant manuscript file of say, 100,000 pages, but Kindle Unlimited will only pay for 3,000 of those pages. The fraudulent ten million page book days are over.

Second, KDP developed what they call Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count (KENPC v2.0). KENPC—that’s quite the acronym, isn’t it? Hey, I’m a retired federal employee, and we love our “alphabet soup,” but I’ll have to admit that is a doozey.

To quote from the KDP website regarding how they figure page counts for Kindle Unlimited:

To determine a book's page count in a way that works across genres and devices, we developed the Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count (KENPC). KENPC is calculated using standard formatting settings (font, line height, line spacing, etc.). We use KENPC to measure the number of pages customers read in your book, starting with the Start Reading Location (SRL) to the end of your book. Amazon typically sets SRL at chapter 1 so readers can start reading the core content of your book as soon as they open it. Non-text elements within books including images, charts and graphs will count toward a book’s KENPC.

Why did they go to that? Let’s face it. Different authors like to format their manuscripts differently: different fonts, different point sizes for those fonts, single space as opposed to double space or somewhere in between. It is possible when Kindle Unlimited came out, some authors tried to influence their page counts by using larger fonts and/or point sizes. And, I have also heard complaints by indie authors who claim the number of manuscript pages on their computer they upload on KPD and the number of pages they are given credit for on KDP don’t even come close.

Here’s why. That KENPC program takes whatever an author or publisher uploads into KDP and standardizes it. It creates for your manuscript what are known as Kindle Edition Normalized Pages (KENP). That means, no matter what font you used on your manuscript, it is going to be changed to the KENP default font. Same with font size and line spacing.

I have it on good authority from some indie friends of mine that the page count you see on your book description is not necessarily the same page count for which you will be paid. In fact, an author or publisher can influence the page count that shows on your book description by the type of file they upload. For example, uploading a epub file will generally generate a larger page count than a Word document.

The only time that may be a benefit is for the sake of promoting a book on an advertising vendor that requires a book to be at least 100 pages. If your Word file comes out as 91 pages on your book description, and your KENP on which you get paid is 159, it won't do you any good in those instances since the promotion vendor cant's see your KENP. Only your publisher can.

If a publisher like Prairie Rose Publications and its imprints creates a CreateSpace file for paperback publication, they can enter the actual page count from the print book. (How do I know my publisher does that? Because that is the format they use for the galleys they send me for final edits.) That page count will tend to be higher than the default page count that results from uploading a regular Word document, even though both have the name number of words. 

The important thing for an author to know is, no matter what kind of file is uploaded, when it comes to Amazon’s KDP determining how many pages your book has for Kindle Unlimited payment, they use the page count that results from them grinding and churning your book file—be it Word, pdf, mobi, epub or html—through their—here we go again—KENPC software to create your standardized KENP pages.

So, don’t worry someone is going to get paid a bigger portion of the Kindle Unlimited pie just because they will have more pages after using a 24 point Verdana font on the manuscript they uploaded on KDP and your publisher only used 12 point Times New Roman. It ain’t gonna happen.

1 comment:

  1. I'm embarrassed that I missed this article when you posted it. I still don't have a handle on the ins and outs of KDP, KENP, KENPC, et al, but I have a much better understanding after reading your article. Thank you for that. *grin*