21 Sep / Lost pages
My first novel, ‘Found, Near Water’ was last updated through Kindle Direct Publishing in October last year. Due to an upcoming sale, I decided it was time I gave it a revamp to update it with my later works and also formulate the ebook a bit better with the things I’ve learned in the last eleven months.
So far, so good. The updated file looked amazing compared to the original. The pages linked up properly (instead of having half the dedication on the copyright page, etc, etc) and I had a nice shiny new end-piece to show I wasn’t a one-hit wonder.
I uploaded the lovely new file into Amazon, and waited for the bookshelf to update.
Less than twelve hours later I was told my book had been published, and the shiny new version was now available for download to any new purchasers.
Except today I went into my Bookshelf and discovered that forty-five pages of my book have disappeared.
Not for the readers, they still get the whole thing, but for my KENPC or Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count.
Where, previously, they’d clocked in at 366 pages, they’d now dropped down to 321.
Where did they go?
With a horrible feeling of doom, I checked that the entire book had actually made it across to the publishing platform. Uploading a copy into Calibre, I made sure that each and every page was exactly where it should be. It was.
So what had changed? Should better formatting result in a lower royalty?
The answer is IDK and NO!
At least, looking about on the Kindle boards, it appears that other people have encountered this problem. Some people changed a few words and reloaded to find a hundred pages gone, and others did the same to gain an extra forty.
I’d never worried about the secret formula that Amazon used to calculate the KENPC. For my books, until today, the results had been in line with the word count, and then the rest was just unknowable made-up stuff. Like all your best business partners should have.
Looking through the vast array of commentary, it appears that the worse your formatting, the higher the page count.
If I load up a file already in .mobi format, then my page count would be expected to tumble. If I loaded up a file in .docx then I could expect a wee boon from the page fairies.
The problem being, that if I’ve created a mobi file, it’s going to look a hell of a lot better than if I chuck a word document in there and let the programming elves convert it.
Somebody pointed out that if I took an ePub file and converted it to a mobi file then I might gain my extra pages back. I don’t know whether I would or not; I couldn’t in good conscience upload the result because the conversion decided that what the reading public is hankering for are extra Tables of Content.
The one at the front was mine, and looked okay, but I’m not sure about the ones that got affixed to the back. Kind of irrelevant by the time you make it that far.
But what does this goobledegook all mean at the end of the day?
I think I’ll be about 22c worse off every time somebody reads by first novel through the Kindle Unlimited program. Amazon, I think the least you owe me is a cup of coffee.