Amazon’s 70% royalty program now live

Amazon have finally followed through on the new royalty option they first mentioned back in January.

Before I continue, I want to point out the time that Amazon posted this release (about 9AM EST). That's very unusual. I've been getting Amazon press releases for the past couple years now, and they usually post a release just after midnight my time.  The fact they didn't post this release at the usual time might be a sign of how rattled they are. I can give you 2 recent examples.

Monday of this week, Amazon announced the new iPad features (release was posted around midnight) and the Android app (release was posted mid afternoon). The first was  a planned announcement; the second was a response to what the financial analyst said about Amazon. And last week Amazon dropped the price of the Kindle (release was posted barley 7 hours after the Nook announcement).

The royalty offer is pretty simple:

  • title must be in copyright
  • Amazon has to get the best price of any format (no more than 80% of lowest selling option)
  • title needs to be made available for sale in all geographies for which the author or publisher has rights
  • list price must be between $2.99 and $9.99

And this offer is 70% - delivery cost.

Delivery costs are based on file size, and pricing is set at $0.15/MB. At today's median DTP file size of 368KB, delivery costs would be less than $0.06 per unit sold. For example, on an $8.99 book an author would make $3.15 with the standard option and $6.25 with the new 70 percent option. This new option, first announced in January 2010, will be in addition to and will not replace the existing DTP standard royalty option.

About Nate Hoffelder (11466 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

1 Comment on Amazon’s 70% royalty program now live

  1. I definitely support this decision. It’s going to help independent publishers and authors by providing a better opportunity to make a decent living. It’s going to increase the number of original works published because people will be given a real channel to release their works that will better support them as well. Was this a smart move by Amazon? I think so. Amazon has put itself in a position to become the goto source for authors looking to get their work distributed AND the goto source for readers looking to find new content to read about. What’s amazing is it looks like Amazon is winning on BOTH fronts and in effect, created a very powerful business ecosystem that continuously feeds itself. On the side of the ebook merchant, their Kindle application is become THE platform for purchasing books, no matter what device you own. The ability to purchase one, read anywhere will be a very attractive option for most ebook consumers. And on the other side, this new 70% royalty program will likely prove to be the most appealing option for authors and publishers as well. Barnes and Noble will have a tough time matching Amazon with their new PubIt! platform, which is unfortunate since they only made the announcement 2 weeks ago.

    Good post and thanks for the news.


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