Amazon’s New “Great on Kindle” Program Offers 50% Royalty to Non-Fiction Titles

For a period of about 5 hours in January, Amazon mistakenly offered a 50% royalty rate. No one knew what it meant at the time, but now we do.

Amazon has a new promo program called Great on Kindle. According to a discussion on KBoards, the program launched some time in February, but it only crossed my desk today due to a tip (thanks, Joanna).

This program is invite-only and is still in beta, and according to Amazon “Great on Kindle is an Amazon program to help customers discover high-quality nonfiction eBooks. Great on Kindle eBooks offer enhanced features that readers value. ”

Authors are asked to join the program via emails like this:

According to the email (which more or less reiterates the relevant page in KDP’s help pages) Great in Kindle gives authors a new royalty option of 50% on their non-fiction titles.

The books have to meet certain quality standards to be considered Amazon asks authors to:

  1. Make sure all images are high resolution
  2. Make sure Enhanced Typesetting is enabled
  3. Enter unique, accurate book details
  4. Enable X-Ray
  5. Correct any typos or formatting errors
  6. Set up an Author Page

Amazon also asks that authors price their book between $5 and $20. If an author meets all the requirements, their non-fiction title is eligible for the program. If the author opts in, their book will gain the following benefits.

  • A detail page message that identifies it as a high-quality book
  • Promotional credit offers for customers (don’t worry, this won’t affect your royalty)
  • Nominations for potential merchandising opportunities

This is a great opportunity for authors.

While it looks like a cut to the royalty rate, appearances can be deceiving. This program is targeted at books that either cost more than $10 (and thus were earning the 35% royalty) or have enough high resolution images that Amazon’s silly “delivery fee” effectively reduced the royalty rate to 50% to 55% (no one actually gets the 70% royalty – that’s just one of the accepted lies we all tell).

In short, this is a carrot, not a stick.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. […] in the 50% royalty plan must be priced between 4.99 and 19.99 USD, or 5.99 and 24.99 GBP. Nate Hoffelder at The Digital Reader points out that this could be a great opportunity for those authors who have many high quality […]


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