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:
- Make sure all images are high resolution
- Make sure Enhanced Typesetting is enabled
- Enter unique, accurate book details
- Enable X-Ray
- Correct any typos or formatting errors
- 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.