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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.

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