Amazon announced details of a new program in which it will provide a new 70% royalty option for the Kindle, meaning authors and publishers can earn more royalties from every Kindle book that is sold. Under this new option, authors would get 70% of the list price, net of delivery costs. The option will not replace the current option of the DTP standard.
"Today, authors often receive royalties in the range of 7 to 15 percent of the list price that publishers set for their physical books, or 25 percent of the net that publishers receive from retailers for their digital books," said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President of Kindle Content. "We're excited that the new 70 percent royalty option for the Kindle Digital Text Platform will help us pay authors higher royalties when readers choose their books."
Could higher royalties help push e-reader devices further into mainstream usage? Many think they are going to get much more popular anyway. When authors and publishers can get more money out of Kindle books, it's going to help push more publication of e-books, if not Kindle-specific titles.
Rory Cellan-Jones at BBC News has an interesting piece, which asks, "Is publishing about to have an iPod moment?" It looks at the very real possibility that e-readers will become much more mainstream.
"...2010 is supposed to be the year that publishing's digital revolution really gathers pace," he notes. "There is now a wide range of e-readers on the market - in the UK devices like the Sony Reader, the Cool-er, and Amazon's Kindle are all making it relatively easy to download and read e-books."
As for the Kindle itself, DTP authors and publishers will be able to select the royalty option that best meets their needs. For that new 70% option, books must meet the following requirements:
- The author or publisher-supplied list price must be between $2.99 and $9.99
- This list price must be at least 20 percent below the lowest physical list price for the physical book
- The title is made available for sale in all geographies for which the author or publisher has rights
- The title will be included in a broad set of features in the Kindle Store, such as text-to-speech. This list of features will grow over time as Amazon continues to add more functionality to Kindle and the Kindle Store.
- Under this royalty option, books must be offered at or below price parity with competition, including physical book prices. Amazon will provide tools to automate that process, and the 70 percent royalty will be calculated off the sales price.
The option is only for in-copyright works and is not available for books published previous to 1923, which are public domain. The option will only be available for books sold in the United States.