Amazon has just given Kindle authors something to rejoice about and more reason to get their works published through Amazon.com. As Amazon faces stiff competition in the industry from formidable companies as Sony, Barnes and Noble, and now Apple with the recent launch of the iPad, the company behind the popular Kindle ebook reader sweetens the deal for independent authors, and essentially giving the cold shoulder to established publishers.
The new program that goes into effect starting June 30, 2010 will give authors a staggering 70% of the ebook’s list price, net of digital delivery costs. According to Amazon, the plan will apply to ebooks priced between $2.99 and $9.99. In addition, if the ebook has a physical version, the price of the digital version should be at least 20 percent lower than the listed price for the actual book to qualify for the new rates.
Under this program, authors who will be digitally publishing with Amazon will get a big jump in their earnings compare to the usual rate for royalties which is 7 to 15 percent of the book’s list price as established by the publisher, or 25 percent of the net proceeds publishers get for the electronic versions.
“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,” said Amazon’s vice president for Kindle content Russ Grandinetti in a statement.
At this rate, for a book that’s selling $9.99 for instance, an author can already earn close to 7 dollars from the sale of a single ebook, a significant jump from the 2 to 4 dollars he is slated to earn from publishers if the book’s physical version is priced at about $25. This should make authors seriously consider having their books listed directly at Amazon.
With Amazon bending over backwards to accommodate more independent Kindle authors and to keep the price of ebooks – even bestsellers at that – at the very reasonable price of $9.99, will the Amazon Kindle be able to keep its share of the ebook readers market?