Updated: August 2021
Who doesn’t want to get a 70-percent royalty for selling their Kindle eBook!? A higher eBook royalty payout is understandably desirable, but first you must understand the quirks and rules that determine when you get the higher royalty and when you don’t.
There are also contract terms you must agree to in order to get the 70-percent royalty.
Below are the essential six terms everyone should know about Amazon’s Kindle royalty structure. If your Kindle eBook does not qualify, or you do not agree with all the terms on this list, your book will receive a 35-percent royalty.
- Keep in mind that even when you select the 70-percent option, not all sales will qualify for this royalty.
- The terms are summarized. Check the links to Amazon for full details, and updates, because terms can change.
For a more detailed explanation of Amazon’s KDP royalty policies, see our Guide to Amazon Fees and Royalties for Kindle eBooks and KDP Print.
What you are agreeing to when you select 70%:
1. You will price your Kindle eBook between $2.99 and $9.99. You may have heard of different royalty arrangements for books priced higher than $9.99, and there are, but they aren’t available to self-publishers using KDP.
2. You will pay for file delivery. Amazon is the only eBook retailer that charges publishers a fee to deliver an eBook to the buyer. The price for delivery to US buyers is $0.15 per megabyte. Amazon's computers will process your EPUB file and compute the cost of delivery. Using your KDP account is the only reliable way to determine this number. More information and examples are noted in our guide to Amazon fees and royalties.
3. You won’t get 70 percent in all territories. The territories—essentially countries—where you receive the 70-percent royalties are the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, and most of Europe. In all other territories, you will receive the 35-percent royalty. Also read number 6 below and and see this page for an updated list of countries where you can get 70 percent.
4. Your eBook must be part of KDP Select if you want the 70-percent royalty on eBook sales in Brazil, India, Japan, or Mexico. (See our guide to KDP: Should You Use Amazon KDP Select or Distribute Your Book Wide?)
5. You will allow buyers to lend their copy of your eBook. Lending is a one-time, 14-day loan that each eBook license holder can make after buying your book. This is not a bad thing; in fact, we recommend allowing lending. Read Amazon’s Lending for Kindle policy.
6. The eBook you are selling must not be in the public domain. That 18th-century classic that is out of copyright is only going to fetch 35 percent. You need to own the copyright if you want to get 70 percent.
For more information on minimum pricing, see this Amazon help page.
Also read our comprehensive Guide to Amazon Fees and Royalties for Kindle eBooks and KDP Print.
Other articles in our Essentials Series:
- Amazon Advantage vs Amazon Seller Central (Marketplace)—An FAQ
- Kindle Pre-Order Basics: 3 Important Things to Understand to Maximize the Benefits
- How much does it cost to create a self-publishing imprint?
- The 2021 Guide to Amazon Fees and Royalties for Kindle eBooks and KDP Print
- Mobile Device Sales Dwarf PC and Mac Sales: Can People Read Your PDF eBook on Tiny Screens?