Amazon jacks up e-book royalties ahead of Apple's tablet release

New 70% royalty for authors on Kindle would mirror AppStore royalties today said authors and publishers will get a higher royalty on books using the Kindle Digital Text Platform (DTP) starting June 30.

The new 70% royalty more than doubles what Amazon currently pays in royalties. The increase was widely seen as's attempt to pre-empt the impact of Apple's entry into the e-book market with a new tablet device that many believe will be announced next Wednesday.

Google has also announced a Google Editions e-book concept that should launch later in the year, using a variety of devices.

Amazon could not be reached for comment immediately, but said in a statement that an author would make $3.15 on today's standard option on an $8.99 book, or slightly more than 30%, which would increase to $6.25 with the new 70% option. The 70% royalty will exclude delivery costs, based on file size that is priced at 15 cents per megabyte.

The standard option will continue, and to qualify for the higher 70% option, books must be priced at between $2.99 and $9.99 and initially will only apply to books sold in the U.S. It is unavailable for books published in the public domain, before 1923.

Apple offers its application developers a 70% royalty on apps sold in its App Store, which includes some digital books. Google is planning a 63% royalty for Google Editions. Authors of physical books typically receive royalties in the range of 7% to 15% of the prices set by publishers, and about 25% of the net amount that publishers receive from retailers of their digital books, a Kindle official said in a statement.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, send e-mail to or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed .

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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