This is all over the web, but the best analysis I’ve seen is over at arstechnica. Starting in June, Amazon will offer a new royalty program for Kindle e-books: 70% of the retail price goes to the publisher, instead of the 35% in the current standard contract. From the article:
Amazon dropped a bomb on the publishing world Wednesday morning by announcing a new royalty program that will allow authors to earn 70 percent royalties from each e-book sold, but with a catch or two. The move will pay participating authors more per book than they typically earn from physical book sales so long as they agree to certain conditions—conditions that make it clear that Amazon is working on keeping the Kindle attractive in light of upcoming competition. Still, authors and publishers are split on how good this deal really is.
The catch is that books must be priced from $2.99 to $9.99, and be at least 20% cheaper than the print version (the original pricing structure will still be available for those who don’t like these terms). To me, this sounds like good news for self publishers as a whole, creating an opportunity to start looking at Kindle sales as a realistic part of our revenue plans. Also, a move by the biggest player in the ebook field as it exists today will hopefully result in a similar pricing structure being adopted by the industry as it grows.
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