These are the conditions for qualifying for the 70% option:
- The author or publisher-supplied list price must be between $2.99 and $9.99.
- The list price must be at least 20% below the lowest list price for the physical book.
- The title must be made available for sale in all geographies for which the author or publisher has rights.
- The book must be offered at or below price parity with competition, including physical book prices.
- The 70% royalty option is currently only available for books sold to United States customers.
What does this mean for authors? Those who self-publish on Amazon with this option earn at minimum a $2 royalty on every e-book. It’s hard to make that kind of profit with any other publishing contract, so this is an exciting option that writers should at least consider. Even those offered a traditional publishing contract should look very closely at the terms and percentages for print and e-books. Authors should ensure the e-book rights revert to them when the print rights do. Do not give your e-book rights away forever! There is too much profit at stake now. If you want a lot more information about this subject, including real sales data, see J.A. Konrath’s blog.
Getting published in print format by a traditional publisher is still most writers’ dream, but one that has less and less sparkle. Publishers are buying fewer novels, paying smaller advances, and doing almost nothing to promote new authors.
Readers, on the other hand, are consuming e-books like candy and this trend will only escalate. If novelists have to do all the work to sell their books anyway, why not make a greater share of the profit?