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Amazon begins new royalty program for Kindle books

Wed, 06/30/2010 - 7:05am
The Associated Press

Amazon.com Inc. said Wednesday it is now offering do-it-yourself authors and publishers royalties of about 70 percent on their e-books.

The online retailer in January had announced plans to offer users of its e-book self-publishing program, the Kindle Digital Text Platform, book sale royalties of 70 percent after delivery costs. Those costs generally amount to less than 6 cents per book, meaning authors will be able to earn $6.25 per copy on a book that sells for $8.99, nearly double the old rate of $3.15.

The offer comes with conditions aimed at keeping book prices low for consumers, a step Amazon hopes will allow it to remain on top of the growing e-book market against rival stores like the one rolled out by iPad maker Apple Inc.

To get the better rate, authors and publishers have to meet various criteria. The book's list price must fall between $2.99 and $9.99 and be at least 20 percent less than the lowest price of the physical edition. Some major book publishers have demanded that Amazon allow them to raise prices on e-editions to as much as $14.99.

Under the new royalty offer, books also have to sell on Amazon for the same price, or less, than they do with competing book sellers. And they have to be available everywhere the author or publisher has intellectual property rights.

In morning trading, shares of Amazon.com rose $2.86, or 2.6 percent, to $111.47.

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