Kindle's 70% royalties for authors; what will it affect?

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Kindle's 70% royalties for authors; what will it affect?

Post by linguista » January 27th, 2010, 1:27 am

This is somewhat related to the "To ebook or not to ebook thread", but not quite.

Kindle has offered 70% royalties for authors who fulfill certain criteria. At this rate, self-publishing on Kindle is looking very pretty, compared to the traditional route. How do you guys think that it will affect traditional publishing? Can self-published books by unknowns cause a dent in the industry?

I've also made a list of pro's and cons for Kindle and for traditional routes.

Just upload your work
Get 70% of royalties


Finding an agent and a publisher implies that someone believed in your book
You don't have to focus on marketing

Difficulty- find an agent, who then has to find a publisher
Intense competition
I doubt you'll get anywhere near 70% of anything

I personally don't own a Kindle, nor do I want to. Couple that with the fact that I don't have the drive for self marketing, and I am definitely going the traditional route, unless it ceases to exist.

So what think ye? Will the sweet Kindle deal cause ripples?

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Re: Kindle's 70% royalties for authors; what will it affect?

Post by casnow » January 27th, 2010, 9:51 am

For authors that have had their writes revert back to them, this is a great opportunity to generate additional revenue from eBooks. it will also put pressure on other e-tailers to do the same. However, for people that are self-pubbing I still think, that if you plan to write until you are traditionally published, self-pubbing is a bad idea.


Let's say you've written 5 books, and the first 4 never found you an agent. Then you write #5, which you don't think is any better (and it might not be), but it just caught the agent on a good day, he accepts it, he subs it and an editor buys it. If you self-pubbed your first four books, then you have possibly screwed yourself. (1) it didn't receive the polishing touches that an editor and agent add, and therefore your name is attached to something that isn't it's best. Readers then find your self-pubbed books and say, "oh, this guy isn't for me" and never buy another of your works. (2) After self-pubbing them, your current publisher might not want anything to do with novels #1-4. So, you might have just lost 10's of thousands (or more) in advances and future royalties AND the chance to build a name brand by getting out those other books in rapid succession, which could give you that critical mass you need to hit it big.

I think we should all think of our previously written, unpublished novels as commodities. Right now it might not be worth much, but once you get published, it could have value... however, if you self-publish them beforehand you have just put a major lid on their future value.

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Re: Kindle's 70% royalties for authors; what will it affect?

Post by Nick » January 27th, 2010, 5:00 pm

Honestly I've been thinking I might use Kindle to publish what I am calling my "John Ringos". The Paladin of Shadows series was just something he wrote for kicks and giggles, and thought it was unpublishable (and coming from anyone but an established author, oh it certainly would be), but he shared snippets with fans who urged him to publish it, and it spawned a series of self-indulgence. So I might do something like that. Write the sort of crap I don't think really stands a chance, and of course clean it up and all, but the little things more for myself that are fun to write but I don't expect to go anywhere. Even if it sells only one copy, that's still some profit made.

But I think self-publishing just because you stand the chance to make 70% royalties (and oh what a nice number that is), it can hurt you. Pretty much every reason why I can think of is in the post above, so I'll skip the details.

In short,

Self-publishing mindless self-indulgence: Go for it.
Self-publishing for realz: Bad move, bro.

But them's just my apples.

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Nathan Bransford
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Re: Kindle's 70% royalties for authors; what will it affect?

Post by Nathan Bransford » January 28th, 2010, 1:03 am

There are a looooooooot of caveats that go along with that 70%. As always know what you're getting into.

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marilyn peake
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Re: Kindle's 70% royalties for authors; what will it affect?

Post by marilyn peake » January 28th, 2010, 3:30 pm


I agree. Skeptical about the 70% royalty from Amazon, I looked up the list of things an author has to agree to in order to get the 70%. Holy camole, considering all the rights given up, it suddenly makes the lesser percentage look awesome.
Marilyn Peake

Novels: THE FISHERMAN’S SON TRILOGY and GODS IN THE MACHINE. Numerous short stories. Contributor to BOOK: THE SEQUEL. Editor of several additional books. Awards include Silver Award, 2007 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards.

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Re: Kindle's 70% royalties for authors; what will it affect?

Post by Pete » February 6th, 2010, 1:10 pm

Hard to imagine anything being worse than the current Kindle royalty. What are the caveats?
"Three huzzahs for A.S. Peterson: The Fiddler’s Gun is an achievement.”—Jonathan Rogers, Author of The Wilderking Trilogy

“Peterson is a natural-born storyteller.” —Allan Heinberg, Executive Producer, Grey’s Anatomy

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