Amazon announces 70% royalty rates to publishers

Get your magazine on the Kindle and get 70% royalties

Amazon will start paying publishers 70% revenue rates when they sell magazines and newspapers on its Kindle electronic reader.

Last month we reported on Amazon announcing they were raising their Kindle loyalty rate to UK authors and publishers for ebooks sold via Amazon’s self-service Kindle Digital Text Platform. This month Amazon have gone one step further and have moved the 70% royalty rate to magazine and newspaper publishers, after subtracting delivery costs, for each magazine or newspaper sold at its Kindle Store.
This will be a welcome decision for many publishers. We know that negotiations between many of the UK newspaper publishers stalled a few years ago when Amazon refused to back down over royalty rates. The rates were described as unworkable and were viewed as worse than the hard rates they got from the likes of the supermarkets and the traditional news and magazine distributors. Rumours were that the original rate was a 30:70 split in Amazon’s favour, if you were a big publisher and worse if you weren’t.

The move by Amazon, which takes effect Dec 1 in the US – it might be the same outside of the US but no announcement has been made yet – is possibly a bit late as many publishers have now gone down the alternative routes such as the iPad.

“We are constantly working at improving the Kindle magazine and newspaper experience for both customers and publishers,” said Peter Larsen, Director of Kindle Periodicals. “Building on the recent introduction of Wi-Fi-enabled Kindles and the upcoming availability of newspapers and magazines on Kindle Apps, we’re pleased to add an increased revenue share and a great new tool for making Kindle better and easier than ever for publishers.”

For orders delivered to Kindles using Amazon’s Whispernet service (the free 3G service provided through Vodafone in the UK), delivery costs are shared between Amazon and the publishers.

To qualify for the 70% royalty terms, newspapers and magazines must satisfy several customer experience requirements, including:

  • Customers can read the title on all Kindle devices and applications.
  • Customers can read the title in all geographies for which the publisher has rights.

However Amazon points out that these new terms do not apply to blog publishers because existing terms are generally more advantageous for them.

Amazon also announced the Beta release of the Kindle Publishing for Periodicals tool, which allows publishers to more easily add their newspaper or magazine to the Kindle Store. Publishers can quickly create their account, add content and preview Kindle formatting prior to making their titles available for the fast-growing base of Kindle customers.

To learn more about the new royalty terms for publishers and Kindle Publishing for Periodicals, visit