How You Can Make Money by Publishing Your Books on Amazon


Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.

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Royalties are wages an author makes from the sale of books, which is a % of the list price; the price is determined before you publish your book for Kindle. Amazon does allow you to choose a price for your title from 99 cents to $200. As long as your work is listed with Amazon, you’ll continue to earn royalties. In standard publishing, a royalty agreement is glued into a contract and the method and frequency of payment is dealt with differently.

How does the royalties work? Amazon pays authors a specific percentage of the profit for every Kindle eBook that sells and they get 65% of your sales. Yikes!That sounds like a bad deal upfront, but think about it this way: You’re not self-publishing a print version of your book, which means you don’t have to buy ISBN #s, hire someone to create cover art, design the book, edit and proofread, typesetting, and then you would also have to pay for the costs of printing (which is getting more expensive by the day). And to top it off, you would still be accountable for marketing and promotion + a whole lot more!

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What Amazon brings to your table?

  • Amazon automatically gives their version of ISBN # in the Kindle Store called ASIN if your book doesn’t carry its own ISBN; so, you’re not required to have an ISBN.
  • You don’t have to work with agents or publishers who could discriminate against you being a new or inexperienced author whose works is not up to their expectation.
  • Article writers have a better chance to make a profit via Amazon than trying to submit to journals, newspapers, or magazines.
  • Amazon developed the Kindle platform and allows authors to publish for free and promote it along with other books from big name publishing companies.

65% Still Sounds Crazy?

  • Part of what you’re paying for is the big promotion that you indirectly achieve because you are a part of such a high status marketplace. It is your responsibility as an author to market your book so readers know it’s out there and how it will help them meet their desires, but just being immersed into a well-known company is 50% the battle won. Amazon gives new writers an opportunity that has never been given before until now.

70% Commission

  • Before the introduction of the highly anticipated Apple iPad, a major competitive e-reading gadget, Amazon introduced a new alternative to their royalty plan. They implemented a plan where authors have the option to receive 70% commission instead of the 35%, but there are conditions.

To be able to receive the 70% commission, you must meet these requirements:

  • The list price is a minimum of 20% smaller than the print book’s smallest price
  • The list price given by the author or publisher is from $2.99 to $9.99
  • The title is ready for sale in every location that the author has legal rights
  • The title will allow text-to-speech
  • The work needs to be in copyright and not public domain
  • The publication needs to be originally sold in the United States

Comparison of traditional and Amazon’s publishing royalty fees

Conventional publishing typically gives a 10% royalty fee on all books, whereas Amazon does 35%. What is very beneficial and advantageous is that with Kindle’s royalty fee, you will still get the same amount per book, even if it was discounted by Amazon to sell more of them. Amazon sends payments automatically at 60 days after the close of the calendar month that the sales accumulated from at least a minimum of $10 in your account.

“My Report” Page

After you go and login to the main KDP page located here, publishing/signin click on the “My Reports” tab at the top. Find “view reports.” You will see a lot of options; two very important ones are the “view month-to-date report,” and “year to date reports.” The month to date report allows you to see the recent month’s summary of sales transactions. The year to date reports showcase year to date sales transactions, with a layout of sales summaries from previous months. Summaries are discharged on the fourth of the month. This is critical data for you to have for when you file taxes, because Amazon doesn’t currently submit W2s.

Protect Your Work

Inform yourself as much as possible about copyright law because there are many people who have been ripped off from it. An original piece of work created by you is your copyrighted work. Unless you sign over your rights in a contract, the work is still yours. Visit this website: to get a big picture of the law if you check under “about copyright” and then click “copyright basics.” Copyright law is evenly crucial for publishers of print books and of e-publishing. It is significant to educate yourself in the basics before attempting to publish in any format because you can save yourself hell down the road.

It’s important to understand that plagiarism deals with reproducing words written by another person. It’s very simple to do online, so it is widespread. This is the main reason why you want to copyright your work and avoid doing it yourself. Of course it’s tolerable to incorporate ideas and facts because they can’t be copyrighted, but stick to the overall guideline to not replicate any more than three words in a row that another author wrote. It’s fine to use the words or pictures of another author, but you need to acquire their permission in writing. Quoting a little part of a book may be tolerable to do in research papers if you cite the source, but the rights vary, even if you cite the source, in some books and other media. At the moment, the law is that a work is protected by copyright until 70 years after the author dies. If there is more than one author, the work comes out of copyright 70 years after the last remaining author dies.

The majority of government and military publications are public province. If you’re unsure whether works are copyrighted or not, check with the United States Copyright Office. Bear in mind that copyright law changed in 1978, so some publications printed before then might fall outside of current copyright law. In theory, you don’t have to officially register with the copyright office if you have a copyright symbol © placed in your work and by your name because that itself creates the copyright with the author. But, in the event that you go through a lawsuit, if your work is registered, you’ll be given the total amount of attorney’s fees and damages, whereas if you register more than three months later after putting your work up for publication, you’ll only receive part of those fees.

It’s worth the small investment of just $30. Go to the Copyright Office site to get the form to fill out: After your submission is processed, the copyright office will send along a copy stamped with an official seal and it’ll be signed by the Registrar. This copy will also have a registration number and date. Be sure to put this in a very safe place! Be patient as this process could take up till 10 months or more since they receive many of the thousands of submissions every year.

Copyright Page and Information

You need to put a copyright note in the front of your book in the page that comes before the story; usually, this page contains the dedication, copyright notice, and title page. It’s a good idea to look at other books to get the gist of how it’s typically setup. In addition, place the copyright image © next to your name (or the rightful author or publisher’s name). You can form the copyright image by using this sequence below; make sure everything is together and nothing is spaced. After you have your name (or appropriate name) and copyright symbol, include information below that line. The information that should be included if they are relevant is:

  • Publisher membership information
  • Printer information
  • Trademark information
  • The proclamation “All rights reserved”
  • Country in which the book was printed
  • The address of the printer
  • CIP information
  • ISBN numbers
  • Edition number and dates
  • Cover and book design information and credits
  • All other pertinent publication, books, and copyright data

Unless your writing is considered public domain, include something like this in a paragraph form: All rights reserved. This book can’t be replicated in any form, in whole or in part (beyond that copying permitted by U S. Copyright Law, Section 107, “fair use” in teaching or research, Section 108, certain library copying, or in published media by reviewers in limited excerpts), without written permission from the publisher (this is you). Be sure that you have the copyright to all the material you are publishing before uploading, or you’ll put yourself in jeopardy of being sued.

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