Palmerston North, New Zealand

My royalty dropped?

My royalty dropped?

Talk about angry and confused.  I am still waiting to hear what Amazon is up to.    Well it seems they have a legal out.  Your customer can buy from Amazon.com where your Royalty is 70% however if the said customer doesn’t live in one of those countries listed under 70% then you get 35% royalty

However it all started like this.

As many of you know the author on Kindle choose the Royalty and the Price for their books, press publish and you’re away laughing..well maybe not, but you are happy.  Then one day you see you’ve made a sale, you download the statement and read it.

OH NO...The Royalty is at 35%.  Strange, it says the book is $2.99…  The royalty payment was $1.05.  I was sure is should be higher.  Looking down the statement I see the same book  with 70% royalty and $2.00 payment…Wonder what is going on.  So I go to Amazon and find they have dropped the price from $2.99 to $2.91.(not matching the statement)  I’m not on the price match.  I never said they could lower my price or change my royalty.

Back to KDP I go to pricing section.  Yep 70% still and $2.99.  WHAT THE HELL.  I decide to change the price to $3.05.  I hate putting the price up, however, the book is for charity and they have already down 95 cents from what should be a 70% royalty payment.  It makes me wonder how often this happens to authors.  Wondering what excuse they come up with.  The price was set at $2.99 on all other distribution sites…now I may need to alter that as well.


This is the last part of their second reply – their first was way off mark of the actual question.  The only understandable part.

Hence, if a customer buy your Kindle book using Amazon.com from a country (other than the above mentioned countries) where the 70% Royalty Option is not present or currently applicable, that sale will fetch you 35% royalty only.  For instance, a customer from Argentina will have to buy the Kindle book from Amazon.com Kindle store only, however, that sale will only return a 35% royalty.

I hope this is clear. Thanks for using Amazon KDP.


It seems in their contract which we all signed over the years, that there is a small item which is in full legalese most of us won’t understand even if we did read it stating in this lawyer language that they can in fact pay you less royalty if said person doesn’t live in one of their listed countries even though they buy from a country listed at 70% royalty.

Personally I call this a rip off.  We get paid little enough as it is.  It is also unfair.   Sadly Legal is legal.  If we can’t beat them at their own game, we will just have to find another way around it.

21 Responses

  1. Reblogged this on Claire Plaisted – Indie Author and commented:

    Thought my royalty had dropped…seems I was wrong!

  2. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    AUTHORS – were YOU aware of this issue?

  3. I wasn’t aware of this. Thanks for sharing.

  4. At least you got a royalty. I published through another company (AH) and am still waiting for any royalty on the sale of my books.

  5. It costs about $10 for create space to manufacture my full color 100 cartoon book. Amazon adds $4 to selling price so I have to ask $15 to make $1 royalty. We did not do % but set royalty amount. Unfortunately production cost is high that makes price of book too high to interest many buyers. They have discounted some of my books but since royalty I desire is $1 set and not %, I get that no matter what they charge so they take the loss not me.

  6. I thought you couldn’t purchase book across borders. I mean in Canada, when I purchase from Amazon, it has to be from Amazon.ca not .com. I’m told immediately ‘that item is available’ in your country. Am I misunderstanding?

    • I always buy from Amazon.com. However there is an Amazon in Australia – I’m in New Zealand. Sadly they only do eBooks and not Print. This particular customer bought an eBook from Amazon.com and lives in Europe somewhere…I think there are about 13 countries with Amazon stores….

  7. floridaborne says:

    Generally, few writers are lawyers. We’re creative and not contract oriented, or savvy enough to know the fine print that can rob us of our royalties.

    Let us know if you find a way to get Amazon to play fair.

  8. Reblogged this on Kentucky Mountain Girl News and commented:
    This one caught me a little off guard, so I thought it best to share. Do any of you have something else to add? I would be very interested to hear what you have to say. Has anyone else noticed this?

    • Apparently it is legal and in the contract you signed when you joined up. Another author told me it was in legalese and barely understandable, meaning most of us would have missed it if we actually read the contract at all. I, like you want to make authors and buys aware of this fact. Thank you for sharing x

  9. Ali Isaac says:

    I didnt know this. Hardly seems fair or right.

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