Open Letter to Amazon

30 Jan

Please feel free to copy and paste this email (just put in your name instead of mine) and fire it off to Amazon, especially when you sell your books on Amazon.


As more often their practice is questioned, as more they might think about to chance it.

Emailed to

“Hello, Dear Amazon

I just read in a blog about surcharges for Amazon books in certain countries, and I must admit, I also was a bit wondering when I ordered a German e-book from Amazon, that instead of the 0.99 Euro I had to pay 3.49 Euro – which means approx. 250% more than the original price…

One blog-commentar said:
“And let’s not forget that for authors who have chosen the 2.99 – 9.99$ price point for the 70% royalties : when selling in a “surcharged” country, the royalties are limited to 35% and not 70%, which means for a 2.99$ book sold at 4.99, the author gets 1$ and Amazon 4$ instead of 2$ / 1$ …
Amazon quadruples its profit?”

Comment on a blog

Please can you verify, if an author, who’s book is sold to a “Non-Amazon-Country” receives only 35% – even when the book is priced between $2.99 and 9.99 US ?

Thanks a lot in advance for clarifying,

P.S. As you can see from my blog that I promote Amazon a lot, but this is an issue which doesn’t fit in the “big picture” and I (and my readers) really want to know if it is true…


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One response to “Open Letter to Amazon

  1. Brian Rush

    June 2, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    It is true. I noticed that my books, which are all set at 70% royalties, sometimes paid 35% instead. I sent an email to Amazon asking about this and they replied that the 70% royalties are only available when books are sold to purchasers in certain countries, and they supplied a list.

    It’s also in my opinion just a bit bogus that Amazon charges a “distribution” cost for e-books and subtracts that from the alleged 70% royalties. It means that the royalties are not actually 70% although they do rise considerably above 35% (when sold in the listed countries).

    My impression of Amazon is that the company resents the fact that it is not QUITE a monopoly and must actually compete with other outlets for authors and publishers (as well as customers, of course). While it bows to this reality to a certain degree, it does so with a certain grudging demeanor and attempts to offer as little as possible in substance while creating the appearance of offering more than it actually does.

    I do recommend publishing with Amazon despite that, since they hold an enormous share of the market and so one really must, but would never give them the exclusive right to publish that they request (but don’t require).


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