Here is a comparison chart of royalties paid to self-published authors by the major ebook stores. If you find it useful then you’ll probably also like this Ebook Publishing Quick Reference PDF.
The chart below may have “shrunk” to fit the width of your browser. If it’s small and blurry you can click on it to open it at full size in a new tab or window.
The ebook royalties shown in the chart below are the percentage paid to the publisher – so if you are self-publishing that means you. If you have a publisher then this is likely to be the percentage paid to them and your earnings will depend upon your agreement with your publisher.
The information in the chart below assumes you are publishing directly to each store. If you publish to any stores via an ebook aggregator such as Smashwords then your royalties for those stores will be different. I have covered ebook aggregator fees on a separate page.
Please note that Sony Reader Store is closing as on 20 March 2014.
1. To qualify for Amazon’s 70% royalty option:
- Your ebook must be priced between $2.99 and $9.99.
- Your ebook price must be at least 20 percent lower than the lowest list price for the print version of your ebook, if any.
- The purchasing customer must be in one of the following countries, currently Austria, Canada, Great Britain, Guernsey, Germany, Isle of Man, Jersey, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States.
- If your ebook is discounted, for example to match the price of your ebook at another store or to match a discounted print price, you will receive 70% of the sale price, not list price.
- A delivery fee of $0.15 per megabyte applies. Example: an ebook of 400KB will be charged a delivery fee of $0.06 before the royalty percentage is applied.
2. Amazon will pay by check mailed approximately 60 days following the end of the calendar month during which the sales occurred (minimum $100/£100/€100).
3. Apple does not pay publishers until they meet certain payment requirements and earning thresholds, which vary by territory. For that reason if you are a small publisher you might get paid faster if you publish to Apple’s iBookstore via an ebook aggregator.
4. Sony do not allow indie authors to publish directly. You need to go through an ebook aggregator. If you publish to Sony via Smashwords your royalty will be 60%.
5a. Kobo pays a royalty of either 70% or 45% depending upon the ebook’s list price and currency. Ebooks that qualify for 70% royalty are those priced at: USD/CAN/NZD/EUR 1.99 – 12.99; GBP 1.99 – 7.99; AUD 1.99 – 11.99; HKD 15.99 – 99.99.
5b. Kobo pays monthly provided you have met the minimum threshold – $100 for check and $25 for electronic payment. If you are under the threshold you will be paid every 6 months.
6. With Apple’s introduction of iBooks 2.0 at the beginning of 2012 they moved away from the standard ePub format. Their FAQ went from saying “iBooks uses the ePub format” to “iBooks supports the industry-standard ePub digital book file type.” Apple’s new iBooks 2.0 format is mostly ePub3 with some additional CSS extensions etc. Publishers can upload ePub books for conversion to the new format. You can also create Multi-Touch interactive ebooks ready for upload using iBooks Author, a free app available in the Mac App Store.
7. Some ebook stores accept uploads of text files but these are not shown in the chart.
8. When Amazon sells an ebook they deliver a file containing both KF8 and AZW formats for Kindle.
I hope that this chart has helped you to see an overview of the major ebook stores and their royalty structures! If you found this chart useful then you’ll probably like this Ebook Publishing Quick Reference PDF.