How Much Do Amazon Authors Make?

Amazon has become one of the fastest and most awesome online fora for book writers/ authors to make cool cash. As an author, it’s your go-to platform for writing, learning, disseminating/publishing, experimenting, and teaching the world at large. 

 Amazon authors can get up to 60% royalties on every one of their books purchased on the platform. Although there are other different royalties available on KDP such as ebook royalty, paperback royalty, and hardcover royalty. Each of them has its own percentage royalty an author can make. 

Amazon uses KDP ( Kindle Direct Publishing) – a self-publishing platform to help authors reach a wide range of audiences. Indeed there are several online marketplaces for authors who would love to do the aforementioned. However, there are several perks attached to being an author on Amazon including making a lot of money without going through a physical publishing company.

Do you know that you can start making money on KDP within a few hours of publishing a book on their marketplace?

Want to find out more about how much Amazon authors make? Read on to the end to discover more. 

What Is the List Price on Amazon?

The list price is simply the price you fill in on Amazon’s pricing page. KDP will use this price to list your books and then estimate your royalties. Amazon gives you the best deals on royalties that will cover all the expenses of printing your book.

The VAT (Local Value Added Tax) and GST (Goods and Services Tax) will also be included in the price list that you have set to enable your customers to see the adjusted price as well as the added tax.

The lowest list price set by Amazon is gauged by the amount used in printing your book. Hence, the pricing of your paperback can be set higher than the least threshold up to the highest amount of $250.

Your royalty rates won’t be affected even if your books are sold at discounts lower than your list price on Amazon. 

What is Royalty on Amazon?

Royalty on Amazon is the process of receiving payments based on the license or permission given to Amazon to create or produce something that an individual or author has created or owns. This allows the author to keep the ownership/ proprietorship of his books while earning from them ( especially when the book is being sold).

Hence, royalty is a form of payment received by an Amazon author when his ebook, paperback, or hardcover is purchased by a customer on any of the marketplaces. It is usually calculated by using the list price set by the author. Next, the pricing cost including the ink type, page count, and others will be deducted from the list price.

Note that an Amazon author will start receiving royalty 60 days after his first book is purchased, then followed by steady monthly earnings. To start receiving royalties, you must first meet up with the lowest threshold for payment.  

How Much Do Amazon Authors Make?

Amazon authors make money through publishing books and selling them on the platform. Amazon allows authors to self-publish the following via KDP:

  • Ebook
  • Paperback
  • Hardcover

The aforementioned self-publish options on KDP help authors to receive royalties.

How Much Do Amazon Authors Make

Ebook Royalties

There are 2 royalty options available for ebook authors on Amazon KDP, nonetheless, you are allowed to pick just one of them. They are:

  • A 35% Royal option – If you choose this royalty option, you will be entitled to a 35% royalty rate of your list price without the addition of VAT for each of your ebooks sold.
  • A 70% Royal option – This option gives you access to a 70% royalty rate of your list price without the addition of VAT for each of your ebooks purchased.

Paperback Royalty

On KDP, authors are offered royalties via:

  • Amazon Distribution Channels – Authors are offered a 60% fixed payment rate on any of their paperbacks that are purchased on Amazon since it supports paperback distribution. Note that the printing cost ( including ink type, page count, and the marketplace where your paperback was purchased) will also be subtracted. 
  • Expanded Distribution Channels – Authors that enable the Expanded Distribution Channels are often rewarded with a 40% royalty rate on their book’s list price on any distribution channel. Note that your book’s printing cost will also be deducted from the list price.

Hardcover Royalty

Whenever your book hardcover is created and purchased on Amazon you will be offered a royalty. Authors are offered a 60% royalty rate on hardcover, however, the printing costs of their books will be deducted from their royalties. 

How to Check for Payments on Amazon

Open your Amazon KDP account, Go to the Reports button, and tap on the old sales dashboard. Next, tap on Generate Report. Immediately after it is generated, it will be downloaded for you to view on your device.

Perks of Being an Amazon Author

Indeed, creating a book and getting it published is not only tedious but also a pricey process. But on Amazon KDP, it’s quite an easy feat to achieve as the platform enables you to write stories, ebooks, paperbacks, and more. 

This platform allows you to reach a large audience that cuts across several nations of the world,  hence, your books are not restricted to just a particular region but are accessible to anyone from around the world. Also, Amazon offers authors a print-on-demand for their books. This enables copies of your books to be sent and sold anywhere in the world, even without the authors getting to see their books first physically. You can also decide to publish on other marketplaces or exclusively on Amazon.

The KDP Select option offers authors great marketing features as their books will be offered on kindle unlimited where millions of people have access to read the book and in return, the author is paid a royalty. This is a great way to increase their book sales as it will make their book more visible in the marketplace. Also, it helps them to garner reviews on their books while building a community.  Most Amazon authors who have threaded this path have testified to having great sales thereafter.  Especially when their books become the best-selling free book for some time. There is hardly one who would not like to have a look at a book from a best-selling book once they see it on the marketplace.

In partnership with Audible, Amazon offers authors the privilege to have an audiobook with their Audiobook list prices. 

Amazon has lots of built-in marketing tools for both old and new authors. This will go a long way in helping self-published writers/authors not just market their books but also make sales.


Generally, Amazon remains one of the best platforms for self-published authors to reach a wide audience and also get royalties on all their books sold on the platform. To sign up on Amazon KDP costs no penny at all as authors are allowed to open their accounts for free. Interestingly,  Amazon is intent on making the publishing process very easy for authors. 

Apart from the free charge for setting up a KDP account, this platform also lets them earn royalties on their books distributed on any of their marketplaces. 

Indeed most people have undermined how much Amazon authors make on the platform. However, the truth remains that you can make as much as you want on this platform if you are innovative and creative with your writing. There is always a customer for you on Amazon.

And hey, don’t forget to keep writing.


Follow us on Facebook


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button