Guide: Amazon Self Publishing Pricing & Royalties

You want to self-publish on Amazon KDP, the largest book retailer on Earth. Well, it’s best to get familiar with how the money stuff works. How do book prices appear for shoppers? How much book royalties are left for you? Here’s your quick and easy guide to Amazon self publishing pricing and royalties. ⬇

What to know about Amazon self publishing pricing

Generally, you can set whatever price you’d like on your book. It’s up to your discretion, as long as it’s within KDP’s range of minimum and maximum book prices.

The way you price your book is different depending on what kind of format it is: ebook, print (paperback & hardcover), or audiobook.


KDP gives two list price options:

Based on primary marketplace: Set your price in the currency of your chosen primary marketplace. Amazon automatically converts the price for other marketplace currencies.

Enter price for each marketplace: Set your price by entering a specific account per marketplace in its available currency. The price must meet requirements that depend on the royalty option, file size, and more.

Print (paperback & hardcover)

KDP gives two list price options (like ebook):

Based on primary marketplace: Set your price in the currency of your chosen primary marketplace. Amazon automatically converts the price for other marketplace currencies.

Enter price for each marketplace: Set your price by entering a specific account per marketplace in its available currency. The price must land between the minimum and maximum list prices. Learn more about paperback and hardcover.


Audio titles are available on Amazon’s Audible. ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange) is the marketplace where authors, narrators, and other professionals can come together for audio creation.

ACX’s pricing guideline is based on audiobook length:

Under 1 hour: under $7
1 - 3 hours: $7 - $10
3 - 5 hours: $10 - $20
5 - 10 hours: $15 - $25
10 - 20 hours: $20 - $30
Over 20 hours: $25 - $35

Before learning how to make money on Amazon, it's important to know about the details on your industry. Now that you got the essentials on Amazon pricing, are there any best practices on how to price an ebook, print, and audio title? Yes, there are…

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Self publishing book pricing strategies for different formats

Author Imprints shares a thorough rundown on what to know –

First, know that most self-published books are priced lower than traditionally published books:

  • Ebooks: Less than $5.99. A lower price will trigger more sales. More sales mean collecting more book reviews, a top priority, especially for new authors.
  • Paperbacks: Between $9.99 and $19.99. Depends on the subject matter and length (due to manufacturing costs).
  • Hardcovers: “It is impossible to be price competitive with traditionally published books if you are using print-on-demand (POD). My advice is either to forgo a POD hardcover or to set the price for breaking even.” (Learn more about print-on-demand.)
  • Audiobooks: As I mentioned, Audible bases pricing on audio length (general outline listed above).

Especially for newbies, it might be a good idea to follow or go even lower than the average prices in the market.

You can also experiment with different price points. Try starting low and bumping up the price as you collect more reviews. You can change the price of your ebook frequently. You can change the price on your POD print book too, but be mindful if you’re adding the price on the barcode of your book.

Most importantly, research your category. “The most important action you can take for determining a price is to study comparative books. That is why this is the first question you need to answer. What do similar books from authors with name recognition like mine sell for?”

Tips on conducting your research:

  • Go on Amazon and visit the category of your book. Check the prices of bestselling books in this category for your particular (or multiple) formats.
  • See if the book is part of a series. Usually, first books in a self-published series are priced free or 99 cents. This is a proven best practice for bestselling authors. They treat book one as a marketing tool for other books.
  • Make sure you’re looking at self-published books. You don’t want to compare your price with traditionally published books. You can do this by scrolling down to the product details section.

Author Imprint’s pointers on identifying self-published books:

There ya have it. Next, Sneak peak on how your pricing gets displayed…

How Kindle self publishing pricing looks for shoppers

Have you browsed for products on I’m sure you have. If not, this is how the sales page looks for most products:

We see a similar page for books, but with a couple of differences:

As you can see, there’s the book cover on the left. Then we’ve got the book title and description on the center of the screen. There are three main cards or book formats – ebook, audio, print – with their corresponding prices to choose from.

The price under audiobook shows up as $0.00 because of the free trial option with Audible. On the right panel, we see how much the reader can save by going for the Kindle ebook price versus the print price. Pretty nifty.

Now, on your side? How much authors royalties do you earn from book sales?

How much book royalties you earn with Amazon


KDP gives two ebook royalty plans (do go with the 70%!):

70% royalty option: To be eligible, you must price your ebook between $2.99 and $9.99. Also needs to be at least 20% lower than the lowest print version price. Must publish content that’s not in the public domain. Plus, file delivery fees are automatically deducted from your royalty payouts.

Note: only certain countries are eligible for the 70% option. Books sold outside of those countries goes under the 35%.

35% royalty option: Applies to all sales to customers in any country.

Learn more about how KDP calculates ebook royalties.

Print (paperback & hardcover)

KDP gives two paperback options:

Amazon distribution channels: 60% royalty rate for regular Amazon-only distribution channels.

Expanded distribution channels: 40% royalty rate for Amazon’s expanded channels like non-Amazon retailers such as Barnes & Noble.

KDP gives hardcover a fixed 60% royalty rate of the list price.

For all print options, printing costs are deducted from royalty payouts based on page count, ink type, and more: (royalty rate x list price) – printing costs = royalty

Learn more about how KDP calculates paperback royalties and hardcover royalties.


Three options:

40% royalty rate: Get 40% if you choose to distribute your audiobook exclusively to ACX channels Audible, Amazon, and iTunes.

25% royalty rate: Get 25% if you distribute non-exclusively, retaining the right to distribute your content wherever you’d like.

20% royalty rate: This is the royalty share option where you get 20% while compensating your producer with an equal share of your earnings.

Learn more about how KDP calculates audiobook royalties.

We’ve reached the end of this guide. Hope this helped and happy publishing.

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