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Amazon is About to Shut Down Their Excuse for Charging Kindle eBook Delivery Fees

by Nate Hoffelder

After a decade of running The Digital Reader, Nate is a veteran web publisher with experience in design, maintenance, recovery, and troubleshooting. What little he doesn't know, he can learn.

August 22, 2021

In a few short months Amazon will no longer have an excuse to charge ebook delivery fees. Now would be a good time to tell them to stop.

Early in 2010 Amazon responded to the imminent launch of iBooks by offering new payment terms to indie authors. Self-published books had been in the Kindle Store since it launched in November 2007, but most of those came by way of the Amazon subsidiary Mobipocket and paid a 35% royalty.

Now anyone who dealt directly with Amazon could earn a 70% royalty on the sale of their ebook, with one caveat.

You could get the 70% royalty minus a delivery fee. Amazon sold ebooks on 3G-equipped Kindles at that point, and unlike regular internet service, 3G bandwidth had a discrete cost which Amazon wanted to recoup. (Similarly, this is why Amazon charged to deliver personal documents to your Kindle over 3G but not over Wifi.)

That delivery fee has made less and less sense over the years as sales of 3G-eqipped Kindles dropped, but Amazon was able to keep the fee so long as they still sold said Kindles. But now that is going to have to change.

News broke last month that Amazon is going to be shutting off 3G service starting in December. This means that owners of 12 year old Kindle DX and Kindle 2 ereaders are finally going to have to upgrade their devices, but it also means that Amazon will no longer have an excuse to charge for delivery of ebooks.

That delivery fee was always about the cost of 3G service (the charges for personal document delivery makes that indisputable), and now that service is going away.

The fee needs to go with it, but that isn’t going to happen until the book publishing industry demands it. Amazon will charge that fee so long as we let them get away with it. Authors, publishers, and trade groups such as the IBPA need to start challenging Amazon on this issue.

It is only through collective pressure that we can make Amazon  change its policy.

Who is with me?

image by BryanAlexander via Flickr

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Hi, I'm Nate.

I build and fix websites for authors, and I am also a tech VA. I can build you a website that looks great and turns visitors into fans, and I can also fix your tech when it breaks. Let me fight with tech support so you don’t have to.

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3 Comments

  1. CD Haun

    I would like to be with you to demand Amazon stop charging the delivery fees. How can I do this?

    Reply
  2. Denise Gaskins

    Oh, I so much wish they would drop those fees! I really resent them. My books need lots of illustrations, and the ‘Zon kills me for it.

    Reply
  3. Nate Hoffelder

    You’re right. I was thinking of the bigger cases, where Apple’s in-app features just don’t provide an adequate option.

    Reply

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  1. Weekly News: 13th September 2021 - Author Help - […] is dropping 3G support from Kindles. Will it drop the associated ebook delivery […]

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