Amazon issued a number of press releases this week regarding the Kindle and Kindle ebooks. Instead of doing separate posts for each of them, this post will review all the recent Kindle news, with the exception of the new graphite Kindle DX, which is posted here.
Kindle Books with Audio and Video
On Sunday the 27th of June, Amazon updated their Kindle apps for Apple’s devices, the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. The update adds support for embedded video and audio clips within Kindle ebooks. Some examples of the first ebooks to use this new feature include Rick Steves’ travel guides, Best of the Beatles for Acoustic Guitar by Wolf Marshall, and Lie Down in Darkness by William Styron.
The complete list of Kindle books using this new technology can be found on the Kindle Editions with Audio-Video page.
Kindle for Android App Released
On Monday, Amazon expanded the Kindle platform once again by releasing a Kindle for Android app that is available free for download from the Android Market.
Like the other Kindle apps, this one can download the beginning of any book for free as a sample. The app synchronizes the last page read, notes, highlights, and annotations between all Kindle-supported devices using Amazon’s Whispersync. You can read in both portrait and landscape modes, change the page background color, and adjust brightness within the app.
Visit Amazon’s Kindle for Android page for the complete list of features and countries that it’s available to.
70% Royalties for Kindle Books
Yesterday, June 30th, Amazon announced that authors and publishers who use the Kindle Digital Text Platform (DTP) can now get 70% of Kindle book sales. The old option of 35% is still available for those who choose, but the new deal means a lot more money for independent writers and publishers.
The 70% option is minus delivery costs, which is set at $0.15/MB. The average ebook size is about 368KB, according to Amazon. This equates to less than $0.06 per unit sold. For example, on an $8.99 book an author would make $3.15 with the standard option and $6.25 with the new 70% option.
To qualify for the 70% royalty option, books must follow a certain set of requirements:
- The author or publisher-supplied list price must be between $2.99 and $9.99.
- The list price must be at least 20 percent below the lowest list price for the physical book.
- The title is made available for sale in all geographies for which the author or publisher has rights.
- The title will be included in a broad set of features in the Kindle Store, such as text-to-speech. This list of features will grow over time as Amazon continues to add more functionality to Kindle and the Kindle Store.
- Under this royalty option, books must be offered at or below price parity with competition, including physical book prices.
Kindle Previewer for HTML 5 Coming Soon
This wasn’t issued in a press release, but was announced on the official Kindle forum.
The Kindle previewer for HTML 5 will allow Kindle books to be available for preview using a web browser. Customers will be able to read the beginning of any ebook from the book’s description page by clicking on the preview button.
This feature isn’t out just yet, but should be soon.