Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) has always been an invaluable resource for self-published authors, offering a seamless and user-friendly platform to bring our work directly to readers. However, beginning June 20, 2023, KDP is set to change its pricing structure for printing costs significantly. This modification may have substantial implications on how we budget our publishing processes, and it is crucial for all of us in the self-publishing sphere to understand and adapt to this change effectively.
A Shift in KDP’s Pricing Structure
Historically, KDP’s pricing structure for print books has been fairly straightforward. It has been based on a fixed book cost plus a variable page cost. This approach has provided consistency and predictability for authors and publishers. But as of June 20, 2023, KDP will modify this pricing structure.
Make sure that you log into your KDP account and review the pricing of your current books to see how the new publishing changes will affect your royalty payments and adjust your prices accordingly.
Implications for Authors and Publishers
The new pricing model implies a shift in our budget for our publishing process. The costs could decrease for some, especially those producing shorter, black-and-white prints. However, printing costs might increase for authors and publishers producing lengthy or color-intensive books.
Furthermore, the potential consideration of geographical factors could bring a significant change. Authors who have been taking advantage of KDP’s global reach might find variations in cost due to differing printing costs across various regions. Therefore, it is crucial to evaluate the potential impact of these changes on your specific books and adjust your pricing strategies accordingly.
Preparing for the Change
As with all changes, this brings both challenges and opportunities. As a result, it may require some additional budgeting and strategic planning. Here are a few ways to prepare for the transition:
- Review Your Current Pricing: Understand your current cost structure and the potential impact of the new pricing model on your profit margins. You might need to adjust the retail price of your books to maintain profitability.
- Consider Format Changes: If the new pricing structure makes printing color books or larger books significantly more expensive, you may need to reconsider your book’s format. This could include switching to black and white where color isn’t crucial or editing down content to reduce page count.
- Stay Informed: Keep an eye on the updates from KDP. Log into your KDP account often, check your stats, and ensure your books’ pricing and ads make sense in how they affect your bottom line.
KDP Email Announcement
Since launching KDP print books in 2016, we’ve enjoyed helping you publish and sell your books around the world. During this time, we’ve kept our printing fees the same, despite increasing costs of materials and labor over the past six years. On June 20, 2023, we’re changing our fees to better align with today’s cost to print books. We have not taken this decision lightly, and have reduced printing costs where possible.
Changes to your printing costs effective June 20, 2023, 12:00 AM UTC, include:
- An increase in the fixed cost for all paperback and hardcover books to cover the higher cost of materials, suppliers, and labor.
- A new fixed and per-page cost for paperback and hardcover books with large trim sizes to cover the additional costs to print these books. A large trim size is either larger than 6.12 inches (155 mm) in width or 9 inches (229 mm) in height.
- A decrease in the per-page cost for certain color-ink print books ordered from some marketplaces. See full details in the printing cost tables on our Help page.
These changes will affect your royalties for paperback and hardcover books. While not required, you may choose to update your list prices to avoid a change in royalty payments or zero royalties on paperback and hardcover books where your list price drops below the new minimum list price. If you make updates to a print book after June 20, it will need to comply with the new minimum list price in order to publish the updates.
Below are tools to help you evaluate the impact of the new printing costs on your royalty earnings. We’ve also included information about how to update your list prices should you choose to do so.
- See new printing costs and answers to frequently asked questions.
- Visit the Pricing tab for each of your live print books to compare your minimum list price, printing costs, and royalty amount by marketplace both before and after the printing costs change.
- Visit your Bookshelf to run a one-time bulk list price update on all of your live paperback and hardcover list prices to continue earning the same royalties after printing costs change.
- If you have books that will result in zero royalties after printing costs change, and you plan to make list price changes individually rather than in bulk, we recommend that you visit your Bookshelf to download a CSV file to prioritize any books that will earn zero royalties first.
- Coming soon! The Printing Costs and Royalty Calculator will be updated in a few weeks to show estimated royalties before and after the printing costs change.
We monitor our printing costs annually, and we’ll provide you with advance notice of any future printing cost changes.
Regards, The Kindle Direct Publishing team
Change is often accompanied by uncertainty, and this major shift in KDP’s pricing structure is no exception. However, by staying informed, proactively planning, and adjusting our strategies, we can continue to navigate the self-publishing landscape successfully. So, let’s embrace this change as another step in our self-publishing journey, adapt as needed, and continue to bring our wonderful works to readers worldwide.
Keep writing and keep publishing!