Why 35%

On the KDP dashboard, you can choose between 35% and 70% royalties for books within certain price ranges. I chose 35% because you can opt out of Kindle Lending, and there’s no delivery fee on purchases. The little check box is checked and grayed out automatically when you opt in for 70% royalties.

I had hoped eliminating the lending option would convert interested parties into sales, and felt the other 35% was a reasonable sacrifice to be able to make a choice on the matter.

In the end, it didn’t matter at all. There’s a certain irony here.


  1. Theodore R. Smith

    I want to know how lending could possibly hurt you as an author?

    For instance, I bought Whitewash and loaned the ebook to my friend. He then read a few pages and bought 5 copies for his family and friends.

    Lending books is something we just do as a society. Your desire to remove an essential right under first sale doctrine smacks of tyranny to me, but I want to hear your side of it first.

    • admin

      Hello Theodore. May I call you “Ted”?

      I’m half asleep right now, but I do intend to reply to your comment—after a good night’s sleep. You’ve brought up an interesting question, and you spiked it with a very loaded word: tyranny.

      Well, damn it all, I guess I’m replying now, aren’t I?

      Concern over the distribution of your first published work, I feel, is understandable. As an author in the land of e-publishing, I already have 15-20% of any given work available as a teaser. I did not feel the need to allow the whole work to be loaned about, when up to a fifth of it can be had for free.

      I wouldn’t characterize that as tyrannical behavior. Your opinion may differ, of course.

      Just to keep you in the loop, I started allowing the book to be lent during the middle of November. Why? Because I decided I had nothing to lose—especially in the face of Amazon giving away my first book willy-nilly for 20 days—control of the distribution of my work had already been taken away by an 800lb. gorilla.

      So, I think you’ve got an interesting meta issue to explore, even if the actual (Should I read your comment as a complaint, a query, or some third thing?) issue raised about my work in particular is currently moot. The world of e-publishing is evolving rapidly, often blindly, and could use a good philosophical discussion now and again.


      • Theodore R. Smith

        I apologize for “spiking the dialogue”, as you so eloquently pointed out. My word choice is borne [sic] out of witnessing first-hand my first-sale rights being destroyed left and right almost in tandem with the states of Earth virtually universally clamping down on inalienable rights (via similarly disguised hidden contracts; EULAs being of the more open variety).

        Unfortunately, my main question hasn’t been addressed…

        Assuming I had bought a hard copy of your work, I could, at my discretion, loan the book to anyone on the planet, give it away to a complete stranger, lease it or even resell it, to anyone.

        With the digital Kindle version of your book I can a) share my kindle account to very close family (currently, partner + kids) or b) potentially lend the book, but only when the Big 6 aren’t involved.

        Seeing as how no one would have the ability to infringe on my *right* (via First Sale doctrine) to lend a book to anyone, at any time, for any duration; I don’t see why there is even an option at all for anyone to block lending, gifting, or reselling functionality, once technically possible.

        Because I admittedly can’t see the other side at all on this one in ethical “benefit-for-everyone” terms, I’m trying to see if you can offer some illumination.

        • admin

          I’ve rolled my answer around in my head for the past couple of days, and there’s only one thing I can say that thoroughly rings true in my guts.

          Fear. I released my work into an unknown environment, unsure of the pitfalls of the medium, and wanted as much control over my “baby” as I could get. It isn’t logical, I realize, but few things are when emotions are involved.


Post a comment