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Kindle Delivery Costs

When a reader purchases an ebook from Amazon, you will be charged a fee that is based on the size of the processed ebook file. This page describes how delivery costs are calculated, and how to reduce them.

Understanding Delivery Costs

When you select the 70% royalty option on KDP, Amazon will charge a fee of $0.15 per MB.

This Delivery Cost is not based on the size of your Kindle EPUB, though. Rather, it’s calculated using a smaller, converted file that’s created by Amazon.

In this converted file:

A graph showing the relative sizes of an EPUB and the converted file off of which KDP bases Delivery Cost

The only way to determine the delivery cost is to upload your Kindle EPUB to KDP. You can find this information on the Kindle eBook Pricing tab on KDP:

The KDP Dashboard reporst a file size after conversion of 0.3 MB

To illustrate the difference, here are sizes and cost for a sample ebook uploaded to KDP:

Kindle EPUB size 1.0 MB
Size after KDP conversion 0.83 MB
Delivery cost $0.12

Automatic Image Optimization

Vellum automatically optimizes your images based on KDP’s guidelines and how each image is used in your book. Nevertheless, images are still the biggest contributor to delivery costs, and large, detailed ones can take up a lot of space (even when optimized).

In this table, you can see that a long novel with only a few images (e.g a cover and an author portait) has a negligible delivery cost when compared with a non-fiction book with over two dozen photographs.

Mostly Text Image-Heavy
Kindle EPUB size 1.0 MB 4.3 MB
Size after KDP conversion 0.83 MB 2.98 MB
Delivery cost $0.13 $0.45

Reducing Delivery Costs

Since images are the largest contributor to delivery costs, reducing costs will require changing images. The most effective way to decrease the delivery cost is to exclude images from your ebook, though you can also configure Vellum to be more aggressive when compressing your images.

Excluding Images from Ebooks

If you want to exclude an image from your ebook, but keep it in print, use Vellum’s Include In controls, available on both Inline Images and Full Page Image elements.

The Include In submenu in an Inline Image’s gear menu

Image Sizing Preference

If your book is very image-heavy, you can change Vellum’s Image Sizing preference.

The Image Sizing popup menu in Vellum’s Preferences

Switching to Smaller Size (from Higher Quality) and then regenerating your Kindle ebook will result in a file with smaller and more compressed images.

The following table shows the delivery cost difference for an image-heavy book when you generate using the available Image Sizing options:

Higher Quality Smaller Size
Kindle EPUB size 4.3 MB 2.0 MB
Size after KDP conversion 2.98 MB 1.94 MB
Delivery cost $0.45 $0.29

Using the Smaller Size setting does save a significant amount of money, but removing images is still the quickest way to lower delivery costs.