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Ninc Newsletter

September 2013   •  Vol. 24, No. 9   •  Download pdf version

Amazon Kindle: A Contract Review


Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of three articles examining the publishing contracts of the Kobo, NOOK Press, and Amazon Kindle digital publishing programs. The series was prompted by NINC member requests for clarification of certain contract provisions and is offered for educational purposes.

At the request of Novelists, Inc. I have read the Kindle Direct Publishing Terms and Conditions (the “Kindle Contract” located at, which governs participation in and publication via the KDP digital self-publication and distribution program (the “Kindle Program”), and was last updated on June 13, 2013, as well as the Amazon list price page ( and the KDP Select FAQ ( In this article I will express my personal opinions as to what I consider to be the most important provisions of the Kindle Contract, and as to how the Kindle Contract differs from the form contracts used by traditional large New York print publishers.

I will also touch lightly on the other documents mentioned above. Note: this is not intended to be an exhaustive review of each and every sentence in the various documents … just those provisions I consider most significant to most authors.

For the same reason, if you are thinking of publishing your book(s) via Kindle, you should of course read the Kindle Contract and its attachments, rather than relying solely on this article.


First, I should state the obvious: the Kindle Contract is designed to permit publication of an author’s work in e-book form only — and only for reading on the Kindle e-reader device and on computers and other devices using Kindle software.

Table of Contents

From the Editor … / In Memoriam
NINC 2013 Conference:
      Conference Highlights for Author Support Teams
2013 Election Ballot / Proxy
NINC 2013 Conference:
      What to Do in Your Spare Time
Writing Is Taxing:
      And the Winner Is
Not Your Usual Writing Advice:
The Mad Scribbler:
      The Fifth Circle of Hell

(I personally have Kindle, Nook, and iBooks software on my iPad and iPhone, and have used such software to purchase and to read books from,, and from Apple via its iBooks store.) The Kindle contract does not provide for any print publication.

Contracting Parties

The person or entity submitting a book to Amazon for publication is considered the “publisher” of that book, whether or not that person or entity is also the “author” of the book.

“Amazon,” for the purpose of the Kindle Contract, includes Amazon Digital  Continued on page 4 


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