Data Center Design Case Studies on Amazon Kindle

If you’re an avid Kindle user, you can buy the Data Center Design Case Studies book on Amazon. Here’s the link, search should find it on most other Amazon marketplaces.

However, if you can survive reading the PDF version, please buy it straight off my web site. Here’s why:

  • When using the Kindle Direct Publishing, Amazon gives the author 35% or 70% of the book sales as royalties. The author gets 70% royalties only if the book costs less than $9.99 (and I don’t believe in 180 pages of design case studies being worth $9.99) and only for sales in certain territories.
  • There’s a 30% withholding tax on royalties earned by non-US entities on

Summary: Best case I’d get 35% for every book sold on Amazon (assuming I manage to win the paperwork war), right now it would be 24.5%. Leaving 75% of book price to third parties that add little value to the process seems like a colossal waste.


  1. It's worth mentioning you can upload PDFs to Kindle.
    1. Yeah, but they're harder to read (next to impossible on my old Kindle), as there's no text reflow.

      My PDFs are, however, optimized for iPad's screen (4:3 ratio, reasonable large text size).
  2. Ivan, two things;

    1. You should be able to create an .epub version of your book that you can sell along with the PDF without too much trouble. This would be a boon for Kindle owners but avoid the need to use KDP. I've used Sigil without too much trouble.

    Based on the UK price of your book of £18.13 you are making only £0.74 more by selling at this price instead of £8 with a 70% royalty. I think your customers would rather not be charged £10 more so you can make an extra 74p. I'd suggest a volume one and two approach would be preferable.
  3. Not sure why I picked Anonymous. @sjiveson
  4. Ivan,

    Not to defend Amazon per se, but you do realize you are able to self-publish a book and gain world wide access to buyers 24x7x365 via Amazon's infrastructure investment. Compare that to the cost, logistics and time you would have invested with a traditional "dead tree" publisher and I think there may well be "value" being added.

    As to the "tax witholding" for "non-USA" entities ... well, that gets into unsettled political arguments that are more than 225 years old and so I'll just move on. :-)

    Congrats on the book.
    1. Hi Brook,

      I have absolutely no problem with the sales channel taking 30%. I do have a problem with someone taking 65% because they disagree with my valuation of my work.

      As for "Amazon versus traditional publishers" - Amazon is charging 30% for access to their shelves, whereas the traditional publisher does way more work (been there, done that).

      Finally, I'd appreciate any links you might have that would give me more insight into that centuries-old arguments.

      Thanks for your feedback!
    2. Hi Ivan,

      Perhaps Amazon needs more competition so the prices come down?

      It's the debate that was held from the the enactment of the Articles of Conferation, 1776, unitl the Constitution of the USA was approved in Congress in 1787.

      The debate I referred to is about federal vs. state authority to govern in the USA. When the 16th ammendment (circa WW 1) was ratified, it affirmed that the federal government could levy an income tax on any citizen it wished. The rest is history and has become an enormous mess IMHO. At one point the marginal tax rate was as high as 90% ... which makes Amazon's tithe for being an electronic book store look "cheap". :-) But that's not really any consolation, is it.

      I hope the summer has been pleasant in Ljubljana, my friend. I enjoyed my brief stay there last June.

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