Let’s face it, no matter how many Indies consider Amazon a monster, without selling on Amazon, Indie books have very little chance. Readers prefer to purchase on Amazon, as it is the most convenient and reliable way to shop these days. Many will visit local bookstores and browse, but most of them will buy their pick on Amazon in search of the best possible price. So why not make the most of it!
Amazon offers basically three ways to sell your book at its online store: 1) listing the book at Amazon and then shipping copies to Amazon, 2) having a seller’s account, or 3) selling your book for Kindle. I personally have created, The Kindle Account for my Innocent War Book and the Seller Account. The difference between having Amazon sell your book and creating a seller’s account to sell your book yourself at Amazon is basically whether or not you have enough copies to have Amazon sell and ship, or you prefer to keep a few copies at a time and sell and ship them yourself as they sell. I chose the latter one as my book was Print on Demand and I could get a good deal on buying them directly from Lighting Source. Below is a quick view on each method.
Kindle Account – The Kindle account is created when you convert your pdf to Kindle format and list through Amazon. You can have a third party do the conversion for a fee and the upload or you can follow the directions on Amazon and do the conversion yourself through them. I chose the first one as I found doing it myself was tricky. So, to guarantee better results I had a third party do it for me and paid a one-time fee for it. Doing it this way instead of submitting the PDF to platforms like Smashwords, I kept all publishing rights and get paid for the book price minus Amazon fees instead of just royalties from a third party.
List Your Book for Amazon to Sell – You can do this by creating an “Amazon Advantage” To join, you need copies of your book, an ISBN, and a bar code (which you really need anyway for print books if you plan to sell on any store or online platform). Then visit www.amazon.com/advantage. Follow the steps but read the fine print. Amazon charges an annual whether any of your books sell or not, plus a commission. Amazon will notify you to send books and how many. Once Amazon receives your books and starts selling them, you don’t have to deal with mailing out individual orders.
Be an Independent Seller Through Amazon – Even as an independent seller your book needs to be listed in Amazon, which creates the Advantage Account as well. However, you can also sign up as Independent Book seller whether your book was listed by the publishing platform or by yourself as an Independent Author/Publisher. Once your book has a listing at Amazon, you can open a seller account with Amazon to sell your book independently. To do so you need click on: Sell on Amazon at the bottom of their Home page, and follow the instructions. If you sign up for an Individual Account you pay no monthly fee, so that would be the way to go until you reach sales over 40 items per month. You can list as many copies available as you like, provided you have that many copies in stock. Customers can now buy the book directly from you rather than Amazon. You pay nothing to Amazon until the book sells.
Create an Author Central Account. – This is a must no matter which way you go with Amazon. This account is what will allow you to connect and inform your audience about all of your activities and books. Yo can link it with your social accounts and blogs, you can upload book videos and any event video as well as interviews…etc. Basically, not using this sales tool is like boycotting your own work. So sign up and put in time to learn how to use it.
As an author, you need to determine which selling option at Amazon is most beneficial for you. In my opinion, listing yourself as an independent seller is the better choice and Amazon’s best kept secret, but as I said, without using the Author Central feature, you will be reducing chances to motivate readers to buy your book.