Sell Your Books on Amazon

Would you like to make your books available to the millions of people who shop at Amazon.com? It is easier than you may think to list your book in the world’s largest book store and start selling more books.

Amazon.com levels the playing field for small presses and self-publishers by selling our books right next to books from the largest New York publishing houses. My books have been available on Amazon.com since 2000, and I have sold thousands of books through them–books that I might not have sold without Amazon.com.

So how can you start selling your books at Amazon.com? If your book is published by a traditional or vanity publisher, they will put your book on Amazon. If you have a distributor, or use a POD printer, they may handle getting your book into the Amazon catalog. However, if you are self-published and don’t have a distributor, the easiest way to sell your book on Amazon.com is to join Amazon Advantage at http://www.Amazon.com/advantage.

To participate in Advantage, you must have distribution rights, and your book must have a scannable barcode of the ISBN. You get 45% of the retail price of your book, Amazon gets 55%. The amount you are paid is based on the retail price you set for the book, and is not affected if Amazon chooses to discount the price at which they sell the book. If you set a list price of $20 for your book, Amazon will pay you $9 for each copy sold.

Amazon pays for books after they have been sold. You will receive payment for books sold in January at the end of February. Sign up for direct deposit and the money will simply drop in to your bank account every month. The annual fee to participate in Advantage (currently $29.95) is deducted from your account each May, and a prorated fee is deducted from the first payment due to you after joining Advantage.

There are publishers who do not like the fact that Amazon demands a 55% discount. They believe that Amazon should receive a discount comparable to what other book stores would receive, such as 40%. However, Amazon.com is not your average book store.

If I sold to Amazon through a wholesaler or distributor, I would have to give at least a 55% discount. And, it would take longer to get my money from anyone else. The wholesaler or distributor would pay me some time after they were paid by Amazon, so it would probably take at least 30 days longer to get my money. And when I have sold directly to book stores, it has usually taken several months to get paid. I have never had to so much as send an invoice or an email to get paid, on time, by Amazon. Plus, no book store can give you the worldwide visibility you get on Amazon.com.

When you are in the Advantage program, you ship books to Amazon and they fill orders to customers. Once your application is approved you will receive your first order from Amazon, usually for two books. When those books sell, Amazon will order more. Expect that your first orders will be onesies-and-twosies, but as sales pick up they will order more at a time.

Once your book is accepted into the Advantage program, log in to your account to access lots of tips to help you market your book on Amazon.com. Adding a cover image, description, editorial reviews and other information will make your book more visible when customers search, and will help you to make more sales.

Cathy Stucker is the publisher of SellingBooks.com. To get more ideas and tips to help you market your books, sign up for free updates.