Amazon, Amazon, Amazon! This eRetailer sets the example for the power of online selling. Currently, the largest online retailer in the United States, Amazon did over 9 Billion in sales in the first Quarter of 2011. Not bad for a website that started out initially selling books.
We may wonder how these huge profits might benefit all of us – the little guy. They certainly do. Because of their large profit margin, Amazon has been the leader in developing one of the most user-friendly programs for authors to promote and sell their books. The benefits do come back to us by way of better software development, better book sales programs and customer support. The Amazon programs for authors are the easiest to work with and navigate in the industry and have set the standard for the other eRetailers such as Barnes & Noble and Google eBooks. Apple is limping behind. Below are the Five Parts of Amazon that you as a writer should be familiar with:
Amazon Advantage is considered a “self-service consignment program” where you can sell and promote your books online. You apply for membership ($29.95), indicate the title(s) you have for sale and Amazon orders books directly from you and sends them to the customer. You pay for shipping to Amazon. Amazon keeps 55% of the List Price set by you but they have the right to change the price. More at: http://amzn.to/ax8Bk
Sell on Amazon
Sell on Amazon is for Individual and Professional Sellers. This program is for those who want to sell their book on Amazon and handle the stocking and shipping themselves. You list your items, handle payment from customers and ship the item. Amazon takes a small fee and you keep the rest. More at: http://amzn.to/kmI8pU
Create Space is Amazon’s Print-on-Demand program for print books. You only order the number of print books you need. Set up is fairly easy and your book is listed on Amazon and you receive 40% royalties of the list price. Firebird can help you prepare your manuscript in print format if needed at a very good price. More at: https://www.createspace.com/Products/Book/
KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing)
This is the Kindle eBook Publishing part of Amazon where you can self-publish your books for the sale in the Kindle Store. Royalties are 70% of the list price. Your readers can purchase your book for reading on Kindle devices and use the Kindle apps for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, PC, Mac, Blackberry, and Android-based devices. More at: https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/signin
Author Central is an author information site where if you have a book listed on Amazon in print or eBook, you can set up an Author Central account. With this program you can promote yourself, track your sales and ranking, connect with other authors and readers, feed your blog, list your website and generate sales. Many of the top authors on Amazon use Author Central to increase their exposure and therefore sell books and eBooks. Kind of like a social media hub for authors and readers. We highly recommend you set up an Author Central account if you have not done so already. More at: https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/landing
Note: Use your existing Amazon account as your login to keep them connected.