How do I sell my book on Amazon.com?

Amazon.com sells billions of dollars worth of books each year, and your title can be on this global bookstore next to established authors. (If you are a published author, then your publisher will need to arrange distribution on Amazon.)

But if you are a self-published author, it is within your control and easier than you think. If I can do it, so can you. Here you can see my self-published, print-on-demand book on Amazon How to Enjoy Your Job

The key is to use a service that you can load your book onto as well as managing some of the promotion if you choose to.  The fees for these services vary. You can do it all yourself for free or you can pay them to do most of it for you.

The process works as follows:

1.       Upload manuscript. You take your finished manuscript in PDF format and load it onto the website of the service you choose (examples below). You also load the cover.

2.       Create sales page. You write your webpage text and add the price, and your royalties are calculated.

3.       Order and Review. You order one of your own books to sign off that you are happy with the final product. Then you authorize distribution.

4.       Distribution. The files are distributed to the electronic bookstores including Amazon. You see them with a few days/weeks depending on the service.

5.       Build Amazon site. You upload images and get testimonials etc, adding more information to your online site. You promote and drive people to buy your book.

6.       People buy the book from the site. The order goes to the service who print it and ship it to Amazon who ship it to the customer.

7.       Royalties. You get paid your royalties monthly.

Here are a couple of companies you can use but there are other companies who will do this online for you too.

BookSurge

Booksurge is Amazon’s own self-publishing company offering print-on-demand, inventory management and distribution. They can take you all the way from idea to book and onto Amazon with a hand-holding approach, or you can just load your print-ready PDF and cover and go for it. You receive approximately 35% of royalties on retail sales of trade paperback books. The cost price is determined by your book e.g. black and white inner is cheaper than coloured or photos. You can also use Amazon’s own promotional tools e.g. Buy X Get Y program pairing your book with a famous persons (although this will set you back $1000 per month). When you go through the process, you will be guided to upload your files, cover and wording and within a few weeks your book will be featured on Amazon.com as well as Amazon.co.uk.
You can find out all the information at www.booksurge.com

Lulu.com

Lulu offers the same services to Booksurge but it is not owned by Amazon. This doesn’t seem to make any difference to the products they offer at the moment. The books are distributed through Lightening Source and are accessible to many other online retailers. You can load your files and cover and be published on Amazon in the same time frames.  You can also be published on BN.com (Barnes and Noble). There is an author community, you can ask questions in real-time online, and you can build a shop front of your own. Lulu has a great FAQ section and that includes detailed information on the required formatting for books submitted for Amazon. Make sure you read this before submitting your document as you may be rejected otherwise. You can find out more at www.lulu.com

I used Lulu.com for “How to Enjoy Your Job” and was very happy with how easy the site was to manage. If you struggle with the technology, or just want someone to do it for you, see Services.

*************************************

Thank you for visiting The Creative Penn! For more top posts, try the Articles page.
Like this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed by email or in a RSS reader.

*************************************

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments

  1. says

    I use Lulu.com to self publish my novel, but I also use CreateSpace.com (Also owned by Amazon) because they are cheaper per copy of each book.

    Lulu has been around longer than CreateSpace, they have a friendlier site, they have more help and a bigger community on their forums. So for someone just starting off they might be a better site.

    But once you are comfortable with formatting your own book, or have someone to format it for you, CreateSpace allows you to sell your book for less, but keep the same profit margin for yourself.

  2. says

    While LuLu.com is fine for having your book printed, I’d tell you to stay away from having them handle getting the book up on Amazon for you.

    After about nine months, my book is FINALLY shown on Amazon, but comes up as “out of stock” constantly. Endless emails to LuLu customer service just get variations on “wait a little while longer for them to work it out” and other boilerplate.

    I’m ready to release book #2, and I assure you I won’t be letting LuLu anywhere near it!

  3. says

    Hi all – it is worth checking out http://www.completelynovel.com a new service that is primarily the servant of the Author. This is good as many so-called self publishing sites are primarily and not that transparently simply fronts for publishers, who wish you to part with your money.

    I am using CN for my new book ‘The Marketing Manifesto’. They also listed it on Amazon for me, and it all works out rather well. This service is limited to UK. Ireland and France for the time being.

  4. says

    Hi

    I’m an independent Portuguese Poet. My editor already edited and printed my book “The Barbs of Passion”. I already have dozens of books, because the contract with the editor obliged me to buy them 50 books.

    I already have ISBN and bar-code

    How can I juts list them on Amazon?

    Thank you for your help?

    João

  5. says

    Hello,its pretty difficult for those of us in sub-saharan africa to market our inspirational books online.Though i am a talented young writer, and my first publication is titled WHO HURTS MOST?So how can you help me ?

  6. charles lewis says

    hey, i am new author as well and my book will be out next month with publish america… how can i get my book on amazon, because i know i am going to have to promote and push my own books which i don’t mind… i’m just motivated to push my own books and don’t just sit on my butt and depend on publish america, i will appreciate some feedback, thankz….

  7. says

    Hi all,

    You would think by now that there would be a company out there that can market books, as well as POD. Of there are loads of companies out there and they call themselves publishers, but we all know how impossible they make life. So we need someone like amazon to offer a true service. To put their money where their mouth is and offer said service for a commission of the books profit as opposed to fees up front by new authors that cannot afford to do that. Why doesn’t the likes of amazon, with all its might, offer such a service?

    regards

    James author of They Can’t Touch Him Now

  8. says

    I have a self published book, called Meece For Mayor of New York City.
    I have it listed on my website for the book at: http://www.MeeceForMayor.com
    What is the advantage of selling a book through Amazon.com? I notice lots of people do it.
    You pay 60% to Amazon, plus the cost to join, how does anyone make money from it?
    If I sell my book on Amazon at $17, which means 40% to me would be$6.80. Minus the to join fee ($1 per book is I sold 40 books),
    the cost to ship the books to Amazon (.50 per book), the cost of the book (my cost $2.00)
    I end up making a profit of $3.30 per book. You have to sell a lot of books to make it worth all that work. Being realistic, my book will most likely not be a best seller on Amazon. Would’nt it make sense for me to sell my book on my website and by pass the 60% and fees. On my website I could sell it and walk away with a profit of $14 vs $3.30 on Amazon.
    So what is the point of selling on Amazon, is it the prestige of saying my book is on Amazon.com?
    Just curious what others think about this!
    .

    • says

      Hi Kip, I’m not sure what you’re looking at but most of us publish with Amazon KDP on Kindle which is 70% royalty to the author for books $2.99 – $9.99 or 35% for other prices and certain markets. Smashwords take 15%. So basically, everyone is making actual income – it’s not about prestige.
      For physical books, you can use http://www.Createspace.com and you set the price so you can get what you want in terms of income from it – but clearly it can’t be too expensive or no-one will buy it. Lots more on the publishing page here:
      http://www.thecreativepenn.com/publishing/

  9. Joanie Joy says

    Hi Joanna
    I had two poetry books published already. I am currently editing my third book but I am the publisher this time. Please send step by step details on how to sell my books on amazon. I have a printing company in mind, or I can use Amazon as my printing company if it cost less to do so with them.
    Since I am the author and publisher, I want to earn most of the royalties. I do not want anyone to make more money that I do. My book is based on my life and the way I was raised. Please advise me about how to get started, and where to begin. Thank you for the time you spend helping me with this matter. I have a podcast, Facebook, Google and Twitter account that I probable can use for promotion also. Since Amazon is a worldwide company, I want to do business with them. I have been purchasing products from them for years and now it is my time to sell my books on there.
    Joanie Joy

  10. says

    Hi Joanna,

    I have absolutely no experience in this field and have been searching the net for information on how to get started in publishing my own book. I have been writing away but have no clue where to begin until I came across this site.

    So far I have found this site to be the most useful on a practical basis. It’s good to read experiences of other people in this field. I am considering Createspace or Lulu. Thank you so much.

    I will probably contact you again when I am ready to take the plunge. At this moment I am wondering about the design of front cover and which is the best place to get started.

    Thanks again

    April

  11. zohra jabeen says

    Hi Joanna
    I need your advice relating to the sale of my self published children’s book title Gorgeous Rainbow. My printer he Pyjama Press has advertised it there but has not made available to Amazon and to the book sellers he had advertised with. I do not know if he want me to pay for the books before they go for sale or what? Also my computer skills are not very up to date.
    please tell me how to promote the sale my book.

  12. Dennis Kadiri says

    Hi, i’m an author of more than 10 published books. I have recently published two books: 1. February 14 (romantic fiction) 2. Elders of the Dark Caves (African Drama). I desire to sell these two books on Amazon.Please what do i need to do?

  13. joakim says

    I have a book published thru one of the biggest swedish publishers, but not global deal. It´s a childrens book, and got a number 1 spot in swedens biggest family magazine in the potty training catergory.

    Interested in publishing on Amazon by selfpublish. Any ideas about sale numbers and etc of average children books. My book is print ready and also a second book in the series.

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *