Want to Earn More Royalties AND Know Who Is Buying Your Book? Here’s How!
By creating an Amazon Seller account, authors can sell and fulfill book orders on their own without paying full commissions to Amazon. Your book will be listed on Amazon, but you will be responsible for fulfilling orders.
This may sound like WORK/TIME and not excite you, but read the pros and cons of my personal experience being an Amazon Seller, and you might think differently.
(Of course, you need to have first written a book in order to sell it on Amazon, and Write Way Publishing can help you with that. So, let’s assume you already are an author or are a soon-to-be-author and are curious about fulfilling book orders on your own through Amazon.)
Over the past several years, I published several books and sold them directly through Amazon’s print on demand platform. I wasn’t involved. And frankly, it was convenient and easy because Amazon handled everything. I never knew I sold a book until funds were deposited in my account 60-90 days later. All I had to concern myself with was periodically checking my account for my monthly deposit. Nice!
Besides, I was busy. I had enough on my personal and professional plate. So having to fulfill book orders didn’t interest me. I was happy just knowing my books were getting fulfilled by someone else while I was doing other things—coaching a speaker or writer, sailing, speaking on a stage, sailing, having dinner, sleeping … sailing…. You get the point. Books were being sold and all I had to do was pay a few dollars in commission.
Just by reading the above paragraph you might assume that it always makes sense to have Amazon fulfill, right?
Well, perhaps not. It all depends on your goals.
When I first published PAID to $PEAK, my book for aspiring speakers, I was happy with Amazon fulfilling book orders for me. Neat and easy. I didn’t even know about creating an Amazon Sellers account.
But once I heard about it, I became intrigued. One of the downsides to selling through any retailer, Amazon included, is you never know who your buyers are. You can’t communicate with them to let them know you have another book coming out, or that you are launching a new online class, or speaking at a large conference, or are having a book sale, or have some good, free content to share with them that will make life better in some way.
But what if you could know who was buying your book? What if you could find out how they found out about your book, if they might they be interested in business services you offer, if they might like other books or products you have for sale or to give away? What if you have an opportunity to build a FAN! Plus, what if you could send a personal thank you for the order and later follow-up with a request for a book review. And you know how important those reviews are!
It was for these reasons I first decided to become an Amazon Seller specifically for my one book, PAID to $PEAK, because as an Amazon Seller, I could do all those things!
It’s been over a year now that I have been fulfilling this one book on my own. I still have my other books being fulfilled directly by Amazon’s print on demand service. I’ve learned a lot from both experiences, and I’m sharing with you the pros and cons of creating an Amazon Sellers Account.
Pros of Becoming an Amazon Seller
- You know exactly who orders and when. As an Amazon Seller, you receive instant notification when someone orders a book. When you print the mailing label, it shares the buyer’s name and address.
- You can gauge your marketing efforts immediately. When the order notification comes through, you can align it with marketing efforts. Continue what works; change what doesn’t!
- You can mail autographed copies and create a positive buyer experience with what you include in your order. I’ve had numerous buyers comment that they’ve never received such a personalized buyer experience. #Differentiation … plus this has resulted in coaching clients because I can insert special fliers and incentive bonuses when I want.
- You can follow up with the buyer for a review—#HUGE … more reviews will help your future book orders. Being able to follow up with buyers 1-2 weeks later for a review is extremely advantageous. (note: there is a right way and a wrong way of doing this—I’ve learned that the hard way! This is a lesson for a different post!)
- You earn higher book royalties. This should speak for itself because you’re keeping the extra royalty instead of paying someone else (i.e. Amazon peeps) to do it for you.
- You can control your price to be lower than Amazon Prime price so potential buyers order through you before Amazon. Again, #HUGE. Amazon is doing many things you’re likely not even aware of right now to ensure people order books through Prime rather than another online retailer. So competing with them to control a lower book price is … #HUGE.
- You also simply have the personal fulfillment of knowing people are hearing from you directly. There is instant gratification too when you see that notification for an order! Every time I receive an order fulfillment notification from Amazon, my day brightens. I love it. I wrote my book(s) for a reason. Knowing people are buying and receiving value from them simply makes me feel good.
Cons of Becoming an Amazon Seller
- You need to have an inventory of books. Order an initial inventory of books—say 100 books. When half your inventory is depleted, place a new order to get back to your original inventory level. remember, it takes about 10 days to two weeks for a shipment to be printed, shipped, and received!
- It takes 5-10 minutes to autograph a book, place it in an envelope, add the mailing address label that Amazon provides, and then walk down to your mailbox. Is that really a con though?
As long as you have a small inventory of books and 5 minutes of time, selling books on your own through Amazon as an Amazon Seller might be a sensible approach for you.
I’m a #HUGE proponent of being an Amazon Seller now, and all my books are being sold directly by me. I earn much more royalty and have the satisfaction of knowing who is ordering!
If you have any questions about this process of becoming an Amazon Seller, or have questions about publishing your book through Write Way Publishing, simply reach out to us at Info@WriteWayPublishingCompany.com. You can also click on this link to learn more.
Cheers to your book writing and sales success!