Amazon is an Author’s Best Friend

Hands down.

I get a check from Amazon every month. In fact, I get three: one from Kindle sales, one from Seller Central (which I use to sell my old documentaries), and one from Amazon Associate. Granted, I’m not paying my mortgage with those checks. Yet. But often it is enough to cover one of the car payments. Other authors are not only paying their mortgage, they’re making a sweet living on just Kindle sales. J. A. Konrath makes a six-figure income from his Kindle sales alone.

Konrath is Amazon’s new golden boy. Because of his extensive posts about the benefits of self-publishing and his success on the Kindle, Amazon has partnered up with him, which has only made him more successful. Now his books often appear on the Amazon home page, etc. In exchange, he’s now promoting Amazon’s POD publishing company CreateSpace for print books. As I said at the beginning of this book, I do not recommend you publish with any POD/vanity publisher unless you just purely want to see your book in print.

Unless you lost your eBook publishing rights to an Independent Press or a NYBB, you can maximize your exposure and profits by making your books available on Amazon’s Kindle.

To maximize your earnings with Amazon and to get your books available on the Kindle, the first thing you’ll need is an account with Amazon. It’s free to set up, and you likely already have one if you buy anything from Amazon at all. If you don’t have an account, there is a link at the top of every Amazon.com page that reads “New customer? Start here.”

Start there. You will only need your email address, name, and password. Once you’ve created an account with Amazon.com, you are ready to become an Amazon Author, complete with your own author page and sales figures; an Amazon Associate, where you will earn a few pennies from every sale you lead to Amazon; an Amazon Seller, where you can sell used books and other items, your own books, if you don’t choose to be distributed via Lightning Source, and many other things. In addition to all this, you will set up as a Kindle Direct Publisher (formerly Digital Text Platform, DTP). The most important of these for authors is the Kindle Direct Publisher (KDP)…

This is an excerpt from my book Publishing & Marketing Realities for the Emerging Author, available on Amazon, Kindle, or right here on this site for free (limited time).

18 Comments Add yours

  1. Brenda says:

    Very cool! I was thinking about the Amazon Associates Program but (1) didn’t know how my readers would feel about banners and/or adds on my site; and (2) giving them my bank acct or social security number.

    Glad it works well for you! Keep up the good work!

    1. christinerose says:

      Their banners are rather unassuming, especially the smaller ones. But you don’t even have to use a banner. You just ensure the link to your book is the associate link.

  2. taureanw says:

    Great advice! Amazon has opened a lot of doors of aspiring authors and has placed many-a-book into the hands of people who don’t want to go to a brick & mortar store.

    1. christinerose says:

      Agreed. Amazon does wonders for the little guy. Because of them, we have the same eBook distribution as the big boys. Level playing field.

  3. Meaghan says:

    When it comes to being an Amazon Seller and selling back used items, is it kind of a pain to deal with any tax related things or claiming those earnings, or does Amazon help you out with that? Do you find that the $3.99 they give you for shipping covers the actual cost if that applies to you? Just want to pick someone’s brain about this, I went through the sign up process and stopped when they wanted to call me – what are they calling me for? LOL I’m paranoid. Let me know if you have a chance, thanks for this great post!

    1. christinerose says:

      I don’t remember them calling me for anything. You’re talking about Amazon’s Seller Central, and their shipping cost does cover shipping for me, as I’m usually sending media mail anyway (Books/DVDs).

  4. Hello, I am a voracious reader, and would love to do book reviews on my wordpress.com site. How hard is it to review a book, and then put an amazon link on your post? I know I will have to sign up for an affiliate account, which shouldn’t be an issue. I am more concerned about how to setup the link, and is it legit with wordpress.com?

    Also, how long is a customary book review? Please feel free to check out my blog, don’t be disappointed though, I just started it today.

    1. christinerose says:

      Book reviews vary in length. There are so many across cyberspace, just look at a few to find a format that works with your writing style.

      As for Amazon affiliate links & WordPress.com, officially the free WordPress site doesn’t support advertising, so you won’t be able to use the media-rich iframe file. However, by clicking “share on Twitter” in the Amazon toolbar top banner (that shows up when you’re signed into the associates program), just copy that shortened URL for Twitter & paste it into your WordPress post (or behind a picture of the book).

  5. Great insights into Amazon for the writer. I’ve been finding moderately successful and steady sales from my Kindle book, and it has been a great way to get myself out there. However, I also published the book using Create Space, and I want to beg to differ with the lumping together of PODs such as Create Space and a vanity press. Big difference is that it costs nothing to publish through Create Space if you are moderately tech savvy. Second difference is that you get a quite high royalty rate–higher than through many ‘traditional’ publishers–which is pure profit. I consider it independent publishing, rather than a vanity press. I have sold over 1000 copies of my independently published novel, including to bookstores and museum stores. I think this distinction is critical, and an important one as we all monitor the changing landscape of the publishing industry.

    1. christinerose says:

      Yes. Create Space is on the cusp, as I said. Its predecessor was definitely more of the subsidy variety, but I’m seeing good things with Create Space. Like I say in my book, they are like Lightning Source-lite. Congrats on the 1000+ copies! That’s no small feat, especially if all those were via Create Space. Highly, highly impressive. Please share your secrets!

  6. Excellent post Christine. I’m a new author and my book came out in print in November. I plan an e-book for next year but right now, I’m still trying to figure out the marketing for my print book. Sometimes, I feel overwhelmed trying to keep up with everything including blogging and social media. There’s also so much to learn and keep up with. Thanks for your work.

    1. christinerose says:

      Thank you!

      You will sell way more eBooks than print books as an independent author. Don’t wait another day to get them up on Kindle, Nook, & Smashwords. As for managing social networks, I have some tips throughout this blog and in my book. I think the book might help you a lot.

  7. Brad Swift says:

    Amazon has changed the landscape of the publishing world as much if not more than Google has changed the landscape of cyberspace. Are either of this megaliths perfect? No – but it seems ludicrous to me how some indie publishers are so negative about Amazon — a little like killing the golden goose to me.

    Would like to hear your take on the new KDP Select option where Amazon asks for a 90 day exclusive in exchange for listing your book in their Kindle Owners Lending Library for their Prime members.

    1. christinerose says:

      Yes! I’m actually going to write about that very soon! 🙂

  8. Traci Loudin says:

    To see the flip side of the coin, check out Jim Hines’s blog post “Who Controls Your Amazon E-book Price?” http://www.jimchines.com/2012/02/amazon-ebook-price/

    It appears Amazon pays royalties based on the sale price they decide to set, which is not always the price you listed your book at…

    1. christinerose says:

      Very interesting! Thank you for sharing.

  9. If some one wishes to be updated with newest technologies after that he must be go to see this website and be up to date everyday.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s