Maybe you knew all along you were going to sell your book. But maybe, after you’ve printed your book and passed it around, you’re surprised to hear so many people say, “This is great! Where can I get a copy? Can I buy it on Amazon?”
Whether you had considered selling your book on Amazon or not, you’ll want to be able to say, “Yes, just search for my name and title”. By following a few easy steps, you can make that happen.
Blurb works with Amazon through a couple of different channels, depending on your book format. Photo Books go through the Blurb-to-Amazon program and are sold through the Amazon Marketplace. Trade Books are distributed with Ingram to Amazon, Bn.com, and thousands of other online retailers worldwide.
Note: All books in distribution need an ISBN. Books that enter the Amazon Marketplace are given a free ISBN upon distribution if you hadn’t assigned one to yourself during photo book creation. Trade Books have ISBNs by default.
To sell your book on Amazon, just follow a few easy steps
1. Order a Proof Copy
Once your book enters the Amazon distribution channel, it cannot be edited or fixed. So you’ll want to make sure the book you’re putting into the channel is exactly the book you want your customers to get. When you get your proof copy, check for the usual suspects: margins, page numbers, copy, and image resolution. When it comes to typos, a second pair of eyes doesn’t hurt either. If you have a willing friend, ask them to proof it as well. If you find any changes, edit your book file and upload the new book using any of our tools.
2. Complete Your Profile and Book Details
Write a catchy, enticing description of your book and complete your Blurb profile. This information will be shown to buyers, so make sure it’s exactly as you’d like it to appear.
3. Set Your Retail Price
This is also known as a List Price. When you enter distribution, there is a required markup for your book that covers the profit margins for your distributors. Amazon charges a $1.35 fee and 15% of the list price to distribute your book. You’ll see that show up in your dashboard when you go to set up for sale. Also factored into the list price is the profit you hope to make. You control the profit amount, but you can’t control the Amazon percentage or fees. Finding the balance between making a profit and keeping the price competitive is an age-old challenge that authors have always faced.
When it comes to Trade Books, you still have control over your profit. You still set the overall List Price, but the markup system is a little different with Ingram. Ingram will distribute your print-on-demand book to Amazon, but also makes it available to over 39,000 other outlets.
Ingram’s markup uses the industry-standard “Wholesale Discount” label, but it’s important to understand that “discount” is for those who distribute your book to make their own margin on it. For Ingram, the more markup you allow (by setting a higher percentage of the retail price), the more visible your book is likely to be. You set your Ingram Wholesale Discount in your dashboard when you set up the sale. The higher “discount” makes a higher list price, but it comes with more potential opportunity. We set the default Ingram Wholesale Discount at 36%, because this is the minimum required to enable your book to show up in search results.
4. Promote Your Book
Leverage your social media, email lists, and word-of-mouth to direct people to your book once the listing shows up. (It can take 4-10 days on average for the listing to appear, depending on your book and channel). Make several strategic posts about your book with a link to the sales page. Your book gains visibility on Amazon the more that it is purchased, so be sure to direct people to Amazon to buy it. People can’t buy books they don’t know about, so get the word out!
Check out our selling books on Amazon page for additional tips. Have you set up your book up for sale? Have any tips on promotion and social media? Share them in the comments below!