Is it worth putting your book on Amazon? Will you actually get the sales you are looking for? Well, let’s put it this way. You won’t be able to reach as many without using some aspect of Amazon.
Amazon has become THE place to buy books. If you don’t buy from there, you use it to read reviews and find out more about a book. It’s by far not the only place that exists or the only place you should use, but you cannot avoid Amazon if you really want to get your book out there.
Millions of Potential Readers
First of all, Amazon is known the world over. Everyone knows Amazon. Everyone has been to Amazon. This is not a small company. This site gets millions of hits a day. A day! Not a month! Just in one day, your book as the potential to be seen my millions of people. Now, with that being said, you are not guaranteed that they will see it or that they will buy it. There are millions of books and other items on Amazon competing for that same attention. But that is a different conversation. Just know that you have a customer base already set up in Amazon for you.
This is one of the biggest hurdles for a new author: trying to get people where their eyes just might land on their book. You want it in a large bookstore, but you want the customers to be willing to give it a try. That is where Amazon is doing an excellent job with their readers. They have millions of products and so many different ways to get their attention.
Print or eBook
Through Amazon, you can offer your book in print or as an eBook or as both. They even have audiobook venues for you. You are not limited on the type of media for your book. Amazon sells everything. The fact that you can have print and eBook for your book is crucial. There is a huge customer base for both.
Many people love print books and won’t read anything else. Just as many love their ereaders and prefer to get their books that way. If you only choose one of these publication methods, you lose a huge chunk of potential readers. You don’t want that.
Amazon is extremely Indie friendly. You don’t have to be a big publishing house to get your book out there. Amazon has tools set up to help the self-publishing author and the small publishing houses. They offer the ability to post your eBook straight to the Kindle app without having to jump through hoops, use an agent, or have a special representative assigned to you. You can do it all yourself without paying one penny. They make money only when you sell a book. They also have a print division called CreateSpace that helps you get your book in print and on Amazon. The site takes you step by step through the process including creating the cover. Again, it doesn’t cost you a penny. You can do it all for free with Amazon only getting money when you sell a book.
Amazon also offers ways to promote your book such as through the Kindle library or with free days. This only pertains to the Kindle versions, but many authors swear that these promotions have helped to make them who they are.
The Kindle library is a place where only Amazon Prime Members can ‘borrow’ a book for an unlimited amount of time but only one book per month. The advantage for you, as an author, is that when your book is borrowed, you get a portion of the overall prime membership payment. It might only be a few cents per book, but you don’t have to do anything while others borrow your book. It’s the same concept as it sitting on the library shelves. Can this lending lead to actual sales? Yes. I’ve been known to borrow a book and want to own it so I don’t have to give it back especially if I want to borrow another book since I can’t have more than one book out at a time.
As an author through Kindle’s special promotional programs that include the library, KDP, you can also offer your book for free for up to 5 days during a 90-day period. You might think that doesn’t benefit you, but it can more than any other marketing idea. Why? Because people love free books. I get so many free books for my kindle, and many of those get me hooked on an author. I’m willing to buy the next book he/she puts out. They make money then on future sales just from giving me one book for free. I’ve found several series I now follow along with new favorite authors.
Setting Your Price
Through Amazon, you get to set your price. There are some limits. You cannot set your print copy of a book below a certain threshold based on the size of your book. Think about it. Amazon doesn’t want you selling the book below cost. That is money only out of their pockets which isn’t right. They also won’t let you sell it at cost because then nobody makes anything. They have a small profit margin assigned to the lowest price you can make the book. It’s up to you if you want to go higher. The CreateSpace program tells you then how much Amazon would get on that particular price and how much you would get. The same thing goes for the Kindle. You choose the price, the profit percentage, and what divisions of Amazon you want it to go to such as the UK, India, etc. You have quite a bit of control.
Amazon also provides reports to you on a daily basis about your book sales including library loans and promotional days. These reports are updated throughout the day so you know how your sales are doing and how well any freebies days are going. This is great for the author.
Is there value to putting your book on Amazon? Yes, there is. Don’t limit yourself to the site, but don’t ignore it either. Use what Amazon has to offer and watch your sales and your exposure increase.