When publishing your book on Bookmundo, you can opt to sell it via Amazon. This is a popular distribution option for many authors, and in order to make the process of selling your book on Amazon as smooth as possible, we’re going to take a detailed look at how it works.
1. Why sell your book on Amazon?
Amazon’s global reach is unmatched. Having your book available on their website can net you a great deal of exposure, especially if you’ve tailored your book for a specific target audience and have managed to market your book effectively.
Being listed on Amazon also grants your book some legitimacy by association, which is very helpful if you’re just starting out. People are generally more willing to take a chance on books that are sold (and therefore indirectly endorsed) by familiar brands.
Lastly, it’s convenient for your readers. They may come across your book while shopping for something entirely different, like a milk frother or a jumbo pack of drywall anchors, and decide to make a spontaneous purchase.
Ultimately, a more relevant question to ask would be: why not sell your book on Amazon? It’s always a good idea to make your book more accessible; the more people see it, the higher the chance someone will buy it.
The disadvantage of selling your book on Amazon
This doesn’t mean it’s as simple as plopping your book on Amazon and watching the sales roll in, however. Access to Amazon’s vast customer base comes at a price, and we mean that literally–they’re going to want their cut of the profits. Specifically, depending on how expensive your book is to print and how much you’re selling it for, Amazon will claim 30-40% of the net sales price.
So, while selling your book on Amazon enables you to potentially reach a huge number of readers, you’ll have to give up a significant portion of your royalties to gain that advantage.
Our recommendation? Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Sell your book on Amazon and take advantage of the increased visibility it offers, but don’t neglect direct selling or the other distribution options Bookmundo provides.
2. How to sell your book on Amazon
To enable Amazon as a sales channel for your book, all you have to do is get to the 6th step of the publishing process (Pricing) and check the box next to the Amazon logo. That’s it. We take care of the rest. As soon as your book is published, we’ll start the process of getting it listed on Amazon. This usually takes a week or two, since Amazon checks each book manually before approving it.
An ISBN is required
In order to sell your book on Amazon, you’ll need an ISBN, which you get directly on our platform when creating your book. An ISBN is a unique identifier for your book that is recognized worldwide. It costs £12.65 and will automatically be placed on the back of your cover once purchased. You’ll need to place the ISBN on your colophon page in your manuscript yourself.
You only need one ISBN per book, and this will allow you to sell it via all third-party sales channels available on our platform.
Your sales price determines your royalties
In the same step that you’ll be selecting Amazon as a sales channel, you’ll also be setting the sales price for your book. Based on that sales price, your royalties are automatically calculated and displayed for each selected sales channel. You’ll notice that your royalties for Amazon are lower than what you earn by selling via your author webshop. This is due to the fact that Amazon wants its cut of the profits, as we mentioned earlier. As such, we recommend trying to steer customers towards your author webshop first!
Monitor your Amazon sales results on the platform
One nifty feature of the Bookmundo platform is that we collect sales data from all your selected distribution channels in one place, allowing you to get an overview of all your sales results without needing to log in to a bunch of different websites.
3. How to generate book sales on Amazon?
By now, you’ve probably realised just how easy it is to get your book on Amazon. Now begins the hard part: getting people to buy it. There are hundreds of thousands of books on Amazon all vying for attention, so you’ll need a way to cut through the noise and get noticed by your target audience.
Fill in your keywords
In step 4 of the publishing process (‘Information’), you have the option to fill in keywords for your book. The keywords you enter here will be used to categorize your book in the webshops of the sales channels you select. So, if you enter ‘high fantasy’ as a keyword, people will be able to find your book when searching for that term on Amazon.
If you know your target audience and choose keywords they’d be interested in, they’ll have a much better chance of finding your book when searching for new things to read. However, once they’ve found it, you’ll also want to be sure that you pique their interest enough that they buy it–that’s where the book cover comes in.
Create an engaging book cover
When it comes to grabbing a reader’s attention and getting them to take a closer look at your book, there’s nothing more important than an engaging, aesthetically pleasing cover. Your cover is the first thing people see when browsing, and as such, it will determine whether a prospective reader clicks on your book to learn more or simply keeps scrolling.
Book cover design is a whole topic on its own, and we discuss it in more depth elsewhere. You can read about our cover designer, which is the easiest way to go about cover design, or perhaps you’d prefer to use a free tool like Canva to create a cover instead.
Make sure your book has a compelling title, blurb, and description
Once your gorgeous cover has made a good first impression on a prospective reader, they’ll want to learn more about your book. This is the moment when you hook your soon-to-be customer with a compelling title and an engrossing description and blurb.
The main function of these texts is to provide prospective readers with enough information to give them a clear idea of what your book is about without giving too much away. Essentially, It’s your book’s elevator pitch, so make it count!
Reviews get you views! Views get you sales. Sales, well, we’ll let you fill in the rest. But we can’t emphasize the importance of reviews enough. As soon as you’ve published your book, you should get friends, family and anyone else who’s read it to leave a review in as many websites as possible. Put your book on Goodreads and ask people to leave reviews there as well.
If you have any sort of contact with your readers on social media (which you should), encourage them to leave reviews whenever possible as well. Do you sell books directly to your readers? The same principle applies.
You can even reach out to online reviewers and ask whether they’d be interested in reviewing your book. This can be a bit trickier, and it’s possible that it could backfire if the reviewer doesn’t like your work. Do your research and make sure you find the right reviewer for your book; most of them specialize in specific genres, for example. We’ve actually talked to a few reviewers about their process and what they find important when considering a review, so give that a read if you plan on getting exposure that way.
4. Selling your book globally on Amazon
Looking to make your book an international bestseller? Our international Amazon interface lets you sell your book all over the world, allowing you to reach a much wider audience. Activating these international sales channels makes your book available via all Amazon localisations, such as amazon.com, amazon.ca, and amazon.com.au. This gives you access to tens of thousands of potential readers.
Interested? Get in touch with us and we’ll set up international sales channels for you! You’ll then be able to select exactly which countries you want to sell your book in once you reach the “Pricing” step.
5. Other ways to sell your book
Amazon can be a potent sales tool when used correctly. Nevertheless, the lower margins mean that you’ll have to sell twice as many books as you would via direct selling to make the same amount of money. There’s no real reason to stick to Amazon exclusively, and as such we always recommend diversifying your distribution options. Use Amazon for its strengths (i.e. reach and legitimacy) but try to encourage people to buy your book directly from your own website or the free author webshop provided by Bookmundo if you want to maximise your royalties.
We’ve set up some promotional tools on Bookmundo to help you do this. You can, for instance, use our social media interfaces to post announcements and updates on your book on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn directly from your Bookmundo account. You can even send Whatsapp messages from there. Use these tools to encourage people to buy your book where it’s most beneficial to you, and let them spread the word about your book to people outside of your personal network!