Tag Archives: Bookselling

Conquering the Beast: Part 1

amazon--621x414

Amazon is the most wonderful place on Earth – or is it?  We all know that if you want to get book exposure then you need to have your book on Amazon.  The only problem is they take a hefty 55% when they sell your book.  They have the leverage to take a high dollar because of who they are and what they can offer a seller.  So I have decided if they are going to take 55% then I am going to make them work for it.  There are some basics to setting up an account but you can go further and figure out all the little tricks to get exposed faster and by more people.   This blog will review setting up the accounts.   The next blog, part 2, will go further into what you can do within the accounts.  Be sure and click the follow button on the top right so you are alerted to when the next blog is posted.

First you have to open an Amazon Advantage account.   Once you review the page on ‘What is Advantage’ and like what you see – sign up for the account.  This is your login screen once you have created an account (click on screen images for larger view) :

image 1

I was surprised at how ‘business like’ the site is but then I thought – this is for all sorts of sellers and some people have multiple products, items, pricing, etc so it is built to host a wide range.  There are a lot of tools for inventory control and analytics.  I would recommend just reviewing the site and click through some tabs.  I always feel a bit overwhelmed when starting a new program because there are a lot of features.

When you first sign up, you will need to add your book information and photos.  Just go under the Items tab and ‘Add an Item’.  You will then have to go through the steps and fill out the book info.  Then upload your images.  When uploading your book images, be sure and review how to properly name the images and the image size.  I actually went through this a couple of times because I didn’t pay attention to the labeling system they want used.  Once you submit then they go through a review right there and you quickly see if it was rejected or accepted.

Now that you have an item for sale, Amazon will send you a PO (Purchase Order).  This is usually for just 1 book to make the product ‘in stock’.    You will see a tab for ‘Orders’ so click there and select ‘Purchase Orders’.  Here is a screenshot:

image 2

You have to click on the little box to open the PO and then confirm it.  The PO will give you the basics of how many books to send and the address to send them to.  You then print the shipping label and packing slip (for inside the box).  Here is a screen shot of the PO I received:

image 3

So my thought is – I pay to print the book, they take 55% and now I have to pay at least $2.53/book (media mail – up to 9 business days) for Amazon to receive it.  Well, that’s not cool because I am now in the hole and will lose money on this book.  So I found a ‘stock up feature’ in their help section.  The help section is surprisingly helpful, btw.   You can go to Help/Orders/Stock Up Request and send them an email.  Just let them know it is for a promotion or launch of the book.  They need a reason to allow you to send more books.  Personally, I requested to send 10 books and they accepted within 2-3 business days.  They sent me a new PO for 10 books.

You have now officially put your book for sale on Amazon.  That wasn’t so bad now was it?

…Wait, we are not quite done…

AUTHOR CENTRAL

Amazon realizes that many authors are selling their books and they have created a separate site for Authors to share their info, reach more readers and get author help.   This is not part of the Amazon Advantage account you were just setting up.  This is different.  You can join here: https://authorcentral.amazon.com/.   Once you join, your home screen will look like this:

image 4

First, go in and update your author central profile.   If I had a dollar for every profile I have setup while promoting my book, I would be rich from that and not book sales…anyway….This is like any other profile where you can add info about yourself such as:

  1. Bibliography, Photos and Video
  2. Blog, Twitter, Facebook feeds
  3. Any upcoming events

Then go and add your book.  Just click on ‘Book’ tab and add more books.  You want to make sure that all the books that you have with Amazon are added to this page.  Your Author Central profile is then linked to your Amazon book sales page like this:

image 5

You can sign up for the ‘Look Inside the Book’ feature through Author Central.  There are certain obvious rules like owning the work and having a valid ISBN#.   There are directions to signup under the Help tab.  I thought this part was strange but you have to send an email to insidethebook-submission@amazon.com.  First they have to accept your request which can take 2-3 business days.  Then they will send you an email with upload instructions and ANOTHER site to log into.  There are instructions on how to send your file so review carefully.  Once I uploaded, I received a Submission ID# but that was it.  It said successful so I just waited and waited….until finally 9 business days later it appeared online.  I was surprised to see things take so long because it is Amazon – I assumed it would be automatic.  I guess they have to review all materials first before making them live.  And it is a bit comforting to know there are actual people behind the site and all the emails.

So now you have an Amazon account setup and an Author Central account.  All we have to do is sell books!

Next up is Conquering the Beast: Part 2.  Be sure and click the follow button at the top right and you will be alerted with each new post.  As always, I appreciate any comments, suggestions or feedback. If you have a blog topic you want me to cover – send it over.

…and in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night.

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Book Marketing, Book Media, Distribution, Self Publishing Author

Word on the Street with Larry Flinchpaugh

Through my years in publishing, I have worked with some really great authors.  All of these authors approach self publishing with their own agenda and expertise.   Since the whole point of my blog and book is to look at the reality of self-publishing, I thought it would be nice to do a series of author interviews.  Welcome to ‘Word on the Street’.

My author interviews will consist of 6 questions about them, their book and their experience.  You will get the good, the bad and the ugly.  Not all real self publishing stories are full of rainbows and butterflies – it can suck sometimes too.

Tell us about it, Larry Flinchpaugh:

image

Real Answer Real Authors: Why did you decide to publish?

Larry:  Nearly my entire life, I had serious questions about my religious beliefs, political ideology, our country’s banking system and even our educational system but never had the time to serious search for answers until I retired in 2005.  I had a sense that there was something seriously wrong with our country and with some effort; I could discover the truth that would improve the lives of not only myself and family but also the lives of all American citizens.  As it turned out, I discovered the secret to improving the lives of nearly everyone on the planet.

RARA: What titles have you published to date?

Larry:  The books I have published to date are: “My Family History Book, “Growing  Up  In  A  Zoo, “Secrets of Our Hidden Controllers Revealed, “Letters Home From Civil War Soldier Charles Gamble, “Against All Odds-President Paul Ronan,” “Billions For The Bankers-Debts For The People” and “Should I Start My own Business.”

RARA: How are you currently marketing your book and what has given you the best results?

Larry:  My books are marketed through our local book store called “Hastings Books,” amazon.com books, local museums and the tourist bureau in St. Joseph, Missouri.  Also my books are available on my own personal web site and promotion through Facebook.  The local libraries also have my books available.  Actually our local book store, Hastings does slightly better than amazon.

RARA: Are there any books or websites that you have found the most useful?

Larry:  My own web site promotion is new and I haven’t seen any results here even though I am having 200-300 visits per day

RARA: What has been your greatest challenge in self publishing?

Larry:  My greatest challenge was learning to use Microsoft word in writing books.  It’s really not designed for book writing but other book writing programs are fairly expensive.   Huge files on word are hard to manage and I still haven’t mastered how to have separate page numbering for the index and the body of the book.  Trying to get an ISBN number and communicating with Bowker was nearly impossible.  Amazon did fix that problem.

RARA: What is the best advice or tip you can give a new and aspiring author?

Larry:  I always explain to people that few self publishes ever make any money; you will be lucky to at least cover your costs.  I personally did not write my books to make money but rather to inform the people how we can increase the living standard of everyone plus eliminate nearly all wars.  I have discovered the secret but few will listen.  I even had one representative state in private, “Larry, I agree with almost everything you have written, but if my constituents knew I believed that way, I would never get re-elected.  This is my biggest hurdle.  The masses of the people are asleep or suffer severe cases of apathy and our political leaders no longer represent the electorate; only the big money lobbyist, bankers and the military industrial complex companies.

I still encourage people to write because most will not be writing about so controversial subjects as I.

AUTHOR INFO

John Larry Flinchpaugh

J L Flinchpaugh Publishing Company

5500 Cape Court

St. Joseph, Missouri 64503

816-676-2565 cell 816-351-3107

Email: lflinch@stjoelive.com

Web Page: http://www.larryflinchpaugh.com

1 Comment

Filed under Book Marketing, Book Media, Self Publishing Author

Word on the Street with Jack McMilin

Through my years in publishing, I have worked with some really great authors.  All of these authors approach self publishing with their own agenda and expertise.   Since the whole point of my blog and book is to look at the reality of self-publishing, I thought it would be nice to do a series of author interviews.  Welcome to ‘Word on the Street’.

My author interviews will consist of 6 questions about them, their book and their experience.  You will get the good, the bad and the ugly.  Not all real self publishing stories are full of rainbows and butterflies – it can suck sometimes too.

Tell us about it, Jack McMilin:

217685_199535203419318_4756453_n

Real Answer Real Authors: Why did you decide to publish?

Jack:  My children and grandchildren kept telling me my stories were better than many books in the book stores. Then, my mother published a couple books and that pushed me over the edge; I had to!

RARA: What titles have you published to date?

Jack:  ‘Dodger the Dragon,’  ‘This One Thing,’ ‘The Adventures of A.P. Grace’, and ‘Fourteen Angels’ (at the editors now).

RARA: How are you currently marketing your book and what has given you the best results?

Jack:  A.P. Grace is the first book I have put the effort into the retail market. I am going to Christian book stores, one by one, and getting the books placed. I am having good success at getting the books in but, it is a slow process. It has inspired me to put my other books out there in the market!

RARA: Are there any books or websites that you have found the most useful?

Jack: There is a ton of information out there but, if you want to sell your book, you really have to pound the pavement, so to speak. Nobody is going to sell your book with more passion than you!

RARA: What has been your greatest challenge in self publishing?

Jack:  Not having an agent or publisher/distributor means you have got to put some time into your project.

RARA: What is the best advice or tip you can give a new and aspiring author?

Jack:   Become relentless, when it comes to getting your book noticed. Go to the book fairs, every mom and pop book store you can find, use your friends and family to “Like” you on face book, tweet, I could go on and on.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Marketing, Book Media, Self Publishing Author