Amazon.com is the world’s largest bookseller. If you’re publishing a book, it certainly pays to get your book sold on Amazon. It helps build credibility and it makes your book accessible to all kinds of people who might not feel comfortable ordering from your personal website.
So how do you get your book on Amazon? You have two main choices: you can use Amazon Advantage or Amazon CreateSpace.
==> Amazon Advantage for Self-Published Books
Amazon Advantage is an Amazon program that allows content creators to sell CDs, DVDs and books through the Amazon platform.
In order to use Amazon Advantage, you have to self-publish your book outside of the platform first. For example, you might go to a service like Lulu and have your book published and printed there. Then you’d head over to Amazon Advantage and list your book on Amazon.
In order to have your product listed on Amazon Advantage, you have to have an ISBN number. You’ll also often need to give a discount off the listing price for Amazon customers.
The Amazon Advantage approach is an easy and simple way to get your book published on Amazon. But it does have one major downside: cost.
First, you have to self-publish outside of Amazon. Then you have to pay to have that book shipped to you. You then have to ship the book over to Amazon. All of that costs money. By the time you actually make a sale, a lot of the profits will be eaten up by shipping fees and printing fees.
It’s not uncommon for authors to use Amazon Advantage primarily as a marketing channel. They’ll only break even or even lose a little bit of money for every book they sell.
==> Amazon CreateSpace
A much better option is to have Amazon publish your book from start to finish. Amazon’s self-publishing platform CreateSpace does just that.
You upload your book onto their system and follow their vetting process. Once your book is ready, anyone can order the book straight from Amazon. Amazon prints the book on the spot and ships it to the customer.
Because you’re going from start to finish with just one provider rather than two, your profit margins will often be a lot higher. It’s also easier, since you don’t have to handle the books yourself.
There are a couple downsides to using CreateSpace. First, you do give up some control as you have to abide by CreateSpace’s guidelines. Second, you can’t publish hardcover books.
These are your two options for getting your book listed on Amazon. For most publishers, it makes sense to use CreateSpace for convenience and for profit. But for those who truly want to go the self-publishing route and only want to use Amazon for distribution, the Amazon Advantage program is a good choice.