When it comes time to sell your book, there are two primary paths to consider. You can sell your book through a third-party retailer like Amazon, and/or directly to the reader and customer on your own.
Here are some of the major considerations with both options:
Selling your book on Amazon
When you sell your book on Amazon, Amazon receives a “trade discount” for each book sale. A “trade discount” is the percentage of a book’s retail price that Amazon earns from the sale of an author’s book.
The standard trade discount for Amazon is 55%. You can set it lower than 55%, but there are some theories that titles that don’t give a generous trade discount to Amazon are lower on Amazon’s priority list. What this means is that Amazon is usually getting a pretty decent slice of your royalty payment when all is said and done.
The other downside is that Amazon is the decision-maker when it comes to setting the price for your book; as the author, you’re not going to be able to have any control over what price Amazon decides to sell your book at.
The reality is that most readers will search for a title on Amazon first since that’s the easiest and fastest option. There’s a reason why brick and mortar retailers are struggling to stay open; Amazon is still by far the top player when it comes to selling books in today’s marketplace.
Selling your book directly to customers
There are a few different ways to sell books directly to readers and customers on your own without using a third-party retailer like Amazon.
You can sell books in person at book events such as signings, book fairs, or speaking engagements. However, the easiest and most popular way is to sell the book directly through a personal website. Here are some of the biggest benefits to selling books to readers and
customers on your own website vs. through a third-party retailer like Amazon:
- The ability to set promo codes, which will help you compete with whatever price Amazon is selling your book for if it’s also listed on Amazon.com
- Full control over your retail price
- Much higher royalties earned from book sales since Amazon isn’t getting a slice of the action
The downside to selling books directly to readers is that you’ll need to keep track of your inventory, ship out the orders to your customers as they’re processed, and figure out how to process the payments for each order (i.e. through Paypal). You’ll also need to figure out which customers need to be charged sales tax, and how to collect on that as well.
Or, you can use an outside provider like Tasora Books. With our distribution you can fulfill each book order from your book’s website, make higher book royalties, and save time; sounds like a winning combination.