Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Importance of Amazon to Writers

The power of Amazon to sell books demands that authors consider it carefully in their publishing and marketing decisions.

According to Morris Rosenthal ( http://www.fonerbooks.com/booksale.htm ), here's where some of the main book sales (includes media like CD's and DVD's) occurred in 2007 in North America:

BN.com = $477 million
Borders/ Waldenbooks = $3.41 billion
Barnes & Nobel/ B. Dalton = $4.68 billion
Amazon.com = $4.63 billion

Perhaps more significant is the growth in sales from 2006 to 2007:

Borders/ Waldenbooks = 0%
BN.com = 9%
Barnes & Nobel/ B. Dalton = 4%
Amazon.com = 23%

If this growth rate continues, I'd assume that 2008 figures will show Amazon far outselling each of the primary booksellers. If this trend continues, Amazon will only increase in importance to book sellers.

  1. Make sure that your publisher will offer your book on Amazon with a "Buy" button.

  2. Know the percentage that you will get from each Amazon sale. If it's negotiable, consider pushing for a higher percentage of Amazon sales in your contract. The difference can dramatically impact your profits. I get 35% of each Amazon sale by publishing with Booksurge.

  3. Learn to take advantage of all the Amazon tools for authors. It's very difficult to control how bookstores carry and display our books. It's relatively easy to control many features of how our books are displayed on Amazon. In my last blog I discussed the book Sell Your Book on Amazon, by Brent Sampson. I love the way it lays out, step by step and simply, how to take advantage of all the author tools offered by Amazon.

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