This week I want to talk to you about what is a really neat way that you can make money from self publishing with Amazon.

But hold on. You might have heard about selling other people’s books on Amazon. But I’m pretty sure you won’t have heard of this method before.

You’ll probably know about Amazon. It’s an online shop for books (and all kinds of other things) and is also one of the biggest brands in the world.

But did you know you could actually write, publish and sell your own writing on Amazon? And it’s not as difficult or expensive as you might think.

It’s based on a system known as Amazon Advantage.

What is Amazon Advantage? It’s kind of hard to explain in a short email. But it’s a system that allows writers (and others) to publish their own books and sell them to the whole world using the Amazon site.

It’s not the same as just selling books through Marketplace (which you might already know about). With Advantage you can decide on the type of book, the title, the price, and create your own sales page. Once that’s done Amazon will order stocks of your book from you and send them out to customers direct.

So how can you make some money from self publishing with Amazon Advantage?

First you’ll need to write some material. It could be a book or a manual. A guide or directory. Anything you like really. Your novel. Short stories. A play or poetry collection. Or how about a children’s book? Or a recipe book? A gardening or DIY book? Or your own travel guide… these can be big sellers on Amazon.

If you can’t be bothered to write your own book you could find some material from the public domain and make that into your book. Also, there is already at least one publisher who is copying content from the free online encyclopaedia Wikipedia and selling it very successfully on Amazon. (It’s all perfectly legal by the way.)

Now you need to sign up with Amazon. All you need to become a publisher with Amazon Advantage is Internet access, an email address and a bank account to receive your payments. You must either be the publisher or have the distribution rights for the books you want to sell. Advantage membership costs £23.50 a year, but there are no fees to list books.

You can sign up here:

Next you will need as ISBN or International Standard Book Number for your book. Once you have this it will (or should) be listed automatically on Amazon’s system. There’s a small fee for getting an ISBN number… I can tell you how to do it if you’d like to know more, just email me.

One more thing. You can sell both traditional books and electronic books using Amazon Advantage. If you want to sell your writing as a paper book you’ll need to get some copies printed. A cheap and effective way to do this is to use Print On Demand or POD publishing… where you don’t need to print or pay for any books until you’ve got some orders. I’ve talked about POD publishing before… you can find more details on my blog.

If you don’t want to go to the expense of printing your book (or don’t have the money to do it) you can sell your book as an ebook on Amazon too.

In fact this can be a very good option because ebooks are hot news at the moment.

Just put your book together as a PDF file. The added advantage of this is that you will also be able to sell it in Amazon’s Kindle bookstore. Kindle books can be bought on Amazon by people with Amazon’s own Kindle ebook reader, other ebook readers, computers, and many types of mobile phone too.

In other words a massive worldwide market for your writing!

Here’s what happens when you sell your writing using Amazon Advantage: Amazon will order an initial stock from you. The book then goes up for sale on Amazon and is showcased to buyers worldwide – millions of them. As books sell Amazon ship them out for you, collect payment and pay it into your bank account less their commission. Then re-order more stock from you as necessary.

Amazon take up to 60% commission on your sales price which seems a lot. But, bearing in mind they do most of the work, I think it’s pretty fair. If, say, you price your book at £10 you’d make £4 for each copy sold. Sell 1,000 and you’d turn over £4,000. Sell 10,000 and you could turn over £40,000.

Now I’m the first to admit Advantage is probably one of the more involved ways of making money from writing I’ve told you about lately. But if there’s an easier way of publishing and selling your own writing to the whole world I’ve yet to find it! You don’t need a publisher, distributor, a wholesaler, a sales team or a warehouse full of stock – Amazon do all that for you. And you get to benefit from their established name and good reputation too.

Do take a look at Amazon Advantage. Let me know what you think.