Friday, April 25, 2014

Six Reasons Authors Can Benefit from Letting Amazon Ship Their Review Copies


Amazon has long offered prime membership that covers fast shipping all year long. It will be going up to $99 a year. Of course I’d like to see it stay the same, but for some authors it’s still a bargain. Especially if they provide review copies through Amazon which isn’t a bad idea on several counts.

  • Using it is faster and easier than shipping books yourself.
  • The cost of the membership can be counted as a business expense for your taxes. 
  • Your purchases help your Amazon book ratings. When your Amazon book ratings stay low (low is good, high means fewer sales), Amazon’s algorithms may be affected.
  • When Amazon's algorithms pinpoint books with good sales records, you may find your book appearing in more places on their site which means more sales which may mean still more Amazon benefits like being part of their direct e-mail program without paying them for it.
  • Once a paid member, authors can use the free shipping benefits for all their Amazon orders, not just the orders of their books.
  • Depending on the royalties and the discount on their sales of your own book directly to you , you may pay less for copies of your book through Amazon. Don't forget to factor in those shipping costs and the amount that will appear on your royalty check.
I know. Frugal me. (-:  Really. It wouldn't hurt to calculate the number of review copies you send out and the average cost of each time you ship one.  Then make a similar calculation for the times you send your book as gifts to friends and those in the publishing industry.  You can very easily get an idea of the possible savings.
 
There are only two disadvantages I can see. You can't put your award labels on a book being sent by Amazon but you could mention the award in the online note Amazon allows you send with your shipment.
The other is you can't sign your book. Having said that, some authors use an online service that allows you to sign books digitally (though the signature isn't true to your real signature). Or you could follow up with a signed label for your book. If you use stationery printed with the image of your book and maybe a little blurb for it, this gesture is be perceived as excellent (and quite personal) public relations and a very nice service.
 


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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

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