Amazon is a massive online trade centre for any product or service that you can imagine. As a business, it has a net worth of billions and billions of dollars, while its owner is one of the richest people on earth.
The above narrative on its own shows that there is something big happening there, which means us as writers, if we share our insights and experiences on and about this platform, we can also try to get our own writing game right on this online commercial landscape.
Even though there is so much buying and selling of different kinds of stuff on this online business centre, it is important to note that it also has an exclusive sub area for writers, including authors and poets etc.
On Amazon, literature creatives like you and me have been provided with a massive bookstore, library and publishing house all bundled in one for us to try it out and see where our passion and gift for writing can take us.
I will briefly explain how we as authors can utilise both the Amazon book store, library and publishing house element or facilities in pursuit of our dreams.
Any writer, whether his/her work has been published before or not, is actually welcome to participate on this platform in various ways.
Those who have not been published before and are finding it difficult to get their work out there for the first time, Amazon, through its Kindle Publishing (KDP) service can make it easy for you to get instantly published as long as you have a stable internet connection and a ready soft copy of your manuscript.
The process of publishing your book through this platform is quite simple if you have a general knowledge on using a computer and more so, it only takes between 10 to 20 minutes to complete the whole process if you are publishing an electronic book (eBook) and a few more minutes for a paperback.
This therefore means that if you do not have internet connection at home, it’s even possible to take your manuscript (pdf or doc file etc.) on a USB flash stick and then undertake the publishing process in an internet café at a fairly reasonable charge.
More so, if you have a standard quality smart phone, you can actually be able to do the same process at your own convenience on your phone or tablet.
Personally, I am currently preferring the pdf format compared to the Word document since the book that you publish from a pdf file looks comparatively better than the one you do with the doc file. There are however many other file formats that you can try out but I haven’t experimented with them yet.
Publishing an eBook on Amazon does not necessarily need an ISBN since the book is already digitally signed once you publish it but a paperback on the other hand requires an ISBN which you actually obtain free of charge in that publishing process.
While publishing your book, you have the freedom and option to set your own price for your book if you do not want to stick to the Amazon recommended price.
You can also choose to make your book available for free as a way of advertising especially when you believe that those people who download it for free will be a good source of reviews and recommendations after you have put back the price.
If and when you want to try out creating eBooks without immediately submitting them to your audience, you can download and install the Kindle Create software on your computer and then experiment with it at your own convenience until you get it right.
When your books are selling on Amazon, this publisher can send you the royalties through a cheque or other payment options that you may so choose but the minimum amount they can send to you is $100.
This therefore means that if your sales have not yet reached that amount you may have to be patient for your money or you can get aggressive on your marketing and advertising campaigns to beef up the sales.
On the bookstore aspect, once the publication of your eBook or paperback is complete, it can automatically be available for sale on Amazon and this means that anyone from any part of the world becomes your potential customer or audience, provided your work appeals to their literature taste buds.
Regarding the library, it is important to note that besides buying your book as an eBook or paperback, your customers can actually choose to read it online and as a result of that, you are also entitled to some revenue for those online reads as well.
When you have completed the publishing of your book on Amazon, you are given an author portal which we can also refer to as your website. You can use this website to interact with your audience all over the world.
In my case, my portal is as follows: https://www.amazon.com/author/briankazungu.
You can browse the above website and see how your author website on Amazon will look like once you are done publishing even your first book.
Please note that you are able to edit the stuff that you publish on Amazon through the KDP platform.
In the case that you personally discover a mistake on your book or you are notified of one by your readers, you can actually go back to your manuscript, edit it and then reload the same manuscript again.
This process just updates the already existing published eBook but the changes are not instantly reflected on your published material since it may appear after some hours even up to 24 hours or more.
Besides being able to edit and update your books, personally, I also use the Amazon platform as an e-cloud storage facility for my writings.
To me, it’s another way for storing your work safely and yet still giving your audience access to it before you may choose to do the traditional or mainstream publishing.
If you are an author and you have your own personal website which is different from the Amazon portal, you can actually sign for the Amazon Associates program where you can advertise products that are being sold on Amazon on your site at a fee or simply put, for a commission.
Personally, I have managed to publish 10 (ten) books on this platform and this has helped me to learn one or two things which I am now sharing with you. I haven’t mastered it all yet but the journey has been very exciting. You can also give it a try.
All these ten manuscripts that I uploaded, I have had them for a long time and that’s why I did manage to publish so much on a very short time in December 2019 alone.
Publishing was my main goal for 2019 and so, this 2020 and beyond, I will focus on advertising and selling the same books on this very same Amazon platform and see how it goes.
Brian Kazungu is a Christian, Media Practitioner, Author, Poet, Technology Enthusiast, Entrepreneur and an Opinion Leader.
For more of his writings and motivation, follow him on:
Writers Clinic is a writer training and author empowerment arm of leading book publishers, Royalty Books founded by Phillip Chidavaenzi.
Phillip Kundeni Chidavaenzi
Author | Editor | Literary Consultant
Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Royalty Books (Pvt.) Ltd
Founder & Administrator Writers Clinic