Did you know you can 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. Advantage is a system that allows writers (and others) to publish their own books and sell them to the whole world using the Amazon site.
So how can you make some money from your writing 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.
Next 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. An annual membership is charged but there are no fees to list books.
Now 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 from your local ISBN agency.
One more thing: 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 do not need to print or pay for any books until you've got some orders. If you do not want to go to the expense of printing your book (or do not have the money to do it) you can sell your book as an ebook on Amazon too.
Ebooks 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 book store.
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.
If there's an easier way of publishing and selling your own writing to the whole world I've yet to find it! You do not 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.