Online Sales - Selling Your Book Online

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In this section:

    Amazon is crucial to selling books

    Amazon is so important we have a whole chapter answering common questions and issues related to them and giving advice and best practice on how to work with them.

    When can consumers pre-order my printed book online?

    Consumers can usually pre-order your book online nine-ten months before publication date.

    Why is there such a long wait between pre-order availability and publication?

    The metadata information about the different formats of your book goes to the trade in the month after text and cover files are finished.

    We set the publication date for ten clear months later (e.g. for a title finishing production in January, the information will go out in February for a December release), and send the information out.

    It takes ten months (sometimes more) for information about your book to circulate through the trade worldwide, and this is essential to maximize your prospects of long-term success

    Please note that this time may be slightly extended depending on where we are in the annual buying cycle.

    When will printed stock be available to shops and online retailers?

    Shops and online retailers should be able to buy printed copies of your book when you receive the Your book is now in the warehouse notification, usually four weeks before publication.

    If stock is ordered earlier than six weeks into our US warehouse, NBN, they advance the publication date, which can complicate things. In the US, we aim to deliver stock four weeks before publication so this doesn’t happen.

    When can customers pre-order my ebook?

    On most ebook sites your ebook will be available to pre-order one month before publication and can be downloaded and read from publication day onwards.

    Help! X online retailer has the wrong information listed. What should I do?

    If your book’s information (printed or ebook) is not displayed correctly on Amazon, Google, Apple, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Hive, Indiebound, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones or your preferred retail site, post a query with your title and publication date on the Sales & Distribution/ Sales Online forum and we will follow up.

    Help! X online retailer only has a few copies of my book in stock. Can you order more?

    The number of copies the retailer shows as being in stock is not significant.

    These days, retail stock control is highly automated, shipping is fast, and books in the distribution chain aim to match reader demand.

    This means many retailers can keep low stocks and order books from distributors non-returnable.

    Big retailers like Amazon pick up several times a week from the distributor. Our US distributor NBN can deliver books within 10 working days (12 at the end of the month); our European distributor John Wiley & Sons, 5 to 7 working days.

    How to increase your online sales

    We use the information you give us on Book Details page helps get your book noticed online. This metadata is distributed far and wide throughout the distribution network. Once this has been sent it is very difficult, almost impossible, to retrieve or change, so please fill this out as carefully as you can.

    Readers will find and buy your book if they:

    • Search by your title AND surname. There are millions of books now sold online so the more specific the search for your book the better.
    • Can find it in the correct category – see Categories.
    • Can sample the book online using Preview and Look Inside features.
    • Like your cover – book covers matter.
    • See a long list of high scoring customer reviews – see more in Review Copies.
    • Can read positive, informative customer and editorial reviews. To learn how to update your editorial reviews on Amazon, visit Amazon.
    • Read a well crafted description – see more in Description.
    • Know who you are, your credentials and online presence and platform – see more in Profile.
    • Read endorsements by well-known names – see more in Endorsements.
    • See details of previous editions and titles.
    • Can read, listen to or watch quality content beyond the book e.g. blogs, articles, podcasts, reviews.
    • See deep discounts like those on Amazon marketplace and during special promotion periods.
    • Find your book because the Keywords work. The right words and phrases in your title, subtitle, blurb and Keyword box (on your Marketing page) greatly increase your visibility on search engines such as Google, Amazon, Apple and LibraryThing. As most people “shop” for books on line, this is crucial to your book’s success. If you’ve written a book that teaches reiki and someone searches for “book on how to do reiki” and your book does not show up on the first 1-3 pages of results, potential readers are not going to find it.
    • Can browse and discover your book from among the almost infinite choice that is available from online retailers, unlike traditional bookshops with finite shelf space. Your book has more competition than there has ever been.

    Help! My book is being pirated! What should I do?

    Printed books are rarely pirated. Piracy of ebooks is more common.

    Please note, many of these sites claiming to offer a free copy of your book do not actually do so. They are phishing sites, looking to collect your personal data.

    Along with most publishers, we do not build digital rights management (DRM) into our ebooks because it would restrict their readability and distribution. Third party stores (e.g. Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble) add a layer of DRM that locks the book to a specific user account and device.

    If you do come across an instance of your manuscript being offered as a free download and you can find a contact email address on the offending site, post this and the URL link to your book on the Help forum in Sales & Distribution/ Sales Online. We will issue a take-down notice to their service provider. Word Press and YouTube are on our side and will take down any offending URL.

    Take-down notice template

    If you would like to issue a take-down notice yourself, please use this template:

    To the ISP Hosting Company:

    [Author name] is the copyright owner of the ebooks being infringed at:

    [Insert URL link]

    This letter is official notification under the provisions of Section 512(c) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA") to effect removal of the above-reported infringements. I request that you immediately issue a cancellation message as specified in RFC 1036 for the specified postings and prevent the infringer, who is identified by its Web address, from posting the infringing material to your servers in the future. Please be advised that law requires you, as a service provider, to "expeditiously remove or disable access to" the infringing material upon receiving this notice. Noncompliance may result in a loss of immunity for liability under the DMCA.

    I have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of here is not authorized by the author, the copyright holder, or the law. The information provided here is accurate to the best of my knowledge.

    Please reply to me promptly indicating the actions you have taken to resolve this matter.

    Yours Faithfully,

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