Freedom is what marks out the independent writers, who have managed to liberate themselves from the gatekeepers of traditional publishing industry. Publishing houses and agents are no longer hurdles on the road to becoming a published children’s author. There is a host of services available that allow an aspiring writer (including a children’s writer) to bypass publishing companies and reach out directly to the readers. Probably the best known of these is Amazon’s range of services for the indie writers.
The services that Amazon offers includes creating eBooks, print on demand paperbacks, marketing and selling both eBooks and printed books. Here are five free-to-set-up Amazon services that indie writers swear by.
Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)
This Amazon Service provides access to writers (including children’s writers) who want to sell a digital version of their books on Amazon.com. Uploading is free and writers get off 35% to 75% of the sale price.
KDP uses the “mobi” format, which is file format for digital books on Amazon. This file format works on all Kindle devices. But you do have the option of uploading your book on Amazon with other formats such as ePub, HTML, Doc, and RTF. You can convert to mobi using one of the free software available or you can use professional services available at several publishing companies. KDP features preview option before publishing which allows an author to make changes and re-upload.
One of the best things about KDP is that Amazon does not insist on digital exclusivity. An author can use Amazon Services alongside other online stores like iTunes and The Nook Book Store.
This Amazon Service does a lot more aggressive marketing for authors who come aboard. There is an active give and take between the author and Amazon which works like this: The author gives an exclusive on the digital book for 90 days and allows the books to be part of the Amazon lending library. The author gets higher royalties (closer to the 70%) and a percentage of the lending charge.
You have the option of taking part in a promotional program, where your book is on offer for free or at discounted rate for up to five days. During that period your book will appear on sales pages on Amazon.com. This will push up the readership and create a buzz around your book. This, in turn, could drive up the sales on the days after and ultimately pay off with higher sales and wider readership in the long run.
This is Amazon’s service for creation and sales of paperback copy of the book sans the burden of unsold inventory. This print-on -demand service allows for sales from CreateSpace.com or directly from Amazon.com. The author decides the price and collects a commission for each copy sold. The paperback version and the digital version can be connected on the same page on the Amazon website, making it easier for the readers to make a choice.
Amazon Author Central
This is a powerful marketing tool that can be used by any author whose book is up for sale on Amazon. You can create an author page with biography, photos, reviews and cross-links to any other book you may have published. You can share any upcoming events and details of new book release with viewers.
This affiliate service allows you to link to products on Amazon.com. This link can be used for your own books or to any other product on Amazon.com. If a sale takes place through your link, you earn a commission of 4% to 8% from that sale.
The downside to using Amazon services is authors are not provided access to customer details. But in return, Amazon handles all issues of return and refund. Also the royalties are lower than selling through your own website but there is a potential for higher sales volume through Amazon.
Eventually no matter what avenue you choose to reach your target audience, having Amazon around has increased the choices that a self-publishing children’s writer has.