PDA

View Full Version : Does anyone belong to Amazon Advantage (and live outside US)?



Talia
02-01-2007, 01:46 PM
I've been thinking about signing up although at $40 a year I can see that all the advantages are in Amazon's court.

My situation is that my book is published in New Zealand. I have paypal and can sell my stock online but I'd like it to be on Amazon. I'm not sure how the margins will work out. My publisher lets my buy stock at wholesale but by the time it gets shipped to Amazon and sells there is probably not a lot in it for me. Despite this hope springs eternal and I still fantasise about hordes of people rushing to buy my book off Amazon.

I noticed terms and conditions are newly revised in Jan 07 so I thought I would ask first if anyone has used the system and if there are any catches.

Also, I am wondering about payment. According to the website:
10. How is payment made to Advantage vendors?
Advantage is invoice-free; we pay you automatically at the end of the month following the month in which your product is sold. For example, for items sold in the month of January, we will pay you at the end of February. Payment can be made to you by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) to a U.S. bank account or by paper check. Please note that if you receive payment via paper check, your payment will not be disbursed until you reach a threshold of $100 and there is an $8 processing fee per check.

Does anyone else outside US deal with Amazon and what have you done with payment? A US$ cheque is no use in New Zealand

Anthony Ravenscroft
02-03-2007, 09:59 PM
My company uses Advantage, though we're in the U.S.

They often begin by ordering 3 copies of a new title. When they sell, this seems to set off an automatic ordering cycle of some sort. You have to be ready for Azon to order eight copies or more, then to leave 'em on their shelf for months, then suddenly send 'em back to you because they're not selling fast enough.

They do pay regularly, & often even promptly.

Talia
02-04-2007, 12:40 AM
the returning stock was one of the things that concerned me. It would be too expensive to pay freight both ways. If they wanted to return stock it would be more economical to ask them to destroy it.

The payment is fine for you but I live outside the US. That means I can't receive electronic payment and cheques are no use. With my amazon affiliate it's not a problem as I convert it to gift vouchers for my purchases (works well for amazon!) but I'd need payment for book sales...

euphrosene
02-04-2007, 09:34 PM
Hi there. I live in the UK and use Advantage. I didn't pay anything but send books whenever orders come through.

They have never sent any books back and, once, paid me for a book that got lost in the works.

While it is relatively expensive, it is worth it for raising profile and getting reviews.

Talia
02-04-2007, 09:43 PM
Hi there. I live in the UK and use Advantage. I didn't pay anything but send books whenever orders come through.

They have never sent any books back and, once, paid me for a book that got lost in the works.

While it is relatively expensive, it is worth it for raising profile and getting reviews.

Do you sell to the US or UK amazon?
The scheme I saw requires an annual fee

euphrosene
02-04-2007, 09:51 PM
Theoretically, the ISBN listing and Gardners' distribution should make the books available in the States (and the rest of the world)... Unfortunately, it has not happened and only two e-book titles are listed - not the print ones.

This is all a current issue for me as I have been emailing a publisher who says NielsenBookData and Gardners have given me inaccurate information. However, since two titles are listed on Amazon.com, there is no reason why the others cannot be as well.

It's all a bit of a pfaff but I expect I shall get around to chasing people soon.

So, the short answer is that sales are currently just the UK.

Talia
02-04-2007, 10:07 PM
I've asked my publisher for help but haven't heard anything yet. By the time I pay for the books at wholesale I'm struggling to see how to make it work but I really would like my books available in the US

euphrosene
02-06-2007, 03:52 PM
As I use Gardners for distribution, with PoD from Antony Rowe, I do not hold any stock. Orders are taken and fulfilled within 72 hours - in the UK at least.

I pay Gardners for the PoD to ARowe and invoice them at the same time. It works very well. Now all I need is a big rise in book sales!!

I am also still trying to find out why there is an issue with UK ISBNs on US sites like Barnes and Noble etc

euphrosene
02-06-2007, 04:18 PM
FYI:

Have just spoken with NielsenBookdata (source of my ISBNs), and all their ISBNs are valid worldwide.

NBD sends feeds worldwide including to Amazon.com. Barnes and Noble online also get a feed...

What he does not know is why only some titles are 'chosen'.

One solution is to sell the rights - either to an indigenous publisher or one with a higher profile presumably although it generally makes no difference whether one is conventionally or self-published.

There could be an issue with fulfilment if they are not confident of the publisher and so may opt for localised PoD.

How about trying a book fair and selling the rights?

PS Correction from another source at NBD: "I’m afraid that we do not directly supply Amazon.com. Amazon.co.uk is allowed to exchange information with Amazon.com but we have no control over which product records they display and how they display them. In addition we do not supply Barnes & Noble with information."

Talia
02-07-2007, 12:47 AM
It's prohibitively expensive for me to get to a book fair from New Zealand and in all honesty I got my book published so I would have someone working on my behalf doing that sort of stuff. As it turns out the publisher of one of my books doesn't attend the international fairs although I believe the distribution company sometimes attends.

euphrosene
02-07-2007, 12:02 PM
Morning Talia - I popped over to your site to find out what your books were about and read about the loss of your pet. Please accept my prayers and thoughts... and that maybe now you have another kind spirit working for you 'over there'. That thought might help on two counts.

As for book marketing advice, I am not the best person to give it since I know what to do but never really do much myself =*)

However.... if you cannot afford to go to any book fairs, you can pay a smaller amount and advertise in the International Rights sections of their catalogues - or get your publisher to do so.

You might get some mileage by working with other similar associations - wherever they are based. Offer them free pdfs for example.

Unfortunately, because my books are all aids to lazy learning, they are not that conducive to 'viral marketing' but yours might well be (if I have understood the titles correctly).

And lastly, something I work on every day!!!, never lose your self-belief. Someday, your faith will be rewarded.

Hope this helps and best of luck.

Euphrosene

Talia
02-07-2007, 01:49 PM
Thanks for all your help Euphrosene

When I look at your books they are in basically the same area (personal development) and would have some overlap in buyers I expect. I can't see why yours wouldn't work with viral marketing. Although I would suggest that selling them as e-books or as part of a teleseminar or other internet marketing might be an option

It looks like your books are self-published; I guess that's why you've learned so much about book fairs etc. I didn't know it was possible to list books in the book catalogues. It's definitely something to keep in mind. I'm slightly disillusioned with publishers but maybe next time round I will get a publisher who works more closely with me in marketing the book.

euphrosene
02-07-2007, 04:01 PM
You may be waiting a long time then, Talia. Of course there are publishers like that, but they are rather difficult to find and they still expect the author to pull his or her weight.

Even established and successful authors are expected to do book signings, book readings, focused speaking engagements and so on and so forth.

Far too many conventional publishers tend to be swamped with manuscripts and have little time or energy left to do more than send out press releases and review copies.

The self-publisher accepts that status from the word go, and (theoretically!) gets on and does it himself or herself.

There are a couple of good books to get which will help you in marketing your book/s. When I have a minute, I'll dig them out and post their titles here.

Cheers Euphrosene

aka eraser
02-09-2007, 10:37 AM
Talia, you said in an earlier post that because you live outside the USA, you can't deal in electronic funds. I'm in Canada and have no problem (yet, anyway) with PayPal. I can convert the money to Cdn or US funds with a click. If you haven't checked it out, perhaps you should. (If they're not dealing with Aus. or NZ dollars yet, they sure should.)

As to the remarks about publishers - keep looking until you find one that will put the books into stores without any help from you. They're out there and they're worth waiting/working for. Mine is based in the US, an imprint of McGraw-Hill. While, with my 20-20 hindsight, I'd never settle for an "on net" payment policy now, I have no other complaints about the publisher. Without a lick of work from me (outside of brandishing my book's title in my online sashaying), I've gone to a 2nd printing, earned out my advance, and am expecting a 4-digit royalty cheque next pay period (that's just the dollars part, not the dollars AND cents. ;) )

I am the epitome of the Anti-Self-Promoting writer. I've never done a book signing and kinda doubt I ever will. I haven't had the local 3X/weekly do a puff piece on the author in town. I wouldn't do a reading if the payment was in the thousands. In other words - you can make a few bucks just doing what you were meant to do - write - if you write the right book for the right publisher.

euphrosene
02-09-2007, 11:21 AM
Firstly, well done Frank! And may many more sales come to you.

I'm not sure how many books there are on fishing, but I'd guess there are less than in the PD genre. So I would say that gives you an advantage especially if your book is humorous.

You also say 'I am the epitome of the Anti-Self-Promoting writer'... yet, on your website, you mention writing a regular column to 'plug my book' - and you trained as a journalist.

The latter career alone would have raised your profile to the reading public in some way (albeit not necessarily about fishing), which is also a form of self-promotion every time your byeline is mentioned.

Even writers notorious for their privacy, like Salinger, still get press attention somehow because someone did some marketing for them. Curiosity raised is a wonderful form of viral marketing.

The point I was trying to make is that if your publisher does not, and an evangelical fan does not spread the word, then we the writer ought to do self-promotion in some way.

cf 1001 Ways to Market Your Books - John Kremer

But I can completely empathise as all I want to do is explore ideas and write and draw/paint them! You'd never think I spent over 25 years in sales and business development!

Talia
02-09-2007, 03:53 PM
Hi FishWisperer

I can and do accept electronic funds. I have sold some of my books via paypal but it's a lot of money and time to ship from NZ. Also a lot of hassle. I'd much rather have amazon or some other distributor pack the books and take them to the post office etc etc. Maybe if I had a lot of orders it would be streamlined but the international orders are sporadic so I have to rouse myself and get it all done. Many years ago I was selling an audio product and often shipped up to 200 a day but it's easy when you're doing a lot at once. The time and effort to package up an individual order means it's not cost effective. I'm prepared to do it because it helps my books reach a wider market but it's far from ideal.


I am the epitome of the Anti-Self-Promoting writer. I've never done a book signing and kinda doubt I ever will. I'm guessing you don't include this in your query letters LOL

I find it very disappointing that most publishers expect the author to sell the book. We only get $2 per book - they get a lot more. You'd think they'd have an incentive to promote the heck out of the book but they don't.

I'm not totally anti promotion. I do speaking engagements and press releases. I enjoy speaking to prequalified groups (more on that later). I've done a number of media interviews and I frequently submit articles or extracts from books to newpapers or magazines to build profile.

However I do get annoyed with all the nonprofit groups that want you to travel 00s of miles to speak to their group of 10 members for no payment. "Oh you can promote your books" they say. "It will be great exposure."

I've been asked to travel half way round the world for free. I know it sounds exciting but it's a lot of effort and often for little reward. These days I ask them to underwrite i.e. I say sure if you can guarantee X$ in sales. Then they get really enthused about selling the books to their members lol. They get up there and exhort their members to buy. Now that I'm happy to do. But sometimes you get up at the crack of dawn (already putting me on the backfoot as a confirmed night owl) trudge miles across town to a tiny group of very nice people who don't buy your flaming book. 3 hours later (20 mins to speak the rest taken up with travel and smiling sweetly and mingling) you might take off with $20 in your hot little mitts. I know it's cumulative and it all adds up but I try to focus on speaking to larger groups as the long term process can leave you without food on the table.

James D. Macdonald
02-09-2007, 11:09 PM
I find it very disappointing that most publishers expect the author to sell the book.

You need to start hanging out with a higher class of publisher.

Anthony Ravenscroft
02-11-2007, 12:01 AM
"Oh you can promote your books" they say. "It will be great exposure."
Ugh. Over here, it's the big sad-puppy eyes, followed by "But... but... it's deductible!"

I saw Joel Rosenberg take down a roomful of fans about that point. "'Deductible' isn't 'free,'" he said archly. He went on to detail how he was generally expected to pay his own travel & hotel & expenses, plus take time that he could have spent writing or just plain goofing-off. There's a growing trend among proven genre authors to only go to conventions where friends abound or there are sights to be seen or business conducted, & any sales or fees (or deductibility) are lagniappe.

Talia
02-11-2007, 03:17 AM
Deductible LOL; I haven't had that one thrown at me.

My favourite saying (borrowed from David Nottage professional speaker) is 'But you can die from over-exposure' or something like that.

aka eraser
02-12-2007, 05:57 PM
Firstly, well done Frank! And may many more sales come to you.

Thank you. :)


I'm not sure how many books there are on fishing, but I'd guess there are less than in the PD genre. So I would say that gives you an advantage especially if your book is humorous.

You also say 'I am the epitome of the Anti-Self-Promoting writer'... yet, on your website, you mention writing a regular column to 'plug my book' - and you trained as a journalist.

The latter career alone would have raised your profile to the reading public in some way (albeit not necessarily about fishing), which is also a form of self-promotion every time your byeline is mentioned.

Yep, for a couple of years I added a link to my book's listing on Amazon at the end of my column. I stopped a few months ago though.

While I graduated university with a degree in Journalism, I never "journalized" except as a freelancer. I suppose selling a few articles and columns here and there didn't hurt after I'd written the book but I really didn't have a regular base of readers eager to buy it, or even aware I was writing one before it was published.


Even writers notorious for their privacy, like Salinger, still get press attention somehow because someone did some marketing for them. Curiosity raised is a wonderful form of viral marketing.

The point I was trying to make is that if your publisher does not, and an evangelical fan does not spread the word, then we the writer ought to do self-promotion in some way.

You'll get no argument on this point from me. But as Jim reiterated above, the best publicity your publisher can offer is getting your books placed in the stores. If your publisher doesn't do this for you, or is only able to on a limited basis, then yes indeed, a writer who is not averse to self-promotion can only help sales.

Talia
02-13-2007, 02:15 AM
Frank - You have an amazon link to your book in your AW sig so I don't think I'd say you are
"the epitome of the Anti-Self-Promoting writer"
You're not in the same league as JA Konrath with self promotion but who is?

aka eraser
02-13-2007, 04:13 AM
Yep. Online whorin' is my only comfy venue. I don't have to talk about it, just sashy around. Kinda like a tattoo on my butt at a nudist camp.

:)

Unimportant
02-18-2007, 07:25 AM
Talia, I'm not sure what you mean by "A US$ cheque is no use in New Zealand." I live in NZ, I get cheques from the US frequently, and I take them to my bank and cash them with no problem. If you've got US cheques that are of no use to you, you're welcome to sign them over to me! :-)

Edited to add: I've also had no problem using Paypal to go from UK pounds to NZ dollars, or from NZ to US dollars.

Talia
02-18-2007, 08:17 AM
Hi Unimportant

I found paypal great. Cashing US drafts is easy but cashing US cheques is usually expensive and problematic. Are you talking about drafts or cheques? they are different things...

veinglory
02-18-2007, 08:39 AM
I had enormous trouble with US cheques when in NZ. Of course moving to the US solved that problem but it as kinda of an extreme way to do it ;)

Talia
02-18-2007, 09:03 AM
Thank goodness I wasn't imagining it!!!
I was beginning to think that Unimportant knew some secret to cashing cheques.

One green card application coming up...

Unimportant
02-18-2007, 11:25 AM
Really? Weird. I get personal cheques, and the odd business check, from the US all the time, and I just take them to the bank and have them deposited in my account. The cashier gets out a calculator to do the currency conversion, fills out a form, and voila, finished. What problems did you run into, Em and Talia?