How to register to sell books on Amazon?

Shipbuilder
15th December 2011, 09:29
I know that one can sell books on Amazon, but I have spent an unproductive couple of hours on their site & Google trying to figure out how to register as a seller, but drawn a blank!


How one earth does one register as a seller with them?

I am completely computer literate, but really can't manage it without help!

Bob

Shipbuilder
15th December 2011, 12:48
I finally got through to them on the telephone. They tell me that one can't sell books on Amazon unless one has an ISBN number, that I do not have - so that is the end of that!

Bob

gdynia
15th December 2011, 14:13
Bob

Try this webpage u can get a ISBM number

http://www.authorhouse.co.uk/LP01F01C002.aspx?Cat=PPC&LS=SearchEngine&SRC=Google&KW=PublicationGeneral-IP&GKW=ISBNNumbers&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=PublicationGeneral-IP&utm_content=ISBNNumbers

Shipbuilder
15th December 2011, 15:06
Thanks, I had a look, but it seems they only give you an ISBN number if they do the publishing. My book is actually out now and didn't cost anywhere near what they charge, but is excellent quality.

I had considered getting an ISBN, but they are not compulsory and cost of over £100, so didn't bother.

Doesn't really matter I suppose, just thought Amazon might be another outlet. I only had 50 books printed. Got them last Thursday and 16 of them have gone already, so I suppose they will all go regardless.

Many thanks

Bob

Bob Murdoch
15th December 2011, 15:16
Hi Bob,
Tell us more. What is it? Thoroughly enjoyed your RMS St Helena
Cheers Bob Murdoch

Shipbuilder
15th December 2011, 17:39
Hi Bob,

Thanks. Click on
"Miniature Merchant Ships"
below, for full synopsis. Basically it concerns the MN from 1840 to 1939. 144 pages A4 size about 94 images in colour & B & W.

Bob

Bob Murdoch
16th December 2011, 15:29
Thanks for the info.
Is it primarily your models or a history?
Cheers Bob

Shipbuilder
16th December 2011, 15:36
Bob
It isn't anything to do with ship modelling, but I have used photographs of models for some of the ships as well as photographs of real ships both sail & steam. It is all history of the various types with an emphasis on personal stories and living conditions etc. Some sample pages are available via "Miniature Merchant Ships" below.
Bob

Doug Shaw
16th December 2011, 23:13
and cost of over £100

... for a ten-number block. Worth it if you are considering writing several books.

You can find the website of the official ISBN agency for the UK here (http://http://www.isbn.nielsenbook.co.uk).

Regards
Doug

Shipbuilder
17th December 2011, 07:31
I believe it is about £118 for ten ISBNs, but hardly worth it for limited editions. Even if I had been able to sell on Amazon, they have a fixed fee of about 83p per book plus 17.5% of the selling price.

I can't really see any advantage to having an ISBN number for small runs.

"Vanity Publishing" is much despised by publishers in the writing field, but I believe that is just because convetional publishers are getting more than a bit concerned that modern technology allows amateurs like myself to have small numbers of books printed to high quality, relatively cheaply and quickly.

I get great satisfaction in producing a small number of my own books regardless of whether they sell, and as long as I break even, I don't really much care about vast profits.

I took one into the local Marina on Friday and he immediately purchased two of them for cash, there and then and declared a confidence that they would sell OK! So far, 16 out of 50 have gone and I only got them on the 8th of this month!

Bob

hamishb
17th December 2011, 09:33
Thanks, I had a look, but it seems they only give you an ISBN number if they do the publishing. My book is actually out now and didn't cost anywhere near what they charge, but is excellent quality.

I had considered getting an ISBN, but they are not compulsory and cost of over £100, so didn't bother.

Doesn't really matter I suppose, just thought Amazon might be another outlet. I only had 50 books printed. Got them last Thursday and 16 of them have gone already, so I suppose they will all go regardless.

Many thanks

Bob

Hi Bob, you could try ebay
Regards
Hamish

Shipbuilder
17th December 2011, 12:05
I did try Ebay, but not a one sold! I really prefer Specialist Auctions because they have no listings fees at all and only want about 3.4% commission and they are going there OK, but it is slow at this time of year.
I am not really concerned at the moment, but must admit it was a bit annoying to find that Amazon wont let anyone sell books without an ISBN number.
Bob

Doug Shaw
17th December 2011, 23:31
"Vanity Publishing" is much despised by publishers in the writing field, but I believe that is just because convetional publishers are getting more than a bit concerned that modern technology allows amateurs like myself to have small numbers of books printed to high quality, relatively cheaply and quickly.

This is a common misconception. The main reason for publishers despising vanity publishers is that they bring the industry into disrepute and take advantage of vulnerable authors.

Many works produced by vanity publishers are little more than garbage, and even the very best usually fall short of the standard that publishers would consider commercial quality. In another thread, I pointed out that vanity publishers have their uses. They are an appropriate choice for authors wanting to produce a small number of copies for distribution to family, friends and close associates or to a small niche market.

The word “vanity”, however, is used for good reason, because these publishers (which are nothing more than print-on-demand printers) rely on the author’s belief that he or she can produce a work of commercial quality. Unfortunately, that is rarely the case. It takes a degree of “vanity” to believe that simply by using the technology available today one can circumvent the years of study put in by editors, proofreaders, typesetters and book designers. The result is that even top-of-the-range works (like Bob’s) do not meet the standard that a commercial publisher would require.

Commercial publishing is a complex process, which is designed to display the author’s work in the best possible way and to provide the reader with the best possible value for money. Commercial publishers use professional editors, proofreaders, typesetters, designers and printers. It is an expensive process. Authors using vanity publishers neither use these professional services nor, in most cases, the appropriate software, and the resultant works clearly show this.

Authors using vanity publishers have widely differing abilities, leading to a high degree of inconsistency in the quality of vanity-published works, which range from utter garbage to near-commercial quality. Many authors using vanity publishers spend considerable sums on having books printed that they believe will be best-sellers, only to find themselves lumbered with boxes of books that they have no hope of selling. The assumption that all authors using vanity publishers have the ability to produce quality works is a false one.

Commercial publishers are not in the slightest concerned by sensible, skilled amateurs having a small number of books printed by print-on-demand printers. They have considerable concerns, however, regarding the potential exploitation of authors who do not have the requisite skills through the marketing techniques employed by some vanity publishers.

Regards
Doug

Doug Shaw
18th December 2011, 02:45
Just to add a little to my previous post - you need to remember that vanity publishing is not new. It pre-dated the print-on-demand publishing technology that exists today and vanity publishing was an expensive process. Some vanity publishers offered additional services, such as editing, typesetting and even limited marketing, but they did not assess the marketability of the work and they accepted all submissions. However, unlike in commercial publishing in which all production costs were borne by the publisher, in vanity publishing all costs were borne by the author.

In short, a commercial publisher carried all the financial risk, while a vanity publisher placed all the risk on the author. Print-on-demand printers and vanity publishers are not the same thing, although they use the same technology.

A word on ISBNs: as has been said, these are not required. However, when a publisher allocates an ISBN, the publisher must submit a form carrying full details of the work. These details are added to the official new-book lists that are made available to distributors, libraries and other parties in the industry. These lists are extremely important and provide a significant aid to marketing.

Regards
Doug

Strachan
18th December 2011, 03:58
I can't really see any advantage to having an ISBN number for small runs.


In Oz books with an ISBN go into the National Library and State Library and then the book turns up on all sorts of lists and catalogues and sales appear from the oddest places.

Non-ISBN books are largely ignored.

Shipbuilder
18th December 2011, 07:51
I suppose the problem with me is that I have very little patience. My last book was produced conventionally, but after submitting it to a number of maritime publishers, the general gist of the reply was always the same “no-one is interested in personal recollections of sea life these days!” After several years of this, I gave up, but my wife saw a small maritime publisher advertised somewhere and suggested I gave it one last try. They came back after about two weeks and said they liked it, but it was too big. If I re-wrote it to their specifications, they would consider it. I had had the same thing twice before from other publishers and on each re-write (about a year each) they both rejected it! Because of this I said “No – take it or leave it!” so they left it and that was the end of the matter as far as I was concerned. About two weeks later, the managing director phoned to say he couldn’t get it out of his mind and would I consider letting them edit it and publish a shorter version. As I was quite fed up with it all by then, I agreed, as long as it didn’t involve me in further work. Over a year later, it was published and, to everyone’s surprise (except mine) it sold out fairly quickly!
But I really do not have the patience for delays of years. When I planned next one, I phoned up a major maritime publisher to put out “feelers”and they told me that when it was finished, to submit it, double spaced on one side of the paper only, with photographs separate, enclosing return postage, and then they would get round to reading it after about 4 months. In the unlikely event that they accepted it, it would take two more years to come to print! I pointed out that it would be very bulky and cost a fortune to send and enclosing the return postage would be quite a few quid as well. “You don’t have to enclose return postage,” they said, “we can always destroy it if we reject it!”

My next plan was to produce it as an e-book on CD disk in PDF. But as the MSS progressed, I felt that it deserved something better (vanity). I found a printer on the internet who had a splendid website where I could enter all the specifications in their calculator and get an instant price “set in concrete” with no hidden extras! They had very good reviews and I could select as high or low quality paper as I wished. After doing all my own arrangement & typesetting, I went to the website and registered, after which I was provided with my own password-accessed account. I entered my specifications and got the price. Then I pressed “buy,” entered my card details and paid. A new box then opened up for the manuscript that was about 14mb in size. I entered it and pressed “send.” The whole book went winging its way into cyberspace, and the download was completed in about 5 minutes! The following morning, an online proof arrived in my account on their website. After checking it, I pressed “approved.” The day after, I received an e-mail saying some of the images were not up to standard. (Sad) On telephoning them in a bit of a sweat, I was advised that it was an automatic response and it always said that, but the images looked OK to them (panic over). I then sat back and waited. Seven days later, the books arrived by courier (that was included in the price!) I was amazed at the quality, the inner pages on 130gms silk paper was a very good choice.

The whole book was completely financed by sales of earlier e-books and a couple of small model ships specifically built for that purpose, so you could say it has cost me nothing in actual cash. I hope it sells, but even if it doesn’t, I am now well-advanced with the second edition. The pleasure I get from writing and seeing the books before me is quite a wonderful experience and it satisfies my vanity.

The thing that I have found with conventional publishers is that as they take the financial risk, they call the tune when it comes to altering and editing. This is fair enough, but I prefer it to be produced as I want and not some editor who has never been to sea! :@

If anyone wants the website of the printers that I used, send me a PM and I will be glad to supply it. I have no involvement with them other than having this one book printed by them, and 100% satisfaction with what they produced. They don’t say much though. After I sent them an e-mail singing their praises and declaring my entire satisfaction, the reply was simply “good!” Not even “Merry Christmas!”

Anyway, Merry Christmas.B\)
Bob

stein
18th December 2011, 10:05
As an apropos to the postings by Doug Shaw: Twenty publishers decided Thor Heyerdahl's story of his Pacific crossing on a raft wasn't worth publishing before Rand McNally accepted it. (Famous writer William Styron rejected it as a reader with McGraw – Hill.) Total sales have since reached the multimillion marks.

Doug Shaw
18th December 2011, 23:35
Bob, I fully understand your position. However, the statement you made and which I quoted in a previous post, surprised me. Publishers and authors work in partnership, and it is a partnership which is to their mutual benefit. However, publishing is a business and it must make a profit. Acceptance or rejection of a manuscript is subjective rather than objective, which is why, as stein rightly points out, ten publishers might reject a manuscript that later becomes a best-seller.

You have much higher than average skills, Bob, which puts your book at the top of the range. It is also in the group for which I suggested vanity publishing is appropriate: the group that targets a small niche market. Print-on-demand technology means that you can produce a small number of books at low risk, while the risk to a commercial publisher would be significant. Publishers are not threatened by this as you intimated in your statement. Self-publishing using print-on-demand accounts for an insignificant fraction of the total books produced each year, and that is unlikely to change.

In Oz books with an ISBN go into the National Library and State LibraryAs Strachan correctly says, Legal Deposit requires that a copy of all books published in Australia (even those that don’t have an ISBN) must be sent to the National Library. All states and territories, with the exception of the ACT, have additional requirements. [More info (http://nla.gov.au/legal-deposit)]

Obligations under Legal Deposit also exist in the UK, with one copy of every book published, irrespective of whether or not it has an ISBN, to be lodged with the British Library. There are additional requirements in respect of other libraries, such as the National Library of Scotland and the National Library of Wales. [More info (http://bl.uk/aboutus/stratpolprog/legaldep/)]

Shipbuilder
19th December 2011, 08:21
Doug,
It all depends on which side of the fence you are. I know that publishers would like to make a profit, but in the nautical field they are extremely blinkered and continue to produce a never-ending stream of books on subjects that are completely worn out and these end up in end-of-range shops for very little.

Several years ago, a publsiher approached me with a view to giving me a contract to produce a book for them. I gave them an initial proposed content and would you believe it, they actually said that unless it included more ferries, tugs, paddle steamers and trawlers (types I have little or no interest in) it wouldn't sell and they couldn't proceed! So that was the end of that. Months & months later, they tried again saying I could have a free hand, but by then I had already written it on my own account and it sold (and continues to sell) very well!

As I said earlier, two very well-known publishers told me they like my MSS and if I re-wrote it to their specifciations, they would be interested. Each re-write took about one year. Both of them then rejected it!

Another of my (countless) rejection slips said:
"Our readers are very blinkered!"

Also, as they take all the financial risk, they also take most of the proceeds!

I think it is safe to say that I will never submit another MSS to any publisher.

Article writing, on the other hand, is very profitable. If I spend 5 or 6 hours writing an article, I get about £160 for it. But it is quite hard work as I am often requested to produce something at short notice to fill a gap left by another writer who has failed to come up with his MSS on time.

But what annoys me more than anything is "editing"

Example:
I describe in detail a scenic photograph that is full of interest and when the book is published, the description is there, but the picture is not!

A photograph describing the shape of a sailing ship hull is illustrated by a full picture of a hull. When published, the picture is cropped so that only the centre is shown!

I could go on & on!

But I must stress, I do not consider myself to be a writer. I am a retired ship's radio officer and writing is one of my hobbies (I am almost 68 now). I write ONLY for pleasure, any income from it is welcome, but I am afraid conventional publishers take a lot of that pleasure away with their many requirements, deadlines and editing conditions.

I have never been cursed by ambition and since being freed from the "yoke" of employment at the age of 48 (after 32 years at sea) have fudged along in quite a happy and moderately successful manner. I am no great scholar (11+ failed & no O levels), so what I can't carry, I have to drag! (But it gives great satisfaction).

Would you believe that I started writing (correspodence course with the British-American Writing School) in the early 60s after getting fed up of the chief radio officer continually referring to me as "illiterate, with no grasp of the English language," when composing the press aboard the late, lamented passenger liner RMS WINDSOR CASTLE!

I am not getting "hot under the collar" or anything, I just prefer doing my own thing! Each to his own! (Jester)

Bob

Shipbuilder
6th April 2013, 09:55
I have finally had an e-book published and it is available on Amazon.
It is called "Colliers to Castles" and covers my first 17 years at sea in ships of various types from a flatiron collier to Union-Castle liners.

Although I prefer real books, it seems that Kindle and e-books are the up-and-coming thing these days.

Bob