In the age of the Internet, it’s much easier than it used to be for content creators to market themselves and find their niche audiences across the globe. But with the obvious bonuses the web brought, comes saturation and competition. With many options to self-publish and avenues to advertise, how do you take the plunge to not just create–but distribute, sell, and promote physical copies of your masterpieces? It can be complicated, a risky financial burden, and a time-consuming process to research.
Of course Amazon, the website known originally for selling books and media long before it encompassed today’s massive range of offerings, would be quick to offer a service to help. Amazon Advantage is a relatively low-cost, self-service consignment program setup to enable those who want to sell and promote media. Because the minimum requirement is two units per title, it is a low-commitment way to level the playing field and get your content out there.
As described on the FAQ page:
“Advantage is designed specifically for publishers, music labels, studios, authors, and other content owners who would like to source their products to Amazon.com … It gives you the opportunity to market your products to millions of customers. The program offers a proven means of distribution and order fulfillment for media product (such as books, videos, and music).”
How to Sign Up
Joining Amazon Advantage requires you to setup an account; here are rules and a membership agreement. Once you sign up, your account will be reviewed and Amazon will alert you of acceptance. This will allow you to list titles that are legally valid and yours to distribute.
After your titles are setup, Amazon will begin ordering them at regular intervals to meet demand. Your inventory is stored at an Amazon fulfilment center and are sold by Amazon.
As a seller, you will set the initial price, and from there, the profits are split with 45% going to the creator and 55% going to Amazon.
To be clear, the Advantage program is not for sellers of used copies of media or resellers of books (such as bookstores). Those cases would need to be setup as actual Seller Central accounts. Amazon also notes that in order to participate, you must have the following:
- North American distribution rights for any titles you enroll
- Access to email
- Access to the Internet
- A U.S. Bank Account (for Electronic Funds Transfers; you do not need a U.S. bank account to receive paper checks)
- A valid ISBN, UPC, or EAN for each of your items
- A scannable barcode on each of your items which maps to the valid ISBN, UPC, or EAN
Beyond the ease of signing up, there are some definite benefits to the program. Products on Amazon have the capability to reach millions, and with Amazon’s specialized filters, algorithms and search and browse systems, your product is even more likely to reach those who would actually buy it. The boost of being sold with Free Shipping and through Amazon Prime is also customer-friendly.
The program is fairly low-cost; at just $99 a year for a subscription, a user can enroll an unlimited amount of titles. Included in this, Amazon handles all of the customer service issues and distribution. From marketing and promotions, to shipping, returns, and customer contacts.
Amazon Advantage is also non-exclusive. You can use the program and distribute elsewhere as much as you please.
With immense power behind you, marketing your content and getting it to the correct customers is a whole lot easier. This is the aptly named, Amazon Advantage.