Updated: Jun 20
Self-published on Amazon KDP and need to order copies of your book? Follow these steps to purchase your books at a special author price. You can use these to:
👉🏾Sell your books on your own website
👉🏾Package book bundles up
👉🏾Have books on hand for your book signing
👉🏾Test out your customer's experience
👉🏾Fulfill bulk orders
Author copies are specially discounted copies you as an author get to have for being the author. They are actually the same price that cost Amazon to print the book, and they don't charge you as the author in additional cost on top of that besides shipping.
Sign in to kdp.amazon.com
Select the book that you'd like to print author copies from your KDP Dashboard. Notice that if you have different versions of the book, you want to make sure you order the correct one - either paperback or hardcover. Next to whichever option you choose simply click where it says “Order author copies”. They allow you to order up to 999 copies at a time. If you're somebody who wants to sell copies of your book on your own website or at vendor events, this is a great way to do it. Unless you are having a (offset) printer and/or ordering hundreds of copies of your book, generally this is going to be the cheapest price that you find to print your book.
Choose Your Marketplace (aka what country you’re printing from).
Add in how many books you would like to order and select your marketplace. If you are in the US, choose Amazon.com. Wherever you print from will use the local currency and ship from that location instead of where you are located. , if you were ordering for someone in another country, and wanted to get to them faster, you would select the country where they are located. Your book(s) would ship from that Amazon versus the one where you are. You'll notice that once a marketplace is selected, it will give the price in that currency.
When you are happy with the order quantities, click the submit button.
Your copies are then to your Amazon cart where you'll be able to purchase just like everything else you buy on Amazon. It’ll also tell you when the timeframe it's going to ship. Amazon uses printers local to wherever you are in the world to get your book to you the fastest. For example, I'm in Georgia. My printer is in South Carolina. Note: Author copies take a good bit of time to get to arrive. So if you're ordering them, you want to get them ahead of time, well enough in advance for you to get them. In general, a good rule of thumb is to plan for 2-3 weeks for arrival. And no, you can’t use Amazon Prime on them to get them faster. More on that below…
Proceed to check out.
As stated above, you cannot use Amazon prime for author copies. That may be one of the trade offs of getting such a cheap price per book, because if you were ordering just on the front facing side of Amazon.
To make sure you aren’t caught slippin’, simply order books far enough in advance to just have whenever. That way when you need them, you have them on hand and you're not trying to scramble and get them.
Another important point to note: books ordered via author copies do not count towards your Amazon sales ranking or best seller status. If they did, then people could just order their own books to manipulate the rankings. While this might be frustrating if you’re doing vending events or ordering them for customers, use this as an opportunity to get information about your book buyers that’s not normally provided on Amazon when someone orders a copy. Questions to consider:
What additional services/products could you bundle with the book?
Are autographing the copies an option?
Can you collect emails to nurture your audience and keep them up to date on your projects?
Could this pool of author copy recipients be helpful in asking for reviews?
Hopefully this blog has been helpful in showing you how to order your author copies from Amazon KDP. Though publishing on Amazon has some disadvantages, printing very low cost copies of your book to be able to resell later isn’t one of them! Comment below what you could bundle together with your book to increase your customer’s experience.