top of page

What you need to know about Author Copies | Self-Publishing on Amazon in 2022

I recently selfpublished my poetry collection "17" on Amazon and also bought some author copies.

Here are some things I learned that could help you:

1. The price of an author copy

2. Shipping Takes Longer

3. Bulk orders and protection 4. Amazon marks its territory

1.The price of an author copy The author price is the same as the proof copy price.

It equals the costs for printing your book. It includes a fixed printing fee. Thus the author price depends on the page count + ink type and looks different for everyone.

Example: My poetry collection "17" has 111 pages and pages mostly filled with micropoems in black ink.

→ Printing Costs are around $2.30 /£1,70 /2€ The only thing that you would have to pay extra are the shipping costs (these vary on your location).

2. Shipping Takes Longer The shipping time for author copies takes significantly longer than that of proof copies (read more about the difference here). Author copies take about a week to a month to arrive depending on the season and location. Example:

I live in a rather big city and wanted to order some author copies in mid-december and Amazon said it would take a week. I also wanted to order some author copies a week ahead of Christmas. Amazon however was busy and said the earliest arrival date would be January 7th, which means shipping would take around 3 weeks. Are there ways for you to get your author copies quicker? Yes, you could simply buy a normal copy.

With or without Amazon prime the copy arrives 2 to 4 days later. Am I not loosing money this way? This might not be the most convenient thing to do but let's say you have an urgent matter (holidays are near, someone's birthday, a deadline..), then the following way may help. Technically you can just log into your kdp account and change the book price (for example make it as low as possible). The price update may take around 24 hours and then you could purchase it cheaper than for the normal book copy price in larger quantities. The price probably won't be exactly as cheap as an author copy order and will cost you a few pennies to euros/pounds/dollars more depending on the order quantity. Because purchases influence your Amazon market sales rank this hack is not a recommended every day method. However, in case of an urgency this is a relatively cheap alternative.

3. Bulk orders and protection

If you're doing a bulk order of your book because you plan on selling them, these orders are supposed to come with protective packaging (a packaging box well suited for your book size, air-filled packing pillows and Kraft paper on top of the books).

But it can happen that your books aren't packaged or shipped as carefully as they should be.

This can result in some books arriving (slightly) damaged, which was the case for me.

Can you return damaged author copies?

Fortunately yes, you can return damaged books and you will be refunded.

Simply contact the kdp team (they reply within 24 hours in my experience) and register your defective books for a return on Amazon. The refund happens within 5 days.

4. Amazon marks its territory

Amazon makes it known that your book has been published with them.

The last page of the book will include an Amazon Bar Code and the place the book has been printed in.



bottom of page