Author Blog Series: Amazon Selling Challenges


In my last post I announced a New Author Blog Series, in which I discussed the importance of Learning From The Best When Starting Your Career. Continuing with my blog series, I wanted to share some of my Amazon Selling Challenges. Because putting my book for sale on Amazon seemed like a no brainer. Little did I know my Amazon selling challenges were just beginning.

I had no experience selling anything on Amazon, but it appeared everyone was doing it, so I figured it couldn’t be hard. As soon as I started researching it, I got really excited. It seemed fairly simple and they were constantly emailing me to say they were here to help guide me through the process. Perfect!

Then my listing went live … and my heart sank. (I share my findings in this quick video blog!)

My product was listed on Amazon, but it was listed like it was being sold by a third-party seller. Wait, what!? I’m not a third party seller! I signed up to do Fulfillment by Amazon. That means they are housing my product, filling the orders, handling all the customer service and charging me a fee to do so. You don’t have to do it this way, there are many options, but I felt this was best for me.

Immediately, I’m on the phone relaying my frustration to an Amazon sales representative trying to figure out how I messed up my listing, so I can get a “buy button.”

The sales rep explained I needed to “win” a buy button. I’m a major word nerd here. Using words like “win” instead of “earn” really gets to me. Using the word “win” basically tells me I could do everything right and still lose the game. He said it’s an algorithm and not even something they manually input. He said he would email me some more information.

Ugh, that Frustrating Buy Button!


Dissatisfied with the email, it basically told me to keep my product in stock (check!), have good customer service (check! I’m counting on YOU Amazon!) and maintain a sales history (in the works! check!) then I can win a buy button; I went to Google for answers. As per my usual source for all that troubles me.

It turns out I’m not the only one with Amazon selling challenges. The criteria to win your buy button is vague … no percentages or time tables given … and apparently, according to the many, many message boards I found on the topic, a great number of sellers find their algorithm obscure.

So, I keep sending people to Amazon to buy my book so I can at least work on the selling history piece of this puzzle. It’s only been 2 months at this point, so I know it hasn’t been a very long time, but I’ve had some decent sales … so where is my buy button!?

Have you had Amazon selling challenges? If you’ve earned your buy button, how long did it take? I’d love to create a little blog community for new authors here, in which we can share information and root each other on in our respective author journeys. So any helpful tips and info you have, please leave in the comments. Thank you!

Next post in the blog series: Choosing A Publishing Platform…