Amazon Prime Shipping for Author Copies? (Eh, kinda.) – Skinner Book Services

From time to time, the question arises why can’t I get free amazon prime shipping for author copies?

well, officially, amazon doesn’t offer preferential shipping when ordering author’s copies: books at cost are ordered through kdp. Since I like to know as many routes as possible to my regular local stops (just ask my husband), I decided to experiment with this route as well, comparing prices and shipping speeds on official kdp channels with this little trick. I’m about to show you.

You are reading: How to ship books on amazon

a quick note on the terms “proof copy” and “author copy”

  • proof copy: prints books for vendor purposes before publishing used to check that the print layout is good, that it covers prints correctly, etc. because they are meant for review before they are offered for sale, kdp puts an awkward printed band across the cover that says not for resale. they may also be called a galley proof, galley proof, or page proof.
  • Author’s Copy: Printed copy without cover marks for distribution to the clientThese are copies you can Take your books directly to bookstores, have them on a book signing table, whatever you want your books for.
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here’s how to order author copies of kdp: the official way

and here is the workaround

purchase with your main account

now go directly to to find the book. this time, make sure you’re signed in with the email account connected to your amazon prime subscription.

number comparison for my test order, three books each

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In the end, the prices of these three copies only differed by a few cents per copy, and the technical difference is mainly shipping speed.

  • author’s copy request: $12.72. 1-2 weeks to arrive after books are printed
  • price adjustment request: $12.78. main shipment after books are printed

should i use this workaround? a tale of two scoldings

(okay, it’s a scolding incident that was covered by various media outlets. sorry. that headline sounded good for a second).

so here’s something controversial about ordering this way: unlike author copy orders, workaround orders count towards your sales ranking and, as mentioned, are not intended for articles from resale.

While that seems like only a good thing, author Mark Dawson got some bad press in 2020 by ordering 400 copies of his own new release from a local bookstore, not unlike this process I just described. This purchase placed him in the top 10 of the New York Times, but his books were removed from that prestigious list soon after. he was open about the process on his social media platform, asking readers about interest in sales and stating that he planned to ship to those markets, but some people complained that he wasn’t playing fair.

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door #3? (fast shipping without prime)

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an option that might work for fast shipping but wouldn’t break the main rule would be to lower the kdp price and then place an order from a non-main amazon account, checking to see if shipping is available for a purchase over $25us. (I’m not familiar with the rules in other countries; my apologies.)

troubleshooting: why can I only order a small number of copies from the author?

if kdp has copies already printed, waiting to be shipped (usually a very small number), you must order them before you can fulfill a larger order of author copies. so if you decline a large order number and give you a seemingly random smaller number, place an order for that number and then place a second order for the rest of the copies you want.

It may seem like the order just disappears if you override the smaller number, which doesn’t allow you to finish the order. so if you keep getting a small number, try the two command trick and see if that helps.

for books with typos/errors that needed revised files, if the small order has the old copies already printed and you are forced to place the small order first, kdp must replace those copies with the updated ones at no cost . charge:

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  • for copies from the real author and not the main shipping trick above, you can log into your kdp account and click the little “contact us” link at the bottom of the page (see the next photo). a kdp representative can help you.
  • if you ordered them directly from the client side, go to your order panel for help.
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thanks for reading!

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