At one time I sold my books through Amazon and found it far from satisfactory. In those days amazon.es did not exist and I was limited to amazon.co.uk, others being unavailable since I did not have a bank account in France, Germany etc. This mean that I had to pay the extortionate postage rate demanded even between EU countries to send books from Spain the UK, which in turn led to a ridiculous UK price for the books.
Some time later I signed a contract with a Spanish company for them to take over Amazon sales. This actually worked out better for me than doing it myself, even with a lower price.
Now I find that Amazon has set up its own print-on-demand system called CreateSpace. I am using it to publish new editions of my three books, A Guide to English Language Usage, Pearls of the English Language and Great English Mistakes.
The system that they offer is flexible and even allows the printing and delivery of single copies of books to all of Europe at the same, reasonable price as well as to other parts of the world.
Like many things, it seems complex at first sight but it is manageable and has a good help service and support community. They offer templates for interior text in the various trim sizes that can be used. Covers can be provided by the author or selected from, their own range. Being American, they do all this in inches although metric measurements are also stated in most cases. They do, however, recognise the decimal system so I was bemused to work out that 0.0625" was the 1/16" that I remembered from my childhood!
There is no registration or upload fee so the only essential upfront cost is the ISBN. CreateSpace will provide one for free, but in that case CreateSpace is listed as the publisher. I have seen this on Amazon for some publishers that have simply copied public domain books that are out of copyright, but as I obviously want to keep my own Lavengro Books imprint I bought a Spanish ISBN. Authors/publishers can obtain copies of their own books for the cost of printing and shipping; these can be delivered anywhere, making it possible to offer any number of free copies for publicity and also to supply bookshops.
Sales and royalties can be tracked easily and payment is made directly into a bank account in any country. The registration procedure requires a declaration of whether or not you are a ‘US person’ for tax purposes.
Pearls of the English Language and Great English Mistakes are scheduled for publication soon, in September if possible, with companion Kindle versions. I had hoped to have them on the market by now but there has been a glitch with Kindle Direct Publishing, about whom I am unable to report positively.