Self-Publishing Paperbacks On Amazon And Implications For Australians

Self-Publishing Paperbacks On Amazon And Implications For Australians  


Print On Demand


Australian authors


You are an Australian and have just published your first ever book on Amazon and you find it’s a great place to start your career in self-publishing.

You are desperately wanting to hold that paperback in your hand and glory in the excitement of having just published your book.

You decide to order in some Author Copies.

In the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Bookshelf you click Order Author Copies and then discover your paperback is not being shipped to Australia. Bumber!

My solution to this problem is to have Amazon ship to my virtual address in the United States. 

I use ShopMate which is connected to Australia Post. This organisation receives your parcel from Amazon and then forwards it to your address in Australia. Extra costs of course. They collect the GST and you have to pay for the postage to Australia.

Once you receive your Author Copies, which by the way can take several weeks, you can resell the author copies that you ordered from KDP. Royalties are not paid on these Author Copies.


Australian customers


I’ve given you a solution for getting your Author Copies but what about Australian customers?

Getting Amazon paperback copies in Australia is expensive because of the wicked exchange rate and the postage often costs the same if not more than the book.

How will you ever get customers in Australia to buy your book?  

On your book’s listing in KDP, you selected Expanded Distribution and when you viewed your listing on Amazon Australia your paperback/s were priced very high. 

This is very off-putting for an Australian customer wanting to buy your paperback and it’s also very off-putting for you as an author living in Australia.

If an Australian customer is a member of Prime they can “Get FREE Expedited Delivery on Domestic Prime eligible items in as fast as two business days AND Free International Standard Delivery on Prime eligible orders over $49 from Amazon US.”

So I guess it is in the interests of Australians to take out Prime membership on Amazon otherwise the costs of buying your paperbacks on Amazon Australia is very expensive.

Is there another solution?


Way Forward


One of the great benefits of publishing on Amazon is its domination of the world book market. Customers are there ready to buy and pay for books with their credit cards.

With just a click, your Kindle eBook is delivered immediately to the Free Kindle app on your device.

Amazon is a gigantic sales platform.

Because of its Expanded Distribution both your paperback and eBooks have access to global markets through the Amazon distribution channels. 

As an Australian Author, your focus should be on these global markets because in comparison the Australian market for paperbacks is small. You can be selling your paperbacks in the United States, the United Kingdom and many other countries.

However, within the Australian self-publishing landscape an Australian author’s focus should be on marketing Kindle eBooks. There is no major issue with the selling of Kindle eBooks in Australia.


Another option 


To attract Australian buyers another option is to publish your paperback with Ingram Spark.

IngramSpark is one of the largest book wholesale distributors and it can be used in conjunction with Amazon. 

Publish both your Kindle eBook and Paperback on the Amazon platform. 

Publish your Kindle eBook and participate in KDP Select for Amazon exclusivity.

As well as this you can publish your paperback on KDP but do not select Expanded distribution.  

Get an ISBN from Bowker and use this both on the Amazon and the Ingram Spark paperback.

So for your paperback, you can utilise both the KDP Print on Demand(POD) without Expanded Distribution and have the identical paperback with your own ISBN and same ISBN on Ingram Spark.

IngramSpark has a print facility here in Australia so this means there are massive savings to be made on shipping costs for Australian customers and authors.

Marji Hill

Author and Coach


To access my regular FACEBOOK LIVE MASTERCLASS join the Fast Self-Publishing Online community



Fast Self-Publishing Online

10 Benefits Of Self-Publishing On The Amazon Platform

10 Benefits Of Self-Publishing On The Amazon Platform




Where to publish?


If you’ve written a book the question is: where should you publish it? 

This is one of the problems that authors face, that is, trying to decide how to go about publishing their book.

That’s a big issue. Yes?

With physical bookstores closed and with everyone staying at home you must have a strategy to reach readers online. You need to sell your books online if you want to have any chance of a successful career as an author.


The Amazon option


This week I’m going to be talking about self-publishing and the 10 benefits of self-publishing on Amazon. This will be a Facebook LIVE presentation.

You’ll learn about:

  • Amazon the game-changer in the publishing world
  • Limitations of working with traditional publishers
  • Problems of self-publishing in the past
  • 10 benefits of publishing on Amazon
  • Need for professionalism

To access this LIVE presentation you must be a member of the Facebook group Fast Self-Publishing Online.

If you are not already a member you can join the community by clicking on the link here.

Being a member of the Fast Self-Publishing Online community means you’ll have access to all future LIVE training.

I am going LIVE on Thursday, 30 April at 11 am.

Love to see you there.


Marji Hill

Author & Coach



Fast Self-Publishing Online

Feeling Fearful About The Self-Publishing Process?

Feeling Fearful About The Self-Publishing Process?



Could it be that you are close to finishing your manuscript and are fearful at the thought of publishing your book yourself?  This fear is stalling your progress. Yes?

You are feeling a bit confused and feel scared about diving into this unknown world.


Steps to self-publishing your book


If your dream is to write and self-publish a book I have created a guided journal with 101 prompts to help you overcome your worries and fear.

This guide is for someone who wants to independently publish on Amazon and who wants to learn the steps involved in self-publishing.

A Create & Publish Toolbox is a low content book. This category of book usually requires some form of engagement.

The reader might need to perform an interactive activity such as writing, drawing, doodling or colouring; and, the number of words is low when compared to that of a standard text-only book.


101 prompts


A Create & Publish Toolbox with its 101 prompts is a checklist of steps you need to take  to

  • research a profitable niche
  • create a manuscript
  • prepare it for publication
  • launch your book, and
  • market it to the world.

Each of the 101 prompts has its own dedicated page so that when you turn to the next page there is another prompt.

Beneath each prompt is space for you to jot notes. This is so you can record the action you need to take, respond to a question, brainstorm ideas, or simply reflect on the prompt.

If reading the Kindle eBook version of A Create And Publish Toolbox you will need to write your responses into a separate notebook or journal.

This author’s resource will help you to work through the publishing process sequentially, it will help you to stay on track, and it will assist you in your taking precautions against becoming distracted or from suffering any feelings of overwhelm.

Let these 101 prompts be your inspiration to create a book and self-publish it on Amazon.

Order Now


Marji Hill

Author and Coach



Fast Self-Publishing Online


Are You Ready To Go To The Next Level?

Are You Ready To Go To The Next Level?


Facebook Group Launch

Are you someone who is hungry for more of life?

Do you have a desire to achieve bigger goals and dreams for your life particularly as an author?  You aspire to create and self-publish your books and have a passion to make a difference in the world?

Are you ready to take it all to the next level?

As you’ve been receiving my emails now for some time, my guess is that you are more than ready.


Fast Self-Publishing Online Community


Join me as a foundational member of our community Fast Self-Publishing Online. Some of you are already members and I thank and appreciate you for this, but I’m now taking this online community to its next level – to the status of a “tribe”, a true community that hangs out with one another.

Fast Self-Publishing Online is designed for those who want to create a book, self-publish it on Amazon, and market it to the world.

In our community, I’m taking everything to the next level myself to serve you with more free tools and tips to help you play a bigger game.

If you haven’t already done so, Click here to become a foundational member and join our community.


Marji Hill

 Author and Coach

9 Steps To Finding A Profitable Niche

9 Steps To Finding A Profitable Niche



Do you think people are so preoccupied and paralysed by COVID 19 at the moment that they don’t want to do anything?

I’ve been struggling to focus properly on my work. How about you?

We are now living with chronic uncertainty experiencing fear, shock, disbelief, changed circumstances, a chaotic economy. We fear for our loved ones, ourselves and it’s all outside our control.

But in the midst of all of this let’s try to focus.

For those of you at home, who now have more time to write, you might be thinking now is the time. “It’s time now to get on with writing my book.”

But before you jump into the deep end of writing your book it is my goal with this post to give you some steps on how to research a profitable niche.




If your goal is to make sales before you start your book be confident that you are writing in a niche that is profitable. Don’t go to all the effort of writing and publishing a book only to find that there is no interest in it because this can result in an unhappy experience – zero sales.

Many authors think that because they are interested in a topic others will be interested. They might go to Amazon, do some research there, and find that there are no books on their topic. 

They then think they have discovered an untapped market but this doesn’t guarantee success.


Market research


Doing proper market research and studying the bestsellers on Amazon is the foundation of your success.

  1. Do some research to discover a niche that is already profitable. 
  2. Find a niche that people are interested in, something that people want and desire.
  3. Go to Amazon to do your research.
  4. Then go to the Kindle Store and key in Kindle eBooks.
  5. Examine the Best Seller categories and research the books that are successful.
  6. Decide whether or not the niche is worth pursuing.
  7. Find a Category with low competition and see if there are ebooks there that are selling well
  8. Identify the Bestsellers in that category
  9. Study these bestsellers and model your book on them

The idea is not to copy the bestsellers but to model them. Model what’s working, model what the audience is already saying they love. 

Customer reviews are a gold mine because you can see what they are saying they like or dislike about a book. Use this to your advantage to create a bestselling book.


Marji Hill  Author and coach




Fast Self-Publishing Online

Coping With Self-isolation?

Coping With Self-isolation?




Here in Surfers Paradise, it is very quiet. The restaurants and cafes are closed. The streets are empty. It’s eerie.

We are in a very strange time and it’s likely to stay this way for months to come. I am hunkering down at home and watching the news of more lockdowns. 

Across the country pubs, cafes, restaurants, casinos, libraries, interstate borders, beauty salons are closed and more closures will come.

It is a worrying and stressful time.

I hope you and your family are safe and are staying sane wherever you are.


Social distancing


We are all living in a new, incredible era of social distancing because of the coronavirus. Every day there is more gloom and doom. 

And the rate of infection keeps increasing worldwide. 

Well, if we are having to stay at home, self-isolate, hibernate and avoid contact with people then it’s inevitable that we will have more time on our hands. 

Our lifestyle patterns are changing and we are having to adapt to a new set of circumstances.

So how can we use this time productively?

For the readers amongst us, it’s a perfect time to get more reading done. The libraries are closed so you cannot borrow books from the library. What few bookshops are around are out of bounds even if they were open.  

Kindle eBooks


Many of you I’m sure, know that once you set up an account on Amazon you can purchase Kindle eBooks at a very low price and then download them to your device (laptop, computer, tablet or smartphone). You can then access your purchases and read them at your convenience.

If you don’t have a physical Kindle reader that doesn’t matter. Simply download a free Kindle app and have your Kindle eBooks sent there.

Many Kindle eBooks you can purchase for zero cost; others are just US$0.99 or $2.99. So buying eBooks is very inexpensive.

If you are new to reading books from Amazon, set up an account, download some Kindle eBooks, and start reading. 


Because Amazon is a giant search engine and the largest online bookshop in the world, key in some keywords or phrases if you are searching for books on a particular topic. A list of books will show up and by looking at the covers, the titles, description and ratings you can decide which book is for you. 

In addition, the Look Inside feature can give you more information about a book.

Decide which book is for you.

As soon as you click the Buy Button your eBook is immediately delivered to your app on your device.

Personally, I just love the immediacy of this and I love the price.

It is so amazing to have immediate access to knowledge and to satisfy your desire to read. Gone are the days of having to pay an average of $30 for a paperback while killing time at the airport or browsing books in a physical bookstore.

Straight away I can start reading my new eBook.

In summary, the 5 great advantages of downloading Kindle eBooks from Amazon are:

  • their low cost
  • immediate download
  • access to millions of books
  • no physical storage
  • simply store the digital books on your device.

Maybe you are already a lover of downloading Kindle eBooks from Amazon but if you are new to this explore the experience.

When digital books are auto-delivered wirelessly to your Kindle app, start your reading.  

You are having to cope with social distancing and self-isolation so make the most of the extra time you now have. Stay at home, enjoy the opportunity to read, and help flatten the escalation of the coronavirus curve.


Marji Hill  Author and coach




Fast Self-Publishing Online

 7 Point Formula For Improving Your Amazon Book Listing

7 Point Formula For Improving Your Amazon Book Listing


Amazon book listing


Is your book selling on Amazon? All of us who publish a book on Amazon want to make sales. True?

There are some things that you can do which will improve your chances of making sales.

And the solution lies in fine-tuning and tweaking your book’s listing in Kindle Direct Publishing(KDP).


1. Importance of book cover design


A book’s cover is the first impression a reader gets of your book. It is what will get a reader to take a closer look because it’s the cover that helps your book attract attention in a crowded market place.

Have a professional design your book’s cover because this is what will ultimately make or break the success of your book.

Pay attention to this because it’s a fact that readers tend to judge a book by its cover.

Buying decisions can be made based on how a cover looks.


2. A good title is a sales tool


Apart from a book’s cover, the title is the next thing a reader looks at. It gives a reader their first impression of the book and it will influence their buying decision.

The title is a sales tool and it helps a book to be discovered on Amazon.

If the title captures a reader’s interest it may result in a sale.

Readers when searching for a book will enter a keyword into the Amazon search bar. Usually, a number of words will display so examine these to see if any of the terms are appropriate for inclusion into the title of your book.  

Add a subtitle because a subtitle provides the reader with extra information about the book. Specifically, it should contain the problem or pain point your market has. A subtitle can then expand on the benefit which may influence further a reader’s buying decision.


3. Optimise a book description


When a reader clicks onto the book’s listing what a reader will see after the title is the book’s description.

This is in effect a sales letter. It’s your opportunity to help a customer make a buying decision.

Amazon allows space for 4000 characters so an author should maximise this opportunity to craft a description that will sell their book. A few keys to a good description are correct formatting, a strong opening with a hook highlighted in bold type to attract the reader’s interest, five bullet points, and a call to action.

Customers are always looking for their next book to buy so the book description is critical in helping them make their decision.

Because Google gives a heavy weighting to books that are published on Amazon include keywords in your description because Google like Amazon indexes keywords.


4. Choosing keywords



When listing your book on Amazon the game plan is to get ranked on the first page of Amazon for a particular keyword.  You do this because book sales happen within the first 4 or 5 entries.

In your Amazon listing, there is space for seven (7) keywords. Do your keyword research to discover profitable keywords.

When selecting your keywords try to think of the words a reader would use when searching for your book The words should reflect what the reader is thinking.

The idea is to choose several 2 to 5 words that make up a phrase. These are called “long tail” keywords.

Rather than using a single word like “mindfulness” choose instead a phrase like “How to practise mindfulness”.

5. More book categories


Categories are the big broad terms that describe your book. They are like the sections of a bookstore where you can find your book so targeting the right ones is a key for the positioning and visibility of your book on Amazon.

If your book is put into an appropriate category this can help sales because being in the right category means your book will be put in front of the ideal reader.

If positioned in the wrong or irrelevant category, your prospective reader won’t be able to find your book.

When you list your book you are allowed to put your book into two categories. However, it is actually possible to have 10 categories.

After the book is published contact support and ask them to put your book into the 10 categories that you have chosen.

Categories not only help a book to be found on Amazon they also help your book to become a best seller.


6. Customer and Editorial Reviews


There are two sorts of reviews. There are the customer reviews connected to your book’s detail page and then there are editorial reviews which you find on your author profile in Author Central.

When you launch your book try for 5 to 10 customer reviews as soon as possible. Reviews carry a lot of weight on Amazon and you need to get as many reviews as possible. Not only do they help with sales ranking (Best Seller Rank BSR) they can influence sales.

Plan a book review campaign even before you publish your book.

As well as customer reviews get at least 3 editorial reviews that have been written by people of some standing.   

These editorial reviews can be put into Author Central, and then they will appear on your book’s listing.

They can also be included on your book’s sales page on your author website or on your back cover.


7. Choosing the right price




As a self-publisher, you determine the price of your book  and because you publish on KDP you can keep changing your price.

When launching your book you may price your ebook at the very low price of 0.99c in order to increase sales and get some verified reviews.

You may even choose to offer your book for free as part of the KDP Select promotion but after the launch, you may increase your price to $2.99 or higher.

You can play with pricing strategically depending on what it is you are trying to achieve.

You as author and self-publisher are in charge of your own destiny in the world of book publishing.

As someone new to the industry you have the power to make your book a success. Achieve maximum visibility on Amazon and create that powerful first impression by mastering the above formula.

Tweak your book’s listing and you can be on the pathway to success. It will cost you nothing but you need to learn how to optimise your listing and increase your chances of being a successful author.


Learn more at Self-Publishing Online.


 Affleck, Geoff   5 Things Every First-Time Author Needs to Know: How to Publish a Book and Build Your Platform. Kindle Edition. 2018.

Marji Hill   Author and Coach

How Authors Can Better Manage Their Time

How Authors Can Better Manage Their Time


How Big Is Your Why?


Time management for authors


As an author myself, I’ve had to master time management to become my productive best.

To help other authors I have a step-by-step process whereby they can manage their time better. I point to the things that can happen in their lives which puts pressure on their time and which can be a drain on this valuable asset.

How Big Is Your Why? will help the author understand why they don’t have enough time and the small changes they need to make to find more time and accelerate their productivity.

Former University Human Resources Director, John Barclay, says 

If time is your enemy this clear, deft and cogent book deserves consideration as it cuts through the noise. Marji Hill shares her personal experiences on how she masters time so if you are wanting motivation in this area then this short book is a must to read.



Marji Hill







Suffering Zero Book Sales On Amazon?

Suffering Zero Book Sales on Amazon?


Book sales

Just published


You have just published your first book on Amazon and you are so excited that at last, you have achieved the goal of actually getting your book published. It’s a cause for celebration.

As time goes on you begin to discover that you are not making any sales. Yes, some family members and a friend or two have bought the book but nothing else has happened.

Zero sales


You are getting zero or very low sales. You’ve invested so much time and effort into creating your book but the sales are almost non-existent.

You start to feel disillusioned and disheartened. Your initial excitement at self-publishing turns into doubt – publishing on Amazon doesn’t work.

What so many writers don’t realise is that the adventure of self-publishing really starts when they get that first book published. To self-publish is simple, it’s fast and it’s easy. 

But the creation of the book and self-publishing it on Amazon are just a small part of the publishing process.


Profitable niche 


The first question I would ask is if you did your market research before you even started to write a book. To be successful as a self-published author on Amazon you need to ensure that you are operating in a profitable niche.

Early in the piece, you should start building an audience for your book. Put a system in place to build an email list.

Once you know that your book is potentially profitable then you must prepare it for publication paying attention to its professionalism – the editing, proofreading, cover design and formatting.

After the book has been formatted the book’s listing on KDP needs optimisation. Have you spent time choosing an appropriate title, figuring out the best keywords, come up with multiple categories, and written a description that’s going to help sell your book, and decided on a pricing strategy?

Book launch strategy


Before you launch your book devise a book launch campaign.

In preparation for the launch choose a date for launching the book. Set up an Author Page on Amazon Author Central, put a launch team in place to help with getting reviews, research promotional sites where you can promote your book, decide on an opening low price for the book, and plan your promotional days on Kindle Direct Publishing Select(KDP Select).

Research more categories for your book and choose the ones that are not so competitive so that you can have a shot at becoming a bestseller in that category.

Once the book is LIVE spend a week or two just checking for errors and putting a concerted effort into getting reviews. If you detect errors you can quickly make a revision.

Be mindful of the Amazon Book Review guidelines for getting reviews and understand how not to have your reviews deleted.

Run your promotional days on KDP Select when you offer your book for free.




Once those promotional days are over plan an ongoing marketing strategy.

Don’t keep your book a secret. Tell people about it.

Get the word out there that you have produced a book, and that you have something to say that people need to read. 

Start with an email broadcast to those on your email list, promote the book on a special page on your author’s website, blog about it, post about it on a Facebook page, post on other social media sites, make short promotional videos, start a YouTube channel, set up a Podcast, do an Instagram story, promote it on Goodreads and get creative with engaging your audiences.

Not only should you have a short term marketing strategy for when your book is launched but plan a promotional strategy for the long term. At the end of the day slow, steady traffic is king because this will result in sales and is ultimately better than that sudden burst you might have when you first launch your book.

Take away the mystery of self-publishing your book and join my free online class.





 Allan, Scott “Book Launch: How to Launch a Book for More Sales [Printable Checklist]”, 2019.

Basu, Tyler The Book Launch Strategy Of A #1 Amazon Bestseller


Marji Hill

Author and founder of Fast Self-Publishing Online


Fast Self-Publishing Online


2 Methods Of Getting Book Reviews On Amazon

2 Methods Of Getting Book Reviews On Amazon


Book reviews


Are you self-publishing a Kindle eBook and Paperback on Amazon?  If that’s you, are book reviews part of your marketing strategy?

Having a strategy to get book reviews on Amason is fundamental to being a successful self-publisher.  Reviews give you social proof and assist with your book getting credibility.

Think of it this way. Say you are planning a trip to a holiday destination and you don’t know where to stay. You need some advice.

Reading online reviews


Reading online reviews about a hotel will help you decide whether or not to make a booking at that place. 

Similarly, it’s common to check the reviews of a movie you are thinking of seeing. If a movie gets bad reviews it can affect your decision to see it.  You may decide to give it a miss.

So too with books on Amazon. Reviews influence a reader as to whether or not to buy a book.

Because reviews are so powerful in their ability to sway a reader getting them is a gold mine for the author.


Campaign strategy for getting reviews 


Every author going on the self-publishing pathway must face up to the fact that they need to have a campaign strategy for getting book reviews on Amazon. It’s an important part of launching your book.

Reviews don’t just happen. You are in luck if you do.

A self-publisher must have a campaign strategy in place to get reviews. 

However, getting reviews is not an easy process. It’s tough and it requires mastery if you plan on becoming a successful publisher.

There are acceptable ways to get reviews and there are ways that Amazon regards as inappropriate. If the procurement of a review violates the Amazon’s Terms of Reference then Amazon will delete it.

Underlying the Amazon Terms of Reference is the fact that Amazon will only publish honest reviews that are by unbiased reviewers.

There are multiple methods for getting book reviews. I’m discussing here just two methods of getting honest reviews.

1.  Ask for a review in your book

Insert a request for a review in your book. At the back end of your book have a special page that asks for a review.

Ask the question on this page:  “What did you think of [title]”?  

You might say how much you really appreciated the fact that the customer bought your book, and that if they enjoyed it and got some benefit from reading it, how you’d really appreciate it if they could take a little bit of their time to post an honest review on Amazon.

Put a Call To Action at the end of the page and a link to where customers can go on Amazon to leave their review.

2. Email list of reviewers

Part of any self-publishers toolbox is an email list. Email marketing is where you send out emails to people on your list with announcements, blog posts, promotions and sell products and services to a list of interested people which is connected to an autoresponder.

There are some autoresponders that are free of like Mailchimp and others such as Infusionsoft, Keap, Get Response and Aweber for which you do pay.

In the autoresponder, you can build an email group that is a dedicated list of reviewers. These are people who could review your books.

One of the benefits of having an email list of reviewers is that you can easily communicate with them and provide reviewers with information about your forthcoming or latest book. 

As I’ve already said I’m only discussing two methods for getting book reviews on Amazon.

There are lots of other methods you can utilize to stimulate the acquisition of book reviews.

To learn more about writing and self-publishing on Amazon I invite you to listen to the revised and updated version of my free online class. Register for this at


Marji Hill

Author and founder of Fast Self-Publishing Online


Fast Self-Publishing Online





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