Amazon Advantage vs Amazon Seller Central: Sell Your Own Print Books

So let's assume that you have printed multiple copies of your book and have them stacked in your house, maybe from a boutique printer, or they were shipped to your house some other way.

If this is the case, how can you have these books sold on Amazon?

Well, there are ways to do this, and I will walk you through them today. I will also give you a series of questions to help you answer what method is best for you.

In this article, you will learn:
  1. What Amazon Advantage and Amazon Seller Central are
  2. When authors should choose one or the other
  3. How to set up your Amazon Advantage account
  4. How to set up your Amazon Seller Central account

What is Amazon Advantage?

Amazon Advantage is a consignment program offered by Amazon for publishers and producers of physical media such as books, music, and videos. Here's an overview of how it works:

  • Inventory and fulfillment: When you join Amazon Advantage, your inventory becomes part of Amazon's stock. When a customer purchases your item on, Amazon handles the order fulfillment, shipping, and customer service. If the customer is an Amazon Prime member, your item will ship with Prime's free two-day shipping.
  • Fees and payment terms: There is a $99 annual fee to participate in Amazon Advantage. For each item sold, Amazon pays you 45% of the list price, similar to typical wholesale terms when selling through bookstores and other retailers. You are responsible for shipping your inventory to Amazon warehouses initially.
  • Marketing and visibility: Amazon markets and recommends Advantage items to customers like any other products on their site, giving your book or media the same visibility and Amazon's powerful on-site marketing capabilities. Customers cannot tell an Advantage item apart from any other products offered directly by Amazon. However, Amazon does control pricing for Advantage items.

What is Amazon Seller Central

Amazon Seller Central, also known as Marketplace, enables you to sell your books directly to Amazon customers as a third-party seller. Here is an overview:

  • Order fulfillment: With Seller Central, you act as the retailer and ship books directly to customers when an order comes in. Alternatively, you can use Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) where you ship inventory to Amazon's warehouses and they handle fulfillment and shipping when an order is placed.
  • Fees and payment: There are two Seller Central plans – Individual and Professional:
    • The Individual plan has a $0.99 fee per item sold, plus a 15% referral fee and $1.80 closing fee per book. Amazon provides reimbursements for shipping costs.
    • The Professional plan has a $39.99 monthly fee but the same 15% referral and $1.80 closing fees per book. Shipping reimbursements also apply.
  • Marketing and control: Your books will appear in search results on Amazon when customers search for them. However, they will be labeled as sold by a third-party rather than Amazon directly, which some buyers see as less appealing. The trade-off is that with Seller Central you retain pricing control over your books, which can be important for consistency with other sales channels.

What’s the Difference?

While both Amazon Advantage and Seller Central enable you to sell your books on Amazon, there are some key differences:

FeatureSeller Central/MarketplaceAmazon Advantage
Entrance criteriaOpen to most sellersApproval process for publishers
Fees$0.99 or $39.99/month + referral & closing fees per sale. Amazon refunds shipping.$99 yearly fee. 45% of publisher's list price paid per book sold.
FulfillmentSeller responsible or FBA optionalHandled entirely by Amazon
ReturnsSeller incurs return costs if using FBAPublisher pays return shipping
SupportSeller provides or FBAAmazon provides support
Product listingLittle seller control or inputPublisher manages title's product listing
Enhanced contentNot enabled"A+ Content" option available
Pre-ordersCannot offer pre-ordersCan list titles for pre-order
Pricing authoritySeller establishes priceAmazon may apply discounts
Buyer transactionShows as third-party sellerAmazon listed as seller

In other words, Amazon Advantage is more hands-off for publishers but relinquishes some control to Amazon. Seller Central allows publishers to be more involved with selling their inventory directly but incurs more selling fees.

Which Should You Use?

There are similarities and differences between both Amazon Advantage and Amazon Seller Central. Here are some reasons why you might prefer (or your circumstances would dictate) one or the other:

Why Use Amazon Advantage:

You should use Amazon Advantage if you fit the following criteria:

  • You are a publisher (this can apply to any author with a registered business)
  • You prefer something a little more hands off
  • You want the added credibility
  • You want to offer preorders

Why Use Amazon Seller Central:

You should use Amazon Seller Central if you fit the following criteria:

  • You want higher margins (but don’t mind being labeled a “third party”)
  • You only have a few books to sell
  • You want more control (for things like pricing)

What About KDP?

But what about KDP? Isn’t that another way for authors to publish their books? Well, it’s not quite what we’re talking about here. There’s a big difference.

Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is Amazon's self-publishing platform for ebooks and paperbacks. KDP differs from Amazon Advantage and Seller Central in a few key ways:

  • Print vs. digital: KDP is focused on publish ebooks and print-on-demand print books, while Advantage and Seller Central enable publishers to sell pre-printed physical books.
  • Fees and payment: There are no subscription fees for KDP – it takes a percentage of sales revenue. Rates start at 35% up to 70% depending on pricing models and book type. Advantage and Seller Central have fixed fees and referral fees.
  • Fulfillment: For printed books, KDP handles printing and order fulfillment automatically. Advantage handles fulfillment but Seller Central allows publishers to choose whether to handle their own fulfillment/shipping or use FBA.

Additionally, for print books, KDP is print-on-demand, which means the readers have to wait longer for them to be printed. One advantage of both Amazon Advantage and Seller Central is that the books can be shipped much faster since they were already printed.

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How to Set Up an Amazon Advantage Account:

For those interested in setting up an Amazon Advantage account, here are some detailed instructions on how to do just that:

  1. Go to the Amazon Advantage homepage at
  2. Click on the “Apply Now” button on the homepage.
  3. On the page that opens, select your country, and fill out your business profile. Note that you must have a registered business in the country you’re filing under
    1. For authors, make sure to select “Publisher” under Company Profile.
  4. Hit “Apply Now”
  5. Fill in all of the requested information.
  6. Once approved, set up your Amazon Advantage account to manage inventory orders, shipments, and listings.

How to Set Up an Amazon Seller Central Account:

For those interested in setting up an Amazon Seller Central account, here are some detailed instructions on how to do just that:

  1. Go to the Amazon Seller Central homepage at
  2. Click “Sign Up”
  3. If you don’t have an Amazon account, you’ll need to set that up.
  4. Select the country where you are located
  5. You will then have to walk through a step-by-step process to set up your account, including information on the following:
    1. Business Information
    2. Seller Information
    3. Billing
    4. Store
    5. Verification

Note that you will need to have a lot of information at the ready, including any information on your business, your address, your phone, etc. You even need to provide either a photo of your face or get on a call with an Amazon associate to get your verification.

Additionally, it can often take some time, up to several weeks, to get it fully approved.

And I hope that helps! So if you need to sell physical copies of your book that aren’t print-on-demand, this should be exactly what you need.

As always, let us know if you have any questions by reaching out on our contact page.

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