For those indie authors out there gettin’ your hustle on, I have a trick for you.

As you may know, Amazon has taken over Createspace. (sad) In doing so, they have fucked us. Createspace allowed authors to purchase paperbacks before the book release. Like actual paperback books. Amazon does not. The “author copies” available before release have a big “NOT FOR RESALE” banner across the entire book, even the spine.

Forget having a bookstagram photo shoot before the book is released or pre-selling copies at a signing!

I digress, this is a happy-ish post. The Lunam Legacy released on August 5th. Since Amazon claims it takes up to 72 hours to approve a paperback, I hit publish on Saturday. By Sunday afternoon the book was live and available for delivery via Amazon Prime by Tuesday, three short days before my signing. Phew!

HOLD THE PHONE: When I went to order author copies, the ship date was 10 days out! Even with overnight shipping (which I would never do) it was still 3 days too late.

Solution: I made the paperback as cheap as possible and updated the price. Amazon had the new price listed within hours. I then ordered all my copies with Amazon Prime 2 day free shipping to arrive at my signing with one day to spare.

How much did I pay? The same (almost). Had I ordered the books two weeks ago and shipping them ground (Amazon doesn’t offer prime shipping on author copies). I would’ve paid $6.13/book. I paid $6.88/book.

Here is the hack! I paid an extra $.75 for the books, but the purchase is listed as a sale. Even though I make zilch in royalties, my ranking went up. Full disclosure: I only ordered 20 books. It you’re ordering 100 that $.75/book is a bit more substantial. In the grand scheme of things, is it really? That margin may shorten the more you order. It’s all a numbers game. Today, I feel like I have the win.