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How to Sell Your Books From Your Own Website

18 Dec

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Online-Purchase

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In a former blog post: Successful Book Selling – the Non-Traditional Way  we mentioned that authors could sell books from their own website – which resulted in lots of questions how this could be installed and successful managed.
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Great Benefits for Authors
Take advantage of these three fantastic benefits of selling your books from your own webpage:

  1. You will have higher Revenues
  2. You get paid faster
  3. You will know your readers

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Higher Revenues
Directly selling means you earn around 85% from your retail price, way more than the maximum 70% you receive from Amazon, and on a 99 cent book or one above 9.99 you get nearly double the amount you would receive from Amazon.  It also helps your readers who live in areas where Amazon requests a surcharge, e.g. in parts of Asia, Africa and Middle East – and sometimes even when customers want to order books from countries.  A while ago I ordered a 99-cent book from Germany that was not available on Amazon.com, only through Amazon.de and at the end I paid almost $4.00. I certainly was not happy about this surcharge.
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Faster Payments
You get paid before your customers downloads your books. Unlike with online book retailers, you don’t have to wait until you receive a statement months after your book was sold. The money for your books is right away in your account.
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Who are Your Readers?
Having your book solely on Amazon, Barns & Noble, Apple etc., you will never know who orders and reads your book,s no matter how many are sold. These are not your customers anymore, but the retailers’ and they won’t let you know any details about your customers.
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A very important tip:  ALWAYS include your website, blog and social media information in your book, no matter if e-book (where readers can have a direct link to your sites) or print book.
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How to Set up an Online Bookstore
There are dozens of ready-to-go online stores available, called “e-commerce” which can be installed in your existing website or blog – relatively easy and quick. You have to have your own (hosted) website or blog, the paid versions – not a free website.
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Most e-Commerce Shops Take a Small Fee Every Month.
Some, like Ecwid for example are free if you have less than 10 books to offer. EJunkie provides shopping cart and buy now buttons to let you sell book downloads. They offer one week trials and their fees start with $5/month for less than 10 downloads. They also offer lots of features, such as tax and shipping calculators, discount management, affiliate management etc.  Almost all e-commerce shops work with PayPal systems for secure and easy payments.

Downloads Even Possible from WordPress Site
If you own your hosted web page and your web name at WordPress.org you can turn your WordPress blog into a full blown e-commerce site and start selling online.  A simple E-commerce Shopping Cart plugin lets you sell tangible products, services, and digital downloads securely from your own site. The plugin is packed with features to make selling easier on the internet and allows Paypal payments.
WordPress explains: “No matter what type of digital downloads you have, you can sell and deliver them securely to your customers with the plugin. Sell your e-books (PDF), audio books, music (MP3, wav, MP4), photos, digital arts easily from any WordPress.org site.”
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Custom-Designed Sales Page
Another option to sell from your own website is, if you are an IT / software professional or have one (can be virtual) on hand, to help with the technical aspect, to install your own custom-made online store. However, it has to be monitored and you have to choose a very reliable hosting company, as every down-time on their servers means lost sales for you.
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You Can Even Sell “by hand” Via your Computer:
Customers pay with PayPal and you deliver your files for your e-book via email, or shop your print book via regular mail. This is the most labor-intensive and you are required to deliver almost around the clock, as customers expect to receive your book immediately after their payment goes through.
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Showcase on Ganxy
Easy-to-use tools for selling and giving away content on Ganxy through a customized separate website. You can learn where and how customers discovered your content—across any website and channel where the Showcase appears. Showcases make your content look professional and consistent everywhere it appears on the Internet.
You can create giveaways, award contest winners, send review copies, distribute copies at conferences, and more. You can even ask promotional customers to provide their contact information to access content, giving you a forum for ongoing contact with your audience. They also offer a free trial. However, this is not your OWN website, it is a borrow and it belongs to this company.  Use it for campaigns and keep your own website too.
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Selz
The installation process with Selz is the same as any other WordPress plugin. You can either download it from the WordPress plugin library or install it directly from the “Add New” option in the plugins area of your WordPress website.
The sign up process for a free account is quite simple and takes only a minute to complete. To start the selling process on your WordPress website, you need to select the type of products or services that you’re offering. It can be anything from digital products like eBooks, images, audio files to physical items. Selz provides several other useful features that really make it a complete ecommerce package: For example, offering a freebie, like an eBook, you can simply mark your product as FREE in the product section.

Gumroad
The very best option however, is Gumroad, a company who charges just 5% + 25¢ per transaction. Working with them means: there are no hosting fees, no monthly fees, no bandwidth fees, no refund fee. You just give a link on your website to potential customers and all the transaction go through their website – but you will get and keep all your customers data.

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So, with all these options you have plenty of reasons to sell your book directly from your website – additionally to your sales via online retailers. Put your eggs in several baskets! You never know! And it is useful to know who is buying and reading your books, in order to notify them for your next launch.

Sources:

http://www.shopify.ca/sell/ebooks

http://www.3dcart.com/sell-online/how-to-sell-ebooks-online.html

http://wordpress.org/plugins/simple-e-commerce-shopping-cart/

http://www.siteground.com/tutorials/create_website/sell_products.htm

http://line25.com/articles/the-best-shopping-cart-plugins-to-sell-with-wordpress

http://www.sitepoint.com/hosted-shopping-cart-solutions/

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $159 for three months! Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
Or visit http://www.e-book-pr.com/book-promo/
to advertise your new book, specials, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.

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4 Comments

Posted by on December 18, 2013 in Book Sales, Marketing

 

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4 responses to “How to Sell Your Books From Your Own Website

  1. drewdog2060drewdog2060

    December 18, 2013 at 2:59 am

    Reblogged this on newauthoronline and commented:
    I have considered selling books direct from my website and should, perhaps give this some further thought. A useful and interesting post.

     
  2. mkelberer

    December 18, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Good post – selling from their website is an option authors too often ignore or decide it too difficult. Another good option if an author’s site is WordPress-based is the MyBookTable plugin: http://www.authormedia.com/mybooktable/

     
    • ebooksinternational

      December 19, 2013 at 9:33 am

      Thanks for the tip!
      On the other hand: what they offer, and for what you have to pay, is something you can do for free on your own website. You only have to join Amazon’s, B&N’s and Kobo’s affiliate programs – for FREE.

      Cheers, Doris

       
  3. WowThemes.net (@WowThemesNet)

    March 4, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    We have recently developed a theme which might help sell your e-books easily: http://www.wowthemes.net/themes/scorilo/

     

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