Indie authors should consider selling their books directly to readers and there are advantages in this approach as detailed below. One of the clear advantages in selling direct are higher royalties than the Amazon 70% rate and especially on 99c price tag where you only get 35% on Amazon. Some readers in certain locations in the world are not covered by major retailers. For example Amazon aren’t big in Africa, Asia and the Middle East and Barnes and Noble only cover the US.
Plus you can capture your buyers emails, with permission and that gives you a direct communication line with readers. You won’t get this from the big retailers. Another plus is tracking. You have no access to data on how readers are discovering you on the big platforms but with your own website, you can install Google Analytics, Facebook Pixels or other tracking.
Disadvantages if you go the self-hosted woocommerce/Shopify route include the time and possibly money involved in setting up a direct sales option. In most cases there is a customer service element to consider. Dealing directly with customers could be considered by some authors to be a headache.
Some authors also don’t want to eat away at possible sales on the main retailer platforms which could affect sales rank and so forth.
Which Publishing route should I take?
There are several approaches to selling direct. Let’s talk about how you can sell your books to the masses without needing a middleman. If you just want to sell digital ebooks in the most simple way, take a look at these.
You’ve probably heard of GumRoad and maybe even bought a course or two from there. But did you know that you can sell your ebooks on GumRoad?
It’s easy to set up and start selling. All you need is a Gumroad account to upload your ebook file. You can then set your price and start promoting your book with a direct link to that product.
Gumroad charge 5% of your price plus a $0.30 transaction fee.
Another option for selling your ebooks is Payhip which is easy to set up. You just create a product, add your digital files, price and details and Payhip creates a landing page for you.
Payhip’s transaction fee is 5% on the free plan and Stripe/Paypal payment processing fees usually come out at around 3%.
Let’s not forget Bookfunnel; it’s not just another platform you can use to sell your ebooks. You can also build a mailing list, take part in promos, track advance reader copies and much more.
How Do I sell Print Books Direct?
You can sell your books through POD or Print on Demand and if your use KDP Print or Ingram Spark you’re already doing this.
Print on Demand is an excellent option if you want to sell physical copies of your books. With Print on Demand, you don’t have to worry about inventory or shipping.
Once someone orders your book, it will be printed and shipped to them. And the best part is that you don’t have to pay anything upfront.
If you want to sell print on demand print books as well as ebooks directly take a look at Bookvault which integrates with Woocommerce and Shopify. This means a customer coming to your store purchases a print book and Bookvault triggers the printing of that book and ships it directly to your customer. The disadvantage for International authors is Bookvault is based in the UK, so shipping will be higher for those outside the UK. Hopefully this will change asap.
What is WooCommerce?
What are the benefits of using WooCommerce?
There are many benefits of using WooCommerce, but here are a few of the most important ones:
- It’s free to use
- It’s easy to set up and use
- You have complete control over your store
- You can add an unlimited number of products
- It’s highly customizable
Since WooCommerce is free and open source, it’s very popular among WordPress users. There’s plenty of online documentation and support available if you need help.
If you’re serious about selling your POD books, then WooCommerce is a great option. It offers the flexibility you need at a price that can’t be beaten.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is a platform that allows you to create an online store. It’s a hosted platform, which means that Shopify takes care of all the technical stuff for you.
You don’t need to worry about hosting, security, or anything else. Just focus on creating your store and adding products.
Shopify is very popular among online store owners. This is because it’s easy to use and has all the features you need to run a successful online store.
It’s not free to use, but it’s very affordable. You can start with a 14-day free trial and then choose from one of their monthly plans.
What are the benefits of using Shopify?
Shopify is an excellent platform for selling your POD books. Here are some of the benefits of using Shopify:
- It’s easy to use
- You don’t need to worry about hosting or security
- They offer 24/7 support
- You can start with a free 14-day trial
- It’s very affordable
The main thing about Shopify is that it’s very easy to use. You can set up your store and start selling your POD books in just a few minutes. As a result, Shopify is the top choice for many online store owners.
If you’re looking for an easy way to sell your POD books, then Shopify is a great option. However, if you’re more of a technical hands on person, then WooCommerce might be a better fit for you.
Selling your books direct to the public is a great way to make more money from your writing.
It’s also a great way to build a closer relationship with your readers and adding a direct sales option enables you to build that buyers list and make a bigger cut of your book sales. The downside is there’s a bit more work involved but you’re planning a long author career it’ll be well worth the effort.