Tag Archives: book sales

Self-Publishing Profits: Sell Your Books From Your Own Website

Self-Publishing Profits: Sell Your Books From Your Own Website

Love self-publishing? Many authors do, because they have complete freedom… or so they imagine. However, over the past year or two, authors have been discovering that they have less freedom than they thought.

Although self-publishing frees you from the middle-men — literary agents and publishing houses — the major book retailers nevertheless control your fortunes.

Changes in Amazon’s algorithm, scammers targeting Amazon, Facebook’s recent changes… more authors are looking to sell their books from their own websites so that they can retain more of the profits.

Do the benefits of “do it yourself” self-publishing outweigh the hassles? Of course, that depends on where you are in your self-publishing journey.

If you’re a new author, uploading your new novel to Amazon is a major feat. On the other hand, if you’ve been publishing for a while, you know that the self-publishing process cedes control. You have zero idea who’s buying your books, for example. The retailers keep the data.

Let’s look at some of the benefits of selling your books from your own website.

Self-publishing: the benefits of selling from your own website

The benefits of self-publishing from your own website as well as the big online book retailers include:

  • You keep more of the profits (you’ll keep 90% of the profits, compared to at best, 70% if you sell through a retailer);
  • Data: you know who your readers are. You have their email addresses, so you can contact them directly and build a loyal following;
  • It’s a chance to make friends with readers, ask them questions, reward them, and build sales overall;
  • Diversification can help to insulate your sales from algorithm changes.

A quick check: is your ebook in KDP Select?

Before we talk about the tools you can use to sell from your own website, we need to mention KDP Select. Be aware that once an ebook is enrolled in Select, you’re giving Amazon a three-month exclusive. So before you sell an ebook from your own website, do make certain that its term in Select has expired.

Tools: selling your books from your own website is easier than you think

Perhaps you’ve been putting off selling your books from your own website because it’s a hassle. You need a payment processor, and a delivery system. You also need a way to add your buyers’ email addresses to your email lists.

While there are dozens of tools you can use to sell your books (in various formats, whether ebooks, print, or audio) two tools have become hugely popular with the self-publishing crowd: BookFunnel and Gumroad.

(Disclosure: I don’t currently use either of these tools. However, I have heard good things about them, and aim to use them going forward. PLEASE make sure that you read ALL the Help files, before you use any tool.)

BookFunnel: an ebook delivery system for freebies, review copies etc.

BookFunnel provides an easy way for you to deliver freebies to readers, and add their email addresses to your mailing lists. You can use BookFunnel to deliver exclusive promotions, ARCs, review copies — you’re limited only by your imagination.

The tool collects reader emails for you, which you can download as a CSV file. Alternatively, BookFunnel can be integrated directly with your mailing list provider.

Gumroad payment processor and delivery system: sell ebooks, audios, and print books

Gumroad has been around for years, and is packed with features.

You can integrate Gumroad with your website easily. Either link directly to a product’s page on Gumroad, or use widgets, to integrate Gumroad with WordPress, Squarespace, or Tumblr.

If you use the MyBookTable plugin for WordPress, just add the Gumroad Buy Button in the same way you’d add Amazon’s or Kobo’s button.

Should you sell your books from your own website?

Selling your books from your own website won’t make you instantly wealthy. Your sales are unlikely to outshine your sales on Amazon and elsewhere, at least in your first year or two.

Your biggest challenge, just as it is on the retailers, is visibility and discovery. You’ll need to promote your products, just as you already do.

However, the benefits are many, and if you’ve been grinding your teeth because of Facebook’s changes, selling from your own website at least puts you in control of some of your self-publishing fortunes.

Map It: For Writing Success — Fiction And Nonfiction Outlines Made Easy

Map It: For Writing Success — Fiction And Nonfiction Outlines Made Easy

eBook: $5.99

I developed the tactics and strategies in this book to help myself. My students have found them essential to producing both fiction and nonfiction almost effortlessly.

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Nonfiction Ebooks Goldmine: Write and Sell Nonfiction Ebooks In 24 Hours Or Less

Nonfiction Ebooks Goldmine: Write and Sell Nonfiction Ebooks In 24 Hours Or Less

Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 5
Genre: Writing

You're a writer. You need to make money from your words. What if you could create AND sell a nonfiction book in just a day?

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Easy Ways to Promote (And Sell) Your Books

Angela Booth's Writing Genii
This week, we had more questions on book marketing.

Implement the tips I gave you in this blog post, New Author: Five Easy Ways to Promote Your Book | Write a Book: Just Write A Book Blog:

“Offer the First Chapter Free
Amazon does this because it works. If you’re publishing your book on the Kindle book store or on Amazon, Amazon will offer a free chapter of your book. If you’ve written a very short book, the freebie will be around 10% of your book.

Whether or not your readers find your book on Amazon depends on how clever you are with metadata. The metadata is your book’s title, its category, its tags and its description. Creating the right metadata is vital. Look on it as advertising for your book.”

Here are some additional ideas…

* Market your books in ways you enjoy — if marketing isn’t fun for you, you’ll stop doing it;

* Consider marketing with book clubs;

* Blog your book;

* Use Google+ to network;

* Give away free copies… but… (pay attention to the “but”).

Book marketing isn’t a big deal. You just have to do it.

Choose any form of marketing you like, but DO IT

Marketing your books isn’t hard. All you need to do, is do it.

Here’s a big tip. Clever authors always have a PLAN. I talk about plans for getting writing jobs here, but the principle of planning is always the same. What matters isn’t what’s on your plan, or even whether or not your plan is likely to be successful — you just need a plan, any plan at all.

The plan gets you moving. Then you get feedback. Then you adjust your plan.

Create a plan. Choose three easy ways to promote your books. Then follow that plan.

Blog Your Book: How to Get Started

Angela Booth's Writing Genii

Remember the “create and promote” mantra which I shared with you yesterday? We talked about serial publication in that post. Blogging your book can be a form of serial publication. (There are other options, we’ll discuss those later.)

The big benefit of blogging your book in some way is that it promotes your book while you’re writing it.

I’ve chatted with you about blogging your book many times on this blog. You know why — it builds your platform, that is, your readership.

This post, Pen & Pro$per: How to Build an Author Platform by Blogging a Book* By Nina Amir, is worth reading:

“A Blog Builds Author Platform

… a blog promotes you and your book, thus building author platform. First, a blog makes you discoverable (easy to find) on the internet. Every time you publish a blog post, you provide new content for the search engines’ automated mechanisms, called spiders or bots, to catalog.”

Blog your book

I’ve talked about blogging your book before you write it — it’s the best way to test your book idea.

It doesn’t matter much when you start blogging your book, as long as you start before your book is done. The primary reason for this is that your blog is a form of market research. You can get additional ideas for your book from your blog’s readers, and your blog’s readers will be the first buyers of your new book. You can also form powerful relationships with your readers: they now know you, and have an interest in your success.

Here’s how to get started.

First, decide where you want your blog hosted. While there are many benefits to owning your own site, it’s easier for new writers to use either Blogger.com or WordPress.com to host their book blogs. Both options are free.

So sign up for either site. However, before you do that, think about what content you’ll be posting on the blog.

If I were starting out as a new writer, I’d post my entire first draft to my blog. As a new writer, you have nothing to lose, and a lot to gain. 🙂

There are other options, of course. You could:

* Post snippets from your first draft to your blog;

* Talk about writing your book;

* Talk about the topic of your book.

For example, if you’re writing a travel book, you could talk about travel destinations on your blog. Alternatively, if you’re writing fiction — a mystery novel — you could review mysteries on your blog, and talk about books in general.

WHAT you blog is up to you. Whatever you decide, your blog will have benefits you can’t foresee. I’ve been blogging for over 12 years, and have been urging writers to blog for almost as long. You’ll discover why once you start blogging.

Interested in blogging as a career or business? Discover pro blogging here.