When publishing ebooks, indie authors may think they are limited to selling them at places catering to books, such as Amazon’s Kindle Store and Apple’s iBooks Store. But you can also sell your ebooks on your website. Use a service like FastSpring to handle the details of processing orders and accepting electronic payments.
If you visit the FastSpring website, you’ll notice that it’s geared towards selling software online. But from a buying and selling standpoint, an electronic book is no different from a piece of software. Customers place their orders, enter their payment information, and download what they ordered. There’s nothing preventing you from using FastSpring to sell an electronic version of your book.
FastSpring provides a custom storefront for your book. Customers use the storefront to order your book, enter payment information, and download the book. FastSpring processes the order and collects any sales tax. By using a service like FastSpring you can handle credit card orders without having to sign up for a merchant account.
After signing up for a FastSpring account, create a product for your book. Enter the name of the book, a description, and a price. From there you can test your storefront to make sure everything is working properly.
When everything is working, add a Buy button to your website that links to the FastSpring storefront for your book. You should also contact FastSpring so they can make the storefront match the look of your website.
FastSpring takes a percentage of each ebook you sell. They take 8.9% of the sale price. If you sell an ebook for $10 on FastSpring, you receive $9.11.
There’s also an option where FastSpring takes 5.9% of the sale price plus 95 cents. Unless you’re selling your ebook for over $30, you’re better off with the 8.9% plan.
UPDATE: MARCH 2017
FastSpring removed the 8.9% plan, leaving the 5.9% + 95 cents plan. This change makes FastSpring less attractive for ebooks. With the new plan you get $8.46 for a $10 ebook.
You get to keep more money from each sale, 91%. Amazon and Apple give you 70%. 21% of a sale is a big piece.
You can integrate your storefront with mailing list managers like MailChimp to stay in contact with your readers.
You need your own website to use FastSpring.
FastSpring doesn’t print books. Use FastSpring to sell your ebook and a print on demand publisher like CreateSpace to sell a print version of your book.
If you want to sell ebooks on your website, using FastSpring is a good way to get more money from those sales.