A common question new indie authors ask if they should sell their books from their own website. The answer to that question is Yes, and this article explains why.
Why sell books from your website?
You should sell books from your website because you can get more per sale by selling from your website than from bookstores like Amazon, Apple, and Barnes & Noble. Amazon basically prevents you from selling ebooks for more than $10(US) because they drop their royalty rate to 35% for ebooks that cost more than $10. If you are selling a technical book to a niche audience, you need to charge a higher price because the market isn’t big enough.
You have to do all of the work to get people to notice your book. People are not going to stumble upon your book by browsing Amazon. Your book won’t appear high in an Amazon search until your book sells a lot of copies. Why give Amazon 30 percent or more of each sale?
You control your own website. If you sell books exclusively on Amazon, Amazon can cancel your account for violating one of their guidelines.
Isn’t Amazon where most people buy books?
People will tell you that selling your books anywhere besides Amazon is a waste of time. Amazon is the only place people buy books. Authors will tell you they get 95% of their book income from Amazon.
Yes, Amazon is a very popular place for people to buy books. I’m not telling you to avoid Amazon or to stop selling on Amazon. Selling books from your own website doesn’t prohibit you from selling them on Amazon. You can sell books from your website and on Amazon.
Handling credit card transactions and collecting sales tax
People are under the misconception that if you sell books from your own website, you have to personally handle credit card transactions, sales tax collection, and shipping. There are ecommerce providers that you can use that will handle these details for less than the 30% that Amazon takes from each ebook sale.
Why am I focusing on Payhip and Gumroad? Because they both have no upfront fees. They make money only when you make money. If you are publishing your first book, you are not going to sell many copies at the start. Why pay a monthly fee if your book sells only 1–2 copies in a month? You can switch to a store where you pay a monthly fee for lower transaction fees when you start selling hundreds of copies of your book each month. Payhip even has plans that take less from each sale in exchange for paying a monthly fee.
Using Payhip or Gumroad does not require much technical expertise. You must perform the following steps to use Payhip or Gumroad to sell your books:
- Create an account
- Add products for your books
- Add links to your store and books to your website
Do you have other self-publishing questions?
I may have answered your questions in one of my other articles.
If you have a question that isn’t answered in one of my articles, you can go to the Contact page to email me your question.