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HomeDiscussion GroupsSelf-Pub U3 Ways to Sell Books from Your Author Website

6 replies and 5 participants in topic. Last update: 10 months, 1 week ago.

Often we are asked by authors, “What will a website do for me? I already have a Facebook page….”

Having a Facebook page is really quite essential these days, even if it seems the daily slog to get people to “like” your page can be too much. Basically, you need to grab every opportunity to gain exposure for your book. A website, Facebook page, Twitter profile, Instagram account, a page on Goodreads…everything adds to your author profile and helps build your community of readers.

But you can sell books from your website as well. Here are three ways:

Link to Online Retailers

On your Home page and Buy the Book page, include links to online retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound. IndieBound is a website that allows people to order your book online and purchase it from a local independent bookstore of their choosing.

When you sell your book through an online retailer, your “publisher compensation” is your book retail price less a wholesaler discount, which ranges from 40% to 55% (i.e., a chunk of your profit). The printing costs are then deducted from that amount as well. On the upside, all shipping is taken care of and the buyer pays the shipping at checkout. Note that you can download retailer logos and Buy buttons to spiffy up your links and make them pop. Read our blog post on how publisher compensation is calculated, what wholesale discounts are, and why you should manage your print-on-demand yourself to maximize profits.

Set Up a Shopping Cart

Set up a shopping cart on your site using a service such as PayPal, Stripe, or a merchant account at your bank. In the age of print-on-demand (POD), you can now order and ship the books directly from the dashboard on your CreateSpace or IngramSpark account. There is some clerical work involved, but on a positive note, you keep all the revenue minus the printing and shipping as no wholesale discount is deducted (unless you charge shipping to the buyer). If you charge the buyer for shipping, you’ll need to add a shipping option to your shopping cart. Alternatively, you could offer “free” shipping to encourage buyers to purchase from you rather than Amazon. Buyers will almost always check the price on Amazon, so keep an eye on the discounted price Amazon is charging for the book and match it.

Make sure you tell people that they can order your book in bulk (if appropriate). Ask them to contact you directly to discuss pricing. You can make this bulk order through the dashboard on your POD account and ship it directly to the customer.

Set Up an Store

Use IngramSpark’s “store” to accept orders and payments. IngramSpark fulfills the order and ships to the buyer. You pay a small monthly fee and a 15% wholesale discount to Your profit is higher and there is no clerical work involved. Basically you set up the store and book sales from your website are on auto-pilot.

And Don’t Forget Facebook…

You can also set up a Shop on your Facebook page. You can opt to let buyers check out on Facebook or to send buyers to a page on your website. Click here to learn how to set up a Facebook Shop.

Your Buyers Can’t Buy from IngramSpark and CreateSpace

Authors often ask if they can send buyers to IngramSpark or CreateSpace to buy books. The answer is “No.” These are your POD accounts. Buyers can purchase from retailers, directly from you, or from your store but not from IngramSpark or CreateSpace. As noted above, however, they can buy through your website and you can order the books from IngramSpark or CreateSpace. This is a great option for bulk purchases.

Do you have questions about self-publishing or book sales? Give us a call or stop by to learn more.

Profile photo of BookWorks Team
Started by: BookWorks Team  • 

Great info here, Michele! Thank you for posting.

Profile photo of Carole P. Roman
Started by: Carole P. Roman  • 

Great article. I never thought about doing that. Going to set it up tomorrow.

Profile photo of 1106 Design, LLC
Started by: 1106 Design, LLC  • 

Glad to hear it, Carole. We’re always happy to share information that can help authors!

Profile photo of JD  Holiday
Started by: JD Holiday  • 

Good info. Thanks, Michele.

Profile photo of 1106 Design, LLC
Started by: 1106 Design, LLC  • 

My pleasure, JD. With Amazon’s recent changes to the Buy Now button position, this post turned out to be more timely than ever.

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Started by:  • 

I’d add that Book Pages for each book shouldn’t be just a copy/paste of the book description. That’s most the laziest way to do it. Add some exclusive content, like what inspired the book or make the book page more visual(tell the story with visuals that are relevant to the book). That adds originality and interest to the page, which makes selling books easier. 😉

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