Author Topic: ways to be less Amazon dependent  (Read 7147 times)  

Offline kw3000

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Re: ways to be less Amazon dependent
« Reply #25 on: January 12, 2018, 10:15:10 AM »
That's it, we must band together, create a new platform called Nile and dominate. Who's got a few billion to chip in? Someone get Zuckerberg on the line.  8)

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Offline Sailor Stone

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Re: ways to be less Amazon dependent
« Reply #26 on: January 12, 2018, 10:25:47 AM »
I could be wrong here, but I was just on Joanna Penn's website while I was researching this new Bookfunnel direct sales help option and I clicked the link to buy one of her books and it looks like she is already using Bookfunnel to send the book file to the buyer when they choose to buy direct.
If she's doing it, I can see direct sales to readers gaining traction far quicker than I first thought. I'm sick of wooing Amazon's algorithms and my feeling is that I'll begin to concentrate on setting up a direct sales platform this year. Something I can leverage sales with in the future.

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Offline Going Incognito

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Re: ways to be less Amazon dependent
« Reply #27 on: January 12, 2018, 10:26:49 AM »
I honestly believe that the diversifying has to come from readers. They need to be encouraged to check out ereaders that aren't Kindles.

I think if readers can diversify their ereading devices, then authors will see a change in where sales come from. But I also don't see that happening. Amazon is too prevalent in the US to be dethroned at this point. I think trying to cultivate readers outside the US and UK should be more of a focus for authors.

It's seems like kind of a chicken and egg thing to me. How will readers be encouraged to check out other ereaders, platforms or devices to even be able to begin to diversify if there arent any options to diversify to... cause authors stay with Amazon... because readers wont diversify... because everyone is on Amazon...

Reminds me of- people will always prefer physical books, why bother putting out a digital version anyway if no one is reading them... cause no one has put any out... cause no one is reading them...

Or- who'd pay good money to carry around water in a bottle they had to buy when it comes right out of the tap?


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Re: ways to be less Amazon dependent
« Reply #29 on: January 12, 2018, 10:45:58 AM »
The big argument against selling direct has always been how do we get readers to our sites to buy our books? Everyone goes to Amazon to buy books, so we should let Amazon do the selling. But that doesn't work any more. More and more lately, we're the ones who drive traffic to our books, so why not drive some of that traffic to our own websites?

The only reason I'm not selling direct from my site yet is because of the US state sales taxes. I shouldn't have to collect and pay sales taxes on sales outside my own state (since I don't have a physical or legal presence in any other state), but on sales within my own state, I have to get a state sales tax license and a city business permit, which together would cost more per year than I anticipate making on direct sales. PayHip handles VAT but it looks like the only direct-selling services that handle US state sales taxes also cost more than I can afford. I guess I could say, Sorry, no sales to customers in Arizona, but I'd kinda hate to do that.

Anyone else in the US have any thoughts/solutions to this?


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Offline TwistedTales

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Re: ways to be less Amazon dependent
« Reply #30 on: January 12, 2018, 10:57:13 AM »
That's it, we must band together, create a new platform called Nile and dominate. Who's got a few billion to chip in? Someone get Zuckerberg on the line.  8)

I dont think anyone is proposing to compete with Amazon, more to leverage the buyers to our own purchasing platform.

Given how the web has evolved, you have to wonder whether huge online distributors have a future. Maybe for the foreseeable future, but there are already less barriers to selling direct than even a few years ago.

We advertize direct so whats to stop the buyer from purchasing direct other than habit and familiarity. Neither of those things are forever barriers. Clearly people learn and change, otherwise we wouldnt have online selling at all. Remember how untrusting people were about buying online even ten years ago.

Times change.

Offline Going Incognito

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Re: ways to be less Amazon dependent
« Reply #31 on: January 12, 2018, 11:08:27 AM »
On the whole 'Kindles are too hard to use when you buy off-Amazon' thing... guys, I think we've found their Achilles' heel.

What I see happening is authors getting fed up. (We're already there) We've seen the promised land. We've gotten a taste. And now it's being taken away. Authors will do what we're already starting to do, find other ways to the cheese.

Readers are probably going to ignore it for the most part. Some preferring to buy off-site and side load, but lots just staying with whats easy, what's known. But... guess what gets readers over that hump? Other people getting what they want. Seeing new releases they wanna read only being available on the author's website for the first month. Yeah, if I wait, it'll eventually be put on Amazon, where I can get it easier...
but I want it now. One or two of my friends already figured out how to do it... they said it's easy... maybe I should try...

At some point it will tip. At some point it becomes- if I stay with my kindle, I can ONLY get stuff from Amazon. I cant get all this other stuff all these authors are putting out until after everyone else has read it. If I get this other device or app or whatever that meh, I'm not really interested in, I too can get more things from more places!

That's when they'll start looking to diversify. That's when 'Kindle has everything!' becomes 'Kindle only gets me this one thing! What device do I need to buy to be able to get all those other things?'

Offline Elizabeth Barone

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Re: ways to be less Amazon dependent
« Reply #32 on: January 12, 2018, 11:13:05 AM »
Kobo promotions.

Every month, Kobo offers a ton of promotions you can submit your books to. They handle all of the marketing; you just pay a small percentage that comes right out of your royalties. In some cases, there's a flat fee but that also comes out of your royalties (unless I'm mis-remembering). This is for Kobo direct authors only, meaning authors who publish directly to Kobo (no distributor).

Now, Smashwords has contacts with the other retailers they distribute to and will often work to get your book featured. A friend of mine is always featured on iBooks AU via Smashwords, and my book was featured on BN via Smashwords. Neither of us ever asked. Seems like the SW team finds books they enjoyed and think are marketable, and reaches out to their sales reps.

Remember, the other retailers merchandize by hand rather than algorithms. They know what their customers want -- especially Kobo and iBooks; they seem to be really on the ball.

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Offline Sarah Shaw

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Re: ways to be less Amazon dependent
« Reply #33 on: January 12, 2018, 11:23:57 AM »
The big argument against selling direct has always been how do we get readers to our sites to buy our books? Everyone goes to Amazon to buy books, so we should let Amazon do the selling. But that doesn't work any more. More and more lately, we're the ones who drive traffic to our books, so why not drive some of that traffic to our own websites?

The only reason I'm not selling direct from my site yet is because of the US state sales taxes. I shouldn't have to collect and pay sales taxes on sales outside my own state (since I don't have a physical or legal presence in any other state), but on sales within my own state, I have to get a state sales tax license and a city business permit, which together would cost more per year than I anticipate making on direct sales. PayHip handles VAT but it looks like the only direct-selling services that handle US state sales taxes also cost more than I can afford. I guess I could say, Sorry, no sales to customers in Arizona, but I'd kinda hate to do that.

Anyone else in the US have any thoughts/solutions to this?

Well, how does Amazon do it? I've never had them collect state sales tax from me on the ebooks I buy. If they're paying it at all, they're paying it from their own profits and if you're getting the sales information directly you should be able to do the same for your customers in Arizona.

Offline Going Incognito

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Re: ways to be less Amazon dependent
« Reply #34 on: January 12, 2018, 11:24:08 AM »
The only reason I'm not selling direct from my site yet is because of the US state sales taxes. I shouldn't have to collect and pay sales taxes on sales outside my own state (since I don't have a physical or legal presence in any other state), but on sales within my own state, I have to get a state sales tax license and a city business permit, which together would cost more per year than I anticipate making on direct sales. PayHip handles VAT but it looks like the only direct-selling services that handle US state sales taxes also cost more than I can afford. I guess I could say, Sorry, no sales to customers in Arizona, but I'd kinda hate to do that.

Anyone else in the US have any thoughts/solutions to this?


A few years back there was a Hooter's that opened near us. Some people weren't real happy about that. They had friends in high places or something, I forget the whole story, but anyway... Hooter's just couldn't seem to get their liquor license approved. And apparently a Hooter's without beer is only half a Hooter's. They were making no money, were thinking about closing down. But then someone found a loophole. Seems it was illegal to sell beer without a liquor license, but it was not illegal to give beer away.

If a Hooter's without beer was only half a Hooter's, let me tell you, a Hooter's that was giving away free beer when you bought so much in food? Yeah. People started driving past Hooter's that were closer to them, in their own towns, to come to this Hooter's for the 'free' beer.

There's gotta be a loophole somewhere.

Offline kw3000

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Re: ways to be less Amazon dependent
« Reply #35 on: January 12, 2018, 11:27:50 AM »
I dont think anyone is proposing to compete with Amazon, more to leverage the buyers to our own purchasing platform.

No, I agree. My suggestion was made in jest. I think you're right, direct is the way things look to be moving. Exciting times.

Ken Ward

Offline TwistedTales

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Re: ways to be less Amazon dependent
« Reply #36 on: January 12, 2018, 11:36:15 AM »
No, I agree. My suggestion was made in jest. I think you're right, direct is the way things look to be moving. Exciting times.

Oh, but a few weeks ago there was a long thread about starting up a competitor site. I didnt think that was doable, at least not by a gang of enthusiastic authors.

Setting up direct selling by author and driving some traffic to it is probably doable now, but its fairly new thanks to some of the latest apps.

In all seriousness, what is the future of online multi product distributors like Amazon? They took advantage of immaturity in the e-market, but where does it go from here? If it becomes easier for individuals to set up selling, payment and global tax management, plus advertizing is direct and priced within reach as it is now, whats the barrier other than buyer familiarity?

Its an interesting question.

Offline Sailor Stone

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Re: ways to be less Amazon dependent
« Reply #37 on: January 12, 2018, 11:47:24 AM »
On the whole 'Kindles are too hard to use when you buy off-Amazon' thing... guys, I think we've found their Achilles' heel.

What I see happening is authors getting fed up. (We're already there) We've seen the promised land. We've gotten a taste. And now it's being taken away. Authors will do what we're already starting to do, find other ways to the cheese.

Readers are probably going to ignore it for the most part. Some preferring to buy off-site and side load, but lots just staying with whats easy, what's known. But... guess what gets readers over that hump? Other people getting what they want. Seeing new releases they wanna read only being available on the author's website for the first month. Yeah, if I wait, it'll eventually be put on Amazon, where I can get it easier...
but I want it now. One or two of my friends already figured out how to do it... they said it's easy... maybe I should try...

At some point it will tip. At some point it becomes- if I stay with my kindle, I can ONLY get stuff from Amazon. I cant get all this other stuff all these authors are putting out until after everyone else has read it. If I get this other device or app or whatever that meh, I'm not really interested in, I too can get more things from more places!

That's when they'll start looking to diversify. That's when 'Kindle has everything!' becomes 'Kindle only gets me this one thing! What device do I need to buy to be able to get all those other things?'

Part of Bookfunnel's new service is that they will sideload the Kindle for the reader when they buy directly from the author. They do this very well from what I can tell, making the process super easy for the book buyer. Now, there is a big hole in Amazon's castle wall.

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Offline TwistedTales

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Re: ways to be less Amazon dependent
« Reply #38 on: January 12, 2018, 11:53:18 AM »
On the whole 'Kindles are too hard to use when you buy off-Amazon' thing... guys, I think we've found their Achilles' heel.

What I see happening is authors getting fed up. (We're already there) We've seen the promised land. We've gotten a taste. And now it's being taken away. Authors will do what we're already starting to do, find other ways to the cheese.

Readers are probably going to ignore it for the most part. Some preferring to buy off-site and side load, but lots just staying with whats easy, what's known. But... guess what gets readers over that hump? Other people getting what they want. Seeing new releases they wanna read only being available on the author's website for the first month. Yeah, if I wait, it'll eventually be put on Amazon, where I can get it easier...
but I want it now. One or two of my friends already figured out how to do it... they said it's easy... maybe I should try...

At some point it will tip. At some point it becomes- if I stay with my kindle, I can ONLY get stuff from Amazon. I cant get all this other stuff all these authors are putting out until after everyone else has read it. If I get this other device or app or whatever that meh, I'm not really interested in, I too can get more things from more places!

That's when they'll start looking to diversify. That's when 'Kindle has everything!' becomes 'Kindle only gets me this one thing! What device do I need to buy to be able to get all those other things?'

Apparently membership sites are a growing trend on the web for direct selling. Im thinking its possible to build up a very tempting offer. Apply discount coupons to the books for members only and have versions with additional content (or provide additional files), such as bonus chapters that could have been included much like deleted scenes in a movie.

You could have some real fun with this.

Offline IoneKeeling

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Re: ways to be less Amazon dependent
« Reply #39 on: January 12, 2018, 12:04:43 PM »
Caveat for these direct sales being that they generally are not available to erotic romance (depending on heat level) and erotica authors.

Which, of course, is why I really need to start building a non erom catalog!

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Re: ways to be less Amazon dependent
« Reply #40 on: January 12, 2018, 12:18:17 PM »
The only reason I'm not selling direct from my site yet is because of the US state sales taxes. I shouldn't have to collect and pay sales taxes on sales outside my own state (since I don't have a physical or legal presence in any other state), but on sales within my own state, I have to get a state sales tax license and a city business permit, which together would cost more per year than I anticipate making on direct sales. PayHip handles VAT but it looks like the only direct-selling services that handle US state sales taxes also cost more than I can afford. I guess I could say, Sorry, no sales to customers in Arizona, but I'd kinda hate to do that.

Anyone else in the US have any thoughts/solutions to this?

Hey, everyone! Creator of BookFunnel here, so if you have any questions, I'm happy to answer.

In regards to taxes, we now offer selling through several big sellers: Payhip, Selz, PayPal, Shopify, and WooCommerce. They each have their own pros and cons, but if taxes are your worry, then you want to go with Payhip. While their website specifically talks about VAT, US sales taxes are also covered because of how their business is set up.

Unlike the other sellers where YOU are selling the book (and the software is just facilitating the transfer of goods and services), Payhip acts more like Amazon in that you, the author, are granting them the right to sell the book on your behalf. This is why they can collect VAT and (most importantly) PAY the VAT on your behalf. Because Payhip is a UK company, and they are selling your book as a UK company, they are under no obligation to collect sales tax from US resident sales.

We (meaning BookFunnel) got this question a lot, so we reached out to our accountants as well as the state of Texas to clear this up, and this is our understanding. As long as Payhip has no nexus in the US, they are not required to collect any tax from US residents. The same rules apply for Canadian GST as well. Since they are the seller, and not you, all your tax needs are covered using them as the seller, and they will pay VAT to all of the respective countries that are owed on your behalf.

You can absolutely use another seller, and many of them provide the ability to deal with taxes, but Payhip is completely painless at the expense of an extra 5% per transaction. We recommend authors use them if you're really worried about the tax implications. :)

Offline My Dog's Servant

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Re: ways to be less Amazon dependent
« Reply #41 on: January 12, 2018, 12:27:23 PM »
That's it, we must band together, create a new platform called Nile and dominate. Who's got a few billion to chip in? Someone get Zuckerberg on the line.  8)

Sadly, I don't even have a garage that we could work from.   :'(   ;)

This has been a thought-provoking thread. Wish I had something intelligent to offer--I've just started moving back wide again and there are a lot of times I just have to swallow hard, put my figurative blinkers on so as not to get overwhelmed, and keep trudging forward. I know more than I did when I first started wide, but there's also a whole lot more to learn. The world we're trying to play gets bigger and more complex faster than I can figure it out.

Offline My Dog's Servant

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Re: ways to be less Amazon dependent
« Reply #42 on: January 12, 2018, 12:37:10 PM »
It's seems like kind of a chicken and egg thing to me. How will readers be encouraged to check out other ereaders, platforms or devices to even be able to begin to diversify if there arent any options to diversify to... cause authors stay with Amazon... because readers wont diversify... because everyone is on Amazon...

In many countries, especially the fastest growing, everything's moving to their smart phones, even their banking. I like my Kindles, but, frankly, these days I do almost all my reading on my iPhone. It's small, easy to hold, portable, and I almost always have it with me. (It's also unreadable in sunlight, but I'm guessing a good filter could solve that. Since I have to glue on one to protect the screen anyway, why not make it polarized?) My guess is, the key is an app that lets you buy your content from whichever platform you prefer and download it right to your central phone/book/bank/weather station/note taking/writing machine that's always in your back pocket (I do a fair amount of work on the Scrivener app on my iPhone, too).

Offline Sailor Stone

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Re: ways to be less Amazon dependent
« Reply #43 on: January 12, 2018, 12:39:59 PM »
Hey, everyone! Creator of BookFunnel here, so if you have any questions, I'm happy to answer.

In regards to taxes, we now offer selling through several big sellers: Payhip, Selz, PayPal, Shopify, and WooCommerce. They each have their own pros and cons, but if taxes are your worry, then you want to go with Payhip. While their website specifically talks about VAT, US sales taxes are also covered because of how their business is set up.

Unlike the other sellers where YOU are selling the book (and the software is just facilitating the transfer of goods and services), Payhip acts more like Amazon in that you, the author, are granting them the right to sell the book on your behalf. This is why they can collect VAT and (most importantly) PAY the VAT on your behalf. Because Payhip is a UK company, and they are selling your book as a UK company, they are under no obligation to collect sales tax from US resident sales.

We (meaning BookFunnel) got this question a lot, so we reached out to our accountants as well as the state of Texas to clear this up, and this is our understanding. As long as Payhip has no nexus in the US, they are not required to collect any tax from US residents. The same rules apply for Canadian GST as well. Since they are the seller, and not you, all your tax needs are covered using them as the seller, and they will pay VAT to all of the respective countries that are owed on your behalf.

You can absolutely use another seller, and many of them provide the ability to deal with taxes, but Payhip is completely painless at the expense of an extra 5% per transaction. We recommend authors use them if you're really worried about the tax implications. :)


Hi Damon,
I listened to your excellent interview on SPF and it sounds like you have only been doing this for a week, but I have already found an author's website that seems to use your new service. I was wondering if you could speak to how well it's been going so far? I can see this working in a way where, instead of trying to get readers of free books to buy from vendors, the author gives them links to buy the next in series direct and thus cut out the middleman in a fashion. I see somebody setting up a storefront for authors to make it even easier for them by doing all of the vending aspects of the transaction for them for a small service fee or percentage. On a site like Seltz perhaps. 

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Offline Squeakers

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Re: ways to be less Amazon dependent
« Reply #44 on: January 12, 2018, 12:51:51 PM »
In many countries, especially the fastest growing, everything's moving to their smart phones, even their banking. I like my Kindles, but, frankly, these days I do almost all my reading on my iPhone. It's small, easy to hold, portable, and I almost always have it with me. (It's also unreadable in sunlight, but I'm guessing a good filter could solve that. Since I have to glue on one to protect the screen anyway, why not make it polarized?) My guess is, the key is an app that lets you buy your content from whichever platform you prefer and download it right to your central phone/book/bank/weather station/note taking/writing machine that's always in your back pocket (I do a fair amount of work on the Scrivener app on my iPhone, too).

*emphasis my own*

I agree with this.

Reason of agreement below:

I used to have a KU subscription as a reader. While I was getting a lot of books, I wasn't reading as many as I was getting and returning them before read. I have: A mac, an ipad, and an iphone. I was getting books outside of KU that I could load into my ibooks or another app I added only to my ipad. The beauty of this was, no matter where I was, no matter what I felt like reading on (laptop/ipad/phone), the book I was reading was there, on the page I left off on. This was amazing to me. I cancelled my KU subscription and now only get books that I can load into my ibooks for this reason.

Perhaps cloud reader or something could have worked, but ibooks was already there. I didn't have to do anything but sign in 1 time. Frankly, speaking mostly personally but I think a lot readers might be the same, ibooks was so simple for the lazy or hectic. I didn't have to search for anything, I didn't have to learn anything, and having a house full of kids- a full time day job - writing in my spare time- this worked great for my hectic schedule. I think in the future, maybe soon, a lot will move to this method. We as a whole are busy people and anything that can make life easier, simpler, faster will take off. Which is why I think Amazon exploded the way it did. If something comes out to simplify this entire process, while it may grow slowly, it will eventually catch on. What that might be, I have no idea.

---------------------------------------------
Now on to the rest of the thread:

I hadn't commented here because I don't have as much experience as everyone else, but for what it's worth:

All of the thoughts and ideas so far in this thread have been enlightening. I agree from everything I've read on here that moving away from amazon is best for long term, and appreciate all of those that have shared their ideas.

Book 1: 13%

Book 2 (was 1): 76%

Online Damon J Courtney

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Re: ways to be less Amazon dependent
« Reply #45 on: January 12, 2018, 01:36:50 PM »
Hi Damon,
I listened to your excellent interview on SPF and it sounds like you have only been doing this for a week, but I have already found an author's website that seems to use your new service. I was wondering if you could speak to how well it's been going so far? I can see this working in a way where, instead of trying to get readers of free books to buy from vendors, the author gives them links to buy the next in series direct and thus cut out the middleman in a fashion. I see somebody setting up a storefront for authors to make it even easier for them by doing all of the vending aspects of the transaction for them for a small service fee or percentage. On a site like Seltz perhaps. 

We recorded that podcast back at the beginning of October, so our sales platform has been running for over 3 months now. Some of the things we've seen authors doing, and some of the ideas we've recommended for authors looking to experiment are:

  • Selling paperbacks and delivering the ebook as an add-on.
  • Pre-selling ebooks to their fans before going exclusive with KU
  • Selling exclusive shorts and novellas in a series only to fans
  • Offering discounted boxsets to fans that aren't offered in any other stores

We're actually in the middle of a blog series that details some of this stuff here:

https://blog.bookfunnel.com/2017/not-sold-in-stores-intro/

And, we have a lot of authors who are now experimenting with setting up their own storefront and doing some of the ideas I mentioned. We get a lot of inquiries about it now that more authors are trying to do exactly what the OP is talking about. They want to diversify their income and be less reliant on Amazon.

Offline Going Incognito

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Re: ways to be less Amazon dependent
« Reply #46 on: January 12, 2018, 01:45:48 PM »
Apparently membership sites are a growing trend on the web for direct selling. Im thinking its possible to build up a very tempting offer. Apply discount coupons to the books for members only and have versions with additional content (or provide additional files), such as bonus chapters that could have been included much like deleted scenes in a movie.

You could have some real fun with this.

Exactly. That's kinda what I was thinking with the free beer post. If theyre paying to hang out with you and you give them your new release for "free" theres no product sold.



Caveat for these direct sales being that they generally are not available to erotic romance (depending on heat level) and erotica authors.

Which, of course, is why I really need to start building a non erom catalog!


Or go the bookfunnel route?


Hey, everyone! Creator of BookFunnel here, so if you have any questions, I'm happy to answer.

In regards to taxes, we now offer selling through several big sellers: Payhip, Selz, PayPal, Shopify, and WooCommerce. They each have their own pros and cons, but if taxes are your worry, then you want to go with Payhip. While their website specifically talks about VAT, US sales taxes are also covered because of how their business is set up.

Unlike the other sellers where YOU are selling the book (and the software is just facilitating the transfer of goods and services), Payhip acts more like Amazon in that you, the author, are granting them the right to sell the book on your behalf. This is why they can collect VAT and (most importantly) PAY the VAT on your behalf. Because Payhip is a UK company, and they are selling your book as a UK company, they are under no obligation to collect sales tax from US resident sales.

We (meaning BookFunnel) got this question a lot, so we reached out to our accountants as well as the state of Texas to clear this up, and this is our understanding. As long as Payhip has no nexus in the US, they are not required to collect any tax from US residents. The same rules apply for Canadian GST as well. Since they are the seller, and not you, all your tax needs are covered using them as the seller, and they will pay VAT to all of the respective countries that are owed on your behalf.

You can absolutely use another seller, and many of them provide the ability to deal with taxes, but Payhip is completely painless at the expense of an extra 5% per transaction. We recommend authors use them if you're really worried about the tax implications. :)


Thank you for clarifying! I was checking that out just yesterday in my bf dashboard. I even left the tab open to ponder. You just made it an easy decision. I tip my hat to you, from a more northern Texas city.


In many countries, especially the fastest growing, everything's moving to their smart phones, even their banking. I like my Kindles, but, frankly, these days I do almost all my reading on my iPhone. It's small, easy to hold, portable, and I almost always have it with me. (It's also unreadable in sunlight, but I'm guessing a good filter could solve that. Since I have to glue on one to protect the screen anyway, why not make it polarized?) My guess is, the key is an app that lets you buy your content from whichever platform you prefer and download it right to your central phone/book/bank/weather station/note taking/writing machine that's always in your back pocket (I do a fair amount of work on the Scrivener app on my iPhone, too).

Agreed. I'm the same way.


Part of Bookfunnel's new service is that they will sideload the Kindle for the reader when they buy directly from the author. They do this very well from what I can tell, making the process super easy for the book buyer. Now, there is a big hole in Amazon's castle wall.


Sweet. I'm thinking it wont be long tho until Zon allows the kindle to work easier with other formats. I dont see them just letting the kindle become old tech that doesnt eventually evolve with the times.

Offline Sailor Stone

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Re: ways to be less Amazon dependent
« Reply #47 on: January 12, 2018, 01:52:28 PM »
Baby steps so far, but I see this book-funnel service as the start of readers/book-buyers being introduced to an easy way to buy from their favorite authors and then realizing they don't have to go through a vendor like they have been used to doing for so long.

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Offline My Dog's Servant

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Re: ways to be less Amazon dependent
« Reply #48 on: January 12, 2018, 02:04:33 PM »
The disadvantage of selling from your own site, as has often been pointed out, is that your buyers have to make the effort to go to your website, then shop (with all the related headaches of offering a credit card, etc). Not to say readers don't/won't do it. But Amazon's one big advantage is that I can shop for other stuff, too. Pick up that new book, check out sheets for the kids' beds, order toner for my printer, and, while I'm at it, place an order for the groceries and cleaning supplies I forgot the last time I was at the store. And they've already got my card and mailing address and all the rest. (OTOH, that access can be a disadvantage if the buyer has sworn she's NOT spending another dollar except for that new book she has to have!  ;) )

Still, it'd be awfully handy to be able to grab those readers right then and there when they do show up at your site. Rather than say, click here to go to Big Store, they can click here to Get It Now. I, like many consumers, am very fond of Now.

Online Kyra Halland

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Re: ways to be less Amazon dependent
« Reply #49 on: January 12, 2018, 02:12:32 PM »
Hey, everyone! Creator of BookFunnel here, so if you have any questions, I'm happy to answer.

In regards to taxes, we now offer selling through several big sellers: Payhip, Selz, PayPal, Shopify, and WooCommerce. They each have their own pros and cons, but if taxes are your worry, then you want to go with Payhip. While their website specifically talks about VAT, US sales taxes are also covered because of how their business is set up.

Unlike the other sellers where YOU are selling the book (and the software is just facilitating the transfer of goods and services), Payhip acts more like Amazon in that you, the author, are granting them the right to sell the book on your behalf. This is why they can collect VAT and (most importantly) PAY the VAT on your behalf. Because Payhip is a UK company, and they are selling your book as a UK company, they are under no obligation to collect sales tax from US resident sales.

We (meaning BookFunnel) got this question a lot, so we reached out to our accountants as well as the state of Texas to clear this up, and this is our understanding. As long as Payhip has no nexus in the US, they are not required to collect any tax from US residents. The same rules apply for Canadian GST as well. Since they are the seller, and not you, all your tax needs are covered using them as the seller, and they will pay VAT to all of the respective countries that are owed on your behalf.

You can absolutely use another seller, and many of them provide the ability to deal with taxes, but Payhip is completely painless at the expense of an extra 5% per transaction. We recommend authors use them if you're really worried about the tax implications. :)

That. Is. Awesome.  :D Thanks so much for stopping by to tell us about this!

Adding to my to-do list.


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