Author Topic: Selling ebooks directly from your own website  (Read 2655 times)  

Offline starkllr

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 647
    • View Profile
Selling ebooks directly from your own website
« on: June 13, 2018, 07:24:51 AM »
Is anyone doing this?  And if so, how?

I mean in the practical sense - what are you using as a storefront, and how are you actually fulfilling the books to customers?

 
What if you could see everyone else's dreams?
J.J. DiBenedetto | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Smashwords | Goodreads

Offline The Bass Bagwhan

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1095
  • Gender: Male
  • Western Australia
  • Horror & Urban Fantasy... I think.
    • View Profile
    • Graeme Hague
Re: Selling ebooks directly from your own website
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2018, 07:44:40 AM »
It seems like a good idea, given effective marketing, but the reason this isn't a more common approach - aside from questions of marketing and a secure mechanism for paying for any books -  is the problem of what's called "side-loading" your books into a Kindle device or Kindle software. Today, someone can choose a book on Amazon and with one click it will be downloaded onto their preferred reading device.

The process for downloading even an ePub or Mobi file directly into a Kindle (for example) directly from your website is convoluted and simply too hard for your everyday user. It's not a big deal, but it's not one click either. That's the challenge.

Good luck.
Author, freelance writer and editor, professional musician, recording engineer... published in Australia, the UK and Germany. So why am I poor? Oh, wait...
I'll be a writer... seemed like a good idea at the time

Offline Doglover

  • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
  • *******
  • Posts: 5022
  • Gender: Female
  • Huntingdon, United Kingdom
  • If you want real love, buy a dog.
    • View Profile
    • Margaret Brazear Author
Re: Selling ebooks directly from your own website
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2018, 07:53:30 AM »
There is Payhip which will collect the money and release the e-book, but I agree with the other poster that this is not straightforward. I already have new subscribers who can't seem to to just click on the link to confirm but send me emails saying yes, they agree. How much harder would it be for them to download a book?

I've even had people asking me to send my books directly to their kindle, without any idea of what their kindle's email address might be. Paperbacks are much easier to sell direct, but of course, much more expensive.


The past is another country; they do things differently there
Margaret Brazear | Website | Blog | Facebook | Readers Group | Newsletter

Online VanessaC

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 318
  • Gender: Female
  • UK
    • View Profile
Re: Selling ebooks directly from your own website
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2018, 08:08:54 AM »
I haven't tried this but was watching the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing podcast recently and they had Damon from Book Funnel on talking about this very matter (among other things) - Book Funnel will fulfil e-books and, I think, other products, too - may be worth looking out the podcast (on the SFF website or youtube / other podcast app) or checking out Book Funnel's website as they have blog posts on this discussing the various options you can use for payments / taxes. 

Offline Gessert Books

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 611
  • Gender: Male
  • Amarillo, Texas
  • Book Layout and Formatting by Phillip Gessert
    • View Profile
    • Gessert Books: Book Layout and Formatting
Re: Selling ebooks directly from your own website
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2018, 08:12:25 AM »
If you use kindlegen or Kindle Previewer to generate your MOBI files, then selling those MOBI files outside of Amazon is a violation of the EULA for that software. You can give them away for free, but not sell them.

Online Bards and Sages (Julie)

  • Status: Harvey Chute
  • *********
  • Posts: 13751
  • Gender: Female
  • New Jersey
  • Her Royal Sithiness
    • View Profile
    • Bards and Sages Publishing
Re: Selling ebooks directly from your own website
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2018, 09:14:16 AM »
The process for downloading even an ePub or Mobi file directly into a Kindle (for example) directly from your website is convoluted and simply too hard for your everyday user. It's not a big deal, but it's not one click either. That's the challenge.

More importantly, the average consumer is becoming less adventurous regarding where they buy.  The average consumer doesn't want to go to AuthorSiteA to buy one book, AuthorsiteB to buy another, and then AuthorsiteC to buy a third. They want to be able to get everything they want in the fewest places possible. 

There is also the issue of workload. Modern consumers expect customer service. What happens when someone buys directly from you and then has a problem with the file? But you are on vacation and it is a week later that you see their email? Or, heck, a DAY later and they are meanwhile freaking out all over social media that you aren't answering their emails and they paid for a book they can't read? Direct selling on your website requires a secure infrastructure to both process payments and deliver files. It requires some sort of customer service to deal with consumers. It requires being prepared to adhere to the tax laws of a lot of different areas. The question becomes are you going to sell ENOUGH ebooks directly to justify all of the extra up front costs and time it takes to do it?

In most cases, the answer is going to be a big, fat "no."

Writer, Publisher, Game Designer, Resident Sith
Julie Ann Dawson | Blog | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | eFesitival of Words

Online Simon Haynes

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1737
  • Gender: Male
  • Perth, Australia
  • Born in the UK, raised in Spain, now Australian
    • View Profile
    • Home page
Re: Selling ebooks directly from your own website
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2018, 09:17:28 AM »
I wrote a storefront using php, with a paypal shopping cart. It all worked fine, but in Feb I went into Select so I took the store down. Now I'm out of select I haven't put it back up yet.

The best part was the 98% royalty, after Paypal fees.


Also yWriter novel writing software & SalesScanner, a free KDP/Google/Smashwords/Createspace sales analyser for PC. (Mac soon)

Offline BookFunnel (Julie)

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Selling ebooks directly from your own website
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2018, 01:14:42 PM »
Hey, everyone! Julie from BookFunnel here, and I just wanted to chime in on how BookFunnel helps with this and, more generally, about selling direct. Short answer: you should give it a try. We're doing a whole blog series about selling and exclusive content over at:

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

BookFunnel launched Sales Delivery Actions last fall that covers a lot of the issues mentioned here. You can use one of the existing sales platforms we integrate with (Payhip, Selz, PayPal, Shopify, and WooCommerce) to handle the store and all the money details, and BookFunnel will handle the delivery. If your readers have trouble, our support is there 365 days a year (yes, even on Christmas) to help readers "side load" their book onto their device.

You certainly don't have to use BookFunnel, but if you already have an account with us, you should give it a try (and, if you don't have an account, you can sign up for $20 a year). There are no extra fees, and BookFunnel doesn't take a cut of any of the sales. We just handle the delivery and all the support headaches. :)

And, to the question of whether readers are willing to go through all this, our CEO thought the same thing as others have said here. Namely that readers won't do it, it's too much trouble, they don't care, etc... He has since been proven very wrong. I just checked our numbers for delivery actions, and since launching back at the end of September, we have delivered over 18,000 books sold from authors' websites. Most through special offers, exclusive content or discounts, boxsets, and just plain appeals to readers. Readers love their favorite authors, and they want to support them.

We're happy to answer any questions about direct sales, even if you don't have a BookFunnel account. Just drop us a line at support@bookfunnel.com!

Offline TwistedTales

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1277
    • View Profile
Re: Selling ebooks directly from your own website
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2018, 01:33:21 PM »
Hey, everyone! Julie from BookFunnel here, and I just wanted to chime in on how BookFunnel helps with this and, more generally, about selling direct. Short answer: you should give it a try. We're doing a whole blog series about selling and exclusive content over at:

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

BookFunnel launched Sales Delivery Actions last fall that covers a lot of the issues mentioned here. You can use one of the existing sales platforms we integrate with (Payhip, Selz, PayPal, Shopify, and WooCommerce) to handle the store and all the money details, and BookFunnel will handle the delivery. If your readers have trouble, our support is there 365 days a year (yes, even on Christmas) to help readers "side load" their book onto their device.

You certainly don't have to use BookFunnel, but if you already have an account with us, you should give it a try (and, if you don't have an account, you can sign up for $20 a year). There are no extra fees, and BookFunnel doesn't take a cut of any of the sales. We just handle the delivery and all the support headaches. :)

And, to the question of whether readers are willing to go through all this, our CEO thought the same thing as others have said here. Namely that readers won't do it, it's too much trouble, they don't care, etc... He has since been proven very wrong. I just checked our numbers for delivery actions, and since launching back at the end of September, we have delivered over 18,000 books sold from authors' websites. Most through special offers, exclusive content or discounts, boxsets, and just plain appeals to readers. Readers love their favorite authors, and they want to support them.

We're happy to answer any questions about direct sales, even if you don't have a BookFunnel account. Just drop us a line at support@bookfunnel.com!

We've set up bookfunnel and payhip for direct selling and so far it's working well. The only issue we have is payhip also send a copy of the book when we only want it sent by bookfunnel. If you know how to stop payhip from doing that I'd be interested to learn.

Our next campaign runs aren't happening until September and we have all platforms including direct sales available through our website. For direct sales we can comfortably offer a 20 - 25% discount code and still make close to what we would selling through other platforms. When we sell direct we know who the buyer is, which means we can offer additional benefits like members only stories, discounts and freebies. There are so many potential advantages to selling direct that it's not an option I would write off lightly.

I expect September will be the first of many trials we'll run around direct selling while we learn how to do it right. Bookfunnel and payhip have certainly provided an easy to set up and use option, so thanks for your support. Some of us out here are quite impressed.

Online Bards and Sages (Julie)

  • Status: Harvey Chute
  • *********
  • Posts: 13751
  • Gender: Female
  • New Jersey
  • Her Royal Sithiness
    • View Profile
    • Bards and Sages Publishing
Re: Selling ebooks directly from your own website
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2018, 01:45:41 PM »
I just checked our numbers for delivery actions, and since launching back at the end of September, we have delivered over 18,000 books sold from authors' websites. Most through special offers, exclusive content or discounts, boxsets, and just plain appeals to readers. Readers love their favorite authors, and they want to support them.

The question is not: Can I convince my dedicated fans to buy my book on sale directly from me?

The question is: Can I actually generate NEW BUSINESS selling directly from my site or increase my per sale revenue enough to justify the expense, time, and resources involved?

OF COURSE some people are capable of doing this. Just like some people are capable of hitting the bestseller list with every book.

18,000 sounds impressive, but if that is since last September, that works out to 2,000 sales a month. Across how many author accounts? In reality, is this a case of ten authors selling 200 books each (which merely means a handful of authors have successfully figured it out) or 2,000 authors selling one each (which means the amount of effort involved to get that one sale is excessive.)

The fact that you handle the customer service aspect makes the possibility of selling directly on site easier. And I am certainly not in the "don't ever do it" camp. But folks need to be very careful when they start direct selling, because you open a whole lot of doors that you may not be able to close. Particularly when it comes to taxes. Folks outside the U.S. in particular have to deal with things like VAT (which still makes my head hurt whenever I read about it). And even in some U.S. states, direct selling out of your home, whether digital or physical products, can cause certain issues depending on municipal laws (assuming, of course, you are selling above board and following the law and not doing a "How will they ever know? thing."

Writer, Publisher, Game Designer, Resident Sith
Julie Ann Dawson | Blog | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | eFesitival of Words

Offline Al Stevens

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2185
    • View Profile
Re: Selling ebooks directly from your own website
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2018, 03:02:23 PM »
I did a lot of selling from my websites in the old days, mostly software for musicians, which did not include side-loading issues. The sales were relatively successful given that the market was a niche. Problems arose mostly with fulfillment and support. You sell a product, you have to deliver it, then  you have to support it. That's not always as easy as it might seem.

Offline Patty Jansen

  • Status: Harvey Chute
  • *********
  • Posts: 12319
  • Gender: Female
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Destroyer of Science Fiction
    • View Profile
    • Patty Jansen Author of SF and fantasy
Re: Selling ebooks directly from your own website
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2018, 04:24:10 PM »
Yup.

I sold almost $2000 worth since January, which kinda peanuts compared to the rest, but they're very good peanuts and I see potential. This includes both ebooks and premade covers, but the bulk comes from ebook sales.

I have it set up with Bookfunnel and it works quite well. There are a few things to watch out for. Educating your readers about the process helps a lot. If they already get your free series starters from Bookfunnel, that removes a barrier.

If you have a big mailing list, it's definitely worth doing, because people like to support authors.

Online Rose Andrews

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 734
  • Gender: Female
  • Wenatchee Valley, WA
  • Vintage Love <3
    • View Profile
Re: Selling ebooks directly from your own website
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2018, 07:36:09 PM »
What about taxes for something like this? I've been considering it lately but the taxes thing has been holding me up.

20th Century & Western Historical Romance
Rose Historicals Website | Pinterest

Offline Abderian

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1489
    • View Profile
    • JJ Green
Re: Selling ebooks directly from your own website
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2018, 10:10:25 PM »
What about taxes for something like this? I've been considering it lately but the taxes thing has been holding me up.

Payhip takes care of the taxes for you. Don't know about other sites.

J.J. Green | Website | Twitter | Facebook

Online Rose Andrews

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 734
  • Gender: Female
  • Wenatchee Valley, WA
  • Vintage Love <3
    • View Profile
Re: Selling ebooks directly from your own website
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2018, 11:21:00 PM »
Payhip takes care of the taxes for you. Don't know about other sites.
Awesome. Thank you for this information.

20th Century & Western Historical Romance
Rose Historicals Website | Pinterest

Offline notjohn

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1165
    • View Profile
    • Notjohn's Self-Publishing Guide
Re: Selling ebooks directly from your own website
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2018, 03:33:12 AM »
I've been on the web since 1993, and I agree that it's much harder to sell anything now. I was hugely excited by Payhip a year or so ago and set up PDF, Kindle, and epub versions of two books. Never sold one! Not one.

I do sell the occasional paperback or hardcover off my websites, but again, not nearly as many as ten or twenty years ago. In the 1990s people really needed gatekeepers on the web; but there's no need of us now. With Amazon accounting for 50 percent of US online sales, who needs to go anywhere else?



Notjohn's Guide to E-Book & Print Formatting: http://viewbook.at/notjohn

The blog: http://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com

Offline TwistedTales

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1277
    • View Profile
Re: Selling ebooks directly from your own website
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2018, 03:56:53 AM »
I've been on the web since 1993, and I agree that it's much harder to sell anything now. I was hugely excited by Payhip a year or so ago and set up PDF, Kindle, and epub versions of two books. Never sold one! Not one.

I do sell the occasional paperback or hardcover off my websites, but again, not nearly as many as ten or twenty years ago. In the 1990s people really needed gatekeepers on the web; but there's no need of us now. With Amazon accounting for 50 percent of US online sales, who needs to go anywhere else?

I think selling direct is about using the right marketing tools to find your target audience. You're also changing the profile of your target audience, and they'll need to be people willing to buy direct for permanent discounts (done using discount codes) and additional benefits like free books, stories not available elsewhere, etc. The Patreon model offers that sort of members benefits approach and some of that could be adapted for direct.

What I don't think will always work is just making the direct buying facility available. Sure, if you have a massive following then you can probably sell any way you want, otherwise you'll need a more structured approach, which is around the target profiling, marketing tactics, and sweeteners like permanent discounting, etc.

At this stage of the online sales game, I doubt direct will be a large percentage of sales for many, but successful book selling (outside of the KU ecosystem) is about incrementals. Every platform adds a percentage of sales, which in total is a respectable number and direct is just an additional sales channel. Over time, the percentages shift, so Amazon can start as 80% of total sales and (in my experience) erode to 20% as your reputation grows on the other platforms. Direct could easily go the same way by starting as 5% and growing over time to being much higher. I suspect it's a question of how well you promote direct as to what percentage of your sales it could become over time.


Offline scott.marmorstein

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 618
  • Gender: Male
  • North Philly
    • View Profile
    • Scott Marmorstein
Re: Selling ebooks directly from your own website
« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2018, 04:17:38 AM »
I think about this in this way:

Would you go to one of your favorite author's websites (indie, or trad), like a Hugh Howey, or a Dean Koontz and try and buy directly from their website?

Or would it just be easier to click a link to iBooks, Amazon, B&N or Kobo because that's where your ereader of choice happens to be connected?

Let's say Stephen King was selling The Outsider (as an example) on his own website for $9.99 per ebook without anything extra inside it (just the lower price) or you can get the same ebook from Amazon for $14.99. The deal is, you could get that ebook directly from his site and try and side-load the ebook (kindle or generic) to your device. You'd need to read the carefully laid instructions for doing it. And the whole process would take you about 10-20 minutes to complete...

OR you could just click on the link and with no hassle have it arrive in your eReader ready to go? The customer is probably willing (on average) to pay the extra for the less hassle. Us being indies would jump at the lower price pretty fast--lower sale, great author, a good book, and a little extra effort for us is a no-brainer. But for the average consumer? They'll probably say 'no thanks.'
Scott Marmorstein | blog | web | facebook

Online Simon Haynes

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1737
  • Gender: Male
  • Perth, Australia
  • Born in the UK, raised in Spain, now Australian
    • View Profile
    • Home page
Re: Selling ebooks directly from your own website
« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2018, 04:26:48 AM »
I liken it to buying games on Steam vs getting DVDs from a games store. I will actually buy Steam versions of games I've owned for years, just to have them in one place, automatically updated and always available.

I also get credit on amazon for affiliates sales, and I use that to buy ebooks.


Also yWriter novel writing software & SalesScanner, a free KDP/Google/Smashwords/Createspace sales analyser for PC. (Mac soon)

Offline TwistedTales

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1277
    • View Profile
Re: Selling ebooks directly from your own website
« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2018, 05:04:08 AM »
I liken it to buying games on Steam vs getting DVDs from a games store. I will actually buy Steam versions of games I've owned for years, just to have them in one place, automatically updated and always available.

I also get credit on amazon for affiliates sales, and I use that to buy ebooks.

Maybe, but I'm set up and have campaigns scheduled, so I prefer to give it a go before writing it off as impossible. Now it's set up, it's no effort to add the direct sales channel to campaigns and I wouldn't expect to sell enough initially for it to add much, if any, admin effort to manage the customers.

Personally, I can't see any reason not to give direct a go. I've got nothing to lose and potentially a lot to gain. Taking a swing at it is a no-brainer for me.


Offline Puddleduck

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1129
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Selling ebooks directly from your own website
« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2018, 06:07:02 AM »
I think about this in this way:

Would you go to one of your favorite author's websites (indie, or trad), like a Hugh Howey, or a Dean Koontz and try and buy directly from their website?

Or would it just be easier to click a link to iBooks, Amazon, B&N or Kobo because that's where your ereader of choice happens to be connected?

"Would you do something" and "would it be easier to do something else" are not mutually exclusive questions. People don't always do the easiest thing. Yes, I might very well buy direct from an author's website, even though it's not easier, because of three things: 1) support the author (some readers really do want to do this), 2) get a better price (authors can use coupons on their site to offer better prices on their books without actually pricing them lower, thus not running into Amazon's lowest price enforcement), 3) get it easily in all formats. Sure, it's easier in a way to buy from one store and download to your e-reader, but if a reader likes to have more control over their e-library (and there are a lot of us out there), paying a single price to get it properly formatted in both mobi and epub at once (rather than using a converter like Calibre) and not have to worry about DRM or other such issues, that's desirable.

Sure, a lot of people don't know how to sideload. This option isn't for them. A lot of people do know how to sideload and have no problem doing it. That's why storybundle and such sites exist. Those sites couldn't exist if there weren't a good number of people out there who will happily side-load while supporting the author (or other worthies) and paying a better price. Simplicity of downloading is not the sole determining factor of all readers.

And as far as tax, check with your tax professional for where you live. My accountant told me I don't have any sales tax/VAT obligation for places other than the state I live in (unless sales get over some certain amount, where other states' sales taxes might come into play, though my bet is those thresholds are well above what I will ever actually sell).

Offline Patty Jansen

  • Status: Harvey Chute
  • *********
  • Posts: 12319
  • Gender: Female
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Destroyer of Science Fiction
    • View Profile
    • Patty Jansen Author of SF and fantasy
Re: Selling ebooks directly from your own website
« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2018, 06:13:43 AM »
The question is not "would they"?

The answer is: they do. People absolutely buy from author websites.

For the same reason that I order items from companies direct: because I'll go into their customer system and they will email me when they have new stuff.

Offline Rob Martin

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 201
  • Gender: Male
  • New York
    • View Profile
    • Robert Martin Writes
Re: Selling ebooks directly from your own website
« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2018, 06:54:01 AM »
With the caveat that I'm not currently selling from my site, but I intend to do so shortly, I don't see any reason not to. There a plenty of ways to do so, some of which have already been mentioned. I've got mine ready to go through Woocommerce.

I figure it like this, if a reader is already on your site, for whatever reason, they've physically expressed an interest in what you're publishing. So make it easy for them. Under the description of the book, include a buy now link that will allow them to purchase a mobi or pdf from your site. Under that, in slightly smaller font, include retailer links directly to the book. I want to give readers the maximum number of opportunities to purchase the book as possible. I may even include a discount off the retail price for buying directly from my site. If I only get 70% from Zon for my 3.99 book, sell it for 2.99 and advertise the dollar off. The reader that buys thinks they're getting a good deal and I'm still making more than I would from Zon. Even more if they buy from other retailers. Sure some, or even most people may still go to Zon/Apple/Kobo/BN or elsewhere from my site, but by giving them the option to buy from my site, I'm also limiting distractions from competitors and have an additional opportunity to get them on my mailing list for future sales.

Writing is a pleasure, but publishing is a business. As a business, it doesn't make sense to forego a revenue stream, even a small one, that is easily managed and under my control. And as for the argument about side loading, I'll leave that to other, more experienced people. I only know that I've never had a problem opening or reading a PDF in iBooks, and for android, I know there are a ton of apps that can be used.

Offline Nate Hoffelder

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 253
  • I build websites, and blog about ebooks
    • View Profile
    • The Digital Reader
Re: Selling ebooks directly from your own website
« Reply #23 on: June 14, 2018, 07:23:43 AM »
I think about this in this way:

Would you go to one of your favorite author's websites (indie, or trad), like a Hugh Howey, or a Dean Koontz and try and buy directly from their website?

Or would it just be easier to click a link to iBooks, Amazon, B&N or Kobo because that's where your ereader of choice happens to be connected?

I bought from Hugh Howey's website.

I also buy direct from a few publishers
- Nate, publisher of The Digital Reader blog - www.the-digital-reader.com

Ask me how to speed up your site, the best bookshelf plugins, how to get your site ranked in Google, and why your site keeps crashing. If I don't know I will find out.

I offer free site critiques (tech, content, and design) and I will happily tell you what your tech guy needs to do.

Offline Arches

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 403
  • Gender: Male
  • Denver
    • View Profile
    • Michael Arches
Re: Selling ebooks directly from your own website
« Reply #24 on: June 14, 2018, 08:07:37 AM »
The question is not: Can I convince my dedicated fans to buy my book on sale directly from me?

The question is: Can I actually generate NEW BUSINESS selling directly from my site or increase my per sale revenue enough to justify the expense, time, and resources involved?



Julie has it exactly right.  The question for the author is whether it's worth the time and hassle to go in direct competition with Amazon and the other major retail outlets.

The main advantage for the author seems to be keeping Amazon's 30% of the retail price, but the real question is why would the reader switch to a process much more difficult to navigate? The main attraction for a reader seems to be getting the book for less money, but I'm 99% sure Amazon isn't going to like an author discounting below the Amazon price. At a minimum, when it figures out what you're doing, they're going to price match, and you will get much less net income from what it probably a much bigger market than selling on your own website.

In short, maybe this makes sense for a non-fiction author where direct selling has been common, or for someone with a large backlist or extremely popular books, but I'm skeptical that it's worth the hassle for most self-pub authors.

Buy Scrivener for Windows or Mac