If you have a book or ebook for sale, you can offer your visitors ways to buy the book.
1. Link to Amazon or other online book sellers
If your book or ebook is listed on Amazon or any other online bookseller, you can include a link to the relevant page where the visitor can buy your book using credit or debit cards. This is the simplest method.
2. Link to your publisher’s website
If your publisher sells your book or ebook on its website, you can include a link to the relevant page.
3. Email method for hard copies
The simplest way of selling your hard copy book direct from your website is to provide your visitor with the price and postage and packing details and ask him or her to email you for details on how to pay. You can then request payment, either by cash, cheque or postal order. Once your visitor has provided payment, you can dispatch the order.
4. Selling hard copies by accepting credit and debit payments via PayPal
Being able to buy items online using credit or debit cards is becoming increasing popular. The simplest way of accepting such payments is to include a PayPal ‘Buy’ button next to your book. When a user clicks the button, he or she is transferred to the PayPal website where payment can be made using a secure payment system. Visitors do not need to have a PayPal account to pay this way.
Once payment has been made, PayPal will notify you via email that the payment has been received. You can then post the book to the purchaser.
To accept PayPal payments, you need to set up a PayPal account. This is a quick and simple process. The disadvantage of using PayPal is that PayPal charges commission each time a payment is made and if you sell a lot of books, this can be quite costly.
Dealing with postage and packing costs
If selling hard copies of your book direct from your website, either via email or PayPal, you need to work out how you are going to handle postage and packing:
– Are you going to charge a flat rate regardless of the number of books purchased?
– Or are you going to charge a flat rate per book?
You could charge depending on the number of books purchased e.g. £2 for 1-3 books, £3 for 4-6 books and £4 for 7 books and above.
Alternatively, you could charge a postage rate based on a percentage of the total order value.
5. Selling your ebook from from an online retailer
The disadvantage of selling an ebook direct from your site is that you have to manage all sales and be on hand to sort out problems if something goes wrong. A simpler way to sell your ebook is to use an online retailer that specialises in selling ebooks such as Amazon. The online retailer will handle the payment and the download and you will receive a percentage of the sale.
6. Selling downloadable e-books direct from your site using PayPal
If your book is in digital format, you can sell your book direct from your website as a downloadable file. These type of books are some times known as e-books, short for ‘electronic books’.
Your customer clicks on the ‘Buy’ button. The customer pays for the book on the PayPal website as normal. After payment the customer is returned to your website’s download page. Only customers who have paid have access to this page.
The advantage of selling downloadable books from your website is that you don’t need to do a thing. You can sell your books while you are asleep. However, if you already have a publisher, you will need to check that you have the rights to sell the digital version of your book.
The main disadvantage of selling electronic downloads is that, in rare cases, customers may download your book and then not be able to open it due to problems with their PC. You will need to be prepared for queries and to offer a refund if necessary.