If you’ve been publishing for quite some time, then you probably hear a lot that you should sell books directly to readers in addition to selling your books at retailers.
While some of you may already familiar with the concept of selling books directly to readers, some of us may find that this idea is way too ahead of our career.
Sure, it’s great that you can make more money and get to know more about your readers when you sell books directly to them.
But the idea of having to sell books directly to readers may seem like a far-fetched thing to some.
That tends to be the case for those who only begin dipping their toes in the indie publishing sphere.
The idea of selling books directly to readers makes zero sense to them when they have zero readers.
So, how does selling directly to readers will work for them when they’re just an unknown author?
Well, guess what?
Believe it or not, you’re in a much better position to sell directly to your readers when you’re a new author because of these reasons.
Reason No.1: It takes less time for you to get your online store up and running
Yes, I admit that it can feel embarrassing when someone lands on your online store only to find out that you only have one book to sell, nothing else.
And it looks sad and lonely too since it’s the only thing you have on your online store.
While your storefront will look much better when you have a huge backlist, we all know it’s a pain in you-know-where to get your online store up and running when you have so many books.
That may not be a hard thing to do if you only sell the books in one format.
Imagine when you have so many books. And they’re available in multiple formats too.
With so many books in multiple formats, there’s no doubt that it’s going to take you a while to get your online store up and running.
But when you only have one book?
It won’t take you that long to complete the whole thing even if the book is available in multiple formats.
Don’t worry so much about having only one book to sell. Your book catalog will grow over the years.
And before you know it, your online store will feel like a legit online bookstore.
Reason No.2: It’s easier to convince your readers to buy directly from you early on
Yes, your readers are aware that your book is also available on Amazon and anywhere that sells books online.
But if you convince your target readers to buy directly from you since Day 1, then your online store will be the first thing that comes to their mind every time they want to buy your book.
Of course, telling your readers to buy your book directly from you may not guarantee that they will get it through your online store when it’s easier to get it from a retailer.
So, you need to have something that compels them to buy directly from you.
One of the ways you can do this is to offer them a discount code specifically for purchasing the book on your online store.
Remind them that they can get your book from the retailers if they wish. But if they want to get the book at a less price, they can only get it from your online store.
They will have to pay the full price if they buy the book from a retailer.
That’s what I did on my fiction author blog where I let the readers know that my books are also available for purchase at the retailers.
But if they want to get the book at a discount, they can only get it at my Payhip store.
If you have an author website, make the coupon code visible anywhere on your website.
They’re less resistant to buying directly when the coupon code is right under their nose.
But it costs time and money to get the online store up and running!
Yes, I won’t deny that it costs money to get your online store up and running.
That tends to be the case for WooCommerce where you need to spend a little bit more money to get managed WordPress hosting.
And if you don’t want to deal with anything technical, you can always opt for Shopify instead.
Many authors that I know use Shopify to sell directly to their readers.
But we all know that Shopify doesn’t come cheap, even with the basic plan.
And as for WooCommerce, you can only use it if you have a WordPress site. Tough luck if you’re not using WordPress.
So, it makes sense why many beginner authors tend to shy away from selling directly to their readers.
Sure, it doesn’t have sophisticated features like WooCommerce and Shopify. But the best part is you can get your online store up and running in a jiffy.
And they offer a free plan too.
The only caveat is that they take a small percentage of fees every time you make sales. But I don’t see that as a bad deal considering that Amazon takes a bigger chunk of your royalty than Payhip or Gumroad does.
What you pay to Payhip or Gumroad is minuscule if you ask me.
In case you’re wondering, I use Payhip to sell my books directly to my readers. You can read more about it right here if you’re interested in learning more about Payhip.
It’s never too late for you to sell directly to your readers either
If you’ve been publishing for quite some time, you may feel that it’s already too late for you to board the sell direct train.
Well, guess what?
You can still get started with selling directly to your readers even if you already have twenty books under your belt.
Sure, it’s going to take a while to get your online store up and running.
But it’s still better than not having one at all in the first place.
It’s just like this saying goes – The best time to get started was yesterday. But the next best time to get started is now.
So, get started with selling directly to your readers now regardless of where you are in your author career.
P.S. If you’re using Twitter to connect with your target readers, then it makes total sense to encourage them to buy your books directly from you.
While I don’t recommend that you use Twitter solely just to promote your book, there’s another way that you can go about getting your potential readers to buy your books.
It doesn’t have to be asking them to buy your book with a megaphone as if it’s the only thing that you tweet all day long.
Wondering how you can do just that? You can learn how to use Twitter effectively without taking too much of your time with my Twitter Marketing for Business guide.
The guide is available for purchase on my Payhip store. You can get the guide right here if you’re interested:
Don’t forget to use the coupon code THEEFFICIENTYOUBLOG to receive 20% off on your purchase.
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