Your TransactionDynamics of a Successful Book Lesson 8
Steve Spillman, Founder, True Potential
Three questions about your transaction:
Question 1: Should I have a store on my website?
Your online bookstore is part of your website’s e-commerce capability. E-commerce is the big word for selling stuff online. In your case, it will be your book or books, so we’ll call your e-commerce capability a bookstore.
Depending on which website platform we mentioned in lesson 6, your website may have been designed around e-commerce. Weebly, Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify platforms are all designed around e-commerce, that is, having/being a store.
WordPress is a website platform designed around “plug-ins,” which are little mini-programs installed on your WordPress website to accomplish specific functions. In this case, we’re talking about a “store” plugin. We only recommend “WooCommerce.” The plugin is free and it’s owned by Automattic, the company that developed and runs WordPress. As I said, it’s free, but you can add customizations (a lot of those cost something) to fit your needs.*
*NOTE: If the idea of managing an online bookstore seems a bit daunting and if your not in a position to store books in your spare room, and pack them into padded envelopes and run them to the Post Office when you get an order, there are alternatives we’ll discuss at the end of this lesson.
Question 2: What should be on my buy page?
If you’ve got an online e-commerce store it includes a way to create a “Product Page.” We use the term “Buy Page” because that’s the page where people will buy your book. A “Buy Page” should include:
- An image of your book.
- A description of your book.
- The price of your book
- Any “sale” offers or specials.
- Shipping information
- Book reviews
If you have just one or two books to sell and you’re not interested in a full-blown e-commerce store, but you are open to fulfilling customer orders (storing, packing, and shipping books) you can create a landing page for your book, with all of the information and features listed above, and a simple “Buy Now” button that links to your PayPal or Stripe account without the need for a store plugin.
Question 3: Are there alternatives to having a store on my website?
Maybe you don’t want to open an online store, sell your own books, or pack and ship them. I understand. For some authors, selling books individually to retail customers is just not in the cards.
Your publisher’s store: We have an author in the Washington DC area, with limited space and time. She also speaks and travels, which makes processing and shipping orders from home a problem. We’ve provided her with “affiliate” links and images for her website. When a customer clicks on the “Buy Now” button on her website they are taken to the product page for her book on our company store where they can complete their purchase. We transact the purchase and ship the book; our author receives her normal royalty for the book sale and a 15% sales commission from sending her customer to our store.
Amazon: As a last resort, you can provide Amazon links to your book on your website. Upside: You’ve given your potential reader somewhere to buy the book. Amazon does the work and you don’t have the hassle of keeping an e-commerce store or packing and shipping books. Downside: Amazon keeps almost all of the money and doesn’t share any information about their customer with you. You don’t know who bought your book. Knowing who bought your book will turn out to be really important, as we’ll learn in the next lesson.
As you consider your option for transacting the sale of your books, ask these questions:
- Does my website have a built-in e-commerce store or do I need to add it?
- Does my Buy page/landing page include all of the information, features, and a “buy now” button to make my customer’s experience easy, enjoyable, and successful?
- Do I want to pack and ship the books sold from my website or should I choose an alternative way to sell and fulfill books sold from my website?
Hey! Do you have a question for me about this lesson? I’d love to give you an answer! Just scroll down to the comment section below and ask away.
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