Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ebooks A La Carte

Last month, I did a blog post with Blake Crouch about the future of ebook sales. In that blog, we talked about the only two parties needed for a transaction: the author, and the reader. Everyone else (agent, publisher, retailer) is a middleman, taking a percentage.

But if a writer already has loyal fans willing to seek him out, why should the middleman get a cut? Couldn't the author and the reader complete a transaction (the reader buying the book) where the writer receives all of the profit?

Enter xuni.com. A few months back, they made an ebook store for Barry Eisler. I loved this idea, and loved how they implemented it. But Eisler only has three ebook titles for sale, and while it is cool that he offers readers different formats to choose from (epub, Kindle, and pdfs) I read ebooks on several different devices and it seems silly to have to buy the same book multiple times to get the various formats.

So I asked the team at xuni if they could make an ebook store for me, with a few tweaks. When readers buy an ebook from my store, they get four DRM-free formats (epub, Kindle, pdf, doc) in a single download. Also, it made perfect sense that I should sell ebooks by some of my peers (Eisler and Crouch as of this writing) and offer them the same 70% royalty rate as other retailers do.

A few days ago, my ebook store went live. So now I'm able to sell directly to customers, and cut out the middle man.

On a $2.99 ebook sold through a retailer, I earn about $2.04.

In my ebook store, I earn $2.79.

On a $0.99 sold through a retailer, I earn $0.35.

In my ebook store, I earn $0.89.

I've heard about other ways to sell ebooks directly, but they involve either paying a monthly fee, or a percentage of each sale. Going through xuni, I paid a flat fee, and now my ebooks can earn money forever. As I add ebooks to my oeuvre, xuni can add them to my ebook store for a tiny additional cost.

If you have fans, it makes sense to offer those fans easy access to your titles. If they like you enough to visit your website, give them the option of buying your books directly from you. (I also have a paper store, for those who want autographed editions.)

This is passive income that earns forever. Once it is set up, it becomes a 24 hour worldwide store. You'll need a Paypal account set up for micropayments (xuni helps with that) and a three figure initial investment, and you're set.

Also, Maddee and Ryan at xuni were fast, responsive, easy to work with, and extremely nice. I highly recommend them, and this service.

Contact xuni HERE, or in my sidebar.

80 comments:

Joe Barlow @ The Coffee House Wordsmith said...

Wow, Joe! That's an amazing service, and I thank you for bringing it to our attention.

Although Amazon certainly offers generous percentages for Kindle authors, there's nothing like having your e-bookstore and keeping even more of the pie.

Especially for authors like John Locke, who typically prices his work at 99 cents, this strategy could more than double his income for the same amount of sales. The mind truly reels at the possibilities stretching out before us.

It's a good time to be a writer!

-j.

Ruth Harris said...

Second the wow! Sounds like an excellent 3-figure investment...one that pays off ... & keeps paying off!

Michael A. Boyadjian said...

This sort of thing is an excellent idea.

Unfortunately, I'm inclined to say that the writers with established fanbases, however large or small, will be the ones to benefit from a service like this.

With new writers, such as myself, being discovered seems like it might have a greater appeal than a larger share of the profits. Services like Amazon help in that regard, with samples and also-bought lists to promote exploration of new titles and authors.

Still, it's reassuring to know that writers can take more direct control of their work and can create a more direct relationship with their readers.

Luis Vila said...

You always find the coolest things for self-published author's Joe!

You are my hero. I'm going on eBay and buying you a cape and mask.

Todd Trumpet said...

Your xuni store page looks fine - nice and simple, the way I like it - but the thing I REALLY liked...

...was the number "89". As in:

"On a $0.99 sold through a retailer, I earn $0.35.
In my ebook store, I earn $0.89."


More than double?

What's next? A way to earn MORE on an eBook than the sticker price?

Time to start writing/posting some shorter fiction!

Congrats,

Todd
"THE TELLING OF MY MARCHING BAND STORY"
www.ToddTrumpet.com

Jamie D. said...

I've been offering this for nearly a year now - most of my sales are for signed print copies at my own site, but occasionally I'll sell an ebook or two.

I started out offering zip files, but found that most buyers didn't know what they were, and didn't want to deal with finding out. So now when the customer buys a book at my store, they have a choice after checkout which format they want to download (or they can download all three - I offer pdf, epub and mobi). Xumi should probably consider doing something like that with their author carts for reader comfort. I use a pre-built hosted site...monthly fee, but it's tax deductible and I can do all sorts of nifty things like free/discount coupons, gift certs & print/ebook bundles. I'll be putting book cards (ebooks on mini CDs, ripped off from DWS's idea) on the site next month, for easy tangible gift giving and signed ebooks.

I'm curious how many other authors you plan to carry in your store? I have a couple friends self-publishing under my business label that I'm doing the 30/70 thing with on my site, but not looking forward to the paperwork. I can't imagine keeping track of too many other authors and payments, if things start moving...

Congrats on your new store! :-)

Brazen Snake Books

John Caliburn said...

Before anyone goes out and makes their own ebook store, I want to point this out:

"But if a writer already has loyal fans willing to seek him out, why should the middleman get a cut?"

The key words here are "loyal fans"

That means that before you can make a profit with your own ebook store, you will need a lot of fans to already know about you.

So if you don't have a huge following like JAKonrath, you should stick with Amazon for a little while, because most people go to Amazon to look for ebooks.

In other words, first you must build a fanbase. Then you build your own ebook store.

Michelle Muto said...

This is fantastic.

I write young adult books. I wonder how long before sites catering to specific genres will start doing this. And, depending on cost, how long before every author does it, and hosts book similar to theirs?

Take advantage of every avenue, right Joe?

Corey W. Williams said...

Thanks for sharing, Joe.

I can see how this service would be extremely useful once a fanbase has been established. I don't think I'll be making my own paypal store now, since I only have one ebook for sale that hasn't really been "discovered" by people yet, but I am certainly gonna bookmark xuni's page since I'm sure it'll be very useful somewhere down the line.

Jon said...

Excellent! I can definitely see why it makes sense for authors to add a direct distribution channel. The higher percentage on .99 products is especially appealing. I wonder if Amazon will ever consider increasing the royalty rate in that bracket?

Just to add another perspective, as a consumer, I love the convenience of having my whole ebook library in one place. (In my case, that's Amazon; I was a Kindle early-adopter.) This makes storage and delivery of files to different devices effortless. I don't want to have to keep track of files - where they're stored, where they came from (in case I need to re-download some day), etc. That's why I don't buy ebooks from B&N or iTunes, and probably wouldn't buy from an author's site either.

I still think it's a smart move, though. Might as well offer folks as many different options as possible, especially since this one translates to higher author revenues.

SBJones said...

Before you rush off to open your own store, make sure you read up or ask about your state's tax laws regarding sales/use tax. If you are required to collect and submit sales taxes for your state, it might not be all sunshine and roses for you. You can do the accounting your self, or if it's beyond you, you will have to hire a middle man (accountant) to do it for you.

Amazon pays a commission on what they sell to you, so you are only accountable for income tax.

Open your own store and you have income and sales/use tax. Most people and online businesses just ignore this but have fun when you sell 100,000 downloads and the tax man knocks on your door for half a decade of unpaid taxes. Prison isn't where I want to write a book from.

I only bring this up because today I am getting ready to file my quarterly sales taxes on the 37 books I sold at book signings. $31.45 to be exact.

Shawna said...

Very inventive as always Joe!

Anonymous said...

I think you can enhance this concept two ways. (1) make the prices lower than on Kindle and Nook. If you don't, why should someone go to a separate place? What's in it for them? (2) Don't bury the store in your website. Create a separate website just for the store; something that will get picked up by search engines.

Cyn Bagley said...

Thanks for all the info ...
I will look into it.

Cyn

Joe Konrath said...

Prison isn't where I want to write a book from.

I dunno. An upscale, country-club kind of prison, where I could write all day and am allowed conjugal visits, sounds kind of appealing. :)

Barry said...

Jon, remember, it's not either/or -- OTBE, it makes sense to have your books distributed as widely as possible. Meaning Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, one's own store, etc.

Joe, love the way you tweaked the store, and going to ask Maddee to do mine the same way.

Jussi Keinonen said...

The relevant part is that Joe doesn't price his books lower than Amazon, which would auto-decrease the price on Amazon to the same level.

Now the pressure is on Amazon to deliver enough to make their percentage worth it.

Todd Trumpet said...

Joe said: "I dunno. An upscale, country-club kind of prison, where I could write all day and am allowed conjugal visits, sounds kind of appealing. :)"

Isn't that where you already live?

Todd

David Gaughran said...

Very nice, Joe. And a smart move.

For those worried about diluting Amazon sales, consider this: perhaps it could grow your overall sales.

Sometimes you lose a reader in between hearing about your book on your blog and the check out at Amazon. Sometimes they get distracted by other stuff and never complete the transaction.

If I am anything to go buy, this happens A LOT. Sometimes I come across those books again and remember it was something I wanted to buy, then complete the transaction. But often, I bet, I don't.

Having the books for sale directly achieves a number of goals. You can bundle stuff in all sorts of packages. You can offer discounts, or exclusive stuff. You reduce your reliance on one retailer, market, or channel.

Also, remember that most of the world is subject to a $2 surcharge on e-books by Amazon. Having your own store allows them to buy your books and avoid that charge.

Right now, I direct those guys to Smashwords, and it makes up 10% of my sales around the time of a new release. But what about all the readers I don't reach with that message? They just don't buy. With a store, they can.

And anyway, I don't think it will dilute your Amazon sales too much. You can still focus all of your promo on that channel, and have the store there as an option for those who prefer to shop that way for whatever reason.

More choice, more options = more sales.

Anonymous said...

For those that are concerned about their cool self published enovels becoming lost in the morass of Amazon, the new alternative beckons. Popular alternative selfpublished enovel stores, selling only vetted good quality enovels.
That's what you got Joe, you just need to start adding more select authors to the mix - plus run a competition so that newbies can occasionally get placed alongside the greats.
Pay forward, and cut out amazon.

Christina said...

I started reading your blog after my friend Sharon told me about your success with ebooks. I don't read thrillers or crime novels, but I do appreciate your perspective on the changes going on in the publishing industry. Thank you for all of your insight! Thanks to you, I'm working on my own writing career.

Richard Brown said...

As others have said, this sounds like a real good option for authors with established readers. Myself, I'm more interested in how I can get listed in Joe's eBook store. *wink wink*

I'll gladly let you give me 35%.

www.richardbrownbooks.com

Glenn Gamble said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Glenn Gamble said...

I dunno. An upscale, country-club kind of prison, where I could write all day and am allowed conjugal visits, sounds kind of appealing. :)

Joe, you owe me some paper towels for making me spit up my soda on my computer screen. Thx :)

Anonymous said...

I hate paypal as a means of payment for anything. Did you look into other alternatives, or is that the best option. Also, does paypal take a percentage out of each small payment?

Mark Asher said...

So does Xuni sell a service or a product? In other words, they set it up, get paid, and then get out of town and never collect another penny from it?

Jodi Langston said...

As always great info, Joe!! It's great to see writers finally getting not only the credit but the income they deserve!

MeiLin Miranda said...

I get 100% of the sale because I sell direct from my site. But then, my other hat says "web developer." :)

puravida said...

I love how the changes are putting the power into the author's hands. And thanks Joe for always providing great information.

Happier Than A Billionaire

Reacher said...

even established authors will still need the Amazon equivalent of "A reader who bought Barry's book also bought Joe's book." because loyal fan bases need continual replenishment: people age, they die, their tastes change. if your ebookstore is sitting on an island, eventually your fan base will dwindle to nothing. so, that's one answer to the question of "why should a middleman get a cut?" -- you'll still need Amazon, until the web figures out a way to link everyone's distributed ebookstores into a single virtual collective view with some intelligence.

Gregory E. Shultz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gregory E. Shultz said...

I thought that I would mention -- since Joe did not -- that the fee is $800. More than most of us, unfortunately, will make in a year on a title (or maybe two or more).

Joe Konrath said...

So does Xuni sell a service or a product?

They sell a product. Then, if you want to add additional ebooks in the future, it's $25 a title.

Alexis Harrington said...

Joe, I skimmed through others' posts and didn't catch this so if this has already been asked and answered, forgive me.

Will you abandon your retail presence at Amazon, et al, or will you keep them and run the xumi-created store as well?

Alexis

Joe Konrath said...

I thought that I would mention -- since Joe did not -- that the fee is $800.

$800 can be a lot, or a little, depending on how you look at it.

As writers, we can spend a lot of money on our websites, or a book trailer, or advertising, or travel to conventions. We consider these costs to be part of the price of doing business. But they don't pay for themselves.

An ebook store will pay for itself. It may take months (or years), but I consider it a worthwhile investment.

Joe Konrath said...

Will you abandon your retail presence at Amazon, et al, or will you keep them and run the xumi-created store as well?

I'm not looking to usurp Amazon sales. I'm looking to augment them.

The more places your ebooks are for sale, the better.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, good idea, you do not pay the middle man but you now depend on a web designer to upload your books.

Instead of getting advance money, you advance money for your xuni thing before selling one book.

At least you could have chosen professional solutions like www.izibook.com or similar.

So at the end of the day for saving the money the publisher and agent get you start dealing with paying websites, book covers and online marketing, that's not a business case, that's simply "hate to the system"

Cheers!

Joe Konrath said...

So at the end of the day for saving the money the publisher and agent get you start dealing with paying websites, book covers and online marketing, that's not a business case, that's simply "hate to the system"

That makes zero sense.

All businesses require an investment. And an investment that will earn you money is a good investment.

This is one more way to earn money, and to do it with a bigger royalty rate than anywhere else.

Katmarie said...

I like being able to legally share my ebooks with a friend, which I can do with most of the ones I buy from Amazon but none of the ones I might buy from sites like xuni or author websites. So I'm sticking with Amazon, but I do hope you'll have lots of sales from folks who don't care about that perk.

BillSmithBooks said...

Joe, I think this is a great addition to your site.

Currently everyone is used to running to Amazon, B&N or Smashwords...but look at all of the e-commerce sites (outside of publishing).

I expect a dedicated store on one's personal site in addition to being listed with major retailers will become the norm for many authors.

WayneThomasBatson said...

Joe, this is cool stuff. Does Xuni format your books for you in all those different file types? IE: for my $800 investment, I just send them my word .docs or .pdfs, and they do the format and give me an online store?

Thanks

Anonymous said...

Maybe I'm missing something here, but why is this being presented as some kind of new advancement? It's an e-commerce enabled page on a website. Essential, yes, but fifteen years old.

And paypal can fly a flaming kite. I'm not even allowed to have a paypal account, for reasons the company has refused to explain for years. There are many similar stories online from other people who have been denied paypal access, or even had their paypal accounts locked and being unable to access the money sent from other people.

It's not difficult to set up (or have someone set up for you) transactions through visa/mc. Maybe fees are higher...

Anyway... Joe, thank you for this blog of yours. This particular post notwithstanding, it is super informative and great reading.

Adam Pepper said...

Looks awesome, Joe. Good luck with it!

Joe Konrath said...

I like being able to legally share my ebooks with a friend, which I can do with most of the ones I buy from Amazon but none of the ones I might buy from sites like xuni or author websites.

Why do you believe that? My ebooks have no DRM, so they can be shared with whomever you like.

Mike G. said...

Nice idea. However, did you realized that actually anyone can hire a designer and a programmer to build a custom store to sell eBooks directly to the customer, cutting off the middleman?

The thing is that you will not be at the Amazon bestselling list if you sell by yourself, you will not get that kind of exposure, or at least, you will reduce your sales there.

Anyway, this is great to recognized authors that already have people following their work.

So, I think that every author should have a personal website, also we have to sell our eBooks in every way possible, but we should create our own store to sell directly to that customers who are visiting our site.
We are spending our time and sometimes money to market our work, it is fairer send those people to our website where they can buy or eBooks directly, and the Amazon sales will happen through the Amazon traffic only.

I believe that ePub, kindle and pdf are enough, why .doc?

Do you prefer to sell your eBooks without DRM because you believe that people will not share your eBooks for free, because they are cheap?

I think that even when we sell 0.99 eBooks, there's always someone who will buy and share.

That's enough.

Thanks.

Joe Flynn said...

Thanks for the info, Joe. I was looking for a way to sell my titles through me website and I sent off an e-mail to Maddee and Ryan to see if xuni will work for me.

Joe Konrath said...

Do you prefer to sell your eBooks without DRM because you believe that people will not share your eBooks for free, because they are cheap?

I'm fine with being shared. I don't fear piracy at all.

Veronica & Eloheim said...

Very nice Joe. I've sold quite a lot of books from my site and continue to do so. I highly recommend it.

I haven't added other authors to my site, but I would do so if I found compatible work. There isn't much paperwork involved. Number of sales x percentage = pay out.

I use DL Guard as my shopping cart system. It lets you offer all sorts of payment processors, coupons, memberships, and other bells and whistles.

It's specifically designed for digital sales.

It's easy to update and to add new products. It's a one time investment of $147.

DL GUARD

Whenever someone makes a purchase, they get both the epub and pdf versions of my books.

I hired a tech to do the initial set up and teach me how to add products. He is awesome, fast, and very reasonable. Vijay: honestcorp@gmail.com

It was a really good investment as I have a lot of products beyond my books and I needed some special set up. I was spending $50-$75 a month in storage alone. Vijay moved me to Amazon S3 and now my storage is about $2 a month. An interesting case where upgrading my system actually SAVED me money.

You can check out my cart at this link: Cart

Oh, on the sales tax thing. At this time, in CA, digital sales are not subject to sales tax. Paper books, yes. Ebooks, no. That may change of course.....

DVshooter said...

Fantastic service, another bit of promising future.

I agree with the earlier statment, it's of the best value with a built in audience. I'm still going to roll my first three works out on amazon though.

Still at zero blog followers so not counting on that to sell from my own site. :(

Thanks as always Joe! Great info on the fear.net interview as well.

Veronica & Eloheim said...

That said. If you only have one or two books and don't want to spend ANY up front money you can do that as well.

PayPal offers merchants "buttons."

Log into your PayPal account. If you don't have a PP account, then be sure to sign up for a MICRO PAYMENTS account as that will cost less in fees than a regular account on orders less than about $12.

At the top of the screen is a blue button that says MERCHANT SERVICES.

Then there is a button that says BUY NOW.

Fill it out.

It will generate HTML code.

Put that on your blog (I like WordPress blogs, but you have choices).

When people pay, you will get an email from PayPal and you can then email the customer the files.

Sure, it's not automated, but it doesn't cost anything beyond the normal PP fee which is LOW.

Veronica & Eloheim said...

A final thought. If you don't know how to set up a Wordpress blog, I recommend you hire Robert. He will do a basic set up for less than $20.

He is excellent, fast, and his rates are very reasonable.

Robert Payne is a results-driven Atlanta Web Developer with experience in website development and WordPress installation and customization.

http://www.robert-d-payne.com/

Bruce Andrews said...

To those who in the past asked what was to stop Amazon and others from building market share and then slashing royalties down to a small fraction: this is why it will be difficult for them to do so. It's getting cheaper and cheaper to build a platform. This doesn't replace Amazon by a long shot, but it does make for a more flexible world.

Lucas Nicolato said...

Joe,

After reading your blog I decided to make an experiment and sell the kindle dictionaries I made for personal use. A few months after, I'm selling about 1,500 ebooks (all of them dictionaries) a month! That's not enough to quit my day job, but it's already paying my internet and cable tv.

Anyway, as I'm also an author (only short fiction and poetry for now) who hasn't yet published, I would like to know if you think it still makes sense to go the traditional route of first submitting my short stories to magazines, stack a hundred rejection letters before actually selling one story etc., or it would make more sense to just e-publish my short stories for 0.99?

I know what you think about traditional publishing houses. But what about magazines?

I ask that because, of course, having a short story bought would mean I'm writing at least passable fiction, and that my writing would probably be read by a broader audience.

On the other hand, that process can take quite a while, and in the mean time, if my work was already available at Amazon, I would rather be accruing sales...

So what do you think?

Thank you very much for giving the community so much free information!

regards,
Lucas Nicolato

DVshooter said...

Lucas

Safe to predict that the overwhelming response here will be to just push yourself on Kindle. Is still a much smaller market in the novel arena, but for shorts, I would say that your work will see far more readers.

For a short, get quality feedback and a solid proofread, quality cover (try looking for graphics arts students on craiglist, it's a bargain basement way to go but I'm talking to several now with very nice looking portfolios) and then upload.

Having a short published is a traditional milestone but with fewer magazines available than in the past it could be a very long process for acceptance.

Put the profesional recognition aside for a second, (that doesn't carry much weight here either) and look at marketability. It's been a looong time since I've cracked a "short story writers market" but last time I checked Playboy was the top payer at $2500.

In "Be the Monkey" Barry Eisler said he's made $30k from a single short on Kindle.

Seriously, unless you're named in the Asimov or Ellery Queen estate, when your famous deceased relatives work has reprinted endless times in anthologies, it's virtually impossible to see that from a short in a traditional short pub mag(s). Not anytime soon anyway.

And I don't even know if that's the Kindle "short" sales record.

Now, Barry's results aren't typical, he has a significant reputation and following but it's a display of the Kindle markets strength.

Now go Google: "2012 expected Kindle sales."

Happy reading and good luck

Gary Ponzo said...

Joe, any concern the reduction in sales on Amazon may cause some of your titles to move below the top 10 or top 20 in sales of certain fiction categories, therefore losing some exposure?

Mark Terry said...

Since Xuni is my website handler, I promptly contacted Maddee about this. Great idea. I'll be doing it eventually, although not immediately for a number of reasons I won't get into here.

I'm sure it will pay for itself eventually. Sooner for some than others.

One of the things I really like about it is that it's a hedge against changes in the industry. One of my concerns about the e-book publishing biz as it is operating in 2011 is, now that Amazon is providing a 70% royalty rate, they've driven the market and put traditional publishers on the defensive (to say the least). But now authors can also become their own bookstore, so if Amazon and others in the future, near or far, decide, "Hey, this isn't as profitable as we like, we're dropping our royalty rate to 60% or 50%, etc." then authors have some negotiating power of sorts.

An interesting development. My friend Tobias Buckell has been doing this on his own site for a while.

JSmith said...

"Channel Conflict" is a real issue that may catch some authors. Listing on both Amazon and selling direct is like being listed with a traditional publisher and selling it yourself on Amazon.

I make a few more points on my author weblog that this practice could get an unwary author in situations they would rather avoid.

http://jgordonsmith.com/

Jon Olson said...

Fascinating. I'm checking it out.

Jon O.
The Petoskey Stone

Anne Trager said...

I'm curious how much time those of you doing direct sales spend on sales-related customer service for those buyers who don't know what format they want, or how to unzip, or what to do with the file once they have it, or want another copy when a virus wipes out their data, etc. Can anyone give me some feedback on this?

Nancy Beck said...

if you think it still makes sense to go the traditional route of first submitting my short stories to magazines, stack a hundred rejection letters before actually selling one story etc., or it would make more sense to just e-publish my short stories for 0.99?

@Lucas - Why don't you do both? Go thru your stories and pick a handful to send out to traditional mags. I wouldn't wait until you've had 100 rejections on any particular story, though; upload after something way smaller, like three or five rejections.

Looking for mags to send your stuff? Try Duotrope or Ralan's.

And lastly, check out Dean Wesley Smith's site. He works both the trad and indie sides of the aisle and has some good advice on writing, including some writing myths.

Changing Faces – new cover!

Gregory said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gregory said...

For my zombie novella Horde I took pre-orders through a form and did pretty well. Sure, there was a little more work on my end, but it's all about getting readers and finding new ways to get them. When I'm selling more and more, an eBook store on my website would be a great idea! Thanks for the info!

Gregory M. Thompson
Gregory M. Thompson's Official Site

Veronica & Eloheim said...

@Anne

I was tempted to say zero...however, yesterday someone contacted me because they had forgotten to download their purchase and needed me to send it again as the download window had passed.

It took about 2 minutes to log into DLG and click the appropriate links. Considering I had to find the links because this was the first time I needed to do this, 2 minutes was pretty quick.

I have been selling downloads from my site for years and I spend almost NO time on customer service.

I spend far more time answering THANK YOU emails.

Anonymous said...

Kindle = $79! This is the year, woohoo!

Joe Konrath said...

And the Kindle Touch is $99.

Sweet.

Michelle Rene said...

Good For You Joe! Getting the word out!! You have amazing foresight.

Thanks for being a great inspiration.

Michelle

SteventheThorn said...

Great idea. Thanks for passing this on.

Brianna Leigh said...

I'm patiently waiting for your thoughts on the bomb that Amazon dropped today. >:D

KevinMc said...

Joe, this IS really interesting stuff. I'm curious though why you're using Xuni rather than just setting up your own store?

I'm asking because this is something I've been looking at doing, but I've been looking into using existing software integrated with my blog/website. There's free plugins for Wordpress, for instance, that will run the whole show for me.

Sure, Xuni is doing it for you. They're also charging for the service. ;) I mean, you have to design and build the store anyway, right? So I'm curious why this would be superior to using a plugin to set up your own store on your own site.

By Darkness Revealed (urban fantasy)

David H. Burton said...

KevinMc has an interesting point. With wordpress and the right plugins I set up my own store at my site and it takes both google checkout and paypal. No need to pay anyone for the service.

P.N. Elrod said...

This is awesome stuff, and I'm looking at it with great interest.

"On a $2.99 ebook sold through a retailer, I earn about $2.04."

Is the 2.04 result AFTER Paypal takes their cut?

For 70% of 2.99 I get 2.09--so is Paypal okay just making .05 on a 2.99 transaction?


I've used them for years for a non-book small business of mine, and have to subtract their cut of the transaction from my profit. It adds up. :(

Robert Bruce Thompson said...

Hi, David

Which specific plugins?

Thanks.

DVshooter said...

Kindle = $79! This is the year, woohoo!

Hurry up and get your stuff uploaded!!

No, I'm not talking about being prepared for the big 2012 market push...I'm talking about preparing for when the worlds leaders turn control of the planet over to the Amazon Overlords.

The more affiliated you are with them the higher your position in the new hierarchy will probably be.

David H. Burton said...

Robert, check out wp e-commerce.

Joe Konrath said...

I make $2.79 on a $2.99 ebook from my store, Patricia. Paypal takes 20 cents.

Compare that to B&N and other retailers, who take 95 cents.

Joe Konrath said...

I'm patiently waiting for your thoughts on the bomb that Amazon dropped today.

It was a bomb I predicted would happen two years ago. Just blogged about it.

MeiLin Miranda said...

Anne: I spend zero time on customer service for my direct sales. Each purchase includes four different formats: epub, mobi, lrf and pdf. If you can't read one of those, you're not buying ebooks anyway. :D

Robert Bruce Thompson said...

David H. Burton said...

Robert, check out wp e-commerce.


Thanks. I'll take a look at it.

P.N. Elrod said...

"I make $2.79 on a $2.99 ebook from my store, Patricia. Paypal takes 20 cents."

I want to bear your cyber-babies.

So you can call me Pat.

Lynna Merrill said...

It is a very good idea for a writer to have his or her own e-bookstore. After reading this post and discussing it with my husband, I plunged in. I am a new writer, but I am also a computer programmer, so I installed an open source shopping cart solution and configured it myself. It now works seamlessly with PayPal and allows people to come back to re-download their files later.

It is interesting to see all the tasks writers need to perform as the self publishing world evolves. Most of us have to also be programmers, book cover artists, typesetters, and indeed specialists in everything.