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.