Some of you might know I have a Payhip account. Some might know I even sell signed copies of my work on my website.
I was inspired to test it out by some comments on higher income and the need to have multiple sources of income. Now, multiple sources of income is incredibly important as a writer, mostly because without it, you’re extremely open to shocks in your distribution chain. While it won’t happen 99% of the time, when it does, it can really hurt.
Ask any writer who has had Kindle Unlimited Page reads stripped for a month how much it can throw your income off.
Heck, I got banned for my old company from Amazon because another seller was selling counterfeit products on the item I was selling (legitimately) and the Amazon rep decided to ban EVERYONE selling that product. It took 3 months to sort that out, and lost us the entire Christmas sales period. For a retail organisation, you can guess how much that hurt.
So, I’ve stared selling online. Here’s my own experieces:
Direct on Website
Currently only selling signed copies. It’s clunky and not great, and I haven’t sold any in ages. I also don’t promote it much (especially since I live in the Yukon and it’s expensive shipping to people).
I tried this once a while ago. Going to restart it soon, though I need find time to do this properly. But merchandise sales at the same was non-existent. So it ended up costing me more money to do it than I ever got.
Bookfunnel & PayPal
There’s a bookfunnel and Paypal integration workaround that can be done. It only lets you add one item at a time though which is annoying (for me); and I never really pushed it much. It’s a bit of a pain to do it, but I did sell a few copies of the shorts this way.
This is my greatest success. In fact, I really like Payhip. It’s super easy to use, extremely simple to set-up and you can, if you want, connect it all to Bookfunnel and have your ebooks/mobi/pfs delivered that way.
Mostly, I’ve sold copies of A Healer’s Gift (for free), some of my comics (which are discounted if you buy as a package), some shorts (which were exclusive for a time) and my audiobooks. In particular, Rebel Star did really well since it released before Audible got around to releasing it. I got a chunk of sales (at full price!) which helped in paying for the audiobooks.
I will likely continue to do releases like that, if possible to drive more people there.
There’s some consideration to actually doing a release on the site direct, to gain even more money. But, that would affect my rankings somewhat, so I’m leaning towards no.
On that note, there’s some discussion of putting more things on Patreon earlier to drive more patrons there. I’m certainly releasing to Patreon all the chapters early, but doing the same for audiobooks and/or doing another promo when the book itself is ready might drive more people to Patreon on an on-going basis. In that sense, I could delay release of my book by say a month (more than editing, etc) and make it Patreon exclusive.
It might be better (financially) to do Patreon since it’d be focused on getting people to stick around. Rather than Payhip which is still transactional.
Something to consider for sure.
Anyway, that’s my report and thoughts on direct sales.
So, I’m looking at how to integrate an e-commerce site to my website. I’m poking at Woocommerce that seems to work okay, with maybe one or two things I need to test. But getting it set-up is a painful process. I’ve gotten a quote and it’ll cost me like $800 or so to get it all done (including products being uploaded).
Or I could just do it myself. I know how to do it… but that takes away time from writing.
The good news is that once it integrates, it’ll be easier to set-up merchandise (including those chibis!), signed copies and digital items and sell it all one on location. Rather than the 3 locations I have right now.
So it has to happen…
Just debating how I’ll handle it.
Not your usual business post, but this is an idea of ways to expand income streams mostly. I will say that while units sold is less than 1%, because of the additional profitability from selling direct, it is well worth it. And Patreon is a nice addition to the income stream and is thankfully relatively regular.
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