Indie authors are beginning to realize the benefits of selling their ebooks on their own websites. The number of direct sales for indie authors has continued to increase. Selling through a third party often means giving up 35% or more of the royalties. Savvy authors are using WordPress and ecommerce plugins to run their own direct to consumer (DTC) online ebook stores.
Benefits of Direct Sales for Indie Authors
The biggest benefit of direct sales for indie authors is keeping more of the profits. Royalty costs can take 30-75% of each sale. The ability to retain those profits is significant for any indie author. But it’s not just the profits that make direct sales so important for indie authors. Possibly as valuable is having the sales data for their readers. Sales data allows authors to segment marketing based on customer data. Indie authors have access to insights about the entire sales journey of their reader.
Technology and Social Media Fuel Direct Sales
Indie authors are leveraging technology to reach a larger direct sales audience. E-commerce plug-ins and easy-to-design author websites as well as free-use social media platforms empower indie authors. TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook groups drive significant traffic to their own storefronts and sell their ebooks directly to their readers.
Small Press Publishers Will Reap Benefits
It’s not just indie authors who self-publish who are benefiting from these shifts in the industry. Indie publishing companies also benefit from direct sales. They often have more control over the authors they choose to work with. They are also more likely to give new authors a chance. Not only can the indie publisher keep more profits but also share more with the authors they work with. Traditional publishers are falling behind the trends, struggling with supply issues, and remaining stodgily in the past. Tech-enabled indie authors and publishers are making inroads.
How to Get in on the Direct Sales Trend
There are several steps you’ll need to take to succeed with direct sales of your ebook.
The Author Website – Domain and Hosting
To leverage direct sales and make more money on your ebooks, start with an author website. Before you can build your site, you need a domain. The domain is what gives you a website address or URL). You also need a host (the service that makes your URL live on the internet). There are many good internet hosts. In most cases, you can purchase your domain directly from the company you plan to host with.
The Author Website – Platform and Plugins
We recommend using WordPress, as there are several ecommerce integrations designed to work very easily with WordPress. You can use a free theme offered by WordPress or purchase a licensed theme. Be sure to invest in your own hosting and domain. Choosing a URL is your first challenge – using your first and last name or pen name is common. If you have a more common name like Bob Smith, bobsmith.com might already be taken. If your name is already taken, you can try adding an embellishment, like bobwritesbooks.com or jillsmithauthor.com.
Author Visibility – Social Media and Beyond
Because indie authors do a lot of their own marketing, it’s important to establish your presence. We believe marketing should start even before you have ebooks published. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are common. Many indie authors are finding success on Pinterest and TikTok. Non-fiction authors may want to also establish a profile on LinkedIn. All of these platforms will help you reach readers, market your ebooks, and drive traffic back to your website.
Direct Sales Marketing
One of the most effective ways you can increase your direct sales is through email marketing. There are free email services like MailChimp that will help you grow your list and will integrate with WordPress. As you build your list, through sales and free downloadable content on your website, you will be able to gather significant amount of data about your audience – who opens your emails, who orders your ebooks, how they arrived at your website, etc.
Sell More eBooks with EditionGuard Storefront
EditionGuard Storefront makes it even easier for indie authors to succeed with direct sales. Securely sell and fulfill eBook orders with Storefront, a turnkey ecommerce solution with no percentage fees.
With our ecommerce solution, you'll get:
- Instant ebook product pages
- 10-minute instant setup
- Secure DRM product pages
- The ability to sell with no percentage fees
- Total control over your pricing and sales
- 2-day direct payouts - no more waiting 60-90 days to get your money
Read more about how fulfillment services work with EditionGuard Storefront or start your free trial today.