If you’re serious about making a living as a self-published author, you need to start with a set of great books with professional covers and editing.
Once you’ve established a series or two and your audience is growing, it’s time to think about “going wide.”
Going wide means you’ll make your books available on multiple platforms, instead of Amazon only. Their KDP program, which makes your book exclusive to them, can be a good choice for authors who are just starting out, but eventually you’ll want to tap into worldwide audiences through all available shops.
Going wide includes direct selling through your own website.
Adding your own shop is going to mean extra work – you’ll need to manage orders, help people who have problems, and, if you are selling actual hard copies of your books, deal with shipping.
But it can be well worth it for several reasons.
Reason #1: You make more money
Every platform where you sell your book keeps a percentage of the sell price. That’s what makes it worth it for them to list and carry your book.
If you list your books on your own website, you can charge the same (or even less) than the big sellers like Amazon, Kobo, or Apple – yet still keep more of the royalties.
Running your own online shop, especially for eBooks, takes very little in terms of overhead. The sell price of your book is almost pure profit to you.
Reason #2: You can build a more personal connection to your fans
Your most loyal readers are going to want everything you offer.
Make it easy for them with an online shop that showcases all your books, regardless of format. Help them find audiobooks, eBooks, and printed books all in one place for easy ordering and easy tracking.
Plus, you can leverage your online shop to reward your loyal fans by offering coupons, freebies, and special deals to them via your newsletter. When they shop directly from you, they’ll feel valued – as they should!
Reason #3: You can offer upsells
You can use your own shop to offer fans exclusive items that have that cache factor only you can provide.
- signed copies of your book
- hardcover collector editions with unique, alternate covers
- swag like t-shirts, magnets, or bookmarks featuring your characters or your favourite story-related in-jokes in art
- supporting material like maps, worksheets, or checklists
Your shop can become a place for your super fans to create a community and invest deeply in the world you’ve created.
Reason #4: You can control the connections between books in series
Your online shop can help interested readers buy books in series as a set.
Whether you offer boxed sets explicitly, or just want to make it easy for a customer to add an entire series to their cart at once, you can bundle titles together and make it simple (and cost effective) for customers to buy more.
You can also cross-promote similar titles, and you’ll have complete control over these links. As the curator of your own publications, you’re the best one to be able to recommend follow-ups and additional content to your customers – so take full advantage by building your own storefront.
Sound good? Here at Sweet Smart we specialize in building online shops for self-published authors, especially those who write books in series. Let us tell you what we can do for you with a free custom quote!