1) Selling (and gifting) your book from your Personal Supply*
–Are you planning to give away copies of your book to friends and family?
–Will you announce your book with a book talk at a local bookstore, your church, or on a workshop tour?
–Are you going to sell books from your website and do your own fulfillment?
People get excited when something is new! The largest number of book sales occurs in the two-month period around the time of release. It is a good idea to make a plan for how you will announce your book and invite sales. Determine a quantity for your first book order to meet your likely needs in launching your book. (Remember: Shipping charges decrease per book as the quantity of books in the order increases. You receive quantity discounts on orders over 50 books.)
When selling your book yourself, your profit is determined by deducting your book’s print cost and your shipping cost from the retail price. If you are packaging and mailing the books yourself (doing your own “fulfillment,” the cost of packaging and postage should also be deducted when determining your profit. You will be operating as a retailer, so be sure to collect sales taxes as applicable in your State.
* Ask us about specialty items (postcards, business cards, bookmarks) that promote excitement for your book
2) Selling your book from RiverSanctuaryPublishing.com website
Will you be announcing your book to a mailing list (by email or post)?* Or on Facebook?
If so, ask your friends and fans to purchase the book from you directly (in which case you will handle fulfillment) or from the RSP website (where we handle fulfillment) – in order to have the largest profit for you, the author…
Your book will have its own sales page on RiverSanctuaryPublishing.com You do not need to have a personal website and can refer any potential buyers to the RSP website for ordering. RSP charges 25% of your retail price for its service, plus print cost, of providing the book to your customer. RSP takes care of all the shipping, taxes, and handling charges. (Most bookstores and online distributors such as Amazon charge 55%). You don’t have to do anything except receive your profit check every quarter.
3) Selling your book from your own website
If you already have your own website, you have two options:
1) Receive orders and sell books from your personal supply and do fulfillment yourself
This means you collect payment from buyers including applicable tax and shipping charges. You then fulfill the order yourself (i.e., place the book in an envelope, address the envelope, and take it to the post office for mailing).
Advantages of this method are:
You can insert other items in the package, e.g., flyers, business cards, and/or material related to you and your other writings or offerings
**GOOD PUBLICITY FOR YOU!
Payment goes directly to you (Note: make sure you collect sales tax, if applicable, and file payment with your local tax authority at year end)
Disadvantages of this method are:
Being responsible for fulfillment is just that…a responsibility. You need to be checking the site every day for sales and following through.
Postal rates are significant for priority mail (higher than Amazon and the POD printer can get). You can send books Media Mail, however Media Mail is very slow.
OR 2) River Sanctuary Publishing takes care of fulfillment for you
In this case, we provide you or your webmaster with a Paypal icon (encoded with sales information related to your book) to place on your website. Notification and payment for the sale come directly to RSP. We fulfill the order and record it to you as a sale, minus a $2.00 fulfillment fee. We send you an email confirmation of the sale, so you can make further contact with the buyer if you wish to.
If you don’t have a website, but would like to have one…
We would be pleased to set you up with a fabulous and economical website designer. Your site can include a Paypal icon whereby RSP receives the payment for your book sales, collects your profits, and handles fulfillment for you (with $2.00 fulfillment fee). You can use this as a stand alone sales site for your book, or you can link to this site from your existing website.
4) Should you sell your book through online distribution channels?
Before you jump into listing your book on Amazon, it’s important to understand the ramifications of doing so. Buyers have been trained to buy from Amazon rather than directly from the person who created the product because they can save a couple dollars. Amazon (and other such online retailers) compete directly with you for sales of your book. These retailers have huge margins so they can significantly discount items without it affecting their bottom line. Buyers think it’s great to get a discount. They don’t realize that those dollars come out the pocket of the person whose work it is…and into the pocket of Amazon!
There are inexplicable things that happen with Amazon. Almost immediately upon activation of your book for sale on Amazon, you will notice there are ancillary book sellers (i.e., companies selling products through Amazon) who list NEW and used copies of your book. Where are these NEW and USED copies of your book coming from? We don’t have an answer for that… Obviously, you, the author, receive no compensation for Used copies of your book that are (apparently) being resold. It would seem that a book being sold as NEW would have to be paying royalty to the author (or, in this case, the publisher as we are your representative), but strangely there appears to be no profit payment coming to us when these sales happen.
This is just to say…there’s some funny stuff that goes on when you elect to sell on Amazon. We can activate this for you, but we are not responsible for what takes place within these services.
Authors can manage their sales page on Amazon, and we highly recommend you do so by setting up access through Author Central on Amazon. There you can create an author profile and add more information to your book’s description if you would like to. Your book will receive more visibility (i.e., it is more likely to appear in Amazon searches) if you invite people to review your book and make some book sales through Amazon.
However, if you are creating your book for a specific audience who follow your work (e.g., you are a minister, therapist, or person who gives workshops and talks), you will make more profit selling your book yourself, especially at first when it is a hot item! You can choose to delay online activation for as long as you’d like.