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How to sell your book online

You’ve written a brilliant book, now you need to get it out there to an entire legion of readers and one way to do this is via the internet.

But, where and how can I sell my book?

In the past, budding authors had to rely on mainstream publishers to sell their books, but now you can cut out the middlemen and do it all yourself. Self-published books are a very acceptable way to take your writing to the next level. Once you have written your masterpiece you can get it made into a beautifully bound book and then look at ways of selling it. “But what do I next? You might say, and “How do I sell my book online?”

Here are some ways you can do it.

“How to sell my own book online?” is the one major question anyone self-publishing for the first time asks. If it’s a good enough story, then you want people to read it.

To sell your book online you can go down the very straightforward and obvious route of selling the book yourself. You can do this by setting up a website, on which you can create an author profile and shop. Then you need to do some marketing. Try to get some local press, offer to do a reading for the local WI group or at the library and badger local radio for an interview, then wait for orders to come in. There are several reasons doing it yourself is a great idea:

1. You can interact with readers, answer all their questions about you and discuss your work with them.

2. Another positive about having your own website is that you can use analytics to find out who is showing interest in your work and where they are geographically.

3. You can also keep in contact with fans via email and social media and you can work out which of your marketing efforts are working and those that aren’t.

There are also online sites geared up to help you to sell your book online. The one that many authors use is called Ingram.

This is the largest wholesale and distribution network of books on the planet. If a bookstore wants an obscure book, this is where they will find it. You can add your book to Ingram’s inventory by setting its selling price and wholesale discount price. Ingram recommends a wholesale price of 55% of your selling price.

Can I sell my own book on Amazon?

Yes, you can. If you’ve had copies of your book printed then the usual route will be to send them over to Amazon to be held in their warehouse and set up a sellers account, pretty much as you would do if you were selling any product.

As an author, you do have several different options when selling through Amazon so check to ensure it’s the right one for you. There’s selling on Amazon, selling on Amazon + Fulfilment by Amazon or Amazon Advantage.

The downside to selling with this e-commerce behemoth is that you don’t make much money from the sales of your book. The upside is that millions of people have an Amazon account, so it makes it easier for them to access your work and to buy a copy. If you choose something like Fulfilment by Amazon, then you don’t have to send the books out yourself as they do it for you. Handy if you have a busy day job, or live miles away from a post office.

How to get my book in bookstores

First step could be to pay a visit to your local bookstore and ask them to display a few copies of your work. If they are a local independent store, you may already be friends with the owner (if not, make friends with them right now!) and ask them to do you a favour. But even national book chains allow their managers to choose books for their store. It makes sense as reading habits can change according to area.

Then just go out and visit every bookshop and library and sell your book face to face. Wherever you go, ensure you have a couple of copies with you and load up your car boot in case the bookshop likes the look of your work and wants several copies to stock in their store.

How much does it cost to get a book to sell?

Some people do what is called publish-on-demand, whereby you send your manuscript, and a company will publish the book for you, as an entire package. They sell books for their writers on a cost plus commission basis and this service can cost you thousands of pounds. On the other hand, if you go down the route of getting your book printed independently it will most definitely save you money. It will cost a fraction of the price and you will also feel more in control of your work.


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