How to Sell a Book from Your Author Website

One of the most common requests that users have made about Author Website in a Box has to do with e-commence. They want to sell books or ebooks from their site, which I fully appreciate.

Adding e-commerce functions is on my to do list, but I don’t know when I will be able to get to it. Building a store, and making sure it will work after you install your site in its new home, is not a simple task (or at least, I have not found a simple way to do this).

I can however give you a tip on how to sell an ebook, or a book.

Building a store is hard work because the store has to include various things like a shopping cart, product pages, category pages, and so on.  But if you just want to sell a book, and you don’t care about having a full store, well, that is a different matter.

The trick to selling something on your site without building a store is to use a third-party service like Gumroad to process the payment (and deliver the digital content, if that’s what you are selling).

Edit: Or you can use Paypal, which has a cart feature.

These companies will handle all the parts of a transaction for a small fee (generally 3% to 5%). In some cases they will even deliver the file when the sale is complete. Gumroad does this, but not all payment processors do, which is why you may want to use BookFunnel to deliver the ebooks (that company is great at handling tech support).

Let’s take Gumroad as an example. What you will need to do is set up an account with Gumroad, and then create listing for the book. GR will give you a “buy” link which you will need to embed on your site (preferably on the book’s page).

You could simply write something like “BUY THIS BOOK” in the content section of the page, and then turn it into a link, but what you can also do is look in the menu where you created the book’s listing and find the section for purchase links.

You can insert links to Amazon and other ebookstores, and the links will automatically appear on the book page after the page is published.

In conclusion, you can build a site using AWinaBox and then sell an ebook there; it just takes a little work.

image  by Javier Kohen via Flickr

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