Hey, welcome to Tell Tell Tuesday. I want to talk about how to sell your book from your own platform after you’ve self published. So the way it normally works when you self publish is that you will select a print on demand platform. I will drop a link below to an article I wrote about print on demand platforms, and some examples of them are KDP, which is Amazon’s platform, Lulu, BookBaby, Blurb, IngramSpark, those are all platforms that you can use to upload book. And when you sell your book from one of those platforms, for example, let’s say you upload and sell the book from KDP, KDP will actually take a cut of the royalties. So you might get 60% after manufacturing costs. Let’s say your book is selling for 12.99, you might make somewhere around $5.60 per book sold.
But a lot of you want to purchase author copies and then sell them from your own website, and that’s definitely possible. The first thing you’ll want to do is figure out how you are going to accept payment. Because you are not using a platform, you will be ordering the copies and shipping them out, you need a way to collect money from people, and the best way, or one of the easiest ways is with PayPal. So you will go to paypal.com, and if you don’t already have an account you will create one, and then you will set up a payment link or a button that people can click to pay. And so you will set the cost, either including shipping or you can calculate shipping after. I just like to set it as one flat fee with the shipping included, just because it makes it a little bit easier. So if people are within a certain distance, I just like to say it’s a flat rate of, let’s say it’s $2.
So let’s say you want to sell it for $12 plus $2 shipping, then you would sell your book for 14 on PayPal. When people order it, you can actually print a shipping slip directly from PayPal and attach it to the package and then you can mail it out. Or you can go to the post office and get it weighed and mail it that way. But when you are selling your own book, you will be in charge, of course, of getting the copies and then mailing them out. A lot of people don’t want to be in charge of that sort of thing so that’s why they would just let Amazon or whatever platform they’re using handle it. But if you’re like, “You know what? I can do this, I want to sell copies.” It’s not that challenging. So you just get a PayPal account, have some way to accept payments, so either your website, Facebook, share it on your social media account and send people the link to your buy now button.
When people purchase the book, you will want to create some sort of shipping slip if you are shipping directly using the PayPal account, or you will take it to the mailbox. So if I were you, I would come up with one day of the week where I know I’m going to handle shipments, maybe it’s Friday morning, and maybe that morning I take all the orders from the week, I print them out, I package them all and I get them ready to go out.
The other thing to consider is, you want to make sure you actually have stock of the book before you sell it. So if I’m selling a copy of my book, I need to make sure I actually have a copy of the book to sell before I sell it. So I would suggest that you order X amount of copies through the author copy option on the platform. So whether you’re using KDP, Lulu, whatever, you will be able to purchase the book at the manufacturing cost. So let’s say it’s $2.15 per book, you can order let’s say 20, if you want to order 20, you can order 20 at a time and then you can sell those.
So the other thing to keep in mind is that when you’re selling your own book you will want to track that for tax purposes. So at the end of the year, or in April, you will want to send that information to your accountant and have them incorporate that into your taxes. Because, of course, when you sell on the platform, that takes care of your tax information, but when you’re selling yourself, you still want to make sure that you’re staying compliant and legal. If you have any questions about how to sell your book yourself, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or shoot me a message on Facebook. Good luck and happy selling.