In traditional e-book publishing, authors sell their e-books predominantly on their own websites (mostly in .pdf format, although you aren't limited by that).
Despite changes in the publishing world and Amazon's perceived takeover attempt of all things e-publishing, selling your e-books on your own site can still be important. That's especially true when you have an existing author platform with a built-in audience interested in what you have to offer.
I don't want to get into the benefits of including your own website sales in your release strategy today. That will definitely be a topic for another day. Instead, I'd like to share the e-commerce platform I use for selling my own digital products -- E-junkie.
I've talked about E-junkie here in the past, but a recent discussion with colleagues about e-commerce and delivery options made me reassess my options. And it turns out E-junkie is still a fantastic choice.
Why Use E-junkie?
Here are some of the most important features and benefits of E-junkie to me, and some reasons you might want to consider it.
- E-junkie lets you run and manage your own affiliate program to increase sales. (While I stopped offering an affiliate program years ago, I do plan to reinstate it for some future e-book releases.)
- You can set up discount codes to run special promotions.
- Want to know how your readers really value your e-books? With E-junkie, you can opt to let readers pay what they want instead of setting a specific price (something many indie musicians do with their songs and albums).
- E-junkie offers built-in autoresponder services and the ability to stay in touch with buyers on your list (offering you basic email marketing abilities without you having to get a separate service -- though that's still a good idea in the long run).
- You can choose to paste their "buy now" button code on your website if you only have one e-book for sale, or you can embed their shopping cart into your site if you offer more than one product instead of sending them to a third party's site.
- If you're concerned about piracy, you set limits on your download links. For example, they might expire after a certain number of clicks (letting the reader redownload a set number of times, but not pass their download link around to others). This isn't mandatory, and you can re-activate any download link at a customer's request if they use them all for some reason.
- Another anti-piracy feature is e-book stamping (available for .pdf versions). Basically e-books each get a custom watermark with the buyer's name, making it less likely that they'll publish your files or distribute them too freely.
- E-junkie hosts the file securely for you, so you don't have to worry about protecting it on your own site. You might not believe how easy it is to leave your e-book files vulnerable (and sometimes even indexable by search engines, making premium files publicly-available).
- The service offers Google Analytics support, helping you better track conversions. (This is something I'm personally looking forward to exploring further with my next e-book release.)
- You can use E-junkie whether you're selling e-books or physical books, or both.
- You can send free download links to any email address, making it easy to send out review copies while tracking that distribution in your sales platform.
- You can set up package deals (such as offering a discounted price if someone buys all e-books in a series together).
- You can even make sure previous buyers automatically get e-book updates if you plan to make updates free (such as new editions of your nonfiction e-book or minor edits you make if you discover errors).
There are two other important benefits E-junkie offers over some of its competitors. First, you receive your payments immediately (not bi-weekly, monthly, months after a sale, etc.). E-junkie also can be much more affordable than some similar services.
For example, you can sell up to ten products for just $5 per month. While some of the other services I looked at didn't have monthly fees, they had transaction fees instead. One of them also had a set up fee with your first product, making E-junkie immediately the more profitable option. The other was cheaper than E-junkie, but only if you sold fewer than seven e-books in a month (based on a $10 price -- you could sell a few more if you're selling fiction which is often priced lower). But if you're putting any serious effort into your book marketing, that isn't a difficult threshold to cross. Even if it took you a few months to get there, you could end up paying much less in the long run as your sales increase.
These aren't the only benefits of E-junkie if you plan to sell e-books from your own website. But there are plenty of good reasons there to consider their service.
Next week we'll talk about some of the reasons you might want to sell versions of your e-book directly from your own website.
Do you already sell e-books from your own site? Have you used E-junkie or a similar service for this? Do any of the features I've mentioned here appeal to you? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.
Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, and indie author. She began writing for clients in 1999 and started her first blog in 2004.
She owns 3 Beat Media - a publishing and client services company which operates All Indie Writers as well as several other websites and blogs including The Busy Author's Guide and BizAmmo. Jenn comes from a background in online PR and social media consulting, having owned a small PR firm for several years before choosing to pursue a full-time writing and publishing career.
Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names in the areas of children's fiction, mysteries, and horror fiction. Jenn is an active member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and currently serves as the organization's Assistant Coordinator of Promotions and Social Media.
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