To ship or not to ship

I received a question recently about what option is best for selling and delivering your book, especially if you have published it through CreateSpace on Amazon.

Should you list it only on your webpage and handle the money and shipping yourself or through your team?

Or should you sell it through Amazon and let them handle the money and shipping for you?

The answer goes back to why you wrote the book and what you hope to gain from it.

Are you looking for exposure? If this is the case, then Amazon is a better option. Of course, you will want to have it available on your website, but a simple link will take your prospect to Amazon to let them handle the logistics. Even more importantly, your title could come up when someone does a search on your topic, expanding your reach beyond the people who already know you.

Are you looking for money? This is a two-way street. You have more control over the price paid by the customer when the book is sold only from your website. Amazon always discounts the price and you receive only a small percentage of what Amazon collects. However, when you ship from your office you have the expenses associated with that shipping – purchase of copies of the book (at the author’s discounted price), packing materials – boxes, tape, etc., postage, staff time (or the value of your time) to do the packing and drive to the post office.

If you intend to sell the book at the back of the room when giving speeches and presenting workshops, you will want to maintain a minimal inventory on hand. If you are shipping the books from your office, you will need a larger inventory and an inventory of shipping materials, both of which also require space.

Are you wanting to add your customers to your mailing list? You want to beware of how you add names to your list. Just because someone bought your book doesn’t mean they want to receive your newsletter, blog posts, or notices of new books. An easy, and legal, way to get them to volunteer to receive these things is to offer them a free PDF of a checklist that ties in to your topic and enables them to implement your ideas more quickly.  Reference this resource at the appropriate places in the book and add a page at the end that gives more details. On this page include a link that they can use to access a private part of your website to download the checklist. In the electronic version of your book, create an active link.

This is just one of many questions, beyond the actual writing of your book, that are helpful to discuss with someone with more experience.

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Not sure which way to go with it? Give me a call and let’s talk. Schedule your Enchanted Book Session here.

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