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A New Sales Option for Authors: AuthorsBookstore

© Teri Saylor

The recently launched AuthorsBookstore is an e-commerce platform designed to give authors the opportunity to sell books directly to readers. Indie authors especially may want to take note, as it can be difficult to place indie books in more traditional sales channels.

AuthorsBookstore is careful to point out that they are not a substitute for your local bookstore or Amazon, but merely an additional sales channel, meant to provide authors with an effective online sales platform and complete control over their product pricing.

Here’s how it works: authors pay an annual subscription fee. For this fee, they are then allowed to upload product information for up to 12 titles a year to AuthorsBookstore. When a sale is made through the site, AuthorsBookstore lets the author know, and the author is obligated to ship the customer the book(s) within 72 hours.

This allows for a lot of creativity when it comes to sales. Authors can make signed copies available, for example; because an author is shipping the customer the book themselves, the author is able to add that customer’s contact information to their own mailing list. Authors also have a lot of control over flash sales, discount pricing, etc.

Other handy features include free book giveaways, something that indie authors have missed since Goodreads drastically changed the way they handled theirs. Subscribers also get one free online event per year, hosted by AuthorsBookstore; an author’s interview page; and more.

AuthorsBookstore keeps 20% of the proceeds of each sale, significantly lower than Amazon (40%) or other booksellers (up to 55%). Also, AuthorsBookstore offers a myriad of ways to pay for books, including all major credit cards, Apple and Google Pay, etc. For larger orders, they even offer the opportunity to pay by installment.

The downsides, of course, are the subscriber fees, the relative newness of the site, the obligation of having to do the shipping and receiving on your own (and track inventory), and needing to stay ontop of pricing and product information for your various books. Also, there’s an argument to made for keeping money in one’s own community by supporting brick and mortar independent bookstores.

But AuthorsBookstore seems ideally suited to the indie author, who is used to doing most everything on their own anyway, from design to marketing to sales. It also gives authors a transparent online marketplace where they can sell their books without having to navigate robot Amazon algorithms or the vagaries of Ingram sales.

Like indie publishing itself, AuthorsBookstore may not be for everyone—but for the entrepreneurial author, it may be a handy sales channel that seems to have plenty of room to grow.