These are extraordinary times and every day sees dramatic changes due to the global sweep of coronavirus COVID19. There will be many impacts on our lives, but one thing we will all need is immediate cash flow and this can be a problem for authors.
f you publish through traditional publishing, royalties can take many months to arrive. You can’t control the schedule of payment and you don’t get any details of the customers.
If you publish independently through online publishers like Amazon, Kobo, Apple, Google, and other distributors, you will get your money sooner — but it will still be 30-60 days later and once again, you don’t get any details of the customers.
If you publish and sell direct, you can receive money in your PayPal/bank account within 10-15 minutes.
Yes, you read that right. Minutes rather than months. You also get the details of the customer so you can own the relationship in the future.
You can control your cash flow and sell direct — but only if:
(A) You control the intellectual property rights for your book
You need to have the right to sell your own book in ebook and/or audiobook format directly to readers in specific territories. If you have signed a contract with a publisher, then check that contract first as you most likely do not have that right as you have licensed it to a publisher. However, read it closely, as you might have licensed some territories and not others, for example, UK Commonwealth and nowhere else.
(B) You have an email list or a way to reach readers
You can use your email list or Facebook, LinkedIN or other social media.
(C) You change your mindset
Many authors are so obsessed with chart rankings on Amazon that they forget the point is to reach readers who love your book — and for many of us make a living with our writing.
Selling direct enables readers to support us and money to arrive in our bank accounts quickly — but you will not see a spike in your Amazon rankings. So what do you really want?
The other mindset shift is to become a true business-person. Yes, you have to sell something from your website! You also have to learn a few things, some of which might seem technical, but it’s worth it for the control and (hopefully) the money. You will be on the way to becoming truly independent.
Just to be clear, I am not saying that you should stop selling through all the other channels, just that adding direct sales to the mix gives you more control. Basically, I will sell my books in every format in every place possible!
If you’re ready to sell direct, here are the steps to take.
Choose a service that allows you to sell globally. There are lots of options with pros and cons of each, but I hope to use Payhip.com.
It’s a great service that allows payment through card or PayPal, is easy-to-use with built-in marketing and analysis tools, and also deals with the EU digital tax laws, which many other services don’t do. Over the last decade, I have will use e-Junkie and Selz, but neither dealt with the EU taxes in an efficient way. Basically, if the buyer is in the EU, you have to pay tax in that country, even if you only sell a few dollars worth and even if you don’t live there yourself. Payhip deals with this for you — hooray!
- Payhip has a free plan which takes 5% transaction fee, and then two premium plans where the transaction fee is reduced when you pay more upfront. Your choice will depend on how much you expect to earn each month.
My fictions have appeared in numerous publications, including Saturday Evening Post, New Millenniums Writings, Blue Earth Review, Micro Monday, R-KV-R-Y, Funny in Five Hundred, Blue Lake Magazine, Adanna Literary, Dying Dahlia Review, Off the Rocks, and others. The News was on stage at Live Bait Theater. I was a recipient of a fellowship and grant from the Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Prose, and two of stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Also, my book of my stories will be published by Atmosphere Press in May of 2020.