You may have seen the option on an author’s website (including mine!) to purchase their books directly from them.
Why is this a good idea? Or why would an author ask that you buy their book on their website instead of on your favorite online bookstore?
These are great questions, and in this post, I’ll answer them. I also wanted to share with you why I opened a bookshop on my website in addition to having my books available in ebook, paperback, and hardback worldwide.
Reason 1 – Royalty Percentage
This is going to differ a bit between independent authors (like me!) and those published by a more traditional publishing house. I will speak to the indie perspective, since that’s the one I’m most familiar with.
When you purchase one of my ebooks on one of the large online bookstores—Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Google Books, Kobo, etc.—I get 70% of the purchase price, and the website keeps 30%. (There are some exceptions where it’s 35%, but 70% is most common.)
However, when you purchase one of my ebooks on my site, I get to keep around 95% of the purchase price, with the 5% or less going to cover transaction fees.
If you bought Hadvarian Heist, Age of Azuria book two, for $4.99 in an online bookstore, I would receive $3.49 from the bookstore. However, if you bought the novel directly from me, I would get around $4.74 after the transaction fees.
That $1.25 may not seem very substantial, but across lots of readers, it really adds up. And personally, given the option, I would rather give my money to my favorite artists and authors instead of larger companies.
Of course I want you to do what works best for you! And more than anything, I want you to read the book and enjoy the story, to fall in love with the characters and the world.
What about print books?
Though I don’t yet offer signed print copies in my store, I plan to in the next few months, probably after a trial run for those who are part of my reading community, the Story Enclave.
The same principle for print books holds true as above, though the numbers are different because of print and shipping costs. (There can be small expenditures for ebook file distribution and for web hosting, but we’ll leave those out for simplicity’s sake.)
I’ve also seen authors sell their signed copies on Etsy, which I thought was really interesting. My guess is that this makes calculating shipping costs and tracking orders easier, but I’m not sure.
Reason 2 – Connection
Purchasing direct from the author gives you the chance to share your email address with them so they can stay in contact with you about new releases, bonus short stories, and their writing life.
I email the Story Enclave every two weeks to share updates, cover reveals, what I’m reading, and cool book deals from other authors. I also send everyone who joins the Story Enclave a free ebook copy of Aurora when they sign up!
You can almost always join an author’s reading community without purchasing directly from them, but as a writer, it feels really nice to send the book straight from me into your hands!
So how does it work?
I love living in the future. There are so many cool possibilities open to us!
One of the areas where this holds true is with sending books from me to you! When you order one of the books from my shop, you’ll receive an email from a site that I partner with called BookFunnel in addition to your order confirmation.
In that email, BookFunnel will send you a link to download your book in whatever format and for whatever platform you prefer. They also have a wonderful customer support team standing by if you have trouble loading the ebook onto your device!
This does involve one step further than purchasing from your favorite store, but you’ll still have the book in your ebook library, ready and waiting for you to read it.
I hope this has helped if you’re thinking about purchasing direct from me or another author. Your support means the world to us and allows us to keep doing what we love: telling stories and sharing them with you!