What Indie Authors Need To Know About Using Ecommerce to Sell Books

How Indie Authors can use Ecommerce to Sell Books

Ecommerce and books have an extremely profitable relationship. What indie authors need to know is how the two work together for maximum impact to help you sell books. Read on, and I’ll tell you how.

Recommended reading: How to Write Your First Blog Post

Being an indie author means commoditizing your skills  

Almost anyone can write, but few people can be professional writers. The same goes for being an indie author.

If you’re willing to publish a book at your own expense, then you can be a published author in no time at all. However, if you want to to be a successful indie author, then your goal must be to sell your books to as many people as possible.

As an indie author, you are the creative director (CD) of your books. And as a CD, your role is to produce the best possible product while commoditizing your skills. Ecommerce is the perfect vehicle for doing this and will allow you direct and easy access to your readership. It’s a brilliant way to get close to your fans and make money off the back of your unique way with words, whilst still staying in control of marketing and profits.

Ecommerce is thriving for books

The internet company with the highest revenue in the world is not only an ecommerce brand — it actually started off by selling books.

Amazon has the highest revenue of any company on the internet and it started with a simple premise: to be the biggest bookstore in the world. Amazon succeeded, and it’s now at the center of a thriving ecommerce market for books. The graph below shows US online book sales from quarter 2 to quarter 4 in 2017:

Credit: Author Earnings

Nearly 600 million books were sold online in the US alone last year. Factor in the total revenue from book publishing (including all sales channels) and it’s clear books are a booming business (and that ecommerce is a great way to tap into the market).

selling books worldwide

Credit: Statista

Why indie authors will love ecommerce to help sell books

Not only is book ecommerce booming, ecommerce allows you to leverage your existing skills as an author to get a headstart on other people looking to break into the industry. As a content creator and someone with an appreciation for human psychology, you will find it easy to get under the skin of your customers through content marketing, social media, and targeted ads. Just leverage your existing readership and author community for powerful ecommerce marketing opportunities.

Ecommerce traffic is built on good quality and regular content

SEO decides where a website ranks in Google, and the difference between being on page one and page two is enormous for website traffic. As an author, you have the skills to create an ecommerce brand that ranks well in Google:

  • SEO is based on relevant content
  • Good content increases the authority of a website
  • Social validation demands quality content

Your blogging and writing skills will naturally lend themselves to creating a well-researched and dynamic website that is likely to climb up the rankings and ultimately help sell your books

Have a look at the following video to find out more about the relationship between content and ecommerce traffic:

Brands with well-written product pages thrive

20% of purchase failures are the result of badly written product pages. As well-written product pages that plug your books should be but a moment’s work for you, it is easy to see how being an author will give you the edge when it comes to ecommerce. You will find it easy to create a story around your product(s) and your witty repartee won’t go unnoticed online. So many stores opt for bland and utilitarian content that yours will stand out like a sore thumb (in a good way).

Print on demand business models

Print on demand business (POD) is a great example of how you can bring your literary skills alive with little risk and overheads. POD is a business model that helps sell books on an order-by-order basis. It’s favored by creatives and artistic ecommerce brands, but it’s also a popular way to print books as it makes things less risky for author (and printer). As well as POD books, why not create some POD merchandise to go with your stories? Or graphic art prints for your fiction fans?Check out these print on demand stores for some ideas on how you can use printing to make more money online.

Still want to know more? Watch the video below for more on POD:

A blog increases ecommerce ROI

Product pages aren’t the only way that ecommerce benefits from writers. Ecommerce brands who prioritize their blogs can increase their ROI by 1300% a year.

This is because an ecommerce blog helps to increase brand recognition, connect with and influence audiences, and improve customer engagement. As an indie writer, you have experience in research and content production. This makes you an invaluable asset to any ecommerce business, so why not get involved with other ecommerce businesses as a freelance writer? As an indie author and ecommerce maverick, your content skills would be in high demand.

Check out the great video underneath for more information on the importance of ecommerce blogging…

There are 1.3 million ecommerce businesses in the US and Canada alone. All of these companies will benefit from a blog. This means there are a lot of freelance opportunities for writers like you!

Don’t stop with your authored works

While ecommerce is the perfect way for you to commoditize your skill as an writer, selling your books isn’t the only way you can make money from your writing.

There are a wide range of ways that you can make money from blogging and incorporating one or more of these into your business strategy will help to diversify your income.

For more information on the importance of having a diverse source of income for your business, watch this fantastic video:

Ecommerce is helping millions of authors sell millions of books. Not only is it a profitable way for you to commodify your profile as an author, it’s much easier to get into than you might have thought.

Now that you know why ecommerce can be so beneficial to indie authors, and how to get started, there’s nothing stopping you from building your own online indie author business!


Kayleigh Alexandra is a content writer for Micro Startups — a site dedicated to giving through growth hacking. Visit the blog for your latest dose of startup, entrepreneur, content, ecommerce, and charity insights from the planet’s top writers. Follow us on Twitter @getmicrostarted.

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