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Amazon Or Your Website

Updated: Oct 3, 2023

Are you an author who's debating whether you should sell your books on Amazon or your website? Well, keep reading because I'm going to give you a few tips and tricks to consider when making a decision.

This is a HOT topic in the author community, and I'm here to share my take on it!

If you can, sell both on Amazon AND your own site. Here's why:

  1. "But Amazon "takes" 40% of my money." Amazon is a distributor and the largest online store in the world. The 40% they deduct from your book covers printing, customer service, built-in marketing (if your keywords and description are poppin'), and has a built-in review request system. Oh, and they ship the items for you and handle returns.

  2. "I can make more money by selling on my site." If you're just talking about actual books, yes. You will potentially make more money selling books directly from your website. But what income-generating activities are you giving up? I sold 646 copies of my books (555 paperbacks) during January 2022. I also had 6 speaking gigs that included different churches and organizations buying copies of my books. Some were paid opportunities and others were donations. What I can tell you is that if I had to ship that many books on my own, they wouldn't have gone out.

  3. "I'm saving money shipping my own books." Are you? In order to do that you're either buying your books in bulk spending hundreds or thousands upfront to cover the cost of a mass order.'re ordering author copies on Amazon to fulfill those orders. Plus consider the time and energy you'll spend ordering envelopes/boxes, weighing items, printing labels, and setting up pick-ups or making deliveries. And most people expect free or cheap shipping thanks to Amazon, so you'll need to either add that price into your order or absorb the costs.

  4. "I'd rather bring traffic to my own site." You can still sell on Amazon and bring people back to your website. Include a website or a QR code within your book with bonus materials for book buyers as a way to draw them back to you and your site. Use Amazon's multi-million dollar built-in marketing tools to your advantage. Amazon is in over 150 countries across the world. The changes of someone finding you on Amazon versus finding you on your personal website are in your favor.

If you're like me and don't have time to keep up with shipping books on a continuous basis, only ship them from your site during special occasions like for new book launches. This worked well for me for both of my book launches, and I was able to bundle items with the books to ship. If you have the ability, sell on both places to get all of your coins.

Publishing solely on Amazon does not allow you to get that customer data.

You have no idea who bought your book. You only know what country they're from. So, selling on your own website does give you those metrics to be able to track them, which is great. However, as I've mentioned before, there are ways to bring the reader back to your website.

  • I use QR codes throughout my book, but then I also encourage them to visit book bonus websites that are made specifically for the book.

  • On those websites, I make sure that I've included things that are going to attract them, things that are going to help them complete the book. In that way, they feel as if they're still having a wonderful experience while reading my book, even though it was purchased through Amazon.

I'm going to give you something to consider. Maybe you're thinking I really love the benefits of selling my book on my own website, but it's not something I can manage year-round. So, you can do what I did:

For my book launches, I open up sales for presales on my website. After my launch is over and my pre-sales have closed, I then send folks over to Amazon or over to Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, and Walmart, the places where my book is available. That helps me to be able to reap the benefits of doing book bundles and pre-sales. I can include additional items with my book without having to do that year-round, where it's just not efficient and effective for me.

These have been my tips to help you decide whether you should sell on Amazon or your website. And please let me know in the comments below, if this has been helpful and which site or sites you choose to sell your books.

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