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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » A good way to sell books online?

   
Author Topic: A good way to sell books online?
lem
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Hi all. My mom wrote and "self" published a book. A darn good book I might say. She started her own company and can print it through Aardvark.

She has family back east who wants to buy it and so she wants to set up a web page where people can order it.

Two questions she has are:

1) Where can she go look to see esthetically pleasing web sites so she can design a good site? Ideas on how to make a good website to sell a book.

2) How hard is it to set up a pay pal account to handle the transactions so she can ship it? Or is there a better service or program she should use.

Thanks.

[ December 09, 2009, 10:17 AM: Message edited by: lem ]

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Lissande
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I totally thought you wanted to sell people ideas for books, that they would then presumably write. I have to say I'm a little disappointed. [Smile]
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Jhai
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I thought the same as Lissande!

For (1), I would suggest getting a using the free wordpress software as a content management system, and then finding a theme that is designed for business. Here are some that you have to pay for as examples, but you can find some good ones for free. You can also probably find examples of actual book websites if you just start googling the names of recently published books.

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lem
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I guess my old title was too confusing: Website to sell book ideas? An aesthetic question.

[Smile]

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erosomniac
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If you're looking for aesthetic inspiration, you might try siteinspire.

If she's selling one product, I recommend pretty strongly against bothering with a CMS, unless she's specifically looking to add dynamic content (blog, additional items to sell, newsletter, etc. etc.). If that's the case, Squarespace has one of the best wysiwyg site editing tools I've ever seen, and they make it pretty easy for a newbie to slap together a relatively good looking site, especially compared to crap like GoDaddy's WebSite Tonight (shudder).

PayPal is one of the best services of its type for low volume internet sales, especially if you're trying to avoid paying hefty startup and/or monthly fees. It's very easy to set up and provides surprisingly good order management. It quickly loses out to other payment processors, however, once your transaction volume increases past about $1k/mo.

In terms of how simple it is: at its most basic form, PayPal has a merchant tool where you fill out a form ("what's the item called?" "what's the item's price?" etc.) and it spits out code for you to paste into your site to create a buy now or add to cart button, which PayPal manages for you. It handles e-mail notifications for both buyer and seller.

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theamazeeaz
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I think your mom's time would be better spent seeing if she could get Amazon to carry the book, and using her site to advertise it only.

My dad's friend wrote a memoir, and although it was professionally published, though mostly locally distributed, he was able to sell it through Amazon. If it exists on Amazon, then it seems more professional.

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