Deciding Where to Sell Your Ebook; ClickBank vs. E-junkie vs. Amazon vs. Lulu
One of the biggest questions arouse in every newbie ebook seller’s mind is how to sell their ebook; which platform or software should be chosen for selling.
Though, there are many options available online for selling, choosing the correct platform to sell your ebook can be tricky. So the decision should be made considering many factors which include your ebook selling strategy and goals.
At instance, ebook selling process can be classified into 3 simple steps.
- Step #1: Buyer Clicking CTA button: Buyer reaches the landing page, and click add to cart or buy now button in order to purchase an ebook.
- Step #2: Seller gets the payment: Once the buyer trigger the call to action button, the payment should be remitted to the seller.
- Step #3: Buyer downloads immediately: Upon the payment, the ebook should be downloaded immediately.
So these are the process of selling an ebook or any other product online. So simply placing paypal buy now button on your landing page for selling would not work as paypal won’t trigger the download process upon the payment (step 3). That is, paypal is just payment processor; not a complete e-commerce solution.
So you’ll need to use any shopping cart platform in order to sell your ebook on your blog. Or, you may need to submit the ebook to marketplace like Amazon or Lulu. So which one should you use?
Few Platforms to Sell Your E-book
This article discuss about 4 self publishing platforms: Amazon, clickbank, ejunkie and Lulu. No more blah, blah but just a few quick info regarding various platforms for self publishing.
Amazon.com is a marketplace for almost anything. Books are available both paper back and digital edition called Kindle edition.
ClickBank is marketplace powered with mass amount of affiliates. One of the best things about ClickBank is that, as a seller you can decide the affiliate commission rate which ranges between 5% and 75%.
E-junkie is shopping cart which gives you full control of selling. If you prefer not to direct your buyers to any marketplace but to sell ebooks on your self hosted blog, e-junkie can be a great option for you. It comes with built-in affiliate software so that you don’t need to worry about signing up for third party affiliate program. The best part is, you keep the full money of your sales with the only downside, you got to pay $5/month for e-junkie.
Lulu.com is also a self publishing marketplace. What I love about Lulu.com is that, unlike Amazon it allows PDF ebook sales whereas Amazon only allows ebook sales in kindle format.
Things to Consider While Deciding Where to Sell
1. Your Promotional Strategy
If your ebook promotional strategy is hugely based upon affiliates you would consider choosing either ClickBank or e-junkie. Though, both Amazon and Lulu.com have affiliate system, those systems were hugely biased in favour of well known authors in the industry.
Obviously, affiliates of such huge marketplaces are more likely to promote books of well known authors as they tend to sell easily as those names are well known. Why would an affiliate promote your ebook if the commissions earned by selling yours or those of the well known publishers are the same, and considering the fact that people are more likely to buy from a well known author?
Here is where ClickBank and e-junkie comes in. As you can control the commission payout, by raising the commission percentage of affiliate sales you can attract more affiliates to promote your ebook.
For e.g. say that affiliate commission of well known author is 5%, and if yours is 50-75%; this will clearly encourage more publishers to promote yours as commission payout is huge.
Let’s see other end of the story.
I know some book authors who regularly publishes new books but don’t actually involve in any kind of marketing activities. Some of them don’t even create individual landing pages for each ebooks but place everything in a single page for sale. So it is quite obvious that for them, publishing ebooks on marketplaces are great options. So buyers could get more info regarding the ebook like description of the book, buyer reviews etc. there.
2. Selling Frequency
One of the best things about selling products on your own website using software like e-junkie is that, you will have the full control of everything regarding the sale like price management, affiliate management, discount management and shopping analytics tracking, etc. In addition, you can easily connect with your buyers as well as you will have clear knowledge about who exactly the buyers are. Knowing more about your buyers will be more helpful especially if you are planning for upselling more premium products to them later.
That’s great. The only downside is that you got to pay flat fee of $5/month regardless of whether you make a sale or not.
If you are making sales worth more than $5 a month, still e-junkie will be profitable for you. But in some cases monthly flat fee could not be justified. In my case, for example, I sell premium ebook called Definitive Guide to Google Summer of Code. The problem with niche of my ebook is that it is ‘seasonal’. You could not expect the book to be sold throughout the year. As the book is regarding summer of code, a Google program conducts only in summer, the sales of the ebook can be expected only during the months of December to June, pre-summer period. So for me monthly payment for shopping cart is not profitable.
Which format for the ebook should be chosen is one amongst the confusing questions for every newbie ebook authors. The most common formats for ebooks are epub, pdf and mobi. Amazon Kindle supports only MOBI format. It is their proprietary format.
From a sellers’ perspective, it is always better to make available your ebook in every format. Aaron from Brim.net has written an excellent article comparing the differences between these formats, and why these differences matter. It is worth the read.
If you are like me who love to read and publish books on PDF format, go to Lulu.com and publish your ebook there, where I currently sell my Google Summer of Code Guide ebook.
So we’ve discussed about 3 different factors to be considered while choosing where to sell your ebook. If you are newbie looking for self publishing I hope this guide would have helped you so far.
Have you ever published any premium ebook till now? Are you planning to publish sooner? If yes, where would you be publishing? Let me know why you choose it. I am curious to hear from you via comments…