Selling your books from your own website can actually be easier than you might think. All you need to get started is a simple shopping cart button.
If you’re new to ecommerce sales, a simple solution is to utilize Paypal to create your shopping cart button. The current steps are as follows:
- Login to Paypal (or create an account if you don’t yet have one).
- Go to Tools > Paypal Buttons.
- Click on Create New Button.
- Your Button Cart Type should be “shopping cart.”
- Fill out the following fields: Item name (book title) and retail price.
- Add a shipping fee, which buyers typically pay for online orders. Depending on how you plan to ship your books, shipping rate can be from $3.99 to $5.99. To stay competitive with online retailers, you may need to take a small loss on your shipping fee. For example, charging $3.99 is an average rate, however shipping via priority mail flat rate envelope will run around $6.00.
- For the sales tax rate, indicate the rate for the county where you live. The current guidelines state that you are required to collect and report sales tax for all sales within your state, but not for items shipped out of state (Paypal will automatically charge sales tax to local buyers and will NOT charge sales tax for the item to out-of-state buyers per the current ecommerce guidelines. Check with your local county office for current guidelines and to obtain a resale license if you don’t yet have one. More on resale licenses here.
- You can skip the Step 2: Track inventory, profit & loss, unless you want to use these fields.
- For Step 3: Customize advanced features, you may want to look these over. The default settings allow customers to send a note to you when they purchase and require a shipping address. You may also want to add your own URL, which would take buyers to a custom thank you page that you set up on your website. This is totally optional, but can be a nice way to confirm the transaction and thank your buyer in a more personal way.
- Once you click on “Create Button,” you’ll be taken to a confirmation page that provides you with several lines of HTML code. Copy that code and paste it into the web page where you want the button displayed.
- Note that if you want to sell digital products, such as a PDF version of your book or a downloadable report, you will need a more sophisticated shopping cart solution that aids in delivering the download securely to buyers. Some options include e-junkie.com, 1shoppingcart.com, Payloadz.com and Infusionsoft.com.
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