5 Ways to Sell Your Book on Your Own Author Website

selling books on your own website

You’ve been working hard to put your ebook together. Every last detail is fine-tuned, from the editing to the formatting.

Now, the only thing left to do is get it out there to your audience.

Except… what’s the best way to sell your ebook?

One option is offering your book on your own website, and I'm about to show you exactly how to do that!

In this article, you will learn:

  • The advantages of selling ebooks from your own site over a marketplace
  • 5 ways to sell your ebook on your own author site

Quick Note: When possible, this article uses affiliate links, to help cover the costs of running this site. 

The Advantages of Selling eBooks From Your Own Site

Selling ebooks directly from your own site comes with several advantages.

The biggest is you get to keep your profits.

Sure, most marketplaces have a built-in audience, which may help you sell to more customers, but they also take a portion of your royalties (between 65 and 30% per sale).

The other benefit of selling your ebooks directly to your customers is you can manage your customer relationship and customer experience from A to Z, which can help you differentiate your book from competitors.

For instance, a quick query of “vegetable gardening ebook” in Amazon Books not only turns up 5,000 similar results to compete with, but each ebook’s product page is confined to the same cluttered and generic format:

sell-books-2

When you’re using your own site, you can also gather your visitors' contact info and own your relationship with your audience.

In other words, you get to keep your contacts’ emails and nurture a positive relationship through future communications, as opposed to the marketplace brand owning your customer information.

Basically, the advantages of selling your ebooks directly through your own site — from earning more profits to controlling your customer experience — can make it worth your while.

So let’s explore some ways to actually do it.

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5 Ways to Sell Your eBook From Your Own Author Website

Tool/MethodPriceProsConsSpecial Offer
Podia$39-79 monthlyUnlimited everything, streamlines online business, eliminates the need for several tools, no transaction or additional feesMay be too robust if looking for a simple solution for selling only ebooks, not ideal for people who want to control the nitty-gritty
Check It Out
Selz$26-179 monthlyUnlimited storage, bandwidth, and customers; integrates into social channels to sell direct on social platformsAdditional fees charged per sale if not using Selz Pay for payment gate, may be too robust if looking for a simple solution for selling only ebooks, not ideal for DIY
Check It Out
WooCommerceFreeCost is free, open source, highly customizable, lots of integrationsRequires proficiency in WordPress, may need to add extra paid plugins
Check It Out
WPForms$79-399/year ($39.50-199.50/year special offer)Simple order form, no coding needed, no transaction feesLimited functionality, not an ecommerce plugin
Check It Out
Easy Digital Downloads$99-499/yearNo transaction fees, plugin is designed to sell digital filesMay need to add extra paid extensions for increased functionality
Check It Out

Option #1 Podia

selling books with podia

Podia is an all-in-one platform that lets you manage, create, and sell your ebooks and digital products in one place.

Other features include email marketing, a site builder, a product page builder, a landing page builder, and the ability to sell online courses, digital downloads, webinars, and memberships. You can even provide an excellent user experience by using the proprietary built-in live chat tool.

  • How to implement Podia: To sell ebooks from your own author website, you simply log into your Podia dashboard and upload your ebook under the “Products” tab. Then, price your ebook and sync up to PayPal or Stripe payment gates. You can create and manage sales pages and product pages from the same streamlined dashboard and sell your ebooks directly to your customers — without any coding. If you have your own site already built, just add a product page and/or sales page to your site to start selling your ebook. If you don’t have a site yet, use the homepage builder in the dashboard editor to arrange your site’s content.
  • Pricing: Pricing ranges from $39 monthly for the Mover plan and $79 monthly for the Shaker plan.
  • Who Podia is best for: For authors who want to sell ebooks or any other digital product directly from their site and get a bunch of other features in the process.

If you like the idea of elements of your site being pre-built for you — but not everything — you’ll want to explore our next option.

Try Podia

Option #2 Selz

selling books with selz

Selz is a platform that lets you create a new site to sell your ebook, or add on e-commerce features to your current site to sell your ebook.

Selz also lets you use social network integrations to sell directly to your followers on your social channels.

  • How to implement Selz: You can use the online store builder to create a new site that sells your ebook. Or, if you have an existing site, you can add on e-commerce features like buy buttons, WordPress e-commerce, or an online shopping cart. To set up your site for selling ebooks, integrate your site with PayPal with the Basic plan, or purchase the Standard plan to use Stripe as your payment gate. You can also use Selz Pay to process your credit cards. To customize your site, either install one of Selz’s themes or add videos, text, and images using the store builder’s content blocks.
  • Pricing: Plans range from $26 annually for the Basic plan to $179 annually for the Advanced plan. Selz also charges anywhere from 0.5-2% in additional fees for using payment providers outside of Selz Pay.
  • Who Selz is best for: Selz is ideal for budget-conscious authors looking to sell ebooks and additional digital and/or physical products from their own site and social channels who don't need a bunch of other features.

But OK. So far, that covers DFY (done for you) options. If you already have a WordPress website and want to incorporate e-commerce DIY, check out the next few options.

Try Selz

Option #3 WooCommerce

selling books with woocommerce

WooCommerce is a free, customizable, open-source e-commerce platform that you can build into your WordPress site. It lets you sell your ebook from your website by creating an online store with product pages and integrating your payment gateway into your site.

Using the WooCommerce dashboard, you can manage your sales and even market your products. The platform is designed to sell both digital and physical products, so if you have both to offer, this is an ideal platform.

The catch is: Adding optional features to your e-commerce platform, which you’ll likely want to do to improve your customer experience, increases your cost.

  • How to implement WooCommerce: To use WooCommerce, just install the free plugin into your WordPress site. To make your site more robust, opt for paid add-ons, like WooCommerce themes, templates, and extra plugins.
  • Pricing: While the plugin itself is free to download, you’ll have to pay for additional fees as you tack on optional features. For instance, payment gateways cost 2.9% + $0.30 per sale (plus a monthly fee that ranges from $0-30 on average).
  • Who WooCommerce is best for: WooCommerce is ideal for authors who have a WordPress site and want a customizable solution for selling both digital and physical products. If you’re well-versed in WordPress, this one may be right up your alley.

If presenting a robust online storefront isn’t your goal, our next option is a much simpler choice.

Try WooCommerce

Option #4 WPForms

selling books with wpforms

WPForms is an easy-to-use drag-and-drop WordPress form builder that’s very straightforward to use. If you have an existing WordPress site that already features your ebook landing or sales page, then adding a simple WPForm may be the final piece needed to sell your ebook.

Without overcomplicating your e-commerce experience, this WordPress plugin lets you create a simple form to handle the sale of your ebook. You can also use the customizable form plugin to survey your audience or create opt-in forms.

  • How to implement WPForms: To use WPForms, all you need is a self-hosted WordPress site. You simply create and manage beginner-friendly contact forms from your site’s backend as soon as you install the plugin. Choose from pre-built templates or create your own custom payment form. Then, integrate your form with payment processors, Stripe or PayPal, and you’re all set to accept orders. No coding is necessary.
  • Pricing: Pricing ranges from $79 annually for the Basic plan to $399 for the Pro plan. They’re currently running a 50%-off limited time special, which puts the basic plan at $39.50 and the pro plan at $199.50 per year.
  • Who WPForms is best for: Authors with a WordPress site who want to embed a simple order form onto their site and not overcomplicate the management of their book sales.

If you’re someone who needs more advanced features to handle things like taxes, this option isn’t ideal — but the next option may be.

Try WPForms

Option #5 Easy Digital Downloads

selling books with easy digital downloads

Easy Digital Downloads is another WordPress plugin that lets you manage and sell your ebooks and digital products. This plugin also allows you to manage file downloads, accept payments, and install add-ons for a robust customer experience.

It comes with a shopping cart with customizable action buttons, customer management features, and the ability to create discount codes and a range of data reports.

  • How to implement Easy Digital Downloads: Install the plugin to your WordPress site and upload any type of digital file that you want to sell on your website. Use the simple dashboard in your WordPress backend to manage your ebook sales and integrate your site with PayPal Standard or Amazon Payments for transactions. You can set up discount codes or limit your inventory for running promotions, too.
  • Pricing: Free to download. Paid plans range from $99 annually for the Personal Pass plan to $499 annually for the All Access Pass plan.
  • Who Easy Digital Downloads is best for: Authors with a WordPress site who want to keep their site management and ebook sales highly organized. Also for those who only want to sell digital files.

Try Easy Digital Downloads

Conclusion

To make the most profits from selling your ebook, consider selling from your own author site instead of using a marketplace that keeps some of your revenue.

For carving out a spot on your author site to sell your ebook, you have several options.

You can take the DIY route and install WordPress plugins that turn your site into an e-commerce site. Or you can take the DFY (done for you) route and use a platform that pre-builds everything you need.

To recap, some options are:

  1. Podia for a DFY all-in-one platform that lets you easily sell any digital product from your own site, as well as market, promote, manage, and deliver your products with excellent customer service.
  2. Selz for a DFY platform that lets you integrate e-commerce components into your site and social channels, or build a new e-commerce site to sell your ebook.
  3. WooCommerce for a low-cost DIY route. If you’re proficient in WordPress, this plugin will let you customize a product page and shopping cart experience for selling your ebook and other products for sale.
  4. WPForms for the simplest DIY route. This form builder WordPress plugin lets you customize payment and other forms for your site
  5. Easy Digital Downloads for a solid DIY WordPress plugin that’s designed to help you sell digital files from your site.

Now it’s time to take your pick. Depending on your desired involvement level and budget, you'll find an ideal way to sell your ebook from your own author site.

And once you select your option, here’s to launching a wildly successful ebook into the world.

About the Author

Cyn MeyerCyn Meyer is a content marketer for Podia, an all-in-one platform where online courses, digital downloads, and membership websites — alongside their creators — thrive. Check out our free 12,000+ word guide to creating profitable online courses, even if you’ve never done it before.

6 Comments

  1. Nate on November 1, 2020 at 3:43 pm

    While we are on the topic, I think you should add Payhip and Gumroad to this post. Both are great tools for selling ebooks, and either one would be much more useful than WooCommerce or WPForms.

    And if it’s not inappropriate, I also have a recent post on this topic. Mine is simpler and more straightforward, and focuses on building your first ebookstore on an author website:
    https://the-digital-reader.com/2020/10/16/how-to-set-up-a-bookstore-on-an-author-website-the-beginners-guide/

  2. Queen Thrift on October 23, 2020 at 9:19 pm

    Great article! I would like to know how to sell Paperbacks, spiral bound and hardcover books from my website, using a POD model. I am currently using Woocommerce, and dropshipping the books myself. However, I want to scale to more books and have a POD company print and ship to my customers directly on my behalf. Can you write about this? Thank you

    • Dave Chesson on October 27, 2020 at 12:04 pm

      I don’t know of one personally yet. But if you come across one that you like, let me know.

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