Sales — A fairly new site for selling just about anything may be worth trying out. Gumroad charges sellers (brace yourself) 5% plus $.25 for each item sold. If you’re a writer, this is the highest royalty you’ll find anywhere. You do have to accumulate $10.00 before you can be paid, but every other site that I know of has a minimum payout, so that isn’t a drawback. I recently bought a book from one of my favorite authors, and the process was very easy.
There are drawbacks, but considering that the site is so new, it may still be evolving. There is no way to search for sellers by name. So you need to have an author’s Gumroad link in order to buy their books. If you list your own books there, you must do your own promotion; Gumroad isn’t going to do it for you.
I’ll be trying it out after the first of the year, and will be reporting back.
Promotion (and sales) – Squidoo has been around for quite a while now. I signed up early on, created a couple of lenses (Squidoo’s take on a page, got sidetracked to other projects and forgot about it. But another writer, Geoff Wakeling reminded me of it a few days ago with a blog post about his venture into promoting his books there.
If you have the time to create some pages (very easy to do), you can not only promote your books, you can sell them. Squidoo is somewhat of an oddity because it functions as a sales site, a social network, and a promotional platform. Its traffic is huge and it’s easy for a “lensmaster” to get lost in the crowd. But interesting and original lenses that are properly titled and tagged can draw a lot of traffic.
There are a number of ways to earn money, besides pointing to your books’ Amazon links. You can provide links to other authors, and I see that as a very good way to promote indie authors you want to support. If any book sells via your link, you get a small payment. There are other sales modules besides Amazon, so the opportunity to earn real money is there to take advantage of.
The more lenses (pages) you have, the more traffic you’re likely to draw, so once you get the bug, the temptation to create lenses about anything that interests you is very strong, and can be very profitable.
Just in the few days that I’ve been getting reacquainted with Squidoo, I’ve made a list of over two dozen possible lenses that I might create. I consider this a part-time endeavor, something to fit in when I have a few moments free, with nothing better to do. After all, writing the stories always comes first. I’m working on a lens right now, pretty much the way I do my writing. Make notes first, organize the material, and when it’s all lined up, create the lens.
Have I mentioned that Squidoo can be addictive? It is.
I may not publish my first lens until next year, but will report back, as usual.