How to find more marketplaces to sell your book online.

Selling an (e)book online isn't all that hard...

...finding places that will sell for you is more difficult.



(photo: wikipedia)

Of course, that seems to be contrary - and it's something all authors have been through. You can't just figure that Amazon is going to sell any of your books for you, despite all the great books which jumped on the GRQ (Get Rich Quick) bandwagon with Amazon.

My own story was that I got myself financially independent with the other 5 main distributors long before I started seeing much from Amazon. But when I did, a single .99 bestseller started making me more than three times as much as the others all together.

The point is to not wait for Amazon to start moving your book, but get busy getting your book out to all the other places you can.


Just to recap, the main distributors are:

  • Amazon
  • iTunes
  • Nook
  • Kobo
  • Google Play/Books.

I always include Lulu.com in the mix. While I don't get a lot of sales from them, that is where I do my hardcopy versions, which then help get ebook sales and vice-versa. I also get free ISBN's for my ebooks there. (Note: Createspace has an Amazon stigma and doesn't have an online bookstore as Lulu does - so it's not a distributor, just a POD publisher. Lightning Source is similar, as well as Ingram Spark. These last two are pay-to-play - while Lulu is and has always been free.

Additional distributors to add:

  • Scribd.com - again, original works only. Their duplicate content filter is merciless on PD and PLR.
  • Doc-Stoc - for PDF's (unexplored by myself - slated for testing.)
  • Smashwords - while an aggregator like Lulu, if your work is original, you can get them to distribute your ebooks everywhere. The royalties can be slow in coming (slower even than Lulu.) When you use aggregators, you give up some of your royalty to them - which can dive toward 50% in some cases.
  • Espresso Network - this is another route to get your hardcopies sold in real Print on Demand. People literally can walk up to one of these machines and get your book printed in 8 minutes. Just submit your PDF's from Lulu.
  • Sellfy - fairly unknown, but they have their own storefront for ebooks and are constantly improving it. They also can help you set up a bookstore on a Facebook page tab - nice, as this gives you around/over 90% royalties.
  • OverDrive - if you are a decent sized small publisher, this might be worth investing in a Windows computer to access their lines.
  • Leanpub - a very small distributor, but for original books (especially programming ones) they have a very nice set up and can generate an epub, mobi, and PDF file from your .doc or .odt (LibreOffice) file.


How to find more marketplaces 

The trick, surprisingly enough, is to search for "marketplaces" on Google.

What you'll find are some interesting sites, most of which are competitors to Clickbank - meaning that you are going to be getting affiliate sales people pushing your book for commissions.

What's great about these is that you can add all manner of related digital files into that package, like the book trailer, and images, even research notes and deleted chapters. Think in terms of scanning in your handwritten plot studies, and you can see how to make this work well.

Existing list of digital marketplaces:

(I worked these up on the premise of not having to pay monthly fees, let alone posting fees, to get your book up and online for sale.)
All of these are primarily affiliate sales centers. Some are far better than others. So if you have a sense of propriety that could be easily offended by self-promoters hawking their wares, or mind rubbing shoulders with questionable Internet Marketing hyper-salespeople - maybe you should skip these. On the otherhand, this could give you another 7 places where your ebook could be promoted and sold for you, giving you an audience from splitting your booksales commissions with someone else.

In searching recently, I came up with additional marketplaces:

  • Zaxaa - set up for some interesting marketing approaches you may have not considered as a self-publishing author.
  • Rapbank - similar features to the above, but also individually approve each product so there aren't duplicate items promoted.
  • PayGear - as with many of these, affiliates and publishers (that's you) are paid instantly via PayPal.

What these each provide, although they seem to be fairly new to this arena, is solutions to people needing an online shopping cart and marketplace where they can link to their product without having to pay Credit Card fees or maintain scripts on their own site.

While I've otherwise covered much simpler providers (Payhip, Ganxy, and Sellfy come to mind) which can give you scripts to sell directly from your site, the point of having a marketplace - particularly where affiliates come to find things they can pitch profitably to their own list - is the chief advantage in using such a list above.

Later, I'll do a full study of all these to see what this really entails. For now, you can get started on your own and have some fun with these. All of these guarantee their sites, so it's no loss to you for trying them.

The idea is that this should be another set of places where you can enable people to find your books in addition to the Big Distributors everyone else talks about.

As I get more data on any of these, trust that I'll post here - so subscribe above so you don't miss any...


[Update: Just did another search. Those I don't list here are either so new, or so problematical in their application, that I didn't include them on purpose. Those you see here are worth investigating to see if they'll work for you. That's what I'll be up to, soon...]

[Update2: Went through another listing of some 30+ different sites which offered various scenes from shopping carts to marketplaces. Unfortunately, none passed what is currently available for free (well, no fees upfront) services by Payhip, Ganxy, Gumroad, and Sellfy. Only Sellfy had a marketplace and Facebook bookstore. Payhip is used instead of any of the other three because it offers huge uploads and doesn't rely on a "javascript only" widget. 

As I'm soon transferring to Rainmaker - which enables sales right out of the gate for any digital product - except for Sellfy, these others disappear. Sellfy stays because of the discovery potential with their marketplace (and that "inside Facebook" bookstore.)

Gumroads would be great if you didn't want to maintain your own website and membership. I'm essentially hosted by Blogger, which doesn't like the scripts.

I was a big fan of Ganxy, until I found that Payhip could do much more for the same (free) price. In my case, I'm only needing an on-page widget to enable direct sales and bundles for these blogs (SEO value) as I migrate to Rainmaker.

Just wanted to share you some pain...]

No comments :

Post a Comment