Once you’ve finished writing your ebook, you have a choice to make: sell it on Amazon or on your website. Which is the better option for you? Today, Michelle Deery provides the pros and cons of each ebook-selling option so you can decide.
Have you just finished polishing up your brand new ebook? Great! Give yourself a pat on the back! Now the hard work starts. It’s it’s time to start selling your ebook and making a profit.
You can choose to sell your ebook on your own website or you can sell it on the popular shopping website, Amazon.
Take some time to consider your options, though, as the selling platform you choose plays a huge role in the overall success of your ebook.
I’d like to cover your ebook-selling options in today’s post.
Selling Your Ebook on Amazon
Are you looking for a very fast way to get your ebook on the market as soon as possible?
Then the option of selling your ebook on Amazon through Kindle Direct Publishing maybe what’s best for you.
By selling your ebook on Amazon, you’ll have the opportunity to reach millions of readers and receive royalties, with a few notable drawbacks, which I have listed below:
- Instantly publish your book. Publishing your ebook on Kindle can take less than 48 hours. Unless you do not follow Amazon’s policies for formatting, you won’t have to deal with many technical issues.
- Take advantage of Amazon’s huge user base. Amazon is one of the largest e-commerce websites available today. If you publish your ebook with Amazon, people are able to instantly view it and purchase it in just one or two clicks.
- Receive royalties with minimal effort. Is writing something you do on the side? Selling your ebooks on Amazon means that most of the e-commerce work is done for you. You won’t have to dedicate too much time to the process.
- Lower profit margins. While you can choose your base price, you won’t get 100% of the profit when a customer buys your ebook on Amazon. Furthermore, most ebooks only go for around $2.99 to $9.99, and you’ll be losing at least 30% of that to Amazon.
- Lots of competition. It’s incredibly easy for people to sell their ebooks on Amazon right now. That’s why you’re going to face a huge amount of competition from other writers who have very similar titles. You may have to set your ebook for a lower price in order to successfully compete with other sellers.
Selling Your Ebook on Your Own Website
Do you already have your own personalized blog or freelancing website? Are you considering setting up a new website or online shop to showcase your ebook on your own domain?
Using your own website can be a great way to make a larger profit for your ebooks and build customer loyalty, with a couple of challenges that I’d like you to consider:
- You look more professional and the customers are yours. Having a website can instantly boost your reputability. You can establish a deeper level of trust with your customers because they can go to your website and know what to expect. Also, you can develop a more direct relationship with your customers, and they may be more likely to return to your website in the future if they had a good user experience.
- Make a higher profit and promote your brand. On your own website, you can sell your books at the same price as Kindle but make a larger profit per book sold. You also can create packages or products and sell them to different customers and clients at higher prices. All the while, you get your name out there and accumulating data to help you learn how to maximize your profits.
- You don’t have to do it alone. Building a website that’s functional as well as attractive can be a challenge. However, you can use websites such as Shopify to help you build your online store. They’ll handle all of the e-commerce aspects, while you can focus on writing, engaging with your customers and growing your business.
- It will take time and effort. You’ll have to dedicate a fair amount of time and continuously work to sell your book even after it’s up for sale. You’ll also need to deal with any technical issues that arise, such as problems with purchases and delivery. Luckily, there are several tools and resources you can access if you’re able to spend a bit extra for help.
- You may not see instant results. Unless you already have a large user base, you probably won’t see people flocking to buy your ebook right away. You’ll need to work on establishing a social media following and a large email list to ensure your website gets enough traffic.
Where is the Best Place to Sell Your New Ebook?
Where should you sell your ebook? The answer depends on the amount of time and budget you can commit to the publishing and marketing your ebook.
If you’d like a low-maintenance way of receiving royalties for your ebook with access to millions of potential readers, Amazon might be a good option to start out.
However, if you have already created a substantial following, there is no reason not to publish on your own website, as you will profit more from each sale.
Have a think through these ebook-selling options today so you can receive greater rewards for all of the hard work you put into writing your ebook.
About the Author
Michelle Deery is a writer who specializes in writing blog posts and articles about digital products. She is a team member of Heroic Search in Tulsa and assists with digital marketing.
Photo courtesy of Helder Almeida /123RF.com
Donna DeGuglielmo says
Hello there, thank you for the great article I am a newbie as an author … starting out this is a very good knowledge to have. I know I have options and what to do with either one. Maybe I will try one on one book and the other on the other book. I can do that right?
Anma Natsu says
Or you can do both! It really isn’t even a one or the other choice at all. You can sell on Amazon, your own website, Nook, Kobo, Smashwords, and many other retailer sites at the same time.
The only time it is a one or the other choice is if you are deciding whether to enroll in KDP Select, which requires exclusivity with Amazon in exchange for your book being in KU and you getting access to a few promotional tools. And even then the choice is whether to be Amazon exclusive or go wide and sell wherever you want.
if you decide to go wide, it only makes sense to sell on as many reputable platforms as you can, including your own website, to offer your potential readers more choices.
Rick Kirkham says
Even if you sell on Amazon you should have your own website to build your own following. Anytime you depend on a single third party you’re asking for trouble. Affiliate marketing is another possibility to sell your ebook. Don’t forget about professional ebook promotion sites such as http://www.ListYourEbooks.com free sites will get you the results of free.
Judith Okech says
Just bumped into this at the right time. I bet within just a day, I’ll have decided which way to go. Thank you for the insights.
Nina Amir says
Marc Summers says
I sell on my own site, amazon KDP, audible, google play, and SmashWords. Was able to quit my job from the income. I have a question on pricing. On Audible, you can’t choose your own price, they pick it for you. BUT, I sell WAY more books on Audible than anywhere else. So, I decided to change ALL my prices on other ebook sites to match my Audible prices, since they’re selling so well. My question is, should I make the prices the same on my website? I reason that if the prices are higher on my site, people leave and go to amazon to buy it cheaper and I lose out on the higher profit margins. May sound like a dumb question, but I’m really racking my brain here. I make a lot of money on my site as well but I could be making more if my products were better prices. What’s your opinion?
Nina Amir says
This is not my area of expertise, but I wouldn’t want to price higher than the other sites. If anything, give a discount on your site. The questions is really, where do you want them to buy?
Jim Savage says
Just a few points that come to mind…
Putting a new ebook on amazon does not guarantee a single sale, a huge amount of marketing still has to be done.
On your own website, your book is not competing with thousands of similar ones, so a visitor is more likely to become a customer.
If a critic, a competitor or someone with a grudge wants to diss your book, this is easily done on Amazon comments and they’re very difficult to remove.
Whereas, if that comment appears on your website, you can remove it and retain full editorial control over the comments section.
Amazon payments on book sales are made one month in arrears. This means a sale made on the 1st of May will not be paid until July.
Sales made on your own website are normally redeemed within 48 hours.
To sum up, I have to agree that promoting and selling your own work through your own website has many more pros than cons.
Nina Amir says
Thanks for your analysis, Jim. You made many really great points. Stop by again!
You can do both.
But i would simply suggest going the Kindle route if it’s only a book.
Sell on your website if it’s going to be apart of some package. Like tier 1 is just the book, tier 2 is the book and a video etc.
A big pro also is if your book is successful, Amazon will promote your book and you’ll make a passive income with ease 🙂
Vern Klimp says
Hi, if possible can you email me more information regarding selling e-books on my own website.
Nina Amir says
Whatever is on the site is what I have, Vern.
I have been going back and forth on this issue for some time now and I always see more pros selling it on your own personal site. It would be great if you already get a lot of traffic but if you don’t, prepare to do a lot of marketing. It will be worth it in the end. Although Amazon gets 10’s of millions of visitors daily there still isn’t a guarantee that people will buy it. Even if they do, you only get 70% whereas on your own site you maintain 100% profit. Additionally, books with similar topics with more reviews can easily outshine your own.
Louie Bernstein says
If I want to sell the Kindle version of our upcoming book and want to sell it on both Amazon and our website, do I have to have a separate company produce the Kindle version for our website?
Nina Amir says
The price has to be the same on your website as on KDP. They do NOT like different prices in different places. You should have a mobi version to upload to Kindle and can use that on your site.
Barbara Graver says
I’m working on an ebook on faith based blogging and have been thinking about selling the finished product in my Etsy shop as a pdf and mobi AND in the Amazon Kindle Store.
I didn’t realize the price had to be the same in my shop as it is on Amazon for KDP or that KU was an exclusive program. So that’s very helpful info. I am curious if there is any Amazon rule against offering you ebook elsewhere as a pdf?
I found the points made in the article helpful too. I think trying to sell both places may be the best for me. Thanks for a great article and topic!
Nina Amir says
I’m not the expert on this. You might look up Carla King (carlaking.com). She IS an expert on KDP.
Kayvon Sadrabadi says
I have created an ebook which i want to sell from my own website as a pdf. It is 1900 pages full of pictures and a pdf is the best format. I have been warned about a huge challenge with customer service and potential lack of knowledge to dowload and customer challenges. I don’t know what’s the best way to manage? Any insight would be appreciated. Amazon will take 65% of the ebook price which is simply too much. Thank you for your time.
Nina Amir says
You have to have someone who knows what they are doing set this up on your site. Then you will have less issues with customer problems. However, 1,900 pages and lots of images tends to become problematic in an ebook or any book!
jigyasa sewkani says
Shopify is one of the world’s leading eCommerce platforms that is simple and easy to run. Amazing content loved it very useful
Thank you for this concise and clear answer. I have read many articles that ramble incessantly and leave you confused, but this makes the choice clear. Cheers!
Thanks for the informative article. Any ideas of reselling physical books from Amazon on your own website? For example, I have a book I just published on Amazon as a paperback. Can I sell the book on my own website using my own payment channels? I guess the obvious answer is yes, but how much will it cost to order these from Amazon and to fulfill the order?
I would appreciate your excellent advice.
Nina Amir says
It would be cheaper to do it through a different printer, I’m sure. But I’m not the expert on this topic.
Evelyn Olutola Logan says
This is great information and I would love to do both. Is there a preferred platform (kdp, flipbooks, etc.) that would be best for creating both? If you create your ebook through KDP, can you use the file for your website too?
anthony owens says
Hello, I am in the final stage of editing and book design and the company that I am going through is Anchor book press. My book will be on Amazon Kdp. All of this is new to me. I will have a link to Amazon for the sale of my book on my website when it is completed. I will need a real marketing campaign. Can you help with that?
Nina Amir says
Sorry to reply so late. I advise bloggers and authors on what I have done or know works to market their books. I am not a marketing pro per se.