In recent years, selling eBooks has become a viable business. With millions of consumers turning to their mobile devices to read the latest books from their favorite authors, there is no better time to start selling eBooks directly to consumers through your own online store. Starting an online store to highlight and sell eBooks has its own set of challenges that you’ll need to consider before jumping head first into the deep end.
When it comes to the website for your online store, you want to think about your customers’ experience. You want to make sure that they can easily search through the items that you will be featuring without becoming lost within your site. It is also important to understand that the majority of the customers who will be purchasing from your site will be doing so from a mobile device rather than their desktop computers. For this reason, you need to make sure that your site features a responsive design. This means that whether your customers are shopping from their desktop computer, their tablet or their smartphone, your website will adjust according to the screen size of their device, creating a consistent user experience across the board.
Another important feature that is often overlooked is the check-out process, notes Martin Taylor, writer for Activity Press. When selling products online, this is the last point of contact that you will have with your customers, and you want to make sure that it goes as smoothly as possible. If customers have a poor experience checking out, they are less likely to return to your store and more likely to give your business an unfavorable review. Having a longer, more in-depth check-out process is all right for customers who are viewing your site from desktop computers, but when such a check-out design is accessed from a mobile device, it could mean the kiss of death for your business.
Purchasing inventory for your eBook store is different from purchasing inventory for any other kind of eCommerce store. Since eBooks are digital files, you are actually purchasing the licensing agreements from the publishers. When you start building your online library, it is important to understand that the content comes with what is known in the industry as a digital rights management, or DRM. The DRM is used by publishers to limit the use of digital content once it has been purchased by consumers, states Mark King, writer for The Guardian. This can make it very difficult for you to gain access to the books that you want to feature in your store. If you are able to get around the issue of the DRM, there are still plenty of roadblocks when it comes to purchasing inventory for your online store. There are a number of additional restrictions that you will have to take into account as you set up your online eBook store.
· Security. You have to make sure that your security measures will thwart any hackers who may attempt to steal your master files.
· Keeping Meticulous Records. Publishers will insist on random audits to make sure you aren’t being dishonest about the books that are being purchased.
· Sales Territories. Publishers have territorial restrictions that will limit where you can operate your online store.
· Customer Restrictions: Your customers won’t be able to purchase your products for commercial use, which means you won’t be able to sell to libraries.
· Pricing: It has been customary for retailers to set the pricing for eBooks at a wholesale price based on a percentage off the suggested retail price of the book. However, this is starting to change and the next couple of years will determine how small, independent online eBook sellers can set their pricing.
Pros and Cons
When it comes to owning any kind of business, there are any number of pros and cons that you have to take into consideration before taking the plunge. Starting your own online store to sell eBooks is no exception, and the best way to know if your idea is feasible, notes Dan Preston, writer for Street Directory online, is to write up a business plan.
When it comes to having your own online eBook store, you are in complete control of your time. You get to decide your schedule depending on when it is most convenient for you and your family. You can maximize your writing time with a ecommerce solution offered by Shopify on the go.There is no need to worry about keeping a bunch of inventory on hand since your store is nothing more than a collection of files that can be instantly downloaded once the purchase is finalized. The only equipment you need is a computer to make updates to your website.
While it may seem like there is only an upside to setting up an online eBook store, there are a few things that you will need to be mindful of. While the cost to set up an online storefront is far cheaper than setting up a brick and mortar store, there are still some operating expenses that are involved. You will need to invest in a way to accept credit cards, which will cost you a percentage of every sale, and you will need to pay a hosting company to host your website.
While the paperback book is still the preference of many readers, the percentage of people now downloading eBooks is steadily increasing. Because of the instant gratification consumers get with eBooks, and the disappearance of printing costs, starting a profitable eBook business is something that could be well within your grasp, according to Louise Balle of Demand Media