View Full Version : How do I distribute an Ebook from my own website?

06-09-2011, 10:26 PM
I have written a book and have decided to go it alone. I have completed a website. I just don't know how to take orders and distribute my ebook. What I need is a way for my customers to pay for the book and once the purchase has cleared be able to receive a download code.
I have looked into Click Bank, but they have several complaints on Ripoff report. The same with Plimus and Network Solutions. So I checked out Google Checkout. But my customers would have to have some type of an account with Google to be able to buy the book. I think that having to stop what you're doing. Create some type of an account for Google so that they can sign in before being able to buy. Even just a gmail account. Would be somewhat of a put off for potential customers.
Does anyone have any suggestions as to a way for me to be able to do this automatically? I don't want to have to send a download code every time a customer makes a purchase.
Are there any reputable ecommerce companies out there? Or is there a "somewhat" easy way to do it myself?

06-09-2011, 10:42 PM
Porting this to the E-Publishing Forum

James D. Macdonald
06-09-2011, 11:10 PM
What you're looking for is called "Shopping Cart Software."

Here's a link to some reviews of various packages: http://shopping-cart-review.toptenreviews.com/

06-10-2011, 03:36 AM
Thank you for the link, Uncle Jim. Another question, though. I'm not sure that I understand the capacity of the bandwidth of the two products that I am interested in. They are both allotted 2 GB's of bandwidth per month. What I don't understand is how much traffic it is that 2 GB's would allow.
I'm going to see if I can look it up. But any insight that you may have on that subject would be greatly appreciated.

James D. Macdonald
06-10-2011, 04:06 AM
That depends on how big your site is. If it's 500K, then you can get 4,000 visitors/month.

06-10-2011, 04:22 AM
I think PayPal may have some way give a file download access with a payment, and of course Amazon does (for mp3's as well as any kind of text/ereader file), and those may be as easy to set up as "shopping cart software."

And if you hit the 2GB/month limit with downloads (and your file is appropriately small), I suggest you contemplate how to fix that problem over a fancy steak dinner.

06-11-2011, 11:06 PM
Thank you both for your help. I think I may now have it under control. As you can see I have underlined think.

06-11-2011, 11:12 PM
Are there any reputable ecommerce companies out there? Or is there a "somewhat" easy way to do it myself?

Given the amount of hassle you'll have to put up with, I'd start out with SmashWords and Amazon etc., and then, if you get sales that warrant it, move to one or more shopping cart/PayPal etc. options.

Not only will Amazon etc save you hassle, the amount of traffic potential they offer is ginormous, quite enough to offset their cut of the price.

06-11-2011, 11:15 PM
Also potential customers are more likely to have an account with an existing e-tailer or be willing to give them their money, versus some guy on his own website.

06-11-2011, 11:16 PM
That depends on how big your site is. If it's 500K, then you can get 4,000 visitors/month.

This is of course an exceedingly rough estimate.

Keep in mind that not only does the downloaded file count against the bandwidth limit, so does all the text and images.

Each time a Visitor loads a page, or Refreshes, counts against the limit.

Any time the site is spidered counts against the limit.

06-14-2011, 04:21 AM
Thanks Medievalist I think I'm going to give SmashWords a try. It does sound quite a bit simpler.

Alessandra Kelley
06-25-2011, 05:19 PM
J. K. Rowling is doing it with the Harry Potter books. Of course, she has huge name recognition.

Does anybody know the particulars of her arrangement?

06-25-2011, 07:09 PM
JK isn't exactly going it alone, she's outsourcing. And as mentioned, kinda has the eager customer base already tied up.

07-17-2011, 09:44 AM
It seems like you're trying Smashwords, but it anyone else is interested, my husband and I use UploadNSell (http://uploadnsell.com/). You link the account to your paypal account and upload your file. As soon as someone pays (with paypal), they're directed to a download link. It's super easy and your files can be up to 30MB.

The only downfall is it doesn't have some of the features that a shopping cart software would, like using coupons or a credit card. I don't think they can buy more than one at a time, but I don't know why someone would buy two ebooks lol