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Prosperity7
03-26-2007, 10:56 AM
Has anyone here built their own ecommerce website to sell their book from? A personal ecommerce Website seems like a good way to sell a book, but I haven't heard anyone here talk much about it.

I have been looking as a group who helps people to build Websites. They call themselves, "Site Bild It (SBI)." Dr Ken Evoy is the CEO and designer of the softare and services.

I looked at StoresOnline (SOL) who wanted nearly $3,000 to aid you in building a site and an additional $2,700 yearly subscription fee to keep your site running, as opposed to the SBI price of about $300 and another $300 a year for a subscritption.

The BBB doesn't like SOL, but I cn't find anyone who has anything bad to say about SBI.

Comments please.

David

Anthony Ravenscroft
03-26-2007, 04:34 PM
Step 1: get your own URL. Putting your "personal site" on someone else's site is a mug's game & you'd be better off going the Amazon route in that case because of the traffic.

Step 2: research. It's a writer thing. I narrowed my list last year to
AspDotNet Storefront, cpCommerce, digiSHOP, eordering, ShopFactory, ShopSite, StoreFront, & X-Cart. That last is the one we went with, cost us like $475, has excellent support (& forums that are incredibly helpful about specifics & tweaks), & requires learning a little about coding. We already have a commercial card-processing service, but you can set it up to take orders & wait for a check or whatever.

Step 3: install. Upload graphics & descriptives. Make all the links work.

So, there you are, with a virtual storefront. Who knows about it? How are people gonna find out about it? The "Field of Dreams" solution is all but useless -- they won't come just because you've built it.

Prosperity7
03-26-2007, 06:02 PM
Step 1: get your own URL. Putting your "personal site" on someone else's site is a mug's game & you'd be better off going the Amazon route in that case because of the traffic.

Step 2: research. It's a writer thing. I narrowed my list last year to
AspDotNet Storefront, cpCommerce, digiSHOP, eordering, ShopFactory, ShopSite, StoreFront, & X-Cart. That last is the one we went with, cost us like $475, has excellent support (& forums that are incredibly helpful about specifics & tweaks), & requires learning a little about coding. We already have a commercial card-processing service, but you can set it up to take orders & wait for a check or whatever.

Step 3: install. Upload graphics & descriptives. Make all the links work.

So, there you are, with a virtual storefront. Who knows about it? How are people gonna find out about it? The "Field of Dreams" solution is all but useless -- they won't come just because you've built it.



Did you solve your Field of Dreams issue?

OK, I have just enough knowledge to know there are two types of websites. personal and ecommerce. Let me be sure I understand what you are telling me. You set up your ecommerce website through a company by the name of X-card which put you on the world wide web for 475.00 (all inclusive price for the first year) and you got all the live help you needed included in this price? What is their yearly subscription price to keep you up and running after the first year?

Do you have a link for X-Card?

Site built It says their total one year charge for helping you set everything up is $299. You can find more about what they offer at this link. I would be interested in your opinion of them.

http://buildit.sitesell.com/main/tools.html (http://buildit.sitesell.com/main/tools.html)


I am interested if you gave managed to get a lot of traffic at your site. Also, Have you been successful with X-card in terms of sales? I'm really interested in people's success levels. You can PM me if you would be more comfortable speaking about the actual success you have realized.

Assuming you are using drop-shipping, did you use a POD and if so which one?

Do you advertise only one book on your Website?

RichHelms
03-26-2007, 09:27 PM
If all you are building is a site to sell one book then you don't need a full ecommerce site. These are the steps I did for my wife's book

1. Write a website to promote the book
2. Open a PayPal account for the site
3. Put a PayPal button for a single purchase with an unspecified quantity. In her case I added a place for the buyer to note what they would like written in the book (author signature and such)

As PayPal does the secure part there is no need for a secure connection on your site.

I do the same thing on my site for people to register and pay for a workshop. A single item PayPal button is easy to do

Medievalist
03-26-2007, 09:44 PM
Honestly, if I had a self-published book, I would go through Lulu. I'd typeset and design the book, but I'd let them handle the distribution. Shipping and taxes are a pain, and they take care of shipping, and provide good records.

I'm a Web professional, and I'd still avoid a shopping cart/commerce site; it's a PITA and way too much overhead. Go with Lulu, and build a site that links to Lulu.

Ralyks
03-26-2007, 10:46 PM
If you are self-publishing or POD vanity publishing, the likelihood is that most of your sales will occur through Amazon anyway. If someone searches for you or your book by name, Amazon is more likely to come up than your own website. As long as you get yourself distributed through online retailers, I don't think you gain very much from having your own website for a single book. If you type my name in the Google search engine, Amazon comes up first and Lulu comes up second. Then I think it's Absolute Write...my actual website is buried way down there somewhere.

Prosperity7
03-26-2007, 11:04 PM
If all you are building is a site to sell one book then you don't need a full ecommerce site. These are the steps I did for my wife's book

1. Write a website to promote the book
2. Open a PayPal account for the site
3. Put a PayPal button for a single purchase with an unspecified quantity. In her case I added a place for the buyer to note what they would like written in the book (author signature and such)

As PayPal does the secure part there is no need for a secure connection on your site.

I do the same thing on my site for people to register and pay for a workshop. A single item PayPal button is easy to do

It is my understanding that an ecommerce website can have far greater exposure on the world wide web than a personal site. Is this wrong?

I have seen many ecommerce sites which sell only one item.

How is your wife's book doing?

Prosperity7
03-26-2007, 11:06 PM
Honestly, if I had a self-published book, I would go through Lulu. I'd typeset and design the book, but I'd let them handle the distribution. Shipping and taxes are a pain, and they take care of shipping, and provide good records.

I'm a Web professional, and I'd still avoid a shopping cart/commerce site; it's a PITA and way too much overhead. Go with Lulu, and build a site that links to Lulu.

Could you imrpove on your traffic if you went with your own ecommerce site in addition with going with LuLu?

What is a PITA?

Prosperity7
03-26-2007, 11:16 PM
If you are self-publishing or POD vanity publishing, the likelihood is that most of your sales will occur through Amazon anyway. If someone searches for you or your book by name, Amazon is more likely to come up than your own website. As long as you get yourself distributed through online retailers, I don't think you gain very much from having your own website for a single book. If you type my name in the Google search engine, Amazon comes up first and Lulu comes up second. Then I think it's Absolute Write...my actual website is buried way down there somewhere.

The thing is that my book had niche and would more likely be found by people surfing the subject matter rather than the title than the author, which is why I'm considering an commence site. I may have a number of search words which are tied to the tile or author's name, but more importantly I would have more search words for people looking for the subject matter. I envision the number of people finding my futhre Website by search words tied to the subject matter would be 100 for every 1 surfer looking for this book by title or author name.

...and just out of curiosity, can I have wealthy associates on the same site from which I get a commission if someone buys their products through my site?

Medievalist
03-26-2007, 11:25 PM
It is my understanding that an ecommerce website can have far greater exposure on the world wide web than a personal site. Is this wrong?

Actually, in terms of search engine ranking and the like, a well-written personal site will have better rankings.

Prosperity7
03-26-2007, 11:58 PM
Actually, in terms of search engine ranking and the like, a well-written personal site will have better rankings.

Can you please explain to me the ranking thing and the reason a personal site gets a better ranking than an ecommerce site? As I said I am a novice.

Also, what do you know about having what they call wealthy associates on your site?

RichHelms
03-27-2007, 12:00 AM
I agree with Medievalist that a personal site can list well. The advantage of a personal site vs Amazon is you make more money on the personal. My wife has both. Some people feel more comfortable ordering through Amazon but you makes much less. She is happy with the order either way. The advantage to the customer of buying through her site is a lower price and the ability to request it to be signed.

My wife's experience with selling on the site is she gets some orders but more through appearances. When an audiance hears a speaker and likes them they are more likely to buy a book.

Ranking on google and such is a art but the two factors I find that consistantly drive it up is good fresh content and other sites pointing to your site

Medievalist
03-27-2007, 12:09 AM
Can you please explain to me the ranking thing and the reason a personal site gets a better ranking than an ecommerce site? As I said I am a novice.

Also, what do you know about having what they call wealthy associates on your site?


Rankings in search engines use a lot of information, but much of it is parsing the text on a site; sooner or later the embedded key words techniques fail because another kind of information used for ranking purposes is the number, kind, and quality, and ranking, of sites that link to you.

The "wealthy associates" think is a stupid get rich quick scam. Skip it.

Look--are you positive self-publishing makes sense? Not many people really make much money that way. And if you're determined to go that route, go with Lulu. Less money upfront, less hassle and overhead.

Ralyks
03-27-2007, 12:12 AM
I have no idea what a "wealthy associate" is. On your own website you can sell whatever you want and link to whomever you want, including associates selling other products, but I don't think you'd want your site to take on the appearance of an advertising site. As people have been saying, a content-driven site is your best bet, with information, articles, etc. on the same topic as your book.

Anthony Ravenscroft
03-27-2007, 06:03 AM
FWIW:

My steadiest seller is Polyamory: Roadmaps for the Clueless & Hopeful, my extended thesis on group marriage. It's aimed at a small but clear niche. Not self-pubbed, but micropress. We've done zero as far as marketing or search-engine placement or any of that nonsense.

Neither it nor I appear in the first 100 hits on Google under polyamory. The total hits are 1,300,000.

However, my book's mentioned on more than 75% of those sites.

If you search polyamory ravenscroft, 1,600 clear hits return, topped by the publisher site & Amazon -- both of which give me money.