Tuesday, 18 November 2014

The New Serving Class and a Request for Advice: Direct Marketing of the Written Word - Anyone know How To?

I just found this on Tumblr!  I SO love Tumblr these days!

"Don’t resist, don’t make a fuss.  You’ll be fired, and there are no longer any laws to protect you."

It’s about time SOME advantage was derived from the poor economic climate!  I've said for a long time that the time is ripe for the development of a new serving class, the re-emergence of an exploitative culture based on the employment of maids, skivvies and what have you!  Forget 'minimum wage' considerations, in today's climate they should be grateful for what they get, even if it IS on the basis of  'room and board only'.  Yes, I'd agree there is nothing wrong with a little 'pocket money' - if that is found to aid motivation - but she has to be made to understand such costs as her uniform have to come out of that, there'll be deductions for poor behavior / service and so on, and any shopping trips will be made under strict supervision.

Now the REAL reason for today's post:  

An Anonymous reader / contributor recently (Nov 17th) said (as a comment appended to my post of 6th September)...

"What about publishing your own books, and selling them from the blog?  I would gamble that you could reduce the cover price that lulu charges and still make more money.

I have bought a couple of your titles from lulu, and both are an excellent read, however I much prefer to buy direct from niche market authors because then I am actually supporting the author directly, and not paying out for corporate taxation, and contributing to the wealth of those that feed on others creative works."

A couple of other people have suggested I do that.  The thing is: I don’t know how to go about it, not automatically at least.  True, I could place a ‘Buy it Now’ button leading straight to PayPal - just as I have installed a ‘donate’ button, installed within the side bar – and then post a PDF version via email to the purchaser, but this would involve my direct participation in the process and also introduce a delay between the point of purchase and the purchaser receiving his or her copy.  I rather suspect many purchases to be so-called impulse buys (I know that to have been true of myself, back in the day when such material came off the top shelf of the local newsagent / tobacconist shop). 

My anonymous friend is right, though, about my being able to reduce the cover price and what he says about the slice taken by the middle men.  When I first started to use LULU they charged very little for electronic downloads and what they DID charge was a flat fee.  But LULU got greedy and the fee went up and up and now is no longer a flat fee but rather is a percentage of the cover price and attracts a rather high (in relative terms) minimum charge.  A while back (for a limited period over last Christmas and New Year) I wanted to give away one of my titles free, gratis and for nothing, but to have done so through LULU would have cost ME money!!!  In the case of the first six of my books distributed via a publisher, the publisher himself takes 50% - and that’s 50% of the proceeds AFTER the transaction site (whether Amazon or what have you) takes their cut!  Of the proceeds coming from the last book I put out - which I self-published on Amazon – Amazon takes 30% and where a copy is downloaded from Amazon’s USA, the American Inland Revenue Service (IRS) takes 30%, even though I don’t earn enough overall to have to pay income tax in the UK. 

If I were to market direct from the blog or website I could afford to charge perhaps half the present cover price for any given title as charged on Amazon et al.  But does anyone out there know an easy way of doing this?  Or would those of you who would consider making a purchase in this way be content if there were, say a day or two's delay in receiving your downloaded PDF? (At the moment I can only foresee providing PDFs in this way - ebooks for Kindle etc would still be available elsewhere, as at present.).


CuriousAboutTheNextBook said...

I haven't used paypal to sell anything yet, but https://cms.paypal.com/cms_content/US/en_US/files/merchant/paypal_digital_goods-express_checkout_getting_started.pdf looks promising.

This document explains the technology:


And there is even a wizard which step by step instructions to setup the integration: https://devtools-paypal.com/integrationwizard/

You just need to edit orderconfirm.php in the section labled "TODO: Proceed with desired action after the payment
(ex: start download, start streaming, Add coins to the game.. etc)" to stream the file.

I guess it won't work on blogger.com, but you are probably able to execute php code on your institute website.

Anonymous said...

Take a look at www.shopify.co.uk. It is a subscription e-commerce service, but you can sell pretty much anything from digital media to physical products.

Anonymous said...



Mark said...

Using a third party service is the way to go, Garth.

As previous posters have mentioned, you can upload
whatever you want to the 'seller site', then add buttons to whatever blogs or sites you want and the third party does the rest. In most cases this will include an instant download once payment has cleared.

One caveat though: Your material is adult and not everyone is willing to host such material. Whoever you decide to use, be sure to check their terms and
conditions carefully.

I have used e-junkie before (link at bottom). They host your material, take payments and then direct the customer to the download page for instant access.
The money goes straight into your Paypal account. I found it works a treat. Their rates are also very reasonable, charged by
storage amount (starting at $5 a month). As e-books and documents take up very little space, that would be good for you.

Just a thought also. I hate PDFs - they are far from the best medium for reading books. Maybe offer different formats. EPUB is very popular, MOBI etc.

Good luck with it.

Link: http://www.e-junkie.com/