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Old 04-20-2011, 05:38 PM   #1
bhartman36
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Using PayPal to Sell Your Work

Hi, Everyone.

I decided to sell two of my short stories on my website via PayPal Buy Now buttons. When a customer clicks on Buy Now, it takes them to the page with the link to the story on it. The thing is, I want to prevent them from being able to get to that point without having to go through PayPal first. Does anyone know a way to do that? Both things are up on Amazon and Smashwords, but I figured I could cut out the middleman somewhat this way.
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Old 04-20-2011, 05:55 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhartman36 View Post
Hi, Everyone.

I decided to sell two of my short stories on my website via PayPal Buy Now buttons. When a customer clicks on Buy Now, it takes them to the page with the link to the story on it. The thing is, I want to prevent them from being able to get to that point without having to go through PayPal first. Does anyone know a way to do that? Both things are up on Amazon and Smashwords, but I figured I could cut out the middleman somewhat this way.
I don't know how to do what you ask. but as a consumer, I won't use PayPay
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Old 04-20-2011, 06:04 PM   #3
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I don't know how to do what you ask. but as a consumer, I won't use PayPay
That's a fair point. I'll add links to the stories on Amazon to the site, as well, for those kinds of users.
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Old 04-20-2011, 08:17 PM   #4
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Yeah, I have links to buy via paypal (it's really the only universally accepted online payment system for private sales anymore, as google checkout is a joke, and the other services are too clunky), but only for signed copies. Anyone wanting regular copies have to go through all the stores I have my books through.
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Old 04-20-2011, 08:26 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Steven Lake View Post
Yeah, I have links to buy via paypal (it's really the only universally accepted online payment system for private sales anymore, as google checkout is a joke, and the other services are too clunky), but only for signed copies. Anyone wanting regular copies have to go through all the stores I have my books through.
Oh, okay. I don't have any paper books (although when I get my stories together into an anthology, I might do that). Everything's digital at this point.

There aren't any direct links to the files on my homepage, so I'm thinking they're relatively safe, but I was just wondering if there was a way to improve things. I suppose it's not a big deal if people download them for free, anyway. One of them is free on Smashwords already.
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Old 04-21-2011, 12:45 PM   #6
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There are programs that you add to your CGI folder that will allow your links to stay hidden, and PayPal will connect your purchaser to the link only after the payment has been accepted.

I'm presently using a service called Linklok from Vibralogix. It allows for multiple books/links, you set prices (and can even set prices regionally), you set how long a link stays active/downloadable. It is a PayPal-authorized application, so you won't have trouble using it, and you pay for one app per site, but it'll be good for any number of digital products. The entire transaction is on automatic.

There are others available out there as well.
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Old 04-21-2011, 12:47 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Steven Lyle Jordan View Post
There are programs that you add to your CGI folder that will allow your links to stay hidden, and PayPal will connect your purchaser to the link only after the payment has been accepted.

I'm presently using a service called Linklok from Vibralogix. It allows for multiple books/links, you set prices (and can even set prices regionally), you set how long a link stays active/downloadable. It is a PayPal-authorized application, so you won't have trouble using it, and you pay for one app per site, but it'll be good for any number of digital products. The entire transaction is on automatic.

There are others available out there as well.
Thanks for the tip! I'll look into that.
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Old 04-21-2011, 03:14 PM   #8
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Just as an update: I solved this problem (mostly). I have the PayPal "Buy Now" button reference a PHP script that downloads the stories from outside of the Web server, so they're no longer directly accessible. The only way to download the files directly is if you know where the PHP files are, and what they're named. It's not perfect, but it's good enough for my purposes, I think.
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Old 04-21-2011, 10:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhartman36 View Post
Hi, Everyone.

I decided to sell two of my short stories on my website via PayPal Buy Now buttons. When a customer clicks on Buy Now, it takes them to the page with the link to the story on it. The thing is, I want to prevent them from being able to get to that point without having to go through PayPal first. Does anyone know a way to do that? Both things are up on Amazon and Smashwords, but I figured I could cut out the middleman somewhat this way.
Have you checked out the Payloadz (www.payloadz.com) service? It's pretty much a pay-per download (of anything) service that uses Paypal. If they host the file for download and deliver it upon PayPal payment, that might be what you're looking for. I haven't investigated the ins and outs, yet.

Take care
-Matt D.
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Old 04-22-2011, 12:32 AM   #10
bhartman36
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Have you checked out the Payloadz (www.payloadz.com) service? It's pretty much a pay-per download (of anything) service that uses Paypal. If they host the file for download and deliver it upon PayPal payment, that might be what you're looking for. I haven't investigated the ins and outs, yet.

Take care
-Matt D.
Thanks! I'll look into that one, too.

I really want to keep it simple (and inexpensive) since I've only got $2 worth of stories up right now, but as I expand, I'll probably consider these other suggestions.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 04-22-2011, 10:59 AM   #11
Steven Lake
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bhartman36, yeah, selling ebooks via paypal is really, really difficult. I tried it and just finally gave up. I even had a script that'd do the job and it still fell flat on its face. So yeah, don't feel bad if you're not having much luck.
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Old 04-22-2011, 11:25 AM   #12
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Don't know the answer to your question but I do know that Homestead does that at, what I am told, is a cost of $6 per month. http://www.homestead.com/~site/hslo/...verview.ffhtml. At that cost per month it may not be worth your time and effort to worry about this problem.
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Old 04-22-2011, 11:44 PM   #13
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Looks like paypal does it standalone: www.paypal.com/digitalgoods





http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...ital+downloads
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Old 04-23-2011, 12:10 AM   #14
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Yeah, I already knew this part. What the site doesn't make clear is how to obscure your content so someone can't just figure out what the URL is and download it directly. I have that part figured out, though (mostly).

The method I'm using now keeps the files inaccessible via direct download. A user would have to stumble across the right PHP files that would allow them to download the files, as they're stored outside the Web server's root directory. It's not a perfect system, but it would take an intruder more than $2 worth of time to figure it out.

I'm still going to look into the other methods, but I'm going to wait until I'm moving enough copies that it matters.
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Old 04-23-2011, 01:10 AM   #15
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If you're using Wordpress there is a plugin specifically for this called WordPress eStore that I've used. It's surprisingly painless, works with the first try for the most part, and has pretty good support turnaround on the site. I've temporarily suspended it's use on my site while I focus on marketing for my Amazon and Smashwords links, but I'll bring it back soon I expect.

http://www.tipsandtricks-hq.com/word...-securely-1059


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