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Old 07-01-2012, 02:38 PM   #1
mintotsai
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Ebukly: Easily sell your ebooks online

Hi all, I'm developing an easy to use web application for ebook authors to easily and quickly sell their ebooks online from their website (from sale to delivery) with no coding, also you keep emails of customers for future marketing and you keep more money in your pocket than selling on Amazon or those other online book stores.

I'm selectively looking for 5 ebook authors who I can give early access of the product to in return for feedback.

If you are interested, please email me at ebukly@gmail.com.

Thanks.
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Old 07-01-2012, 03:03 PM   #2
Elfwreck
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"More money in your pocket" than Smashwords, which gives authors 85% of cover price, and distributes their books to other sales sites?

Are you looking for individual authors only, or will publishing houses be able to sign up?
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Old 07-01-2012, 03:36 PM   #3
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Yes my pricing model will be more competitive than 85%. And I am only looking for individual authors only, not interested in publishing houses at the moment.
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Old 07-07-2012, 03:29 AM   #4
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Yes my pricing model will be more competitive than 85%. And I am only looking for individual authors only, not interested in publishing houses at the moment.
I am curious. What do you offer that a personal web site - for instance a Wordpress commercial site - doesn't offer? Unless you have a legal way of lifting Google ranking or similar, I can't see any incentive.

Would you care to elucidate?
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Old 07-07-2012, 10:43 AM   #5
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I am curious. What do you offer that a personal web site - for instance a Wordpress commercial site - doesn't offer? Unless you have a legal way of lifting Google ranking or similar, I can't see any incentive.

Would you care to elucidate?
Thanks for the question, DarkScribe. The vision is an app that focuses on ease of use. What I mean by this is that you don't have to cobble together different technologies (ie. web design, blogging, payment processing, email marketing, analytics, etc) but have one cohesive, integrated solution that's easy to use.

The reality of the day is that we now live in an era of great opportunity, which also means more competition and the greatest differentiation in this new landscape is you and your brand. It's the "choose yourself" era and you're a one man media company. I want to help you with that so you can focus on what you love, writing.

I think there's value in that.
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:03 AM   #6
Steven Lake
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Given all the work required to maintain a POS on your own website, even a "no coding" one, is way more work than most people want to bother with. I'm a web developer myself, and the moment you put a POS on your site, you paint a gigantic bullseye on your chest. That's why I leave it to the big boys like Smashwords. All I have to do is put a link on my site to the sales page on theirs, advertise, then sit back and enjoy the sales. Really, there's no need anymore to sell directly off your website.

I'm not trying to crush your dreams or anything, but practicality says that the blood, sweat and tears required for an author to keep up even a "no coding" system is going to cost a lot more than the 15% they'll get from selling directly off their site. Personally, the best approach would be to come up with some way to help authors defeat the dreaded plague of obscurity. That alone is worth the 15% cost of hosting at Smashwords or up to 50% at some other retailers. (cost here refers to the percentage retailers take out of the sale price of your book)

So my best suggestion for you would be to focus on curing the obscurity plague suffered by most authors, as it'll be a much better and more profitable way to invest your time and energy. You're welcome to take this with a grain of salt if you like, but as an author and a web/cloud developer with quite a bit of experience, I do have a bit of experience at this.
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:46 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by mintotsai View Post
Thanks for the question, DarkScribe. The vision is an app that focuses on ease of use. What I mean by this is that you don't have to cobble together different technologies (ie. web design, blogging, payment processing, email marketing, analytics, etc) but have one cohesive, integrated solution that's easy to use.

The reality of the day is that we now live in an era of great opportunity, which also means more competition and the greatest differentiation in this new landscape is you and your brand. It's the "choose yourself" era and you're a one man media company. I want to help you with that so you can focus on what you love, writing.

I think there's value in that.
It is why I mentioned Wordpress.

Wordpress has what they refer to as a "one click five minute setup." With the huge range of add-ons available to Wordpress users which are more than capable of covering the areas that you note, I feel that you might be reinventing the wheel. I admire initiative and entrepreneurship but I have doubt as to how viable your intended market will be.
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Old 07-07-2012, 02:10 PM   #8
Elfwreck
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Originally Posted by mintotsai View Post
Thanks for the question, DarkScribe. The vision is an app that focuses on ease of use. What I mean by this is that you don't have to cobble together different technologies (ie. web design, blogging, payment processing, email marketing, analytics, etc) but have one cohesive, integrated solution that's easy to use.
There's a reason small ebook companies, including single-author companies, have to deal with web design, payment processing, marketing, and so on... those are all different areas, and there isn't any single system that will suit every author.

"Ease of use" means "you don't have to spend lots of time making choices and adjusting settings"... which also means the choices have already been made, and the settings aren't adaptable. While this is potentially a useful approach, you'll need to be able to articulate which settings you've selected as "most useful to most people."

Does it integrate with a Drupal site? With a Wordpress one? Is it a stand-alone-only app? Does it work in iOS and Android?

How does the payment processing work--does it allow for any legal content, or does it restrict what kinds of ebooks can be sold? Does it work internationally? (If you have found a payment processing system that allows any legal content *and* works internationally, I'd love to hear about it; I know several small publishers who've been looking for one of those.)

What third-party terms of service will be relevant?

What kinds of ebooks will it allow--PDF, mobi, epub, html, stand-alone-apps, audiobook? Will users be able to download any of them by dropdown menu, or will all options have to be zipped into a single file and then unpacked by the receiver?

Will it provide instructions for sideloading onto several types of ereaders, or will the author/site manager have to do that?

Quote:
The reality of the day is that we now live in an era of great opportunity, which also means more competition and the greatest differentiation in this new landscape is you and your brand. It's the "choose yourself" era and you're a one man media company. I want to help you with that so you can focus on what you love, writing.

I think there's value in that.
How does this app help authors develop their own unique brand?

Yes, customized approaches to marketing are important. I'm not sure what you're offering that Smashwords and Amazon don't. You mention a better royalty rate, but haven't said specifically what authors get from your app.

If the barrage of questions is too much--and I admit, I'm mostly just rattling off ideas rather than going into serious concerns--start with one: What payment processor will this system be using? Will it be any of the ones mentioned at BannedWriters?
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Old 07-07-2012, 09:09 PM   #9
Steven Lake
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Good stuff, Elfwreck. I'm also thinking that the OP is starting to realise that the little rain drop they think they've stepped into is actually a huge, shark infested ocean. But either way, I do agree that there is a huge question of what the benefits of this system are vs the existing book sellers. Oddly though, you hit a large percentage of the questions right square on the head too. Those are all issues that would need to be addressed over the long haul before you'd have a viable product.

Now here's another kicker that the OP didn't consider. Payment processors. No matter what you do, you're still gonna have to pay the piper somewhere. So regardless if you do your own payment processing, or you go through google, Paypay, or someone else, you're still gonna pay someone something to process each transaction. The reason that you can get away with taking home 85% from places like Smashwords is because they have the benefit of raw volume mixed with low overhead. The average author doesn't have that.

Now, as for the OP, the best bet with your system will be to create a plug and play module that is drop in place, works with all the major CMS software systems (wordpress, xoops, jooma, etc. List of hundreds of systems available here => http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...gement_systems), and has an API system for non-standard CMS software. (all my sites are custom coded from scratch) But when you look at just this tiny little aspect of the whole thing, you're basically trying to tame at tiger with a toothpick. Ultimately I see "epic fail" written across this project from the start.

Overall, given the hassle I already see with this, it'd be best to stick with what works rather than bother with reinventing the wheel. And this comes from someone who researched, and then ultimately abandoned the idea of selling ebooks directly from his site, and I'm a programmer, so projects like this normally don't scare me. This one however made me run for the hills.
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Old 07-07-2012, 09:36 PM   #10
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Right now most independents can use Amazon KDP, B&N Pubit, and Smashwords to self publish their ebooks. With those three they get good penetration into the largest ebook markets, with no coding on their end, and no worries about processing payments. A free easy to use website from Wordpress, or other host can handle most of their needs if they want an site other then Amazon's, B&N's and Smashwords personal author pages.

I would love to see a new player hit the field and bring real value, but not sure what you have to offer that would make me want to use you? Once you have something up for us to poke around in, please link it so that we can check it out.
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Old 07-08-2012, 04:27 PM   #11
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It doesn't matter how great your website is, you need to get people to view it, and also have a book that these particular viewers actually want to buy. Without that then you won't get any sales. Can you honestly say that your application can do that? Especially when there are hundreds (perhaps thousands) of new e-books being published daily, all chasing the same buyers.
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