Researching Merchandise Payment Options for My Small Indy Publishing Outfit

In preparation for transferring the domain ‘omegabooks.net’ to WordPress from BlueHost, there has to be a way for OmegaBooks to also sell the printed books on hand so as to have the money to keep this business going and print the next book which will conclude the Prodigal Band Trilogy and will be called Band of Glory (to be published and printed in 2019 after I finalize it).

Right now I have two-thousand plus dollars set aside for OmegaBooks. (The rest is for possible medical emergency expense and ‘needful things’ if you know what I mean, like my headache med or a new pair of sneakers–I love to hike where I live in the rural remote.) Since it costs roughly one thousand to print a book (because while offset is cheap, covers are not!), and WordPress charges either four dollars or eight dollars a month for the site plus domain fee per year–and I know there will be other costs down the road, that only leaves about a thousand for whatever. Meaning, if I am going to see my other two printed novels online, I must have rather inexpensive options.

In doing the research I found what are called merchant accounts and eCommerce Platforms. While WordPress does have a monthly site plan of $25 which includes an eCommerce Platform with easy merchant account set up for credit and debit cards as well as ACH e-checks that go directly into a bank account…well, folks, that $25 a month right now is a bit much when, at the beginning at least, I figure I’m likely to sell just a few books per month at first. Marketing and advertising takes time (and money), right?

I looked at Free Web Store and yes, their services are free with no catch. Oh, wait. If you are going to accept credit cards (and I have no way to accept credit cards since OmegaBooks does not have a business bank account (since I’m not going to do the DBA thing), fine, but you still need an ‘eCommerce Platform’ such as Big Commerce or Shopify (with, guess what? $25 a month fees! Shoot I might as well buy the WordPress package!) to process the credit card payments (all that necessary security and all, and it’s ‘the law’ and all…it’s all about the money, right?). So that while the ‘merchant’ set up is free, the processing set up is not. And what if you want to do ACH e-check automatic deposits into your own bank account? Well, guess what, folks, you need their ‘premium’ package. when I see the word ‘premium’ attached to anything I think ‘not cost effective’!

So then while you can have a ‘free’ merchant account you still need a platform, and I investigated several of those as well. Authorize.net was the cheapest that I found. Woo Commerce was the platform used for BlueHost and was one reason I dropped BlueHost–I could NOT set the platform up properly, as if the site would not take my information! Two others, Shopify and  Big Commerce    are really for businesses that tend to sell out–the two platforms are too expensive at this time, seemingly over one hundred dollars a month!

So, if I figure I am only (at this time anyway) going to sell a few printed books per month, why not EBay and its payment platform, PayPal? Now believe it or not, I have actually–many years ago!–sold some of my books on EBay using PayPal . Since at this time I figure I will only sell (using the ‘Buy it Now’ meme) a few books per month in random fashion, then EBay–where I can set up just a regular individual account–is perfect, and, since I have already used PayPal payments which went directly into my bank account without all the merchant-eCommerce platform stuff, then PayPal is also perfect (just watch out for phishing scams!)

And it is just as easy with Amazon , and I don’t mean Kindle. All I have to do is send cases of my printed books to the nearest Amazon distribution center (for a goodly cost no doubt) and get with their AmazonPay system, which is about as inexpensive as Ebay’s or PayPal’s. They do get their ‘cut’ so to speak but it is a small percentage and a small processing fee.

So that, over the course of the next couple of months I will be setting up a system to sell my printed books, Battle of the Band and The Prophesied Band using both Amazon and Ebay. We’ll see how that all works out. Plus, if you don’t want to deal with Amazon (and I wouldn’t blame you the way Amazon treats its warehouse workers!) or Ebay, I will sell you books from my house as long as payment by check or money order is made AND cleared by the bank–once the check clears, I will send you the book or books with a five dollar shipping charge added (I will NOT ship overseas or outside the US. Shipping to Alaska or Hawaii will cost the buyer ten dollars instead of five dollars).

As for the FREE PDF of The Prodigal Band, that can be either e-mailed or downloaded from the Adobe Cloud when I upload it. I’ll let you know when that happens. Plus I will be putting samples of the ALL the books (print and PDF) on the site under the home page and ‘book’ link above.

 

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