What to charge for a self-published book and can I put a shopping cart on a free website?

  • SVS OG

    I have just finished and sent my book to the printers. It is a small, 24 page saddle stitched book. My cost for 300 copies, with tax is about $4.80/book. I looked at comparable books on Amazon. They were selling for anywhere from $3 to $8 each. I am considering that I could get away with $7.99.
    So far I have no site with a cart but I have a paypal account that I can devote to it and I have a free Wordpress website and facebook page with which I have been promoting it . I don't have to live off of this but I do want to make back the money I spent for printing, at least and a little more for the 10 isbn numbers I purchased. Is $7.99 too much?
    Can I put a shopping cart on a free wordpress website? My husband might be willing to make a website for me and I think it might be free as we have our own domain.
    I've spent at least a year on this little book to get it to the point that I felt I could publish it.

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    congrats on your achievement! So cool to see something through like that! : )

    $7.99 is fair I think. Is it in color? How thick is the paper stock? These kinds of questions will matter to the buyer. I would go $6.99 in the beginning just to see how it sells and get some feedback and ratings. Then bump it up as demand increases.

  • SVS OG

    I think the cover is 12pt. and the paper 85lb. ? I used some samples from Print Ninja to figure out as I was considering using them at first. It is in color. It is all hand drawn and lettered throughout (including isbn etc. ) but that is the feel I wanted to go with it. I hope that doesn't make it look cheap......I will go with your suggestion and start at 6.99 and hopefully I will be able to bump it up at some point. Thanks! I appreciate your taking the time to respond 🙂

  • SVS Team SVS OG

    As far as the website, a wordpress site would be a good start. There are plenty of free shopping cart modules out there. The thing is if you are going to be collecting money look into opening a paypal account to handle your transactions. I am a web designer/developer during the day and a artist by night lol. If you have any questions on the website stuff feel free to hit me up, I can help answer any questions you may have.

  • SVS OG

    @Chip-Valecek Thanks, Chip. I do have a paypal account and a free wordpress site. My husbnd has built a couple of websites so, if he is willing to, he can do that for me..he just hasn't done a shopping cart. He's really smart so I think he can plug one in 🙂 I hope but....if not, I will be asking questions.

  • I recently installed a WordPress shopping cart for my brothers site- the one I used is WooCommerce which is free on the WordPress plugin depository. Found it easy to set up and it has shipping and uses PayPal. I've tried others in the past that are ok, but this has been the easiest to set up and use so far... A lot of the free themes are really good nowadays as well and intergrate with this plugin well, so I would advise you don't over-complicate things or spend loads of money on it.

  • SVS OG

    @Christine-Garner Yay! I just looked that up. So it works with the free websites? I have a website. I'm so overwhelmed with technology. I might ask my son to put it in for me. Thanks for telling me about woocommerce. It sounded the best to me. I have no extra money to put toward this so, free is perfect! Thank you!!!!

  • @Marsha-Kay-Ottum-Owen I'm not sure, it depends if you have a self hosted WordPress installation or just a free website on WordPress.com. It works as a free plugin on self hosted WordPress websites, but I don't think you can install it on free websites at WordPress.com.
    I wasn't sure which your situation was so I still thought I'd mention it. You might have to consider a 3rd party shopping cart service if your website is hosted on WordPress.com. I'm not up to date on those because I stopped doing web development few years but there are many to look in to.

  • SVS OG

    @Christine-Garner Well, i was thinking it might not work on the free ones. I'll check on the cost of self hosted and see if that works. I hope it will work out. Thanks again!

  • @Marsha-Kay-Ottum-Owen No probs. Self hosted is a bit more complicated (understatement of the year) but you can do a lot more with it. Perhaps you could use something like Gumroad to start with? I think they let you sell physical products as well as digital now.

  • @Marsha-Kay-Ottum-Owen I just had a brain wave / remembered that you could just embed a paypal button into your free WordPress.com website for your book rather than going for a shopping cart system.
    It might be worth reading this guide on the subject: WordPress.com and Paypal

  • SVS OG

    @Christine-Garner Thanks! I think my nephew is going to take care of it for me! Yay! My husband bought me a domain several months ago through go daddy and so I guess I have that. It's not connected with a certain site or anything. He and I don't work well together on these kind of things, he's a computer guy, I'm usually way confused so, anyway, it looks like I have some things in place but lack the skills. Thankfully, my nephew is an entrepreneur and has helped people with start up businesses etc. so I luck out in that respect! He can put together a simple website with a cart. I built my other free wordpress site with the help of another author......I'm needy. Thank you so much for your insights and willingness to share your knowledge!!!!

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