Thursday, January 19, 2017

Conquering the Dilemma of Selling eBooks in Person by Jacqueline Vick.

Note from Linda Thorne: I'll be back with my own post next month, but today I have another guest taking my spot with an interesting topic. I'd like to introduce you to Jacqueline Vick and so begins her post.

With eBook sales on the rise, it can be difficult for an author to convince the reading public to purchase a paperback copy of his or her book, especially if that author is unknown to the reader.  It
would be much easier to persuade the customer to part with a few dollars for an eBook than to hand over ten or fifteen dollars for a physical book. Some folks who attend author events optimistically promise to buy the eBook when they get home, but will they remember?                 

To make an immediate sale, the author could open up a tablet or smart phone to the Amazon page, but most people, including me, would hesitate to enter password information into another person’s device. Then there is human nature. When people buy, they like to walk away with something tangible. It’s a quandary. 

A possible solution appeared when I was at a local author event last year. One author had little cards that looked like credit cards, each bearing the image of his book. I thought they were promotional items, but when I picked one up to take it, he told me they were his eBooks and they were for sale. What a great idea!

I discovered three companies that provided this service: Dropcards, Ethrill, and Livrada. While the finished product shown on the websites looked cool, I was wary of going with any of these three companies. Dropcards specializes in MP3 downloads, and their target clients are musicians. Ethrill and Livrada both promote themselves as the place to purchase bulk orders for conventions and the like. Since I assume that companies promote what they do best, I didn’t think they were a good fit for my needs – the delivery of a few eBooks as needed. 

Enter Book Funnel.

Book Funnel is a digital book delivery channel most often used in situations that call for free books – to share works-in-progress with proofreaders, deliver free copies to reviewers, or to provide eBooks that are offered as prizes. I use them for giveaways. It occurred to me that there must be a way to utilize their service as a fulfillment center for purchased books, so I contacted them to find out if this was possible. They were delighted with the idea. 

Once I uploaded my eBooks to their site, I was provided with a redemption link. I made business cards that have my book cover artwork on the front and the redemption link on the back. 

The representative at Book Funnel suggested that I limit the number of cards for each redemption code to 10. That way, if anyone is naughty and passes on the link to friends, there will be a limit in the number of free downloads associated with the link.  I will probably make it twenty to make certain that no one who bought the book finds the redemption code invalid because of unauthorized book claims. 

The cost to use Book Funnel for up to 500 downloads per month is $20 per month.  One feature that I love is, should I go over the 500 downloads, they will fulfill the orders and contact me to advise me to bump my membership level. This lets me save face and keeps readers from being frustrated by a “maximum number of downloads met” message. 

It’s easy to forget that writing is a business, and one of an author’s top priorities should be to meet the demands of the reader, who is the customer. Book Funnel is a great way to meet the demand for digital downloads in a face-to-face selling situation. 

NOTE:  While this will work for self-published authors, traditionally published authors will have to check their contracts or discuss this option with his or her publisher. 

Picture of Jacqueline at a library event in South Carolina. About the author:
Jacqueline Vick spent her childhood plotting ways to murder her Barbie doll. Mystery writing proved a more productive outlet. She is the author of over fifteen novels and short stories including the Frankie Chandler Pet Psychic mystery series.

You can find out more at

Her latest book, Civility Rules. 

Everybody loves Aunt Civility's etiquette books, but no one has ever met the author. That's because Aunt Civility is really the short-tempered Edward Harlow, a secret shared only by his publisher and his younger brother, Nicholas. As far as the public knows, Aunt Civility is a recluse, and so Edward makes select appearances as her official representative, with Nicholas along as his secretary. Edward's latest appearance is at the Victorian Preservation Society's annual convention, held at the isolated Inglenook Resort. The guests are snowed in before the society members arrive, and when dead body turns up in the room next door, Edward is in danger of losing his manners. Will an association with murder—the ultimate unpleasantness—sully Aunt Civility's reputation? Like a good secretary, Nicholas will do whatever it takes to keep the boss happy, but as the body count rises, so does this secretary's chances of becoming the next victim.

Amazon purchase link: Click Here


Jacqueline Vick said...

Ladies, thank you so much for having me on your fabulous blog.

Amy Reade said...

I love this idea! Thanks for sharing.

Jacqueline Vick said...

I hope it works for you, Amy. The finished product looked like a business card. I might try printing them on Vista Print or a site like that and asking for a glossy finish.

Linda Thorne said...

I never heard of selling eBooks on the spot. I learning more and more. Thanks for the information.

Morgan Mandel said...

I've been using Amazon lately, but may need to branch out again, since it's getting harder to sell there. I might try your suggestion.

I do have postcards I give to people at times that have my book info on them.