Why you should buy books directly from the author

I am a science fiction author. 
Actually I am an indie science fiction author, which means that I don't have the backing of a publishing house. I have to do all of the marketing, packaging, managing, editing, …oh yeah I have to write the books too.

Suffice it to say, I wear a lot of hats.
When I first started this gig I was like almost every new author. I had delusions that I would put my books out into the wild and people would flock to buy them from Amazon, Apple, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and any other site I could imagine.  Retirement to the Mediterranean was only a few sales away. 

Well, for more reasons than one, I'm sorry to say I do not yet own a yacht, nor even a little rowboat.

I call those early times of self publishing the field of dreams diversion. You might be old enough to recall the movie; the one where Kevin Costner's character built the ball diamond in the middle of a cornfield, at the prompting of a mystical voice. The tagline from that film was, “If you build it they will come.”
Big surprise! Things didn't work out that way. Turns out if I want to sell books, I have to market them. Go figure.

The significant motivating factor for all of this is that I like money. Who doesn't? Amazon certainly likes it, which is why they make a healthy percentage from every book I sell. In real terms, if I want to offer one of my books for $0.99, Amazon’s royalty structure means I have to take a significant hit on my share of that sale.  For a $0.99 ebook, Amazon drops my royalty to 35% of the sale price. That's right, the big ol’ Zon, gives me $0.35 of every $0.99 priced book I sell through them.

While the royalty to authors jumps up to 70% on any book priced between $1.99 and $9.99, and is certainly light years ahead of royalties earned by traditionally published authors, there is one really big problem with selling through a retailer. They do not pay out my earnings on a sale for 60 days. Some of the retailers have a minimum threshold on what they will pay out on. How would you like to have your income held back for two or more months?
Until recently I was content to work with the situation because I believed it was the only available option. Then, somebody suggested I try selling my books from my website.
I guess it was a bit of an epiphany, because after some thought, I decided ‘what the heck,’ and built a bookstore on my website.

Cutting out the middle man clearly has some obvious advantages, but there is still one question to be answered. What advantage is there for my readers to buy directly from me?
I shall attempt to answer that question.

Without further ado, here are some reasons why I think you should buy my e-books directly from me.

  1. I can afford to offer you big savings by buying direct from me. Because I have cut out the middleman, I can afford to pass on savings to the reader. I can actually afford to offer my books at a discount from the Amazon price if I do it through my website.

  2. You will be able to read my new books long before they become available on the big sites, and…

  3. I will be offering products that will never be available on Amazon, like exclusive novellas, short stories, and box sets.

  4. I offer bonuses and extras along with the sale of new releases through my site; things like related short stories, character interviews, audio books, paperbacks…you name it.

  5. I can sell cool stuff in addition to books. Merchandise, related to my books is something that would be more difficult to do on the big sites, but quite easy through my website.

  6. I get paid immediately after the sale and do not have to wait for 60 plus days to see revenue. How is that good for the reader? The answer comes down to cash flow.
    All of my writing is self funded. That means I can't get books edited, or covers made until I have the funds available. The sooner I get paid, the sooner I can afford to put out the next book in the series. The end result is that you, the reader, will get more stuff from me, more often.

None of this means that I will stop selling my books on Amazon, Kobo, Apple, Barnes & Noble, or any other significant retail channel. It only makes sense for me to diversify my sources of income and get my books into the hands of as many readers as possible.
I appreciate that some people prefer to purchase from their favourite retailer for a number of reasons, and I respect that. My major releases will always be available on those sites, but they will always be more affordable to purchase directly from me.

Some people may be concerned they won’t be able to read books bought from my site on their particular eReader. I have that covered.
I deliver all of my books through a service called  Bookfunnel. They ensure that ePub and mobi versions of my books are readable on any computer, tablet, phone or e-reader, including a kindle. They even offer technical support if you experience difficulty loading my books to your device.

As far as payment goes, I offer secure, encrypted payment through PayPal and Stripe, meaning you can use your credit card, or PayPal account. I am looking into adding Apple Pay in the future.

With all of that being said, I want to thank you for your support of indie authors. Without our readers, none of us would have a chance to try earning a living from writing. Please check out my budding store selection at the link below. I will certainly be grateful for any purchase that you make, and will be adding more books regularly as I publish new material in the coming months.


  • Frank Dungen says:

    This sounds reasonable to me Doug. I only hope that I can download the books on my kobo.

    • Doug Pruden says:

      The books are all downloadable onto any device. The bookfunnel site can assist you, should you require it. Also, a mutual acquaintance (PB) loads his books onto a kobo reader and can show you the ropes.

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