Portrait of the author of the book "Before the Portrait"

The Author Direct Bookshop Community

A New Personalized Book Distribution Concept

Be a part of creating a new reality, the Author Direct Bookshop Community, born of your frustration and mine that good books don’t find their readers. No distributor, no wholesaler, no independent bookshop, no retail chain wants to deal with a new supplier. Unless, of course, they become very successful. So how to break the log jam?

But that’s it, the very size of our problem is where the solution lies. Because everyone knows an author, or knows someone who knows an author, who’s frustrated by this impasse. Perhaps you have heard of Frigyes Karinthy? Perhaps you know of the history and research around Six Degrees of Separation? It is in fact a small world.

So let’s bring all these authors, their creativity and their enthusiasm together for the reader (that’s you too) and let’s make it personal. Because when someone buys from the Author Direct Bookshop Community there’s the opportunity for authors to offer buyers of their book(s) a personal message signed by the author.

Per sale commission only – everything else is free*

The Author Direct Bookshop costs you nothing to have your book or books in the bookshop, other than two things of great worth. Firstly, some of your time and passion to set up your book(s) page(s). Secondly, if you want your book to sell , there is community action necessary from you, as from all members. More of this later.

There are plenty of things that start free, but then you’re on an escalator once you want more than the circumscribed free offering gives you. With the Author Direct Bookshop there is no escalator, no next level charges, ever.

So How does the Author Direct Bookshop make any money?

Well, just the way PayPal®, Stripe™ and any number of other services make money: by charging for a transaction, a sale. However, our service is more than just collecting the money for you. We do charge a percentage (12.5% inc. GST) of your sale transactions for providing this innovative service that includes the hosting of your book(s) and all the books of the community. But, you can forget about any credit card transaction costs or currency exchange costs, we absorb all those while providing you with much much more.

But if I do it all myself I don’t pay anything!

Interesting thought, but in all likelihood untrue.

  1. So if you’ve gone with one of the great free offerings from WordPress, Wix, … whatever: “My goodness, this is easy!”

  2. If you’re using any online payment service like PayPal®, Stripe™ or other, you’re be paying for the transaction. The pricing looks innocuous. For domestic cards in Australia, typically 1.75% plus 30c.

    Don’t forget that 30c, on a $30 sale, that’s 1%, so 1.75% ends up as 2.75%. On a $15 sale it’s 2%, so now you’re looking at 3.75%. Wow, it sounded cheap!

    The Author Direct Bookshop absorbs this cost in their charge, so forget about it, it’s part of the service. So already the effective percentage of a sale we charge is maybe about 9%.

    So, perhaps don’t use a payment system at all, just ask someone to post you a cheque? Are you serious? Why are you online anyway?

  3. But you would like my own domain name – JaneAusten.com.

    Ah, but the free service doesn’t allow you to use your own domain name. That’s the first step on the escalator. You need a Premium account; $dadidah per month.

    So you need to register the domain name: “How much is that?:” And you need to renew it annually: “How much?”

    Perhaps you’re on a great adventure trip when the renewal reminders come in and whoops, you’ve lost JaneAusten.com! Gobbled up by brokers just monitoring for such lapses.

  4. You’re not getting the traffic you expected: “Why are people not finding my great works? A friend mentioned SEO. What’s that? Oh! that’s how I’m not on page 10 of the search results when people key in ‘Pride and Prejudice Re-imagined’. A friend said, ‘Sorry, I looked for your book but couldn’t find it’.”

    So Search Engine Optimization is another step on the escalator. You can do it yourself once you’ve been given access to the toolkit, but heavens above, it’s a whole new skill set. Tools and advice everywhere. “But John has a friend specializing in SEO in his own small business. Maybe I’ll find out what he charges?”

Need we go on? The challenges are endless. And all for a dusty corner of the internet. but you could be part of what will be a world wide community, all with the same purpose. Authors shouting and waving, “Buy our books here!”.

What the Author Direct Bookshop does?

  1. We host your book (or any number of your books) for nothing.

  2. We ensure all aspects of the quality of the website.
  3. Expand internationally:
    • At present Author Direct Bookshop sells in USA, UK, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
    • Is prepared to add other countries.
    • Uses Currency Switcher and geolocation to present prices in the local currency.

  4. Establish the Author Direct Bookshop modus operandi in all things including:
    • Complaints.
    • Non delivery.
    • Damaged book delivery.
    • Refunds.
    • Terms and Conditions.
    • Privacy policy.

  5. Over time, achieve very high levels of automation in every possible respect, including:
    • Payment to authors when the book order has been posted.

What you the Author does

  1. Decide if you want to agree to sign any book you sell with a personal message as requested.

  2. Be prepared promptly to package and post your book when you receive an order.

  3. When you have posted a book order, set the order status to “Completed” and where appropriate enter the tracking number. You are then entitled to receive payment.

  4. If for whatever reason you will be unable to post your book orders for a period of time, set the inventory status to “Out of stock”. it’s important for the community reputation that customers are not complaining about long delivery times.

  5. Should the purchaser not receive their book(s) for any reason, you will take responsibility for investigating and resolving the issue, ultimately where reasonable agreeing to a refund.

  6. When you’re ready, signup to be a book author (the link is coming) in the Author Direct Bookshop Community.

  7. When you’re in the Author Direct Bookshop Community you’ll have access to the instructions ‘How to setup your book’. This should be self explanatory but there is a way to seek help from the community with any difficulty. The instructions are what it is necessary to do so that your book appears properly indexed on the Author Direct Bookshop site. But beyond that, note that the Author Direct Bookshop website is WordPress and WooCommerce based, the former having a reported 40% share of world wide websites and the latter a 30% share of eCommerce sites. So much knowledge of the technical underpinnings is readily at hand.

  8. Expend all the effort you would have done promoting your book(s) but now doing it as part of the Author Direct Bookshop Community knowing the whole community is working to raise the profile of this home of your book(s) sky high.

    So write articles for magazines, appear at book signings, plaster your Facebook page, tell your writers’ group, … always in parallel promoting the Author Direct Bookshop, knowing that’s what other community members are doing too, to make the Author Direct Bookshop a special personalized shopping brand.

  9. Bring other members into the community. How many other authors do you know? Lots.

What the Author Direct Bookshop Community Is and Does

The Author Direct Bookshop Community will be a group or chapter based community whose purpose is to increase sales of the member authors’ books by making the Author Direct Bookshop the place to go to receive a book directly from the author. The book may, at the author’s discretion, be personally signed. By being a direct sale, the author’s compensation for a book will be high.

Typical groups or chapters will be organized around existing writers’ groups or other natural groupings of authors. The purpose of the group or chapter organization is to build knowledge, experience and purpose within the group in the best way to benefit from the Author Direct Bookshop.

Each group or chapter will appoint a representative to be the point of contact with the Author Direct Bookshop. Because the Author Direct Bookshop is running as a lean ship, it cannot have staff to interact with individual authors, many of whose issues will be able to be readily solved within the group.

It is often the case that simply by the act of explaining what one’s current difficulty is to someone else in the group, that the solution will present itself to the person with the difficulty. But anyway, with social media prevalent today, there’s always someone else from whom to seek help.

*Originally the heading said ‘Free Forever” but actually, as long as Data Stream World can sink money into Author Direct Bookshop website. Hey, let’s make it a profitable venture for everyone.