Most authors rely on their publisher to handle sales of their books, but circumstances may arise where the author wants to be able to offer their books for sale on the Internet. One method of achieving this is to rent a “Shopping Cart” service from an ISP. This is then tied into some form of Credit Card acceptance which is activated on the shopping cart. The process of initiating the on-line shop is not terribly complicated, but one can easily end up paying $30-$60 a month in service fees.
Nowadays there are some cheaper options:
If you open a business account with PayPal there is no regular fee for their basic service. It allows you to send payment requests/Invoices to anyone with an email address. The addressee can then settle the payment, either through their existing PayPal account or using a Credit/Debit card without having to register for a PayPal account. One benefit of PayPal is that they handle foreign currency conversions. Their fee is in the region of 3.5% per transaction.
A standard PayPal business account allows you to generate shopping cart “buttons” to embed in your website (or email). If you know some basic HTML coding, you can set up a shopping cart in less than 20 minutes. Finally add a “checkout button” using the code automatically generated by PayPal and you are in business.
I’ve added some examples in the previous blog entry. In the next blog post I'll demonstrate how to use Google Forms to capture Sales orders. If you want a preview have a look at my site.