In the off chance that someone might want a signed copy of Pilot Error, I decided to offer that option with a link on my blog.
The first task in setting it up was to answer the question, “Where should clicking on the link take the buyer?” I’ve never sold anything from either of the blogs, so I had no order page, shopping cart, etc. Did I really want to learn how to set all that up? And the answer was “No,” if for no other reason than to acknowledge the very real possibility that I’d attract no buyers and waste a bunch of time and effort for nothing.
But the key factor turned out to be the Amazon Seller program, which I knew nothing about until my friend and fellow author Deanna Roy suggested that I look into it. I’m glad she did, because the advantages far outweigh any potential downside, which I’ve yet to encounter.
First and foremost is the crucial matter of discoverability. How does a buyer arrive at the link? I’d like to think that my blogs attract enough visitors to generate interest in the novel and result in sales, but that’s nothing more than living in a fantasy world. Last time I checked my count-per-day figures, it didn’t appear that many book shoppers were dropping by. They were too busy perusing real online bookstores. And since Amazon was the only source for the paperback, it became a no-brainer to add the signed-copy option to the current Amazon listing.
With my Seller Account active, there are two Pilot Error book pages on Amazon: One shows a listing for the Kindle version and the paperback, both of which are offered by Amazon. But there’s a link on that page that says 2 new, and it takes you to another page with two choices: 1) the unsigned copy sold by Amazon, and 2) the signed copy sold by me.
When a shopper orders a signed copy, Amazon sends me notification. I pick, sign, pack, and ship using boxes, padded mailers, UPS shipping label sleeves, and shipping labels printed from my UPS account. A UPS store sits about three blocks from my house, so it can’t get much more convenient than that.
An Air Force buddy ordered five copies yesterday afternoon. Amazon notified me about an hour later. I’ll drop the package off this afternoon, with expected delivery by December 22nd. When I confirm shipment with Amazon, they charge the customer’s credit card, subtract their cut and put the rest into my seller account, and send an email notification to the buyer. Pretty slick.
Hint: I have more . . .