So your book is online and you have eCommerce set up to handle book sales … what, you don’t? Are you using paper invoices? Perhaps not, but there may be a few things you can still do online that you haven’t looked at. As new authors, most of our clients have found PayPal business accounts to be the easiest solution for them.
Please note: If you are an author just starting out, it is likely best to choose the PayPal business account with no monthly fees. However note, that PayPal will charge transactions fees – check the details regarding amounts and which transactions via PayPal.
One of the things we get asked is about shipping. You of course want to get reimbursed for shipping that you have to pay to send your book to the purchaser.
It all starts with setting up their PayPal account. Then, once that’s active, setting up the PayPal button – the facility that when people click on it will take them to screens where they can enter the payment information.
The button can be as simple as one item or a little more inclusive offering multiple purchases and/or including shipping.
While PayPal does have the facility to set up shipping charges based on percentage of total sale or dollar value, it doesn’t currently interface with Canada Post based on weight, etc. to determine specific postage required.
There are a few options in PayPal to facilitate adding shipping charges when someone purchases your book. In PayPal, from the top menu – select the ‘Tools’ drop-down, then ‘All Tools’; then check out the two options below.
In the “Shipping Calculator” section ~ You can choose to add shipping charges based on flat rates for total amount of purchase or percentage of total purchase:
In the ‘PayPal button’ section ~ Set-up a ‘buy now’ button that includes shipping, including a drop-down that allows for various shipping rates (customize button section – tick the box next to “Add drop-down menu…”):
Check with your local Post Office or courier regarding cost to ship your book to various locations, which would be based on such as dimensions, weigh and shipping speed. We suggest that you round up to cover cost of envelope, etc.
For bulk sales ~ you might want to handle differently. See our article on offering discounts. For these sales, your purchaser will likely want an invoice. You could generate one in your accounting program or, if you are an author just starting out and manually tracking sales, you might want to:
- create a template in such as Word and use this for invoicing (be sure to keep a copy of each invoice in your accounting* file)
- or, if you have a PayPal account and/or if you want to accept credit cards, you could have PayPal send an invoice (be sure to keep copies of all or track in PayPal for accounting* purposes).
In the PayPal ‘Create an Invoice’ section (also under Tools/All Tools) ~ you can create and send an invoice:
- Screens included here were accurate as at date of preparing this reference; please note PayPal changes services and screens from time to time, and their Help system would provide the most up-to-date instructions/answers.
- You would select only one option that is best suited to your situation/website.
- It is your responsibility to read all of the information carefully regarding any related fees for the option you choose to use.
- There are also several ecommerce programs out there that you can install on your website to handle product sales. You are best to discuss with your web administrator to determine which is the best fit for your website.
- TRIMATRIX Management Consulting Inc. (“TRIMATRIX”) has no connection with ecommerce service providers and are simply providing this information for general reference. It is the author’s responsibility to review all terms/conditions etc., of the particular service to ensure comfort and compliance with the application’s official terms & conditions, and make their own decision whether service is a fit for them.
- TRIMATRIX does not provide accounting* advice in any form, situations are based on individual circumstances and authors must consult qualified accounting experts regarding their situation, best approach and any and all requirements in regard to accounting.