The Authors’ Community

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

A New Personalized Book Distribution Concept

Be a part of creating a new reality, the Authors’ 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 authors-books 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*

At authors-books it 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 to you. With authors-books there is no escalator, no next level charges, ever.

So how do we at authors-books 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** as applicable) 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 including overseas transaction costs and currency exchange costs, we absorb all those, a bit like an insurance pool, while providing you with much much more.

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

Interesting thought, but in reality 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!

    At authors-books we absorb this cost in our 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%. If it’s an international sale we absorb the much greater costs of the transaction and currency exchange costs.

    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 your own domain name –

    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! 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 1 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 authors-books does?

  1. We host your book (or any number of your books) at no cost to you.

  2. We ensure all aspects of the quality of the website.
    • Performance.
      SiteGround hosting on Google Cloud Platform.
      – High GTMetrix performance scores world wide.

  3. Expansion internationally:
    • At present authors-books sells in USA, UK, Ireland, 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 authors-books 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, at authors-books 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 soon) in the Authors’ Community.

  7. When you’re in the Authors’ 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 Authors’ Books website. But beyond that, note that the authors-books 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 Authors’ Community knowing the whole community is working to raise sky high the profile of this home of your book(s).

    So write articles for magazines, appear at book signings, plaster your Facebook page, tell your writers’ group, … always in parallel promoting authors-books, knowing that’s what other community members are doing too, to make authors-books a top shopping brand.

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

What the Authors’ Community Is and Does

The Authors’ Community will be a group or chapter based community whose purpose is to increase sales of the member authors’ books by making authors-books 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 authors-books.

Each group or chapter will appoint a representative to be the point of contact with authors-books. Because authors-books 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.

A quick test of authors-books

Enter the title and author of any book at authors-books into a Google search and see where it appears in the results. No surprise, it will come out top on page 1. Why? Because authors-books has got the technology right.

*Originally the heading said ‘Free Forever” but actually, as long as Data Stream World can sink money into the authors-books website. Hey, let’s make it a profitable venture for everyone so it can be free forever.

** GST: Australian Goods and Services Tax

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My experience with Book Setup

I have set up two of my seven book titles to sell on Data Stream World.
After a simple log in set up, the site remembers me without having to type in details every time.
Very user friendly and easy for authors to follow the clear steps.
Easy to navigate between folders to check on what was written elsewhere,
Note that the first ‘alternative text’ box needs to describe the image with detail as to a blind person.
Pretty excited to be a part of this new system.

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Let’s Hear Your Ideas

A cactus flower
Too briefly beautiful

As Bex has suggested, this is an area for general comments. I’m on a learning curve, never having set up this kind of website before. I’ll try to respond quickly to your suggestions, but I may need to do some research on occasion.

I have now given Bex a role on the website so she can set up new topics like this one. If any of the Mothers’ Group would like similar, please send me an email. Anyone can post a comment (comments are moderated).