Indie writers also can use depreciation on taxes
Reading is an ocean. Writing is a boat.

How to accept credit card purchases on your site

One of the Credit cards main reasons authors lose book sales online is that potential readers have no immediate way to make purchases. This is true even when the author’s web page includes a link that brings readers back to an listing page, a CafePress page, or a similar site, which the reader doesn’t find or simply never clicks.

The problem is easy to solve: Allow readers to make credit card purchases on your site.

If you do, your book sales (and business if you offer it) will increase. That’s because you’ve made purchasing easier for impulse buyers. If your website’s text and pictures excites potential buyers of your book or services, then credit card purchasing helps complete the transaction now rather than gives the buyer time to talk himself out of it. In addition, you’ll also make a purchase easier for international customers. Credit cards usually solve the hassle of currency exchanges for both parties; the credit card company typically will make the exchange from euros, yens and pesos to dollars (or vice versa) for you.

There are two ways in which you can accept credit card purchases on your site. First, you might set up your own merchant account through your local bank. Secondly, you could set up a third party merchant to accept payments. Also known as a “payment gateway,” these companies (such as PayPal) accept credit card payments for you in exchange for fees and/or percentages of the amount charged.

Each method has a few advantages and disadvantages.

A merchant account typically is less expensive than a payment getaway in the long run, as the service fees are lower. Because of this, if your sales are large on a daily basis, a merchant account will keep more money in your pocket than would a payment gateway. On the downside, since you’re now processing credit cards, you face a number of risks including fraud and chargebacks.

A payment gateway boasts lower an initial set-up cost than a merchant account; many times, it’s entirely free to set up. If you don’t plan to make many sales the payment getaway thus marks the more convenient and less expensive route, as a merchant account will take time to set up and the higher initial cost may eliminate any return on investment. Should you be uncertain if credit cards actually will increase your sales, a payment option is an easy and cheap way to run a test. Finally, if your payment gateway is reputable, buyers are more likely to use it than a merchant account they may not be familiar with.

A variety of companies provide payment gateway services. To boost buyer confidence and to better ensure your own security, opt for a company that has been around for at least several years and whose name is recognizable.

Once you decide to go with a specific company, whether it be a merchant account or a payment gateway, you’ll need to apply or register for the service. Once approved, that company will provide you with instructions for placing an order form or buy now button on your website. This usually means you’ll need to cut and paste html coding into your website page.

Of course, you simply may not want to handle the warehousing and distribution of your book (though you might sell pdfs of it) and may not offer any services. In that case, there’s no need to allow credit card purchases on your website. But if you offer services related to your book or if you sell items such as coffee mugs and T-shirts related to your book, then you probably want readers to have the ability to pay for them via credit card.

Professional Book Editor: Having your novel, short story or nonfiction manuscript proofread or edited before submitting it can prove invaluable. In an economic climate where you face heavy competition, your writing needs a second eye to give you the edge. I can provide that second eye.


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