Selling books online
It can be done. Amazon is doing it. I'm doing it. You can do it.
You can sell your self published children's book. The thing is (if you already have a website), you probably can't do it the way you're doing it presently.
The truth about how the web works
Search engines drive most of the traffic. If search engines aren't driving traffic to your site, then the only people showing up are likely those you hand your business card to!
Let's say you've written a terrific children's book entitled, Billy Builds Model Airplanes.
The search engines are NOT going to rate you highly in a search for children's books. There's no reason for them to! People looking for children's books aren't looking for your book. If they were, they would have typed in something like:
model airplane children's book
So Google is going to send them to sites that offer lots of children's books (like Amazon) or lots of information on children's books (like this site).
So if your idea of selling books online is a four or five page site consisting of:
Well, then your site is doomed to a traffic-free existence, at least as far as the search engines are concerned.
Selling books online - YOUR books
Here's the deal. You need a bigger site. And that site needs to offer more than your book.
I'm sorry if no one told you that. Chances are the company that printed your book didn't. (They might have even offered you a free webpage to sell your book as part of their "package." If so, it's my humble opinion that you can thank them for nothing.)
So what can you do? Is a 100 page site about how wonderful Billy Builds Model Airplanes is in order???
No. But a 100 page site about model airplanes that includes information about the ground-breaking children's book, Billy Builds Model Airplanes, is exactly what the situation calls for.
Talk about selling books online! model-airplanes-for-kids.com could offer the many model airplane books available from Amazon (you would receive a commission on these sales), as well as your own children's book about Billy. You could sell model airplane kits (again, through Amazon) while sharing your own extensive knowledge on the subject.
You could also let Google place ads about model airplanes on your website that would pay you everytime someone clicked on them.
Do you see what's happened?
You've created a repository of information on a frequently searched subject rather than a bookstore that sells only one book! Now the search engines have a real reason to send web surfers to you.
(We all know that a bookstore for one book makes no sense in the real world. It turns out it makes no more sense on the internet.)
I built this website for the same reason you built yours or are considering building yours: to sell my own books. But because I built a website that's about all children's books, Google and MSN see fit to send me huge numbers of visitors!
Granted, my website's focus isn't on me and my books, but I've found that a small price to pay in order to have a diversified business and an audience for my writing.
I urge you to think along similar lines about your own online sales efforts. If you'd like to visit the company that gave me the tools to create this site, go here. They're called SiteBuildIt.
If you'd like to hear me go into a little more detail about the SiteBuildIt process, see the table at the top of this page.
Read about the first time I tried selling books online. It's not a pretty story!
Best Children's Books - Find, Read or Write home page.