Friday, May 1, 2009
An inexpensive way to sell books,
but who needs it?
Jexbo.com is a book marketing website intended to to help authors sell self-published books directly to readers. The price is low. Authors pay just 99¢ per book title per month, and 5% of the sales.
Authors also pay Jexbo 5% of the shipping cost, which seems silly, and strange.
Jexbo says it provides its author-customers with a no-cost website for book promotion, but I could not find any of the sites. Since you'll need a website (low cost or no cost) to send people to your book on Jexbo, why have a second site there?
Many links on the Jexbo site are useless, leading to non-existing author profiles or related products.
Jexbo tells readers, "you'll find unique books in numerous categories and be able to communicate directly with authors."
The site has a few dozen book categories, and apparently just a few dozen book titles available, both paper and e-books. Unfortunately, the category list is deceptive. In most cases, a click on a category returned this disappointing message: "There are no items in this category."
While the cost seems low, the potential business seems extremely low.
No one will know you have a book for sale on Jexbo, unless you have a marketing program that will promote your book and send readers to Jexbo. It seems infinitessmally unlikely that someone will go to Jexbo insted of Amazon or Barnes & Noble to search for books in a specific category and find your book.
Sales are further limited because Jexbo doesn't accept credit cards -- only Paypal. If a reader wants to use the nearly universal plastic payment method and does not have a Paypal account, she'll have to open a Paypal account, or she can't buy your book.
If someone actually does find the Jexbo site, and finds your book, and is willing to use Paypal, you should receive an email with the transaction details so you can ship your book to the customer. This means that the author has to also be a warehouse manager and shipping clerk, and probably drive to the post office.
The 5% you'll pay Jexbo is less than the 10% or 20% that Amazon usually collects, but you get much less for the money you do spend. If you self-publish with POD printer Lightning Source, as I and many others do, your books will be quickly available on Amazon, B&N and other book selling sites worldwide. Millions of potential readers can easily find you. They can use credit cards. You don't have to own inventory. You don't have to ship anything. You don't even have to calculate postage.
I don't know everything, but I don't know of any good reason to use Jexbo.