Monday, January 30, 2012

Why would anyone use Jexbo to buy or sell books? is a book marketing website intended to help authors sell self-published books directly to readers. The selling cost is low. Authors pay just 5% of the selling price. There used to be an additional fee of 99 cents per book title per month, but that fee seems to have been eliminated.

Maybe Jexbo should be eliminated, too.

Many links on the Jexbo site are useless. The media kit and other listed sections and pages are phantoms. Most links to pages off the site go nowhere.

Today is January 30th. The "Newest Books" section says, "There are no new books this month." I have a feeling that there were none last month, or the month before.

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. Unfortunately, the category list is deceptive.
  • In many cases, a click on a category such as "Technology & Applied Sciences: All,"  returned this disappointing message: "There are no items in this category."
  • For "Math," there was one book -- and it's in French and costs $40 including shipping. For contrast, offers nearly a quarter of a million math books -- and most are in English.
  • Jexbo has no books about travel in the USA, South America, Africa or the Middle East (but the categories are listed).
  • There are no books about U.S. history, baking, baseball, art history or animals (but the categories are listed).
  • The religion section shows no books about Islam, Judaism or Mormonism. There are books about Christianity, but a search for "Christianity" shows "no results."
While the cost to sell books seems low, the potential business seems tinyNo 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. Some people don't like Paypal.

It can cost more to get a book from Jexbo than from another bookseller.
  • Simple Publicity by Melanie Rembrandt costs $19.99 plus $4.98 for shipping on Jexbo, but $19.99 and either nothing or $3.99 for shipping at Amazon.
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.

Like eBay, Jexbo is a go-between, not a seller. If a book does not arrive or arrives damaged, the buyer has to deal with the seller -- not with Jexbo. Unlike eBay, Jexbo does not rate sellers or have a system for resolving disputes.

The 5% a publisher will 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 or CreateSpace, 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 know a lot, but I don't know of any good reason to use Jexbo. I first wrote about Jexbo nearly three years ago. It offered little then, and offers little now. In 2009 Jexbo said it provided its author-customers with a no-cost website for book promotion, but I could not find any of those sites in 2009 -- or today.

The Jexbo online forum is nearly empty. Back on May 16, 2011, someone said, "Hello moderator. Are you out there?" There is still no response.

I don't understand why Jexbo is still in business. The corpse is in a hole in the ground. It's time to shovel on the dirt and walk away.


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