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Ecommerce platform Gumroad announces new publishing features as some authors make $100,000 plus

The e‑commerce plat­form Gum­road, which lets indi­vid­u­als sell any­thing they like through a sim­ple link, has sub­stan­tial­ly tweaked its pub­lish­ing plat­form to include new features.

The start­up is deter­mined to mod­ern­ize e‑publishing by ditch­ing many of the tra­di­tion­al approach­es still in use today, much of which are based on strate­gies and eco­nom­ics first devised 20 years ago.

Bring­ing e‑publishing into the 21st century

That’s accord­ing to Gumroad’s Ryan Delk, who heads the firm’s growth and part­ner­ship ini­tia­tives. Delk believes that pow­er has shift­ed mas­sive­ly away from aggre­ga­tors and mar­ket­places to “indi­vid­u­als with their exist­ing plat­forms.”  And that’s exact­ly what Gum­road cap­i­tal­izes on.  In this par­tic­u­lar case, it’s pro­vid­ing a sim­ple, straight­for­ward and cheap way for authors to reach their fan base with no mid­dle­men involved.  Of all the things that can be sold via Gum­road, Delk says, pub­lish­ing has been one of its “biggest verticals.”

The revamped pub­lish­ing plat­form includes improved ana­lyt­ics, let­ting authors see the con­ver­sion rates from dif­fer­ent sources, so that they can get a han­dle on whether, say, fans from Twit­ter buy the book more often than those from Face­book. If so, it makes more sense for them to con­cen­trate their pro­mo­tion efforts on Twit­ter, even if over­all it dri­ves less traffic.

And there’s a new approach to pira­cy pre­ven­tion in the plat­form.  For­get DRM – authors can now just imprint the buyer’s name on each doc­u­ment, a move that will deter peo­ple from “shar­ing” too gen­er­ous­ly.  Not only that, but if clum­sy gram­mar or typos come to an author’s atten­tion, he or she can sim­ply upload cor­rec­tions with­out alter­ing any down­load links.

In addi­tion, authors will now ben­e­fit from a more fre­quent pay­ment sched­ule (they’ll get paid every 14 days).

Authors delight

And boy, are those pay­ments worth it.  Delk says that sev­er­al Gum­road authors have made in excess of $100,000 by sell­ing via the platform.

An exam­ple is Nathan Bar­ry, whose Twit­ter fol­low­ers num­ber less than 3,000 and who attract­ed 100,000 vis­its to his web­site last month.  Good, but not in the same league as One Direc­tion or Ush­er. But by sell­ing his “App Design Hand­book” and “Design­ing Web Appli­ca­tions” e‑books via Gum­road, he man­aged to earn $108,761 in just four months.  That’s more than five times what he made from assort­ed pro­mo­tions with Dealot­to, App­Sumo, and others.

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