Payhip: A new, hip way to publish

payhip-logo-200x200Over the years, I’ve dabbled in the world of self-publishing. I’ve tried blogging in many different forms (this is my first blog and the one that I always return to), and I most recently published a book on hair care. I tried two different eBook formats – one was Kindle and the other was a PDF file. Surprisingly, the PDF file was more successful! The whole thing was made possible with the help of a service called Payhip. To put it simply, here is what Payhip is all about:

Upload & sell your ebooks directly to your fans and followers
and get paid instantly via PayPal.

Yes, it’s really just that simple! I created an account with Payhip, uploaded my PDF file (the file for my book), and set a price. I also uploaded a thumbnail image and a description to go along with the book. At first, Payhip was completely free. Recently, they started charging a small fee of 5% per transaction. This is peanuts compared to what other eBook publishers charge and I hardly noticed the difference when they implemented the fee.

So, how do you share your book and get paid? It’s easy. Once you add your eBook, you are provided with a link to your eBook page. This means that you don’t need your own website to start publishing and getting paid. You can tweet your link, or share it on your Facebook page or another form of social media. Buyers click on the link, pay for your book, and download it immediately. I’ve received only one complaint about difficulty downloading the book and I think that was an IT problem on the part of the person trying to download it. Once she contacted me, I tried to help her resolve the issue on my own. (I did not contact Payhip.) I could have sent her the PDF file directly via email, but it is rather large, as it includes pictures. So, instead, I chose to refund the money.

I like the flexibility to change the price of my book whenever I chose to and offer discount codes. Payhip also offers sales stats and saves the basic information about your customers so that you can verify who actually made a purchase and who did not in case a customer contacts you about a problem with the book. I also like the fact that changes to my book can be made easily and they are instant. This is a much different experience than the one I had when I published with Amazon Kindle. I will be writing more about that experience in a later post.

The only major downside that I can think of with publishing a PDF product through Payhip is the process of formatting the PDF so that it will be clear and readable. It took me a very long time to get my book to look the way that I wanted it to, mainly because of the included pictures. I used an application by Apple called Pages to write my eBook on my Mac. I am not as familiar with Pages as I am with Microsoft Word, so I was trying to learn the word processing application, write a book, and learn about proper eBook formatting all at the same time. My advice would be to focus on your content first, then pick a platform for eBook publishing, then format your book properly. If you have the money to cough up for help, you can always hire someone to help you. I chose to do it on my own because I had no idea how well my book would be received.

When publishing a PDF book on any platform, another valid concern is plagiarism, which includes people blatantly copying your book and selling it or giving the book away for free. Payhip helps with this concern a bit by giving you the option of having the purchaser’s name electronically stamped on his or her copy of the file. This will deter a person from passing your book around because a person is much less likely to pass around an illegal copy of your book with his or name on it.

If you are a budding self-publisher and you want to get your book out to your fans and readers quickly, you should consider Payhip. In case you are wondering, this review is not a paid endorsement. I truly just wanted to share this great service with other aspiring writers. Questions? Leave them below and I’ll try my best to help. Happy publishing!

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