Chris A. Baird | June 13, 2023
Best Payment Gateways For Self-Publishers

Are you still looking for that fantastic payment gateway to help you in selling your books? You must check out these best payment gateways for self-publishers.

Okay, so you're looking for a way to sell your books directly to your readers, or perhaps you even have courses based on these books, and you're looking for an easy and affordable way to sell those courses. But you're going to need a payment gateway, and that's what we're going to talk about today.

So, in today's topic, we are going to discuss the best payment gateways for self-publishers. The first thing we need to answer is, what exactly is a payment gateway? The easiest way to think about this is that you have something you want to sell, and your customers need a way to use their credit card or another option like PayPal or something else to make the payment for your product or service.

As a self-publisher, this would be your books or maybe courses or coaching or other things that you have based on the books that you're selling. But how exactly do you do this? Because if somebody said, "Okay, let me just pay with my credit card," well, how are you going to accept or take that credit card?

That's the hardest part of this whole thing, and that's one of the reasons why payment gateways exist. Now, there are a couple of ones that I've tried in the past. The first one I tried was PayPal, which allows you to put a little button on your site and when you click on it, it would take you to another page.

But they don't accept credit cards, and that's a problem for many people who just want to use a credit card to pay. Another option, one of the payment gateways I tried was SendOut, and it did the same thing at a very reasonable price, something like nine dollars a month.

When customers clicked on the link, it would take them to SendOut's payment area. From there, I moved on to SamCart, which allows for advanced sales and such. However, it would also take customers off the website, so I couldn't see what they were doing when they reached the payment gateway.

Additionally, it didn't allow embedding, which I needed for my specific needs. The price was pretty high as well, around $400 a month or year, or something along those lines to use that particular payment gateway.

Eventually, I settled on ThriveCart, and that's the one I like to use. I use it for all the things I sell that aren't directly going through Amazon or similar platforms. Let me tell you why I like ThriveCart so much.

Check out this related article: How To Self-Publishers Should Handle Finances

Firstly, I want to mention that you can find my affiliate link at the top of the description. I make a small fee for every sale that comes through, but it doesn't cost you anything if you decide to purchase the product. I only vouch for products that I personally use and like.

Now, let's go through why I chose ThriveCart among all these different payment gateways. One of the big reasons is that ThriveCart allows you to charge a one-time fee and provide a lifetime membership. That's their only option. This is one of the main advantages of ThriveCart.

A negative aspect, of course, is that the fee can be a little high for some people's budgets. However, if you're selling courses, books, and similar products, you're likely to make the money back. Not having to pay this fee year after year is a huge bonus when it comes to ThriveCart.

Getting the Best Deal with ThriveCart

The second thing is that ThriveCart integrates with almost everything. I use it with Thrive Themes. Now, Thrive Themes is a different company, but when I use ThriveCart with Thrive Themes if a person makes a purchase, it automatically connects to Thrive Themes and adds them to the appropriate purchase group.

This means they get immediate access to the course they purchased. Unlike some courses I've taken where I had to wait a day for the course provider to grant access, with ThriveCart, the person gets immediate access. It creates a WordPress login, sends them their login details, and gives them access to the course.

There's no need for additional steps to ensure they have the necessary access for their membership level. It's all automatic. Additionally, if they cancel the course, ThriveCart will revoke their access.

This was an issue with some other funnel tools, where people would maintain access even after canceling. ThriveCart, on the other hand, doesn't have that problem. This is another fantastic reason to consider ThriveCart when choosing a payment gateway.

The next aspect is upselling. In other words, when a person is making a purchase, the ability to offer them additional options, like saying, "Oh, I also would like to get this." This increases your sales by about 10% at checkout, as it gives people the option to buy more books, upgrade their course, or opt for coaching or group coaching. It's a fancy feature.

Check out this related article: How Can Group Coaching Help Self-Publishers?

Now, I already mentioned that I used PayPal once as a payment gateway, but it doesn't work as well. Firstly, there are a lot of fees associated with PayPal. Secondly, with PayPal, customers have to leave your site. Whereas, if you're using ThriveCart, it's embedded right in your site. That's the beautiful thing.

You can control exactly how it looks and feels, so it matches seamlessly with your site's design. You can also see your cart abandonment and understand why users are quitting the cart midway. It's right on the page, and easy to see. Customers can still choose PayPal if they prefer, but we like to prioritize credit card payments.

And that's where Stripe comes into play in terms of maximizing the available options. With Stripe, you provide customers with the ability to pay through various methods. This ensures that if someone decides not to buy from you, it's not because they don't want the product, but because they have the means to pay for it.

However, they want to pay, and that's a really powerful feature. The fifth point is the stats, the statistics for your sales. ThriveCart provides you with comprehensive tracking abilities, so you know exactly what's happening.

You can track the customer's journey from their initial visit to making a purchase or taking advantage of an upsell. It's all automatic, and you don't have to pay anything extra. It's a one-time fee for lifetime access, and then you can use it to its full potential. That's another powerful aspect.

As I mentioned earlier, the sixth point is that ThriveCart integrates with all the tools you're already using. I mean, literally anything. You can set it up so that when someone signs up, it adds them to your email service, and they'll automatically receive the appropriate emails. It can even tag them and perform other interesting actions with webhooks and advanced features.

However, initially, it's important to focus on learning how to use the basic payment gateway features. And then you're all set, so you don't have to worry beyond that. Number seven is coupons. ThriveCart provides an easy way to set up coupons that users can use.

Having an All-Around Solution

You can specify the coupon's expiration date, and provide the coupon code, and it will automatically be added to the product page where customers can enter the code and get a rebate. You can also set limits on how many times a coupon can be used, and once it expires, it becomes invalid.

This helps you manage the usage of coupons, so you don't have to worry about overwhelming customer demand or serving too many customers with coaching, courses, or books. While it may not be much of a concern, you can still impose limits on the number of coupons available to create a sense of scarcity for those interested in using them.

Check out this related article: How To Get Motivated As A Self-Publisher

For example, you can offer a discount to the first 100 or 50 people who use the coupon, and once that limit is reached, it's no longer available. Number eight is subscriptions, and this is a particularly powerful feature.

Customers can sign up for your program, whether it's for ongoing coaching, access to your courses, or even a subscription for your books where they receive new books for free as you release them. The beauty of subscriptions is that if you change the prices, the subscribers are locked into the original subscription prices.

This ensures that they continue to receive the benefits of the subscription at the agreed-upon rates, even if you increase the prices later on. But one lesson I did learn painfully recently is the importance of making sure that those emails are automatically going out each month. If a person subscribes, they should receive confirmation of their subscription. 

That was a little mistake I had discovered, and it was not a good one. However, it is easily solved. I must have somehow unchecked that box. I don't know why I would ever want to uncheck it, but I must have misread it or something.

And for number nine, you can set up with affiliates. You can make your affiliates by simply clicking off a box. Then, you can create a page where you inform your affiliates about the revenue-sharing arrangement.

For example, you may be willing to share 50% of the revenue with whoever brings traffic to your site. People can create websites to drive traffic straight to your site, and for every sale that is made through their efforts, they will receive 50%.

You can adjust the rates as desired, but I suggest around 50% as a reasonable rate when you're trying to generate traffic to your site. It's a powerful strategy to get people to help market your books, courses, and coaching services.

All in all, as you've seen with regards to ThriveCart, it's a fantastic all-around solution for anyone looking to set up a payment gateway. It offers a one-time fee and can fulfill almost any payment gateway need you may have. If you're feeling overwhelmed with other tasks, ThriveCart is very easy to use.

You don't need to know any coding or have any special skills. You can simply use the graphic elements they provide to ensure that everything is set up properly. You can even test it out in the testing mode they offer.

ThriveCart provides all these benefits for a single one-time fee. At the very least, I highly recommend checking out their page. You won't regret taking a look and seeing exactly what they offer and whether this is the right payment gateway for you. 

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