Selling Books during COVID: Introducing our Online Shops

You may be surprised to know that book sales have actually been doing pretty well due to the lockdown. We must have time to read, now that many of us no longer commute and none of us go to the pub.

That said, it’s been a rocky ride for indie publishers. Small presses, like Claret, normally rely on indie bookshops, events and word-of-mouth for book sales. While our books have always been available on Amazon and the like, when it comes to the online world (particularly online shopping) smaller voices (or at least voices with less financial backing) get drowned out.

Even during the first lockdown we knew that in order to survive (and hopefully flourish) as a press we needed to rethink our digital comings and goings. One thing that came out of this rethink is our series of Zoom events, because we felt that we needed a way to keep conversation and community going during this trying time.

We would now like to introduce another extension of the Claret Press cyberspace: our online storefronts. At the end of last year we set up a storefront where you can order all our paperbacks. The reason we set this up, and the reason you should use it, is that by buying through the Claret Press shop we receive an extra 10% of the retail value of the book, at no extra cost to you, which we then pass on to our authors. That 10% is also matched by and given to indie bookshops, so it’s a win-win all round.

But what about ebooks? The online retailers like Amazon, Apple or Google take a whopping chunk to put a book on your device. And again, it’s hinders the survival of small indies and authors. After a fair bit of research we came up with a solution to this too: the Claret Press Payhip storefront.

Through this site you’re only dealing with us, no middleman. So when you download your ebook, almost all the price goes direct to us, the publisher, which leaves us more to give to the author.

It’s so much better value, in fact, that we can offer some Claret Press paperbacks with free UK postage through Payhip, while supplies last.

We currently have 50 copies of our brand-new political murder mystery Not in My Name, set in an alternative timeline where there was a referendum on the Iraq war, for £9.99 and free postage!. And will soon have copies of Julie Anderson’s second mystery thriller, Oracle, for the same price.

We’ve added links to both these shopfronts to the top right corner of our website.

In addition, as you can see, we have also added a donate button. This links to our Ko-fi page, a donation site which we set up so that you can directly support our work including our free Zoom events. All this helps authors, helps Claret Press takes chances on controversial or first-time authors while still getting you great reads about issues that affect you.

And who says that the lockdown has been nothing but misery?

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