4 Shopify Store Tips for New Authors

As an author, I sell low-cost products with a terrible margin, hoping to make up the difference in volume. Lately, everyone is banging the storefront drum as we try to become more profitable. Shopify and WooCommerce are the major players in this arena and having a decade of Shopify experience under my belt, it was an easy decision. 

The advice I see being doled out by experts is blanket advice without a glance into the unique circumstances of a particular author's journey. My advice is to keep costs as low as possible as you get started and then only invest in additional apps and services as you become more profitable and they put more money in your pocket or more time on your clock.

There are workarounds for most challenges. Here are a few of my favorite ones for people new to the Shopify platform and new author's in general. 

1. Always use the free Shopify templates

This is the way to go for several reasons. First, Shopify continually upgrades and improves them so you can continually update for FREE. If you run into trouble, you can reach out to Shopify. If you buy a custom theme, you either have to pay for service and support or wait for them to get back to you via email, which becomes a never ending time suck.  

2. Avoid Custom Code Completely

Custom code often breaks when an update happens and updates happen a lot. This will be a frustrating, expensive back and forth with Shopify experts to troubleshoot and repair. Just don't do it.

3.  Don't Go Crazy with Apps

Apps are a great way to add functions to your store. The problem is that they often come with bloated javaScript and code that lingers, even if you uninstall it. This results in a slower site and lower quality user experience. Tread carefully and just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

4. Going International when your Country of Origin Sales Suck

I'm a huge believer in the 80/20 rule. Instead of toiling, wasting time, and worrying about setting up your store for international buyers, grow your home country sales first. You can set VAT, taxes, and duties up for almost any country in Shopify, but until you are killing it in other countries, let KOBO or Amazon handle them until they reach a decent threshold that it makes sense. Fiddling away with the 1% will waste your time. Did you know VAT must be collected and reported from the very first sale? Stop wasting your time for the occasional one of purchase and instead provide the books2read link for the product in your description. That way, international readers can buy your books on the platform that works for them. When you have a following in a country (for me it's $1000 in sales a month) then you can start selling in that particular country direct. Until then, you could better spend that time writing and marketing. 

We offer a turnkey Shopify Store set up that does all the work for you as well as many add-on services. Press the EASY BUTTON here and get back to writing!

shopify store set up for authors and creatives GA4 installation and review migration
Back to blog