Building My Online Store?

In today’s video I start by talking about ERA for Navigator RPG. That is really exciting, but if you read this blog because of my shared thoughts on making a living from writing for games, the second half of the video will be of more interest.

Since I made the video, about 4hrs ago, I have had lunch and deleted all the items in the store, watched the wooComerce videos on creating digital downloads, installed the PayPal payment gateway and read the LuLu documentation.

Creating the download store is going to be easy. I will get a least one product up and working today. It may even be live by the time you read this.

The challenge looks like it is going to be getting print on demand integrated.

The easy option is to use the shopify app and woo plugin. This would mean putting all the PDFs and books on a shopify shop and then using the shopify wooCommerce plugin to handle putting the products on this site, handling the payments and fulfillment.

For that to work, I need to find out if I can run a download store from Shopify.

Shopify has four levels of service, lite starts at $9/month, then $29, $79, and $299/month. The gain would be that I would only be paying a fraction under 3% in costs per sale, rather than 30%.

If I go with purely digital for now, and the PayPal solution, there are no upfront or running costs, but chargebacks can be a killer. If someone decides that they don’t want the PDF after buying it, the store gets charged for processing the refund.

Going the PayPal way for Print on Demand would mean using the Lulu API. I have never implemented an API, but how hard can it be?

I think I am leaning towards PayPal and the Lulu API. It will be an interesting learning challenge.

In the meantime, I can set up a digital download store, to learn the back end side of things.

Then of course, the product page optimisation can start.

Update: Enter solo in the Search Products box to see the current version of the product listing.

4 thoughts on “Building My Online Store?”

  1. Schwalb use Shopify, so I’m tempted to go with what a bigger publisher is using. With APIs, I’ve found – though it’s a while since I’ve dealt with any – that the problem isn’t the implication, it’s the changes that are done to the API that you then have to fix.

    • I have done some background reading, and shopify offers a fist full of ‘apps’ that you use to build your store. There is a digital downloads app and a lulu POD app. Put the two together and you have an RPG store.
      You also have the advantage of you being a paying customer, so they have to support you.

      The only flaw seems to be that you would be a customer of Shopify, WooCommerce, and Lulu, and you can bet your life that whoever you contact will blame one of the other two.


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