Making Money Moves: How Merch Sales Can Help Grow Your Brand

How to Use Merchandise Sales on your Website to Make Money and Grow Your Brand

In today’s economy, it’s a given that relying on a single stream of income is risky business. For authors, that means looking at your books as content and finding ways to slice and dice your creative work into other methods of consumption such as audiobooks, serials, or paid newsletters. 

Having multiple channels of distribution and revenue for your books is a smart start. But how can you expand and maximize your sales potential without carving too deeply into precious writing time? The answer could be the addition of a merchandise store to your website to delight your fans, expand your brand, and reliably increase your bottom line. 

What’s for Sale? 

Fans love merch. Posters, key chains, magnets, stickers, and notebooks have all become staples at Comic-Con and other public events. 

For diehard fans, it’s a way to identify themselves to one another and feel part of an inner circle. To satisfy that audience, it’s common for traditional publishers to offer mugs, hats, stickers, and other swag on an author’s website, for sale or as promotional giveaways. On Leigh Bardugo’s website, for example, you can purchase a plethora of items related to her Grishaverse like Darkling socks and Six of Crows tote bags. They often run contests for autographed and one-of-a-kind items. 

How Indie Authors Can Ride This Wave

Technologically speaking, indie authors have the same capabilities at their disposal. With free website builders like Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress, innovative authors offer a multitude of products directly for sale or download from their website like signed books, collector’s editions, downloadable chapters, free novellas in PDF format, and audio copies.

Some have expanded their ecommerce store to include branded merchandise using dropship companies like Printful and Art of Where, which allow you to create customized products like mugs, t-shirts, tote bags, stickers, mousepads, hats, keychains, and hundreds of other products. These items are displayed alongside any other merchandise you have for direct sale or download, creating a one-stop-shop for your fans.