Why I Swapped To PayHip
I’ve never been the biggest fan of online marketplaces (aka Amazon). I feel like they want you to spend too much time learning THEIR WAY, and yet don’t give you support if/when things go wrong.
This gave me a lot of uncertainty when I first started publishing books. I really didn’t know how to deal with the “I don’t want to support Amazon but also lots of people buy from there”. I chose to “go wide” with my book distribution. I use Draft 2 Digital and get my books into as many marketplaces as I can.
But I also offer a buy direct option. It’s for those who also don’t like stores and for those who prefer more money goes to the creator. I used Gumroad for this purpose for years. But what bothered me about Gumroad, and many other platforms like it, is that they only want to pay you when you reach a minimum. In this specific case, it’s $10.
Regardless of the platform and what the minimum is, I don’t like gatekeeping and I especially don’t like the gatekeeping of money. And then I came across PayHip. No payout minimum.
I’ve been meaning to switch for ages but finally did it at the end of October. With PayHip you can choose paypal or stripe, so each sale goes into your account. The way it damn well should do!! Of course, I also then had to update all my links. That took a while. But it’s worth it.
The Other Thing
Recently, Gumroad has started sharing how much its users make on the platform:
In this week’s newsletter:
- 13,539 creators earned something
- 3,618 creators earned more than $100
- 610 creators earned more than $1,000
- 35 creators earned more than $10,000
- 1 creator earned more than $100,000
What I want to know is with a minimum payout, how much money did Gumroad get to keep? That “bottom” 13,539 could represent a good chunk of cash flow for them. It would be really interesting if they added a “who earned enough to get paid out” data set as well. How many earn enough to never get paid out? Raw data bothers me as I have a qualitative research background, so I will always want to know more, know the why behind the numbers.
Needless to say, the ethics of a minimum payout bugged me, moreso when I read their numbers, and now I’ve unpublished the listings. I’ve kept my account for now, just in case I have any issues with PayHip (I don’t want to go through setting things up again!). But I doubt I will.
The Other Other Thing…
I also took it as an opportunity to update my pricing. I’ve been ranting a little about how I dislike fake scarcity, the “end the price in a 9″… all that marketing wank. I also dislike how little you “can” charge for eBooks. Or any books really, unless you’re super famous. FYI, I am not super famous. Anyway.
I raised my prices. My books were between 99c and 2.99 and I’ve made them all a flat $5, in line with simple pricing and valuing myself more.
Frankly any and every book should cost more than $5.
I am still distributing my books to stores as I always have using Draft2Digital, I’m just not actively sharing those links. They can only be found on one page on my site, and right at the bottom. Fuck marketplaces, send my profits to me. I did the work creating them, after all. I did update the prices in D2D as well, but it threw up exclusions about local currencies and I’m not entirely convinced the prices have changed. But seeing as I’m not promoting those links, I don’t really care to get into the detail of fixing it.
My Own Hypocrisy
So I’ve detailed above why I left Gumroad and swapped to PayHip. And I stand by disliking minimums. However, as you may be aware, I also have a Redbubble Store. And they have a $20 minimum to get paid out, and I still have the store. Why one bothers me and the other doesn’t is still a topic I haven’t unpacked. Maybe it’s because writing is a core thing to me, and Redbubble is a fun thing I started when I was all doped up on flu meds sometime in 2020? I really don’t know.