Payment options beyond credit cards

Created almost 3 years ago by Suaine with 14 comments
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Dean fearce dean fearce · Author · added over 1 year ago
Are PayPal or other options available for pre-ordering? I’ve had a few potential readers ask this question . Thanks!
Img 0366 Thad Woodman · Inksharesian · edited almost 3 years ago · 3 likes
Hi Everyone,

Apologies for the delay on this front. We are still working on a PayPal integration.  Just a heads up: when we do roll it out, it will only be available for books we have in stock.  If things go smoothly, then we will roll it out as a payment options for all of our titles.

Sorry again for the delay here!
15230176 Joni Dee · Author · added almost 3 years ago
The need for Paypal has been expressed to Inkshares and @Jeremy Thomas , who went to extreme lengths negotiating with Paypal to try and get them down from their ridiculous 8% charge ! 

As a great advocate of Paypal - and a guy who has a strong base in Israel and the UK, so the lack of Paypal cost me some orders as well .
While i advocate for it, i can also see inkshares side of it, as 8% is just daylight robbery.
There is a way around it though - have a friend or realtive that doesn’t mind using his credit card, order for these reluctant people, and charge them cash. I know it’s not the best option - but it worked for me for a small number of orders.

Also it is a good time expressing the need again, if not pay-pal, maybe a cash option - in which the author himself is allowed to pay for some books, that would be delivered to other emails/addresses. This can be capped at 25 books for quill or 75 for full inkshares - so there is no manipulation that can make a campaign on the back of this... Inkshares please consider ? 
Picture Brian Quentin Webb · Author · edited over 2 years ago · 3 likes
Agreed. I live overseas and have fanagled some public readings at local "foreigner" events over the next month, which is something that almost always ends in sales (personal pleas for support are always the strongest),  but given the CC restriction, I feel like I’m being shot in the foot. Yes, people in Taiwanese have credit cards, but my local audience are English-speakers, the vast majority of which will not be Taiwanese. Even though there are non-descrimination laws on the books, expats generally have issues getting credit cards from local banks and, more often than not, go without. 

And there are no disposable/pre-paid credit cards available here. 

It’s difficult enough trying to get noticed, much less drum up support or make sales, over the Internet. The lack of alternative payment options physically restricts the only real viable option that I have. 
Lj icon me Suaine · Author · edited over 2 years ago · 8 likes
I honestly feel like crying right now and I want you to know why - I lost another preorder because a friend went to the site with every intention to buy and got back to me with "is there an option for paypal? i only see bitcoin and credit card"

I’m doing everything I can to get pre-orders, but here it’s mostly pre-order trading that I can’t afford, or relying on an affluent social circle locally. My traffic comes from fandom people who are decidedly international and they will visit the site, see they need a credit card and leave forever.

There are at least five people I know personally who would have bought the book if they could have done so with paypal. I’m already handicapped because of my financial situation and this is supposed to be a site about democratically deciding who gets to be published.

Well, my people whether they’re local Germans or fandom people from all over are incapable of supporting me, because payment options skew so heavily toward middle class American geeks.

I get that you all tried to help with the whole thing about sharing cards or getting gift cards, but that’s requiring SO MUCH more effort from potential supporters that it’s not really a solution at all.

Please, please consider PayPal at least as an additional option - I know it will probably be too late for my novel, but for the future growth of the site it might be vital.
Cxh300 Christopher Huang · Author · edited almost 3 years ago · 2 likes
If you’re willing to do deal with the extra logistics, you can find one person who doesn’t mind using their credit card, and get up to nine of the card-wary people to join with them in a group; then that first person places an order for multiple books, on behalf of the whole group and you can redistribute the books later.

That’s how I’ve been dealing with the additional expenses of the shipping fees. A few of the multi-copy orders on my book actually represent groups of more than one person.
Ucxjlx5o Brian Guthrie · Author · edited almost 3 years ago · 1 like
First, don’t underestimate that "local" support.  My two books I’ve funded was done almost entirely through personal contacts that I rallied to the cause through various....means :-)  For now, starting out, that local base is your foundation.

Second, I’m not saying go recruit with the message "buy my book and you have to go jump through all these steps!"  It’s hard enough already, that would complicate things.  I would save the suggestions for stuff like this ONLY for people who are wary of using their own card information and express that as the only barrier.
Lj icon me Suaine · Author · added almost 3 years ago
Great suggestions, Brian, I’ve actually been thinking about getting a MyWirecard. For me, that’s certainly practical, though the 1€ fee is daunting when all I can reasonably afford to spend on this in a month is maybe 10€.

Unfortunately it’s not a great solution for people who I am trying to ask to buy my book. "Check out this link and buy my book" might work, but "go buy yourself a 25€ credit card you will probably only use for this, also there is a 3€ setup fee, also you have to sign up and login on another site to activate the card, also in 12 months they start deducting 1€ a month from the money that’s still on there OH AND ALSO BUY MY BOOK please"

I’m not saying there’s an easy solution, all I’m saying is this isn’t as easy as it looks.

Probably we’re talking about a slightly different social circle, too.

None of my friends have a lot of money to spare - they could each do 10$ for me, and would, because I’m adorable. But the fees attached to these cards mean a lot. Now it’s over 25$ to spend on an ebook they might never read, because these are people who would buy it for me as opposed to for the book, plus having to go out and buy the card in the first place, then sign up online. It’s just a lot to ask.

I hope I don’t come across as combative, I really do appreciate all the thought you put into this!

I’m definitely coming to terms with the fact that local support isn’t going to get me very far though XD
Ucxjlx5o Brian Guthrie · Author · edited almost 3 years ago · 2 likes
did some research.  Here are some suggestions:

Ask your bank to set you up with a secondary account for online purchases, and keep only a small amount in that account. The account would need its own ATM card, with its own credit card number. Just make sure this account lacks overdraft protection; you don’t want money moving automatically from your real account into this one.

Buy a Visa Gift Card online from an official retailer.  Con: not reloadable so when it’s done it’s done.  One of many example retailers:  Additionally, in Germany you can buy gift cards at these locations and more:  Gallerian, Kaufhof, Karstadt, Douglas, H&M, etc.

I would need to do more research into it, but you could look into getting a virtual credit card, like VCPay.  Here’s an article from a South African explaining how he is using it:

Another possible method that I would need to test to see if it can be used like a credit card is Paysafecard (  I did a search using my village’s postal code and found vendors in my village and the two neighboring ones. 

Finally, in my research I found Global GCash Virtual Pay, which has a lot of little nice benefits that can be used.

Lj icon me Suaine · Author · added almost 3 years ago
Paypal or Amazon payments would help for sure - it’s not that Germans don’t pay online, they just use their bank accounts to do it. It’s almost entirely debit/bank transfer based. Which is something that’s not at all feasible outside the EU so I’m not even hoping for that. But PayPal, for example, allows you to pay anywhere with your bank account and it’s relatively safe.

As for Visa gift cards, I would not even know where to look for one. There are pre-paid credit card services, but most of them tend to have expensive fees (either yearly or transactionally) and asking people to sign up for something like that as well as for this site, especially if they’re not very versed in online stuff or don’t really have any idea about credit cards in general seems a bit much. It’s a second hurdle to jump through and that makes sales harder.

I’m not holding my breath for a solution, I’m aware ESL writers from the EU probably make up a very small minority on the site and making expensive deals with PayPal probably doesn’t sound appealing. (Though PayPal, at least, would allow me personally to join a syndicate or support a few books, so that would be neat.)
Ucxjlx5o Brian Guthrie · Author · edited almost 3 years ago · 1 like
The topic of PayPal has come up before. On a previous site I published serially on, they were using Amazon payments because they offered a better rate for the vendor.  Some people will never get past their fears of the Internet. You can’t help that. I’ve recommended getting a Visa gift card you can just reload. I’ve really only had one person insist on not giving a card. 
162980 10150347252315626 6077063 n Joseph Terzieva · Author · added almost 3 years ago
@Brian Guthrie you’re in Germany. Do you have an insight that could help here?
Picture Brian Quentin Webb · Author · edited almost 3 years ago · 1 like
I was going to bring this up too, as I’ve had a couple of people tell me that they don’t feel comfortable with using an "unknown 3rd party credit card processor". I trust Stripe, but only because I know it from my Humble Bundle purchases. I see that Bitcoin is available, but there’s a skill/knowledge barrier to entry there that most don’t have. 

Paypal would be a good option and shouldn’t be too difficult to implement considering their API’s ease of use.
Lj icon me Suaine · Author · edited almost 3 years ago · 3 likes
Hi everyone!

Living in Germany, funding is made a little more difficult because the site absolutely requires a credit card and that’s just not something people, especially my target audience and most of my friends and family, tend to have. Is there any plan to add other payment options?