The big question is how can I create a Bookstore? The answer is that there are a number of ways to do so, but I will focus on how I did it.
In a previous blog I discussed A Business of My Own. That focused on the founding of T&R Independent Books by my wife Teresa (Tess) and myself (R. Frederick). Today, I take a deeper look into the website itself.
But before starting, let me say that there are professionals that will design your website for you. These are available online and the costs vary. I chose to build my website, but you might want to consider a professional. Even so, reading this blog may give you ideas that you can convey to that professional.
I love writing and in many ways creating a website involves writing. There was a time when I worked with BASIC engines to develop programs designed to help me do a job. I no longer do that since the coding has far outgrown my abilities. But it did provide me a foundation knowledge of what can be done. So, I have used the tools available to build my own website.
More about this on the other side of this break.
TR-WritingServices.com brings you this blog post or podcast to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.
TR-WritingServices.com is a service dedicated to help authors reach their potential as independent writers. Knowing the world you live in and work in is essential to being a good writer, thus the need for the free flow of information.
To discover how we can help you be the writer you want to be, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing plus a brochure detailing our plans. We won’t ask for your credit card or any money, but we will send you these items for free.
Check us out and get your career moving.
Now back to the article.
There are a good number of fine website hosts which I believe I have previously discussed in some detail. Check the archives for more information.
I chose WordPress for my host because of the ease of use and because I was already using it for my blog. So, I moved to WordPress and began building my new site. This began a few years ago, but last year (2020) I really made a big upgrade!
Let’s take a look at some of the tools I used and still use.
Plan – WordPress offers four plans: Personal, Premium, Business, and eCommerce. Up until last year I was using Premium, but I upgraded to Business. One of the reasons was that I wanted to have an online bookstore providing visitors with a easy to view and use website. Someday, I may upgrade to eCommerce but to tell you the truth, I am very pleased with Business. If you read their descriptions, Business is considered best for small business, which I am, on the other hand, eCommerce is considered best for online stores, which I have. But I opted for the Business Plan, and I believe it was the best choice for me.
WooCommerce – Shortly after upgrading I got the WooCommerce plugin. This is a very popular plugin that is designed to work with either WordPress Business or WordPress eCommerce. I only began working with it this year and I have been very impressed with the ease of use. I am still in the learning curve, which might mean future changes to the website.
This tool enabled me to create a bookstore, but more on that later.
StoreFront – This is the theme. It is available for either Business or eCommerce. This is an important theme in that it enables you to create a site that looks and feels like a storefront. Products are categorized, priced, and displayed along with a Shopping Cart.
The Shopping Cart interfaces with my PayPal enabling me to receive, process, and fulfill orders.
All-in-One SEO (AiOSEO) – If you are building a website of any size that you need good SEO designs and tools. I downloaded and installed this tool and have seen my pages and posts improved dramatically in appearance and other factors.
Simple Banner – This is another plugin that enables me to let my customers know about a new deal, a discount, featured books, etc. It is easy to use and allows me flexibility in positioning and readability.
Products – This tool gives me complete control over my products. I can control the image, category, stock availability, price including discounted price, item number, whether a book is featured or not, date, stats, likes, and AiOSEO. Plus, I have control which of these are shown to me in a glance and I can change the view whenever I want.
Categories (under Products) – I can create new categories with a hierarchy. This can be important.
Discounts – All books in our bookstore are discounted. I want people to know that T&R Independent Bookstore is a discount store. Not only are all books discounted, but we have times when selected books or book have special discounts.
Shipping and Taxes – Being able to control shipping costs and taxes is something I value. It gives me greater latitude to offer customers special deals.
Obviously, I didn’t do this all-in-one day or even in a relatively short span. It took most of last year, plus there were upgrades previously from my original WordPress website. It involved dedication and hard work, but I am extremely pleased with the look and feel of my storefront.
Come on in and explore the site. We not only have a bookstore that features our books, but we also have a place where you can learn about writing, publishing, and marketing your book. It is called TR Services and it is aimed at the first-time author, the experienced author, and the struggling author. We believe that everyone has a book within them and deserves the chance to publish their book. Our motto is: We edit, proof, & publish the book within You! See you there!
If there is the slightest chance that you might write a book, whether many or just one, visit us and take advantage of our knowledge. The information is free and helpful, and our plans are designed for your budget. Periodically, I will either upgrade the videos or add additional ones for your perusal.
We are proud to be able to offer you the best possible experience at TR Independent Bookstore. Whether you are living in Southwest Florida or elsewhere in the United States, we want to be your local bookstore. We are located on the internet at tr-writingservices.com. Drop in and check us out.
Oh, and if you email us inquiring about our services, we will provide you a free copy of our book on writing plus a brochure about our business.