Everyone sells merchandise. What was once only done by musicians’ teams has expanded to the point where everyone can do it. Including authors, and not just the big names. Indie authors can create merchandise for their books. Or create merch outside of their books if they’re not interested in exploring that.
Having merch for sale is a profitable avenue that more and more authors are getting into. If an author has a fanbase that would like to rep the authors’ books merch is an ideal route to go down. And even if the author doesn’t have a large fanbase, merch if it is well made and pretty enough, buyers may still purchase it even if they aren’t aware of the books they’re promoting. That’s why it’s another market authors should think of going into.
Making merchandise may sound pricy and difficult, but you’ll be surprised to learn it doesn’t have to be. With print-on-demand companies becoming the staple it is, most people create their personalized merch through a print-on-demand company. I am using the print-on-demand company, RedBubble, but there are dozens. Many with great reviews by sellers and customers. Once you decide what company you want to sell with, you’ll start uploading your designs.
Your designs can be created in a number of ways. Some prefer to hire a professional to make their merch designs whereas others will make it themselves using a design program like Canva. I’m a part of the latter but I’m not against hiring a professional in the future if there is a demand. For now, I’m designing them through Canva, which has thousands of templates where you can easily make something beautiful.
Then when you’re done with your design or receive it from your designer, you upload it to the website and that’s it. You make and upload as many designs as you want and if your fans like your merch they will buy it. It’s as simple as that. I created my store on RedBubble a few weeks ago and I already have three designs up for sale. I intend to make more merch both promoting my book and stand-alone bookish designs for authors and readers.
If you’re interested, you can check out my store here. Let me know if you have made author merch or if it is something you would want to do.