Independent e-commerce service Gumroad is enhancing the way it helps creatives sell their wares. To help publishers be more efficient, the company has launched several new features, including rolling payments and PDF stamping, and created a verified sellers program. These changes are being implemented as Gumroad shares that individual authors using the service have started to make upwards of $100,000 in “a matter of months”.
Started by Sahil Lavingia, Gumroad allows creative people to sell whatever they want without setting up a storefront. The service only requires a few pieces of information about what’s being sold and then in a minute or so, a link is generated that the seller can place anywhere they wish. Clicking on the link will take interested buyers to a Gumroad page with all the pertinent information entered by the seller.
The real beauty of Gumroad is that, since it’s nothing more than a link, you can include it in pretty much any communication. Rather than having users go through a website storefront, you can just send them a link (or heck, even tuck it into your email signature).
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The company attributes all their users’ success to the social web because it “gives them the distribution that they’ve never had before.” All the while, it tells us that the company never built a “single thing” for publishers. That appears to have changed today as Gumroad is releasing three new features for the publishing industry:
- Rolling payments: The company says that it has instituted a payment schedule whereby publishers will be paid every two weeks just like a regular job.
- Verified sellers program: Many authors using Gumroad have a rather large fan base and are determined to support them. The company says that through this program, sellers will have access to an unlimited price ceiling. Currently, sellers can price their products from $1 to $1,000.
- PDF stamping: Through Gumroad, authors can stamp their PDFs with a special graphic as well as the email address of each buyer (see below), something the company says is an alternative to DRM.
For those successful authors Gumroad has helped, the advantage appears to be with the flexibility it affords them. Lavingia says the reason is because authors are able to control how they’re selling products and wind up making more than “the average traditional author — by far.” The company does not take an advance of any work being sold and says that this helps authors start off in a good financial position.
Gumroad has raised $8.1 million in funding from investors including Accel Partners, Chris Sacca, Max Levchin, SV Angel, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and CrunchFund.
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