The stir caused by the new marketplace rules at Etsy excited fantasy author Tracy Falbe. She saw them as an opportunity. A part-time seller on the site since 2011 at a shop called Perfect Pages, she had sold vintage books and supplies from her estate sale shopping and occasionally ebooks. The Battle Creek, Michigan-based author had always wanted to list her paperback novels but had believed they did not fit the market’s definition of handmade. Then the company’s 2013 update to its marketplace rules specifically allowed authors to use outside manufacturing services.
Pleased by this green light from Etsy, Falbe decided to list for sale her 4-book fantasy series The Rys Chronicles as a signed gift pack. The individual titles from the series are also listed. These are brand new copies from the author’s stock that Falbe will sign for buyers.
“Whether I sell any of my books on Etsy or not I still think it’s valuable to have my fantasy books in the marketplace. Exposure to an audience actively supportive of artists and independent creative businesses still helps my business. Part of book selling is building familiarity with an author’s name,” Falbe said.
The new rules at Etsy that allow sellers to hire outside manufacturing services have been controversial. Some sellers and buyers worry that the less restrictive rules will ruin the marketplace’s original vision of selling handmade products. Sellers who create handmade products fear they will be undercut by cheaper mass produced items.
On the flip side sellers who cannot keep up with demand for their handmade items can now hire employees and outside factories to build their designs. This will allow them to expand their businesses and thereby support more jobs. Sellers are required to disclose their use of manufacturers in detail so that buyers know exactly the origin of the products they are purchasing.
Falbe’s paperback novels comply with the new rules about outside manufacturing because she designed the product and wrote all the content of the stories. She just requires an outside service to actually print and bind the books so that she can sell them at competitive price points.
“If I had to print and hand bind my novels at home, they would be ridiculously expensive and not look as nice as using a proper book manufacturing company,” Falbe said.
Ever since discovering Etsy in 2008, Falbe was enamored with the spirit and purpose of the marketplace. “I loved shopping at a site that reflects the infinite creative capacity of people. I immediately knew I wanted to be a part of it as both a buyer and a seller,” Falbe said.
She has been operating her business Falbe Publishing since 2005. She is the author of 3 nonfiction works and 9 novels. Although her titles are available worldwide at many popular retailers, she is always keen to find new outlets for her books, ebooks, and audiobooks. She believes that Etsy will prove to be a good marketing platform for her creations. Her Etsy shop Perfect Pages includes her original fiction along with vintage books, digital images, and vintage supplies.
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