How I Accept Credit Cards At Book Signings And Other Events! By Lance Fogan

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Less than two years ago, I purchased an item from a vendor in a large meeting hall. This was my first personal experience with a device that would take my ability to process credit card orders anywhere WiFi is available. I was intrigued. I am not a technical person. The vendor told me how easy it was to acquire her payment device, and get it working. It is a complete point of sale. She quickly passed my credit card’s magnetic strip through the slot on the small device that was plugged into the headphone jack outlet of her iPhone. Within seconds, her iPhone displayed that my credit card was accepted. I then signed my name with my finger on the iPhone screen. I wanted a receipt so she then typed in my e-mail address. The e-mail receipt was in my computer’s mailbox when I arrived home a few hours later.

I have been a member of the BookLocker-author family for almost one year and I publicize my epilepsy novel, DINGS, in many ways. These include writing blogs on my website: LanceFogan.com, and writing tweets on my Twitter account about my novel. The tweets refer my followers back to my website to read my blog and book excerpts. I also give readings, and appear with other authors at venues to publicize and sell books,

My own mini card reader adds to my cache, and imparts a professional element to my avocation. I had been accepting cash and checks. Several manufacturers make readers available. I purchased my Square card reader at my local Apple store and I use it with my iPad. Apple charged $10 for it, but this is reimbursed with its use. If you register on-line directly with the Free Square Reader site, a free one is mailed to you. The Apple store sales staff ran through a demonstration. It really was easy to set up my Square account. It’s a free app download for iOS and Android OS. I put in my item to sell – my one novel, DINGS. Users can add other items of any sort and put in their respective prices and discounts.

The one inch by one-half inch thick square plugs into the headphone jack on iPhones, iPads and Android devices. All prices with taxes and discounts you wish to apply are totaled when you click “charge.” The Square company automatically deducts 2.75% of your sale with each card swipe. There are no other fees. There are no contracts. Use it or don’t. Debit cards and most credit cards are accepted, including American Express and Discover. The Square deposits the sale amount from all card payments into the bank account which I entered in the set-up phase of getting started. I have entered on my iPad’s Square site the sales taxes for three nearby local counties. The local county sales tax is then automatically added to my sale price. For instance, I wanted my total book price to come out to $20 exactly. This makes it easy if anyone wishes to purchase my novel with cash. My local county tax is 9%. The tax of $1.65 + the cost of the book, $18.35, totals $20. Easy! The payment appears in my banking account the next day if transacted before 5 PM. The Square will keep records of all of your transactions, too.

Anyone reading this may think that I am connected to the Square Company in some way. I am not. I’m just a satisfied user. Helpful on-line information is readily available.

Lance Fogan, a retired neurologist in Southern California, teaches neurology at UCLA. He has participated in a weekly literature/writing class in order to get “educated” since 2000. Current pursuits include documenting his two young grandsons’ lives and the memories they spark within him.