Author Website Tech: Affiliates to Sell Your Books

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This month-long series of blog posts will explain author websites and offer tips and writing strategies for an effective author website. It alternates between a day of technical information and a day of writing content. By the end of the month, you should have a basic author website up and functioning. The Table of Contents lists the topics, but individual posts will not go live until the date listed. The Author Website Resource Page offers links to tools, services, software and more.
AuthorWebsiteResources


Help Your Fans Buy Your Books

WWW under construction building website
We’ve been emphasizing all month the 2008 Codex study that explains why readers want to come back to an author’s website. One thing that is NOT on the list is links to buy your books. But you should definitely provide these.

Call to Action. When businesses advertise, they emphasize the importance of a Call to Action. This is when you ask your reader to DO something. Every page on your site should have a Call To Action (CTA). Buy my book. Download a sample chapter. Download coloring pages. Read this unpublished story. And so on.

Decide what you want a reader to DO when they come to a certain page. And then make the CTA a bold, bright and clickable button. Or use a larger font or interesting color. For interesting buttons, try DaButtonFactory.com or other similar free sites that let you customize the text, colors, style and size.

Affiliate Book Sales

Where would you like to send readers to buy your books? Some online bookstores offer a commission when you send readers to their site. The percentage varies from program to program and often the more referrals you send to a site, the higher the percentage. You’ll need to read the terms and conditions of each affiliate program to understand if it fits your needs. Here’s three affiliate to start with.

  • Amazon affiliate: http://affiliate-program.amazon.com. The grand-daddy of affiliate programs, Amazon.com offers affiliate sales on books and everything else they offer for sale. Not available if you live in Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, or Rhode Island.
  • The IndieBound program allows you to link to any Independent Bookstore and earn a commission on referrals. Indie bookstores use the Kobo ebook reader, and you can link to ebooks through the IndieBound program, too.
  • Powell’s affiliate: Oregon’s huge independent bookstore also runs an affiliate program.

Other online bookstores offer affiliates and it makes sense to look around for one that maktches your book’s niche.

NOTE: If you use affiliate links, you’ll need to go back to your Privacy Page and indicate this.

If you are linking to affiliates to create a secondary income, also consider this:
Readers want to know Author’s Literary Tastes. Readers want lists of the author’s favorite writers and recommended books. Younger fans are also more interested in knowing about their favorite authors’ book, music, and movie recommendations. You could create recommended lists of books, music, movies and so on, and add affiliate links. Link to your own books, of course. But don’t be shy about listing your Top 10 Favorite Mysteries of the Year. Or anything else that reflects your literary tastes.

To make the process easy, Search for plugins that make it simple to add the affiliate codes to your site.

Plugins to Sell Your Books Yourself

When we talked about WordPress Plugins, I mentioned that there are times you may want to sell books from your site. Epubs and pdfs are easy enough because you only have to deliver a digital file. This article summarizes WordPress Plugins that make this simple. On the other hand, this Smashing Magazine article summarizes five shopping cart services that work well within your WordPress.

Of course, I have to add a CTA to this page, to practice what I preach! Even if you don’t want to buy, click below to see how the Gumroad shopping cart works. Did you also notice that I added a button to the Author Website Resources link above? It’s a button from DaButtonFactory.com
AuthorWebsiteResources


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