One way to engage your readers—and grow that readership even larger—is to offer them incentives that will help you sell more books. You can offer a free book to the people who are willing to share its publication announcement with their own social media networks. Or, even better for you both, you can invite these fans to register as affiliates with the various ecommerce merchant(s) you’re selling your books through (such as Amazon or Kobo). Once they’ve set up their affiliate profiles, they will be able to download customized affiliate links to your books that will track directly back to them, and they can share those links on their blogs and social media websites rather than just the standard website link. This way, they earn a little bit of money by helping you out. It’s like having a 100% commission sales force working for you without any upfront investment on your part whatsoever. Here’s a great description of affiliate marketing from a post titled “Affiliate Marketing 101: Part I” on the Acceleration Partners® blog:
WHAT IS AFFILIATE MARKETING?
Essentially affiliate marketing involves a merchant paying a commission to other online entities, known as affiliates, for referring new business to the merchant’s website. Affiliate marketing is performance-based, which means affiliates only get paid when their promotional efforts actually result in a transaction.
As the author, you don’t have to track or pay for anything out of your own pocket. These transactions are between the affiliates (your readers) and the online merchants they registered with. At the end of the day, you’ll still get paid whatever royalty percentage you would normally be paid for the sale of your ebooks on each merchant’s website, and your affiliates’ commissions will be taken care of for you in the background. It’s a win-win-win scenario for you, the affiliate(s), and the merchant.
Where Kobo and Amazon have great affiliate programs that can help you sell more books, there is another website that can help you drive more traffic to an upcoming author event such as a bookstore signing or restaurant book launch: that website is called Eventbrite. It’s a great tool, and it’s completely free of charge to use just like the others. Not only does Eventbrite help you organize all your event details and ticket sales, it also offers a great affiliate marketing program which means you can get help selling more tickets from your existing fan base. It’s also worth noting that you can sync your Eventbrite events with your Facebook page for additional reach and exposure there.
Affiliate marketing is an important tool for authors to use in building their readerships overtime. It is an efficient way to engage with your fans and reward them for buying your books. It’s also a great way to draw in new readers. Look to the right of this article at all the links to various books on Amazon. Those are affiliate links. Look through all the posts in this blog and you’ll see many other examples of the same. It generates passive income for me as an author and publisher. I highly recommend you do the same for yourself.
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