16 May 2012

Associate Yourself

I'm here to discuss some of the finer points on the business side of writing. So, if you're sitting there with your hand across your forehead saying, "I labor at writing for the artistic expression aspects" maybe you should go back and read some of my SFFS snippets from past weeks while we proceed. Otherwise, let's go!

I'm not sure how many of you out there are aware, but Amazon has this nifty program, Amazon Associates. In a nutshell, you post some extra code in your links to Amazon pages, and if someone follows your link and buys something at Amazon, you get a slight commission (based on a sliding scale based on how many sales your links lead to, on a directly proportional basis -- the more sales you get, the higher your percentage for the month).

Now, I can't guarantee this, but I can assume that most authors out there are providing links to their books on Amazon off your websites and blogs. Why are you giving up on free money? Copy and paste the code they provide in place of your original, and start earning a commission.

I can also assume that most of you help out your various author friends by plugging their books as well. Why are you giving up on free money? Copy and paste the code they provide in place of your original, and start earning a commission.

Once you're logged in, Amazon Associates also has a nifty toolbar at the top of your browser window (as opposed to those nasty toolbars that Yahoo and Google surreptitiously add to your browser menu bars, this one is only visible on Amazon pages). You can easily post a link (while on a book's page) to your Twitter or Facebook page, and promote your books (and those of your friends) the same way you have been. Except up to this point, you've likely been giving up on free money.

(Are you seeing the running theme here yet?)

And the great thing is, the link you provide is the entry point for a user. As long as they buy ANYTHING in the same shopping session after following one of your links, their purchase counts toward your commissions. I can't name the number of times I've seen commissions for books I don't even know about, simply by someone following my links and buying another product. Talk about your free money.

This isn't even counting the recent experience where someone followed one of my links and purchased a Kindle Fire. Free money...

Now I should mention here that B&N also has a version of an associates program, which I am a part of (again, free money for doing what I already was before...promoting my books and others). However, as a point of comparison, I find the Amazon Associates program a far better and easier one. B&N makes you sign up with some sort of third-party vendor, and even then, their interface isn't as intuitive (no toolbar to easily create links directly from a page). But, like I said, free money is free money, so I wouldn't discourage you from signing up...just realize that one is going to be a lot easier to use than the other. 

Writing is a business, and so is promotion. Stop giving up on free money and sign up for your own Amazon Associates account today. If anyone has any thoughts or comments on this, feel free to let me know!