Although my ebooks are available at multiple ebook retailers, I listed only two direct sales links—Amazon and Smashwords—for each ebook page on my author website. I never considered adding sales links for the other ebook retailers until I read “How to Sell eBooks at The Apple iBookstore” by Mark Coker on the Smashwords blog.
I’m always surprised how often I see authors complaining that all their sales are coming from Amazon, and then I look at their website or blog and see they’re only linking to a single retailer, Amazon. Support all your retailers. Not just Apple, but Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo, Diesel, every one. Your blog, website and social media promotions should provide direct hyperlinks to your book pages at every retailer, so your fans can purchase your book at their favorite retailer.
The easiest way to add multiple sales links is to create an HTML template with all the links for Amazon, Bibliocracy, Diesel, iBookstore (Apple), Kobo, Nook (Barnes & Noble), Scribd, Smashwords and Sony commented out (see the code snippet below). Copy and paste the template into each web page. Remove the comment code and paste the corresponding URL into the anchor code to “activate” each link as needed.
For a brand new ebook, the Amazon, Scribd and Smashwords sales links are immediately available as I publish on those ebook retailers first. Except for Bibliocracy (a new ebook retailer I’m experimenting with), I activate the remaining sales links when the ebook becomes available through the Smashwords third-party catalog in two months.
As for the graphical icons of each ebook retailer, I download the logo off the corresponding website and use Photoshop to create a uniform set of graphic files. (Be sure to read the affiliate guidelines before using the Apple iBookstore logo.) The CSS (cascading style sheet) code controls the spacing of the icons on the webpage.
With the multiple sales links set up, you can add affiliate codes to earn extra cash and track the clicks from your author website to the ebook retailer.
- Amazon, Apple and Sony uses a tracking URL from their own website.
- Diesel and Smashwords has a tracking code to add to the ebook URL.
- Kobo and Nook uses tracking URLs from LinkShare.
The downside of being involved with so many affiliate programs is that reaching the minimum threshold for payment can take a long time. Writing a page per day will eventually turn into a novel, affiliate earnings will some day amount to real money in the bank.
After putting the multiple sales links on my author website two months ago, readers are clicking from my author website to their favorite ebook retailer and the affiliate-related sales are higher than usual.