Tuesday, October 2, 2012

TUESDAY TIP New Sales Tools for Your Apple iBooks

Apple has some nifty new sales tools and widgets. I'm not sure they're all working at 100% (yet) but they sure do look nice. I've got a couple of them installed here on the blog.

Look to the right of this post, and you'll see the "Book Discovery" widget for my RomCom/Inspirational, Dicky's Story. I made it here:

WidgetBuilder:  http://widgets.itunes.apple.com/builder

If you try it out--that is, try reading the book's description--you'll notice that the scrollbar appears and even changes to a clickable object but it doesn't actually scroll when selected. Ooops. There is no access to the widget's source code (typical not only of Apple but of Java-driven scripts) so I can't even fix the problem myself. Despite not scrolling the description, I think it's nice to have a book badge that links through (dynamically) to my book's Apple iStore page.

I also tried out the "Book List" widget for my SciFi Series of books, The Phoenician Series. Scroll down and look at the right-side column of widgets and you'll see the multi-book list below my Twitterstream feed widget. This also has a visible and  clickable but non-functioning scrollbar. It's a shame, but at least it can display all of my books in the Apple Store in one place--and clicking on one of the books, switches the widget into one of the "Book Discovery" widgets mentioned above.

Today's third and last bit of nice Apple news today is the Apple affiliate program. This program is open not only to US Citizens but also to non-US Citizens. Unfortunately, as is the case with Amazon, my residency in the state of No. Carolina prohibits me from selling my own books off my blog. The reason? No. Carolina's tax laws. Basically No. Carolina wants to collect twice and neither Amazon nor Apple are playing that game.

If you're living in a state that does not have such screwed up tax laws as to inhibit your sales of your own books, try the Apple Affiliate Program. You can point fans to a book page at the Apple Store and receive a 5% commission on all purchases made from that click within 72 hours. Sell my books for me!

Sign up for the Apple Affiliate Program by clicking here. Apple has stores in 32 countries and 19 of them support the Affiliate Program, administered by 4 separate affiliate networks worldwide. Inside the USA or not, if you sell books at the Apple Store, you need to make this extra 5% commission. It's "free money" so why not? You will, however, need to make a separate Affiliate link for each country's Apple Store as each country has a unique identifier and of course, currency exchange on which to calculate your 5% commision.

To start making money as an Apple Affiliate, even if your own books aren't in the Apple Store (you can sell other people's products, don't forget!), you'll need an affiliate code (register at this link) and a link to the Apple product you want to sell on your web site--one book per link. You can get a correctly-formed link using Apple's LinkMaker here:

http://itunes.apple.com/linkmaker/

It'll come out as text, or if you select to use the button, as I did, it'll look like this:

Coming Home (Dicky's Story) - Sarah R. Yoffa

If you're an "eBook news service" (and there are a LOT of those popping up on Twitter these last six months) but haven't been able to offer Indie Authors free listings, consider using the Apple Affiliate program. You collect from the Apple Store instead of from the Indie Author--that's truly supporting our community!


What's Next....
Next week's Monday Marketing will be Immutable Law of Branding (for Indie Authors) 22: Law of Singularity. Unlike the Immutable Law of Marketing (for Indie Authors) Law 16 (also called Law of Singularity), this is call to focus your branding efforts into a singular idea.

You can get a head start by reviewing the Immutable Law of Marketing (for Indie Authors) Law 5: Law of Focus. I'll also do a wrapup of all the concepts covered in this branding series.

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