With most stores closing down as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, authors are finding new ways to reach their readers. Thanks to online bookstores, getting your target audience had never been this easy!
One of our favorite online hubs is Bookshop.org (if you haven’t heard it yet, go ahead and check it out!) The online bookstore holds a huge inventory of books that are supplied by Ingram, the largest distributor of books to bookstores. If you have already signed up with Ingram as your distributor, then it’s more likely that your books are already available on Bookshop.
One of its exciting features allows authors to create your own online storefront! By setting up an affiliate account, you can highlight your own books and earn from your affiliated link. Plus, you can get as much as 10% of every sale generated from your affiliate link.
Now, what’s great about Bookshop is that aside from selling your books (of course!) you also get to support other indie bookstores. To point this out, when Bookshop invites site visitors to purchase books- a portion of the profits from book sales are added to a pool of funds that are distributed to independent bookstores. In fact, 10% of each sale is distributed to the indie bookstore funds pool.
Well, according to the site, it gives as much as 75 percent of its process to indie stores, authors, and affiliate sellers, with close to $5 million that was already given to local bookstores.
How To Setup an Affiliate Account with Bookshop
Just like a physical bookstore, your online storefront can also feature books that you can recommend. What’s great is that Bookshop allows you to curate your books with its Book Lists feature.
Now, if you had already published several books, the best way to highlight your own books is to create a list one for your own titles, and another kist for the ones that you can recommend to your friends.
What’s really important is to make your lists compelling so that visitors want to buy your book as well as those you recommend. Remember, you’ll earn 10% from each sale—and this is in addition to the profit you already earn for sales through your book distributor.
To get you started, you would need to fill up several fields, such as ISBNs for each title you want to add. You can either type them in one at a time, or you can build a spreadsheet (in CSV format) and import the list of ISBNs.
Other Promotion Options
Now, if you want to promote your own book through Bookshop, you can also copy affiliate links from individual books. The first step is to log in to your affiliate account, then go to your book’s sales page. You can find the links below the book sales data.
Now, you can add a book to your list or generate a widget to display on your website. When you copy the book widget code, you can insert it in a page on your site.
Remember, when someone clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase on Bookshop, whether it’s your book or other books they find while browsing, you will receive 10% of the sale (and 10% will be shared with indie bookstores). Pretty cool, right?!
The Bookshop site and affiliate program are still in beta testing, so you may bump into some issues along the way. However, you can always contact support if you need some help. Additional instructions for setting up your account are available here.
In this are on any book page, you can also easily add a book to your list or generate a widget to display on your website.
Now, what are you waiting for? Go on and set up that store front!