One of the many uphill battles independent booksellers face is ensuring that authors include buy links on their sites to someone other than Amazon. You know, someone like independent booksellers. Amazon is a Goliath, so it’s easy to understand why authors would immediately link to them when directing customers on where to purchase their books. But linking only to Amazon for your book is akin to going to McDonald’s every time you want a burger in Bellingham (um, hello? Fiamma Burger? Boomers? The insanely delicious burger at The Fork?)
Let’s get the obvious out of the way: No, you cannot possibly link to every single independent bookstore in the world. But, what you can do is link to your favorite independent bookstore’s site. They’re your favorite, right? So wouldn’t it be super-duper-fantastic to send them some love in the form of business? Want to let the customer decide what indie store they want to support? Then link to Indiebound.org, where people can search for indies all across the United States.
Maybe altruism isn’t your thing, though. Maybe money is your thing. If that’s the case, think about it this way: if you direct a customer to your local indie bookshop and said customer buys your book, you get $$! The more places your book is available, the more likely someone will see it and, ideally, buy it. I know, it’s crazy logic, right?
But let’s say you want more money. Well, enter affiliate programs. And yes, Village Books, like Amazon, has an affiliate program (we’re like the scrappy puppy who refuses to give up a fight). For each book sale through villagebooks.com that originated from your site, you get 5.5% of the retail price back. Not sure what an affiliate program is? Here’s a quick flow chart:
You link to books from your site to villagebooks.com > You go make yourself a martini & kick back and relax > Customers visit your site > They click on book links > They purchase books through Village Books > You make money > You have another martini to celebrate
The other great thing about this is that customers have choices. They’re not cornered into buying books from only one place. They will thank you for giving them consumer independence. We will thank you for supporting us. And you will feel good about yourself. Or be richer. Whichever is more incentive for you to become an affiliate of ours.