Upgrading your author website to earn more

The past year has given us plenty to think (and worry) about, but I’ve seen one topic gain significant popularity among authors. I’m talking about something that would greatly affect your author business now and in the future: selling direct.

So, what is selling direct?

Many indie authors currently rely on retailers (Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, etc.) to do the selling* for them. After all, it’s the simplest way to get started.

*Of course, retailers don’t typically do anything with the marketing or advertising required for authors to sell their books, so let’s not get confused here. I’m talking about the “exchanging money for goods” definition of selling.

Most of us are selling books via retailers right now.

We’re selling indirectly, and technically, we’re not even selling. We just earn royalties.

The retailers deal with the sales and associated details like the hassle of collecting taxes (and remitting them to various levels of governments), delivering the goods, handling returns, offering customer service, gaining access to precious customer data, etc.

Many successful authors have realized that they could keep a larger chunk of money (and see that money faster, without having to wait 45-60 days to get it) if they were to sell their books directly to their readers on their own site (bypassing the retailers).

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Future-proof your author business by redirecting links

Are you future-proofing your author business?

How do you currently collect newsletter subscribers at the end of your books?

Do you include a back-matter call-to-action with a link that points directly to [insert your newsletter provider]? (Mailchimp/MailerLite/ActiveCampaign/etc.)

If so, you may be making a costly mistake…

Let me tell you about the stupid error I made years ago. (Looking back now, I’m super grateful I made that mistake early on when I only had a handful of books out.)
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How to Forward a Domain Name

Do you own more than one domain name?

Some authors buy domain names for certain books or series (to prevent other people from using the domain names they want). You can use those domain names and point them to another website that already exists. For example, you could point MyBookName.com to the page on your author website where that book is listed (something like AuthorName.com/books/my-book-name).

The process is super simple. Watch this 4-min video to learn how to do it.

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MailerLite and WordPress/BookFunnel

In this MailerLite and WordPress/BookFunnel tutorial, GoCreate.me explains how to connect MailerLite to your author website, authenticate your domain within MailerLite, set up your default MailerLite settings, add “follow me” links on your unsubscribe page, add your Facebook pixel to your site and BookFunnel landing pages, and lots more.

It’s just under an hour of valuable, actionable content, so better pour yourself a drink or make a sandwich before you sit down and watch this.

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Can you earn Amazon affiliate income through Facebook Ads?

Some writers use Facebook ads to attract newsletter subscribers while others run them to sell books. Since minimizing your Cost-Per-Click (CPC) and increasing your net income is the ultimate goal for the latter, authors who’ve joined the Amazon Associates Program are probably hoping to maximize profits and earn Amazon affiliate income through their Facebook ads.

The commonly accepted wisdom is that they shouldn’t (at least not directly).

“Why not?” I hear some of you ask. “I want my 4% commission in addition to my royalty share. Every penny counts, man!”

Well, sorry to break it to you, but using your Amazon affiliate link in your Facebook ad goes against their operating policies and can get you kicked out of the Associates Program.

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Beware of Infringing Upon Amazon’s Trademarks

As an author, chances are that you make your books available on Amazon. Whether you do it exclusively is irrelevant to what I’m about to explain here.

I recently read a post in a Facebook group associated with a well-known/highly reputable advertising course for authors. Someone got kicked out of Amazon’s associates (and lost the affiliate commission that he had yet to receive). Thankfully for him, that amount was small. But many authors make the same mistakes he made, so I’d like to help you avoid those mistakes (and lose your hard-earned income), if at all possible.
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