Let me begin this by sharing the happy news that Heidi Czerwiec’s chapbook, “Self-Portrait as Bettie Page” is now available. Huzzah! Unfortunately I haven’t received my Barefoot Muse Press copies yet, probably because of the Holiday mail, so I do apologize to the individuals who generously pre-ordered copies from me. I promise I’ll get them to you as soon as possible.
In honor of the launch, Ernie Hilbert agreed to run a sonnet from the collection on E-verse Radio, and in turn I said I would put a temporary link to the Amazon page for his latest collection, “All of You on the Good Earth,” on the main index page of the Barefoot Muse Press website. (That’s how poets/publishers horse-trade, seriously!)
However, when I checked out the E-verse page, I noticed that his link to Amazon was much snazzier than mine–it included the price and even had a Buy from Amazon button. How cool is that? I thought, geekily.
I have some experience of Buy Now buttons, through using PayPal to process orders on the Barefoot Muse Press website, so I figured, somewhat hazily, that Amazon must have made similar technology available on their website. It would make sense, after all. Anything that drives traffic to Amazon must be worth their while, surely?
Folks, it’s even better than that! To access the button technology, you need to apply to the Amazon Associates program, which I duly did. As an Amazon Associate, every time someone clicks on one of those Buy from Amazon buttons, I get a small % back from them for the referral. (It starts at 4% and goes up to 6% if enough people click on my links.)
Now, here’s the thing. I run a small press–a micro-press really–using Amazon’s CreateSpace platform, and I’m often torn between recommending that people purchase the books directly off my website or from Amazon. International customers or anyone ordering 5 or more books should almost always use Amazon. It’s cheaper for the customer, and taking the postage into consideration, I often make the same amount of money. So I link to Amazon all over the place. I promote the Amazon links on Facebook, on the BMP website, everywhere. It never occurred to me that I could get anything for that.
Since joining the program, I’ve changed all those links (which were there anyway) into Associate links, so now, if you click on one of my links and buy one of the Press’s books from Amazon, I get money twice–the referral fee plus the royalty. Neat, huh? (A US rule is that I’m supposed to disclose my Associate status upfront, which is one reason for this blog post.)
So, now if you visit the Barefoot Muse Press website, you’ll see a snazzy link to Ernie’s book, which is, by the way, well worth buying, and on each of the pages dedicated to the individual titles, you’ll see a lower key Associate link to Amazon. I even managed to rejig the layout and align my Facebook Like button to the right.