Using Affiliate Marketing and Booktopia to sell your books
Last updated 03 April 2023
Written by Jin Wang
*BTW: We’re not affiliated with Booktopia, nor do we have an affiliate partnership ourselves, so we don’t benefit in any way from Booktopia. We’re recommending their program based on our experience with setting it up for our client’s sites.*
Thanks to the internet, authors now have a plethora of marketing strategies that they can use to advertise their books, many of which I’ve written about in my articles. One recurring theme, and one which I identify in successful authors, is establishing and magnifying the author’s unique personality.
This is using social media or blogging to speak in your unique voice, and having a website design that matches that voice. These tools are already at your disposal. They not only build loyalty but establish a genuine connection with the reader. It’s the reason they read your work in the first place.
But once you’ve established your unique personality online, how can you translate that into book sales? Many authors have unique author websites, and many even have a loyal readership base, but most authors still struggle when it comes to selling their work — something reflected in research on the salaries of Australian authors.
“Now I have a beautiful new website… what’s the best way of promoting this to encourage people to buy books through my website?”
—Belinda Murrell, Australian Teen and Children’s Author
The short answer is to sell books through your website and promote them on social media. And one of the best ways to do this (short of selling directly from your website), for Australian authors, is through Booktopia’s Affiliate program.
But what is Affiliate Marketing, how does a Booktopia Affiliate work, and why you should you use it?
Table of contents
What is Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.
For authors, this means when a reader visits your website, then goes to Booktopia via a special link on your site and buys your book from Booktopia, you get a commission from Booktopia on the sale.
Using your marketing tools, such as your website and social media, if you can refer your readers to purchase your books through their business, you earn a commission from the sale (on top of what you are already earning from selling that book).
Usually, this works via the business giving you a unique link to the page on their website where they’re selling your book. You can then embed this link into the book’s page on your author website, or promote the link via social media. When a visitor clicks that link, they will be redirected to the business’s website. Because the link is unique to you, the business will know that the site visitor was referred by you. Should the site visitor make a purchase, you will receive a small percentage of the sale as a commission.
Essentially, you are rewarded for providing your readers with an outlet to purchase your books, using the marketing strategies you have already devoted much of your time and resources to establish, whilst promoting a business you choose to support.
How does a Booktopia Affiliate work?
Booktopia gives you a unique link to your book being sold on Booktopia, which you can embed onto your website, such as on that book’s page on your website. Or you can share it on social media. Should visitors use that link to buy your book, you will receive up to 7.5% commission on the sale, on top of what you’re earning through the sale on Booktopia in the first place.
Why Sell on Booktopia?
If you’re an Aussie author, you’re probably already familiar with Booktopia and its benefits. But if you’re not, here’s a rundown of the benefits of selling there:
Booktopia is a fast-growing online book retailer. In the last few years, they’ve fulfilled over 3.5 million orders and deliveries. They’ve received numerous awards from prestigious bodies like the Australian Business Awards, Online Retail Industry Awards and others.
Lower shipping rates
One issue that many Australian buyers have with Amazon and other international online marketplaces is the shipping fee. This is often a huge turn off for Australian customers. With Booktopia, shipping fees are set to a flat rate of $7.95* for any Australian address. *Price at Dec 2020. See Booktopia’s shipping info for the latest rates.
Huge Australian market
Booktopia has millions of loyal Australian customers. By putting your book on Booktopia, you can tap into this large market, thus giving your work more exposure and potentially increasing your sales.
Booktopia has been around for years and with consumer, familiarity comes trust. This reduces the chances of potential buyers having second thoughts about buying your book.
There is no fee for joining Booktopia’s Affiliate Program. The only investment needed is the time and effort it takes to promote your author identity and your books (which you’re likely to be doing already), and use that to refer customers to Booktopia to purchase your work.
If you’d like more information about Booktopia’s program, here’s their page.
What about other affiliate programs, like Amazon?
Margot McGovern, a YA author and blogger, has written a great guide that shares her experience, not just with Booktopia affiliates, but with Book Depository and Amazon as well. Here’s Margot’s article, Affiliate Marketing for Book Bloggers: Is it worth it?
Is a Booktopia Affiliate worth it for authors?
Once you sign up for a Booktopia Affiliate, it’s up to you to make the most out of it. How much you make from any affiliate program depends entirely on if, and how much, you promote the unique link the business provides you to sell your book. This is where you might bring all the online marketing tools you’re already familiar with to bear: you can promote the link on social media, send the link to your subscribers in your email list, or embed it into the ‘buy’ button on the book’s page on your website. Outside of direct monetary value, there are also other benefits of selling and promoting your book on Booktopia I’ve listed above.
You have an author website. You have social media. You have all the online marketing tools at your disposal. Now you just need to direct those tools toward producing book sales.
Being a Booktopia affiliate is one of the better ways to do this.
Considering all the benefits of affiliate marketing and Booktopia mentioned above, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be using it.
Become a Booktopia Affiliate
Becoming a Booktopia affiliate isn’t complicated, and you can find out more at their information page. However, if you’re unfamiliar with the technical details, it can be a daunting process.
Luckily, I’ve run through the setup with a few of my clients. So if you’ve got any specific questions, just get in touch.