Should You Use Affiliate Marketing to Sell Your E-book?

As far as I'm concerned, the answer is yes. If you're trying to sell your e-book (as opposed to giving it away for free), I'd recommend using affiliate marketing (having others sell your e-book for you for a cut of the profits).

The two biggest mistakes I made with my first e-book were not having it instantly downloadable and not setting up an affiliate program. I already remedied the first problem, and I don't plan to make the second mistake again.

Why Should You Use Affiliate Marketing to Sell Your E-book?

1. Affiliates take a lot of the marketing work out of your hands. They'll post links to your e-book sales page with their affiliate code, they'll talk about it on their site or blog, they'll conduct article marketing campaigns on your behalf to drive sales, they'll add links to your product to their forum signatures, etc. If you only have one e-book, you may not mind doing all of the marketing solo. If you want to write multiple e-books, or not have e-book marketing taking unnecessary time away from your billable hours, marketing your services, etc. (meaning, if you want it to become a somewhat more passive revenue stream), it would be incredibly difficult to go it alone.

2. There's little to no up front cost. You'll generally pay a cost to your affiliate program provider (which can also be your e-book distribution service, like ClickBank or E-Junkie) for setups or on a monthly or per-sale basis, but they also take care of most of the back end administrative work of managing an affiliate program for you (they'll handle sales, payouts, returns, etc.).

3. If your e-book is being sold through your primary website or blog (rather than its own site), the marketing done by affiliates will increase your traffic (and potential earnings through advertising or other means, in addition to e-book sales).

Simply put, affiliates can market your site more quickly than you can alone, and having others promote your product rather than having all promotional messages out of your own mouth can give your e-book added credibility along the way. Affiliate marketing has the potential to give you even more sales with a higher price point (to account for affiliate commissions) than you may be able to pull off on your own while trying to appeal to buyers through a lower price (and in some niches, too low of a price can hurt the perceived value to begin with - as an e-book author I spoke with very recently pointed out after dropping sales when he dropped his e-book price).

Any thoughts you'd like to share on affiliate marketing? Have you used it? Do you plan to?

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Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, consultant, and indie author. She runs numerous websites & blogs including All Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Pros, NakedPR, and Kiss My Biz.

Jenn has 25 years' experience as a professional writer and editor and over 20 years' experience in marketing and PR (working heavily in digital PR, online marketing, social media, SEO, new media, and thought leadership publication). She also has 19 years' professional blogging and web publishing experience (including web development) and around 18 years of experience as an indie author / publisher.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names and is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

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2 thoughts on “Should You Use Affiliate Marketing to Sell Your E-book?”

  1. I would love to use affiliate marketing to help market my future e-books! (I have 3 in the works.)

    I am familiar with Clickbank, but I will have to check out E-junkie.

    Reply
  2. I’m thinking about paydotcom as an affiliate. I have a website. Am working on the sales page. I wouldn’t mind feedback on the sales page from the group when I’m done. But I figure I have to write that before I can add the merchant affiliate account.

    There’s also lulu.com and some other ebook outlets.

    Reply

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