First, a quick word on affiliate traffic....for those who don't know. Most online retailers offer a small commission on the purchases made to a website owner willing to advertise their products. Amazon has such a program, called Amazon Affiliates with very cool widgets and API tools. Like most areas of comparison between Barnes and Noble and Amazon, Barnes and Noble's program is a half-hearted shell of the robust Amazon offering.
Barnes and Noble's affiliate program is through LinkShare. It's not even in-house. Then, only select affiliates were allowed to "deep link" that is link to specific products to recommend to their readers. And finally, the death knell has sounded for Nook, as the Terms and Conditions were just updated to include this:
All products sold on BN.com receive 6% commission with the exception of customized gift cards, eBooks, digital magazines, digital newspapers, and any other ePeriodical.
That's right, affiliate percentages are only 4-6% on average, a few programs offer the sweet deal of 10%. To be clear, affiliates ONLY receive this commission on the purchases made by the traffic THEY drive to the site. This is tracked using cookies and tokens in the URL.
Affiliates ALREADY lost out on significant ebook affiliate monies because there's only a 30-60 minute window for a purchase to be made for it to count towards the affiliate. So, if I visited say, KotC, saw an ebook that struck my fancy, downloaded a sample, read it, and then purchased the book, they don't get affiliate monies for that. I'd have to go back to KotC, click the link again, and then make my purchase for it count for them. And on a $.99 ebook, that's a $0.4-$.06 commission for them for taking the time to highlight the book for me....
THIS IS BAD FOR NOOK INDIE BUSINESS
There was already a gross disproportion of Kindle book review and recommendation sites than Nook Book sites. Partly because it took so long for Barnes and Noble to even HAVE an affiliate network, and Amazon's been running an in-house affiliate program for years. With no return on advertising a Nook ebook, there is really no monetary incentive for a review site or book recommendation site to advertise Nook ebooks. Sorry, Barnes and Noble, advertising is NOT free!!!!!
It takes HOURS to go through author submissions, verify information, and make daily listings of books. I don't know of a single ebook reviewer or site owner about to retire on the riviera from that 4-6% kick back for advertising products. There ARE big time sites with tons of traffic that make a decent living doing what they do best, advertise to the masses, but the reality is the more traffic you have, the more staff you need and server costs you incur.
I am VERY disappointed in Barnes and Noble's continual stifling attitude towards digital reading. They already do not link paperback and Nook book versions on many books, burying ebook listings of titles below insidious products like Noise-Cancelling Headphones!
When my ebook of Cancelled was available on Nook, the keyword Cancelled brought up the Amazon distributed paper book first. Yes, the AMAZON distributed Createspace paperback was result #1. What was next? Three sets of noise-cancelling headphones. Finally, below the fold, they listed the Nook book published through their own digital publishing arm, PubIt!.
To now cut affiliate marketing on Nook books either screams to me they are lacking funds to pay for the results-rewarded advertising campaign, or they are indeed preparing to spin Nook off into a separate company... Either way, it's a really dumb way to give Amazon yet ANOTHER advantage.
This isn't about killing the indies etc. as it applies to ALL Nook books, including traditionally published ones. This is about Barnes and Noble repeatedly sending the message that they will not encourage the sale of their digital products to help readers who prefer reading on a Nook rather than a paperback. And THAT is poor customer service.
A robotics engineer asks his business partner to marry him, but a previous one-night stand is having his baby. CANCELLED is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble
WIP: STONE. Can Melanie Stone let her mother back into her life and kick out the creep trying to worm his way in? March 2012.