Selling On Site:
Reports on What Works, Part 2

October 2004
by PMA Roundtable

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The Springboarding Strategy

We’ve paid for our Web site for years by offering what we call “affiliated titles pages.” We started out with two novels about women pirates, so we put up some informational pages about pirates, then a page (tied to Amazon) listing books about piracy. We sold the general pirate books in a three-to-one ratio over our own books. And made money.

After a few months, we ran a report to see what was selling well off our site. Curiously, what we discovered was that people weren’t actually buying the books we offered, but springboarding off to other topics, almost always about historical clothing (people into pirates are very often into the historical reenactment thing).

So I crawled through Amazon’s database and assembled a list of all the historical clothing books I could, along with a summary of the publishers’ information and customer comments (“Not a book for beginners,” etc.). That’s when we really started making serious Amazon Associate money. Every six months, I update the site. It’s some 20 pages long now.

And more people wander from those pages onto our site. Direct sales are up on books we don’t offer through the trade.

So, my advice is to take the time to offer other books about your subject (but skipping the direct competition) on your Web site. You’ll make more money off the affiliate programs, and you’ll increase your site visitors.

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