How to Master Affiliate Income - and Get More in Your Life

How to Earn More Affiliate Income

The best way to get started in any home-business is to start with someone else's products.

That's especially if you haven't run your own brick-and-mortar business before - or even if you have. Online business is its own type of beasty to master, even if most of the elements are similar to regular business ones.

You have to know these skills:

  1. How to have a product which people want enough to buy.
  2. How to market that product to the niche that is looking for it.
  3. How to price that product accurately.
  4. How to service your customer and handle any concerns.

Like regular business, you have to find out what's wanted and deliver it - then care for that customer and turn them into a regular client.

How does affiliate marketing teach you business basics?

Mainly because you're dealing with someone else's homework. They've already done the homework, worked up the product, and in many cases even provide the sales pages for your site.

This leaves you to concentrate on the key elements of content marketing and sales conversions. (Those are fancy terms for getting someone's attention and persuading them to buy.)

I've got a short set of inexpensive ebooks available just on Affiliate Marketing.

But what we want to talk to you about today is how to combine affiliate marketing, and network marketing.

It's called two-tier affiliate marketing.

To make this short, here's the links to study this in more depth. (I'm making it a record here for later research.)

Good luck with your own research. Subscribe above right and keep up to date!


Kobo Screws Public Domain Self-Publishing

Kobo decided to screw with public domain republishing by forcing them into lowest royalty payments. Tara Cremin says so.
(photo: Ella's Dad)
It's not like public domain books make a lot of money - except for publishers.

Now Kobo has decided to take a huge part of this public domain pie for themselves to punish self-publishing authors.

[Update: iTunes and B&N have joined this - banning new PD books entirely. Lulu just started banning PD, which blocks access for PD books in their distribution. See note below.]

Self-publishing public domain works is was barely profitable. Because anyone can compete, and there are a lot of free versions out there. Some aggregators, like Smashwords, won't take them at all. Amazon makes you add at least 10 "original images" to any ebook. Lulu, iTunes, GooglePlay and B&N tend to just accept your derivative work without question.

So did Kobo, until just recently.

A derivative work is defined pretty well by Wikipedia. Essentially, you add some original content and claim a new copyright for yourself. Since public domain is a "who cares" scene, this isn't policed by anyone.

My tests in this showed that these books, given a new cover and description, were still in demand and sold decently. People want a good version for their smartphone or reader. And a lot of the versions out there are garbage. (If you want free quality versions, check out Feedbooks.)

So a person could locate public domain books, do some decent marketing on them and start profiting. It all looked pretty good for being able to provide a service of re-publishing classic works and adding value to these for readers.

Then someone at Kobo decided this wasn't cool.

I got an email from Tara Cremin, "coordinator" at Kobo Writing Life, which said I needed to declare my books as public domain and take the 20% royalty payment for them.

After some back and forth, my protesting that they were derivative works, etc. - she finally clarified it like this:

You’re correct, reviews or study guides of works do not need to be declared as public domain as they are reviewing the text rather than included it in its entirety.

However, you cannot just change the author name and title for works so that they’re not part of the public domain. For example, your title “Claude M. Bristol's Magic Of Believing” by Dr. Robert C. Worstell. The book still includes the entire content from Claude M. Bristol. You cannot take others work and claim them as your own. If it is in the public domain, you need to declare it as such.

This also goes for collections and derivatives of authors’ work. The works are still part of the domain and need to be declared as such. You retain the copyright to any books published through Kobo Writing Life but public domain needs to be declared.
So if you only publish an excerpt of the book, you're good. If you publish the whole book, you take the 20% penalty payment. Meaning that Kobo pockets the 80% for your work in editing and marketing this book newly.

It's just a way to discourage public domain book publishing. Simple. 

The trick is - they aren't the only distributor out there. And they aren't a huge chunk of my income such that I have to get all worried about it.

All this does is make Kobo look greedy.

There's nothing on Kobo's site which covers this. I did find a service agreement which says if a book isn't in the public domain, you have various royalty level options. But nothing laying out specifically what Tara Cremin did above.

Look, this doesn't change the fact that you have to do marketing for any book you publish. You have to find and nurture your audience.

All this says is that Kobo is now down near the bottom of the list to send books to. I'll start getting these public domain books accepted by Amazon and work their system instead. And any marketing will (reluctantly) carry a link to the books I have on Kobo.

Otherwise, I build up a platform for people who want these classics and send them everywhere I can earn more income as a self-publisher.

Who gets screwed here? Like putting one in your own foot, Kobo.

[Update: Several other books submitted via Lulu to iTunes and B&N a couple days ago just came back with this rejection:
"We cannot accept content into retail distribution that is freely available elsewhere online, including but not limited to public domain material and plagiarized content."
Lulu did accept and publish them on their own site, they just won't distribute them.

Oddly, they won't accept priced-as-free PD versions either, apparently. It's looks to be a script scene, looking for duplicate content among PD versions.

So for PD books, you can publish everywhere, but you have to do the publishing yourself - or pay aggregators fees which public domain books won't support. I'm still testing Nookpress.com (they've been down this weekend) but iTunes accepted one right off from me - when I got a MAC mini to do the uploads.

What's being discouraged by Kobo, etc. are the cheap commodity books which have the same title, author, text - and usually crappy editing and cover. It's probable that a PD book with a different title, cover and additional author will fly on Amazon - they just want unique books. While this is the subject of another post, the trick is that you would then have to generate your own reviews. Amazon lumps books together to share their reviews - so a new hardcopy version of a Kindle version gets whatever is already accumulated.

Note 2: such a derivative ebook would link to your book sale landing pages where they could get Lulu versions: epub, PDF, and hardcopy versions, plus videos, opt-in to an ecourse, etc.]

More testing

I'm not letting this sit. As posted elsewhere, I've already committed to uploading via my new MAC mini.  First book got approved for the iTunes store right off. So I don't know what was taking Lulu so long to get my books onto iTunes and Nook. (Nookpublish.com has been down all weekend, so I'm waiting on this one.)

Next up is testing Amazon to see how to get sales from books which are not free or 99-cent wonders. Looks like niche PD  books have higher prices than the literary classics.  While I've had these books selling at .99 each, on Kobo I raised them to 3.99 (getting .79 per book) and while volume has dropped off, income has increased. Go figure...
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Strategies on How to Find Online Income - Become a Publisher

I've found that I will generate more income by working as a publisher than a writer.
(photocredit: theboyds)

Writing feeds the soul; publishing keeps the lights on and the refrigerator stocked.

That's a truth I've recently found which put me on the road to real financial freedom.

I've found that I will generate more income by working as a publisher than a writer. I found that there are really tons (hundreds if not thousands) of decent quality, decent value books which are not easily found because they haven't been marketed.

This includes both public domain and private-licensed-rights (PLR) books. (The term "book" is really just a decent sized collection of text, with or without images, sound, video, etc.)

For public domain books, the fact that there is competition fighting over the sales of long-dead-authors' books shows how much they are still in demand.

There are 3 things which set any public domain book you re-publish apart, which is the same for modern books: Cover, Description, Price. Practically, people ignore reviews. Only Amazon makes a big deal of these things. On all other ebook distributors, it's primarily those three points.

The fourth point is to have more books in that series or by that author - or both.

All of this is compounded with my recent, and continuing, studies of the specific skill of copywriting. I have Bob Bly to thank for setting my head straight on the basics of this. Too many others are following a handful of "Magnetic" marketers who are essentially using a partial understanding of copywriting to pitch their wares. And many of these are simply using hacks from swipe files without understanding why those headlines and phrases work.

Fortunately, we are saved.
1) Human Nature hasn't changed since it was developed. (The Internet has only sped things up.)
2) Classic bestselling books about how to influence people to buy were based on substantial studies of hundreds of successes in order to derive the basic principles. 

If you want to actually succeed in online marketing, you need to know copywriting, and you need to collect these masterworks for your own library.

A very interesting land-rush is on, where the bulk of the books out there have not been converted to quality ebooks - the epub version which is on the bulk of the smartphones and tablets out there (as well as ereaders.)

And if you really want to succeed in ebook publishing, you want to be in two certain marketplaces:

Why not Amazon?

Because these two distributors cover the lion's share of all the smartphones and tablets out there. When you go to load an app, what do you get? A suggested ebook that you'd probably like.

Amazon has started its own "app store" which does what - keep you Amazon-centric.

Go right ahead and publish everything to Amazon. I'll cry all the way to the bank as I get downloads and payments from 5 other distributors who are selling my books for me every month.

There's your secret tip for today.

OK, here's an Amazon tip: Want to sell more books? Make the printed version available as well. Since only 30% prefer ebooks, both a paperback and hardback edition of any book is vital - and makes your ebooks look like a great bargain. Just make sure these are all print-on-demand...

- - - -

Backwards from this, you create web presences for each book you publish - at least a page, if not a whole site. Classic books will give you tons to write about, since they've been around for a good while.

And each of these web-presences need to point to your own membership site, where you can create a "velvet rope" section to offer spccial discount versions to your loyal readers. This is called "building an audience."

E-mail continues to be the most trusted way to shop and get recommendations.  So you need to be building your list and giving it great value on a continuing basis.

Those web pages you build need to be properly SEO'd (meta-tags, etc.), but otherwise, you'll spend your time getting tons more content out rather than worrying about any individual site's standings.

Because if you need more clients, you simply need to create an offer you can get joint-venture affiliates to join in on. They then send your offer to their list.

I only recently found out that this was the success of "The Secret" underground DVD. It never came out as an actual movie, because it didn't have to. And then Rhonda Byrne was able to have a couple of books jump to bestseller status because of the name and brand recognition.

While you don't have to have a runaway hit, the alternate strategy is to have a ton of books available which can be easily discovered.

The above is my strategy for that - and will keep me more than busy for a couple of years by my current reckoning - just in publishing alone.

- - - -

Separately, I've worked out an organizing chart for the subjects of Internet Marketing. Once I have these classic copywriting texts edited into shape and republished, look for this to get a release of it's own.

There is a very common-sense approach you can follow - a blueprint, you might say - to learn the data you need as you customize your own route to success.

And I've talked at you long enough.

See you soon.
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