It’s important when marketing your novels to have an idea which marketing works and which doesn’t. If you have several marketing campaigns on the go at the same time, this isn’t always easy to figure out. A solution many experts recommend is Amazon Associates. When you are a member of Amazon Associates, you can get several, different links to your books. A cookie is added to each book link. Any merchandise purchased within a twenty-four-hour period is therefore registered. You can then go to your Amazon Associates page and see if any one purchased your novel and which link they used.
Sounds simple, right? Um… not exactly. Here are some of the pitfalls I’ve encountered while using the Amazon Associates program.
Twenty-four-hour period. I will confess. I am not a one-clicker. I always, always, always read the free sample before I purchase a novel. If a potential reader of your novels downloads a free sample and doesn’t purchase the book until a day later, this won’t register with the Amazon Associates program.
Cookie override. If the purchaser goes onto another website and clicks on another link which has an Amazon Associates account attached to it, your cookie will be overridden.
Pages read. Almost all of my novels are in the Kindle Unlimited program. Unfortunately, Amazon makes it nearly impossible for those writers who are in Kindle Unlimited to keep track of their marketing efforts. There is no way to track whether someone who saw your ad downloaded your book for ‘free’ with the Kindle Unlimited program. (I assume there is a way to track this, but Amazon has not yet made it available to us lowly writers.)
So basically, using the Amazon Associates links will only tell you if someone purchased your novel within twenty-four hours of clicking on the ad. If the reader has KU, you won’t know about it until your pages read start to climb (at least, that’s the hope). Is it still worth using Amazon Associates, then? The jury’s still out for me as I’ve had numerous problems being accepted in to the program, but more on that next week.