When I first heard about Bookshop.org, I couldn’t wait to check it out. This online hub boasts an impressive inventory of books, which are supplied by Ingram, the largest distributor of books to bookstores. In fact, if you’re an author and your book is distributed through Ingram, there’s a good chance it’s available for sale through Bookshop.
Bookshop invites site visitors to purchase books, and then a portion of profits from book sales are added to a pool of funds that are distributed to independent bookstores. According to the website, Bookshop distributes 75% of its proceeds to indie stores, authors, and affiliate sellers. To date, nearly $5million has been distributed to local stores.
One exciting feature is the ability to setup an affiliate account and create your own online storefront. Signing up is easy, and you can earn 10% from every sale generated from your affiliate link, plus another 10% from each sale is distributed to the indie bookstore funds pool. This can be a fun way to showcase your book, plus highlight other books you recommend.
How to Setup an Affiliate Account with Bookshop
- Go to the affiliate program setup link at Bookshop.org and click Join the Affiliate Program.
- You will be prompted to input the following:
- Shop Name
- Unique URL (ours is https://bookshop.org/shop/nonfictionauthorsassociation)
- Description of your bookshop, or about you as the creator
- Profile image (180 x 180 pixels)
- Banner image (2018 x 600 pixels)
- Social media links for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
- At this point, you can save your work and click on View My Shop to see how everything looks.
Create One or More Book Lists
Book Lists are how you can select books to feature in your online bookshop. For our Nonfiction Authors Association store, we are in the process of setting up two lists: one featuring our members’ books and another featuring recommended books for writers, which you can view here.
*In the above image, a banner combining books from our list is automatically generated by Bookshop. Pretty cool, right?!
If you’ve authored several books, you might create a list for your books only, and then perhaps another list of books you recommend or books by peers/friends. The goal here is to make your lists compelling so that visitors want to buy your book as well as those you recommend. Remember, you’ll earn 10% from each sale—and this is in addition to the profit you already earn for sales through your book distributor.
When setting up a list, you will fill out the following fields:
- Header image – If you leave this blank, Bookshop will auto-generate a banner of books to display along side the title of your list, as shown in the image above.
- Title – The text shown in the banner above.
- Header Text – Here you can include a description for your list or even a brief bio. Text entered here will show up just below the header image and above your list of books. HTML tags are included so you can use bold text, lists, etc.
- Footer Text – This will appear at the bottom of the page for your list and can repeat information from your header or include other information. Be sure to take full advantage of the ability to include links in your text on this page. You can invite visitors to your website, to follow you on social media, and more.
To build your list, you will need ISBNs for each title you want to add. You can either type them in one at a time, or you can build a spreadsheet (in CSV format) and import the list of ISBNs.
Additional Affiliate Promotion Options
Bookshop also allows you to copy affiliate links from individual books. For example, if you want to promote your book for purchase through Bookshop, you will need to first login to your affiliate account and then open your book’s sales page. The link is shown just below the book sales data.
In this are on any book page, you can also easily add a book to your list or generate a widget to display on your website.
When you copy the book widget code, you can insert it in a page on your site. The widget looks like:
Remember, when someone clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase on Bookshop, whether it’s your book or other books they find while browsing, you will receive 10% of the sale (and 10% will be shared with indie bookstores). Pretty cool, right?!
The Bookshop site and affiliate program are still in beta testing, so you may bump into some issues along the way. However, you can always contact support if you need some help. Additional instructions for setting up your account are available here.
Get Featured in the Nonfiction Authors Association Member Bookstore
We are in the process of building out a member bookstore on Bookshop. Current Authority and VIP members of the Nonfiction Authors Association are eligible to submit up to ten book listings in our directory. Visit your member home page for details.
Not a member yet? You’ll love our community!