Can Everton Jones find out how his father stole Emperor Bokassa’s diamonds and, more importantly, where he hid them; before the world and his brother get there first?
Click on the picture link in the sidebar to read an extract of my first novel, which was published by Paradise Press in August 2012.

Friday, 18 January 2013

How to link an e-book on the i-Bookstore?

My e-book is now available on the iBookstore, thanks to a distribution deal with Troubador. (See earlier posts.) But how can I link to it? There is a link opposite, which has cost me three days to achieve. The other links, to Kobo, Nook and Kindle are just direct hyperlinks wrapped around an image. Click on the image and you go directly to the book’s page on Nook, Kobo, etc. Apple is a different story. The link has to take the browser to the iTunes store.

Googling around, I discovered that Apple has an affiliate programme. They have outsourced it to four companies, depending on where in the world you are. Details are here: Clicking on the European option took me to a company called TradeDoubler. I had to set up an account with them. Their website is not very user-friendly, but can be navigated with patience. Once in, you need to update your details including bank account etc. There was a bit of back and forth by email because they had a ‘company number’ field. Contrary to the information on the website, if you have no company number, this field should be set to ‘.’ (period, full-point or full stop)

Then they want to know which websites you will be linking from. Each one needs to be entered separately and verified by adding a metatag which they provide to the header. (For blogger, this needs to be added to your template – remember to back up your template before doing this!)

THEN you need to go back to the TradeDoubler site and click the link to verify your site. Essentially, this satisfies them that you control the site. Then, to get into the apple affiliate programme, you need to search on TradeDoubler for the iTunes programme. Once you have found the details, click on the ‘apply’ button. The website says you can get a button for your website whilst awaiting approval from apple, but that didn’t work. I had to wait a few days until I got an email from apple saying I had been accepted, and then I could make a button which worked.

Acceptance is an interesting question. The apple site linked above lists a large number of conditions your website has to meet. The most irksome was that they wanted you to have a clearly visible privacy policy on your website. I put one on the paradise press website, but forgot to do this on my blog (this blog). It didn’t matter, both were acepted.

So, how do I get the code for a button? Remember, it needs to be an apple button, which will open iTunes in a browser when clicked. Well, the procedure is not simple. From Trade Doubler, select the Advertisers/Search Affiliate Programmes menu. Enter iTunes and search. Remember to select the website you want the code for in the pop up menu. (The code will be different for each website you want a button on.) In the search results, click iTunes under ‘programme name’. You get a pop-up menu, and here it is rather counter-intuitive. Rather than clicking ‘link’ in the pop-up, you need to click ‘info’ instead. This displays a lot of guff about the programme, but scroll down to where it says ‘Basic Tools’. Just below that it has a sub-heading ‘Link Maker’. Click on the button at the end of that paragraph which says ‘Access it here’.

Given the obscure way I found this link, the ‘tip’ immediately below which suggested bookmarking the destination was very apposite!

The link directs you to a page on Apple’s iTunes website. Crucially, you will notice code at the bottom of the window which identifies your tradeDoubler account. All you now have to do is to enter the title of your e-book in the appropriate field, select ‘books’ and click ‘search’. From the search results, click on the jacket image of your book and a dialogue appears with the html code for your button.

In Blogger, all you now need to do is edit your layout and add an HTML widget and simply copy the code into it. I did think of a way to make the button bigger, but the image is not of a sufficiently good quality to be blown up without visibly pixelating.

The main reason for going through all this rigmarole is because it is the ONLY way to get a link to the iBookstore on my blog. It now takes its place among the links to the other BIG FOUR e-book retailers on my blog: apple, Kindle, nook, kobo, who, between them, have nearly 80% of e-book customers. A secondary advantage is that I get 4% of each sale referred to apple from the button on my blog. The Amazon box works similarly with an affiliate programme operated by Amazon. NB the tradeDoubler programme also has a similar facility with Waterstones and DK Books.

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