IndieBound.org Affiliate Program Grows by Leaps and Bounds

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The IndieBound.org Affiliate Program is unique in that it links to not one, but hundreds of independent bookstore websites. And this week the program, which pays generous commissions to bloggers, authors, and other website owners on sales their sites refer to independent bookstores, launched the first of several planned enhancements.

"The IndieBound.org Affiliate Program is the best way for bloggers to express their commitment to free speech, diversity, and shopping local," said ABA Chief Marketing Officer Meg Smith.

"Many prominent bloggers are reconsidering where their links for book sales go," added IndieBound Outreach Liaison Paige Poe. "A lot of them have recently signed up for IndieBound's Affiliate Program."

IndieBound.org Affiliate Program improvements introduced this week include:

  • Affiliates can now link to any page on IndieBound.org, such as the Indie Next List, the results of a book search, or their Wish List. Previously, affiliates could only link directly to specific titles for sale.

  • When a consumer follows an affiliate's link, IndieBound.org sets a session cookie in their browser. This cookie ensures that the affiliate receives credit for additional sales generated through the visit, not just for the landing page.

  • The URL syntax for affiliate links has been simplified, making it easier for affiliates to code their own links, or automate the process of creating links on their blog or website.

  • Affiliate IDs are now connected to user accounts on IndieBound.org, making it easy for affiliates to update their own contact and payment information.

Future improvements will include:

  • Attractive, flexible JavaScript widgets that can display Indie Bestseller Lists, the Indie Next List, the affiliate's Wish List, or any custom list of books. These widgets will be available soon in a variety of shapes and sizes with a completely customizable palette of colors.

  • Plug-ins for WordPress, TypePad, and other blogging platforms.

  • Integrated sales reporting on IndieBound.org. Affiliates will be able to review detailed reports of traffic and sales their links have generated.

The IndieBound Affiliate Program passes sales through IndieBound.org to bookstore websites participating in the ABA E-Commerce Solution. "In order for the affiliate to receive credit for any sales that result, the bookseller's site must track the affiliate's data and report it back to IndieBound.org," Web Content Coordinator Matt Supko explained. "Currently, ABA E-Commerce Solution sites are the only websites capable of doing this."

Visitors to IndieBound.org who do not follow affiliate links also have the option to buy through other e-commerce-capable independent bookseller websites. All ABA Member stores appear, along with links to their websites, on the Indie Store Finder map, in the site search, and elsewhere on IndieBound.org.

Questions about the affiliate program should be addressed to Project Manager Patti Neske at patti@bookweb.org or (800) 637-0037, ext 6653. Questions about IndieBound should be addressed to Paige Poe at paige@bookweb.org or (800) 637-0037, ext 6668.