Greetings once again, fellow scribes and beloved readers! I'm really excited about our guest interview today, as it's with longtime friend and colleague Terry Whalin. Terry and I go WAY back, having worked together at Gospel Light Publishing some time in the Stone Age (when we chiseled our books on rocks instead of computers). Okay, maybe it's not that long ago, but it's been longer than I like to realize! However, that longtime relationship within the industry is also a reminder that Terry has staying power, and what he has to say to us is born out of many years of experience. So read on, my friends, and take to heart the expert advice that he so graciously shares with us.
Terry: Thanks, Kathi. You know, it's easy to grow discouraged about your book marketing efforts. I want to suggest a system rarely used among Christian writers called affiliate marketing. What if you could raise an unlimited number of people to sell your book and profit from it? It's possible but begins with some planning on your part.
Kathi: What is an affiliate program?
Terry: An affiliate program is where other people sign up to sell your products to their customer base or on their website--and in return for the sales, these individuals earn a commission or percentage of the profits. One of the best known affiliate programs is the Amazon Advantage program. In general, registration is free for affiliate programs.
Kathi: How can I set up an affiliate program, and are they complicated to administer?
Terry: The easiest way to set up an affiliate program is to use a tool like https://www.mywebmarketingmagic.com, which is a shopping cart program. My affiliate program (https://www.terryinfo.com) came as a part of the shopping cart. It is simple to track, and each month I pay my affiliates. The shopping cart stores text messages and banner ads and other marketing tools.
Kathi: Do I set up an open or monitored affiliate program?
Terry: The simple answer is an open program because there is less effort for you to monitor it, and anyone can join your program 24/7. In a matter of minutes someone can fill out the registration form and begin using your affiliate tools and making passive income from your products.
Kathi: What's a fair "commission"?
Terry: The answer may surprise you. If you follow the Amazon model and only offer 4 percent, I can almost guarantee that you will not have many people sign up to become your affiliate. Typically the commission is 50 percent. I'm glad to send you 50 percent of the income because you will reach customers that I will never reach with my products. I'd rather have 50 percent of something than 100 percent of nothing.
Kathi: What can I sell through my affiliate program?
Terry: You can sell anything. I recommend you start with something simple, like an Ebook. The shopping cart can automatically deliver the product, and because it is typically a PDF, you have no expenses and a high profit margin. The typical Ebook sells for $39 (and many of them sell for more). With this sort of earning, you can easily divide the profits with your affiliate. Audio products can sell for an even higher price point, and home study courses for an even greater margin of profit. As another idea for your next book, try and negotiate where you keep the electronic rights. I have the exclusive electronic rights for Book Proposals That Sell (https://www.bookproposals.ws). Yes, the paperback continues to sell through my publisher, but I can sell the electronic version for whatever price point, and then divide those funds with my affiliates. This product is selling consistently and regularly. It's an idea that you could use as well.
Kathi: How can I encourage people to become my affiliates?
Terry: It is rooted in creating excellent product--just like any good book. When you have that excellent product, you want to promote it to others. Also, you want to furnish text messages and banner ads so others can easily use your tools to put on their own websites. In addition, I've been providing my affiliates with free training. The examples in the training come from my own affiliate program, but the techniques are applicable to any affiliate program. Anyone who takes my training can learn something to help them way beyond my products. My training is stored as an audio replay for new affiliates, and also I include a study guide so everyone can follow my step-by-step instruction--whether they are technical or not.
Kathi: This affiliate programs sounds good, but are you saying you don't you have to be real technical to do it?
Terry: I'm not very technical myself, but it was simple to set up, and all menu-driven and uncomplicated. It's a means to expand your market for your products. It will expand your ministry from the products, but also the money in your pocket from them.
Kathi: Do you only have Ebook products that you offer your affiliates?
Terry: No. From your shopping cart, any product can involve affiliate sales. For example, I could hold a fee-based teleseminar (https://www.myinstantteleseminar.com) and give away part of the profits to affiliates, and it would encourage people to use their market connections to promote my teleseminar. Also, I have an audio product called Editor Reveals Book Proposal Secrets (https://www.editorbookproposals.com). It's a three-CD audio set, which I'm selling for the typical price of $97, yet it is also a part of my affiliate program with 50 percent commissions. If you lead someone to my purchase page or landing page and they buy the product, then you will get an email and I will get an email validating this sale. Then, after my sixty-day guarantee period, you will receive 50 percent of the money. It can work on many different types of products, including audios. I do not have a warehouse of these audios, but I'm using a service to create and mail them.
Kathi: You recently released a new Ebook, Writing for the Christian Market (https://www.writingchristianmarket.com). Why isn't this Ebook a part of your affiliate program?
Terry: I wrote the book for my friend Robert W. Bly, and per our agreement, it can't be a part of my affiliate program. Here's the good news for you--it is a part of Bob's affiliate program (https://www.becomeablyaffiliate.com/). You can join his affiliate program free and still sell the book and receive 50 percent commissions, just like I would be sending to you. If you go to Bob's website, you'll notice that Bob has created a different landing page (https://www.4christianwritersonly.com/) for this book, but it's still the same Ebook. You can sell it and make 50 percent of the commissions if you lead someone to purchase this book.
Kathi: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us today, Terry?
Terry: My intention with this brief article/interview is to stir you and your readers to open more possibilities for your own marketing through an affiliate program of your own. I understand both sides of the editorial desk, as an editor and a writer. For the last five years I have been an acquisitions editor at Howard Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster and Cook Communications. I am president of Whalin Literary Agency, LLC (https://www.whalinagency.com), and my magazine articles have appeared in more than fifty Christian and general market publications, plus I've written more than sixty books. I am also the creator of a popular site for writers (www.Right-Writing.com). In addition, you can sign up for my free newsletter for writers (Right-Writing News) at https://www.right-writing.com/newsletter.html. This newsletter has over 400 pages of free how-to-write information, and you get over $100 of free Ebooks when you sign up. My wife, Christine, and I live in Scottsdale, Arizona, and if you would like to know more about me or my writings, please drop by and visit me at www.thewritinglife.ws.
copyright 2007 W. Terry Whalin