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  1. #1
    Newbie KirstenM's Avatar
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    Newbie question on redirects
    Hi.

    I'm not a programmer, I'm a writer. Been working for about 15 years doing B2B marketing communications and have a couple of nonfiction book titles out, dead tree stuff.

    I'm now preparing to self-publish a collection of ebooks with embedded affiliate links. General audience readers for the most part.

    This is a "long haul" project -- I'm not trying to make zillions overnight -- the plan is long term residual income as these books are passed along by people online.

    My concern is that the books could quite possibly outlive affiliate and merchant programs. So I am thinking -- looking for feedback here -- that I should use redirects so that if that no matter what, my readers will have working links to products they are likely to need, based on the subject matter of the book.

    I've been reading the threads on this forum and there are a couple of areas where I would welcome you guys' input.

    First, can this be done without straying into gray hat territory? I don't want to give even the appearance that I'm doing anything surreptitious or underhanded. I'm presenting these links as a service to my readers so anything I do has to be compatible with that. I'm assuming the answer is yes, but would appreciate some straight talk on that point, thanks.

    (btw, I'm not worried about anyone else changing my links downstream, as my understanding is that once my book is compiled, it's difficult for anyone to tinker with the source code. That's what the Ebook Pro tech support guy told me anyway.)

    Second, I'd appreciate some very very basic help with the mechanics of this. I assume it's something I could learn to do but I have trouble following sometimes when it's programmers talking to programmers.

    I know that I want the redirects to be something that is handled from my own server -- if I understand correctly, some link cloaking software would run the redirects through a third party's server -- is that correct?

    If I understand correctly, there's a way I could have the link in the book land on a page on my hosting service server, and from there the person would be sent to the affiliate link.

    Do I have that right?

    And if so, can anyone direct me to a very basic primer on how to set that up?

    Thanks so much!

    Kirsten

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    "My concern is that the books could quite possibly outlive affiliate and merchant programs"

    Then choose the right affiliate and merchant programs. An ebook outlasting a network?

  3. #3
    Newbie KirstenM's Avatar
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    Thanks for your response Julian.

    Perhaps I wasn't clear.

    I have one print book that was published in 2004. It will be on my publishers' backlist for probably at least another 4 or 5 years. I get my royalty check 2x a year and will for some time now.

    The business model I'm using for my ebooks is similar in that I'm not writing on transient subjects. I'm writing on subjects that will still be useful to readers 10 years from now.

    So. Are you saying I don't need to worry that an affiilate network I choose today will still be in business in 10 years?

  4. #4
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    "Are you saying I don't need to worry that an affiilate network I choose today will still be in business in 10 years?"

    If you choose carefully, the network will still be there in 10 years.

    If your e-book has links to an affiliate network, and that network dies, then a simple redirect would make sure that your visitors don't go to a 404

  5. #5
    Newbie KirstenM's Avatar
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    Thanks. I plan to do my best on that ;-)

  6. #6
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    It is likely that some top networks will still be here in 10 years, but you cannot say that for any specific merchant program. Merchant programs come and go, the merchants themselves come and go, and merchants change networks.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
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  7. #7
    Newbie KirstenM's Avatar
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    Exactly.

    I've tinkered in a small way with affiliate links on websites, and that's one thing -- can change any time. But once my ebook is out there, I can't edit the links, obviously.

    I'm even thinking of something like this:

    1. Put a link(s) in the book that are generic, e.g. "hot sales on [category of products relevant to my target audience]"

    2. Have that link to a page I can edit at any time that in turn sends readers to current merchant promotions


    Whether that would be compelling enough to earn clicks . . . dunno. And if it executes clunkily, that would be a downside.

  8. #8
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    Include links in your e-book that go to your server, then do a redirect to the merchant from there.
    The visitor will just end up at the merchant site via the redirect

  9. #9
    Newbie KirstenM's Avatar
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    Got it, thanks!

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