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September 2013

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My online bookstore...marketing

Of course I've had an online bookstore on my website catalog for a long time, and it keeps fairly busy with orders of my books, CDs, and jewelry--I think a lot of people like to buy direct from the author, when they can, and I do offer to sign my own books. 


I wasn't sure if I needed or wanted an Amazon store, but I don't maintain my own website, and making changes is sometimes dependent on how busy my sweet webmistress, Sonya at Morgansites.com is. 

Besides, I wanted to be able to recommend books that I DIDN'T write.  My students often ask what watercolor books I like; and what my favorite drawing and sketching books are.  Since I've been involved with with natural history for decades, it's nice to be able to share my favorite nature books, as well as those I've written (out of print, but still available.)  We've been doing our Starving Artists in the Kitchen series for a few months now, and I thought it would be fun to let people see what books on cooking, nutrition, and gardening that we like.

So a few months ago, I jumped in and created a bookstore on Amazon.  I try to write a brief, personal review on every book or product--I may have missed a few, but I'll catch up! 

I don't put anything in the store that I don't have experience with--books I own or love and have learned from, products I've used, and so forth.

Turns out making a store is FUN, and easy...I'll share more about that in the next few days, but basically, all you need to do is become an Amazon Associate--you can find more info here: affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/network/main.html and starting an online store is a piece of cake, from there.  The aStore tool makes it simple--they pretty much lead you through it!

Once you've done the groundwork and decided what departments or categories you want in your store, linking to books or other goodies is easy too...

Like anything else, it does take a bit of work to keep it fresh and updated--I add new things frequently, as I discover (or remember!) them. 

What's really nice is that once you get it up and going, you really don't HAVE to do anything more.  I've been ruinously busy for weeks and have hardly thought about it, but I just checked and have had 8 referrals through my store so far this month.  It doesn't amount to all that much income, it's true, but added to the other streams of income via Amazon sales through their aftermarket sales, etc., we could certainly buy a week's worth of groceries. 

Not inconsiderable in these difficult times! 

I may have to add a new category for "favorite books for hard times"! ;-)





Comments

(Anonymous)

Exciting to see things opening up on the Internet like this Amazon Store. I am so glad that you are doing this. It helps us track down your older books, and find out what books have been helpful to you through the years, as well.
annie
Hi Annie! Yes, a lot of those older books I just treasure! They're a permanent part of my collection, and as I have time I like to add reviews...glad you like the store. The 'net's an amazing place...