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How to Publish an Ebook Series – Part 10: Affiliate Programs

How to Publish an Ebook Series – Part 10: Affiliate Programs

By Pat Flynn on

Note: For my most current advice on writing and selling your ebooks, check out my guide eBooks The Smart Way (Editor’s Note 09/2015).

This is the last post in my “How to Publish an Ebook Series.” I kind of took it a step further and instead of just talking about publishing, I threw in some selling and marketing techniques too. After today’s talk about affiliate programs, you should have the foundation and knowledge to create, sell and market your own eBook and start earning some passive income!

In regards to writing an eBook, I’m pretty sure I can guess what’s going through your head right now. It’s one of two things:

  1. You want to write an eBook, but you don’t know what to write about (or you don’t think you’re qualified to write an eBook).
  2. You want to write an eBook, but you don’t have the time.

Or maybe, it’s both. Regardless, these thoughts are barriers that must be crossed in order to succeed online. In the near future, I will go over some helpful tips and hints about what you could write about, and also how to create more time for yourself (by finding time and being more efficient too). For now, don’t let those thoughts stop you from achieving your dreams, or at least earning a little extra cash on the side.

Let’s move on…


  1. Part 1—Why I chose to go with an eBook rather than a hard copy version.
  2. Part 2—How to Get Started after you have an idea about what you want to write about.
  3. Part 3—Important things your eBook you should include.
  4. Part 4—Getting Ready to Sell it Online.
  5. Part 5—Tools, websites and Automation.
  6. Part 6—10 Steps to a Great Sales & Landing Page
  7. Part 7—Pricing Strategies
  8. Part 8—Free Marketing Techniques
  9. Part 9—Other Marketing Techniques

Your Own “Sales Force”

I’ve talked about how cool it is to sell other people’s products and do some affiliate marketing in the past. You don’t have to create a product, you don’t have to deal with customers, and the only transaction that really happens is when you get paid, all because someone clicked on a link you provided and bought a product. Sweet.

This is the mindset you should have when it comes to selling your own products online. You have to understand how OTHER people will want to sell your item because of what I just described. You want more customers – and they want easy money. Everybody’s a winner! Your affiliate program is your way of creating your own “sales force” that is ready to work the front lines for you.

A Commission

Yes, in order to build your “Sales Force”, you’re going to have to offer a commission on your product. It’s up to you to determine how much you’d like to offer your affiliates, but how much you offer will impact your sales. Don’t be too shabby. Here’s why:

A Low Commission

If you set your commission to say, 15 to 20 percent the product price, for an eBook that’s usually not too much cash ($5.00 on a $30.00 book) and won’t provide much incentive for any of your sales force to sell your eBook. You might not even get much of a sales force to begin with, because a lot of the reason people join an affiliate program for a specific product is because of the commission.

A Higher Commission

A higher commission means a few (awesome) things. One, you’ll have a greater sales force, and two, they’ll do a better job of promoting your product. It’s pretty standard to actually see a 50% commission for eBooks nowadays.

Why You Shouldn’t Worry About Offering a Higher Commission

You might be thinking, “Hey Pat, I understand what you mean about the benefits of a higher commission, but wouldn’t I be losing more money than I could have made if I sold those eBooks to those customer’s myself?!”

My quick answer is: Yes.

But, that’s not really the point of affiliate marketing. If you are thinking this way, you’re probably thinking you’re just giving money away and helping your affiliate team more than yourself. This is wrong.

I like to call your affiliate team a “Sales Force” for a reason. They are out there finding customers that you wouldn’t of been able to find on your own.

An Example Sales Force (with Numbers, yay!)

You have an eBook, which sells for $30.00. You offer a $15.00 commission.

On your own, you sell about 8 books a day. That’s $240.00…not bad at all. Enter your Sales Force.

Let’s say you have just 2 people on your “team”. Person 1 owns a blog that has about 3000 subscribers. Person 2 has an email list from his website that has 1000 people on it.

Person 1 writes an entire post, a review perhaps, about your eBook and includes a link to your website. On that day, maybe 300 people click on the link, and only 20 people actually purchase your eBook. Looking at the numbers, that’s $600.00 in sales, half of which goes to Person 1. That’s still an extra $300.00 for you from customers you probably wouldn’t of reached without Person 1’s help (for the most part). And that’s just from that one day. Person 1 also includes a link in his sidebar so anyone at anytime who reads his blog can click over to your eBook and you’d get $15.00. It’s like putting an ad on his blog for free.

Person 2 sends out a newsletter to her email list and includes a link to your eBook. Let’s say she also produced 20 sales for you, which equates in an extra $300.00 in your pocket. You probably wouldn’t of been able to reach those customers either without her help, and even if you able to reach them, you might not of completed a sale. The fact that it’s a recommendation coming from Person 2, who they trust as we can tell since they signed up for her newsletter, makes your product more sellable to those people.

This is the power of having an affiliate program. From just two people on your sales force, you earned an extra $600.00 in just one day. Plus, you’ll have continued support since they’ll keep promoting your eBook. Sweet.

Now imagine having a sales team of 10 people. How about 100 people! And now imagine how many of those people have their own blogs, newsletters, twitter accounts, facebook friends, etc.

Now for the best part. After you sell to all of these customers you weren’t able to reach on your own, you’ll then have their contact information. When you sell future products…you’re golden (then you can have an affiliate program for those products too).

Basically How it Works

If you have E-junkie, or you use ClickBank to sell your eBook, there’s already an affiliate program already built in. There are other programs out there that are just for building an affiliate program and advertising your product (some of which do a really good job of finding people to promote your product for you, like or commission junction – but they may require a little bit more work to get accepted and require additional fees). So for my examples, I’ll just use e-junkie for now, but it all works the same way.

So you sell a book through E-Junkie. When you setup your affiliate program, you’ll be given a link. This link is for those people who you want to be on your “Sales Force”.

You can hand this link out if you’d like, to people you know will help. Or, you can even put it on your website so anyone who wants can become a part of your team. Another great way to sell more eBooks is to include this link in your actual product, so people who buy your book can help sell it too! (It’s best to include a separate

Anyways, this link is how they sign up for your program. Once they sign up, they’ll be given a link that is unique to their ID, and whenever anyone clicks on that link (with their unique ID in it), they’ll be given credit for the purchase.

At the end of each month, you’ll usually be given a report with your affiliate sales, with email addresses (or street addresses) of each person on your force, and how much you owe them. There’s a bit of trust involved here, and I would make sure you pay them the amount they deserve as soon as you as able to. They will be happy, and work even harder for you the next month.

Thank You!

I’d just like to thank everyone again for sticking with me and reading my eBook series. I know it’s been a long one (almost an entire month posting every other day), but I feel it will be helpful for anyone who wants to create an eBook, which is a great method to start your online presence.

I will be turning this series into a free e-Book and giving it away for free sometime in the near future, so look out for that.

I wish you all the best of luck, and feel free to contact me if you ever have any questions.


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