08 December 2014
Joel Friedlander, aka the book designer, wrote a blog post about book landing pages.
I’ve been in the middle of writing a long blog post about web sites for authors, and I think I’m going to tear up my post and go home. (Actually, no, I won’t, but it’s going to wait until next weekend now.)
Because what Joel’s upcoming webinar’s about is book landing pages and, I’m gathering, booklaunch.io, which has already made me want to toss my WordPress plugin in-progress against the wall.
We all know that webinar is not-very-secret code for “I want to sell you something.” I’m hoping it’s a nice discount on the paid plan.
The free plan allows for as many book pages as you want, but no extras like mailing list integration. Here’s a page detailing the differences between the free and paid plan.
Example: one of my stories on booklaunch.io vs. the same story’s page on deirdre.net. Could I improve my own site’s version? Sure, with some significant elbow grease. (I could also finish the booklaunch.io one; I only fussed with it for a few minutes.)
Let me tell you briefly about the state of things in WordPress plugin land.
With MyBookTable, if you want a buy button in anything other than Amazon and Apple, it costs $49 a year (or you can hand-modify the plugin yourself). If you want affiliate sales for your referrals, it also costs $49 a year.
With MyBooks, it’s free for Out:think’s authors on one of its paid courses, but you’ve got to be one of those people.
There is Buy This Book, which only has widget versions, meaning things for your sidebar.
I use Easy Digital Downloads, which is great for direct sales, but falls down when you need the product to link to external places. So, for this paperback, I hand-coded the purchase links and the CSS and suppressed the purchase button.
Another quirk of EDD is this: look at the purchase buttons/links here. In order to get my link above everyone else’s, I had to suppress the automatic generation, then add a manual button. Then add the links for other stores.
Oh, and there’s no sense of “series” of things or obviously related things other than via tags and categories, so that would be another thing I’d have to roll in there. (To its credit, MyBookTable has this.)
So why not use MyBookTable and Easy Digital Downloads together, you ask?
I’m so glad you asked that. Because MBT defines its items as a new post type. And so does Easy Digital Downloads. So, for each book, you’d have to hand-enter the data twice (once for each post type), so you could get to your books via two different URLs, and possibly have the content out of sync. Oh, and pay for MBT too.
No. Thank. You.
My brilliant plan was to automagically generate that, to make a font for icons for the common stores, and to therefore let people style whatever however. I was inspired by Lauren Dane’s website, except she’s gone and changed it and I don’t like the new look.
There are 34,000 WordPress plugins that have been downloaded 796 million times and that’s apparently as good as it gets for the stuff that’s out there.
Fact is, most of the WordPress plugins designed to hook into Amazon are designed to create little web shops where you live on the affiliate income from providing, say, links for the top ten blenders.
I’m curious to see what they’ll say about the state of the competition that’s out there. I really haven’t seen anything in this niche.
Look, I’ve been paid to do web work since 1998. If I find it annoying that there’s no better publicly-available free solution, I’m guessing that you do too.
You can hire awesome people like Jeremiah Tolbert or Stephanie Leary to do it for you.
Or maybe you want to come to Joel’s webinar on Thursday. Blog post link again.