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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Precision Target Book and E-Book Buyers With GeoRiot "Genius" Links

Today I'm pleased to bring you a guest post from Cole Lakes, Director of Operations of the link management platform GeoRiot, which I talked about in this blog post a little while ago. Regular readers will know I'm a big fan of this service.

GeoRiot lets you create "universal" links that will take anyone clicking them to the relevant page of their own national Amazon store (it also works with iTunes/iBooks).

The links can include your affiliate code if you wish, so you will be credited with commission for any sales in stores where you are signed up as an affiliate.

GeoRiot has now taken this service one step further by creating "Genius" links, which aim to direct every prospect to the ideal website for buying your book, wherever they live and however they are accessing the web. But I'll let Cole explain this in detail below...

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Thanks to worldwide stores like Amazon and iTunes, you can promote physical and digital books to anyone, anywhere, at any time. This gives you a truly massive audience, which is great when trying to get the word out about your books for sale.

However, selling books and e-books to a global audience across multiple stores does produce some challenges:
  • Your traffic can use any combination of devices and operating systems across any country to buy your books. However, sending a reader to the wrong device or country specific store means a loss of sale. Example: sending readers using a Kindle to buy items from iBooks, or sending a US based reader to
  • The Amazon and iBooks/ iTunes stores are actually separate, country or region-specific stores, each with their own accounts, language, and currency. Sending users to a foreign storefront, instead of their local storefront, often means it's unlikely they'll purchase and might even see an error message instead.
  • If you're utilizing the Amazon Associates Program, you only make commissions off of the single storefront you're sending traffic to, and not from any international sales. So, if you have your US affiliate tag set, but one of your German users purchases an item from your referral link at, you won't earn a commission.
All of these issues add up to create something we've coined "The Purchasing Gap," which is the rift between the product you're promoting and the storefront where each person is most likely to purchase.

So how do you manage to take care of every user, regardless of the device and country they are clicking from? The current standard is just to paste multiple links for each promotion to cover the different stores and devices that you support. The problem with this approach is that your pages get cluttered, users don't know where to click (so they don't), and you lose out on a sale.

To alleviate this issue, and to maximize your commissions across geographic locations and devices, GeoRiot has devised a new feature we've dubbed "Genius Links." With a single link you can create "scenarios" where you associate a link to specific devices, operating systems, and even dates (on top of the automatic geo-targeting we do) to seamlessly target your traffic to the best possible place for them to purchase.

For example, if you're marketing a book that is available across iBooks, Amazon, and Kobo, you can create a scenario that sends iPads and iPhones to iBooks, Kindles to Amazon, and Nooks to Barnes and Noble. Your users get the best experience possible, and you have a higher chance of converting that person to a sale. Everyone wins!

If you'd like to learn more about Genius Links, or about GeoRiot in general, please drop us a line. Or, if you'd like to give our service a try, you can sign up for free and start earning commissions across stores and countries today. Happy Linking.

* * *

Thank you to Cole for an interesting article that sets out the benefits, to independent authors especially, of using the GeoRiot link management platform, and in particular its new Genius links.

I have been using GeoRiot for almost a year now and highly recommend it. Not only does it make life much simpler to have a single link you can use for any Amazon product, it has also boosted my book sales and my income from Amazon's affiliate program considerably.

One point I should probably address is the cost. The good news is that you don't have to pay anything to join or use GeoRiot. Rather, they take payment in clicks. A certain proportion of these (up to 15 percent) will have their affiliate code embedded rather than your own.

The system is explained in detail on this page of the GeoRiot site. Overall, though, it is designed to have as little impact on your own affiliate commissions as possible.

If you would like to see what a GeoRiot Genius link looks like, here is one for my Kindle e-book Three Great Techniques for Plotting Your Novel or Screenplay: Feel free to click through and it should take you to the relevant page of your own national Amazon store. And yes, if I'm an affiliate there, my affiliate link will be automatically embedded.

One final point is that (as I discovered recently) if you use the popular AdBlock Plus add-on in your browser, it can conflict with GeoRiot. You may get error messages, and the detailed reporting may not work correctly. All you have to do is add an exception to AdBlock Plus for GeoRiot and it will work fine, though.

If you have any comments or questions about GeoRiot for Cole or for me, as always, please feel free to post them below.

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