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Digital Publishing Remits: Getting 75% from Apple

While there were dozens of great ideas circulated at last week’s Mequoda Summit in Colorado, one in particular was so simple it stands out in my mind.

John Bolton, group publisher at Interweave, has been negotiating, if you could call it that, with Apple, Zinio, Barnes & Noble and other digital affiliates.

As he points out, the negotiation is pretty one-sided. He has, however, figured out a way to receive five extra points from Apple and it’s incredibly easy to do.

His method: becoming an Apple affiliate. Any website owner can become an affiliate and when you’re selling your own apps, it’s an easy way to get an extra five points. Instead of the standard 70 percent from sales through Apple, you can get 75 percent: 70 percent as the publisher and five percent as the affiliate.

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John went on to recommend putting pages on your website that describe your books, magazines, and apps, and point into the Apple store so you can get the extra five percentage points for affiliate sales. This also helps your audience members find the right products easily.

My article that discusses the three things we want from Apple’s Newsstand app stresses the difficulty in navigating within the newsstand. And as many have pointed out, it’s hard to find something even if you know the name, let alone if you don’t. Pointing consumers to your products makes the process easier for everyone.

Promoting your own stuff

Attendees John Bolton, Andy Clurman, and Bob Kaslik all noted that if you want to sell a lot of products through the iTunes program, you should be prepared to promote the heck out of your own products.

This includes driving your own product sales in the various digital newsstands. And as Andy Clurman points out, the best way to get Apple to feature your content in Newsstand is by providing them with a robust promotional plan.

Kaslik went on to say that email promotional planning involves making sure Amazon has plenty of traditional printed books in stock to fulfill the orders generated by their email marketing efforts.

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