Glue Offers Authors an Alternative to Amazon

By Marian Schembari, Contributing Editor, Digital Book World
SMC-Corpus Christi: Stickers! by AdaptiveBlue.Glue, via Flickr

There’s a reason that the Web is festooned with links to Amazon: it pays to make those links, and it’s easy. Other retailers, including Indienet, Powell’s, Borders, Barnes & Noble, and the amazing Book Depository have their own affiliate programs, and I’d happily link to those, too, if there was an easy way of doing so without having to laboriously hand-code six links on every review.

“With a Little Help: The Price Is Right”, Cory Doctorow

Adaptive Blue’s Firefox browser add-on, Glue, has been downloaded an impressive 2.4 million times and counting, and it is integrated with a variety of book-related ecommerce, social networking and review websites, including,,,, and many, many others. Their widgets are actively being used on a wide variety of book-related sites, from major publishers like Random House and Simon and Schuster, as well as marketing savvy authors like JA Konrath, enabling them to offer readers a variety of purchase options beyond Amazon.

The GetGlue Book Widget not only enables easy “buy now” links to a number of online retailers, but in the words of author Kelli Stanley, it also isn’t “an obnoxious sales technique.”

“When you have many books of many members to promote,” Stanley said, “you want something tasteful with information available to readers as a service, so you want to make it easy, but you also don’t want a blinking neon BUY THIS NOW! sign.”

On Stanley’s group blog, Criminal Minds, the Book Widget is used to feature authors’ works prominently, but not “obnoxiously”, allowing them to view basic book information like jacket image, author bio, publication date and book summary; preview the book’s contents; a direct link to purchase from a variety of retailers; read book reviews; an easy way to share the book information on all the major social networks.

How it helps authors

CJ Lyons' Urgent Care on GlueWhy is this important? I don’t know about you, but whenever I’m reading about an author or book that sounds interesting, I’ll usually go to Amazon to check them out. Sometimes I’ll Google the author. If authors can provide something – anything – to their readers that makes it easier to find out more about their book and where to buy it, it becomes that much easier for them to convert browsers into buyers.

When asked if the widget had helped sell more books, Stanley said that Glue doesn’t provide analytics, but on the other hand, she’d never asked for them. “It’s a very good representation of us and our work and it can’t hurt. Whatever contribution it makes, it’s going to be positive. If one person buys a book then it’s worth it.”

Analytics aside, this is a free widget. Seriously. Free. Plus, it allows authors to enter their own affiliate links which do provide some analytics.

And speaking of affiliate links, at a time when authors fear for their royalties, the internet has made it easier for them to cash in by providing links to online retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and benefiting from that extra cut.

Author CJ Lyons, also a member of Criminal Minds, has used the widget for a number of sites and blogs (three to be exact) and had nothing but good things to say: “I’ve found [GetGlue] not only wonderfully responsive to work with but their widgets are also fantastic marketing tools for authors.  The folks at GetGlue worked with us until we had a gorgeous looking widget that fit our site’s style–an author couldn’t ask for an easier way to get their books noticed!”

What do you think? Have you used Glue’s Book Widget, or the browser add-on?

Do you think it can make a big difference or is it just another “Eh. Couldn’t hurt.”?

Marian Schembari digs social media and books. Usually at the same time.

6 thoughts on “Glue Offers Authors an Alternative to Amazon

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