Publisher Double-Dipping on Digital Sales [Amended]

last night on Facebook I saw something that really bothered me. No, not all the political crap! I saw a publisher (name withheld) promoting a deeply discounted digital book (sale ended this morning), but what bothered me was they attached a DTRPG affiliate ID to the link. For those that don’t know, DTRPG has an affiliate program for folks like me, to get a little (and I mean a little) affiliate credit for each paying sale they receive through an affiliate’s link.

So, this publisher is getting you coming and DTRPG going! Something just seems inherently wrong about it. They are getting your money from the sale they are running ($7.99 vs. 13.99) and then DTRPG will give them a very small amount for each purchase. The credit can then be cashed out for payment if they so choose.

I can find nothing on the DTRPG website that outright prohibits this type of thing, but I have never seen this before. I am left to wonder if this is a common practice that I am just now becoming aware of? If you’re a publisher and would like to comment, I am all ears.

~ Modoc

Follow Modoc on G+ or on Twitter

__________

I am amending this article after learning that this practice is permitted per the FAQ located at the DriveThruRPG site. While I am not personally a fan of the practice, it is permitted and it is what it is. Some publishers have rightfully commented that they need to get every cent out of every purchase and affiliate credit allows that get a tad more. I fully understand that getting every cent from a sale is crucial and I really don’t fault publishers for doing it since it is permissible. At face value, it seems to come across as disingenuous.

~ Modoc

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9 thoughts on “Publisher Double-Dipping on Digital Sales [Amended]

  1. I’m not sure I understand the problem. The buyer isn’t paying more, right? The publisher’s just making a little bit off the affiliate link?

    Is it that you feel that you shouldn’t change the link to your own affiliate referrer if you share the sale info?

    I’m a publisher, though without products for sale on DTRPG yet. While DTRPG’s rates are good, they aren’t enough to live off of. Getting every cent you can from a sale is very important.

    I don’t think that’s unethical. If they somehow prevented people from making their own affiliate links to their sale page, that would be unethical. It’s not like the publisher is hiding their economic interest in the sale– nobody clicking the link is deceived that the publisher won’t be making money off of the sale the way they might be from an affiliate-driven review or sponsored blog post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mortaine,

      I have continued to dig into this since publishing earlier and I have learned that DTRPG’s FAQ does in fact permit this practice. While I am not personally a fan of the practice, it is permitted and it is what it is.

      I fully understand that getting every cent from a sale is crucial and I really don’t fault publishers for doing it since it is permissible. At face value it seems to come across as disingenuous.

      ~ Modoc

      Like

    • Darkliquid,

      I have continued to dig into this since publishing earlier and I have learned that DTRPG’s FAQ does in fact permit this practice. While I am not personally a fan of the practice, it is permitted and it is what it is.

      ~ Modoc

      Like

      • Ultimately affiliate links are rewards given for driving traffic to drivethrurpg that results in a sale, its an incentive to share links. That’s more complimentary than it is incompatible with the goal of selling a product you’ve made. And as others have said, it robs the consumer of nothing, so if anything it incentivizes sellers to actively push drivethrurpg links specifically over line to other vendors (like Amazon or whatever).

        Liked by 1 person

      • Darkliquid,

        You’re right! The more this is discussed here and on G+, the more I am coming to grips with it. As I said earlier, it struck me wrong last night. I wish no publishers or DTRPG any ill will.

        ~ Modoc

        Liked by 1 person

  2. For those following, I have amended the article to reflect the new information that was learned since publishing the article.

    ~ Modoc

    Like

    • Stephen,

      No the affiliate connection was not disclosed in the advertisement for the game book in question.

      Have you seen the seen amended statement in the original article?

      ~ Modoc

      Like

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