Several months ago I participated in the LitLiberation Blogger Challenge launched by my friend Tim Ferriss to try and raise money for DonorsChoose.org (a site which allows teachers to submit funding proposals to ask for help doing something they don’t normally get the funding for). Around the same time, I started playing around with Amazon Affiliate links and made more than ten bucks on links by just using a few links on several blog posts. That’s only a small amount of money, but it got me thinking about the potential of using an affiliate program to generate money for charity in the marketing world. Over the time that I was away from blogging, one of my side projects was to start contacting several influential people to see if they would be willing to participate in a new kind of bookstore – which I called The Ultimate Marketing Bookstore. Today I am launching it (although I will resist the temptation to call it a "Beta launch"). Here’s how I described the purpose of the site and what makes it different:
This site is different because it features all the reading lists of marketers that you already know and respect in one place. From CEOs to marketing directors to top marketing bloggers – The Ultimate Marketing Bookstore lets you see and shop from all their reading lists … and all for a good cause.
The way most of us find out about great marketing books is the same way that we learn about great products … through recommendations from people we trust. Most online bookstores are just categories of books selected by one or two people. They are great if you trust those people, but they are not comprehensive.
As I describe above, all the proceeds from affiliate commissions that this site generates will be donated to DonorsChoose.org on a monthly basis and I plan to try and spread the word in the marketing community about this new bookstore and will be adding new names on a weekly basis. Here are a few reasons why I think this idea can work:
- Collects a central hub of reading lists from marketers that are currently widely distributed online.
- Encourages marketers who are not sharing their reading lists to do so in an easy way.
- Makes great marketing books easier to find and buy.
- Creates a community of marketing book readers and allows them to contribute to a good cause
- Offers a platform for new marketing books to get promoted to an interested audience
That’s the initial idea, but I’d love to hear some feedback on what you think could make it better. I am still reaching out to marketers to add their book lists, so stay tuned in the next few weeks as I will likely be adding lots more names to this list, and I plan to publish updates with money raised and associate this bookstore with a challenge on DonorsChoose.org so the amount raised (and what the dollars are being spent on) is highly visible. Blog badges and other tools to promote the site are in the works as well. Any other suggestions?
Note: A big thank you to all the people who responded to my LinkedIn question about which charity could be the best to support for this. DonorsChoose.org was the most popular suggestion.