16 May 2012

Associate Yourself

I'm here to discuss some of the finer points on the business side of writing. So, if you're sitting there with your hand across your forehead saying, "I labor at writing for the artistic expression aspects" maybe you should go back and read some of my SFFS snippets from past weeks while we proceed. Otherwise, let's go!

I'm not sure how many of you out there are aware, but Amazon has this nifty program, Amazon Associates. In a nutshell, you post some extra code in your links to Amazon pages, and if someone follows your link and buys something at Amazon, you get a slight commission (based on a sliding scale based on how many sales your links lead to, on a directly proportional basis -- the more sales you get, the higher your percentage for the month).

Now, I can't guarantee this, but I can assume that most authors out there are providing links to their books on Amazon off your websites and blogs. Why are you giving up on free money? Copy and paste the code they provide in place of your original, and start earning a commission.

I can also assume that most of you help out your various author friends by plugging their books as well. Why are you giving up on free money? Copy and paste the code they provide in place of your original, and start earning a commission.

Once you're logged in, Amazon Associates also has a nifty toolbar at the top of your browser window (as opposed to those nasty toolbars that Yahoo and Google surreptitiously add to your browser menu bars, this one is only visible on Amazon pages). You can easily post a link (while on a book's page) to your Twitter or Facebook page, and promote your books (and those of your friends) the same way you have been. Except up to this point, you've likely been giving up on free money.

(Are you seeing the running theme here yet?)

And the great thing is, the link you provide is the entry point for a user. As long as they buy ANYTHING in the same shopping session after following one of your links, their purchase counts toward your commissions. I can't name the number of times I've seen commissions for books I don't even know about, simply by someone following my links and buying another product. Talk about your free money.

This isn't even counting the recent experience where someone followed one of my links and purchased a Kindle Fire. Free money...

Now I should mention here that B&N also has a version of an associates program, which I am a part of (again, free money for doing what I already was before...promoting my books and others). However, as a point of comparison, I find the Amazon Associates program a far better and easier one. B&N makes you sign up with some sort of third-party vendor, and even then, their interface isn't as intuitive (no toolbar to easily create links directly from a page). But, like I said, free money is free money, so I wouldn't discourage you from signing up...just realize that one is going to be a lot easier to use than the other. 

Writing is a business, and so is promotion. Stop giving up on free money and sign up for your own Amazon Associates account today. If anyone has any thoughts or comments on this, feel free to let me know!


  1. I admit to doing this when I host an author on my blog. I'll use my associate link to their Amazon sale page.

  2. Already done it, sir, though I've not made any free money yet.. :(

  3. JC and Gayle, have you used the instant Twitter and Facebook buttons on the toolbar? I love those things...and it doesn't have to just be your own books. If you re-tweet someone else's advertisement, copy and paste the link for their book (with the extra code) into your re-tweet or Facebook post. I've had several instances where I've made a little bit off those links.

    I will forewarn that the percentage starts at 4% (and goes up to 6% when you reach around 7 sales)...and with Kindle books at $2.99 or less a lot of the time, it's going to take a lot of sales to make a whole lot of money. However, that $.12 (or so) is money you didn't have before, and didn't take much effort to make in the least.

  4. I had no idea they did this. Thanks for the tips.
    *Runs off to change all of her links*

  5. Good luck! Don't forget to utilize those toolbars to your advantage as well...


I love comments, and do my best to answer everyone who stops by...