Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Amazon Associates: Don't Give Up Free Money

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 their 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 Amazon provides, 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 Barnes and Noble 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. Barnes and Noble makes you sign up with some sort of third-party vendor, and even then, their interface isn't as intuitive, nor as simple (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.

And hey, while you're at it, check out some of my books (supplied via my Amazon Associates account) below:


Julie Eberhart Painter said...

I followed the dots until nothing worked, and then closed out. I have no idea if I'm "in" or "out", but they now have my SS.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting TM. Will check it out and thanks for the lead.

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2011)

KMTolan said...

Wonderful idea. Just joined!

T. M. Hunter said...

Glad it was helpful...Julie, try following the link and signing in. Being "in" would mean that you have a login? Once that's done, it's just a matter of putting new links up where you already have the old ones. That, and using the quick tools (for Twitter and Facebook) when you start viewing Amazon pages.

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Tim, I'm very nervous about Amazon having my SS, since everything we have in the world is accessible that way. (Weak moment problem. I understand if they were paying me they would need it for taxes.)

I have ended my membership and have asked them to take it out of their system. They are giving me a run around even though I am no longer a member.

Jude Johnson said...

Finally got on here (damn Blogger).

I've been in Amazon Associates for years and have yet to see a paycheck. But hey, might as well keep using their links; it's worth a shot if someday that elusive commission shows up.


T. M. Hunter said...

Understood, Julie...

Jude, it does take a while to get things moving, I'll grant you that. It's definitely worth a shot, though. I recently had someone follow one of my links and though I don't think they bought one of my books, they ended up getting a Kindle Fire. I picked up the commission on that, which was quite nice, even with the lower percentage levels I was at during that time.

Persistence is the key. Keep using the links, and eventually momentum will take over. Sort of like how things go with promoting books.