Most book bloggers write because of their deep love for books. But why stop there?
Today, I’ll tell you about a great way to turn your passion project into a source of income.
Book reviews may be your bread and butter, or perhaps you just add a few recommendations for your readers along the way. Regardless of your strategy, book affiliate programs are diverse, and there’s something to suit all tastes.
Can Bookworms Earn Money Through Blogging?
Let’s be real – anybody can earn money blogging. Why not bookworms like you?
No matter your niche, there are many ways to monetize your blog if you’re persistent and do your research well. Affiliate marketing is a popular way to make an income, and it’s easy to get started as evidenced by numerous book blogs out there.
Perhaps you send out book club newsletters, write a book review blog, or reference books in your articles. With an affiliate program, you earn a commission every time someone uses your link and makes a purchase. It’s a perfect way to establish an income doing what you love.
I’ll dive deeper into affiliate marketing after revealing the top book affiliate programs that pay well.
The Best Book Affiliate Programs for Bloggers
Getting started in the world of affiliate marketing can be difficult, but it’s worth it.
Start by choosing the affiliate programs that go well with your blog’s mission and theme.
If you have a lot of international readers, and you want to recommend print books that they’ll get wherever they live, go with this affiliate program.
BookDepository is one of the most popular bookstores for the global market because they offer free shipping anywhere in the world. They sell millions of titles, whether that’s classics, best-sellers, or works coming from indie authors.
Join their affiliate network for a chance to earn 5% on sales you make. You can sign up to promote BookDepository via the affiliate marketing network Awin.
eBooks.com may have an old-fashioned website design, but this widely known and used ebook seller has very attractive rates for their affiliates.
While digital versions of books cost less than their print counterparts, eBooks make it worthwhile for affiliates to promote digital formats.
Their commission ranges between 8% and 15% depending on your performance (so it pays off to sell more), and best of all – their cookie duration is set at a whopping 45 days.
Yep – if your reader clicks on the link and returns to get something on eBooks in the next 45 days, the commission is yours.
To join the eBooks’ affiliate program, you’ll need to join Commission Junction (better known as CJ), a hugely popular affiliate marketing network.
The habit of reading is cultivated by kids around the world, so promoting children’s books today makes a huge difference in the world of tomorrow.
Geared for ages 0-10, Bookroo is a kid-oriented bookstore with lots of titles and monthly surprise packs for the young ones to explore. Perfect for mommy blogs, story-time curators, and book reviewers with wide audiences.
Their affiliate conditions are very good at a 10% commission through ShareASale and a 90-day cookie (yep, your sales window is almost 3 months!).
Audiobooks are perfect for people who lead an active lifestyle and don’t get the time to sit down and unwind with book in hand.
This book format saves time, letting you enjoy the best stories out there while you cook, jog, or commute.
With a 10% commission, you can recommend some of their 80,000 titles to your readers for a nice profit. In fact, you can even offer your readers discounts, so it’s a win-win situation.
To join the AudiobooksNow affiliate program, you’ll need to be a part of Pepperjam or ShareASale. Pepperjam offers a longer cookie life at 30 days, but the ShareASale 15-day cookie is not bad either.
Amazon is called the king of the affiliate marketing industry for a reason. People around the world trust the company and love shopping with Amazon Prime.
Recommend books, and why not include the stuff that makes reading more comfortable, while you’re at it. Amazon has a lot to offer to avid readers, from bookshelves and treadmill book holders to cute stationery, and, of course, print/audio/e-books.
As an affiliate, you can get a 4.5% commission on physical books, or explore other product categories and their income rates. The cookie remains active for 24 hours across product categories.
6. Thrift Books
As a human race, we still have a long way to go to fix the damage we did to planet Earth. But change happens one recycled tire at a time.
With Thrift books, you and your readers can join a no-waste community that doesn’t throw used books out to the landfills. They offer 13 million books, both new and with signs of use. Packaged and delivered in recyclable packaging, the books will live a new life in someone else’s hands.
As an affiliate, you can receive between 4 and 6.5% commission, and have a cookie that lasts 7 days. Partner with ThriftBooks through CJ Affiliate.
Everybody knows and loves Barnes & Noble, an old household name that survived the digital revolution.
The brick-and-mortar store became a well-established bookseller online too, so being an affiliate can be profitable. Besides books, Barnes & Noble also sells their own e-book reader called NOOK.
The commission rate at the popular bookstore is not high – 2% for books and 4% for Nook products, with a 24-hour cookie window. But your readers will feel more secure purchasing from this trusted brand name.
US-based printed book lovers, look this way!
BookShop is all about keeping brick-and-mortar bookstores alive. If there’s nothing that can replace that brand-new book smell for you, join forces with BookShop to raise money that helps local and independent bookstores. They financially back local stores across the US with a part of their regular sales.
As an affiliate, you can curate book lists and recommend your favorites. If you make a sale, you get a 10% commission and give a matching 10% to local book businesses.
Tips for Affiliate Marketing Novices
If you need help navigating the affiliate marketing business, you’re in the right place. On my blog, I deal with the ins and outs of blogging as a career.
Here’s how it works. Let’s say that you really loved Ernest Hemingway’s ‘Old Man and The Sea’, and you recommend the book to your readers in your blog post.
One of the most enduring American literary masterpieces of all time. Over a million copies sold.
Using a plugin like AAWP is a great way to promote Amazon products.
It’s really convenient when your reader can just click on the name of the book on your blog, and end up on a page where they can purchase a copy for themselves.
When you set up for an affiliate program, you can recommend good stuff to your readers, and get paid a small commission whenever they click the check-out button.
WordPress.com VS WordPress.org
Many people go to WordPress.com to create their first blogs for free. It’s a great, easy-to-use platform when you’re just starting out. But when you decide to monetize your blog, this way of hosting your blog can become limiting.
Once you decide to monetize your blog, step up your blog infrastructure, and switch to self-hosting. I went with SiteGround and installed the already familiar WordPress platform.
The details can get techy, but you can find easy-to-follow instructions in my article about creating your book review blog.
Remember to Disclose!
Failing to include a disclaimer is one of the common pitfalls for inexperienced bloggers. Simply said, as an affiliate marketer, you need to make sure that you inform your readers that you earn a commission from their purchase. Create a disclosure and put it at the top of the page.
What Does the Cookie Do in Affiliate Marketing?
When browsing affiliate programs, you’ll often see ‘cookie duration’ listed as one of the features. Why is this important?
If you promote a book and one of your readers decides to buy it, they will click on the affiliate link on your site. The link creates a ‘cookie’ that will tell the seller’s website that your reader is visiting their store.
Even if the visitor doesn’t make their purchase right away, you can still profit from your promotion efforts. If they return to the site later on and make their purchase then, you will receive the commission.
With the cookie, you don’t only get paid for the linked product – whatever they purchase on the site (within your cookie time window), you get the commission for it. The cookie can be active anywhere between 24 hours and 30 days.
Unfortunately, your cookie can be ‘overwritten’ with another if they click on someone else’s affiliate link in the meantime.
Do you have any tips and tricks for getting the most out of being a book affiliate? Let me know in the comments.