affiliate programs | income stream for authors


Most authors do not want to become affiliate marketers, spending time promoting other people’s products for a percentage of any sales generated.  It seems time consuming and slightly unseemly.  But those same authors, writers, speakers and entrepreneurs wouldn’t hesitate to recommend books they love to their friends and followers.

Recommending books to your fans and followers is a good marketing strategy.

If you love to read. have ever recommended a good book to a friend or reviewed a book online, then setting up an affiliate relationship with Barnes & Noble or can help pay your web hosting bills, increase your position as a trusted source of information and support authors and writers through recommending their work. You simply sign up for an account and when you find something you’d like to recommend, you grab the link and share it on Twitter, Facebook, your blog or even through your e-newsletter.  You can build a “recommended reading” widget through these affiliate programs and add new books easily.  These sites pay you a small commission on each sale resulting from your recommendation.  You will not get rich with this strategy, but you can bring in enough to pay for a book or two per month that you’d probably buy anyway.

It’s not the money that makes this worthwhile.  It’s a win-win marketing strategy that helps your visibility, increases your social currency and frankly, gives you something to blog about now and then when you’re stumped.

I only recommend books I love and in the case of, I occasionally recommend other products that I personally use like the Flip Mino Video Camera (which I use every day and love) and the Kodak Zi8 (which I use for speeches and conferences because of it’s exterior microphone capabilities) as well as the really inexpensive but awesome tripod I use which costs less than $15.00 and has a travel case!

I know that I enjoy reading lists from trusted sources.  Trust is the key issue here with dabbling in affiliate marketing.  If you recommend things you don’t like, people will come to view your lists as a waste of time.  So don’t squander your social currency.  Recommend the best and earn a little change in the process.

I’d love to see your recommended reading lists.  I’ve been so busy reading non-fiction books by clients so I can help them with their promotional plans that I could use a good novel to sweep me away.

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2 Responses to “Affiliate Programs | Income Stream for Authors”

  1. deb walter says:

    Interesting idea — although, I don’t know if I’d trust people for recommending products they are paid to endorse. Will most people have as much integrity as you do? I trust people who stand to gain nothing from giving a recommendation.

  2. There’s a pretty low financial incentive here but one that I feel is valid and consistent with most author’s brands. Authors love to read. Recommending other authors to their followers makes sense. Giving followers a link through which they can buy the books is a service. Getting a 50 cent incentive from an online bookseller to point buyers to their site doesn’t negate their credibility for me. Now if they keep recommending $100 a volume encyclopedia’s simply because the affiliate fee would be higher, then I’d say they’ve squandered their social credibility with me. But I believe that for most casual affiliates of these sites, they can genuinely provide a service and recommend books and equipment they own, use and love. It’s the same with the Amazon and reviews on the site. People like knowing what others enjoyed or didn’t enjoy reading or using. That’s my perspective.

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