There are various ways authors can boost their income besides book sales. As well as premium products, many authors can add additional income streams with affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is the recommendation of other products or services where you earn a commission from that referral by way of unique tracking in your link.
It can work well and should be taken with an ethical approach not to damage any trust with your audience. The last thing you want to do is recommend something of low quality and damage your own reputation.
Ways Authors can use affiliate marketing
You can include affiliate links inside your books using URL shorteners (see below) that make the link less ugly.
If you make video content, related links can be included in the description, or you can mention them. Lots of YouTube channels use this method
Blog and Social Media Content
Including affiliate links in blog content or social media is relatively standard practice. Just be sure to have a disclaimer on your website or blog, and don’t spam. Do you do book reviews as part of your blog? That’s an ideal opportunity. See an example book review here with this is the genius link landing page from that review.
You could have a recommended resources page like ours that lists affiliated products and services.
Is it worth it?
To some, affiliate marketing may seem like a distraction from writing and publishing books, but the internet is pretty much all affiliate related in some way. From eCommerce, blogs, and YouTube channels, they all share and recommend with affiliate links. This is not some overnight financial fix, though. It takes time to build up over time but can be well worth the effort.
Here are some Affiliate Platforms to check out as an author.
Sign up to Amazon associates and get a small commission from any sales on your books on Amazon and other product sales made within 24 hours. So, if someone clicks through your link and ends up buying a TV, you’ll also get a commission on that.
For the geo-location aspect to work, you’ll need to use smart links. You will need accounts for the different locations such as UK, US, EU, Canada, etc. Although it’s a pain, once you’re set up, your audience can be redirected to their local store, and you’ll get the commission for any purchases. So, for example, a user in Canada would get redirected to amazon.ca. We use genius, but there are many others, including Booklinker and Books2Read, associated with your Draft2Digital account if you have one.
Read more here about Amazon Geotargetting:
Here is a list of the Amazon Associates sign up pages
Apple’s affiliate program enables you to earn from music, TV shows, audiobooks, books, and movies.
Kobo’s affiliate program is run by the e-commerce company Rakuten, which allows you to promote other books and products outside of Kobo if you use their network.
If you’re distributed through bookstore distribution for print, you can also check out the affiliate programme for bookstore.org. https://bookshop.org/affiliates/profile/introduction
For non-fiction authors that focus on particular niches, there are some exciting options for affiliate marketing.
Whether your topic focus is finance, health, business, sports and so on, there are plenty of ways to promote related courses, memberships or products to your audience that will often have more significant commissions. Because they are info products, high ticket courses can offer better commissions, sometimes 50 per cent or more.
There’s an excellent opportunity to build a whole ecosystem from any series of books on a topic. Leverage the brand with further online resources, like a blog, course or membership and or least a newsletter. You can then share related affiliate links with your audience.
Sometimes affiliate links can be long and messy, so using an URL shortener is a worthwhile investment.
For example, Our affiliate link for Draft2Digital is: https://www.draft2digital.com/r/kRLW6q
With an URL shortener, we can switch to:
This makes it easier on the eye, and you can say it on videos or podcasts a lot easier.
You’re much more likely to be successful with affiliate marketing if your audience knows and trusts you. Be ethical and honest, and enjoy the affiliate ride.