What it is: You set up a link to an amazon page (your book for example), and get paid a small commission when people buy through your link. Book bloggers often use affiliate links to keep their websites up and running.
Why it’s helpful: Even if you are only making 4% commission by creating a link at Amazon Associates, it can be invaluable for tracking where your sales come from. You can see clicks and purchases by date. You set separate tracking IDs for your different methods of delivery (facebook, twitter, Newsletter). You need to make a link EVERY time you post something about your book. If someone buys another item with your link, then you will credit for that (like an adult coloring book!).
When to set it up: Once approved, If you account doesn’t make any sales in about 180 (i’m going on memory, someone let me know if they are aware of the time frame) days amazon will close it, so wait until you are a month or two away from releasing your book.
Caveat: cookies expire by computer, so links stop making commission after 24 hours. The cookie expires for each person 24 hours after they click on it. Refreshing your links by creating new ones before big events could be advantageous. If you’re paying for advertising, it’s probably beneficial to set up a new link.
Home+ product links will create a url, able to to be shortened.
Product Linking will create a thumbnail image.
Tracking ID will be the name you set up. To manage tracking IDs, hover over your email address above the menu bar to find “Manage tracking IDs”
Getting cleaner links. Your affiliate links will look crazy-long! Amazon does let your shorten them when you make them, and tells you not to use other link shortening services. You can make a link by clicking Click the homepage. When you search for your item, in the link box it will say “Shorten URL with amzn.to?” You must use Home+product links to shorten.
To make affiliate links appear clean for blog posts, you will have to use HTML. This short video explains how to link text in wordpress (by clicking over to the HTML feature and pasting) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Db6_rXrI7hM Once you know how to do it, it’s so easy!
Associate IDs you need:
Book trailer video description
Release day links for street team members and family.
Contest or promotion
This is the research I tracked for Facebook groups that allow authors to post book information:
By recording which group I posted on specific to the day, I was able to see that I got more clicks on the page I posted to on June 17th than June 8th, and no orders.
You can also monetize your blog or website in other ways, per the rules of the Amazon Associates program. Happy tracking!
If you enjoyed my Dear Author post, please add my book to your amazon wish list so it shows up in Amazon emails to current subscribers! It’s free to you, and a huge help to me! (and only takes 3 clicks!)