On 1st June 2020 I joined Amazon’s Affiliate scheme, and later in the month was accepted into the Hive Book’s scheme. In November I joined Bookshop.org These affiliate schemes allow me to earn a small commission which is paid on qualifying purchases made via their links.
Since I started this blog in 2015, I (like many other bloggers), have always linked to Amazon as a purchasing link. Largely because it gives the option of Kindle eBook purchases which are not always an option on other online book sites. Irregardless of where I link to, the choice of where to purchase is always in the hands of the reader/purchaser.
I’ve been aware of the affiliate schemes for quite a while, but not considered joining them because, based on the views of other book bloggers who have used them, the returns are small, if at all – there is a minimum level that has to be reached before any earned commission is actually paid. In the case of Amazon the commission is 5% but a minimum of £25 has to be earned before any payment is made. Essentially that means generating £500 of sales, which is not something that we as bloggers are easily able to generate.
So why did I join? Two reasons really, the first was that last year I upgraded the blog from being free to a paid platform. The main reason was to lose the advertising that generated the income that allowed the blog to be free. I wasn’t comfortable not knowing, or having any control over what was on my site. The cost isn’t major, but it’s money that’s reducing my book fund. The second reason was, that as I’m using the links anyway it was worth a punt to see whether it could generate some income to put towards the cost of running the website.
I’m well aware of how many people view Amazon, but nobody has to purchase via the link and as a source of eBooks they are, for many, the “go to” platform.
However there are alternatives which offer support to independent bookshops. I first started using a link to Hive Books. They are a British company offering a large range of titles (including eBooks) and are also a competitive alternative to Amazon if cost is a deciding factor. As they also offer free delivery on all orders, you don’t need to meet the minimum spend required by Amazon. As an added bonus they also pay a small percentage of your purchase to an independent bookshop (you can choose which one to benefit).
In November 2020 Bookshop.org.uk opened up and offered what appears to be an online lifeline for independent bookshops as their mission is to financially support local, independent bookshops.
As more and more people buy their books online, they wanted to create an easy, convenient way for you to get your books and support bookshops at the same time.
If you want to find a specific local bookshop to support, find them on the Bookshop map and they’ll receive the full profit from your order. Otherwise, your order will contribute to an earnings pool that will be evenly distributed among independent bookshops
By design, they give away over 75% of their profit margin to stores, publications, authors and others who make up the thriving, inspirational culture around books!
NB there is no obligation to order via these links and other online outlets are always available.