Monetizing one of humankind’s favorite hobbies is easy with the world’s best eBook affiliate programs. And even if reading isn’t a “leisurely activity,” learning new knowledge is still rewarding.
Of the over three billion people who make reading an everyday activity, nearly 40% read eBooks. That’s an impressive number for affiliates to put into their digital marketing crosshairs. And the best part is bibliophiles never run out of money to buy the latest books from their favorite authors.
So, which program should you sign up with? Let our top nine eBook platforms lead you.
9 Best Ebook Affiliate Programs With Attractive Commission Rates
Don’t be surprised! Online shoppers’ favorite marketplace also happens to be a haven for bibliophiles, being the reading world’s largest bookseller.
It shouldn’t be surprising. After all, nearly three-quarters of all eBook readers use a Kindle.
And get this!
Nearly half a billion eBooks are on Kindle! That’s about an eBook for every 17 folks on Planet Earth. Amazon’s wide range of titles features the creative works of internationally bestselling authors and locally grown geniuses.
Need more convincing?
Two-thirds of the global eBook market is Amazon!
With these staggering stats, no affiliate should shrug off this marketplace.
Amazon gives you a 4% share of every eBook sale. However, if your referrals opt for physical books instead, you could escape with a slightly heftier 4.5% commission.
Sadly, we’re bummers about this platform’s 24-hour cookies.
Still, we must point out that over half a million people buy eBooks daily. And since Amazon corners two-thirds of the market, that’s a hefty 350,000 potential customers to monetize!
No book lover should limit their selection to DRM-protected literature. They must be free to read their favorite genres and writing styles.
Although Kindle has some DRM-free titles, Smashwords beats the giant with its 900,000-plus DRM-free collection. Bibliophiles don’t need a Kindle to read these titles. Any eBook reader (even tablets and smartphones) will do.
And if bookworms are lucky, Smashwords has over 100,000 titles they can read without shelling out from their pockets.
It has notification alerts, too. Book lovers can stay updated with their favorite authors’ latest creations.
That’s the kind of messaging affiliate marketers will want to convey.
Here’s an intriguing concept, although not entirely unheard of.
All aspiring writers want to jumpstart their authorships by giving “free” samples of some “chosen” works. Others might be content with a lower purchase price, sharing most of the sales to the marketer.
That’s “juicing.” It’s a perfectly fine way to generate readership. Thankfully, Smashwords allows such practices, enabling aspiring authors to become popular while empowering affiliates to earn up to 80.5% commission.
And in some instances, the author offers 100% commissions for affiliates.
Now, that’s a serious offer no affiliate should miss.
Did it surprise you that a Canadian company is on our list? Don’t be.
After all, AbeBooks has been under the Amazon brand since Jeff Bezos acquired it in 2008.
So, how different are AbeBooks from Kindle?
For one, this bookshop is a book collector’s haven. Its impressive lineup includes hard-to-find titles, out-of-print literature, and even textbooks. Of course, new eBooks are available, but it’s the rare kind we find worth promoting.
Rare maps, antique periodicals, classic photos, and vintage collectibles are also present. And if you’re into the Golden Age of comic books, you might get a 1935 New Fun No. 1.
Although AbeBooks’ commission is one percent higher than its parent company (Amazon), we’re clueless about the bookshop’s capping of the commissionable sales volume.
The company limits commissionable sales to $500. So, if a bookworm buys a thousand dollars worth of books, you’ll only get $25, not $50.
Still, AbeBooks is more “understanding” than Amazon’s mediocre cookies, extending the window to a month.
This bookshop collaborates with the Impact affiliate network, handling all applications and campaign management activities.
Here’s a brand worth writing about or creating digital content for without lengthy introductions or complex overviews. It’s Apple Books.
Like any merchandise with the iconic mouth-bitten apple logo, AppleBooks delivers an uncanny collection of the most exciting reads. Unfortunately, we don’t know how many titles are in the store (although we can confidently say it’s less than Kindle).
While writing about AppleBooks eBooks on any book related blog is sure to generate enthusiasm among diehard Apple fans, there’s a hiccup.
We know Apple only “sells” genuine stuff (read, “legally bought”) and that the Cupertino-based giant doesn’t allow “non-proprietary” technologies on its products.
Hence, reading AppleBooks eBooks will require an iOS-powered device (i.e., iPod, iPhone, iMac, or iPad).
On the bright side, everyone knows how loyal Apple users are (they brave hunger and rain waiting in line for a new Apple store to open). And that translates to a dedicated fanbase and a sure-fire target audience for eBook marketers.
Interestingly, AppleBooks’ commissions are three percentage points better than Amazon Kindle’s.
That’s an excellent combo to earn handsomely this year.
Barnes & Noble
Barnes & Noble (B&N) is a household name spanning several generations over nearly one-and-a-half centuries.
It’s the US’s most popular and largest bookseller, with nearly 600 stores, earning a spot in the much-coveted Fortune 500 magic circle.
Although B&N started with “real” books (physical versions), this bookseller’s digital collection remains as impressive as its history, with 3.6 million eBooks. And if audiences prefer listening than reading, B&N has 300,000 audiobook titles to satisfy their fancy.
So, joining the Barnes & Noble affiliate program is a no-brainer.
It’s a trustworthy bookseller with a 137-year history of unparalleled commitment and dedication to quality, customer service, and excellence.
And although its commission is identical to Amazon’s, B&N remains a worthy program. You could also market its physical and audio book collection to boost income generation.
Although you can only earn about seven to nine cents per click, B&N’s 1.05% conversion rate is within industry standards.
That’s still commendable.
Kobo is to Rakuten, as AbeBooks is to Amazon. However, the former has several distinct pluses over Amazon’s bookseller subsidiary.
Kobo’s offerings extend beyond eBooks.
While AbeBooks’s strength lies in hard-to-find literary pieces, Kobo (an anagram for “book”) is, first and foremost, a Cloud-based eReading service (that’s the original plan, at least).
Today, it has eBooks, tablet PCs, eReaders, audiobooks, and an impressive device accessory collection. What else can you expect from a Japanese tech giant?
Hence, Kobo looks a lot closer to Amazon than AbeBooks.
Since Rakuten lets merchants vet marketers, signing up with the Kobo affiliate program should be easier.
You’ll get two commission options: 10% for accessories and 5% for Kobo eBooks and other products. Although the former has a more attractive compensation rate, accessories aren’t always as pricey as eBooks or eReaders.
Hence, we recommend checking out the Kobo products with the most affiliate commissions (in dollars, not percentages).
Everyone has a favorite book. And if you’re a bibliophile catering to avid eBook readers, eBooks.com is the perfect partner.
For nearly a quarter of a century, eBooks.com has been a pioneer in digital books. Bookworms can use any device (including PCs) to download and read their favorite titles, unlike AppleBooks’ titles that work only on iOS technologies or Amazon’s collection on Kindle.
And here’s another distinct pro over Amazon and Apple.
eBooks.com offers DRM-free titles like Smashwords, although its collection might be less extensive than the latter.
Still, this eBookseller is worth joining.
Not only is eBooks.com’s 10% baseline commission one of the most lucrative among eBook programs, but its structure is commendable.
Expect a handsome 15% commission paycheck for selling at least $8,335 worth of eBooks.com products monthly or over $100,000 yearly. Don’t fret if you can’t hit these goals because eBooks.com will still pay you the base commission.
eBooks.com’s cookie window is the most “generous” in our list, blasting programs only willing to open their trackers for 24 to 48 hours. Putting affiliate earnings in the bag is guaranteed.
We consider Books-A-Million (BAM) a miniature Amazon marketplace with fondness for literary pieces, games, toys, and more.
It’s also a bit of AbeBooks with BAM’s “autographed” book collection (author-signed titles). For example, you could get a Jesmyn Ward-signed “Let Us Descend” or “Narrow Road Between Desires” with Patrick Rothfuss’ signature.
Shopping eBooks at this online business is also convenient, with the platform’s intuitive indexing algorithm for more efficient title, genre, or author search.
Interestingly, BAM has an identical affiliate management partner as Barnes&Noble – Commission Junction.
And that translates to excellent support for eBook affiliate partners. Promotional campaign materials, training resources, affiliate tracking & management tools, and other essentials are available for marketers to exploit.
Writer’s Helper is an “oddball” in our list. Although it offers digital products for affiliates to sell, it focuses more on “helping” aspiring authors write best-selling articles to monetize.
For example, the “Get Your Writing Fighting Fit” eBook empowers indie authors to discover the secrets of manuscript editing. Polishing or fine-tuning one’s work is essential to pass a publisher’s eagle-eyes scrutiny.
The brand also offers book reviews, writing articles, and author stories to inspire aspiring writers. Addressing pesky book writing issues is also part of the program, and so is DIY editing.
You might not have thousands of eBooks to sell, but Writer’s Helper offers a commission no marketer should pass on.
Moreover, this eBook uses the ClickBank platform, which opens more opportunities for digital marketers to boost commission generation in other niches.
What Are Ebook Affiliate Programs?
eBook or electronic book affiliate programs are like traditional book marketing and sales strategies, except promotional activities occur in the digital world.
In the past, book salespersons and marketers visited house to house, knocking on doors to offer their books. Others would set up stands in malls, enticing passersby to check the books.
eBook affiliates don’t use these tactics. Instead, they write about eBooks on blogs or create videos about them. Some post on Facebook, Instagram, and similar channels, while others email or SMS these offers.
“Digital marketing materials’ ‘ contain unique links bridging the channel (i.e., blog or video) to the eBookseller’s website. When book-loving visitors click these links, they get transported to the “eBook’s’ ‘ location in the virtual world.
If the referral buys, the eBook publisher or author (or the platform carrying it) shares a percentage of the sale with the digital marketer.
And that’s how affiliates make money. It’s like traditional selling, except affiliates promote in the digital sphere (although word-of-mouth marketing still works).
How to Promote Ebook Affiliate Programs Effectively
Although 1.87 billion people still prefer reading printed books, eBook fanatics are not far behind with 1.2 billion. Hence, your target market is there. The question is, how do you promote eBooks effectively to these readers?
Grow your audience and nurture them
No amount of affiliate marketing will give you the desired commissions if you don’t have a sizable audience. After all, they’re your target customers. They could be casual website visitors today but paying customers tomorrow.
So, deliver highly informative content and interact with your audiences positively. Your goal is to build trust and leverage it to entice followers to support your affiliate campaign.
Use multiple marketing channels
Most marketers have blogs or story-telling websites. However, these channels aren’t your only option. You could exploit Facebook’s reach, Instagram’s brand, or YouTube’s viewership to promote eBooks.
And don’t forget emails and SMS. You might also want to try word-of-mouth marketing, although the issue would be attributing the sale to your account (how do you “embed” an affiliate link or promo banner in a face-to-face marketing activity?).
Optimize promotional and marketing resources
Like any merchandise, eBook publishers and platforms want affiliates to succeed because it’s also the only way they could generate revenues.
So, brands will give you promo banners, discount codes, text links, and other promotional tools. Likewise, affiliate management technologies can make marketing simpler and more effective.
Don’t be ashamed to ask for guidance or help
Many affiliate platforms assign veteran affiliate marketing professionals or managers to partners. They aren’t around to spy on your campaign. Instead, they want to see you jump for joy because of the hefty commission you earned.
Swallow your pride or stash it in your pocket. Ask for assistance if you’re clueless about marketing eBooks or the campaign isn’t producing the expected results.
Suitable Ebook Affiliate Programs for Beginners
We recognize newbies’ concerns about affiliate platforms. They think it’s complicated, and the fear of failure overshadows the desire to join. Allow us to melt such anxieties by revealing the characteristics of an eBook affiliate program best for newbies.
First, an eBook program for beginners should be hassle-free to join.
You can check the eBook program’s application process, including the requirements. Most have a streamlined signup procedure that can have you start marketing within a few days. Some might take longer.
Thankfully, the eBook programs we featured can have you promoting and earning within a few days. They also require fewer details than most.
Second, the program must provide support resources.
You’re a newbie and still groping around the affiliate marketing world. Check and see if the program provides affiliate training for beginners. If yes, you’ve hit the jackpot.
Although not all programs on our list have a dedicated affiliate manager or training program, their affiliate support systems are commendable.
Third, the eBook program must offer an attractive commission. We get it. Most beginner marketers focus on the prize (the monetary rewards). It’s like dangling a carrot to get the horse moving.
Unfortunately, considering only commission percentages (i.e., 5% or 50%) can be unproductive. Beginners must also examine the eBook’s price and average orders on the platform. Promotional opportunities also matter.
For example, Amazon might only offer 4%, but its impressive lineup means beginner affiliates will always have a product to promote. Compare that with Writer’s Helper. It’s 50%, but you’re limited to only a few products.
As for our program list, Amazon Associates is the best for beginners because it’s easy to join, the support is spot-on, and its massive lineup translates to more income-generating opportunities.
We also recommend Smashwords (excellent DRM-free collection and up to 80.5% commission) and Kobo (easy signup).
Is it free to join eBook affiliate programs?
eBook affiliate marketing & sales programs won’t charge you a cent for signing up, even those that charge a refundable fee (they’ll return it anyway).
Is it legally to promote eBooks affiliate programs?
eBooks enjoy protection against copyright infringement as much as printed books and other creations. eBook programs offer at least two products – Digital Rights Management (DRM)-protected and DRM-free.
Promoting DRM-protected eBooks is legal with authorized platforms. Meanwhile, you’ll never have legal questions with DRM-free versions.
How much can I earn as an eBook affiliate?
We must reiterate that digital marketing remuneration hinges on performance or output. The more sales you bring forth, the higher the earnings. So, how much an eBook affiliate earns is relative, often depending on commission rates.
The lowest affiliate share is 4%, and the highest is 80.5%. Let’s pretend the eBook costs $3.99 or $4. The program with a 4% commission can give affiliates 16 cents per sale, while the 80.5% program will pay $3.22.
Suppose you sold 500 eBooks. The first program (4%) earns you an $80 check, while the other eBook platform compensates you with $1,610.
How can I promote eBooks affiliate programs on my own website?
One of the most effective ways to promote eBooks on your website is an “exit-intent popup,” which automatically appears when visitors close the website. It’s like a prompt, but contains your ad.
Sidebar callouts, scroll-activated popups, and strategic banner placements can also improve eBook promotion.
However, nothing beats a thoughtfully written blog about the eBook, especially one optimized for search engines. A call-to-action should drive the results.
eBooks affiliate programs aren’t as lucrative as other niches, but it’s enough to give digital marketers a sense of fulfillment. Moreover, it fuels humankind’s unquenchable thirst for knowledge and entertainment through reading.
Becoming an eBook affiliate is easy, but succeeding requires more than a few minutes filling out an application form. Dedication and hard work are essential, especially in nurturing audience relationships.
And if you’re at a loss about how to reach your affiliate goals, don’t hesitate to ask for assistance from affiliate experts.