Amazon – not just for selling your books on the cheap

I was just doing a bit of networking on LinkedIn (blimey, you need an instruction manual, innit?), when this question popped up in one of my groups: Have you linked your blog to Amazon as an affiliate account? I’m wondering about this as an option and would really like to get input from other writers.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I’ve never set out to be knowledgeable in affiliate and SEO, but I believe what goes around, comes around.  If you’ve got the knowledge, share it.  So I did.  This is my take on Amazon associates and the best practises, at least to get it off the ground and general maintenance (the latter, I’m so, so guilty of not doing myself [slaps self on wrist]).

Candy, hi. I can help.

Yes, Amazon does run an affiliate put but doesn’t call its third-party sales people affiliates; rather, they’re associates. That’s maybe why you can’t find a lot on t’Interent.

I have several blogs and several a-stores.

An a-store is a virtual shop you can build (manually, by adding individual products or groups of amazon products, such as Kindle store>>e-book>>fiction>>horror) to either stand alone from a link within your blog or place within a page on your website as an i-frame – but check what content your blog provider allows before deciding on which –, for example, has limitations, depending upon the theme of your blog and what its servers can support.

You can either choose to promote individual Amazon items – such as the emotobooks on my blog, here: (scroll down a bit to the ‘Grit City’ book covers – these open up off-site) or you can choose to have your store stand alone and promote just the store (or link to it from your blog), comme ça:

Or, if I wanted to promote a kindle device, I could grab the code for the widget image and slap it in here: – now, if you were to buy the device through this link, I would get a commission (only small, it’s true) but also on any kindle books you bought in the same shop.  If I’m lucky enough that you bookmark my page and always enter amazon through the same link, I will get commission every time you shop there.

The key to success is to not manufacture your post to promote something on Amazon (unless you’re exceptionally crafted in not sounding too salesy whilst you’re making your pitch), rather, maintain the theme of your blog and promote content available from Amazon that’s organically related – this way, you don’t look spammy and your readership will build trust and you become an authority, over time, within your niche.

For example, if I was doing a book review for, say, An Interview With The Vampire for Anne Rice, I would give it a page on its own within another a-store I have, Voices of the Undead: – this way, I expose my community to the book I’m reviewing so that they can go straight to it, but also, they could browse the store for The Vampire Lestat, Queen of the Damned and any other of the Vampire Chronicles by Dame Anne Rice (okay, she’s not, but she should be!) whilst they’re there.

I’ll not go into the details of all of the how-to – Amazon do it a lot better than me after you open your amazon associates account (, but I will say this: take the time to put your own description against the items you are promoting. Your readership has trusted you enough to click through, so they respect your opinion. I’m so guilty of not doing this, it’s untrue.

Include your ‘about page’ and a link back to the blog that sent the customer there in the first place (i.e. your blog) and, yes, it doesn’t matter what they buy once they’re there; once they’ve followed the link to your product and started shopping, you get kickbacks for everything else they buy in that particular shop.

I remember once Nick Daws writing a blog post whereby a girl bought a copy of one of his books and went on to buy two blue dresses (don’t ask me why that information has stuck in my noggin – it just must have seemed so odd!) and he got commission for the entire shop and hoped that the girl(s) looked lovely in their new frocks. Bless.

Nick tells the reasons why writers should be promoting as an amazon associate better than I ever could – he’s a master; here’s just one such article on his writing blog:

Please, Candy – if you get there and get stuck, drop me a line from my blog – – I’m going to post this here snippet of advice as an article, because I think a lot of my community would benefit from the question you’ve asked and (no disrespect to those others here who’ve commented here), it seems as if people have forgotten (or indeed never knew) what a good friend Amazon can be, other than somewhere to vend your inaugural manuscript or buy Kindle e-books.

I hope this has helped.

So, there you have it – share the love and always be happy to help.  Any queries? Just drop ’em through the contact form on the Darrelldoo Writing Services form, lovers.

Keep in touch with yourself, Zeb. xxx


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