Best Book Affiliate Programs

If you’re in the education niche, you probably know that recommending courses to your audience is probably the best way of monetizing your website. But today we’re going to tackle some of the best book affiliate programs — yes, people still read, and while some only do it on their e-readers or tablets these days, books are here to stay. 

As usual, for each affiliate program, we’ll try to specify the cookie duration, as well as the commissions you can expect. 

Before we move on, we’d just like to add that book affiliate programs should be considered only as a method of diversifying your income. Unfortunately, most book affiliates do not make a lot of money, so do keep that in mind. 

Best book affiliate programs

eBooks.com

This is our first choice out of all of the others we’ll showcase in this post because the commissions are amazing. Sure, the value of some of the books you’re going to find on this site isn’t going to be too high, but the commissions are quite decent – they range between 8% and 15% depending on what performance you have. 

Besides, the cookie lasts for 45 days, which is another reason to consider becoming an ebooks affiliate marketing affiliate. 

Even better, the program can be joined through Commission Junction, where you can easily track all of your activity, CTR, and all the other stats you need to check on. 

AudiobooksNow

Let’s face it. Lots of readers resort to listening to audiobooks these days, and that’s because they can be multitasking while doing so. Of course, audiobooks do call for a bit of focus, but they can be listened to while doing mundane tasks like driving or cleaning the house. 

AudiobooksNow has a pretty good affiliate program, where the commission is a fixed 10% of every sale (which is way better than what other programs tend to offer) and the cookie lasts for fifteen days. 

It’s also worth noting that the program can be joined either through ShareASale or Pepperjam and what’s interesting is that the cookie duration actually varies depending on the platform you use. 

We already noted that the cookie duration is 15 days, but that’s for ShareASale — for Pepperjam, it’s 30 days. 

Bookroo

This shop specializes in selling children’s books, so if you have a lot of parents reading your blog, it’s probably one of the best options you have at your disposal. 

The reason we love the Bookroo affiliate program is that the commission is pretty good (10%), but what truly makes it stand out from the crowd is the cookie duration, which lasts for 90 days. In other words, people can place an order anytime during those 3 months after they click on your affiliate link and you’ll still get a commission. 

Amazon

If you’ve ever been on the Internet before for anything, you’ve probably come across this giant retailer. Amazon actually started as a bookseller, and they continue this tradition by selling both physical titles and ebooks. Plus, they have a fair share of digital devices for reading, such as Kindle readers and tablets. 

The biggest downside to their affiliate program is that while the commission for ebooks is 4% and that for paper books is 4.5%, the cookie lasts just 24 hours, which might not be enough for some people to make up their minds about whether they want to place an order or not. 

On top of everything, Amazon has a bad habit of slashing their affiliate program commissions once every 6-7 years, so we recommend not putting all of your eggs in one basket and recommending other booksellers, too. 

Thrift Books

If you’d rather buy your books used and if you know for sure that your blog readers have the same preferences, you can definitely recommend this website. They have several million titles in stock and the categories are endless — from cozy mysteries to mafia romance and kids’ literature. 

The good thing about their affiliate program is the commission, which stands at a fixed 5% for every purchase. What’s even better, you can get a 8% commission if you refer more than $10,000 in sales per month — but let’s keep it realistic here for a moment. 

The cookie lasts for seven days, which isn’t that bad after all. 

BookShop

If you’d like to support independent bookshops across the United States (which risk disappearing because of giants like Amazon, for example), Bookshop.org might be right up your alley. They donate a percentage of every order to independent bookshops.

We couldn’t find any information as to the length of the cookie duration, though, but we will say that they have a pretty good 10% commission on all orders. 

Barnes & Noble

Despite Amazon being what it is, Barnes & Noble have survived the shift from physical books to ebooks quite well. In fact, they’re often the number 1 bookseller in the US. 

As for their affiliate program, you aren’t going to be too impressed. All of the sales will generate you a 2% commission and the cookie lasts just 24 hours, as is the case with Amazon’s affiliate program. 

On the upside, their brand is absolutely massive, so you aren’t going to have a lot of trouble recommending books from their site.

Apple

Did you know that Apple has an affiliate program for most of their products, including music, TV, and even podcasts? All of these have different commissions, but the same cookie window, meaning 30 days. 

For books, you’ll earn 7% on each sale, which definitely isn’t bad considering that even Amazon can’t offer more than 4.5%. 

Audible

You would expect Audible to have the same commissions as Amazon on all sales, but their affiliate program is actually different. The platform pays affiliates only if they get people to sign in and get a trial, and for each of these actions, their affiliates get $5. 

The downside is that the cookie lasts the traditional 24 hours used by Amazon, too. 

AbeBooks

Although perhaps less known compared to the Book Depository or other book sellers out there, AbeBooks has been around for more than several years, during which it’s served hundreds of thousands of customers. 

The 5% commission rate is not bad at all, but what truly makes this affiliate program stand out from the crowd is the cookie duration — 90 days. We’d say that this one is worth looking into, at least for diversifying your income sources. 

Better World Books

There’s not too much to say about this bookshop’s affiliate program because they basically have the same commission rate and cookie duration as AbeBooks – 5% and 90 days. 

They are a little different in that they take their charity work seriously, so they make a donation on each sale that they get. 

Chronicle Books

This independent publisher has another rather decent affiliate program in place, since it pays its affiliates a 6% commission on every sale and the cookie lasts for a whole month. 

The downside is that some of the titles you’ll find here aren’t that well-known, but you also have to consider that some writers simply have to use alternative platforms to publish their books, not just giants like Amazon. 

Also, since Amazon has been getting into the bad habit of taking down books without a particular explanation, these writers must publish their titles elsewhere. 

Book Depository

Book Depository was recently purchased by Amazon, so if you don’t know what you’re about to recommend to your readership, you’re actually getting them to purchase from a huge chain, not a small bookshop. 

The biggest selling point of the site as it has been for the past decade or so is that it offers free worldwide shipping on all of the books. 

As for the affiliate program, the commission rate is better than that of the Amazon affiliate program — 5% — but we couldn’t find any specific information on the cookie duration. 

C&T Publishing

This craft book publisher is quite unique compared to some of the other affiliate programs we have discussed in this article. Besides books, the shop sells a variety of other products, particularly from the handmade and DIY categories — such as sewing or embroidery supplies, for example. 

The good thing about their affiliate program is that they pay 15% of every sale to their affiliates. Also, the cookie lasts for 60 days, which is definitely worth writing home about. 

Indigo Books

This is perhaps one of the best-known book sellers in Canada, and it’s been around for over eighty years. They sell not only physical books, but also ebooks and other types of downloads, so you’ll have a fair share of products that you will be able to recommend. 

The reason we are showcasing it here is that the commission value varies from just 2% (sure, it might seem low) to 10% depending on the books you get your readership to purchase. Also, the 10% commission is reserved for people who join the Indigo rewards program. 

The cookie lasts for seven days, which is considerably less compared to what other book affiliate marketing programs can offer. 

Second Sale

As the name suggests, people can use Second Sale for buying used books. And while some of the prices you are going to stumble upon here are incredible, with some titles selling for less than $4, the good thing is that their book affiliate program really isn’t bad. 

In fact, they offer better commissions compared to the likes of Amazon (5%) and their cookie duration is an impressive 90-day one. That leaves people plenty of time to make not one, but even two orders. 

Calendar Club

While it might seem like the product categories on this website don’t leave you a lot of freedom as to what you can recommend to your readers, the truth is that this shop sells a variety of products, not just calendars — from entertainment and educational books for kids to non-fiction books for people who want to build a business. 

The commission is a fixed 5% for all book sales, but it increases to 10% for calendars. Also, the cookie lasts for 45 days, which we’d say is quite decent for an affiliate program. 

Vital Source

If you think that your audience is likely to be interested in purchasing textbooks and you’d like to recommend a number of eco-friendly products instead, this site should be right up your alley. It sells eTextbooks and the best thing about them is that they can get even 70% cheaper than their paper counterparts. 

What we’d also like to note is that the website has close connections to a wide range of educational institutions, which means that college students don’t have to worry about their textbooks not being accurate or approved by their teacher board. 

While Vital Source is a great shop in itself, the commissions it offers to book affiliates aren’t that great. You’ll get 3% out of each sale, but at least the cookie lasts for thirty days. 

Premier Collectibles 

This site doesn’t just sell rare books, as you might be tempted to think because of its name. It sells a variety of titles, and while collectibles are indeed a good portion of them, it’s not limited to them. 

The Premier Collectibles book affiliate looks pretty good since the commissions stand at 15% out of every sale and the cookie duration is not one, but two months. Best of all, the value of some books on this site is quite high, especially for collectibles, and if you earn 15% of one of those sales, you’ll be rather happy. 

Read more: Best music affiliate programs

Final thoughts

It goes without saying that the cookie duration and the commission rate are the two most important factors when choosing a book affiliate program, but there are other things that ought to be considered, too. 

For example, if charity matters to you, you can make an ethical decision and recommend a bookseller that also donates to various causes. 

It’s also important to read the fine print of all of these affiliate program rules — Amazon doesn’t allow the use of plugins for recommending their competitors, for example, so you’ll be considerably limited in this sense if you also decide to use their program. 

Finally, make sure that you have different streams of income. Books are great, but they are not going to make you rich. 

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Craig Campbell

I am a Glasgow based SEO expert who has been doing SEO for 18 years.

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