Sunday, April 22, 2007

Benjamin Franklin Award Finalists 2007 and Being an Amazon Affiliate

The Benjamin Franklin Award Finalists 2007; Wands and Worlds has the children's lit finalists, complete with handy Amazon links to find out more info about the book.

And now once again I'm using my own post to veer off on a tangent; the Amazon links issue. As anyone reading the blog knows, I link to Amazon both within reviews and on the sidebar and am an Amazon Affiliate. Why?

In no particular order:

-- cool techie stuff! You may hate it, but I really like the bit that zooms up and contains all the information on the book.

-- using the cover image. There is no definite law on whether or not use of a book or DVD cover is allowable under copyright; seriously, whatever page you link to in my comments saying it is OK is an interpretation of current copyright law. So, for my own peace of mind in not having to worry about it publisher by publisher, book by book, artist by artist, I figure if I'm an Amazon Associate I have the right to use the cover art on my site. This is the solution that works for me; you do the one that works for you. Apples, oranges, six of one, half a dozen of the other. Long time readers may remember how for a while I solved this dilemma by not using cover images at all.

-- my readers are grown-ups. No, seriously. I respect you all as intelligent people; you'll buy or borrow the book from wherever you want to.

-- Amazon does contain additional information about the book that I'm either unable or unwilling to include. Yep, so do other book sellers, to a point. What I couldn't include if I wanted to : the text of published reviews. In looking for published reviews, I like to check out multiple bookseller sites because no one site contains all the published reviews. And, of course, the original review source, if it's available online and is free. I also like that booksellers contain all the info like ISBNs that right now I don't want to include.

-- Why not make a few bucks? Basically, if someone clicks on one of those links and buys something, I make a few pennies. To date, having done this program for over a year, I have made less than fifty dollars. The money is not the reason I'm using the program; it's more for the reasons above. But is it nice when I do find out I've made a few dollars? Yes; it gives me an excuse to buy DVDs.

-- Well, you may ask, why not link to the library and promote that? Truthfully, I haven't looked into it at all. If you prefer to get your books from libraries, I suggest using this Library LookUp Bookmarklet. Basically, if you're in Amazon (or any entity that includes the item ISBN in its URL), you click the bookmarklet and it brings you into your local library catalog to see whether or not your library has the item.

Different people use Amazon Affiliates for different reasons. And guess what? It's all cool; because, as I said, we are all intelligent people who are well aware of the issues about booksellers, mega sellers, independents and big business; marketing, advertising, and promoting; as well as looking at our time, how it is spent, and what we want out of it. I believe that of bloggers; and I believe that of blog readers.


Michele said...

I should be getting my first Amazon Associates payment of the year at the end of this month. The vast sum of £17 ! It's not a lot, but it'll buy me a handful of books or DVDs I couldn't otherwise afford, so I'm happy !

Unknown said...

Thanks for the link, Liz. I also appreciate your saying that the Amazon links in the post are "handy," lol. It actually took me quite a while to do all the links, and I debated not doing them, but I thought it would be more helpful if people could actually click through to find out more. So I'm glad to know that they're useful!

I use Amazon associate links for all the reasons you listed, but I would add one more: Amazon associates lets me see which books people are clicking on and buying (not individually, don't worry! I can't see any personal information. It's just in the aggregate). I just find it interesting to see what books people are most interested in. And like you, I only make a few dollars a month; certainly nothing worth talking about.

I have one interesting anecdote relating this to the whole negative reviewing thing. I write very few negative reviews. Usually if I don't like a book, I just don't finish it. But there was one book that annoyed me so much that I wrote a very negative review of it - and I've sold at least one copy of it through Amazon Associates. Someone read my negative review and decided to buy the book anyway. If I can make commissions even from a negative review, it just goes to show that there's no need for me to bias my reviews just to make a couple of bucks.

Tasha said...

If you do want to promote libraries in general rather than Amazon, you can get your cover art and links from WorldCat ( That's what I do on my blog, because one of my big drives as a public librarian is to push people towards libraries rather than buying books. :) Of course, it may not be as cool and techie as Amazon and may not suit your needs.

Liz B said...

Tasha, my local library isn't included in WorldCat, which is one of the reasons I didn't think of it.

And I'm not sure how that would address the issue of cover art; it is something to think about & take into consideration.