A New Way of Making Money Selling Books Online

There is nothing new about selling books online. But I bet you think I’m talking about selling some old used book or textbook on EBay to make an extra dollar or two on your inventory. I’m not. In fact, the method I’m talking about doesn’t involve you having an inventory at all. So what is this new way of making money selling books online? Let’s dive in, and let’s make 2019 a profitable year together.

The Method

Now, I mentioned that my method does not involve having an inventory. How? Affiliate Marketing. If you are not familiar with affiliate marketing, I’ll give you a snapshot. You would be promoting someone else’s product through your own content (such as a blog, social media, or email list) and making a commission on each sale. It sounds a little complicated at first, but it’s really very simple. I am here to help you get started. I will tell you that we’ll be finding these books on common websites. (with this particular niche, it’ll help if you Love Reading)

Your first step will be creating a website. There are a lot of places that sell domain names such as Go Daddy and Namecheap. You will also need to host your website. You find my number one suggestion for web hosting here. If you want to, you can create a free domain through the platform, you can. However, you may have better luck with a regular “.com” domain. Once you have your website, you can move on to the next step.

Where to Find Books

Thousands of books are sold through Amazon, and it’s easy to sign up for their affiliate program. BUT, I do not recommend the Amazon Affiliate Program as your only avenue to promote books. Their program is back and forth when it comes to E-Books commissions. If you need an affiliate program, Amazon is the perfect starting point, but make sure you read closely their commission fee schedule.

Barnes and Noble also has an affiliate program, and I recommend theirs. The B & N program is through a third party, CJ Affiliates (A.K.A. Commission Junction), which you should consider signing up for anyway. Several businesses use CJ for their affiliate programs, and for good reason. They have on-time commission payouts, and everything is streamlined. It makes keeping a solid eye on your activities a breeze.

Speaking of CJ Affiliates, another notable program would be the Ebooks.com Affiliate Program, and theirs is also through CJ. The positive thing about their program is the fact that ebooks are becoming more and more popular, as people are finding paperback books to be more of a bulky burden. Another would be their commission structure. They have a tiered structure, meaning- the more you sell, the more you earn.

Here is a snapshot of that structure straight from the website:

  • Up to $499 commission earned = 8% commission
  • $500-$999 commission earned = 10% commission
  • $1000-$1999 commission earned = 12% commission
  • $2000+ commission earned = 15% commission

They provide plenty of links for your website, as well as banners, and images to used to advertise your book of choice.

Put It Into Action

Now that you’ve put together a website, and found a few affiliate programs, it’s time to build on your content. If you go out there looking for any affiliate training, you may get weighed down by their explanation of SEO and getting traffic. It may not help you if you get overwhelmed. In the training over at Wealthy Affiliate (See my full review here), they teach that you need to first and foremost focus on content.

When you are building up your website, focus on writing about the books that you love first. Really get in depth of what you like, what you dislike, and why your readers can’t live without reading them. Maybe go with why you decided to read the book in the first place. If you’re going to advertise a few books in the same article, be sure to keep them in the same genre.

After this, you can start putting your focus on keywords to drive traffic. Another method used by Wealthy Affiliate is one I haven’t seen anywhere else, they call it the low hanging fruit method, and it works. After you begin getting more traffic, more and more people will be interested in the books you recommend. They may even seek out your opinion on books that they plan on buying. This means you have become an authority on book reviewing. Just remember, as is true with any author, the reader comes first.

Bonus: The Mailing List

After you have put the time in on your website, you can start to put together a mailing list. Just remember that if you are going to get people to trust you enough to give you their email, you need to put the time into keeping that trust. This means you need to deliver content regularly.

There are several autoresponders out there. I recommend Aweber. Keep up with a newsletter, talk about a genre and then recommend a book. Or you can even start your own book club! Online book club are growing in popularity. You can even start a book club Facebook group.

Once you get a brand started, the sky is your limit. Just put in the work. Before you know it, you will have yourself a book selling business like no other.

What Have We Learned Here

Affiliate marketing is a very real business opportunity for those interested in selling books. If you want to learn more about it with me, I recommend the Online Entreprenuer Certification.

The process is simple: pick a niche, build a website, drive traffic, and make money. It does, however, take patience and hard work. You can also learn more about how to use email marketing and social media to up your revenue stream. I hope you can take this and make something great! What do you think about this method?

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  • Mike

    Thanks for this article, it has really given me something to think about.  I was unaware that barnes and noble even had an affiliate marketing program.  This is great advice for any niche since there are most likely tons of books written for any product or area of experise.  Thank for putting this together.  It’s great to see amazon associate alternatives for affiliate marketing.

  • Michael

    thanks for this awesome info on how to sell books through affiliate marketing. I agree that selling books this way is far better because like you said we don’t have to have an inventory and physically sell them ourselves. We just simply recommend people to books we think they will like and collection commissions if they purchase it.

    Quick question though, we dealing with the book niche is it best to make a website around certain categories such as fiction, nonfiction, action, drama? Or could you be successful making a website about selling books in general?

    Thanks again for this great method.

    • admin

      that’s really up to you. Personally I’ll read a book from almost any genre, depending on my mood. But there are people who will only read fiction. I think you can make money either way, but what do you read. Start with that.

  • Kevin

    This was an interesting read for me. I’m a published author and I’m learning about what happens on the sales end of things. So you’ve made me curious as to whether another seller would be stocking the books that are sent out to potential readers, or if it’s the publisher who retains the books, with the seller as another middleman. I think that’s how it’s working for me; Xulon Press is my publisher, while Amazon is the seller, though Xulon may also promote and transact sales. From what you’re saying, marketers can join things like CJ affiliates and avoid the monster middleman named Amazon. Thanks for the education; you’ve made me want to take a closer look at what happens on the sales side of things. 

  • Florence

    I love books and would love to build a business online selling and reviewing my favorite books, I am thankful for your article since  it offers me the option of learning to do this by being an affiliate,This will be very helpful for me since i do not need to have a store of my own but can just recommend stores and earn. Is it possible to start selling the books as an affiliate without a website?

  • sheilandc

    Wow this is a great money making idea for all of those book lovers ,  for everyone who loves to read. I love the idea of not needing to carry an inventory and handling packing and shipping etc. i think my daughter who loves  books can benefit from this. I will deifinitely suggest this to her. Do you think one website with all kinds of book genres will work? We  don’t have to create one website for each, is what i mean.

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