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Old 04-08-2009, 10:44 AM   #1
Daithi
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Amazon drops Kindle books from its Affiliate program

I'm not sure that this means a whole lot but thought Mobileread visitors might find it interesting. Amazon has an Affiliate program where they pay a referral fee to websites that convince others to go to Amazon's website and buy something. As of March Amazon excluded Kindle books from that program.

I personally just designed a website specifically for the Kindle. In my case, I'd developed my site for fun and not for profit, so Amazon's actions don't affect me much. But, sites like mine that are developed for profit, simply won't be created because of Amazon's new policy, and that's a shame.

My site is affected slightly. I had planned on using the Affiliate program to generate money to provide giveaways -- like Mobileread did by giving away a Kindle. Well, those plans are out the window now. Once again it's a shame.
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Old 04-08-2009, 01:29 PM   #2
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Could you clarify whether you mean the ebooks or the Kindle reader itself? I remembered the kickback for the Kindle reader was 10%. Is that still the case?
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Old 04-08-2009, 02:33 PM   #3
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Yea, that seems strange.
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Old 04-08-2009, 02:38 PM   #4
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Yes, the referral fees for ebooks is gone, but the Kindle reader is still 10%.
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Old 04-08-2009, 03:41 PM   #5
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Whoa, that's a pretty good affiliate program for the Kindle.

I imagine the problem with the affiliate program for the ebooks is that Amazons margins are not great on at least some of the books, so designing an affiliate program that takes all those margins into account would be tough. And once someone has a Kindle, they're kinda locked in anyway, so there isn't as much need for an affiliate program.
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Old 04-08-2009, 05:26 PM   #6
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How new is this? I'm thinking it may be a response to the whole $9.99 and under ebook thing going around right now, to keep prices low or to lower them later.
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:32 AM   #7
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It took affect this month, but affects all sales back to 1/29. The referral fee was 10% and is not zero. Sales credited in Feb and March were retroactively set to zero as well. Some boards no doubt generated thousands in referral fees each month, but this will really hurt those like the original poster that got enough from fees to fund their sites (rather than living off of them). You never made anything from people who shopped directly on their kindles, anyway, so Amazon's profit on those sales was never affected.
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Old 04-10-2009, 05:35 AM   #8
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Is it? If, as reported, Amazon actually make a loss on "best sellers", do they actually want to sell them? The more they sell, the more they lose...
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Old 04-10-2009, 06:04 AM   #9
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Daithi,

Thanks for posting this. I must say it's come as a surprise. I'm not saying you're wrong, but I receive all the affiliate emails, and I don't recall seeing anything about this. Can't find any mention on the affiliate site either. (They do say the 10% rate applies to the Kindle itself, but make no mention of Kindle books.)

I am an Amazon affiliate, and have created several pages on my sites dedicated to "selling" Kindle books, so that's now a waste of effort. But, like you, I'm only affected slightly. My affiliate earnings aren't high enough for it be a serious loss.
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:43 AM   #10
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Hey Mike,

If you look at their latest Operating Agreement from 2 March 2009 it says

Quote:
Product Links: You may select one or more Products to list on your site using a variety of formats that we make available to you... A "Product" is any product listed on the Amazon Site that is fulfilled by us or on our behalf, a Digital Product (defined below), or any product sold by a third party seller on the Amazon Site other than: (a) the products listed on this page; (b) products sold by The Body Shop, Crabtree & Evelyn, Elisabeth, Godiva, Lands' End, Liz Claiborne, Lucky Brand Jeans, or Sephora ("Excluded Merchants"); (c) products or services sold by a third party through a site linked to from the Amazon Site (e.g. products or services from Shutterfly.com); (d) any wireless service plan offered through the Amazon Site and not sold and fulfilled by us; and (e) books formatted for Kindle (“Kindle Books”).
and also

Quote:
A "Kindle Product" is a Qualifying Product that is either a Kindle electronic reader device or periodical subscription sold in the format for reading on a Kindle electronic reader device. Kindle Books are not Kindle Products.
I added the bold.
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:00 PM   #11
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Kindle Books are not Kindle Products.

Nice definition they have there.
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:26 PM   #12
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Daithi,

Well, that's pretty clear. Thanks for the clarification.

Although I see that periodical subscriptions still qualify, for what that's worth.
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Old 04-10-2009, 01:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike L View Post
I'm not saying you're wrong, but I receive all the affiliate emails, and I don't recall seeing anything about this. Can't find any mention on the affiliate site either. (They do say the 10% rate applies to the Kindle itself, but make no mention of Kindle books.)
They made this sneaky change to the operating agreement apparently back in January. However, they never notified any affiliates of the change. The kept crediting people with Kindle referrals and fees until April 3, then retroactively removed them back to the date in the agreement. There is a tiny section where they say Kindle books are not products, then in another that they are excluded digital products (I'd bet that Game Downloads will do the same - they are currently at 10% and once they become popular I'd bet they drop to zero).

They just made another change for those who bought ads and then directed people directly to Amazon (which I already thought was banned, but apparently not) and are no longer paying those people fees either ("those people", as that's not something I ever even thought about doing, but apparently a lot of others were doing).
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Old 04-10-2009, 01:57 PM   #14
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Koland,

Yes, I saw the announcement about people who buy ads. Like you, I would never have thought of doing that. You'd need a pretty high conversion rate to make money, I'd have thought.

As far as the Kindle announcement is concerned, I guess you're right that they sneaked it in. They shout aloud about changes that are in the affiliates' interests, but barely whisper those that aren't.

Since my previous post, I took at look at my Amazon earnings page for this month. I see two Kindle books listed there, but both of them have a zero commission. Pity, but not the end of the world.
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Old 04-11-2009, 02:37 AM   #15
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Fictionwise doesn't have an affiliate program either, so I am not surprised. I would prefer they kept the costs low instead.
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