Sunday 9 September 2018

How to earn money from books - even if you are NOT an author

You may not be an author but if you are reading this then you will be someone who reads books (there may be a few exceptions to this) and the idea of making a little extra cash appeals to you.

You don't have to be an author to earn money from ebooks! You can earn money and help your favorite authors by promoting their books - the ones you like.

It's easy - Become a Smashwords Affiliate
(Updated 9 Sept 2018)

If you encourage others to get e-books you like from Smashwords you can get paid by them.

  • It's easy to set up
  • It's easy to make the links needed
  • You can earn between 11% and 70% of the book price. The actual amount you get is set by the author, not Smashwords
  • You'll help the author and benefit yourself
  • Smashwords say they credit your account within 48 hours and will pay you each quarter (provided you've earned $25 at least).
You will need a Smashwords account. Go here to get one and click the 'Learn what we have to offer readers and authors' button in the 'Welcome Guest' section. It's free to set up and easy.

Once you've got a Smashwords account learn about their affiliates at this plain English page - . Follow their instructions to set up as an affiliate. That's easy too.

Smashwords affiliate fees

Smashwords offers affiliate payments of 11% to 70.5% of the retail price of e-books. The actual percentage offered is determined by the author. I, for example, offer a 35% affiliate rate. The default is 11%. Anyone age 18+ with a Smashwords account is eligable to enroll.

Smashwords encourages the use of affiliate tags on free e-books and the author's own e-book links. You won't earn anything on those e-books but if a customer goes on to view and purchase other items at Smashwords, you'll get affiliate payments for those.

Affiliate fees come from the author's royalties. The author can choose not to offer affiliate payments. If an author elects to not offer an affiliate program for a book then the author's royalty is 85%.

Affiliate links are easy to create. My preferred method is to append the ?ref=[yourScreenName] code to links where [yourScreenName] is the bit after on your 'My Smashwords page' at Use the links, for example in Twitter, Facebook or other social media.

There are other affiliate schemes for books

Amazon offers one. Amazon offers 4% to 8.5% though. Far less than Smashwords. Their scheme isn't as simple. To earn 8.5% you would have to sell 3,131 books in a month. Some may do that but most won't. They insist on you having a website or blog with worthwhile traffic too.

If you managed to sell Amazon's 3,131 books at Smashwords and they were ours, we would both earn an extra $3,298.51 because we offer a 35% affiliate payment.

Here's some examples

To show you how simple the process is here are examples of a Twitter and Facebook post. Give it a go - you can't lose anything. To get you started here's a Twitter and Facebook post you could make. Replace the 'JChapman' in them with your own Smashwords affiliate tag.

Twitter post

Do you like longer books? Get this past #1 exclusively at Smashwords. 

It will look something like:
If you are tweeting try adding a daily hashtag #SundayReads / #MondayReads / #TuesdayReads etc.

Facebook post

Amazon isn't the only place to get e-books. Smashwords has them available in all formats. This one is long and will keep you entertained for 30 hours! (that's 8 cents an hour)

For this one you'll need to click the camera icon and add this image (right click this image to download it to your computer then upload it to Facebook using the camera icon):
On Facebook, it will look something like:
Finally - here are more of our books at Smashwords you can link to, together with more promotional images.

1 comment:

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