I'm all in favor of letting Amazon do as much to promote my book as they are willing and able to do. The Amazon Associates program falls into that category. One advantage to the Amazon Associates program is this. If you put a
direct link on your website and sell copies of your book yourself, those
numbers will never show up in your sales figures or help to boost your
Amazon ratings. If a buyer goes to your website and clicks on your
"special Amazon link," you get your standard royalty for that item PLUS 4% for
advertising your own book PLUS an increase in your sales figure. And
beyond that, you don't have to maintain an inventory of unsold books,
and somebody else does the packing and shipping for you. I like that!
Another advantage is that you can promote your friends' works and your own favorite books on the same page. By listing their books, you take nothing away from their sales. and you may just increase their sales due to impulse buys. Just yesterday on my site, someone who came to see my World War II books also wandered over to my Civil War list, and ended up purchasing a book I have loved for years. Would he have found it himself on Amazon? Probably not. Will he love it? I hope so. As many of you know, I have started a category that lists the books written by my friends in the Military Writers Society of America. So far, I have listed 29 of their books. We hope to make that list much longer. Within a few days, I'll be tweeting about my military listings, and we'll hope that they start picking up even more sales.
Go to https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/flex/associates/apply-login.html to sign up. Tell them about the website you intend to use for your Associate page. Read the operating agreement. Wait for your approval.
Then you build a page on your website that includes all Amazon products you are willing to advertise.
Amazon makes it possible for you to advertise Products on your site
and to earn advertising fees for Qualifying Purchases made by your end users. Amazon provides the Special Links to products you wish to advertise. a
“Qualifying Purchase” occurs when (a) a customer clicks through a Special Link on your site to the
Amazon Site; (b) during a single Session that customer either (i) adds a Product to his or her
shopping cart and places the order for that Product no later than 89 days following the customer’s
initial click-through, (ii) purchases a Product via our 1-Click feature, or (iii) streams or
downloads a Product from the Amazon Site if the Product is a Digital Product; and (c) the Product is
shipped to or streamed or downloaded by, and paid for by, the customer.
As a general rule, you will be paid a 4% advertising fee on all qualifying purchases, although the rate may go higher for certain types of products or under high-volume sales from you site. You may not get rich doing this, but that 4% is more than you will have if you don't do it.