If you love reading books and have a passion for book reviews, or even if you want to make a living by reading books and reviewing them on a blog, Youtube channel, or podcast, then you may want to pay attention to a service called Bookshop.
Bookshop is an online e-commerce bookstore that allows affiliate marketers to curate lists of books into their own online bookstore and sell those books to people for a commission.
If you’ve ever used print-on-demand sites like Teespring or Printful, it’s essentially the same exact thing except for books. And unlike Printful, Bookshop takes care of paying for the product with the money from the sale itself, yay for dropshipping!
It doesn’t cost you anything and you don’t have to worry about inventory or shipping, you just have to worry about getting people interested in the books you’re trying to sell, and Bookshop takes care of the rest.
Why Not Use Amazon?
If you’ve been involved with affiliate marketing for a while, or even if you shop online… ever, your first question is probably “Wouldn’t selling books on Amazon be a better idea?”.
Well yes, and no. Let me explain…
Amazon is definitely the big kahuna of online retailers, there’s no way around that, and they also have an affiliate program that allows you to promote products, like books, to people in exchange for a commission from sales.
So what’s the problem?
Well, Amazon isn’t terrible, but it has a couple problems.
First of all, Amazon recently cut affiliate commissions drastically, which is a REALLY big deal for affiliate marketers. Some commissions were cut by up to 60%… that’s devastating…
Bookshop.org offers you a 10% commission on book sales, which is much higher than Amazon’s commission rate…
You simply have to get more sales on Amazon to make the same amount of money, but that still doesn’t convince anyone to not use Amazon, since Amazon’s site converts like crazy.
Another issue with Amazon is something much bigger than just commissions. Amazon is rendering brick and mortar retailers virtually obsolete. They are putting HUGE brands out of business (Sorry JC Penney) simply because people would prefer to have products delivered right to their door than go out and pick them up.
Bookshop actually works WITH other bookstores and acts as a bridge between them and affiliate marketers, that way bookstores can reach people online more efficiently, rather than just getting shut down by Amazon.
Normally I’m the type who doesn’t care at all if a business goes under, but to me, bookstores are a little different. I don’t even use them that often, but they supply the world with knowledge, making them one of the few places of business that actually provide real value to people, in my opinion.
So if this seems intriguing to you, let’s talk about how Bookshop actually works…
Starting An Online Book Store With Bookshop
It’s pretty crazy how easy it is to set up one of these stores. Technology really is amazing these days.
I’ll walk you through the process, it’s really easy, don’t worry.
First, go to Bookshop.org, click on the icon in the top right of your screen, and sign up.
After you have signed up, you’ll need to scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the “Become an affiliate” link.
In order to continue you’ll have to verify your email address, which I’m sure you’ve done a thousand times before, so do that.
After you’re done verifying your email, you’ll get sent to the screen where you start setting up your first online bookstore.
- Name your book shop
- Choose a URL for your shop (just use the name of your shop)
- Write a description of your book shop
- Set A profile image
- Set a banner image for your shop (the image your shop displays)
- Enter your facebook, twitter, and instagram profile links for sharing
- Create a list of books to put in your shop
Creating a Book List
On the next screen you’ll need to create a title for your book list, but the other input fields are optional.
You can always go back and add custom graphics or descriptions to your list, but for now just enter a title and then scroll to the bottom where the red “+ Add Book” button is.
There are 3 ways to books to your list. The first way is to upload a CSV file with a list of the ISBN codes in it, but we aren’t going to cover that right now.
If you have a LOT of books to add, then you should consider using the CSV upload method, but to add a book manually, enter the ISBN code here: (I’ll show you how to find the ISBN code soon)
To find the ISBN code you can just open up a new tab and go to bookshop.org, then search for the book you want to add.
When you find the book, click on it and it will have a description about the book, and some other information.
In that information you’ll find 3 important things:
- The ISBN code for the book.
- An affiliate tracking link if you want to create links directly to that book from your website.
- An “Add to My Book List” button that will let you to easily add the book to any list you want.