Bookshop Review: Make Money Promoting Books Online

bookshop review

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.

The internet is constantly providing new opportunities for people to make money doing what they love, and today we’re going to talk about Bookshop and how they are helping regular people, like me and you, make an income online with affiliate marketing.

bookshop commissions

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.

bookshop store

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.

This will take you to the Bookshop affiliate landing page, where you’ll have to click on the red “Join The Affiliate Program” button.

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.

On this screen you have to set up your shop. Here’s a list of the things you have to do on this page:
  • 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
Once you fill in everything and upload the photos you want to use, your book store will pretty much be ready to go and you’re ready to make a book list for your shop. Make sure you click on the red “Save” button towards the bottom of the page, that way it saves your store.

Creating a Book List

Creating a book list for your store is really simple and straightforward, but let me show you how anyway. First click on the red “Manage” button towards the bottom of the page next to “My Book Lists”.
bookshop manage list
Then on the next screen, click the red “+ Create New Book List” button.
bookshop new 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)

bookshop add isbn

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:

  1. The ISBN code for the book.
  2. An affiliate tracking link if you want to create links directly to that book from your website.
  3. An “Add to My Book List” button that will let you to easily add the book to any list you want.
bookshop add book
If you want to add books with the ISBN code, just copy and paste the ISBN code into your other internet tab. If you want to just share a link to that particular book and get paid a commission for sales, just copy and paste your affiliate tracking link. OR, if you want to easily add books to your list, just click the “+ Add to My Book List button and select the list you want to add it to.
bookshop list
Make sure you click on the purple circle on this screen. It will show a check mark to the left of the list if you did it correctly, then you click the “save changes” button to add the book to your list. Now all that’s left is to add more books and get people to come buy them! You can link people to your shop by sending them the URL. You’ll automatically get credited with your commission when a book sells from your shop, or you can link people to specific books with your affiliate tracking link like I mentioned earlier. CONGRATS!!! You’ve made your first online bookstore and you’re one step closer to making an income from selling them! I’d recommend starting a blog or a website so you can start writing reviews about books on there and drive traffic to your bookshop, but you can use social media too. Whatever you’re more comfortable with. Well that’s about it, so if you have any questions feel free to comment below. Good luck selling your books, and have a great day! Thank you

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