Becoming a Book Depository Affiliate – Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge

If you’re not already an affiliate with one or more online book retailers like The Book Depository or Amazon, you really should be. As an affiliate, you can earn a commission if someone visits one of these online retailers via a link from your blog, and subsequently makes a purchase. You’ll never get rich by doing this, but why say no to free money that you can use to help you offset the costs of maintaining your blog?

Unfortunately, signing up to become an affiliate isn’t as easy as you might think. There are a number of steps you’ll need to follow and hoops you’ll have to jump through in order to be accepted. For this challenge, I’m going to cover how to become a Book Depository affiliate.

Joining the Book Depository Affiliate Program

To become an affiliate for The Book Depository, start by visiting their affiliate page. After reading over the information on that page to better familiarize yourself with their program, click on the big purple Click here to join button at the top:

Next, fill out the form on the following page. Most of the fields are self-explanatory. For Referral ID, you might want to set this to be the name of your blog. After submitting the form, you should then receive an email similar to the following:

You’ll need to reply to this email and provide a brief explanation of what your blog is about and why you would like to be an affiliate.

Once that is done, you’ll have to play the waiting game. Happily, The Book Depository was fairly responsive and I was approved after about a day:

Congratulations! You are now a Book Depository affiliate and can login to their affiliate site using the username and password specified in the email.

Building the URL

At this point, you have a custom URL that you can use to send people to The Book Depository when they click on a link on your blog. That URL has the following format:

http://www.bookdepository.com/book/ISBN13/?a_aid=affiliateID

where ISBN13 is the ISBN13 number of the particular book, and affiliateID is the Affiliate ID specified in your approval email.

As an example, let’s suppose we want to build an affiliate link for The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (an excellent book BTW). We would start by visiting The Book Depository site, searching for Hunger Games, and then making note of the ISBN13 number. In this case, that number is 9780439023528:

Let’s suppose my Affiliate ID is abc123. The URL I would use to link to The Hunger Games on The Book Depository’s web site would look like this:

http://www.bookdepository.com/book/9780439023528/?a_aid=abc123

The abc123 is the part of the URL that identifies your blog as the source of the visit to The Book Depository.

Setting Up DirectLink

You can stop right now and read no further if you are OK with using the above URL, or you can make things marginally easier on yourself by setting up a DirectLink. A DirectLink means that instead of using a URL such as this:

http://www.bookdepository.com/book/9780439023528/?a_aid=abc123

you can use a URL that looks like this:

http://www.bookdepository.com/book/9780439023528

That is, you can leave off the Affiliate ID.

The instructions to set up a DirectLink are in the email above, but let’s walk through them anyway. Start by visiting this web page and logging in using the credentials from your approval email. Next, click on Promotion and then DirectLink URLs in the sidebar (if the image below is too small, just click on it for a larger version):

Now, click on the Add url button at the bottom. To figure out what to enter in the URL field of the pop-up that appears, you need to know what the domain name of your blog is. Using Book Wookie as an example, my domain name is bookwookie.ca (i.e. in your browser’s address bar, it is everything after the http:// but before the first slash). Once you know that, just add * in front and at the end of the domain name. So my DirectLink is:

*bookwookie.ca*

You can leave all of the other settings at their defaults. In the screen capture above, you can see that I’ve tested that I’ve used the correct DirectLink by filling out the Test URL matching section.

Now, once again, you need to wait for your DirectLink to be approved. You should receive an email once that has been done, and you are then free to use Book Depository URLs that don’t contain your Affiliate ID.

The Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to start the ball rolling by joining The Book Depository affiliate program. You will likely not be able to complete this task by the end of the weekend, since you are at the mercy of being approved by The Book Depository, but at least you can fill out the initial form and get things started. Your reward? Money! Depending on the amount of traffic you get to your blog, this could be a little or a lot.

And in case you’re not sure exactly what Bloggiesta is, be sure to visit their web site to learn more.

I hope that you’ve found this article helpful and if you have any questions, be sure to throw them up in the comments and I will respond. Best of luck in your quest to become a Book Depository affiliate!