Best Ebook Affiliate Program: My Top 7 Recommendations

Whether you're an author or a reader—or just someone who wants to earn some extra income online—an ebook affiliate program could be right for you. If you're an author, you can use one or more of these programs to “double dip” by promoting your own books and reaping the rewards of affiliate earnings and royalty payments. Or if you'd simply like to get paid for recommending the books you love, we've got you covered with this list of the best ebook affiliate programs. 

In this article, you will learn:
  1. What affiliate marketing is and how it works. 
  2. Tips for making the most out of an ebook affiliate program.
  3. The best ebook affiliate program (and runners-up). 

A (Short) Crash Course in Affiliate Marketing

Chances are you've seen an ad or two about affiliate marketing. Some guy on YouTube showing off his expensive car and telling you how you can get rich (quick?) if you sign up for his free course on affiliate marketing. 

Now, to be sure, there are plenty of people who make good money selling other people's products for a slice of the pie. But, like anything else, it's hard work to make a full-time income out of it. That said, many indie authors and book lovers are in a unique position to make some extra money through an ebook affiliate program. How much extra money depends on the work you put into it. 

What is an Ebook Affiliate Program?

As hinted at above, an affiliate marketing program is one in which you get paid for promoting and selling other people's products. And in this case, we're talking about ebooks and certain ebook accessories. 

All the programs mentioned below are free to join, but they have different percentage payouts, requirements, and intricacies that are important to consider. 

Essentially, all you need to do is sign up for one (or more), generate your affiliate links for products you want to sell, and then get to work putting the word out. But the how of getting the word out is the hard part. 

Generating Traffic is Key

As an affiliate marketer, you only make money when someone buys something through your affiliate links. So getting people to click on those links and purchase is the hard part. And in order to make good money, you'll need to have lots of traffic. For this, you'll need a website with content. For most, this means a book blog. 

If you're an author, you probably already have a website on which you showcase your own books (and if you don't, you should!). If you're simply an avid reader, you'll need to invest in a website, which can be done on the cheap. Then, you'll need to write regular blog posts (book reviews or other content) in which you mention the books/products you're selling and entice people to buy them. 

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The more traffic you can get, the more sales you'll make. And the more sales, the more money you'll make from your book affiliate program of choice. 

How you get this traffic is beyond the scope of this article. Indeed, there have been many affiliate marketing books written on the subject, not to mention a bunch of courses advertised on YouTube and Facebook, and everywhere else on the internet. 

So now that we've covered the broad strokes of ebook affiliate marketing, let's take a look at the programs available. 

1. Smashwords

  • Earn between 11% and 80.5% commissions on participating books. 
  • Available for global markets.
  • 48-hour cookie window. 

You may be familiar with the Smashwords independent bookstore already, even if you didn't know they have an affiliate marketing program. They hit the news in the publishing world in 2022 when they were acquired by Draft2Digital.

screenshot of smashwords

The Smashwords affiliate program is unique because of the possibility of extremely high commissions. At a minimum, affiliates get 11% of net proceeds from participating book sales. “Net proceeds” are defined by Smashwords as the book's selling price minus the PayPal processing fee.

But, authors and publishers can choose to raise their affiliate commissions to encourage aggressive promotion. This means you can earn up to 80.5% in commissions for certain books. The one major drawback is the 48-hour cookie window. If a book shopper clicks on your affiliate link but doesn't buy anything for 49 hours, you won't get any money from that sale because it's outside the 48-hour window. 

Still, with over 400,000 ebooks in the store, this is our choice for the best ebook affiliate program overall. 

Sign up for the Smashwords Affiliate Program here

2. Apple Books

  • Earn 7% commission.
  • Available for global markets.
  • 30-day cookie window. 
  • Not every applicant accepted. 

I'm sure you don't need me to tell you about the Apple company as a whole. Apple TV has been coming on strong recently with a wide variety of celebrated shows, but they're also expanding their ebook and audiobook markets. As they strive to compete with Amazon in this realm, there will be opportunities for affiliates to join their program.

Screenshot of Apple Books

The Apple affiliate program, called the Performance Partner Program, isn't open to just anyone. You have to be approved before you can start earning commissions. But if you are approved, Apple will provide you with a host of resources to get the job done. Icons, badges, and banner ads are just a few things they provide to help you make the most of their program. They also provide a detailed reporting system to help you optimize your campaigns. 

You earn a standard 7% on books in the Apple Books store within a 30-day cookie window. Plus, you can promote other subscriptions and services to earn more money. If you're serious about making a go of this affiliate marketing thing, Apple would be a good company to get in with. 

Apply to the Apple Performance Partner Program here. 


  • Earn 10% on sales up to $100,000 per year. Earn 15% on sales over $100,000 a year. 
  • Available for global markets. 
  • Must be approved to join.
  • 45-day cookie window. is a website dedicated to providing all kinds of books at affordable prices to people worldwide. They currently have nearly 6 million members and over 2 million ebooks. Launched in 2000, this is one of the oldest internet booksellers out there. 

A screenshot of

The affiliates who join their program are usually book bloggers or authors with books for sale on the site. They sell books on a variety of topics, including both fiction and nonfiction. They provide detailed tracking and access to their API so you can make the most out of your partnership.

Their commission rate is generous, and they have one of the longest cookie windows on this list at 45 days. And with an estimated 20,000 new books a month, you're sure to find books you love to tell your audience about to generate affiliate revenue. 

Check out the affiliate program here

4. Barnes & Noble

  • Between 2% and 5% commission per sale. 
  • US market only. 
  • 1-day cookie window. 
  • Physical and digital product sales.

At last count, Barnes & Noble is still the largest bookstore chain in the US, with over 600 stores across the fifty states. Of course, they're still far behind Amazon as far as online sales go. 

A screenshot of Barnes and Noble

Most affiliate commissions are 2% but they can be as high as 5% on select products at select times. You don't have to stick with just ebooks if you sign up for Barnes & Noble's affiliate marketing program. You can also earn money on physical books, DVDs, Blu-rays, games, and other gift items. 

This program is run by CJ Affiliate, a well-known affiliate marketing company. They offer incentives and resources to help you succeed, but the extremely short 1-day cookie window is a major downside for this program. 

Check out the Barnes & Noble Affiliate program here. 

5. Kobo

  • Up to 5% affiliate commission on ebooks, audiobooks, and devices.
  • Up to 10% on device accessories.
  • 14-day cookie window.
  • Markets Available: US, UK, Canada, Brazil, Europe, and Australia. 

Kobo is a name that will be familiar to many “wide” indie authors. Bought by Japanese company Rakuten in 2012, Kobo sells ebooks and audiobooks, as well as fan-favorite e-readers. Their catalog of ebooks is in the millions, meaning you won't have issues finding both well-known traditionally published books and extremely popular indie books on their site. 

a screenshot of kobo

The Kobo affiliate program is in the hands of Rakuten, which has been in the affiliate marketing world for over 25 years. They provide a range of analytical and personal help to their affiliate partners, which is not the case with every program out there

You can join as a social media influencer, a book blogger, an author, or a publisher. It takes between one and two weeks to get approved, but once you do you can start earning immediately. 

Check out the Kobo Affiliate Program here

6. AbeBooks

  • 5% affiliate commission.
  • 30-day cookie window.
  • Available for global markets. 

AbeBooks, formerly known as Advanced Book Exchange, has a pretty solid affiliate program you may want to consider. Not only do they have a great selection of ebooks on their website, but they also sell physical books, as well. So if you prefer the feel of a physical book in your hand, you may want to consider this affiliate network.

a screenshot of abe books

You can find a serious collection of rare, out-of-print, and collectible books on this website. Sellers from all around the world put their books up for sale, along with collectibles and works of art. Of course, they also offer new and used books of all kinds. 

And if you aren't sure you want to deal with a marketplace for independent booksellers around the world, you can rest easy knowing that Amazon owns AbeBooks. They aren't going anywhere anytime soon. The one catch to be aware of here is the $500 item limit. You only get paid a commission on an individual product up to $500. So if you sell a book that's worth $600, you only earn 5% of $500. But if you sell two books at $497 each, you get the full 5% on each of those books.  

Check out the AbeBooks affiliate program here

7. Books-A-Million

  • Up to 5% commission.
  • 30-day cookie window.
  • US market only.

BAM!, otherwise known as Books A Million, is an online and physical store book retailer in the United States. They also sell audiobooks, CDs, and movies, as well as games, gifts, and collectibles. 

a screenshot of books-a-million

The program is easy to join, allowing you to choose between banner or text links for your website. Like Barnes & Noble, their program is operated by CJ Affiliate, so you'll need to start an account with them. 

Books-A-Million provides book affiliate resources to help you become a successful affiliate marketer. These resources include marketing tips, linking instructions, and personalized help. 

Check out the Books-A-Million affiliate marketing program here

Honorable Mentions

While the programs below don't actually pay you for selling ebooks, they deserve mention because they offer commissions on things like e-readers or ebook creation software/services. 

Amazon Affiliate Marketing

With an Amazon Associate account, you can make money online by selling things like Amazon Kindle devices on your book-related website. They also offer bounty fees for things like Kindle Unlimited subscriptions that you generate through your website, social media, or email marketing efforts. They don't provide commissions for ebooks sales, but as the biggest online bookseller, we would be remiss to ignore this affiliate program. 

  • 4% commission on Kindle devices.
  • 1-day cookie window.
  • Global markets.

Check out the Amazon Associates affiliate program here

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Ebook Maestro

Ebook Maestro doesn't actually sell any ebooks. Instead, they sell software that can help authors create ebooks with interactive elements such as videos, audio, and Flash, among others. They can also compile a number of other digital items, such as guides, magazines, and tests. Their affiliate marketing program offers up to 40% commissions on their software. 

Check out the Ebook Maestro affiliate program here

Best Ebook Affiliate Program: Conclusion

Building an online business isn't the easiest thing to do. It takes work and know-how. You'll need to know about SEO, digital marketing, and how to use social media to your advantage. But if you're an author, you'll already have a leg up on this. You may be able to integrate affiliate marketing into your website with little risk and effort—especially if you have a blog that already generates traffic. If so, one of the programs above is worth a shot. 

If you're not an author and don't have a website yet, you probably should think twice about going into ebook affiliate programs thinking you'll be buying a Ducati next year. But if you love books and you like to write reviews, then throwing a few affiliate links or banners on your website could net you some extra grocery money!

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