Affiliate programs are very popular with booksellers, indie bookstores, authors, and online websites. Kobo has been running one of these programs for a number of years, allowing people to earn a 5% commission for ebook sales, while devices and accessories generate 10%. Today, Kobo announced that it was severing ties with Google Affiliates and transitioning to the Rakuten Linkshare program.
Rakuten has been running its own affiliate program for a long time, tapping into not only Kobo but other online retailers, such as Barnes and Noble. Recently, Kobo lowered its commissions on the affiliate program across the board. Kobo has decreased it from 8% to 5%, and also scrapped the tiered system that allowed people who grossed over $1,500 in sales to be bumped up to 15%.
The Rakuten network allows people a bit more flexibility, such as Direct Links, API Access, and Country Specific data. One of the best features is the Compile a Catalog, which allows affiliates to create a comprehensive and dynamic list of ebooks to appeal to a particular audience. In order to encourage people to make the switch, Kobo will be giving an extra 2% above the base commission through August 31st, 2013.
You can be paid by check or direct deposit on your transactions and will enjoy the monthly Kobo email that makes you aware of savings and discounts. If you want to be paid by direct deposit, it is only available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, the UK, and the US.
The main reason Kobo is switching its main affiliate program is because Google is suspending its model in the next few months. Considering Kobo is owned by Rakuten, it makes sense to have its home base where the parent company is. If you are not already a member of Rakuten LinkShare, here are the signup links:
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.