Affiliate Links in Paid eBooks

by Bicycle Cat 40 replies
Hello all.

Say that I am writing an eBook and plan to sell it for $17 either as a WSO or on a website, and I insert affiliate links to other websites or products. Is this allowed, or at least ethical?

I know this is acceptable for free eBooks used for list-building or giveaways, but in paid eBooks? I would like some advice, thank you.
#main internet marketing discussion forum #affiliate #ebooks #ethical #links #paid
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonmorgan
    I've seen it done. Some authors try to be clever, others don't care. I don't think most customers care unless your ebook is a giant upsell.
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  • Profile picture of the author paulie888
    I think it's perfectly fine to have affiliate links in your ebooks, as long as the links you provide are helpful and relevant to the topics covered in your ebook.
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    • Profile picture of the author grisbyenterprise
      I don't see a problem with it. As long as the ebook was helpful in providing some great content. The affiliate links should also be placed in good taste. Don't plaster the ebook full of links to paid products. If you are going to place links throughout, make sure you also include links that are strictly for additional content and not for further monetization.

      Good luck, and more importantly have fun!
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  • Profile picture of the author Roy Carter
    This is one of the things you SHOULD do as long as you do it ethically and that the products you promote are relevant to your ebook content and useful in providing the overall solution.

    Roy
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  • Profile picture of the author dave147
    Yes, you can put links into paid e-books too, but not as many as free e-books, perhaps two or three at most. Don't over do it with a paid e-book, they have paid you for the book already.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rich Struck
    The people who buy your ebooks are golden. They are known credit card using surfers with an interest in what you have - it doesn't get much better than that.
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    • Profile picture of the author bizman413
      It's more than okay. If you talk about a specific service your going to provide a link for reference. It only makes sense to use an affiliate link. They are going to buy it anyway, the money may as well go to you.

      If the buyer truly had a problem with some of the money going to you, they could just go directly to the website.
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  • Profile picture of the author J.M.Wilson
    No problem with that whatsoever. If you link to products that compliment your book/strategy then it's fine. If you litter affiliate links which serve no relevance then it's in bad taste IMHO.
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  • Profile picture of the author markowe
    I think you would be remiss if you DIDN'T include affiliate links! You can consider a lower price point too then. And no, there's no 'rule' against it (this is the Internet!) However I like it when authors give a free alternative and, for example, explain WHY I might need, say, Market Samurai instead of just doing manual keyword research, or whatever. Then I can take my own decision and don't feel 'upsold'.
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  • Profile picture of the author shuvo
    This is not a matter at all.Just make sure that you have keep it neat and clean and customers dont think that you are promoting your affiliate link.
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  • Profile picture of the author Darla
    I added a few affiliate links in an ebook I am planning to sell. I think if its something that perfectly compliments the topic of the book and can help the buyer, then its fine. I agree that it should not be overdone though.
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  • Profile picture of the author flowers4love
    Originally Posted by Bicycle Cat View Post

    Is this allowed, or at least ethical?
    First of all, good luck with your eBook! Secondly, it's really heartwarming to see someone with a strong sense of morals and ethics. Frankly, I haven't thought of this question myself, but thank you for starting this thread. Ethical questions are an important part of internet marketing and should not be overlooked.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    The best way is to just be upfront with people right from the start. Tell them that they are affiliate links but explain you are only recommending those services/products because they are the ones you have used yourself and trust. Also tell them they are more than welcome to go to the website directly and bypass your affiliate links but if they found the information useful, you'd appreciate them using your affiliate link - most people won't think twice about it if you are honest with them.

    It's when you try to be sneaky and mislead people that they try to do the same in return.
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    • Profile picture of the author steveshills
      I agree, be upfront, but i really hate paying for a product thats full of links. My point is that if your promoting a system that works without the need of extra income from affiliate links, then why would you include them.

      I find it as a big let down because you can make more profit from a product that's given away for free, where the info is just price less and works, so the reader has to take action and use the affiliate links.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      The best way is to just be upfront with people right from the start. Tell them that they are affiliate links but explain you are only recommending those services/products because they are the ones you have used yourself and trust. Also tell them they are more than welcome to go to the website directly and bypass your affiliate links but if they found the information useful, you'd appreciate them using your affiliate link - most people won't think twice about it if you are honest with them.
      ^^^ This - exactly.

      It's only if you try to conceal it that people can (and will) resent it, which can lead to loss of credibility, reputation and future sales.
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      • Profile picture of the author Ricky Allen
        Well as previously said there is no problem with including an affiliate link.

        Note I said affiliate link.

        You will really find, as I have that just one works best.

        Make sure that the site you are promoting complements your ebook.

        If for example it was an ebook giving beauty tips maybe there is a site that gives great information about hairstyles.

        If you find an affilliate program that gives free articles for affiliates to use here is what I have done.

        When you have given them all of your information in your ebook tell them you are including a bonus chapter.

        This immediately gets them thinking they are getting more than they paid for.

        Make the bonus chapter an article you have obtained from a site whose product would work well with yours and pop your affiliate link in the ebook after the article.

        Ricky "The Ebook Generator" Allen
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  • Profile picture of the author Rukshan
    I have seen many affiliate links in paid ebooks. If you mention it in a bracked, it won't be a big problem.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brad Gosse
    Go ahead and put your affiliate links into your documents. Just make sure it's not for the purpose of generating commission only.

    As a for instance I only link to the products I use myself. If there's an affiliate program for that product of course I will use my link. But I won't push programs or products that I don't endorse myself.
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  • Profile picture of the author ProductCity
    yeah there is nothing wrong in putting affiliate links in a paid e-book. For example, if your e-book covers the topic "web hosts and autoresponders". You can put your affiliate links of whichever host you want to recommend. But remember, your affiliate links should also be very neat and clean and also try to cloak URL. if i was to create that e-book, i'll put my godaddy and aweber affiliate links without any hesitation because both provides excellent services and i personally use them.

    ashish patel
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  • Profile picture of the author grantsja
    This post is timely! I am working on an ebook myself and initially thought that it would be in bad taste to include affiliate links. Now reading the responses, I do agree that there should be no problem if I include a few affiliate links for the services I highly recommend and I disclose that fact.
    Thanks!
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    • Profile picture of the author Geolina
      I think it is perfectly ok, as long as you don´t overdo it. I hate it when the same affiliate link turns up over and over again - if I want to buy, I will find the link, even though there is just one! I don´t even like it in free ebooks -I think it is a lot classier to have less
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  • Profile picture of the author Bicycle Cat
    Thanks for the replies, everyone.

    Just as long as I don't overdo it and are relevant, it should be fine then.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    If we were in a Black Hat forum my response would be different. I would say don't include any affiliate links in the ebook at all but have the affiliate links all load in image tags on the download page.

    OOOOoooo lucky I prefer above board. I could get me into some trouble...
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  • Profile picture of the author Paleochora
    If you are teaching someone reading your book how to use an autoresponder service, for example, then give a list of links to the services you feel happy to recommend. They should all be your affiliate links.

    The reader will have to get a service to put what they are learning into action. They will pay the same for it whether they go through your link or a bare link so where's the problem? The reader is not getting financially hurt in any way.

    You worked hard to get that reader as a customer, why shouldn't you develop more trade with that customer?
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    • Profile picture of the author Adwello
      Originally Posted by Paleochora View Post

      If you are teaching someone reading your book how to use an autoresponder service, for example, then give a list of links to the services you feel happy to recommend. They should all be your affiliate links.

      The reader will have to get a service to put what they are learning into action. They will pay the same for it whether they go through your link or a bare link so where's the problem? The reader is not getting financially hurt in any way.

      You worked hard to get that reader as a customer, why shouldn't you develop more trade with that customer?
      I'm sure you know best, but if someone just took a consumer risk and traded cash to learn something valuable from you, why do you want to sell them something else within your ebook?

      Surely your ebook can be full of amazing information they would be pushed to find elsewhere, all written from your own experience without the need to talk about other consumer items they can buy. They can go to any shop to buy consumer items - a book tells a story, whether fiction or non fiction. Paperback books have long had advertisements at the back and I don't like these either!

      My point is, tell your story, then place a link at the end to your blog where you can continue your story and encourage the reader to want to buy again from you in the future. You already have the reader on your buyer's list! You'll be mailing them incessant affiliate offers long into the future. You may have launched an upsell OTO and downsell OTO upon them when they made their purchase. How many more times do you want to sell your buyer? Are you a writer with something valid to say, or are you a salesperson on steroids who just churned out a revised PLR report for sale? No offense.
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  • Profile picture of the author Web Smithy
    Why it would not be ethical? Your e-book your affiliate links, you shouldn't worry about it. Good luck with your e-book!
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  • Profile picture of the author lesterlim85
    No ethical issues at all dude! Just be upfront with them that those programs are your recommendation and the they are affiliate links which you will be earning commission if they purchase from there.

    If they don't wish to let you earn commission (which is rather unlikely if they really like your book till that point) they can bypass your affiliate link and type in the url themselves to go to the mainpage. Bottomline is, be truely and don't come across as being sneaky and trying to hardsell them more stuffs.

    Good luck with your ebook!

    Cheers,
    Lester
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
    Why not? Typically, it's not like your using an affiliate link is going to cost them more money. As others have said, just make sure the links are relevant and be upfront about your use of affiliate links.
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by Bicycle Cat View Post

    I know this is acceptable for free eBooks used for list-building or giveaways, but in paid eBooks?
    I sell a $40 ebook that is packed with affiliate links. Literally, almost every link in the book is an affiliate link, and I don't think you can get through two pages without finding at least one link.

    Haven't had a single complaint. Haven't had a single commission, either, but that doesn't really bother me so much.
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    • Profile picture of the author carp104
      I don't see a problem with this at all.

      I am currently working on an ebook where some of the links are affiliate links but I also provide some free solutions as well as a means of alternative options.

      In my opinion it would be silly to not include affiliate links and throw away potential comissions. As long as your ebook contains value then there should be no reason why you shouldn't include affiliate links.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mohammad Afaq
      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      Haven't had a single commission, either, but that doesn't really bother me so much.
      LOL, epic

      Ok personally I don't care if there's an affiliate link in a product but I have seen people get mad crazy at that.

      But then I guess those people are just whiners who get mad crazy at everything so do as you feel like doing and if you have a complaint, stop. Simple
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      • Profile picture of the author paulie888
        Originally Posted by Mohammad Afaq View Post

        LOL, epic

        Ok personally I don't care if there's an affiliate link in a product but I have seen people get mad crazy at that.

        But then I guess those people are just whiners who get mad crazy at everything so do as you feel like doing and if you have a complaint, stop. Simple
        I know what you mean, there are some whiners out there who complain about everything under the sun! I feel that as long as it is a product/service that is relevant and helpful to the reader, then there shouldn't be any issues with providing an affiliate link for it. If you're still unsure, ask yourself this question - if there was no affiliate program available for the product/service that you're recommending, would you still provide it in your ebook? If the answer is yes, then by all means go ahead and use your affiliate link!

        After all, it's not like the reader is paying anything extra by buying through your affiliate link. As long as it passes the acid test I detailed above, then I think you'll be just fine doing it.

        Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author Willie Crawford
    I do it all the time and don't see it as unethical as long as
    I'm providing a link to a product that really meets my
    customers' needs.

    The only way that I see the practice as problematic is
    where the ebook author doesn't come across as credible...
    therefore the ebook does come across as a thinly
    disguised sales brochure.

    If you're recommending a solution to a problem, and it's
    one that you honestly feel is in the best interest of your
    customer, that is going to come across, and affiliate
    links are really a non-issue.

    Willie
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    • Profile picture of the author Mohammad Afaq
      Originally Posted by Willie Crawford View Post

      I do it all the time and don't see it as unethical as long as
      I'm providing a link to a product that really meets my
      customers' needs.

      The only way that I see the practice as problematic is
      where the ebook author doesn't come across as credible...
      therefore the ebook does come across as a thinly
      disguised sales brochure.

      If you're recommending a solution to a problem, and it's
      one that you honestly feel is in the best interest of your
      customer, that is going to come across, and affiliate
      links are really a non-issue.

      Willie
      God Damn wish I could write like that
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  • Profile picture of the author garyv
    I sell some ebooks, where the whole point is to make more money with the affiliate links on the inside. Sometimes the links inside the ebook make more than selling the ebook itself. This is when you know it's time to start giving the ebook away.
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  • Profile picture of the author digichik
    Definitely okay. Your e-book is a way for you to earn through sales of the book itself and through relevant products you promote through it. You have a captive audience through you e-book, don't miss the opportunity to help your customer while also helping yourself. It's not unethical, it good business.
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  • Profile picture of the author Onash
    Its perfectly OK as long as its relevant and a real recommendation. i.e. not something you put in based on the maximum comission.
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    • Profile picture of the author TSDMike
      I have aff. links in my ebook. I offer the following disclosure - whether I need to or not I think it lends to credibility. Feel free to use it if you want

      ***Disclosure: There are many references throughout this guide to various services around the web. The references are hyperlinked to the appropriate web site, and some of the links are affiliate links. What that means is that in the event that someone visits that site through a link I provided, I will receive a commission if and only if a purchase is made on that site.

      Furthermore, some of the affiliate links contained here are products or services I've never used or know little about, and a link in and of itself does not constitute an endorsement of that service. That said, there are places in this document where an endorsement is explicitly given; please know that I would NEVER recommend a product that I knew to be of substandard quality, and any endorsements you see in this guide are genuinely meant to give you an honest opinion.***
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      • Profile picture of the author deertrail
        Yes, as long as it's in the service of the customer and relevant to the content, include affiliate links. Among other reasons to do so, it's also a great way to monetize pirated copies of your ebook that would otherwise be straight lost sales.

        -Bryan
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  • Profile picture of the author Kan
    I see no problem, as long as it's a quality ebook with good content, why not? I've actually found out some great programs through paid ebooks, and I made sure I bought them through there affiliate link. I wouldn't worry about it.
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