Amazon doesn’t want me to recommend their products to you – can you help with advice?

As writers we are often guided in making sure we set up to sell our own works through Amazon associated links. New Authors are told specifically by the marketing gurus out there to sign up as an Amazon affiliate. I’ve previously had quite a lot of success selling a small amount of books off my association with Amazon UK when I held UK based blogs. When moving back down under I was forced to move to use the US Amazon site, which hasn’t been problematic until now.

Yesterday I signed up (perhaps naively) as an Amazon Associate with this website. I wanted to recommend some good writing craft books as per this post here.  Previously I’ve spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars on books and ebooks via Amazon, and still believe in them as a service.

Unfortunately, Amazon’s review team don’t consider this site good enough to allow me to link to an affiliate code on books I recommend on Amazon. They have emailed me:

When reviewing a web site we look for a beneficial reason of why a customer would seek out your site, review the topic or content posted, and click over to Amazon.com.  We want an Associate site to be one that adds a value to the customer experience by giving them insight on a subject or product they might not get by going straight to Amazon.com. A web site needs to show content that exemplifies these components when we evaluate your application.

At this time, we have decided that your site does not yet present a mutually beneficial business opportunity, and therefore decided not to approve your application to become an Amazon Associate.

We invite you to reapply once your site displays content that will be of value to customers.

I think it’s that highlighted part above that smarts the most. As bloggers, we hope that we are providing content of value. Perhaps I’m just not.

I apologise if there are Amazon links elsewhere on this site. I wanted to show you some good books worth purchasing and reading, but without the ability to make a small commission on the sales, I’m less likely to point you now to Amazon. But that’s just the sense of failure in me at this point. I’ll simmer down.

If any reader or guru out there has any advice on how newish writers are meant to become associates with Amazon, please do tell.

  • Is there a particular number of followers we must get first?
  • At what point did Amazon stop allowing people to sell their products for them?
  • Why aren’t my recommendations good enough, do you think? Or is it something to do with the WordPress.com blogging platform, and the fact we can’t put javascripted widgets on our sidebars.
  • What kind of content is deemed valuable by Amazon?

I would appreciate any advice, and hope it helps other writers reading this post.

5 thoughts on “Amazon doesn’t want me to recommend their products to you – can you help with advice?

  1. Amazon seems to be a mystery wrapped in an enigma…I’ve downloaded the Alexa tool bar and I can see your blog is popular in the UK. Could that be the problem? As you’re based in Australia and you would be referring readers to US Amazon perhaps they just couldn’t handle the three continent cross communication – just a thought. But whatever the reason I feel sure no one has assessed the content of your blog & deemed it unworthy, I bet it’s because you don’t fit a standard formula.

    1. Hmmm, that may be something. I can’t purchase anything from UK Amazon anymore – not even ebooks. Not sure how to get over that problem if it’s something international like that.

  2. You and I have the same problem: wrong side of the globe. It affects everything Hunter. If I come across any amazing answers, you’ll be the first to know! At the very least Amazon needs to stop biting the hands that feed it.

    There used to be an Amazon warehouse in Australia, but rumour has it that it shut down. Maybe that affects their policy? I am so fed up with seeing books I want in the US store and either they won’t post to Australia or charge you three times the price of the book to do so. It’s the crazy train and as often as I have considered getting off, Amazon Kindle is sadly, still the best option for me.

    Good luck.

  3. That is indeed interesting. I was considering becoming an Amazon Affiliate then I got bogged down by all the red tape and just pushed the idea aside for the time being. Now I don’t know. I’d like to have the affiliation, but I don’t think I’d be generating enough referrals to make anything that would be worth the doing. Affiliate status sounds like it’s more meaningful if you’re getting TV’s and big ticket items sold and not things like books. But I don’t know what advice to give you.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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