I think I've mentioned before that I've been playing around with various ideas to "monetize" this blog. (And can I just pause right now and say that I hate that word? But it is indeed the right word to use.) I don't have the sort of readership statistics that would lead me to delusions of getting rich from this blog, but I have been curious to see if it could make me enough money to stop my husband from rolling his eyes at me when I sit down to blog rather than, say, file the stack of papers that is threatening to consume my desk. (Short answer: no, it can't. But hey, they're his eyes. He can roll them all he wants.)
Anyway, I've experimented with a range of things: Google Ads, setting up a Zazzle Store, making it possible to subscribe to my blog on the Kindle, and Amazon Associate links. I have some other ideas, too, but those require more time/effort than I want to commit right now. Of the things I've tried so far, the Amazon Associate links were by far the most profitable- which isn't saying much, trust me. And to be fair, I haven't invested much effort in any of the other things I've tried. Still, I liked the program.
But then, earlier this week Amazon booted me out of the program because my state has enacted some bill that they feel means that having California-based associates will expose them to sales tax requirements. Well, boo on them. I actually think we should be paying sales tax on our online purchases, and that the big online stores should get over themselves and set it up so that we do it at the point of sale. I've heard their technological arguments, and frankly, I don't buy them.
But my opinion doesn't really count in this particular argument, so I'll just wave good-bye to Amazon's associate program, and say hello to the Powell's Books partner program.
It seems that Powell's doesn't care if I live in California, so I've signed myself up. (Or maybe they do care, and will boot me out shortly- we'll see.) I will slowly go back through my archives and change the links on the more "profitable" book referral pages, and all new links going forward will be to Powell's. Or you could just click on the pretty little graphic I've put on the left of my blog template. As with most affiliate programs, I get a percentage of any purchases you make after following one of my links. Powell's program has a twist, though- I also get a percentage of the amount they pay you if you choose to sell your used books to Powell's. They have some other cool things- like the possibility of setting up my own "bookshelf". I'll have to play with that. It sounds like an excellent way to spend some time thinking about my favorite books.
I'm feeling pretty happy about this switch. I love Powell's Books- no trip to Portland is complete without spending a significant chunk of time browsing their stacks. They have a nice website, and their affiliate program looks to be a better deal than Amazon's. So click on through and buy some books... do it for my husband. His eyes are getting tired from all that rolling.