Elly Russell, Associates Manager, at Amazon.co.uk, introduces the much talked about Associates Programme. As a member of the programme, Amazon.co.uk pays up to 15% of the sale price on books that are purchased as a result of someone coming from a direct link to a specific book on your site t hrough to Amazon.co.uk. In the introduction, Bernadette Daly outlines some of the recently announced Amazon partnerships which will be of interest to the Library Community.
It would be hard to have missed any mention of the US parent, Amazon.com, or its subsidiaries, Amazon.de or Amazon.co.uk, whatever the medium. As the Internet's number one bookseller, it was named by Ernst & Young as one of the top four e-commerce innovators .
But what does all this have to do with libraries? It would seem to have a great deal to do with new models for services and access.
In February, Amazon.co.uk announced its sponsorship of the British Library's Online Public Access Catalogue, OPAC97, ; providing free access to the catalogues of the major British Library collections in London and in Boston Spa.
Also involved in negotiations with Amazon.co.uk is Essex Libraries, which is currently setting up an online shop on their EARL web site. Mary Rowlatt, Head of Information Services, notes that they have always resisted the temptation of using valuable library floor space for retailing purposes, but adds that their web site provides them with a unique retailing opportunity. The site, in effect, gives them almost limitless sales space, without impinging on core library services.
In the US, Tacoma Public Library in Tacoma, Washington (comprising a downtown main library and nine branch libraries) became one of the major public libraries to extensively partner with the Amazon.com. Users are able to access Amazon.com's web site from within the main library's catalogue, the nine branch catalogues and via their web site .
Of interest to many within the library community is the software used by Amazon to deliver their suite of web services, track user preferences and involve users directly in generating content for services. Some of these innovative services include online customer book reviews and lists of purchases made by customers purchasing a particular book, CD or Video. In coming issues we hope to explore some of these areas.
Co-editor, Exploit Interactive
The World Wide Web has grown into a huge mass of websites covering every subject you could imagine. Whether it's a personal or a business site many people are looking for an easy way to use this global broadcast media to make money. You have probably heard of numerous ways to 'get rich quick' on the Internet, but do any of them actually work?
The Amazon.co.uk Associates Programme  is not a get rich quick scheme, but it is a way for you to enter into the world of e-commerce with Amazon.co.uk by promoting products on your website to make money.
Amazon.co.uk  is an online retailer of books based in Slough, UK. We are the British subsidiary of Amazon.com, which opened its virtual doors in July of 1995 with a mission to use the Internet to offer products that educate, inform, and inspire and now has stores the United States, Germany and UK. Amazon.co.uk has its origins in an independent online store, Bookpages, which was established in 1996, and was subsequently acquired by Amazon.com in early 1998. Amazon.com now has over 5.5 million customers in 160 countries.
Collectively Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk have more than 200,000 associates worldwide ranging from web sites of Internet companies such as Yahoo! and Excite to smaller, more personal sites run by a wide range of associates and enthusiasts all over the world.
Amazon.co.uk offers over 1.5 million UK and US products which you can sell via links and buttons on your website. The Amazon.co.uk Associates Programme is easy to join. You fill in a short online form and are immediately sent a unique ID by email, which you insert into the html link from your site to amazon.co.uk. This ID is then used to track every click-through and sale that comes direct from your site.
Amazon.co.uk pays up to 15% of the sale price, on books that are purchased as a result of someone coming from a direct link to a specific book on your site, through to amazon.co.uk. Alternatively, you can choose just to add a graphical logo as a link to the amazon.co.uk homepage or a searchbox to earn a guaranteed 5% on all books sold through your site. No matter which way you choose to link, if someone purchases a book on Amazon.co.uk after clicking on a link from your site to ours, you will earn a percentage of the sale price.
And what's more, each week Amazon.co.uk will email you a report listing details of all the activity including how many people have clicked through to your site, the sales that have been made and referral fees you have earned. At the end of each financial quarter, you will be sent another report listing how much money you are owed for this quarter and a cheque will be sent to the address you specify in UK pounds sterling.
There are several pages on the Associates Programme area of the Amazon.co.uk site which give you help and advice on setting up your links. They list the code you need to use, ensuring that all you have to do to get going is copy and paste the code into your html and add your unique ID.
The Associates Programme was pioneered by Amazon.com to attract new customers to the site via a new channel. The aim is to give each Associate a way of making money from their website, and at the same time bring in new customers to Amazon.com and now Amazon.co.uk.
Many of our Associate sites are very specialist, with themes such as health, sport or computing and by linking to Amazon.co.uk, each Associate can add value for their site visitors by providing lists of books that are available on a relevant subject. By adding reviews, comments and enthusiasm you are likely to receive the best results.
If you have any comments on this article, please contact the editors (email@example.com).
Associates Account Manager
Tel: +44 0181 636 9256
Elly Russellis the Associates Account Manager for the highly successful online book seller, Amazon.co.uk. Prior to working for Amazon.co.uk, she has worked for a number of Online Internet Service providers including two years with the Microsoft Network and prior to that two years with UK Online. Her areas of expertise are web design, HTML, and customer service.
For citation purposes:
Elly Russell, "Books for Everyone: Cash for you," Exploit Interactive, issue 1, 10 April 1999
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