Why I No Longer Add Purchase Links to My Reviews

I used to always include Amazon purchase links to book with my reviews, right next to the Goodreads link. As of a few weeks ago, I no longer do this.

When making this decision, I weighed the pros and cons. Why was I adding purchase links in the first place? Was it to make my readers’ lives easier if they want to buy the book? Maybe. Was it to make a few bucks from affiliate links? More likely.

But the process of adding purchase links—even just one pathetic Amazon link—started to weigh down on me. I’M LAZY! I don’t like having to go to Amazon, get the affiliate link, and paste it in my review. Maybe it only takes less than a minute, but it was starting to bring me down. I was sick of it. And every time I did that, I kept thinking, “What’s the point? Does anyone click on these links?” For me the answer was no. (Or at least small enough that it wasn’t worth my time.)

I don’t think I’ve ever made more than a few dollars from my affiliate links… over two years. Most people don’t click the links at all. So for me, it’s not worth the hassle.

If this inconveniences you, I apologize!

But luckily, the purchase page is only a few clicks away! Clicking on the “Goodreads” link will get you one click closer to that purchase page. 😉

Do you include purchase links with your book reviews? Does it ever feel like a hassle to include them? Are they worth your time?

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I'm a 27 year old California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). I like to inject a little #girlpower into the WordPress development community by teaching women how to be coding badasses. more »

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  1. It is a hassle to put purchase links on my reviews but I do it because I actually click on purchase links. I know it’s weird but I don’t use goodreads to keep track of books I want to buy. I use amazon, because that way I can buy them easily. I just put them in my cart and save for later. I go through that list when I am ready to purchase a few books. So if I use the links, then I feel like I need to provide them.

    1. I keep track of books I want to read the same way – through an Amazon wishlist. So I automatically think to include them. BUT…I also go to the effort because I really want to make money with my blog. And knowing that I will click on what is likely an affiliate link, add the book to my wishlist, then if I ever do buy it I’m usually doing so MONTHS later, which means they don’t get the credit for my purchase…I wonder how many people do the same thing on my blog, which makes it basically useless in terms of revenue. So then I’m left with the “be nice to your readers and give them the link” thing, so…? I recently found a plugin that’s supposed to put my Amazon affiliate link generator right in the post editor, so as soon as I find time to set it up, maybe that will simplify things.

      Alena Belleque recently posted: Making Mornings Mindful
  2. I also use them, and I use my wishlist on Amazon to keep track of books I want to read. I dislike Goodreads and use it as little as possible. But yes, I agree with you it is a pain.

    I am waiting for the UBB add-on that will add it automatically 😉

    Rosemary recently posted: Harbour Ways by Valerie Poore
  3. I don’t add affiliate links either. I haven’t even bothered affiliating myself with amazon or bookdepository because I’ve heard more people saying that you really don’t earn almost anything. So I don’t think it’s worth the hassle. Plus I don’t think I’ve ever clicked on an affiliate link. When I read a review of a book I usually just add it to my goodreads and never just go and buy it instantly!

    Nadia @ Nadia Reads recently posted: Waiting on… Free to Fall by Lauren Miller
  4. I add purchase links, and it’s usually a hassle to change the link into an affiliate link, so I sometimes addd a normal link, just out of laziness. There aren’t a lot of people that actually click on the links, so why bother. I just add them for convenience, but I’m pretty sure most people know how to find a book on amazon or something without having to click a link on a blog 🙂

    Sandra @ Sandra's World of Books recently posted: Epic Recs: February & March 2014
    1. Yeah, Amazon Auto Link is amazing! You don’t need to go find your affiliate link. If you’re doing a blog tour post or something where someone provides the buy now links already..just plug in the amazon link they’ve already sent you and the Amazon Auto Link plugin will add your affiliate tag to the link automatically! 😉 If you sign up for iTunes affiliates, they have a script you can add to your site’s code so that every time you link to a book in the iTunes/iBooks store it will automatically add the affiliate tag to it as well. 😉


  5. Never did it, never will. Doesn’t bother me to see them, but I just wont be commercializing the blog that way. But I gotta know, do people really read one review and just jump over and buy a book? Did Amazon track how many purchases came directly from your blog? I just struggle to think that it is that common of a practice, but perhaps I am wrong.

    Nathan (@reviewbarn) recently posted: The Discworld Reread- Halfway There
    1. Yeah Amazon tracks how many clicks your links get, and how many of those clicks convert into purchases… very few for me.

  6. I don’t add purchase links more so because I think my job is to introduce the book and let you decide if and where to buy it. You can buy any given book on multiple sites and I don’t have any connection causing me to want to support one vendor over another so I choose to let the reader pick and find it on their own. I do link to the authors website which almost always has buy links and I figure that is enough, plus a good way to support the author as a whole.

  7. I think when I first had affiliate links it was because I was hoping to make a little bit of money. I realize now that I will probably not make much money, but I still put the links. Its especially important to me on reviews of books I loved. I WANT everyone to buy it and read it. It’s why I put links to sites I don’t have an affiliate code for – to let you know you can buy it however you want. So please buy it, support this author and read this great book. Lol so it all goes back to why I started the blog in the first place – my love of books. And I put the links on the books I didn’t love because I have to have structure. I’m a bit odd that way. Great post!

  8. I’ve stopped including purchase links in my reviews too. I, too, just dislike the hassle, even if it doesn’t take very long, considering most people don’t really use them. I did make $5 one month from a purchase link because someone bought a $120 French book after clicking a link of mine(no idea how they ended up browsing for that book after an affiliate link, but hey!) That’s the most I’ve ever gotten per month and and it’s normally just maybe a dollar or two. Plus, I always feel weird including buy links on reviews for books I didn’t like!

  9. I include purchase links, but not the Amazon affiliates. I was doing it for awhile, but it was way too much work for way too little reward. So now I just use the easy “link” feature in blogger to link up to Amazon for people. But I really don’t think very many people click on them so perhaps I will do away with it altogether as well. I feel like most people are just going to add the book to their Goodreads, not immediately go buy it after reading a review.

  10. I only started putting the amazon purchase link up do to getting your UBB before that I thought it was to much of a hassle..lol. I don’t have an affiliate with them because for some reason Missouri won’t allow it. I do click on purchase links some times if I think it’s a book I really want to purchase or see how much it cost. I don’t do it very often but I do if the link is there..lol.

  11. I still include an amazon purchase link — but I have a copy and paste link with an image that works the same for every book, I just replace the AISN number to the correct one, which I find when I get the Goodreads link. It’s just a courtesy I offer… because I live in Missouri and since I live in Missouri I am unable to be (earn money from) an Amazon affiliate. Not that I ever made much to begin with. 🙂

  12. It is a bit of a hassle to add the buy link, but I actually mostly do it for myself. I do hope it makes it easier and/or encourages the reader to get the book to read but when I’m posting my review on Amazon, I like to have the link ready to click on right there to make my copy and paste easier!

    But honestly I rarely click on the Amazon link in other bloggers reviews – usually I’ll check out the Goodreads link first and add the book there.

    Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy recently posted: Taking A Look At Book Ratings
  13. JUST yesterday I received .68 CENTS (US) from being a Book Depository affiliate… I think I had previously only made .30 cents before, LOL. I’m sure not getting rich on it, either! I’ve considered removing them before too.

    Also just read a blog post that including Amazon Affiliate links in e-mails (even RSS-feed pulled e-mails!!) is against their TOS, which is kinda ridiculous. Obviously they don’t really enforce it, but yeah.

    Rachelia (Bookish Comforts) recently posted: {Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway!} Jewel of the Thames by Angela Misri
    1. Woah are you serious? There are entire businesses out there that make their money by creating huge mailing lists, keeping an eye out on Amazon deals, then sending out deal links (affiliate links) to their email subscribers.

      Like BookBub, and there’s one other that I can think of.

      1. Yep, it’s a pretty ridiculous rule. Basically they want you to truncate your feed if you are sending out RSS-pulled emails. Here’s the post where I learned about it: http://amylynnandrews.com/amazon-associate-vilation/ She even chatted a few times with Amazon’s customer service to get all the details.

        The discussion in the comments is pretty good!

        Rachelia (Bookish Comforts) recently posted: {Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway!} Jewel of the Thames by Angela Misri
  14. First of all: new design! Ohmygosh I am so in love with it.
    I do include purchase links, and over my numerous months of blogging, I think they have maybe been clicked once or twice. YES I feel like it is a hassle. I do things in order, so by including three purchase links in my review, it takes me a few extra minutes to actually getting to write the review.
    It’s odd that you’ve posted this discussion because I’ve been thinking of taking my purchase links off, as well. I’m not even an affiliate so there’s no real reason for me to include them (except making life a bit easier for readers, but like I said before no one clicks them ANYWAY). And they take up extra space on my review, as well.
    I am definitely thinking of making the swap to just Goodreads. Like you said, most of the purchase links are on the book page anyway and it puts time back in my hands, and space back in my reviews.

    Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity recently posted: Books for Life: My First Author Event! (Since Blogging, Anyway + Giveaway)
  15. I’ve never been into purchase links. I used to put them up, but I was never really invested in them and they never made me any money anyway. A big reason I decided to stop doing it was because I didn’t want to make assumptions about where people get their books. I get most of mine from the library. I don’t buy books that often, so I just don’t want to bother with keeping up with all the links.

    P.S. I LOVE the blog design.

    Laura Ashlee recently posted: Top Ten Things on My Bookish Bucket List
  16. I know EXACTLY what you’re talking about. I used to put purchase links on my reviews as well, but I stopped a few(ish) months ago. I just couldn’t be bothered, because like you said it just wasn’t worth it. Hardly anyone clicked on them and even less made a purchase. It just seemed like wasted time to me, so I stopped. I really don’t think any of my readers care!

    Sam recently posted: Mini Review: The Guard
  17. I actually stopped using the purchase link a while ago as well, Ashley, and for the same reasons you stated, plus another one: there are so many cool indie bookstores out there that I don’t know of, and I’d rather people used those, you know?
    I do continue to use Goodreads and Booklikes links for all the books I review, though, and that should help everybody who wants to get the book 🙂

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews recently posted: #COYER Review: A SEAL’s Salvation (Uniformly Hot SEALs #3) – Tawny Weber
  18. I link to Hive, a UK website that donates 5% from the sale to a local indie every time you use them (or you can pay online and pick up from an indie of your choice). I don’t necessarily expect people to use the link to purchase the book I’m reviewing, it’s more about letting people know the website exists, if they’re more used to using Amazon or The Book Depository.

  19. I signed up to be an affiliate with The Book Depository, but like you, I’ve found the hassle of providing links to be greater than any rewards I get from it, so I’ve stopped. Inputting all of that information into a review is so tedious, and sometimes, once I’ve inputted publisher info, it’s even put me off writing the review.

    Nikki @ The Paper Sea recently posted: On Getting Your Personality Across
  20. I do but now I only have Amazon and audible. Those are the easiest and most poplar links. I love when reviews have the buy links and I use them to make my purchases. I do not generate a ton of money (87.00 last year) but it does allow me to host several giveaways a year and do the occasional book giveaway on a book I am dying to share.

    kimbacaffeinate recently posted: Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop
  21. I’ve been wrestling with the same thing. I put at least six purchase links on all of my book reviews and it’s become such a huge hassle. I was hoping to make a bit of money to pour back into my site or to use it for fun things but you’re right, very few actually click on them much less purchase the books. I think I’d do better by posting them on my Facebook page but I won’t do that because it just doesn’t feel right to me. For one, it’s such a pain to put a disclaimer on Facebook plus I’m just throwing a link up. It’s one thing to want to make a bit of money off of my site and my hard work but quite another for me to just throw a book link up on Facebook. It bothered me so much that I quit doing it. The few sales I have made were from people just visiting Amazon through one of my links and none were the actual books I had linked. I still don’t know if I’ll continue to do it or not. Let’s be honest, unless your site is huge like Aesta’s then you’re not going to make more than a few bucks every so often – like every year or so and I doubt even the big sites make very much.

    I’m not quite ready to give up on it and I still like having a quick way for others to find or buy books that I like but yeah, it’s a pretty huge pain.

    Jamie Pinson recently posted: Just One Night: Part 2 – Elle Casey
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  23. It’s uncanny; you’re mirroring the argument I’ve been having with myself recently. I’m not an affiliate anywhere, so taking the time to put in links to Amazon, B&N, and Kobo is time-consuming and probably doesn’t make much difference to my readers. I’m seriously considering no longer including them, and just linking to Goodreads.

    Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard recently posted: My Top Ten Gateway Books/Authors

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