Google has just launched the Google Ebooks affiliate programme, opening the door for any website owner to become an ebook retailer.
Likely candidates would be bloggers, publishers, media sites, link sites and anyone who can generate a reasonable amount of traffic. Even booksellers. Sites can link to a single ebook, a group of titles, or get a feedback of the entire Google Ebooks product database.
The service is initially US-only and brings Google into a market that Amazon serves through its own Kindle affiliate programme. Unlike the deal Google has done with US indie booksellers, this affiliate system will be simpler and cheaper for most sites to implement and will pay a lower commission.
One of Google’s trump cards will be its integration with its huge AdSense programme. That’s the thing that lets all kinds of websites run Google AdWords advertising on their sites, collecting a few pennies every time someone clicks on the ad. Many of those publishers will be good candidates to add ebook purchases as part of the monetising of their site traffic.
There’s no public information on the commissions site owners will earn since they’re set individually. I’d guess for most sites, it would be in the sub-10% range. This could still generate some worthwhile extra income, especially if you can attract a targeted audience with some relevant content and a propensity to buy books.