May 20, 2014

2 Ways to Make the Amazon Associates Program Terminate Your Account

Do you understand the user agreements when you click "I agree"? Well, it turns out a lot of people don't, and that can get them in trouble. Or at least it can cause their accounts to be terminated. Here's what I've learned about the Amazon Associates program (which uses some unnecessarily vague terms).

Taken from Associates Program Participation Requirements:

This Associates Program Participation Requirements page is part of the Operating Agreement...

6. You will not engage in any promotional, marketing, or other advertising activities on behalf of us or our affiliates, or in connection with the Amazon Site or the Program, that are not expressly permitted under the Operating Agreement. For example, you will not engage in any promotional, marketing, or other advertising activities in any offline manner, including by using any of our or our affiliates’ trademarks or logos (including any Amazon Mark), any Content, or any Special Link in connection with an offline promotion or in any other offline manner (e.g., in any printed material, mailing, SMS, MMS, email or attachment to email, or other document, or any oral solicitation). Upon our request, you will provide us with written certification that you have complied with this Section 6. We will specify the form of, and content required in, that certification in our request. Any failure by you to provide the certification in accordance with our request will constitute a material breach of this Operating Agreement.

What this means in plain English:

According to a handful of bloggers I found who asked Amazon Associates directly (and not just KDP support) and posted the responses:

1. You cannot use Amazon Associates links in e-books. This is from the part about not using the links an offline manner; e-books inevitably end up offline.

To make it even more frustrating, the part about not using the links in e-mails means that:

2. If you have an RSS feed for your blog, technically you can't use those links on your blog, either (because the posts end up in e-mails) unless your feed delivers truncated posts and you make sure the links aren't in the part of the post that gets delivered via e-mail.

Here are a few of those posts:
Ultimate Book Coach
Amy Lynn Andrews
I Can Teach My Child

Whether Amazon Associates will terminate the account of every single person who doesn't correctly interpret its terms is another question altogether. However, part 11 of the Operating Agreement says:

"The license set forth in this Section 11 will immediately and automatically terminate if at any time you do not timely comply with any obligation under this Operating Agreement or any Operational Documentation, or otherwise upon termination of this Operating Agreement."

While I've never put associate links inside my e-books, I do use them here on my blog. So now I'm off to change my blog settings to deliver truncated posts…

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Happy reading! :)
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Legal Stuff

Susan is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and the, Inc. Associates Program, affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to and

Translation: if you click on one of my Amazon links and then shop at Amazon, I may earn a few extra cents. Maybe even enough cents to buy an entire doughnut hole. :)