By Joni Di Placido

Affiliate income is an absolute no brainer for any independent publisher or author. Vivian Arend wrote a comprehensive guide about making the most of your affiliate links, but what if you’re just getting started and not sure where to begin? Here we’ve broken the process down into simple steps to help you set up your affiliate links and start generating passive income.

Why join the affiliate programme?

Most of the big-name traditional publishers are already using Kobo affiliate links (Penguin, Harper Collins and Hachette, among others). Once you have set up your account, you can generate unique affiliate links for your website, optimize promotional opportunities, and get paid for referrals while increasing exposure for your books. Once you join, you will earn 6% commission every time someone purchases an ebook and 10% on every eReader device purchase, plus $2 per audiobook trial sign up. We also create customized promotional campaigns to help increase exposure for your books and your authors.

How do I sign up?

The first step is to register your website, or your publishing business via our registration form. This will create an account for you on Linkshare, the platform we use to manage the affiliate programme. When you sign up, in the Site Description field, you should write, “Referred by Kobo.”

Next, you need to search and join one of our Kobo affiliate programs through the search tool––ie. if you are based in Canada, choose the Canada program. You should only join one program, and this determines the currency you will be paid in. We recommend that authors join the Canada programme, as this allows you to make commission on eReader sales also.

Next, email us to get the KWL author affiliate commission of 6% (regular commission is 5% on eBooks). You will see an offer on the right-hand side of your Linkshare page under “private offers” and you simply have to accept the offer.

What can I do after I’ve registered?

Generate product links and text links easily.

  • Text Link/Deep Link: Create an HTML code for specific product text or image link to copy and paste into your website.
  •  Banner/Image Links: Get the HTML code for various Kobo banner ads to implement onto your website.
  • Deep Linking: Generate links that direct your site’s visitors to a specific page URL on an advertiser’s site rather than to the advertiser’s homepage.

Reporting and Communication

  • You can easily access sales and commission earnings data
  • Monthly messages from Kobo giving you the latest promotional info and banners

How do I generate those banners and image links?

  • Click on Links > Get Links > Select the advertiser > Link Type > Banner/Images
  • Select the banner you would like and click on “Get Link”
  • A pop-up will appear with the HTML code to generate this banner. You can select the check box “Open link in a new window” if you want the link to open in a new window. By default, links open the landing page in the same window. Simply copy and paste this code into your website.

The Deep Link tool

The easiest way to generate text links is through our Deep Linking tool. This is also where you can create an audiobook trial banner.

Find the desired page on Kobo.com that you want to generate a link to. Copy and paste that link.

Go back to the Linkshare dashboard and go to Links > Deep Linking > Selected the Advertiser > Copy and paste the URL into the textbox.

Select the output format. If you just want the affiliate URL, select URL. If you want a string of text hyperlinked to the desired landing page, select Text Link. If you would like to link an image to the desired landing page, select Image Link and input the image URL.

Click on “Create Link”

The link/HTML code will be generated for implementation onto your website.


To make an audio banner linking to http://kobo.com/audiobooks, go to Link >Get Links> select the affiliate program > Links >Banners/images > category: default> select the desired creative > Get Link

Then you simply have to copy and paste the link code into your website.


And that’s it! Once you’ve got those links set up and running, you can head on over to Vivian Arend’s blog post to learn how to use those links effectively to maximize your earnings.

Please feel free to email if you have questions about the affiliate programme.

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