Press release

Web Sites Big and Small Participating -- From Film Critics to Chefs to Puppies

July 18, 1996 at 12:00 AM EDT

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 18, 1996--Amazon.com Books (www.amazon.com), the leading Internet-based bookstore, is breaking new ground for commerce on the Web with a program announced today called Amazon.com Associates. Through this program, any Web site, whether it attracts only a few visitors or hundreds of thousands of hits, can enhance its content and earn revenue by recommending books. More than 300 Web sites are currently enrolled as Amazon.com Associates, with dozens signing up daily.

With the Amazon.com Associates program, Web sites select books of interest to their visitors and link directly to the Amazon.com 1.1 million title catalogue. Amazon.com handles online ordering, credit card charging, customer service and shipping the books directly to customers. Amazon.com, already recognized as one of the leading electronic retailers, offers Associate customers the same discounted prices and service that has earned its reputation among Web users. Associate Web sites earn a referral fee for their book recommendations.

"Literally thousands of Web sites offer great information and services designed for their visitors, whether it be cooking, astronomy or infinite other topics of interest. With the Amazon.com Associates program, these sites can now add book recommendations," said Jeff Bezos, president and CEO of Amazon.com Books. "By providing a referral fee for these recommendations, Amazon.com has developed an electronic business model that takes advantage of what the Web has to offer."

Starchefs, a Web site featuring America's highest acclaimed chefs and cookbook authors was one of the first Amazon.com Associates. "We at Starchefs think our viewers should have the best the world of cookbooks has to offer. We already feature them on our site. And now, through our association with Amazon.com, we have made it possible for our audience to acquire them in the easiest possible way -- without ever having to leave their homes or offices. Information and convenience! It's a great partnership," said Fern W. Berman, partner Starchefs.com (www.starchefs.com).

As many specialized sites look for ways to build their Web-based businesses, the Associates referral fee approach wins praise. "At Inquiry.com's Ask the VB Pro site (www.inquiry.com/techtips/thev bpro), we offer the latest information on software products and technologies. Participating in `Amazon.com Associates' allows us to sell the latest books on Visual Basic directly from our site," said Eric Smith, Webmaster of Inquiry.com. "Not only do we get to provide this wonderful new service to our visitors, we get a referral fee in the process. Now that makes good business sense."

The Associates program is designed to make it easy for any site, no matter how large or small, to participate. With all the enrollment information on the Amazon.com site, Web sites can complete an application online, set up their book recommendations and link to the Amazon.com catalogue, all in a matter of hours. "Amazon.com made it incredibly easy for us to sell books from our site. We registered, chose the books and within hours they were for sale on our Web site." said Kenneth Troy of Pure Bred Puppynet (www.puppynet.com). "As owners and breeders of Pure-Bred dogs, we know the kind of books that will help our visitors in buying, owning and caring for their beloved pets. Participating in the Amazon.com Associates program has provided us with the capability of actually selling the books we recommend."

Starchefs, Inquiry.com and Puppynet are just three of the more than 300 sites that have already enrolled in the program, with other sites ranging from individual's special interest pages to growing companies also offering and selling books.

Founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994, Amazon.com Inc. is headquartered in Seattle and is privately held. Amazon.com Books is the leading bookstore on the Web, with the world's largest selection of books. The Internet-only bookstore offers a catalogue of 1.1 million titles, easy-to-use search and browse features, email services, Web-based credit card payment and direct shipping to customers. Amazon.com's name pays homage to the Amazon River. Just as the Amazon River is more than eight times the size of the next largest river in the world, Amazon.com's catalogue is more than eight times the size of the largest physical bookstore.