VitalSource Affiliate Program

Frequently Asked Questions

General Affiliate Questions

What is affiliate marketing?

Answer: Affiliate marketing is a "pay-for-performance" advertising model that rewards third-party websites (like those that a potential affiliate may own, for example) for sales resulting from traffic through links or banners on their site. In other words, is willing to pay a "finder's fee" for customers you send to who make a purchase.

Why should I join the VitalSource affiliate program?

Answer: As a VitalSource affiliate, you will be able to offer your customers access to largest and most comprehensive library of eTextbooks, thus optimizing your chances of making a sale and earning a commission. Here are other reasons you will want to become a VitalSource affiliate:

  • We carry over 90% of textbooks in use today as eTextbooks
  • eTextbooks don't require shipping, so commissions are lightning-fast!

Getting Set Up as a VitalSource Affiliate

How do I register to become a VitalSource affiliate?

Answer: If you do not currently have a Commission Junction account, please click Join Now to set one up. Once we've reviewed your application, we will contact you within 48 hours to let you know the status on your application. Approved VitalSource affiliates can start adding links or banners to your website immediately.

If you currently have a Commission Junction Account but are not yet a VitalSource Affiliate, visit Commission Junction, and sign in to your account. Search for VitalSource and select "Apply to Program." We will let you know the status on your application within one business day.

How long does it take to learn if my VitalSource affiliate program application has been approved?

Answer: In general, VitalSource Affiliate applications are reviewed the same day they are received (excluding weekends and holidays). Applications shouldn't take longer than 24 hours to review, during Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. However, some applications may take longer to review, if they were sent on a weekend, for example.

Why was I not approved as a VitalSource affiliate?

Answer: There are a number of reasons why your application may not have been approved: VitalSource will not approve applications for sites with Adult or otherwise offensive content. Gambling sites, extreme religious or political content sites will also not be approved. Applications without a URL listed will not be approved and anything VitalSource determines as inappropriate to the VitalSource brand and products will not be approved. If you feel your application should be reconsidered, email the Affiliate Management Team at and tell us why it should be reconsidered.

Can I reapply to the VitalSource Affiliate Program if my application was denied?

Answer: Yes. See, "Why was I not approved as a VitalSource affiliate?" listed above.

How do I set up links or banners on my site?

Answer: Once you become a VitalSource Affiliate (see above for instructions on how to register), you will be able to access VitalSource banners, text links, and the product catalog through the Get Links section in Commission Junction. Select any of the banners or links you are interested in, and select highlight HTML code or highlight Java code (whichever code is used on your site). Copy the entire code "snippet" (or section) into the website page where the banner or link should appear. This will ensure that all sales that you send to the VitalSource site from that page will be tracked correctly so that you receive the appropriate commission.


What commissions does VitalSource offer?

Answer: VitalSource offers a flat 3% commission.

When will I receive my commission payments?

Answer: Commissions "lock" on the 10th of the month following a given month's sales. These commissions are then sent to qualifying affiliates by Commission Junction approximately 1-2 weeks after that. For example, a commissions earned from sales in the month of May would lock on June 10th. Affiliates who earned a commission would receive their payments approximately 1-2 weeks later.

I don't see a commission for a sale that I know went through my site. What should do I now?

Answer: If a sale was sent to VitalSource from an affiliate site, the visitor may have clicked on another affiliate's page before they made their final purchase. In those cases, VitalSource's affiliate rules credit the "last click referred"-or the most recent affiliate site visited prior to purchase. If the visitor only went to your affiliate site, and you were still not credited, you need to make sure they visited VitalSource and purchased within 30 days of visiting your site. We have a 30-day affiliate referral policy, which means that you can still earn a commission 30 days after the visitor went to your site (if they did not go to any other affiliate sites after visiting yours) before purchasing from VitalSource. If neither of these conditions applies, and the order was valid, please email the Affiliate Management Team at When you do, be sure to include the Order ID number and any other information you may have so they can track the order to see if it should be commissioned. Commissions that are deemed to be valid will be manually added to your Commission Junction account.

Sales & Orders

What is the window period for affiliate commissions when products are not purchased directly after a visitor clicks on a VitalSource link or banner on my website?

Answer: VitalSource has a 30-day referral or "cookie" period during which you can receive commissions.

When will VitalSource orders post to My Account in Commission Junction?

Answer: VitalSource Orders post to Commission Junction instantly. However, during periods of high network volume, it may take up to several hours for orders to post.

How does VitalSource handle customer refunds in light of affiliate commissions?

Answer: VitalSource regularly submits refund information to Commission Junction for refunded eTextbooks and eResources and any other necessary customer refunds. If an order you refer is refunded, you will see this return information in your Commission Junction publisher account.

How does VitalSource handle affiliate commissions that are in dispute?

Answer: If you believe that an order you referred is missing from your statement, please email the Affiliate Management Team at with the Order ID number and any other information you may have. The order will be tracked to see if it should be receive a commission. If so, the commission will be added to your Commission Junction account.


I'm having trouble with my Commission Junction account. Whom do I contact?

Answer: Please direct any questions regarding your Commission Junction account to the Contact Us link at the top right of your publisher home page.

Promotion Tools & Special Offers

What if I don't see the banner or link that I would like to use in Commission Junction?

Answer: If you're looking for a specific size banner or a campaign that we currently don't offer, please email us at with the size requirements for the specific campaign (e.g. midterm campaign) and we will resize the banner to your size requirements and load it into Commission Junction.

How will I find out about sales & special offers?

Answer: VitalSource publishes a monthly newsletter to let you know what sales and special offers are coming up.

What tools are available to promote VitalSource products?

Answer: VitalSource offers text and banner links for placement on affiliate sites (websites and blogs) along with a product catalog available via Commission Junction.

Do you offer coupons and exclusives?

Answer: Yes, from time to time we may offer coupons that go above and beyond our everyday savings. VitalSource eTextbooks include useful tools like in-book highlighting, text search, and the ability to take notes. VitalSource's digital course materials never have shipping costs and always provide instant access to the materials you need.

Product Catalog

Do you have a product catalog and is it available through an API (application programming interface)?

Answer: While VitalSource does not provide an API, we do have a product catalog available free of charge through Commission Junction. To access it, you must first become a VitalSource Affiliate. After your application is approved, you can use the Contact Us form located on Commission Junction to submit a request for a subscription to the VitalSource product catalog.

How do I use the product catalog?

Answer: The VitalSource product catalog provides affiliates with information on each and every product on Use the information in the product catalog to suit your own affiliate marketing strategy.

If you're having trouble figuring out how to use VitalSource product descriptions on your own website or blog, try using a "data-feed" service such as PopShops. PopShops is a free service that carries the VitalSource product catalog and makes the catalog easy to use by our affiliates.

How often is the VitalSource product catalog updated?

Answer: VitalSource's product catalog information with Commission Junction is updated daily, every morning at 4 a.m. PST.

Whom do I contact regarding missing or inaccurate Information in the VitalSource product catalog?

Answer: Please email VitalSource's affiliate group is on hand to address any questions related to the product catalog. When you contact VitalSource, include detailed information about the inaccuracies you found so that they can be corrected.

Customer Service

Whom do I contact about issues with my Commission Junction account?

Answer: Use the Contact Us link at the top right of the Commission Junction publisher home page.

Where can I refer VitalSource customers who have questions about their order(s)?

Answer: Once a visitor has purchased a product from VitalSource they become a VitalSource customer and should therefore direct any questions to VitalSource Customer Service.

What is the PPC ("pay-per-click") or search-marketing policy for VitalSource Affiliates?

Answer: The VitalSource policy for PPC ("pay-per-click") or search marketing can be found on the Commission Junction-VitalSource program information page under Program Terms.

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