Updated: Google Launches Ebook Affiliate Program; Rate Higher Than Amazon’s

Google (NSDQ: GOOG) has launched a program that allows website owners to earn commissions for referring sales to the Google eBookstore, Google Books product manager Pratip Banerji announced on the company’s blog today.

Google had previously tested the program with social reading site Goodreads and is now rolling it out to bloggers, authors, and anybody else with a website.

Becoming a Google E-books affiliate is a three-step process. Users have to sign up for a Google AdSense account and be approved, then join the Google Affiliate Network program and be approved, and then sign up as an e-book affiliate.

The E-book Affiliate Branding Guidelines are here (PDF). For instance, affiliates have to use the official Google E-books favicon (that’s it illustrating this post) whenever they mention Google e-books.

Update: Google E-Books referral fees range from 6-10% of a book’s selling price, depending on the volume of books sold through affiliate referral. The fees are based on purchases made by users directed to Google E-Books, independent of whether the referral goes directly to a book or to the front page of the Google eBookstore.

Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) already has an affiliate program called Amazon Associates. Its fees vary based on volume and range from 4 to 8.5 percent for books and Kindle books, products, and accessories.

Google launched its eBookstore in December 2010 as part of its Google Books initiative. It’s currently partnered with 7,000 active U.S. publishers and over 250 retailers (mainly independent bookstores) selling Google eBooks from their stores and websites. As we noted last month, it is not yet a major player in the e-book market.