20 February 2016

Book Buying Links - Be Wise

I was reminded this week that not every author, mainstream or indie published, has a grasp of the basics. The discussion was about handling long buying links.

For instance, if I use the Amazon search facility for one of my own novels I arrive at the page but find this as its given URL (Uniform Resource Locator)...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beneath-Shining-Mountains-Linda-Acaster-ebook/dp/B003VTZZNO/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1455653958&sr=1-1&keywords=Beneath+The+Shining+Mountains

...and who would want to put that in a Tweet, or a Facebook post, or even in a blog article?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B003VTZZNO looks so much better and does exactly the same job. I can use .com instead of .co.uk for the USA link. This works for print-only books as well as ebooks. Just ensure you leave no spaces and add on the correct ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number).

Using https://bitly.com/ will create an even shorter URL, with the added benefit that you'll be able to see how many times it is clicked, and these aren’t restricted for use with Amazon. More than that, the default URLs created can be changed manually. How about http://bit.ly/amusBSM for Amazon.com? Or http://bit.ly/bnBSMountains for Barnes & Noble's Nookbooks? Notice what I did there? No need to go hunting for my crib sheet, the destination is integral with the link: bn [Barnes&Noble] amus [Amazon USA].

If you’ve no interest in checking numbers of clicks, sign up for Hootsuite, or Tweetdeck, or a similar social media manager which can take a long URL and shrink it to something meaningless -  http://ow.ly/Yrj7g - but it will reach the desired target, nonetheless. Social media managers are a one-stop portal for use with Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram and more.

The problem with buying links is that there can be so many of them, so where possible it helps to condense the number. http://www.booklinker.net/ does just that by creating a universal link to all Amazon stores.

http://viewBook.at/BSMountains will reach the correct Amazon store for your region no matter where in the world you click the link. There’s a choice of initial domains: myBook.to/ viewBook.at/ getBook.at/ viewAuthor.at/ and Author.to/ How you decide to complete the link is up to you. Again, there’s a dashboard which shows the number of times each has been clicked.

Best of all? None of these facilities will cost you a penny. Or a cent.

Catch me at http://Author.to/LindaAcaster

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