IASD Update 3 – 2016

TomUniversal Links

The e-publishing industry, within which we are all working, feels as if it’s being lifted higher in profile with every year that passes.

If you know the history of the electronic reading device, you’ll realise that the theory goes back to the 1930’s. The modern eReaders and Tablets have developed rapidly only since the late 1990’s.

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Why is any of that information interesting?

As indie authors, irrespective of age, we are a relatively new breed, so we are growing on several levels exponentially with: our support systems, sales platforms, marketing strategies, reading devices, and our readership.
The ability to go ‘online’ and instantly download a book still feels strange to many, but to the indie author it is an ingredient of their life-blood.

What could be better than simply locating your local Amazon and clicking to download?

How about locating the eBook you like on an author website and clicking – and it takes you to your local Amazon automatically?

Yes, we’ve been at that point a little while now.

There are thankfully a few systems out there for us to peruse and make a considered decision. Two main routes to go are smartURL and Booklinker.

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Booklinker - 1

I went with Booklinker a few weeks ago, and I’m happy so far.
The website homepage is not colourful and awe-inspiring, but it doesn’t have to be, because it is what an indie author requires most – it is simple, and functional.

Registration and account setup is easy, and so too are the stages of registering and linking books. As an example, I have 15 titles available at present so it’s vitally important that any new venture with regard to marketing is straightforward and easy to update.

What are the attractions, apart from simplicity?

The author will be presented with an easy-to-manage account where each title is set with a shortened universal link.
Each title also has a framework of 12 countries to display the percentage of ‘clicks’ placed for each, plus a representative percentage for the ‘Rest of the World’.

Are there any issues with the universal links?

1. You must take care when using the ‘copy and paste’ of the shortened links.
(Once you know about it this is not an issue, as much as a minor detail to acknowledge).

2. On certain websites you may simply ‘paste’ the link straight in and the job is done.

3. On other websites, you might have to insert http:// in front of the link.

4. In yet other websites, you may have to remove the http:// extension before pasting your Booklinker link.

How will you know which concerns you?

My advice would be, no matter how many titles you have, trial a link on one book, and test it out before continuing. Note the sequence you used regarding the use or non-use of http://.

To put this advice in perspective, all of my titles are featured on my three personal websites. Each of my websites entails a different method of application of the shortened universal link. Yes, we all make work for ourselves, but we owe it to ourselves and our readership to make it work – efficiently.

Is it worth all the hassle?

Yes – and that is a loud yes, although it’s without italics or exclamation marks.
I’ve reduced the number of graphics used in this post, not through laziness, but because I didn’t want to produce them and be in breach of copyright.

Booklinker - 2

How do I know the system works?

For two weeks I’ve made more regular checks of my Amazon figures and they correlate with the Booklinker reports, and I’ll continue to monitor these two together.

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I haven’t dug too deep into smartURL or other similar sites yet, but from what I’ve seen on a rapid browsing session, smartURL is more colourful from the outset, but only caters for detailed monitoring of 10 countries.

I hope this helps some of you to better understand the notion of ‘universal links’. Having said that – I’m still learning.
Unless you have a universal link arrangement of your personal choice, I believe Ian is setting up all of the titles in our IASD catalogue with the smartURL version.

For many I’m sure it will be a relief to have the job done – whatever the source of the link. They are all a generation ahead of where we were a few months ago.

Next time, I’ll investigate our latest find – the Amazon active / preview / buy link.

Thank you as always for reading, and thank you in anticipation of any feedback.

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7 responses to “IASD Update 3 – 2016

  1. Thank you Tom. I started using the Amazon Preview/Buy Link yesterday. I have them on my blog.
    I am grateful for the information on Booklinker.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve used the same one as Ian, and so far it’s worked ok for me. As you know I’m not very techie, and needed instruction, but they all work great so far. I don’t know if you have the checks on the one I use, but to be fair I’m struggling to keep up with other things without adding another, though I can understand the benefit of knowing where your market is. But on the whole a great idea for helping readers get their local Amazon with just one click.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello and thank you: Brenda, Sallyann, Felipe, Patrick, Andy, and Anne. Yes, of course we’ll be happy as long as we can enlighten everybody in this area, especially since we’re only learning about it ourselves. We’ll keep you all up to date on developments. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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