Saturday, September 28, 2013

Making Short Buy Links for Books

Have you ever emailed someone a link for a book, and had them email back and tell you the link doesn't work? Or maybe you posted it on a Yahoo group, and it ended up wrapping around the end of a line and breaking. Long links to websites can do the same thing. You want to share an article with someone, so you paste it in an email or text it to them, but it gets broken by the system.

Here's how to stop it. I use for shortening links. They are members of Memset, and follow a code of ethics. Find out more about them here: The site also allows you to log pageviews, and you can customize your links. This is helpful if you plan to create short links for a series of books. Here's what I do.

Go to any URL shortener

Here are several good ones. There are many more. If you use HootSuite, it has its own shortener. So does Tweetdeck.

Create a Common Book Name

Each book gets a common name. I'll use my title At the Mercy of Her Pleasure as an example. That is a long title, but I changed it to atthemercy. 

Create a Common Store Name

Each bookstore gets a common name as well. Here's what I use. All are lower case.
Amazon = amz
Barnes and Noble = bn
All Romance eBooks = are
Powell's = pow
Kobo = kobo
Sony = sony
iTunes = itunes
Smashwords = smsh
Createspace = spc (or crspc)

Put Them Together

Combine the URL shortening site, the book abbreviation, and the abbreviation for the bookstore.
Barnes and Noble:
This means it's easy to write down for someone if you're talking and they ask where to get your book, or you can't look it up when you're emailing. You only have to remember the abbreviations and you're good to go.

Hot Tip

If you use, be sure to check "customize" when you make the short link, and check "Log statistics for this link" as well. To check your stats, enter the URL in your address bar, and add a hyphen. This will tell you where the link is directing people, and give you the option to check your stats, or obtain a QR code for print (which smart phones can scan). Try it here: You can also add a hyphen routinely so people will see where you're directing them.

Following this procedure will help you gain control over your links. Your buy links (or long URLs) will never break again, you'll be able to remember them much more easily, and you'll know how many people are clicking. Once you make these, use them everywhere, and you'll discover which sites are sending traffic in the direction you want it to go.

About the Author

Kayelle Allen is a multi-published, award-winning Science Fiction Romance author, owner of the Romance Lives Forever blog, and the founder of Marketing for Romance Writers. Her unstoppable heroes and heroines include contemporary characters, futuristic immortals, and warriors who purr. Kayelle is the owner of The Author's Secret, an author support company providing graphic design and eBook conversions.


Amazon buy link for At the Mercy of Her Pleasure:

Amazon (print):
Kayelle's Website
Unstoppable Heroes Blog
Romance Lives Forever
Marketing for Romance Writers
The Author's Secret


Susan Arscott said...

Kayelle, despite this blog making my head spin and my eyes blur, I appreciate this well explained advice and will save it for when I need to shorten a link. Thanks.

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Wow. That explains the unexplainable. I have a shortcut that works on a few sites. But this is the real deal. Thanks for being our guest.

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Wow. That explains the unexplainable. I have a shortcut that works on a few sites. But this is the real deal. Thanks for being our guest.