Updated: Sep 19
As an author, you put a lot of effort into marketing your book, from social media posts to paid ads. But did you know that the links you use to promote your book can either help or hurt your marketing efforts?
In this post, we'll explore the difference between clean links (also known as untraceable links) and universal links, and why not using them can be a mistake.
Clean Book Links
It's important to make sure that when you're marketing, you are using "clean" links, also known as untraceable links.
Why use clean links?
When you search for products on Amazon, the book link or URL contains lots of data, including information about the account doing the searching. If you copy and share the full URL, you're not just sharing the product - you're sharing information about what you searched, your IP address, etc.
When other people click a book link like this, Amazon may get suspicious and will potentially flag or decline any reviews made from that link. 😱 Think about it. If a book had no traffic and then all of the sudden, it gets hundreds of visits all originating from the same link, Amazon could assume that the traffic is fake. After all, a real customer would go to Amazon and search for a product themselves so the traffic would be coming from many different sources, not just one. If you've ever had distant friends say they've left reviews and they don't appear, this may be one reason why.
How do you get an untraceable link?
It's easy. You just need to delete everything after the ASIN.
ASIN stands for Amazon Standard Identification Number and every product sold on Amazon has one. I've underlined two examples below:
As you can see in the first example, an ebook ASIN starts with a letter (often a "B") and a physical book's ASIN will be all numbers. Now, look at all the letters and numbers after the ASIN. All of that contains information about what I've searched, my IP address, my Amazon account, and more. I've indicated that in red below:
All you need to do to create a clean link is delete everything after the ASIN.
That's all there is to it!
Universal Book Links
When you use Amazon links in advertisements or on Facebook or make social media posts, it's important to remember that not everyone who will see the post is in the same country as you. If you post a US Amazon book link and someone from Canada clicks on it, it still takes them to the US Amazon so essentially, they get an error code. Luckily, there is a simple way to combat this problem. When you create a universal link, anyone who clicks that link will be redirected to the Amazon page for their own country. With a universal Amazon link to your book, it won't matter who clicks on it-- they will all be sent to the purchase page for your book in the country they reside.
How do you create a universal link?
One of the easiest ways is by using Booklinker. All you need to do is create an account, paste a link in, and it does the rest of the work for you. Plus, it's free!
The best part about Booklinker is that you can also see how many clicks you've gotten from different parts of the world. Those analytics can help you better understand who you're marketing to!
⭐️ Just make sure that you use a clean link to generate your universal link. ⭐️
When to use clean links and when to use universal links
As you market your book, sharing your book link is something you'll naturally do with frequency. But knowing what type of URL to use comes down to where you're posting and who will see the link.
For example, if you're sharing a link with your email subscribers and you know for a fact that your whole email list is from your country of origin, then you can just use a clean link and call it a day. But if your subscribers are from all over the world, you'll want to use a universal link.
What it comes down to is the links you use to promote your book can have a big impact on your marketing efforts. By using clean and universal links, you can avoid snags with Amazon reviews, protect your privacy, and make it easier for readers to find and purchase your book. So, take the time to update your URLs to make the buying process as easy as possible for your readers.
Disclaimer: This blog post may contain affiliate links to products we enjoy using ourselves. Should you choose to use these links, At Home Author may earn affiliate commissions at no additional cost to you.