Create Clean Amazon Links

When someone asks you for the buy link to your book, do you give them a long rambling link that may break when someone tries to cut and paste it?

Example:

http://www.amazon.com/Still-The-One-Romantic-Comedy-ebook/dp/B005062SLS/ref=pd_sim_kstore_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=158W5YVPQ6JV5T1BTC6H

The link above resulted from clicking the cover for Still The One in the "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought" section that appears on every book page.

Clean It Up

Sure, that link will get you to the book, but why give a potential reader such an awkward link? Clean it up. Everything beyond the B005062SLS/ is referral code that relates to the source URL which you clicked to go to the book page.

In other words, this is the actual URL.

http://www.amazon.com/Still-The-One-Romantic-Comedy-ebook/dp/B005062SLS/

Okay, that's better, but it's still not as short as it can be. Click the SHARE button on each book page--it's on the right side of the page. Today my SHARE buttons appear between an ad for Kindle Reading Apps and a book ad.

The shortest Amazon link is created by doing away with "www" and abbreviating Amazon as AMZN and omitting everything beyond .com/ except the ASIN.

So in my Still The One example, the shortest, clean link is:

http://amzn.com/B005062SLS

Everything sold on Amazon has a 10 character alphabetical/numerical identifying number called the ASIN, Amazon Standard Identification Number.

You can create any short clean link by using: http://amzn.com/ + the ASIN.

Tip

1. Set up a easy to access text document (Notepad) or Flashnote file (which is always plain text) with your book title and every buy link for it. List the official URL for the book and the short Amazon link too. That way you can easily cut and paste links wherever you need them.

By the way, do you know why it's preferable to paste from a text file rather than a Word file when filling out web forms? Because sometimes default formats inherent in Word can cause the pasted text to turn out screwy or contain odd random characters.

2. If you want to try to shorten a link even more, you can use any of the popular link shortening services like Goo.gl, TinyURL, Bitly, or my favorite, Authl.it which I wrote about in this month's issue of Writing Hacks. (That will be reprinted here in August.) All the link shortening services work basically the same, but each has some pros and cons.

3. If you're going to give your buy link with your Amazon Associate Referral Code added, it's nice to shorten the really long resulting link by using one of the above shortening websites.

Takeaway Truth

Short links are infinitely easier to work with. Try it.

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