I blogged about how to do this for Amazon here, and that post received over 700 views. Read that post if you're unsure of what I mean by clean link or how to do it.
How To Create a Clean Link for Barnes & Noble
The process is the same as for Amazon: identify the irrelevant elements and remove them, distilling the link to the shortest, most concise URL.
(This article previously appeared in Writing Hacks, my free subscription newsletter for writers. Subscribe today if you want to read articles like this as soon as they are published.)
Why Create Clean Link
When someone asks you for the buy link to your book, it is a mistake to give them a long rambling link because it may break when cut and pasted. The shorter the link; the better.
This is the link for my most recent novella April Fool Bride.
I obtained this link by doing a search on Nook, then clicking on the cover. You can do this for your book.
Look at the part of the URL that begins with a question mark -- ? -- because everything after than question mark is irrelevant to finding my book. That "stuff" is just referral codes to tell B&N how you found a book.
This is the resulting shortest URL for finding my book on Nook.
Generally speaking, the same holds true for your books. You can always test this to make sure you don't screw up the URL.
1. Find your book URL.
2. The first long number that appears is the B&N identifier. If that's followed by a ?, then copy the URL, leaving out the question mark and everything after it.
3. Paste that shorter link into your browser and hit return. Your book page should still open.
4. If it doesn't open, then something of the original URL was critical so review the URL. Sometimes a print version of a book has 2 long identifiers.
You can take that short link and use it on TINY URL, bitly, or a similar link shortener to generate something as short as possible. Short links are easier for Tweeting. Really short links are easy for readers to remember and find it from printed promotional material.
3 Tips For Handy URL Access
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.
Short links are infinitely easier to work with. Try it.