Helping readers find your ebooks in the online store of their choice will increase the chances of making a sale, so it makes sense to provide convenient local book links on your author website to all the stores where your books are available. Indie author and and author services provider Russell Phillips offers advice on how to set these up.
Why Providing Local Book Links is a Good Idea
It's generally considered good practice to link to all the stores where a given ebook is available. What is not always understood is that users in different countries should ideally be directed to their own stores. For example, a reader in the UK should be sent to a UK store where the vendor has one, with prices in British pounds. A user in Canada, on the other hand, would want prices in Canadian dollars.
In some cases, vendors insist on readers buying from their local store. Amazon, for instance, won't allow British users to buy from Amazon.com. So, if you link to your book on Amazon.com, your British readers will have to go to Amazon.co.uk and find it there in order to buy it.
D2D's Universal Book Links Service
You may be familiar with Draft2Digital‘s Universal Book Links (UBL). If you have a Draft2Digital account, or create an account at books2read.com, you can create universal book links. These links take the reader to a page that lists all the stores where the ebook can be bought. A less well-known benefit is that when the user clicks on the link, they will go to their local site if the store has one.
Universal book links are useful in some circumstances, but they require an extra click on the part of the reader, and every extra click is a point where a sale can be lost. If you have space to list individual stores, you can still take advantage of UBL's ability to send a reader to their local site.
To do this, set up your book's universal book link as normal, then go to the universal book link page. Right-click on the store that you want a link for, and click “Copy link address” or “Copy Link Location”. The link will have a “?store=” bit at the end, e.g.
Use that link instead of a standard one, and your reader will go straight to the local version of the store, without seeing the universal book link page.
Kobo & Apple Links
For Kobo and Apple links, there is another way to create localized links, without setting up a universal book link.
For Apple Books, simply insert “geo.” between the “https://” and “itunes.apple.com”, so that your link looks something like this:
This works with audiobooks as well as ebooks. The reader will be taken to their local Apple Books store.
For Kobo, there are two options. You can use a link like this, with your own ISBN at the end:
This works even if you didn't use an ISBN when uploading the book. In this case, the Kobo book page will show an ISBN starting with 123, which can be used.
The other option is to remove the country and language code from your book's link. This is an example Kobo link, with the country code (gb) and language code (en) in bold:
If we remove them, we get:
This link will redirect the reader to their local Kobo site.
Free WordPress Plugin
This is, of course, all really quite technical, and if you have a lot of links on your website, changing them all could be time-consuming. If you use WordPress.org for your author website, you might like to know I've written a free WordPress plugin that you can use to do this automatically. It's available from the WordPress plugin directory, or you can search for “Local Links Russell Phillips” in the WordPress plugins screen. It will automatically edit your links on the fly, so all of your existing links will be localized, as well as any that you add in the future.
(Note: Other universal booklinker services are available.)
OVER TO YOU If you have a different service or system that you find useful for sharing universal booklinkers to your author website, please feel free to share the details via the comments box.#Indieauthors - increase the chance of a sale by adding universal book links to your website to direct readers to their local online store, as @helpingwriters describes in this post. #bookmarketing Click To Tweet
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