Every author has links on their blogs and websites.
But you can make much better use of them by using smarter cover image book buy links?
Adding images of your book covers is the best way to promote your books on your website or blog.
Most authors know how to add image widgets to their site.
But did you know that you can do much more with your book covers than adding a link to the book page on Amazon?
Did you know that it is possible to earn a little extra money from your book link, on top of your royalty from Amazon?
What about adding a link that can direct readers to more retailer options?
But first, the basics.
When you add a book cover image to your blog or website you will have an image property box similar to the one shown below, which is where you can add your links and image settings.
While you will paste new URL links into the ‘link to‘ line, it is important to note three other settings that you should always use.
Alternative Text and Image Title Attribute are used by search engines, so to get your book title and author name indexed and get more search exposure, always complete these two fields with your book title and your author name.
Always tick open link in a new tab as this ensures that when your blog or website visitor clicks on your image link, they will not be leaving your site.
I will use some of my book covers for the examples below and show you how to make much better use of your cover image book buy links.
1. A Much Better Amazon Book Link
If you use your Amazon book page URL as your link, it will look something like this.
This link, when embedded in an image, will send anyone who clicks on your book cover link to your book page on Amazon, and perhaps you will get a sale.
But there is a far better way. If you don’t have an Amazon Associates account, register to get one. Why? Because making your book links with your Amazon Associates account is faster and you can make some extra cash!
Once you are set up, make sure you enable the Amazon Associates Stripe as this will show at the top of your browser when you visit any Amazon page.
Now go to your book page on Amazon and from the Stripe, click on Get Link > Text and you will get a short Amazon link to copy and paste into your image link.
It will look something like this: http://amzn.to/2g9hA0R
Now all you have to do is add this link to your book cover image. But when it is clicked, you get a real bonus!
If you clicked the image above and checked your browser address bar, this is what it contained.
This is an Amazon Associates link, and it contains a cookie that will be valid for about a day or so. With this cookie, any purchases made during this cookie period by an Amazon customer who has clicked on your link will earn you a small affiliate commission.
So if they buy your book, you earn a bit extra. Even if they don’t buy your book, but buy a pair of hiking boots or cans of pet food from Amazon, you will earn a commission.
You won’t get rich using this link, but in my case, I make enough per month to buy some books or ebooks. You can take your earnings as a credit to your Amazon Gift Card, or be paid directly after accruing $100.
If your books are available from more book retailers than only the Amazon store, it is very difficult, if not impossible to promote all the stores. However, there is now a way to accomplish this easily.
Books2Read offers a free universal book link, so all you need to do is register on the site, and you’re ready to go.
If you publish with Draft2Digital, your retailers will be added automatically. But if you aggregate with Smashwords, you will need to add each store manually. Either way, it is a very effective book promotion tool.
Another great feature of Universal Book Link is that you can use affiliate codes. So if you use Amazon Associates, it will also work with this link.
So how does it work? Once you have your books2read short link, add it to your book cover image.
Now click on the image above to see the result. In a new tab, you will see a page with a choice of all the retailers that sell this book.
Sending readers directly to an online retailer is not always the best way to make a sale.
Sometimes it can be beneficial to link to a review page, a publisher page or to your book page on your website. The advantage of this type of link is that it can give a reader more information than what is on a retailer page.
Click on the cover to see where I have chosen to link the image.
Using the same book buy link all the time may not be getting you the best results, so try different links to see if some work better than others. Or, if you have a number of pages or sites where your book image links are placed, use different links.
Also, think about how your book image links work with social media. Going directly to a retailer page is not always the best idea on Facebook and Twitter, so perhaps think about a landing page you can use to attract interest.
Above all else, though, don’t forget to add your book title and author name to your image attributes, and to always open your image link in a new tab.