If you are new to self-publishing, there are so many skills to learn, apart from writing. In some ways, writing is the easy part.
However, once your book is published, getting the word out on the Internet about your new book is vital.
But many new authors fail at the first hurdle because they do not know how to copy and paste Internet page links and URLs correctly.
Many times I have seen new self-published authors posting on social media, or they have sent me information about their books, only to find that their links take me to a 404 page not found error page, or worse, the wrong page.
Bad URL links such as this are annoying for a user.
Many have taken me directly to the homepage of Amazon, Facebook or even to my own profile page on Twitter.
This is extremely frustrating, and a perfect way to quickly lose a lot of potential readers and book buyers.
It is important to learn how to copy and paste a URL link to your book correctly.
What is a URL Link?
A Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is an address on the Internet.
It is the physical address of a single web page. It is always a hyperlink, which means that when it is clicked, it will take people to the correct page.
Imagine it like your street address. If someone wants to send you a letter, it won’t arrive if it is addressed to Mary Smith in America. The letter needs your full name and complete address.
A URL is the same. It is the full address.
So when you want to direct people to your book on Amazon, or when you need to complete an online form with your promotional web pages, you need to be able to locate the correct URL address and then copy and paste it where you need to use it.
If you are a self-published author and you do not know how to find, copy, paste and send or post your accurate URL links to your books and social media sites, blogs and websites, you really need to learn how to do it.
It is a primary Internet and book marketing skill. You cannot rely on memorising, writing down or typing a link address.
Correct links are the most powerful means of spreading the word effectively about your books on the Internet.
But if you are posting incorrect URL links in emails, or posts on social media sites, you are missing out on promotional opportunities and probably frustrating a lot of people who try to click on your links, only to find they lead to the wrong web page or to nowhere.
To avoid annoying users, and to get the most benefit from your posts, adding accurate URL links is an essential skill for self-published authors.
It is very easy to do.
Here is how it is done and it works for all web browsers.
Please excuse me for using my own books and sites in the following examples and images, but it is easier than getting someone else’s permission.
The first step is to go to the page you want to use in your browser.
Tip! Never use search pages. Sending people to a search page link containing a whole list of entries is confusing and counterproductive. If you can only find your page by using search, make sure you click on the page you want first.
Always go to the precise page you want to send. Perhaps you have it bookmarked or in an email.
Now, for example, to get the link for your book on Amazon, go to your book’s page.
Now your mouse button into the address bar at the top of your browser. This is the URL link to your book. When you click, it will change colour and be highlighted in full.
Right-click on the highlighted link address, and choose Copy from the drop-down menu. You can also press Ctrl C to copy the link.
Now go to Word, Notepad or any text editor. right click your mouse button and select paste. You can also use Ctrl V to paste your link address.
Your link address should look like something this: https://www.amazon.com/Louis-ebook/dp/B00394DSV2/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1267029513&sr=8-11
You can copy a URL for any page
You can use the same method for any web page on the Internet.
Go to your profile page on any social media site, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Goodreads. Make sure it’s your profile page, though!
Again, select or hold the link in the address bar and then select copy.
The link for a Twitter page will look like this: https://twitter.com/Derek_Haines
Now you can copy and paste this link to wherever you want to use it.
Copying and pasting a URL is very simple.
Go to the address bar, click and select copy.
Sometimes address links can be quite long, particularly on Amazon.
It is better if you can use short links. You can do this by using a URL shortening service.
To be able to use short links, you will need to register with a free service provider that creates shortened links. I use bit.ly, but there are many others.
Once you have registered, you can paste your long links from your Amazon book page or social media pages and have them shortened, which then looks much better when posting to Twitter or Facebook.
When you paste your long link into bit.ly, such as the example of my book on Amazon, which was: https://www.amazon.com/Louis-ebook/dp/B00394DSV2/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1267029513&sr=8-11
After it is shorted, it will look like this. https://amzn.to/1vQbSb6
When anyone clicks on either your long link or short link, they will arrive at the same page.
Now you can copy and paste this better looking short link into all your messages and posts.
Learn and practice how to copy URL links.
Get it right and then you can be sure that potential book buyers get to exactly the right page that you want them to see.
Another tip is to copy the links that you use on a regular basis.
For example, your book pages on Amazon and other retailers, your Facebook, Twitter and social media profile pages or your book reviews. Keep them in a list in a Word document so you can access them quickly and easily.
Once you know how to copy links, you will have mastered the most important tool you can have to promote your book effectively on the Internet.
After learning how to use long and short links, you can then easily learn how to create embedded links.
You can add links to an image on your blog or website or you can use your book cover as a clickable link.
If you want to know even more about how to use links, there are many tutorials on the web that will help you. Good luck with improving your links, and making your books more accessible for potential book buyers.