It’s ASIN: Four ways to get a global link for your Amazon ebook

weblinks2Do you want to have a single global link for your Amazon ebook that redirects buyers around the world to the Kindle store in their home country? You now have a choice of four free services.

You could, of course, provide a couple of links to your book at the main sites, Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, but you’d be potentially missing out on sales from substantial markets such as Canada, Germany and France.

You could also link to all the Amazon stores worldwide yourself but that would mean adding a dozen links, confusing your readers and adding a lot of clutter.

I wrote a post some months ago about setting up a global link with Viewbook, which has become BookLinker and is now owned by GeniusLink (see below), but other services have since moved into the same area so it’s worth looking at what they all offer.

I should point out here that all these services are free of charge but they do take a cut of affiliate commission, which could be a problem if you are an Amazon affiliate who wants to keep all their commission.

BookLinker

BookLinker, in theory, offers the opportunity to opt out of the commission deal, so affiliates can get global links and keep their affiliate payments.

The company describes itself as a one-stop linking service for publishers to create free, custom short URLs for their Amazon content that are viable anywhere in the world – when an end-user clicks on a BookLinker short-link, they are automatically taken to the correct Amazon store for their location and directed to the relevant content.

It adds: “BookLinker is an Amazon affiliate and we may earn a small commission on some sales resulting from purchases made by customers after clicking on BookLinker short-links. This money is paid to us by Amazon directly and in no way affects your royalties.

“If you yourself are an Amazon affiliate, you are welcome to use our service without having your own affiliate commissions compromised. Simply go to your account page and enter your affiliate tags where prompted.”

It’s a simple service. You can copy and paste the whole URL for your book from any Amazon website or use the format www.amazon.com/dp/YOURASIN

I generally use the .com URL to generate a link but you can use another site, for example, www.amazon.co.uk/dp/YOURASIN

The ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) generally stays the same around the world, so your book has the same ASIN in Germany, for example, that it has in the US, although there can be exceptions.

YOURASIN is the ASIN number assigned to your Amazon book, which you can find in the Product Details section of your Amazon book page or at your Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) dashboard.

Once you’ve signed up for an account, you get a control panel with all your links and tracking statistics, so, for example, I discovered after adding a global link for a book recently that in two days it had received nearly 300 total clicks, with 222 of those from the US, a couple of dozen from the UK and the rest from a surprisingly strong showing from France, some from Germany, a few from Canada and 12 from “Rest of World”.

After entering your ASIN address, Booklinker generates a single link which will take customers around the world to their local Amazon site. You can then have a choice of three URL addresses for the link, plus you can add your own text:

mybook.to/YOUROWNTEXT

viewBook.at/YOUROWNTEXT

getBook.at/YOUROWNTEXT

For example, I’ve set a global link for my latest WordPress book as getBook.at/easywordpress which should also add at least slightly to my SEO and means that’s all I have to remember when I want to add a link.

I’ve been using the Booklinker service for some time now. It works very well and is one of the easiest of the global link services to use.

SmartURL

smartURL

Smarturl says its primary revenue comes from affiliate links. It adds that if an URL within a smartURL links to a storefront and that URL has not been affiliatized by the user creating the smartURL, then it may tag that link with smartURL’s own affiliate code. This enables them to take a small percentage of the revenue generated when a user clicks on a smartURL and purchases a product.

Apart from the dubious use of affiliatize as a verb, I don’t think there’s much to object to in those terms of business., although I couldn’t find out exactly how small the small percentage is.

SmartURL is a lot more flexible than Booklinker as you can use it for global links for anything rather than just Amazon, in fact, it’s really set up for iTunes.

The downside (or the upside if you only want to set links for certain countries) is that you have to set the separate country links yourself and then it will generate a single redirect link. You can create a custom alias, so your link would be smarturl/it/YOURTEXT.

As well as country links, SmartURL can also be used to set up redirects for specific devices, so, for example, an Android user can be sent to a specific app site. The site also has a beta service for ticketing for live events.

It’s all very flexible and useful but does mean some hassle if you only want to set up a global link for an Amazon book.

Geniuslink

Geniuslink was formerly named Georiot but has updated its service substantially and now offers Genius links, which feature a wide range of options for building very sophisticated links. I’ve written a post about the new service, which you can find at Genius way to get a single web link or your book to redirect globally

It’s a great site with an excellent interface that’s easy to use and a very extensive and flexible service which offers full statistics and easily the most helpful support of the global link services.

A-FWD

A-FWD offers geo targeting for affiliate websites — Geo Fragmentation Made Simple, as they rather confusingly put it.

As well as offering quick links onsite, A-FWD also has a plug-in for WordPress and extensions for Joomla and Drupal websites.

To get a link on the A-FWD site, you only have to add the Amazon.com ASIN and you’ll get a link along the lines of: http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B00IJHJ6F6

It’s not a pretty link (you could again use a shortening service) but it’s effective and quick.

The service is free but will redirect 1% of your clicks as its affiliate commission and will use its affiliate ID in countries where you are not an Amazon affiliate.

Who’s king of the links?

All four seem to do the job they claim to do. The slickest and easiest to use is GeniusLink; Booklinker is simple and offers some great options for custom aliases plus you can add global links to AuthorCentral; smartURL is powerful and flexible but may be overkill if you just want to add a few quick links; A-FWD is fast and straightforward without any bells and whistles.

I think I’m sticking with Booklinker at present but if you’re a keen affiliate you might want to particularly look at GeniusLink, which claims to boost affiliate earnings, or A-FWD which will only take a 1% slice.

If you’re concerned about losing any affiliate income, you could set up your own links for your major selling sites, such as Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, and add a third global link covering the rest of the world where you haven’t signed up for affiliate deals.

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