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Do you frequently send links of your book’s Amazon sales page to people? You may be directing a book blogger to check out your title. You may be updating your bio for an event or an application. You may be responding to a request from a conference organizer or a writing group. Perhaps you’re just sending the link to your Great Aunt Bonnie. Whatever your purpose, you want it to be as simple and convenient as possible.
The thing is, the URLS of the book pages on Amazon can be really long. Happily, there’s a way to shorten that URL.
First, let’s examine the method you use to grab that URL. (Here’s an aside for definitions: A URL is the address of a page on the World Wide Web. A URL is commonly called a “web link.” URL stands for “Uniform Resource Locator.”).
To find the internet link of your book on Amazon, do you Google Amazon, then type your book title (or your own name or some keywords) into Amazon’s search bar? Then, do you click to arrive at your book’s sales page and copy the URL out of the navigation bar?
If that’s your strategy, the URL you end up with is extremely long and cumbersome. It may fill up a whole line in your email message or take up an entire Twitter post! Plus that URL is full of a lot of metadata that’s linked to Amazon’s own search engines and databases. (The metadata in the URL contains information that Amazon uses to identify your book, its sales page, and the search pathway you took to reach that page.)
So if you send that URL to other people, you’re spreading all of that metadata around. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but you should be aware that when you share a long Amazon URL, you are sharing a bunch of information with Amazon, too.
You may decide it’s preferable to do your contacts a favor and send them a short URL. Here’s how to do it.
Start by going to your book’s sales page. Use any method you like to get there.
Copy the URL that appears in the navigation bar and paste it into a text editor. It will probably look something like this: (I’m using my book’s Amazon URL in this example.)
You may have noticed this link is really long and cumbersome. It contains a lot of information—more information than you need to send. So here’s how to break it down and make it shorter. Let’s take a look at the anatomy of an Amazon sales page URL.
The first part of the URL identifies the Amazon web site. (You’ve probably seen this nomenclature before: www.amazon.com ).
Then comes your book title and format. (My book is called “I Hate Reading: A funny book for 6-9 year old intermediate reluctant readers” so you can see in the image above that some of those words from the title are contained in the URL. In addition, this particular URL goes to the ebook format, as you can see the word “ebook”.)
The final part of the URL contains additional Amazon metadata. Some of the metadata includes the keywords that I typed in to find the book in the first place. (I typed in the words “reluctant readers” because I know that when someone types that into Amazon, my book shows up at the top of the list and it’s easy to click from there.)
Other parts of this URL, which may seem like gibberish to someone who’s not familiar with internet coding or digital marketing, contains additional identifying information that Amazon has assigned to this title.
In the URL that you send out to others, you don’t need all that metadata. All you really need is a URL that tells the world wide web to go to Amazon then to go to your book’s page. So you can strip out the rest of the metadata. It’s not hard if you understand the logic.
Look at your URL. To direct a web browser to your book’s Amazon sales page, you first need to identify Amazon itself. So copy this:
Paste it into a text editor.
The next thing you need to so is identify your book. So copy the letters and slashes “/dp/” and the code that follows (in this case: B00B0FVNHS/) .
Paste that next to the Amazon URL in your text editor:
You’re almost done! But not quite. The URL you just made contains the Amazon domain and your book identifier but it will not work on an actual internet browser. Why? Because you have to tell the browser that this is an abbreviated URL. The way to do this is by actually abbreviating the word “Amazon.”
So go back to the URL, find the word Amazon, and remove the “a” and the “o” from the middle and the end of the word. So “amazon” should turn into: “amzn”.
The final URL will look something like this:
Try this exercise on your own book’s Amazon URL. See if it works. If not, check your letters, spaces, and dashes. Remember that a zero and the letter O are not the same thing.
Once you get it working, you can use this link to share your book with others. This web link is much shorter than the first link you copied from the sales page. It streamlines out the metadata that may not be necessary for your purposes and is easier to include in your emails and social media messages.