Sooo, I am technically not around right now. I am on a vacation of sorts. I will however dip in to respond to your commentary whenever I can. Thank you for your patience.
Before I left, I wrote this post to share something that’s been on my heart. Instead of keeping it to myself, I thought we could all benefit. After all, authors gotta stick together, right?
Now, if you promote authors then this post is for you. (Authors, don’t go anywhere. I got something for you at the end of this.)
By promote authors I mean that you are essentially doing some form of:
- Book Promotions
- Book Reviews
- New Releases
OK so I threw shout-outs in there but you get the point.
This is a reminder because we’ve seen it before. You know her as DG Kaye but I like to call her Debby because it sounds cute, like a mom type nickname. Anyway, here’s the deal: If you are promoting Indie authors in which you are linking their books to your blog from Amazon, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re using clean links.
I know. We’ve heard that before. But, like, we aren’t exactly following through.
This is most critical if you are writing a book review of a book that was gifted to you from the author that is linked from your blog to Amazon.
By gifted I mean:
You won it
You received an ARC
You were a Beta Reader
You read it for free in some kind of way
Any occasion in which you did not buy the book, when promoting the author and linking the review from Amazon to your blog, it helps if you can use a clean link. It will protect you both. How so? Because Amazon removes reviews. I am not an expert so I’ll leave it there but I know enough to understand that Amazon’s bots do remove reviews. CLICK HERE for a real example of someone who got their reviews removed without notice. Maybe this clean link trick will change nothing or maybe it changes everything. Either way, it’s better to be safe than sorry. I don’t know about you all, but I have much love for my authors and I’d hate to see their reviews removed on my part.
If you care about the authors at all and stand for professionalism you will use clean links when promoting them or linking their books to your blog.
Now, what’s a clean link?
A clean link is everything up to the ASIN number. The clean link to use for Renaissance is:
Also known as the ugly link, an unclean (for lack of a better term) link is the entire link with all the extra symbols and stuff behind it that Amazon uses for tracking. Authors, you want to encourage bloggers who are featuring you to use a clean link.
Everything that comes after the ASIN number is extra that is used by Amazon for tracking purposes. For book bloggers reviewing books they did not buy, Amazon can use that tracking information to assume a kind of relationship between blogger and author, subsequently removing reviews if the bots see fit.
Yes, it is best to buy the books. That way you don’t have to worry about any of this. However, since it is not unlawful to give books away for reviews, be smart about it when you do.
Authors, we hold the bulk of this responsibility since the book bloggers get the links from us. While I tend to double check the links of any books I promote on The PBS Blog (by checking links to make sure they go up to the ASIN and cleaning it up if they don’t) not everyone will take this precaution.
If someone is reviewing your book on their blog and you gifted them a copy (they did not buy it), make sure they have a clean link. That is, your Amazon buy link up to the ASIN number. ESPECIALLY if they will be LINKING their review from your blog to Amazon.
Link Book Covers
Another little tidbit for those of you promoting authors is to remember to link their book covers. When featuring authors on your blog, in which you are showcasing their book cover, link the buy link to the cover. In this way, when we click on the cover we can also be taken to the buy page. I do believe someone wrote a blog post on how to link images but I cannot recall who. Charge it to my head, not my heart. Briefly, do the following:
First, add your image to the blog.
Go to Add Media (or the plus sign to insert content in the new editor) and choose your image.
Once you have your image in the post, click on it so it’s highlighted like this:
Next, grab and copy your link from Amazon (up to the ASIN, remember, leave that extra stuff alone).
In your toolbar at the top, you’ll see two link icons:
Click on the first one and paste your link.
Click that blue button there and you are done. Now your image is linked. The same thing applies to linking text: Grab your link, Highlight your text, click on link icon, and paste your link.
In this way, if people click on the image instead of the linked text they can still be taken to that authors buy page.
Oh, and one final thought.
When arranging the promo feature, please be sure to break up the text. Meaning, try not to have the wording too close together. That makes it harder to read. Break up the line of questioning and paragraphs. If doing an Interview or Q&A, be sure to separate your questions from the author’s answer. Put some space between it. This makes it easier to read. What’s easier to read is fun to read.
Authors: Do you see how much work goes into promoting you? Help Book Bloggers out by doing your part to PROMOTE the feature and RESPOND to comments. If we do all this work (Free mind you) and you don’t even come over to respond to comments, it’s not our fault if no one cares about your feature. You must care first.
All of this for the build-up of one another. If you are going to be promoting someone on your blog (or you are being promoted) go the extra mile so that everyone receives the best experience possible. Do for others what you would want done for you. It’s called Love.