Does your book have a URL? Of course it does and it doesn't have to be that long string of “stuff” you keep sending people when they want a link to your book. Here is how to shorten the link for a more friendly-looking link to your eBook or book.
First, be sure you have:
- Both the long (ISBN-13) and short (ISBN-10) ISBN*, assuming you have an ISBN.
- For Amazon Kindle books you need your eBook's ASIN, or Amazon Standard Identification Number.
- For Barnes & Noble Nook books you need your eBook's BN ID, or Barnes & Noble ID.
If you don't have these written down you can find them on a book's detail page in each store where the book is being sold.
Amazon Kindle eBooks
Amazon has a URL shortener you can use called amzn.com. You can use either of these for your Kindle eBook. Replace the number bolded here with your ASIN. Example:
Amazon Print Books
Amazon uses the ISBN-10 number for print books rather than the ASIN. Again, replace the bolded number with your ISBN-10 number. Example:
Barnes & Noble Nook eBooks
Like Amazon's ASIN, B&N uses its own internal numbering system called a BN ID. Look up your book's BN ID and replace it in the bolded example below:
Barnes & Noble Print Books
B&N differs from Amazon in that they use the longer ISBN-13 rather than ISBN-10 for print books. Replace the bolded ISBN-13 in the example below with your ISBN-13:
You cannot send someone a link to buy your book from the iTunes store but you can link them to what is called an iTunes Preview. If the individual wants to buy your book they will need to download and install iTunes if they don't already have it.
Place your ISBN-13 number at the end the URL: http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/isbn, like this:
But what if you don't have an ISBN? Like Amazon and B&N, Apple assigns their own ID to every eBook and you'll find it in your iTunes connect account or you can look it up here. The format in this case is to ad ID instead of ISBN:
Linking with affiliate codes
Last week I talked about setting up an Associates account so you could earn a commission if someone buys a product after you send them to Amazon. You can read about that here. If you go this route you are back to a long URL unless you shorten the link, which is a whole other topic.
Thanks for reading. Be sure to leave a note if you have details about shortening the URLs for Kobo Books, Google Play eBooks or any of the other bookstores out there.
* what is the difference between ISBN-13 and ISBN-10? “13” has a prefix that identifies the country of origin, 978 is the U.S. and the last digit is what's called a check digit. It helps to make sure the number is valid and it differs between the “10” and “13” numbers. Here is our post about ISBN numbers for eBooks.