This Is How to Use Harder Working Links to Sell More Books by Guest @GeniusLink

By Rachel Thompson | #NaNoProMo

May 09
This is How To Use Harder Working Links To Sell More Books by guest @GeniusLink via @BadRedheadMedia and @NaNoProMo #links #writers

Do you know what harder working links are and how they can help you with your marketing and even sales?

As an author, you hear about a lot of great ways to maximize your income from your published work. Unfortunately, most advice around implementing new, or optimizing existing revenue is somewhat time intensive and often means taking something off your plate to make room for trying something new. Don’t get me wrong, experimenting and continuously trying new things is essential, but we are big fans of mastering the fundamentals first and picking the lowest hanging fruit.

One of those things we’d consider a marketing fundamental is the links you use in your marketing. You know, those things that actually take someone interested in your literary work and gives them a way to act on that interest and purchase your book. We are a bit biased of course, but we think the link is the most critical piece of any promotion (though a great call to action, solid copy, and an enticing visual are good contenders).  

It’s likely you already use links in every marketing and promotional project you work on. But stop for a second and ask, “Is that link working for you as hard as it could be?”

Let me quickly introduce you to what we call “intelligent links,” the hardest working links on the internet. These aren’t the links you copy out of your browser window or a shortened bit.ly links, but rather supercharged links that can help you sell more books and unlock a new stream of revenue. And the best part is that you are already doing the hard and time-consuming work, swapping in the use of “intelligent links” doesn’t take much extra time at all.

Intelligent Links

Whether you call them a smart URL, a universal link, or an intelligent link doesn’t matter but knowing what they are and how they can help you increase your bottom line is what is essential. The gist is that an intelligent link often looks like a short link (which is the only similarity to a Bitly link), but are specially designed to do more than take everyone to the same destination.  

Note, intelligent links may be short but most short links aren’t intelligent links!

An intelligent link is what happens when a short link goes to college to learn new skills, then puts on a superhero cape with the mission of helping your fans. Technically we identify an “intelligent” link as one that can offer some of the following additional functionality:

This is How To Use Harder Working Links To Sell More Books by guest @GeniusLink via @BadRedheadMedia #nanopromo #links

 

But for the author and publisher focused industry, there are four key benefits that an intelligent link offers.

  1. International Readership
  2. A Choice of Where to Buy
  3. Nurturing Your True Fans
  4. Affiliate Marketing

These are grouped together in two categories – helping you sell more books, and helping you earn additional revenue.  

Sell More Books

At the end of the day, the more books you sell, the more gratifying all that hard work writing a book is. You want to sell more books, we want you to sell more books. Let’s make it happen! Below are three ways an intelligent link can help you do exactly that.  

International Readership

Chances are that if you are an author, then your books are available on Amazon.com. But did you know they are also probably available on Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.ca? With Amazon’s self-publishing tools or most distributors, it is so easy today to have your books available for sale around the world with a click of a button that most indie authors don’t even realize they are doing it.  

With Amazon now having 15 independent storefronts around the world, the challenge then comes in marketing your book to your readers who likely don’t all live in one place, even if you only publish in English.  

One of the superpowers that an intelligent link might have is called “link localization,” and this is the ability for a single link to send different readers from around the world to the same book, but in their local storefront. For example, a single link would send someone from Seattle to Amazon.com but someone in Toronto, CA to Amazon.ca, someone in Melbourne, AU to Amazon.com.au and someone in London, UK to Amazon.co.uk.

This improvement on an amzn.to link, that will send everyone to the same place, can lead to a significant increase in your international sales, as you are reducing the friction in the buying process.

You are making it easy for people to buy your book. With a regular link, a reader from Canada, Australia or the UK would go back to their local Amazon store where they can’t actually complete the purchase. As a result, all of your international readers then have to search for your book, find it and finally buy it. A multi-step process assuming they don’t just instantly give up. By helping each shopper skip over these unnecessary hurdles, you are helping your link convert more clicks into sales.  

This is How To Use Harder Working Links To Sell More Books by guest @GeniusLink via @BadRedheadMedia #nanopromo #links

(A UK based shopper getting sent to Amazon.com can’t buy the book!)

Don’t think you have international readers? You’d be surprised! I’d challenge you to that and encourage you to set this up and see how things look in six months. I’m guessing you’ll have clicks from around the world from interested readers!

This is How To Use Harder Working Links To Sell More Books by guest @GeniusLink via @BadRedheadMedia #nanopromo #links

 

(Much better!  A UK reader at the UK Amazon store can buy the book, in their local currency!)

A Choice of Where to Buy

Honestly, many people still like to buy their books at places like Barnes and Noble, Apple Books, WalMart or their favorite indie bookstore. If you’re selling your book internationally, well, people are even less likely to just buy at Amazon. In Australia for example, Amazon’s market share is closer to 50%.

Have you ever shared a tweet with multiple links to your book, each in a different store? That has been a sad reality for many authors. Fortunately, this is another problem that an intelligent link can help you with.

If you’d like to provide your readers with an option to purchase a book in their favorite online store (as not everyone loves Amazon), Choice Pages are the way to go.

This is How To Use Harder Working Links To Sell More Books by guest @GeniusLink via @BadRedheadMedia #nanopromo #linksWhat’s a Choice Page?  It is simply a mobile-optimized landing page that is specifically designed to showcase a single product, then provide multiple buying options. Instead of sending your readers directly to a storefront to purchase your book, the Choice Page gives them an intermediary page that allows them to buy your book in the online retailer of their choosing. Note: the music industry is obsessed with these and now uses them for almost every release!

Check out this example of one of our author clients’ using a Choice Page. Try clicking this link.

Giving your readers a choice of where to buy is a total game changer when it comes to driving more sales for your book. Don’t assume that everyone just buys from Amazon, or that people enjoy seeing four different links in a tweet. Sell more books by giving people more choices to buy – all in one link.

Also, as an added bonus, you get to learn what stores your fans prefer when given the option.

Nurturing Your True Fans

This benefit of an intelligent link is especially pertinent when you’re planning to sell more than one book.

Have you ever heard of retargeting? A better question yet, have you ever been retargeted? When you’re trying to buy that new pair of leather shoes online, don’t, and then all you see are ads for leather shoes for the rest of the month. That’s retargeting, and it works.

With an intelligent URL, you can fire a retargeting pixel every time someone clicks on a link you share – even if it goes to a website you don’t control (that’s where retargeting pixels usually fire).

Nerd alert here: every time that pixel fires, you’re building a retargeting pool which can be used with ad platforms such as Google and Facebook. The downside is you still have to pay for those ads, but usually, that’s a pretty limited and effective investment – as now you’re only targeting people who have shown real interest in your work before and clicked on one of your links.

Those are the people most likely to buy again, so when it comes time to launch your next book –they’re the first ones you should try to reach.

By the way, if you haven’t already, I highly recommend you read 1,000 True Fans by Kevin Kelly.

Your goal is to find your 1,000 “True Fans,” and then continue to communicate with and market to them. The retargeting functionality of an intelligent link will help you with this.

Earn Additional Revenue

Royalties from book sales are great. But they aren’t the only way to see the fruits of your hard work promoting your book. You can also earn affiliate commissions for all of the sales that come from the people you refer to your favorite bookstores. Amazon, Apple, Walmart, Kobo and Barnes & Noble all offer affiliate programs that reward you for sending them interested buyers, even if it is for your own books!    

Affiliate Marketing

Yeah, yeah, I know, you’re an author, not an affiliate marketer.

But hear me out. By taking advantage of the fourth superpower of an intelligent link, auto-affiliation, your smart, short links can add a nice extra percentage of income to every click that resulted in a sale. Commissions can range anywhere from 1-10% depending on which store’s affiliate program you are using and what people end up buying. Further, you earn commissions for most everything the people you refer are buying, so when someone buys a TV on Walmart.com after clicking your book link you still get a commission for the TV and your book.

Trust me, it took me a long time to start affiliating book links I shared, but now it’s easy and effortless and something that happens automatically every time I share a smart link. And honestly, easy and effortless are the key here because I just couldn’t do this when I always had to log back into Amazon’s affiliate dashboard and try to create new affiliate links. When you use an intelligent linking tool for this it is automatically done for you.

Last, but not least, by affiliating your links you also get some extra sales information that can help you better optimize your promotional efforts moving forward. If this is of interest to you, then check out this blog on how to really use Amazon’s affiliate program for tracking with your marketing.

Next Steps

There are a growing number of intelligent link management tools, but there are a couple I’m partial to.

BookLinker

Booklinker is a great first step for those initially looking to start using an intelligent link management tool to promote on Amazon or are early in their writing career and need a free tool. BookLinker’s superpowers are focused around #1 – selling to a global audience.

Booklinker is used by over ten thousand indie authors and is a great free tool for promoting books and author pages across Amazon’s global network of stores. You can sign up free here: https://www.booklinker.net

Geniuslink

We started building Geniuslink nearly a decade ago to help marketers solve some of their most frustrating problems, our goal was to provide links that worked smarter. Over the years the tool has evolved from being focused on supporting iTunes and Amazon to being an open-ended link management platform that solves numerous challenges. We are fortunate to count the marketing teams of some of the world’s largest companies along with affiliate publishers, bloggers, YouTubers, musicians and indie authors like yourself as our clients.  

Geniuslink offers the four superpowers mentioned above (link localization, Choice Pages, retargeting pixels and auto-affiliation) as well as many others. While Geniuslink is a premium tool, our passion for helping all marketers encouraged us to price it in a way that even beginners can access the same tools that the pros use daily.  

Signup at https://www.geni.us/pricing to get started right away or comment below to be eligible for one of the two free years of service we are giving away for #NaNoProMo 2019. Each winner also gets an onboarding session with our team to ensure they can get maximum value from our service.

 

Conclusion

You are already doing a lot of hard work with your marketing and with a few tweaks, you can get even more out of that work. Call it being efficient or call it being smart, either way, make sure your links are working hard for you, you deserve it!

We look forward to any questions or comments you have about taking advantage.

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THE GIVEAWAY

2 One-year Subscriptions to the Geniuslink service

This includes unlimited clicks and access to all of our tools including Choice Pages, Amazon localization and auto-affiliation and link pixeling.

Additionally, we’ll throw in an hour-long onboarding session for each free account to make sure the winners are able to maximize their marketing efforts and international book sales out of the gate. Valued at approximately $200 – $2000 / each (depending on the account’s click volume).

This is How To Use Harder Working Links To Sell More Books by guest @GeniusLink via @BadRedheadMedia and @NaNoProMo #links #writers

Want to win this giveaway? Simply leave a comment WHY below!

All comments must be left prior to midnight on Monday, May 13th, 2019 in order to be eligible to win. Winners for the week announced on Tuesday, May 14th.

Good luck!

Jesse Lakes | geniuslink

Jesse is a Native Montanan and the co-founder and CEO of Geniuslink – or, as he likes to say, head cheerleader. Before Jesse co-founded Geniuslink, he was a whitewater rafting guide, worked at a sushi restaurant, a skate/snowboard shop, was a professional student, and then became the first Global Manager at Apple for the iTunes Affiliate Program. Outside of the office, Jesse enjoys taking his family on adventures and firmly believes that “time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”

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About the Author

Rachel Thompson is the author of newly released BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge: How to energize your book sales in a month - created to help authors market their book. She is also the author of Broken Places (one of IndieReader's "Best of 2015" top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in the San Francisco Book Festival), and the multi award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post IndieReader.com, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…), 12Most.com, BookPromotion.com, and Self-Publishers Monthly. Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs and two live Twitter chats: #BookMarketingChat (co-hosted with TheRuralVA, Emilie Rabitoy) and #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with C. Streetlights and Judith Staff. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.

Leave a Comment:

(32) comments

Raiscara Avalon May 9, 2019

I love smart links, and would absolutely love a one year sub to GeniusLink! I’ve looked at them many times, but right now they are priced way too high for me. I’ve tried some other avenues, and they don’t always work as advertised.

Reply
    Jesse Lakes May 9, 2019

    Thanks for the note and your love for smart links! 🙂

    Fingers crossed for you to win the giveaway!

    Reply
Ailish May 9, 2019

What an awesome post and idea! I didn’t know about these links before, thank you.

Reply
    Jesse Lakes May 9, 2019

    Awesome! Glad we could introduce a new idea to you today. Hopefully your life will be that much better know that you know about these tools. 🙂

    Reply
Rebecca Neely May 9, 2019

Great post – thanks so much for the info. Just created my book links with Book Linker 🙂 Love to win this giveaway because I’m a huge fan of working smarter, not harder. This is smarter not harder on steroids. 🙂

Reply
    Jesse Lakes May 9, 2019

    Awesome! Thanks for the kind words. Best of luck with your BookLinker links and good luck with the giveaway!

    Reply
McKenna May 9, 2019

This is probably one of my biggest marketing fails. I KNOW I should do this, but the organization to get started is a big barrier for me.

Reply
    Jesse Lakes May 9, 2019

    Just do it! With a dynamic link you can organize / edit / change links after you’ve created them and published them. So with a tool like Geniuslink it’s better to just dive in and start making links then you can go back and “clean them up” and organize them as you’d like. I hope that helps!

    Reply
D.B. Moone May 9, 2019

Another fantastic guest post that I am going to share, as I know the perfect author that would benefit from this. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.

Sincerely,
Donna

Reply
    Jesse Lakes May 9, 2019

    Thank you! Good luck to both you and your friend.

    Reply
Dr. J. May 9, 2019

Technology absolutely amazes me. My brain doesn’t function this way so it is wonderful to find the people and services who know the functions! I would love to know more about the intelligent link and find out if this even works for my erotica writing as affiliate links with Amazon is off the table for me. Thank you for sharing!
D.

Reply
    Jesse Lakes May 9, 2019

    Let us know if you’d like a demo of the Geniuslink service. If you don’t mind me asking, why is the Amazon affiliate program off the table with your genre or writing? What am I missing?

    I’m fairly certain we support a large number of erotica authors on BookLinker and Geniuslink and a good percentage of them are using the Amazon Associates program.

    Thanks!

    Reply
      Dr. J. May 14, 2019

      Thanks, Jesse. I’ll be in touch.

      Reply
      Dr. J. May 15, 2019

      Jesse, I’d love a demo!

      Reply
Tracy Krimmer May 9, 2019

I think that one of my biggest issues is marketing and consistent links. A subscription to a service like this would be so helpful!

Reply
    Jesse Lakes May 9, 2019

    Consistency is hard! You have my full empathy as it’s something I too personally struggle with.

    Reply
Ariane May 9, 2019

I love the idea of these links. Have already tried Booklinker and look forward to finding out more about Geniuslink!

Reply
    Jesse Lakes May 9, 2019

    Thanks for the support with BookLinker! If you’d like a demo of Geniuslink please ping us on our website (https://www.geni.us) and we can set up something for you.

    Reply
Pauline Wiles May 9, 2019

This was a really educational post! I knew about link localization but not the other kinds; retargeting would be of particular interest to me.

Reply
    Jesse Lakes May 9, 2019

    Retargeting can be really powerful once you’ve published a book or two and have started to build a community and have a little bit of a marketing budget to ensure your book gets in front of the right people. “Look A Like” audiences via Retargeting can be a game changer too but that’s a whole blog on it’s own! 🙂

    Reply
Lexj May 9, 2019

I already use book linker and it’s super easy but the idea of Choice Pages is an awesome reader-focussed idea. Want want want!!!

Reply
Lexi May 9, 2019

I already use book linker and it’s super easy but the idea of Choice Pages is an awesome reader-focussed idea. Want want want!!!

Reply
    Jesse Lakes May 9, 2019

    🙂
    If you are selling your books with multiple retailers I think you’ll find the Choice Pages super helpful.

    Thanks for the support with BookLinker over the years!

    Reply
      Lexi May 13, 2019

      I need to thank you for tools that a tech beginner like me can easily use!!!

      Reply
Sara Ohlin May 9, 2019

WOW! This is so helpful and eyeopening for me as I work on my new author website. Thank you so much for this post, Jesse!!

Reply
    Eldonna Edwards May 9, 2019

    Valuable information, Rachel. I’d just need a genius to implement the geniuslink. 😉

    Reply
    Jesse Lakes May 9, 2019

    Absolutely, glad I can help share something new today! Good luck with your website.

    Reply
Jesse Lakes May 9, 2019

Thanks for sharing Rachel!

Reply
Holly Graf May 9, 2019

I loved this post. I’m about to publish my first book, with another on the way in December. This is exactly what I need to get off on the right foot and ensure I’m not losing customers for silly reasons.

Reply
    Jesse Lakes May 10, 2019

    Congrats and good luck!

    Reply
Margaret Skea May 10, 2019

I didn’t understand all of this post, but it definitely sounds like something I need to understand!

Reply
Dana Lemaster May 12, 2019

Although I’m not familiar with intelligent links, your article helps me see how important they can be for the success of a writing business like mine. My next step will be learning more about ways to utilize them in my
work. Thank you for calling attention to them by writing this article.

Sincerely,
Dana Lemaster

Reply
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