How To Choose The Best Link Shortener For Authors and Books
A few years ago, we discussed some best practices for authors and publishers to ensure they were getting the most out of their book marketing efforts.
Since then many things have evolved, and it is more important than ever to optimize your marketing strategies around your ever-growing international audience.
One key piece to maximize these international marketing efforts and help you sell more books online, is to choose the right link shortener.
But with so many link shorteners available, how do you choose one that will suit all your needs, and help you to better promote your written work?
First, some history.
Back in February of 2015, Geniuslink acquired BookLinker, in order to further help authors and publishers sell their books internationally with a single intelligent short link.
Over the years this free service has continued to help thousands of authors and publishers who simply need an easy way to build and share links to their books on Amazon with their international audience.
However, what if you want more? Many of our larger authors and publishers have expressed interest in accessing some of the more powerful tools offered only on Geniuslink such as pixeling, advanced targeting, Choice Pages, etc. to further maximize their online book sales.
For these clients, we have made it simple to upgrade an existing Booklinker account to the much more powerful Geniuslink account.
So, is upgrading your Booklinker account the right choice for you?
Let’s dive in and take a look at the benefits that you will get from upgrading your account.
Everything stays the same!
“Wait, what? Why would I ever upgrade then?”
Rest assured, as soon as you upgrade your account, we will automatically transfer all of your existing links over to your brand new Geniuslink account so you will have access to the same links, same domains, same stats, and same amazing “automagic” localization that you had with BookLinker!
However, besides a fancy new dashboard, you will also get access to many easy to use link shortener / link management features in order to better create and organize your links.
Easier link creation and Management
With Geniuslink you are no longer limited to only sending your customers to Amazon alone.
You can now shorten links to any website that you would like, such as Apple Books, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, or even your own personal website to ensure your customers get the best experience possible.
Additionally, many authors like to include links to their website or to additional books in a series right from within a book itself, but this can be quite difficult to do and is often times prone to error when their customers try to type out a long URL.
With Geniuslink you can easily create and add a QR code directly to your physical or digital book that can be scanned by your customers to send them directly to your additional promotional content!
Even better, these links can be edited from the Geniuslink dashboard at any time, so you can easily change the end destination of your QR code in a book that has already been printed!
Additionally, you can easily reorganize your short links or even edit/archive any old links that you would like to repurpose or dispose of to ensure your dashboard stays clean and organized.
With Geniuslink you can easily bundle your links together into “groups” to further organize your dashboard and better track all of your marketing efforts/campaigns.
Additionally, for those of you who have a large number of book links added to your account, it can be incredibly difficult to sort through and find the link that you are looking for.
This is no problem with Geniuslink, as you can easily search and filter through your links by using the search bar built directly into the links list, or by simply sorting your list alphabetically or by creation date.
Unleash your link’s true potential!
While all of the handy features above make building and managing your links and campaigns quick and easy, the real magic happens once you start to explore the advanced link building features offered through Geniuslink.
These tools offer much more than just a simple link shortener, allowing you to fine-tune your customers’ experience, to ensure that they are sent to the best place possible to purchase your books.
A/B Split Links
Ever wish you could test whether sending customers to your personal website or to Amazon would result in more sales?
Well with our A/B split links, you can do just that!
Simply assign a percentage to each URL you would like to test, and we will automatically split the traffic between the destinations so you can begin to better measure and understand your customers’ preferences.
One of our core beliefs here at Geniuslink is that customer experience, above all else, is the most important part of any business venture, which is why we have created what we call “Choice Pages.”
Using Choice Pages takes the responsibility of trying to determine exactly where your customers want to purchase out of your hands, and allows them to quickly make the decision.
Some customers may not have a Kindle device or may prefer to purchase a physical book from Barnes & Noble rather than from Amazon.
A Choice Page allows you to expand these purchasing opportunities rather than (possibly) making the wrong decision on where your readers want to buy.
Additionally, as the clicks and sales begin to come in, you will be able to get some incredible insight into who your audience is, and what their preferences really are! Stay tuned below to learn more about taking action from these insights!
While broadening your links is the perfect way to ensure that your customers have a choice in where to purchase your books, you may begin to notice some trends with their purchasing habits.
Perhaps you notice that a large number of your customers are clicking your links while using Kindle devices. So perhaps it would be better to ensure that they are sent directly to Amazon to ensure that their purchase path is as seamless as possible.
Advanced links will allow you to do just that.
Using an advanced link will allow you to specifically target and optimize the experience for a user based on their location, language preference, device type, operating system, and more.
Additionally, these rules can be used in combination with our Choice Pages and A/B split links, to ensure that your customers’ experience is optimized no matter where they are clicking from, what device they are using or what storefront they prefer!
Affiliate ALL of your product links!
“But I am an Author, not an affiliate marketer!”
I know, I know, but bear with me here for just a minute!
Once you have created your amazing new intelligent link to your book, it is time to promote it to your audience and watch as the sales roll in! But what if you could earn even more with every purchase that someone makes?
By taking advantage of affiliate programs, you can!
While affiliate marketing may have received a bad rap in the past, it has now become an amazing way to earn an additional revenue stream on top of the book sales that you are already receiving.
If you are already linking to Amazon, Kobo, Apple Books, Walmart, or any of the tens of thousands of other storefronts who offer an affiliate program, why not earn even more from every sale you drive?
For most of these programs, you will earn a percentage of any products – even if they are not the original book/product you were promoting – that are sold within a “commission window” (usually 24 hours for most).
This means that if a customer clicks on your affiliate link promoting the most recent book in your new series, but ends up purchasing the first two in the series instead, you will still earn a percentage on both of those sales!
Pro Tip: An added bonus is that many of these programs, such as Amazon’s Associates program, will actually provide you a line item report of all products that were purchased through your affiliate links, which can give you some great insight into what your audience enjoys the most.
Geniuslink currently has built-in affiliate support for the 13 regional Amazon Associates programs, iTunes / Apple Books Affiliate Program (via Partnerize), and the Walmart Affiliate Program (via Rakuten Marketing), so if you are already signed up for any of these, this is a great place to start!
We will also be adding many additional programs in the coming months, so stay tuned, and let us know in the comments which you would like to see added first!
To learn more about how to connect these affiliate programs to Geniuslink, check out our guides here:
Additionally, we have recently released support for two of the biggest Affiliate Aggregators in the world; VigLink and Skimlinks.
Signing up for one of these programs, and connecting them to your Geniuslink account, will allow you to automatically affiliate your links to tens of thousands of different storefronts, including large online bookstores such as Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Indigo Books, Scribd, Alibris, AbeBooks, Books-A-Million, and many more!
If you have not already started taking advantage of what all of these affiliate programs have to offer, we highly recommend that you sign up and start earning commissions for all of that traffic that you are already driving to these sites.
For more info on how to maximize your income as an author, check out our blog on using smart links.
Access to more advanced tracking and reporting
Once you have created your campaigns and all of your custom intelligent links to your books, it is now time to start optimizing each to make sure that you are promoting your writing in the right places, to the correct audience.
Geniuslink offers a few unique tools to enable you to do just that and ensure that every marketing dollar you spend is optimized for your readers.
One crucial advantage of using the Geniuslink service for authors and publishers is the ability to fire tracking pixels as soon as someone clicks your links.
Using a retargeting pixel like those offered through Facebook or Google will allow you to build custom audiences of people who have already expressed interest in your writing. You can then use these lists to show high converting, targeted ads to this group of already interested people.
For example, you could add a retargeting pixel to a link promoting the first book in a series and build a custom audience based off of the people who click. Down the road, you could then go back and retarget to these same interested readers with ads to the next book in the series.
As mentioned previously, once you have created your links and begun promoting them, the next step is to dive into your click analytics to help you make better, more informed decisions on improving your marketing efforts even more.
While BookLinker does provide you with some great lifetime stats on how many clicks your links have received across each of the Amazon countries, Geniuslink really allows you to dive deep into your click analytics to learn even more about your audience.
Offering click reports on the country, referrer, browser, device, language, and more, across three levels of granularity; user, group, and link, you will be able to slice and dice the data to your heart’s content to really get to know your audience.
Want to see how your marketing campaign for your last book performed overall?
No problem with Geniuslink!
Our dashboard allows you to run reports across any time period for any of your links or groups so you can get insights into who your audience is, what their preferences are, and how to better serve them with targeted intelligent links featuring your writing.
Additionally, while grouping your links together will help to better organize your links or marketing campaigns, Geniuslink also allows you to get even more granular reporting data through the use of our Tracking tags feature.
This will allow you to assign specific tracking tags to your links in order to better track which of your marketing efforts is performing the best.
For example, you could use a single link to promote your book across Facebook, Twitter, and within a Google Remarketing ad and assign an individual tracking tag to each.
This would then allow you to divide the stats for this single link between each of these individual campaigns to get a better understanding of where your marketing dollars could be better spent.
These stats, in combination with the pixeling feature discussed above, will help to ensure that your marketing efforts are getting your books in front of the readers who will truly love your work!
So which link shortener is right for you?
Perhaps you are already using BookLinker to localize the links to your work or maybe you are new to the space and are just looking to better optimize your links for your international audience.
Either way, both of these services offer many great tools to ensure that your audience gets to the best possible destination for them to purchase your work.
However, while Booklinker is a great service for those just getting started or for those who really only need a simple link creation platform, the Geniuslink service will open you up to a whole new world of intelligent link management.
While on the surface it is just as simple and intuitive to use as BookLinker, Geniuslink gives you a plethora of tools to help you maximize your book sales and make sure that your readers are able to seamlessly purchase your work through their preferred storefronts in their own local language and country.
Ready to upgrade your account, or want to check out the service yourself? No problem, sign up for a free trial to take advantage of all of the great features Geniuslink has to offer, and learn how the service can help you to boost your book sales.
Once you are ready to make the switch, reach out to our incredible support team, and we can migrate all of your existing BookLinker links directly into your brand new Geniuslink account!