Introducing Universal Book Links - Next-level Discoverability for Authors

Posted by: Kevin Tumlinson 4 months ago

Draft2Digital introduced Books2Read a year ago, as a first step toward providing authors with more and better tools and resources. Now, as part of Books2Read, we're thrilled to announce Universal Book Links (UBLs)

One of the biggest pain points plaguing all authors is discoverability. Getting readers to your work is kind of the point—and yet it's one of the most elusive aspects of the business. In part, one of the reasons for this is the fact that managing links to hundreds of ebook retailers can be cumbersome and overwhelming. It doesn't take long for a link library to get out of date, and all the hard work you've put into marketing yourself on blogs, in book reviews, and on podcasts is suddenly undone as your links become out of date or even extinct.

Draft2Digital has always worked hard to make things simple for authors. Our dashboard is one of the easiest author tools around, providing a quick and simple process for uploading, formatting, and publishing ebooks in minutes, and equipping authors with at-a-glance sales data that's both easy to read and not too hard on the eyes.

Now, with UBLs, we're making things that much easier for authors by simplifying an avalanche of retailer links down from hundreds to just one.

One link to rule them all

We had to say it. 

And it's true. Universal Book Links give you an amazing tool for simplifying your author life (and possibly slaying supernatural all-seeing eyes), and here's how it works:

  1. Copy a URL for your book from any ebook retailer's product page, such as the Amazon Kindle page for your book.
  2. Paste that link into the Universal Link generator at Books2Read.com.
  3. Hit the "Make My Universal Link" button.
  4. Bam. Books2Read uses the metadata from your book page to scan every known ebook retail site online, and return a series of options that you can verify for inclusion in your unique UBL. If you don't see a link you were expecting, you can even add it with a simple copy and paste.
  5. Copy your new UBL, and start using it anywhere and everywhere!

What happens when readers click a UBL?

Magic. Pure magic.

First, the reader is greeted with a page displaying all the places your book is available online. They then select the storefront they prefer. And when they do, Books2Read asks if they want to make that their default bookseller.

From then on, every time a reader clicks a UBL they will be taken directly to your book on the storefront they prefer. That means there's just one click between your readers and your work. Fewer barriers between you and a sale.

How this will help you

Include this link in your newsletter. Give it to bloggers and book reviewers and podcasters to share with their audiences. Print it on marketing materials. Build a 'universal storefront' on your website, with every book in your catalog linked to everywhere it appears online, without the clutter of hundreds of links.

(Unless, of course, you have hundreds of books—in which case, bravo!) 

The possibilities are as universal as the link itself. 

As your UBL is spread around online and in the real world, it gives you a greater reach, and an increased ability to be "all things to all people." You no longer have to included dozens of different store links—only the one. And you no longer have to keep up with which stores are still around, which new stores may have come online, which may have changed how they do things, and which may no longer carry your book. A quick rescan at Books2Read.com will repopulate your Universal Book Link with the latest and greatest, and make it all available as part of your existing link.

This means you'll never have to go scouring the internet, looking everywhere for where your old, expired, out of date links may be hiding. You update all your links in one place. Easy.

You also get data—insight into who is clicking through, the storefronts they prefer and, of course, the books they're interested in. You'll be able to use this data to improve or adjust your marketing strategy, or determine what to focus on next in your quest for publishing dominance.

Of course, there are a lot of authors who are Amazon exclusive, relying on Kindle Unlimited paged reads (we totally understand). But lest you think UBLs aren't for you—as a KU author the advantage you get from using UBLs is globalizationwhich is a fancy way of saying that we'll find your book in every Amazon marketplace, worldwide! So you can paste the URL from, say, your product page at Amazon.com, and Books2Read will find all instances of the book on Amazon.de, Amazon.co.uk, and Amazon.everywhere-else-you-can-think-of! This allows readers to go to the Amazon store that matches their region, without the need to create a separate link.

Basically, you get to keep an up-to-date link to your book's sales page at every ebook retailer online, in one easy link—and you can share it anywhere you like. 

And it only costs $1,000,000

We kid, we kid! In glorious Draft2Digital tradition, this service is FREE for everyone! In fact, you don't even have to be a Draft2Digital author to use it (though we'd really love to have you). All you have to do is visit Books2Read.com and paste your link to get started. If you want to edit your link, you can create a B2R account, or log in with an existing Draft2Digital account. 

Easy. We tend to do that a lot around here. 

We hope you enjoy this new service, and we'd love to hear your feedback on it! Email us at info@books2read.com with any questions, feedback, or promises to put us in your will.