The Linking to Things

It’s not a sales spiel, it’s not a shove at the reader. What is it?

It’s the link to the thing you want the reader to react with, to click on a link and do something. It may be a Call to Action, or it may be a link to something else, a competition, a voting site, a carousel.

Amazon does amazing things to make it easy on the browser in their journey to happiness. The biggest part of their customer design has to do with making it easy to click a button to ‘do’ something, whether it’s to read more, see what others say, or to buy. A one-click answer to the browser’s problem, easily seen, but not pushed front and centre. This helps browsers navigate to what they want to see, experience, do.

And yet I see so many sites where an object or intention is stated, but no link appears. Does that mean the browser needs to copy and paste the relevant details and do a search for the object? If that’s the case, either because the creator doesn’t want to ‘push’ at anyone, or they feel that it’s ‘hard selling’, then let me put it straight out there.

Making it easy on your browser to either look or buy or do some other action is a courtesy, and to make it difficult for them to take action is akin to rudeness. You want them to work for it? No, you don’t. You want to make it easy, as easy as Amazon does, even if it doesn’t result in a sale or action.

I’m not spruiking Amazon, though, only how they work hard to make it easy for the browser to do something, whether it ends in a buy or not. If it’s not easy, the browser wanders off, forgetting what it was they wanted.

Now for the serious bit, and it’s about books here, but it could apply to anything you want a browser of your site or newsletter to do.

Do you know Draft2Digital? And Books2Read? An independent publisher for indies, and associated with a place to locate your books so a reader can click on a link on your site and go see what you’ve got and where they can get it. A simple click process so the browser can easily see what’s there.

Here, let me show you my carousel (and I’ll check that it’s up-to-date at the same time – looks right).

There are other link-maker sites.

Booklinker is one for Amazon, so a browser who clicks on the link will be sent to the Amazon site that is their ‘local’. This is very useful, and avoids the issue of a browser being sent to a ‘Zon site that isn’t one they can buy from. It’s that ‘making it easy’ concept.

BookBub is a great place to set up a profile so followers get an email for new releases (criteria apply, so read up). Want to see my BookBub profile, where a browser can view and click to find their answer, click on something if they want to go further? (Hmm, looks like I need to tidy up a bit, update some things … I’ll get to it soon.) Things to note bout BookBub is that it may list ‘places to buy’ that the title isn’t available from (but the click will take the browser to the author publications at that site), and it takes the browser/clicker to the (for me) .com sites, not my local ones. I’m sure one day they’ll fix this to make it easier on the person with the clicker.

Although this post is about books, it can also be for other things. Is your cover or story in a competition that relies on votes? Put the link to the site that allows the browser to see yours first, so they can vote for you.

And, as an aside that makes life much easier on the browser (from personal experience), for each link to add to your site, make it open in a new tab so the browser can come back if they want to explore more. In other words, don’t kick the visitor out into the snow-storm too soon, or they may not be able to find their way back to your door.

Oh, and don’t link to sites that aren’t in the browser’s (or your) best interests. Spamming, or other tactics, will cost you any future prospects, so don’t make them remember you for all the wrong reasons.

Caught in the links of a well planned web

And there goes another of my premade posts to account for the time needed away from the keyboard to allow my poor hands to heal enough to start writing stories again (an obsession, I assure you, and I’m sure I’ll try to start up again too soon … but I have to keep in mind that the more I mess around, the slower the healing process).

16 thoughts on “The Linking to Things

    • A mixed response to that one, but I’m only talking front-end in this case, and using it as an example for how to make it easy for the browser of a site to see/do.


      • Yes, they make it so easy on the browsers that it’s almost compulsive to click on something, but they’ve done the work so the browser doesn’t have to work hard.
        My point isn’t about the service, it’s about the visitor to the site.
        So many times I read a post or see something that interests me, but there’s nothing to lead me further, so I just leave and don’t go searching. It’s not that important if they don’t provide me [the visitor to their site] with a way to follow the rabbit.


  1. I’m so sorry about your hands! I fear the day when my fingers won’t do my bidding – I’m already so slow due to chronic illness that I think I will come to a halt if I have to dictate.

    Hope they heal – let them rest if that’s what’s needed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The idea of a single hub for all our books is great in principle, not so great in practice as our data is harvested during the linking process. The person setting up the hub – i.e. you or I – may not misuse user data, but the company that provides the service we use is under no such ethical obligations.

    When I first went wide with D2D, I checked out the TOS and privacy policy of books2read and didn’t like what I found. I haven’t checked recently so things may have changed for the better but I’d strongly advise everyone to do some homework on the small print.

    Amazon localises by default, which can be really annoying if, like me, your account is on instead of -grump- I wish that /we/ could own and control our own data. Then we could offer the same convenience without impinging on anyone’s privacy. Ah well, maybe one day we’ll own our own data again.

    Hope your hands are healing properly. Patience, Grasshopper, patience.;)

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    • Patience is a lesson for the young, therefore, I want progression with pace so I can finish what I started.
      Re: ‘zon.
      I’m a and it still defaults to .com.
      I’m also no longer with D2D, but use the Books2Read to create a ‘shop-front’ with links to the readers preferred sales site.
      And I check up on all the legalese at least annually. Sad, but it has to be done.

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      • -giggles- Patience is not one of my stellar attributes either. 😉
        I’m surprised by the what you say about Amazon. I only have the localisation problem when I click a link on someone else’s site. Admittedly I haven’t done that in a while so my info. could be out of date.
        So with Books2Read… has there use of user data changed? I don’t me use of /your/ data but the use of your visitors’ data?

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      • p.s. just had a look at the TOS and they have changed it to now refer to ‘Readers’ and ‘Authors’. Unfortunately I couldn’t work out which ‘you’ they were referring to when they detailed what data is stored, transferred, shared etc. If the ‘you’ is just the Author, then that’s ok. If the ‘you’ also includes those who just pass through the site – i.e. Readers/Visitors – then I’d continue to be concerned as that data is transferred to Oklahoma in the US.
        Wish I’d studied law instead of philosophy. :/

        Liked by 1 person

      • Law is as slippery as philosophy, but in a language spoken by those whose wish is to be vague beyond any form of recognition.
        By U.S. law, they must notify users of data stored, and ‘readers’ applies in a similar way to customers, as in, to not keep data that is not related directly to the purpose of the business. Not that it makes it any clearer.

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      • Me. No clearer at all. I have to say though that I really appreciate what the EU and California have done to provide at least some protection to users. Their stand has forced a small backstep on the US tech giants. It’s a pain having to select my cookie preferences every time, but it’s preferable to having my data used as a commodity.

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