Have You Cleaned Your Book Links Yet?



Everyone loves cleaning, right?


Here’s a quick and easy (don’t you just love those words?) way to clean something super important: buy links for your books.


Hmm… Long, messy link. (Clean-up on aisle five!)

Happy, clean, pretty link!

How did I get that? Easy. Delete everything highlighted in yellow. (That would be everything after your ASIN.)

What are those reference, encoding, string of letters and numbers thingies? Why are they there? If the link works without them (it does), why include them? You need your ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) but after that…?

You could take out the “https” or the “www” (or even the title of your book if you’d like) to shorten it for sharing or just to look nice. But, for now, I’m thinking that stuff at the end there would be great to, you know, not be there.

I don’t know much about the mumbo-jumbo techie stuff like algorithms or backlinks or tracking or, actually, anything of the sort but I still think cleaning links is a good idea. If there’s even a potential problem, why risk it? I read this post on D.G. Kaye’s site a few months ago regarding Amazon links. She gives info on what all this stuff might mean for you and your books. If you haven’t read it, you really should.

And, though I’ve seen many people write about this, I’m still seeing lots of long links out there. Perhaps it’s not crucial to remove that gobbledygook but…what if it is? Get rid of it.

I guess that’s all I’m saying.

So now you’re saying, “Yah, well my links are clean, lady!”

Then I say, “That’s great! What about the links to other people’s books? The ones you’re promoting on your blog or posting on social media?”


Clean those up, too, you know? Because. You’re nice that way.

A global or universal link will eliminate the need to do this for your books but a lot of people haven’t gotten around to that yet. *raises hand* Also, that doesn’t help when you’re sharing other people’s books or they’re sharing yours and don’t have your link. If you get into the habit of dropping that gunk after the ASIN (see the highlighted link up there ↑↑↑), it won’t be an issue. You’ll always have clean links. And your fellow authors will, too.


Are your links clean? If not, why? Is this a choice or have you just not gotten to it yet? (P.S. Even if you use clean links in your posts, please check your sidebars… Just saying.) 🙂


P.P.S. I’m just taking a shot in the dark here but you should probably clean before creating a universal link. I mean…who knows what happens if you use a long link with all those encoded reference thingies to paste into a global link? Does it clean for you? Does it forever track you? No clue.


I’m sharing Debby’s comment in the post here for more info:

it’s important to clean off the links of other’s books when you’re promoting them because anyone who…decides to buy from the link provided to get to Amazon can be misconstrued as a ‘friend’ of the author…it’s a target and flag to Amazon that the book was purchased from a tracked link making you look like you knew the author because it was a trailed link, not the clean link you’d see if you actually just went to Amazon direct to the book page. 🙂 [Also]…Universal links should be clean…”


31 thoughts on “Have You Cleaned Your Book Links Yet?

  1. The universal link is so easy to create and only takes a few minutes. On Booklinker you can then see how often this link is clicked, though I don’t know how accurate the info is. I wrote a blog post about setting one up because it was so easy and I should have done it when my first book came out in 2015! (I don’t remember if I cleaned the link first though – opps!)
    Here’s my post – http://wp.me/P4cm9x-O

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I am kind of clueless about it but I’ve seen quite a few people writing about it so I guess it’s a “better safe than sorry” thing. And where it’s so ridiculously easy, I say why not? (And they are ugly.) 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The other reason you want to clean up your links is the code on the back end has the potential to connect a purchased book to you as the author, which doesn’t sound all that bad, but can potentially flag a review the reader posts as not being from an impartial source. And reviews from impartial sources are frowned upon and may be deleted without warning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes. I didn’t know about all this but Debby’s post said the same. Every purchase from that link is tracked? Then removed…because them’s the rules. It’s difficult enough to get the word out there without being tracked through a generous blogger then a 7 times removed person who saw your link there. I mean, even if there’s a potential for that, get rid of it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have so many issues with the practice of removing reviews. I think as long as they are verified purchases they should remain. It’s not like Amazon isn’t getting to keep their cut of the profit. Why shouldn’t the author get to keep a bit of glowing praise to help them get through darker days? Annoying people who purchase fake reviews ruining it for the rest of us…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Damn those bad apples.

        Seriously, Amazon just frightens me. I don’t understand most of what they do or why. But how can you steer clear if you’re an author? Conundrum…


  3. Thanks a bunch girlfriend, for sharing my clean up post. You did a wonderful job here yourself. To re-iterate, it’s important to clean off the links of other’s books when you’re promoting them because anyone who reads the post and decides to buy from the link provided to get to Amazon can be misconstrued as a ‘friend’ of the author and when it comes to writing a review for that book, it’s a target and flag to Amazon that the book was purchased from a tracked link making you look like you knew the author because it was a trailed link, not the clean link you’d see if you actually just went to Amazon direct to the book page. 🙂 Universal links should be clean because in order to set them up, we manually add in the book page link which ends after the ASIN. 🙂 Just sayin’ 🙂
    PS Sarah, I replied to your email. I’m awaiting your reply. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are more than welcome. I want to get the word out to as many people as possible. No pointing fingers but I’ve seen these long links on blogs of authors who commented on your post. Just saying. 😉 Trying to help.

      Thank you. This is fab info and, just in case people don’t click on the link, I’ve added some of your comment to my post. And thanks for the answer to the universal links being clean. That really only occurred to me after I wrote this but it made sense to me to clean them BEFORE you paste it into the global/universal link…whichever one you use. Thanks!

      Checking email… ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      • You did a fine job my friend. And thanks for helping spread the word. It’s to all our benefit. After all, we work hard to get those golden reviews, we don’t need Amazon taking them off! 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Excellent advice, Sarah. It took me a few years to learn this and, hopefully, my links are all clean now. Those global links are great because they point the reader to the appropriate Amazon location for the country they live in. No extra steps!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The excess parameters on book urls do drive me nuts, and if it looks like just a copy-paste, then I strip them off before I use them in my posts. I know they’re used for tracking purposes, so that Amazon knows where all their clicks come from, whether it be via a search from their site or directly accessed from another site or via email or whatever.

    Someday, I will change all my links over to universal ones. Someday…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve read they track but it’s good to hear this from you. You’re the expert techie. The universal links look so easy (some of them) but I’ve yet to decide which one. I’ll do that soon. (You will, too…) *performs mind control*


    • It’s just a quick deletion of everything after the ASIN (or the backslash). Apparently, everything after that tracks where the link was clicked from. There are other ways to shorten, as well, but this makes the links “clean” so they aren’t tracked. I don’t pretend to understand all the techie stuff but I’ve heard this is true so figured…why chance it? 🙂


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