Kobo Knows How to Do Ebook Links Right!

In November, I decided it was time to update the links on my site that point to my books’ Amazon pages.

When I first started my blog, in February 2012, I included links to Amazon.com and Amazon UK, figuring that since I write in English, the residents of the UK were in my potential audience.

Then I had my first sale in Germany. Another in Spain. One in Italy.


It became obvious that there are English speakers, or readers, all over the globe. So whenever a new country showed up in my sales, I’d add that Amazon to the links.

That method brought the number of Amazon links up to 10 out of the 13 Amazon stores this year. Since most of my books are also available at B&N, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo, the list of links after each title was 14 stores long. Too long, especially for my readers who shop at one of the stores in the middle of the alphabet.

So I found a source for a global Amazon link. All thirteen Amazon stores are accessed from one link that directs the browsing reader to the Amazon store serving his or her country.

I asked my international visitors to test these new global links and let me know if the links worked. My visitors tested. Thank you! The links worked. Yay!

I celebrated my link success for all of a day, before it occurred to me that B&N also has separate websites in different countries, and Kobo as well. The links on my site led only to the US B&N website and the US Kobo website. That was a serious problem.

I tackled B&N first, with absolutely no luck. If there is a way to make my B&N links global, I can’t find it.

Kobo log in window

I moved on to Kobo, and what I found impressed the heck out of me. Not only is there a way to make Kobo links global, but that way is native to the Kobo’s own set-up. For the Amazon links, I have to rely on an outside provider. If that provider ever goes out of business, I’ll have redo all my links. But the Kobo links are likely to be good for as long as there is a Kobo.

Kobo has a user guide, which I’ll link to here.

And on page 36 of that user guide are instructions for creating global links. Page 36 says:

A big part of promoting your Kobo ebooks is making sure your readers can easily find them. If you give readers a direct link to your ebooks’ item pages, readers can easily access your Kobo ebooks from your website or blog. The creation of links to product pages is fairly simple. To direct readers to a particular ebook on Kobo, you drop your ebook’s ISBN into the following formula:


I visited the Kobo web page for each of my books to get the eISBN-13 number assigned by Kobo and pasted it into the given formula. Easy peasy! Did I say I was impressed by Kobo?

thumbnail imageThus my link for Troll-magic became http://www.kobobooks.com/search/search.html?q=1230000222926.

My link for Sarvet’s Wanderyar became http://www.kobobooks.com/search/search.html?q=1230000118098. And so on.

Of course, I tidied up the links so that they look neater: Troll-magic and Sarvet’s Wanderyar. Or Kobo and Kobo.

So, readers who favor Kobo, my site is ready for you! 😀



A Question for International Visitors

I’ve started using a “universal” link for the Amazon store. When you click on the link, it will direct you to the Amazon store that serves the country where you live. In theory.

What I want to know is this: does it do so in practice?

NASA image of the world

Why did I make this change?

As time passes, readers in more and more countries are finding my books and buying them. I was providing links to the Amazon store in each country where readers were finding my work. When this was a matter of 4 or 5 or even 8 different store fronts, that method made sense.

But now that I need to include links for 10 of the 13 Amazon stores, I suspect that picking through the long list of links is a pain for anyone who uses an Amazon that isn’t the first one on the list (Amazon.com) or the last one (Amazon UK).

I want finding and clicking a link to be super easy.

BUT…if the universal link does not work properly, then it is no good at all.

I know it works beautifully in the US. That’s where I live, so I can test it.

But does it work in the UK? Does it work in France? What about Germany? Or Japan?

If you buy your books from an Amazon other than Amazon.com, I’d love it if you’d try out the universal Amazon link on one of my books, note whether or not it directs you to the correct store, and then post a comment here to tell me what happened.

(Or email me – j dot neygrimm at yahoo dot com.)

All the links in this post – except two – are universal links to my books, so you can just click one. 😉

I’ll be so very grateful!


Thank you!