No, this is not a blog post about trees, rather it’s about internet links and keeping them alive. It frustrates a potential reader to click on a link and have it go nowhere. Frustrated readers seldom become fans of the author.
In this day of e-books, many authors put links in their books to their web site or Facebook page or to sign up for their newsletter or. . . You get the idea. The links are to encourage readers who have liked your stuff to learn about more of your writing. This is how sales occur.
But what happens when the author changes the site which her link referenced?
Maybe the e-newsletter provider was changed. She originally had a link announcing a new book, and now another one is releasing. All kinds of reasons could cause the original link to be invalid. The author can’t go back into a book already on someone’s e-reader. She could offer an update, but not everyone sees those. She doesn’t want to annoy her readers; her books should be pleasant experiences.
Sending the user to the new correct destination site is the service evergreen links provide. The company I use is smartURL(https://manage.smarturl.it/) They do offer paid plans, but I have found the Basic free one sufficient for my needs.
Currently I use the smartURL for the link to sign up for my e-newsletter. I am planning to add a request for a review at the end of my e-books, sending the reader to the correct Amazon page.
The nice feature of smartURL is the destination link can be international based on the user’s location. For example, if the reader is not in the USA, the link will direct her to whichever Amazon store is appropriate for her geographical location. Amazon.com is for the USA, and not all readers have access to that web site. Readers in the United Kingdom have https://www.amazon.co.uk/, while German readers use https://partnernet.amazon.de/, and those in France have https://partenaires.amazon.fr/. Almost every country has its own link, and it’s not necessary for the author to set up each link manually. SmartURL will do it for you.
Now if I want to change the link announcing my next book, I have only to redirect the smartURL to the destination where I want the reader to go. See how my link works by signing up for my e-newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/cVvgpj You’ll receive a free short story when the registration process is completed.