Don’t have time to read the whole blog post? Here’s the too-long-didn’t-read version:
- Save time by saving important links (like sales links to your books on Amazon) in a note-taking app that syncs across your devices. You can then copy and paste the links into social media and other marketing.
- Suggestions for free note-taking apps: Google Keep, Microsoft OneNote, Apple Notes.
Let’s Jump In!
As indie authors, we often share links on social media and in our other marketing.
We can end up wasting a lot of time pulling up these links over and over! Someone wants a link to your Amazon sales page, so you go to Amazon, search for the book, copy the URL, and paste it in. What a pain.
Thankfully, it’s quick and easy to organize your links in a note-taking app that you can access from various devices. Then you just have to pull up your app, copy the link, and paste it where you need it.
First, let’s talk about what links you might want to save. Then I’ll give a few note-taking app suggestions.
What Links You Might Want to Save
I’ll show you two screenshots from my link list.
This is a list I’ve built over years. Your list will likely be way shorter than mine when you start it.
Start with a few important links that you share most often, like your book sales links. When you go hunting for a link and realize it’s one you may share multiple times, add it to your list!
Screenshot 1 shows:
- Links pertaining to my books, organized by series.
- Links to important posts and pages on my website.
Screenshot 2 shows:
- Social media links and “short links” (using a link shortener like bit.ly). I use these “short links” in my Twitter pinned post.
- Other links that don’t fit anywhere else.
You may organize yours differently. Do what works for you! Honestly, I didn’t add headings to my list and get it in order until today. I had a big, not-very-organized list before then, and it still worked great.
Hot Tip for Sharing Amazon Links:
Don’t use a big, long, ugly Amazon link for your books. Use a nice, “clean,” shorter link.
Here’s an example of a long, ugly link: https://www.amazon.com/Birth-Magic-Sun-Blessed-Trilogy-Novella-ebook/dp/B07N6PLN33/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=birth+of+magic+carol+beth+anderson&qid=1596834233&sr=8-1. For various technical/marketing reasons, you don’t want to use links like this. (Just Google “indie author Amazon clean links” if you want to read more.)
And here’s a link to that same book, but the short version. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07N6PLN33
How do you get the pretty link? Go to your KDP Dashboard and hover over “View on Amazon.” Then click the country code for the link you want.
Don’t have a KDP dashboard? No problem. Search for your book on Amazon. Copy the link. Then delete everything in the link EXCEPT http://www.amazon.com/dp/10DigitASIN. (Note: the ASIN is a 10-digit string of characters identifying your product on Amazon. See my example above. Also, some product URLs say “gp” instead of “dp.”)
Test your link and make sure it works, then paste it into your list!
If you don’t have a note-taking app, it’s time to get one! I’d suggest you consider three criteria:
- Price. It’s nice to start with a free app (even if it’s one with paid upgrades).
- Easy to use. You can use this same app for other purposes. For instance, I use my Notes app to jot down ideas “on the go” for my WIP.
- Syncs on multiple devices. This is important if you use multiple devices to post on social media and to communicate with potential buyers. For instance, I use both my phone and my laptop all the time. I want my links available on both.
I asked the Twitter #WritingCommunity what apps they’d suggest. I’ll share some of their suggestions, and my own, below.
I’m choosing options that are totally free. If you want to see all the suggestions I got (including apps with paid upgrades), click on any of the Tweets below to read the whole thread.
I use Google Docs for my business notes because that’s where I file everything for the agency, but I use Google Keep when I want to jot down a quick personal thing or writing idea, make a bulleted grocery list, or record myself thinking outloud.— Jaime Dill, Editor & Book Coach (@jaime_dill) August 6, 2020
It’ll sync between multiple devices on different platforms…whether you’re taking notes on an Android phone/tablet, an iPhone/tablet, or a laptop (through a Chrome browser plug-in or the Google Keep website).
And yes…it’s free.
Click here to check out Google Keep, or search for it in your device’s App Store (or in Chrome).
I use OneNote across all of my devices. I also have a notebook I share with my husband so it goes to his devices. Good for our shopping lists.— Sue Loh, human of the internet (@suedeyloh) August 7, 2020
OneNote works on iPhones, iPads, Android phones and tablets, Windows computers (as an app), and other computers (on the web)…all for free!
Check out Microsoft OneNote here.
We’ve covered a Google/Android option and a Microsoft option. Let’s discuss the Apple option for Apple devotees like me!
Apple Notes is free. It doesn’t have a ton of features; if you’re looking for a fully-featured Notes app, you may be better off with other options.
However, if you’re entrenched in the Apple ecosystem like I am (my two primary devices are an iPhone and a MacBook), it works really smoothly.
Geeky note: Apple Notes also works with Siri. I can’t tell you how many times a month I say, “Hey, Siri, add to shopping list milk” (or whatever item I need).
Like most Apple apps, this one’s best if you use primarily Apple products. There’s no Android or Windows app. You can, however, access it on non-Apple computers through the iCloud website. It comes pre-installed on Apple devices.
Wrapping it Up
Do yourself a favor: keep all those important links in a Notes app that syncs across your devices! You’ll save yourself headaches and make your marketing a little easier.
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