Saturday, May 25, 2013

Amazon Associate Links Made Simple (Especially for Scrivener)


This is a bit of a PSA to all interested indie writers, bloggers, and other internet types out there. The usual frivolity will return shortly.


I recently tore through David Gaughran's Let's Get Visible: How to Get Noticed and Sell More Books in a single session.

It's a fantastic resource for any indie author; I highly recommend it. One of the things that David mentioned at the end was that one could easily make an Amazon affiliate link by adding their Associates ID to the end of a product link.

I was immediately like:








Let me back up: I write in Scrivener. For the longest time, I thought that affiliate links involved cutting and pasting HTML code into blog posts or documents, largely because whenever you click the "Link to This Page" button in the Associates toolbar, all it gives you is awful, horrible, no good HTML code!

It's really a pain to insert said code into blog posts, and, as far as I can tell from my intermediate-level knowledge of Scrivener, impossible to do so in Literature and Latte's otherwise sterling program.

It's also entirely possible that I'm just an idiot when it comes to HTML/programming (which is absolutely true), and everyone already knows this, but I sure didn't, so I thought folks in a similar situation might enjoy a handy little how-to guide.

When David's book kindly alerted me to the fact that my days of cutting and pasting HTML might be over, I had to investigate.

Turns out he's mostly right. It's a little more complicated, but it is indeed possible to turn a regular old Amazon link into an Affiliate Link in a few easy steps (big thanks to DesignPX for the help):

1. Get an Amazon Associates Account. Join the program HERE. It might take a few days for Amazon to approve your account.

2. Log in to Associates Central.

3. Find Your Tracking ID in the Upper Left-Hand Corner of the Screen. It should be a combination of letters and numbers with a dash in the middle.

4. Copy this Tracking ID. Preferably to a word processor or notepad, though I suppose you can also do it by hand.

5. Add ?tag= to the front of it. So if your tracking ID was boom5612-458, you'd have something like this:

?tag=boom5612-458


6. Find the product you want to link to on Amazon.

7. Under the boxes on the right side of the page, there will be four or so links: "Share, e-mail envelope, facebook, twitter, pinterest."
Okay, I guess that's technically five, but that doesn't matter.


8. Click the e-mail envelope. Amazon will give you a Permalink, shortened to "amzn.com" with the ASIN.

9. Copy the Permalink Address and paste it as the link in whatever you're linking to, making sure to add a backslash at the end.

10. Add the ?tag=[YOUR TRACKING ID] to the end of the link. So if you're linking to Hack: The Complete Game (because why wouldn't you?), the link would look something like this:

http://amzn.com/B00CP8HHSS/?tag=boom5612-458

11. Run the New Link through Amazon's Link Checker to make sure that it works.

Voila! An easy Amazon Affiliate Link without html code. Embed this in your Scrivener files and websites quickly, easily, and painlessly to start earning an extra 4-6% from Amazon, all for directing traffic to their site. Not bad, huh?

Questions? Ask away in the comments. Hope this helps!

D.J. Gelner is a fiction and freelance writer from St. Louis, Missouri. Check out his books, available at his Amazon Author Page and on Nook, iBooks, and Kobo. Follow him on twitter (@djgelner) or facebook (here). E-mail him at djgelbooks@gmail.com.

10 comments:

  1. Thank you! This is exactly the information I needed. I just signed up as an Amazon affiliate, and nowhere on their website could I find straightforward instructions for adding the affiliate tag to an existing link. Now this makes sense! Amazon's ridiculously complicated code is baffling. Thanks!

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  2. No problem, Deborah--glad I could help!

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  3. I know this is an old blog post, but it was just what I needed. I also use Scrivener and was having trouble linking to my Author Page with the tag. This did it! I'm clicking over to buy David's book from your site as a thank you:)

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    1. Thanks Gretchen--glad you found it useful!

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  4. Well 2 months later and either im very thick or Amazon have put a stop to this particular short cut. I have followed this guide through several times but do not get a amzn permalink and the link to the link checker takes you back to the login screen each time. Another fruitless hour wasted thanks

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    1. Hi ajt8888,

      See the reply below--hope it helps!

      DJ

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  5. Hmm...not sure what the problem is since this still works for me. I AM on Amazon.com--not sure if it works for .co.uk or other foreign iterations if that's the problem. If you're on .com, here's a potential workaround:

    1) Go to the product page you want.

    2) Find the ASIN. It should be below the product description and start with a "B"

    3) Highlight and copy that ASIN

    4) Type out "http://www.amzn.com/[COPY THE ASIN HERE]/?tag=[YOUR TRACKING ID]"

    5) To use the link-checker, I think you have to be already signed-in with a valid associate account. Not sure what the problem is there--I would try (in order):

    a) completely close your browser (to the "apple-Q" level if on a Mac), then re-open it.

    b) if that doesn't work, clear cookies and internet history

    c) if that doesn't work, use a different browser. I use it without a problem on Firefox.

    Ironically enough, my state recently passed a law that caused Amazon to shut down all affiliates in my state, so I can't benefit from it any longer, but I still have my tracking ID, and the link-checker reads it as valid, so it should still work. Hope this helps!

    DJ

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  6. Thank you so much! This worked for my Word documents too.

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