Today’s guest blogger, Walter Rhein, is introducing us to a cool trick you can use to help generate more book sales. Walter is a writer who has publishing contracts with Perseid, Burning Bulb, and Harren Press. He also writes for a variety of print and online publications. Learn more on his web site; connect with him on Facebook or Twitter.
Use Amazon’s embed feature to preview your book anywhere
By Walter Rhein
I’ve been doing book reviews for a long time because I think it’s important to seek out and support independent authors who don’t have the benefit of a major publishing house behind them.
In my experience, the real genius in modern literature can be found among independents and not with mainstream presses. I always think it’s odd that cinema buffs know to eschew the latest big studio releases in favor of auteurs, but the exact opposite is true in the literary world.
As writers, all we can hope for is that readers will give our work a chance.
Amazon’s embed feature
Fortunately, Amazon offers a tool that helps with that. Its wonderful “embed” feature makes it very easy for potential readers to flip through the first few pages of your book outside of Amazon.
They might discover that preview on your website or another platform — for example, whenever I do a book review, I always harvest the book’s Amazon code and embed it at the end of my review.
That “embed” code, which is readily available on your book’s Amazon sales page, works on the majority of platforms to create a box that looks like a miniature version of your book.
At the bottom, there are “buy” and “preview” buttons. The preview option lets you flip through the pages just as if you were standing in the aisles of a bookstore.
Finding Amazon’s embed feature on your sales page
(EDITOR’S NOTE, OCTOBER 25, 2023: Amazon’s interface has changed since this was originally published so the first two steps of the process in the original article are no longer correct. Acting on a tip from alert reader A.M. Rycroft in her comment below the article, I’ve updated the steps and corresponding images.)
To find the embed feature, go to your Amazon listing and look for the “share” icon to the right of your book’s title. It’s a small box with an arrow pointing up.
Click on the icon to get the sharing options.
You will want to click on <Embed>. If you don’t see that option, be sure to try both your kindle and paperback listings. Sometimes there are subtle variations between these two pages.
Note that the embed feature might not be available if your book has not been released in Kindle format.
When you click on “embed,” a new window pops up. You’ll see that it allows you to select whether you’ll “get a link” (share) or “embed” your preview.
The “Get a link (URL)” option is self-explanatory and is the one you have to use for sites like Medium. The option that says “Embed on your site (HTML)” has some sizing and other options as you’ll see in this image below. It works great on WordPress sites.
Help readers preview your book
Giving readers the opportunity to peruse your book from the comfort of their own home is the next best thing to having shelf space in a brick and mortar store. If you manage to convince enough bloggers to feature your book’s embed, the prominent digital marketing might even prove to be more lucrative.
There is nobody more grateful than an independent author who has just received a thoughtful review of their work. The best part about doing independent reviews is that these authors are likely to share the review diligently with their networks. I’ve had single authors be responsible for as many as a thousand shares on various other platforms.
Whenever I embed a preview, I almost always get a direct response from the author thanking me for the effort and asking where I got the code for the embed.
The direct embed feature from Amazon is a great tool that allows independent authors to get the maximum number of eyes upon their work and is of equal benefit to both authors and reviewers. For a more detailed sequence of photos explaining the Amazon embed, check out this article, and be sure to follow me on Medium.
What do you think of Amazon’s embed feature? Tell us in a comment.
Editor’s note: Using Walter’s instructions, I embedded a preview of my book here. It was ridiculously easy. Give it a try on your website!
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