If you are a reader and have questions about Books2Read click here.
How does Books2Read work?
Books2Read is a reader-facing site featuring discovery tools developed by indie-publishing service Draft2Digital. We currently offer the following free services: New Release Notifications, Universal Book Links, Author Pages, and Book Tabs.
What are New Release Notifications?
New Release Notifications provide a fully-automated mailing list signup and notification system for authors who publish through Draft2Digital. Whenever an author’s pre-order becomes available or a book goes live through Draft2Digital, readers who’ve signed up for notifications from that author will receive an email letting them know it’s available on their favorite store.
Universal Book Links provide a single URL that an author, publisher, or fan can share online. Instead of linking to just one digital bookstore (or posting lots of links to lots of different stores and territories), an author can share one Universal Book Link, and a reader can follow it to reach the book on her favorite store.
Give us a link to an ebook at any bookstore, and we’ll give you back a link to that book at every bookstore. It’s like magic.
Visit Books2Read.com and enter a link to any ebook at any of the major digital bookstores (Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, or Google work best). We’ll generate a new Universal Book Link for that book and give you the URL. While we’re at it, we’ll go ahead and attach links to the book at all the other stores we can find, just to save you some time.
How is this better than creating my own landing page for each book?
First, it can eliminate a click. Readers clicking on a Universal Book Link don’t have to visit the Books2Read landing page. Once a reader selects a Preferred Store, clicking on a Universal Book Link will automatically redirect that reader to their preferred store—eliminating a whole step between the decision to buy a book and the opportunity to follow through.
There’s also a huge convenience factor. You can often create a fully-populated Universal Book Link for a book using just one reference link (your Amazon.com link, for instance). You can then use that Universal Book Link everywhere—on your author site, in social media posts, on business cards, or even billboards! Wherever you want to talk about your book, use your Universal Book Link, and we’ll make sure it keeps working.
So…this is like Bit.ly for books?
Exactly. If you sign up for a free account, you can even come back later to update the links or view usage information such as click-through rate and your readers' store preferences!
How much does it cost to create a Universal Book Link?
Universal Book Links are completely free. You can create one and share it in just a couple of minutes.
You don’t even need to sign up for an account. But if you do sign up, it lets you track and modify your links in the future. Oh, and that's free, too.
What is a Reading List?
A Reading List is a free feature of Books2Read that allows any registered user to create and share book recommendations in an easy, convenient, and attractive format.Collect books into themed carousels and share your personal recommendations, or keep your private to-be-read list with direct links to purchase the books of your choice.Share your Reading Lists on social media and around the web, and build a name for yourself as a person of impeccable taste. Here are two examples of Reading Lists:
While all Reading Lists will share the same general layout, you have a ton of customization options to make yours stand out. Simply by choosing the book selection, you'll create a distinctive list, but you can also choose the reading list name, subtitle, and header image.
You get to choose how to organize and present the books, by adding, naming, and describing the carousels that contain your book selections. You can even register a custom URL for your Reading List to make it easier to share!
How can I use Reading Lists to share book recommendations?
When you build a Reading List, the first step is choosing a name for the list, which will probably suggest a theme. "Favorite Fantasy Books of 2019" or "Beach Reads" or "Books You Shouldn't Read Near Bedtime." Then create a carousel for each book or collection that you want to recommend, add the books, and provide an optional explanation for that recommendation. When you finish setting up the Reading List, you'll see a page that tells you exactly how to share your list on the internet.
Where do I get books to add to my Reading Lists?
If you want to add a book to a Reading List, you need to have a Universal Book Link for that book saved on your account. For best results, create all of the UBLs you're going to need first, and then begin setting up your Reading List.
How can I use Reading Lists to make money?
You can earn affiliate revenue by signing up for affiliate accounts with the major bookstores and saving those affiliate codes to your Books2Read account. Whenever a reader clicks a book cover on any of your Reading Lists and then clicks through to the store, we'll use your affiliate links when we send them to the store.
What's the difference between public and private Reading Lists?
When you're setting up a Reading List, you'll see an option to make it Public (All Reading Lists are set to Private by default). A public Reading List may show up on site searches, in browse lists, or in promotional materials. By marking a Reading List as public, you're giving Books2Read permission to share it for you. You can still share a private Reading List by copying its URL (it's not password protected), but that's probably the only way anyone is going to find it.
What are Book Tabs?
Book Tabs are pages that will let readers learn more about your book(s). They present your books with cover images and descriptions and are powered by UBLs to make it fast and easy for readers to get their hands on your story. Plus, you have all the data that UBLs provide, as well as their ability to include affiliate links from various retailers.
Book Tabs are free and automatically generated for any UBL you have created. If you have a UBL for a book, that book also has a Book Tab. You can click the Book Tab button on your Books2Read dashboard to visit and edit your Book Tabs.
How are Author Pages generated?
Author pages are generated whenever a UBL is created. Books2Read can detect the author name from your UBL and will show a single page for all UBL titles that share an author. Author pages are tied to your account so you will need a UBL for each book that you want to show on your Author Page.
For a video introduction to Author pages view here.
How will readers find out about my author page and Book Tabs?
Books2Read makes it easy for you and your readers to share your Book Tab and Author pages. Click the social media links for easy Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus sharing, or copy the URL to use in your advertising campaigns.
Where does Books2Read get the information on my Book Tabs?
When a UBL is created, Books2Read searches the reference link provided for the most important information about your book.
Can I update the information on my Book Tabs?
While the structure of the page is set by Books2Read, sales elements like your description and promotional tag can be edited by you. Once Books2Read pulls this information from your reference link, it will not automatically stay up to date so if you update your description where you sell your book, be sure to update your Book Tab too.
Can I customize my Author page?
You can take your Author page to the next level by adding an author biography & photo, choosing which book to feature & what promotional text best sells your book, add your social media links, and even add a link to your own author newsletter or mailing list to capture those important fan email sign ups. Any author information you provide on the Author page will be shown on Book Tabs on your account that have the same author name. So leveling up your Author page automatically levels up your Book Tabs too.
You can also customize the carousels of your books and are able to rename, rearrange, and reorganize to fit your personal preference.
For a video introduction on how to customize your book carousels view here.
How do I disable an unwanted Book Tab or Author Page?
If you want to hide a Book Tab or Author Page deactivate the UBL on your account or simply deactivate or you can simply deactivate the book tab or author page itself while keeping the UBL active.
Will my book description always be updated as I make changes at other retailers?
No, the description is automatically filled with whatever book description you currently have listed. Any changes to the description on your Author or Book Tab page will override the pulled description.
How does Books2Read find all my links?
Every Universal Book Link starts with the reference page you provide us. Books2Read visits that page and records the book details it finds there (cover image, title, author name, etc.), then it searches our fully-supported stores for matching books. If it finds any matches, it adds them to the Universal Book Link.
What stores do you support?
We support a lot of stores. Probably almost every store you can think of (and about a dozen you don’t even know about). If we listed them all here, nobody would ever get around to reading the rest of the FAQ, but you can click here for a complete list of supported bookstores.
How do I request a supported store?
If you'd like us to extend support to a new store, the easiest way is to contact our customer support team and let them know. You can also drop us a line on Facebook or Twitter.
What happens if I paste in an unsupported link?
For the safety and convenience of our readers, we will only attach recognized bookstore links to a Universal Book Link. Unsupported domains will not be saved.
When you’re logged in at Books2Read, visiting the Universal Links page will show a list of all of the Universal Book Links currently associated with your account. You can click on any of those links to add or remove stores or even register a custom name for your link.
What about visitor statistics and usage analytics?
You can view visitor information on the same page you’d use to edit your link. sign up for a free account. (If you’re a Draft2Digital author, you already have one.)
We’ll show you click-through information as well as your readers’ store preferences!
Can I use a Universal Book Link for a book published through KDP Select?
Yes! Universal Book Links offer a lot of convenience to authors who move books in and out of KDP Select, because you can share the same link everywhere. When the book's exclusive to Amazon, the UBL only points to Amazon (but you still get access to the analytics data for anyone who clicks through it).
If you ever return your book to wide distribution, you can simply add the additional store links back to the UBL (or click the rescan button on the UBL's edit page), and your UBL will be updated to include all of the new stores. You won't have to update any of your existing promotional material, because the same link will now include all new options!
Why would I want to use a Universal Book Link for a book that's only available on Amazon?
If your book is only listed at Amazon, it might seem like you already have the convenience of one simple link for sharing it. And that's fine for readers in your own home country.
But Amazon provides multiple storefronts through other domains, selling to customers in over 180 countries globally. Readers in those countries can't always buy your book from the store link you shared.
Universal Book Links not only support for multiple retailers, they also provide automatic geolocation support for Amazon stores (as well as a few other international retailers). So if a user in Germany clicks a UBL for a book at Amazon.com, they'll see the sales page for that book at Amazon.de. Everyone wins.
And then there's the data. UBLs provide viewer data such as page views and store preferences that you probably wouldn't get from sharing a direct store link.
Then if you ever do decide to go with wide distribution, you’ll only need to refresh your UBL from the Books2Read dashboard—you’ll be able to continue using the same UBL, with additional stores, without having to update hundreds of blog posts, social media posts, web pages or even printed marketing materials. Your UBL can grow alongside your author career!
I've heard some affiliate programs don't allow affiliate links in certain media (emails to mailing lists, ebooks, or whatever), and I know UBLs support affiliate codes for some stores. Is that going to get me in trouble?
Wow, you're a well-informed affiliate! Also, we've got you covered.
We want you to be able to use your UBLs everywhere you advertise your book. If that happens to be somewhere you're forbidden from using affiliate codes, add this little tag to the end of your UBL when you paste it into your newsletter email or ebook: ?affiliate=off
That's all you have to do! If a reader clicks on a UBL with "?affiliate=off" at the end of it (something like books2read.com/taming-fire?affiliate=off), we'll strip out the affiliate code before we redirect them. Easy.
Some bookstores get really upset when you try to send them a book with links to other stores. Won't UBLs cause problems there?
Once again, we've built the solution right into the UBLs.
If you already have a UBL set up for a book, but you want to point readers to a particular store, you could always just dig up the store-specific link, but you can also make a store-specific link out of a UBL by adding a little bit of code to the end of it: ?store= (and then the store name)
Some of our supported store names include:
We'll handle the rest. If a reader clicks on a UBL with "?store=" and a store name at the end of it (something like books2read.com/taming-fire?store=apple), we'll skip our landing page altogether and show them that book directly on Apple. You can also find these links directly on your UBL dashboard.
And you still get to see visitor data for that click-through!
How can I remove a Universal Book Link from my dashboard? Is there any way to kill them off?
You can remove a Universal Book Link from the link's Edit page. Look in the Link Tools section beneath the link for "Deactivate" and click Deactivate This Universal Link. That will hide it from your dashboard and also from any readers who happen to click on it.
If you ever want to reactivate it, you can choose to Show Hidden Links on your dashboard, visit the Edit page again, and choose Reactivate This Universal Link.