Formatting for publication can be a lot of organizing, planning, and figuring out what comes next. When writing a series, this gets even more complicated, as you want to put links in your books for the next books, but those links are often not yet available. The solution I first heard about was simply uploading all new book files for each previous book, each time you published a new book in a particular series.
This frustrated me. And I’ve heard the frustration from other independent authors before. Until now, though, I didn’t have a solution.
Thanks to kindly rant in Self Publishing Un-Boxed by Patty Jansen about landing pages and forms, I decided to figure out a link that could be redirected without being changed. Took me a little work to figure out, but after a few hours, here’s what I put into place.
Say you have a book 1 you’re publishing and you know there will be a book 2 but you don’t have the pre-order up yet.
1. Go to LinkSplit or a similar service, (Linksplit has it for free for what appears most uses and I’ll just use it here as my example, as it’s what I ended up using). Create a link pointing to your webpage, perhaps a Coming Soon post.
2. Put that LinkSplit link in your book as you compile the files (for me that’s right at the end of the last chapter). Now, at least when excited readers click, they’ll land on that Coming Soon post, which, you could leave a link to you newsletter on, just to be helpful.
3. Now, moving into the future, you have Book 2 on pre-order or published. You know have a live link! Grab that now available link.
4. Go back to LinkSplit.io, log into your account, and edit the URL destination of the link you previously made, which is formatted into book 1.
Whalla, Magic! Now, without you needing to touch your already uploaded and formatted Book 1 file, anyone who buys Book 1 going forward, AND anyone who has ALREADY BOUGHT book 1 before, will be taken to the buy page for Book 2 if they click that link. But you didn’t have to reformat or re-upload anything.
You can do this for lot of different kinds of links. Now your links don’t have to go dead, and you don’t have to keep reformatting the books just to update links.