Frequently Asked Questions For Authors

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 two free services: New Release Notifications and Universal Book Links.

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.

How can I use New Release Notifications?

This service is currently only available through Draft2Digital. Sign up for a free account to learn more.

What are Universal Book Links?

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.

If you want a really detailed explanation, you can learn more about how Universal Book Links benefit authors and readers.

How do I create a Universal Book Link?

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.

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?

While we support a lot of stores, we don’t support every store. If you’d like us to extend support to a new store, the easiest way to request it is by adding a link to your book at that store to one of your Universal Book Links. It won’t show to readers, but we keep track of all of those links and we’ll use them as one of the ways to determine which stores to support in the future.

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. If you attach a link to an unsupported domain, we’ll save it (associated with your Universal Book Link), but readers clicking on the link will not see it in the list of stores.

As our service expands and we add more stores, we’ll automatically attach any of these old links as they become supported.

How do I edit my link?

Sign up for a free account. (If youre a Draft2Digital author, you already have one.)

When youre 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 youre a Draft2Digital author, you already have one.)

Well 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:
  • amazon
  • apple
  • bn
  • kobo
  • google
  • scribd
  • smashwords
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.