Globalising ‘Buy’ links for Amazon

As authors, everything we do is about encouraging people to buy our books. We write, so we need people to buy. You’ll notice I never solicit sales through Facebook posts, but there is a link on the header bar in case anyone is inspired to do so. That link goes through to my website where ebooks and paperbacks can be bought.

If you don’t care enough about your customers to make buying easy, they probably won’t bother.

So far, so mundane. Plenty of people have similar set-ups. But what I see time and again are links only to Amazon DOT COM. And I live in England. I can’t buy your book from the dot-com site. OK, it’s only another click away, but really, if you don’t care enough about your customers to make buying easy, they probably won’t bother. It’s certainly enough to kill any ‘maybe-spur-of-the-moment’ purchase.

So why don’t you make it easy?

Globalising links is easy. It can be done for any international retailer, but for the sake of illustration I will concentrate on two methods for driving traffic to the correct Amazon site.

The first method is to have a single, portable link (which can be disguised as a button if required) that can be placed in email signatures, blog posts and on third-party sites (if allowed). While it is possible to do the coding yourself, it is much easier to outsource the job to someone like Georiot* ( Here, you can sign up for a free account (up to a certain number of clicks per month, after which there is a tiny charge), and they will create a universal link which can be placed on your site. When a customer clicks on it, or a button of your own design associated with it, they will be taken via Georiot – who will parse their IP address for location information – and direct them to the correct Amazon site. It’s neat, slick, and Georiot is completely invisible to the customer.

Georiot also has optional customisation that parses the user’s device and will send them to iTunes if they’re using an iPad, or Amazon on a Windows phone, and so on. The customisation is impressive!

(*Note: I have no connection with Georiot other than using their services on my mobile site.)

The second way is to hard-code the options in HTML using drop-down lists and a bit of Java coding.

At the point on the page at which you want to create a drop-down list of Amazon websites, simply paste in the following code.

function openDir( form ) {
var newIndex = form.fieldname.selectedIndex;
if ( newIndex == 0 ) {
alert( “Please select a location!” );
} else {
cururl = form.fieldname.options[ newIndex ].value;
window.location.assign( cururl );

<table border=”0″ cellpadding=”4″ cellspacing=”0″ width=”100%”>
<form name=”form”> <tbody>
<td nowrap=”nowrap”>
<select name=”fieldname” size=”1″ onchange=”openDir( this.form )”>
<option>Select your location</option>
<option value=””>UK</option&gt;
<option value=””>US</option&gt;
<option value=””>Australia</option&gt;
<option value=””>Germany</option&gt;
<option value=””>France</option&gt;
<option value=””>Canada</option&gt;
<option value=””>Brazil</option&gt;
<option value=””>Italy</option&gt;
<option value=””>Japan</option&gt;
<option value=””>Spain</option&gt;

</tbody> </form>

Obviously, you’ll need to change the Amazon links to your own title! You can find your own links by searching any Amazon site for your book, then manually changing the domains to those above, eg ‘.br’ for Brazil; ‘’ for Australia.) For example, the link will look like this:

And the com should be changed to es, fr, and so on, one for each country in your drop-down list. Make sure you also change the text after the link to the relevant country as this is what the customer will see when they click on the drop-down. By examining the code above, it should all be quite straightforward!

Once you upload the html file you will get a drop-down like this (in whatever position you chose on your page):

drop closed.jpg
Click on it, and it will open to:
drop open

You can see it live at Or see it in place on a live page at (Note, if you are using a mobile device, the links above may take you to my mobile site, which does not use drop-downs… sorry!)

Or, click on the Buy link in the header bar of my FB page to see them in place on a ‘real’ page (if you’re using a desktop computer).

Click on any of the countries, and you will go directly to that Amazon site. (The list here may not be comprehensive, and this is the disadvantage of doing it this way – as more sites are opened, you need to keep updating the code!)

Whichever method you choose (or you may find other services which do the same thing as Georiot), you will hugely improve your customer experience, and increase the likelihood of making a sale. There is no excuse for sending customers to a site where they can’t buy your book – getting someone to click on the link at all is hard enough without being disrespectful to them when they do!

(Please note: this ‘blog’ is only used for occasional postings that are published on my Facebook page (fb/AuthorAlanPorter). Please ‘like’ me there rather than following me here or you’ll miss most of the fun!


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