Doing the book-buying links

I wanted to put up a couple of those nice picture links that would take interested people to places where they could buy (or at least take a look at) my self-published book.

Amazon has a program called Amazon Associates that allows a blogger or website to get a little commission from links to Amazon that they put on their site.  A lot of websites use these.  Ain’t It Cool News, a movie critic and review site, must have hundreds of these.

So I checked it out, and it looked a bit complicated to me.  I didn’t want a pile of ads of all kinds.  It’s not like I have a big “circulation” anyway.  I just wanted a few permanent links related to my own writing, and maybe some other things later.  And the Amazon-provided widgets had some coding involved, which began to put it in the category of “Work.”  (Your mileage may vary, though.  If you have a blog or website you think could use this, go for it!)

I ended up doing it the easy way.  In the standard WordPress “widget” page (under the “Appearance” menu), there’s a widget called “image.”  Drag it over, and it will put an image on the sidebar.  A form comes up where you give the URL of the image you want, and it also gives you the option of filling in a URL that will come up when the image is clicked.  That was all I needed.

Of course I had to go to Photoshop and build up my own images, and upload them to my Media Library, but that was easy enough.  If you are doing Amazon links, you could copy and paste images from the associated Amazon page that will get the job done with little artistic input.  You can resize the images once they’re in place, and do a few other things, too.  My images are larger than most such link images, but I wanted the cover picture to be clear.

Tweaking this site to look like what I want is an ongoing project.  That header picture (currently a theme-provided placeholder) is on my list.

What?  Me, use my blog to plug my books?  Perish the thought.

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