by Zoe York, Canadian author and ebook reader
You’re a voracious ebook reader in Canada, Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan, or somewhere else in the world where Amazon sells ebooks on a dedicated storefront that is not Amazon.com … and when you click on book recommendations, the link takes you to an Amazon storefront where you see a rude message that the book is not available to buy. “Why don’t they automatically re-direct to my geographical region?” you grumble to yourself (and dear reader, this is ME, because I live in Canada, and keep my ebook library on Amazon.ca).
But little do you know that your neighbour, also a voracious ebook reader, keeps her ebook library on Amazon.com, even though she’s not in the United States, because she has been buying ebooks on .com since before they were sold on her local Amazon storefront. Even though Amazon offers the option to move libraries, she resists, because she likes those US links! But…some authors use geo-redirect links, which send her to Amazon.ca (or .de, .co.uk, .com.au, etc.) when she doesn’t want to be there!
Both of you experience the Amazon Frustration, as I have come to call it: for their own reasons, Amazon does not remember which storefront we read ebooks on, and does not redirect us magically to the right place.
So, readers, we must take matters into our own hands. The good news is, this is somewhat easily done if you know a few tricks! These tricks work on both mobile view and in a computer browser.
Trick #1: Change the URL
This is the fastest way to do it, especially if you are on a computer. All Amazon links use universal ASIN numbers, so if you are in a browser window where you can see the link in the URL bar, you can swap out the country code from .com to .ca, etc.
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Trick #2: Send a link to your mobile device’s browser
If you are browsing on a mobile device, in an app like Facebook or Instagram that opens websites inside the app, there will be an option to send that page to your browser instead (on Apple devices, this is send to Safari, for example).
Trick #3: Request a desktop version
Once you have the link in your browser, you can either change the URL address manually as above, or you can request a desktop version: this will show you the page as if you were on a computer, and then Amazon will show you an option to redirect to your home country. Now, worth noting: Amazon does not send you to the same ASIN product page, but rather a search result for the metadata (I KNOW, THIS MAKES NO SENSE, as we can figure out how to manually redirect to the exact same product page by just changing the country code? But the thing is, in traditional publishing, not all books are published with world rights. So…there are some times when then manual ASIN URL redirect will not work, and the Amazon metadata search is the better option).
Trick #4: Ask your favourite authors to use Books2Read links
To be honest, at the time of writing this, I don’t use Books2Read links that often myself, because it’s a new habit I need to train myself into. But Books2Read links seem to remember storefront preferences better than anything else, and they satisfy both the reader in Germany who wants to buy her books on Amazon.de and her neighbour who still keeps her library on Amazon.com.
This is not a sponsored post! I just think Books2Read is a nifty service.