I’ve come across a strange problem with the links provided by the Amazon affiliates program to enable you to sell your book. Usually they sit there displaying your book. But sometimes they display a general advertisement for Amazon that does not lead the customer - a hard won customer, by you on your blog - to the product you want to sell. Obviously, this is not okay. The moment I saw this behaviour I knew I had to design my own advertisement, one not served by Amazon. I needed an Amazon advertisement that I could control myself.

I want it to look like the one Amazon serves, which is a skyscraper shaped box that has the Amazon logo at the top. Under that is a picture of the book cover, with a caption below saying the title of the book. Finally, below that is a yellow button with another, smaller, Amazon logo and text that says “Shop now”.

That is a lot of elements to get stuck together in only one box. I had no idea how to do it, so I went Googling. I have pasted in the fieldset-based advertisement I came up with below.

Galaxy Dog (Dark Galaxy) My first idea was to use the fieldset attribute. The first element I put in the fieldset was the Amazon logo, which was easy to find with a quick Google image search. There are literally thousands of them to choose from. I downloaded one, resized it and uploaded to my site’s image directory as amazon_logo_top_element.jpg. Then I created an image of the cover of one of my books with the same width, which I saved as amazon_link_cover_galaxy_dog.jpg. Now all I needed was the yellow button for the bottom element. Another image search, this time for “yellow button”, produced one to download in seconds. Then I used GIMP to add a small amazon logo to it, along with the text, Shop now. I then saved it as, amazon_logo_bottom_element.jpg. The next step was just to bring the whole thing together, along with my Amazon affiliate link. I just went to my Amazon affiliate console and generated a text only link which I simply added to the code between the image of the cover and the bottom button.

Next came the testing phase, where I discovered that it did not work. Instead I thought I could just use a float attribute to float all the images over to the left of the sceen, where I want to have it, and so they would be loosely grooped because they all share the same behaviour.

It worked surprisingly well, though I had to experiment with various configurations of “clear:left” and “float:left” parameters to get it to hang together just right. I was tipped off about the correct order for the attributes by this sitepoint discussion. Once that was done, I just made every image into a link, just the way explained aboult half way down this article. I used the same long string of text for the “href” attribute as was generated by the Amazon affiliate link maker. The text link was quite centred so I fixed that with a “position: relative” atribute I found on a stack overflow discussion. I had to fiddle a bit with the number of pixels, eyeballing the results, but eventually I got it where I wanted it.

Here is the code I came up with below, to help you replace your Amazon links, if they are giving you the same problems mine were giving me. I learned how to make the code block below from a github guide. The Github rules usually work on my blog as well, because it also uses Markdown in creating pages.

<a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06Y11L4CH/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B06Y11L4CH&linkCode=as2&tag=shou0e-20&linkId=a8ca3ee5833c96ee61bc6e416c4cf9d9"><img style="float:left; margin: 0px 20px;"  src="http://www.brettfitzpatrick.com/img/amazon_logo_top_element.jpg"  /></a> 
<a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06Y11L4CH/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B06Y11L4CH&linkCode=as2&tag=shou0e-20&linkId=a8ca3ee5833c96ee61bc6e416c4cf9d9"><img style="clear:left ; float:left; margin: 0px 20px;"  src="http://www.brettfitzpatrick.com/img/amazon_link_cover_galaxy_dog.jpg"  /></a>
<a  style="clear:left ; float:left; position: relative; left: 32px;" href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06Y11L4CH/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B06Y11L4CH&linkCode=as2&tag=shou0e-20&linkId=a8ca3ee5833c96ee61bc6e416c4cf9d9">  Galaxy Dog (Dark Galaxy)</a><img src="//ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=shou0e-20&l=am2&o=1&a=B06Y11L4CH" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />
<a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06Y11L4CH/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B06Y11L4CH&linkCode=as2&tag=shou0e-20&linkId=a8ca3ee5833c96ee61bc6e416c4cf9d9"><img  style="clear:left ; float:left; margin: 0px 20px;"  src="http://www.brettfitzpatrick.com/img/amazon_logo_bottom_element.jpg"  /></a>



So here is the finished link again, and a little information about the book it will take you to on Amazon. Galaxy Dog is the first book in the Dark Galaxy series and it is a story of adventure, spaceships, and rebellion across a galactic empire. A small group of friends, one woman, one man, and one robot incite a revolt and take on the might of the Tarazet Deep Space Navy. They find an immensely powerful alien spaceship so, even though the rebellion is extremely outnumbered, they still stand a chance. Galaxy Dog combines the action of military sci-fi with the heart of space opera. There are robots, aliens, space battles, and all the good things that make sci-fi so enjoyable. Galaxy Dog is available from Amazon right now, so just click the link and download a copy.

UPDATE #

All my Amazon links changed when I moved from Pronoun as a distributor to Draft2Digital so I have changed the code so instead of going to Amazon, my links now go to a Universal Book Link
Galaxy Dog (Dark Galaxy)
The first book in the Dark Galaxy Trilogy, always the best place to start, is Galaxy Dog. It’s a little more old-school and fun than a lot of the sci-fi that is around at the moment. It has spaceships, robots, battles, and brave warriors rebelling against an evil empire. Click the book cover and go to the storefront you prefer to buy it now, or follow this link.

This is a universal book link (UBL) and you will be greeted with a page displaying all the places the book is available online. Just select the storefront you prefer and, if you want, also make this your default bookseller. From then on, every time you click a UBL you will be taken directly to the book you are interested in, on the storefront you prefer. The UBL even allows you to go to the Amazon store that matches your region.