How to make your book downloadable directly from a tweet?

Are you a writer using Twitter to promote your books? You might find this post useful.

I’ve just made a little invention, which can make your book one click away from a tweet. Obviously it’s not about tweeting on a computer. It’s easy to link to any kind of file. I’m talking about downloading books to mobile devices, specifically iPhone and iPod Touch. As a mobile fiction writer and heavy Stanza user I’ve been thinking of how to combine tweeting and book downolading in a more effective way.

Everybody, who is tweeting from iPhone and has Stanza installed, can download a book in ePub format directly from a tweet link.

Safari can interpret epub:// directories, so that it opens Stanza, which downloads a book from that directory. But there is one problem: you can’t control what will come out, when you use url shortener. I’ve got a trick for that. Let me show you step by step, what to do:

1. Make you book available for download in ePub format
This format is needed to be read by Stanza. My books are published at Feedbooks.com, so ePub is one of the formats to choose from. Example Β» http://www.feedbooks.com/book/3127.epub

2. Here is a trick – create a blank page with http:// address
You can create a blank blog post, to which you’ll link from a tweet. This is a safe way to move from Twitter app to Safari. I’ve been trying to shorten a destination address, but I failed. There is no control over how the epub:// directory is interpreted by Twitter app + url shortener.

3. Redirect form http:// address to a destination file
Now you can redirect from you blank post to an epub:// destination. In my case Β» epub://www.feedbooks.com/book/3127.epub
For redirection I’ve been using a simple WordPress plugin Redirection.

That’s it. From a tweet link to a http:// address and redirect to epub:// address.

I would be grateful for any feedback on that. I’ve been testing the downloads on Tweetie and Twitterrific. How is it working with other iPhone Twitter apps? Here is a post with download hints – just in case. Please share your ideas on how to manage other file formats and other devices. Just a tweet ago @digitalfiction sent me a note, that same thing you can do with ereader:// files to be opened by eReader.

And now, if you found that post helpful, you can download my flash fiction stories about our life with technology behind (less serious, less helpful;-)
– from a computer: http://www.feedbooks.com/book/3127
– from an iPhone: epub://www.feedbooks.com/book/3127.epub

Author 2.0

4 Replies to “How to make your book downloadable directly from a tweet?”

  1. If you use bit.ly to shorten your URL, you don’t need to mess with WordPress redirection. Just follow these simple steps:

    1) Copy the ePub URL from FeedBooks
    2) Go to http://bit.ly and paste your URL into the text box
    3) Replace “http” with “epub”
    4) Click “Shorten”

    As a bonus, you also get realtime click tracking for free with bit.ly.

    Thanks, Nick, for this super helpful tip!

    Like

  2. Copyhacker, yep, it works. I guess not every url shortener can handle epub directories. I was using ow.ly for that… and failed.
    Thanks for the tip. Now tweet-to-book is REALLY easy!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: