“Your first impression depends on how firm your handshake is.” ~@Yushi
Presentation matters. I recently took my son to a new doctor for a consultation. The doctor entered the room with baggy scrubs and a Star Wars head rap and he barely touched my hand for the handshake. Within seconds my brain had formed an opinion.
My brain took in this information and made the decision that this doctor was not competent. Of course, these first impressions had nothing to do with this doctor’s competence. He probably just came from surgery. Clearly, he was a Star Wars fan. And maybe he was afraid of getting germs or just did not like physical contact, so he barely touched my hand for a handshake.
After talking with this doctor for a few minutes, my confidence in his knowledge and abilities began to grow. However, I had to make the conscious decision to give this doctor a chance because my brain had already made a decision based on my first impression.
As an author, you may or may not get time to change a person’s initial impression from their contact with you. It is important that you appear competent from the get go.
Being competent means that you have the necessary ability, knowledge or skill to do something successfully. You have a short window of opportunity on first impression to demonstrate to your audience that you are competent.
One area that I often see Indie author’s look incompetent is through the URL address they give for their book, especially an Amazon URL.
Frequently, an author will give a long Amazon URL like this:
What the author did was go to Amazon.com and enter in her name or book title in the search bar. Then the author clicked on the correct book that came up in the search, which took them to this long URL.
However, this is not the URL for the book on Amazon. Rather, it is a URL from a search for the book. Yes, the URL will take someone to the book’s page, but to anyone who understands URLs, it will look dumb. The second part of the URL starting with the word “ref=” is not needed.
The proper URL to use to direct people to your book on Amazon is the first portion that ends with the last 10-digits of your book’s 13-digit ISBN. The proper link should look like this:
If you want, you can make the URL even shorter by removing the book title in the link and make it:
If you are using an exceptionally long URL and are not sure what the correct portion is to use, then head on over to a URL shortening service and create a short URL to use instead. Free URL shorting services include:
Present a competent image in your use of URL links to purchase your book. Use the correct link or shorten the link for ease of use.
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