Monday, February 1, 2010

How do you decide which sites you link to?

A recent tweet from @booktweeting inspired some thoughts about how I choose which online selling sites I link to on this blog. But first, I'm curious about how you decide. Is it based on brick & mortar stores you like? Do you always choose indies? Do you prefer going directly to the publisher? Do you make your decision based on how you feel about the website itself?

Here's what I typically do:

1. Google the title and look at various sites to find a cover image I can use -- I want the front cover only, cropped (no white space around it), at a decent size/resolution. This is where Amazon loses me right off the bat -- their cover images always seem to have extra junk on them (white space, "Look Inside!" logo, etc.). I also stumble across all sorts of interesting content, such as other reviews, related articles in the media, etc., through simple searches.

2. My general preferences, in descending order, are
  • publisher's site: I find that the publisher sites often have interesting additional content (like videos or author background) that I can use and the cover images meet my needs. Of course, I work for a publisher, so I tend to pay special attention to other publisher sites. :)
  • Powell's: I've always been a fan of indies and they're the king.
  • non-Amazon chains such as B&N: Not Amazon for reason #1 and also because their site has become such a mess over the years. B&N also often has neat additional content (like the B&N Studio). However, they sometimes shoot themselves in the foot by making it hard to use (sometimes can't be embedded or isn't easy to find).
3. Another factor for me is the website itself. As I mentioned, it's another reason I rarely link to Amazon -- I just don't like the jumbled mess that their site has turned into. But if, for example, I start noodling around on a publisher's site and find it difficult to navigate I might not link to it even if they had a good cover image.

Well, that's it in a nutshell. What about you?


  1. I also like to be able to find the publication info quickly, and often, those details are hard to get to on bookseller sites. (I'm always looking for publisher names and ISBNs for this site!)

  2. Beth -- that is a good point. I can't believe how hard it sometimes is to find basic book bibliographic info.

  3. Looking for publisher

    Picnics poetry is looking for publisher who can give ideas for educators on teaching poetry, make a career, voice your opinion in fun and interesting ways.