Attention Authors and Publishers
Do you reference websites in your books, e-books, articles or other published work? If so, then you know the frustration of having those addresses go south after you’ve distributed thousands of copies. Webmasters have the luxury of changing URLs on their site whenever a link goes bad. But books, e-books, and articles are NOT under your control once they have been published. Whether you publish electronically or on paper, if keeping your URLs working is important to you, then read on.
Today I had my assistant link check an e-book that I’ve been selling for just four months. I was absolutely flabbergasted when he returned a list of fourteen rotten URLs. Of those fourteen, eleven had new addresses, and three had disappeared forever. Now I have the expense of creating a new edition of the e-book and distributing it, but all those original copies will never be as valuable as I intended them to be.
As I was working on posting all the corrections to my errata page, the solution dawned on me. And the next edition of my e-book is going to be much more valuable, both to my readers and to me. Because the URLs will be practically evergreen. Here’s how.
The free Sticky Sauce Link Checker ( http://www.stickysauce.com/cgi-local/linkcheck/linkcheck.pl ) only checks a single Web page at a time. So, either you enter your URLs one at a time, or you create a single page (it doesn’t have to be pretty, since your site visitors will never see it) with all your URLs listed. This is what I do for my ebooks — I make a single page with all the links to speed up the process of checking them.
Lucy MacDonald says
I love the idea of stickysauce link checker, but haven’t been able to get it to work on my howtostudy.org site.
Maybe this is because I skipped one of your steps or …
The howtostudy site is a jump site to college resources, which change constantly. ARGHH.
Each page has 10 sites listed. Do I need to make a separate page for each college listing so stickysauce can check it?
Maintaining the site is slowing down the work of researching and putting up new material!
Rosemary Ellen Harris says
I always wondered how you can keep your URL’s everfresh!