How to use Kindle Instant Previews to embed sample chapters from books you recommend

If you’re an author with an ebook published for Kindle, or you want to give your blog readers a preview of a Kindle book you love, I recommend Kindle instant previews.

Illustrated Tutorial: How to set up Kindle Instant Previews on any website or blog | BloggingBistro.comWhat it does

This handy tool lets you embed the cover image and a sample chapter from a Kindle ebook on your blog or website. You can also share the sample chapter as a link via email, which is a great option for e-newsletters.

The sampler (see my example, below) includes an image of the book cover, a free sample of the book, and a direct link to purchase the book from Amazon.

I tested this feature with a novel I’m currently promoting for one of my author clients. It took about two minutes to set it up, and because it’s such a no-brainer to use, I suspect I’ll use it often.

The best news

If you’re an Amazon Associates member, you can embed your Tracking ID and earn referral fees when people click your link to buy the book.

How to set up Kindle instant previews

I’m demonstrating with Merchant of Alyss, a book I’m currently promoting for my client, Thomas Locke.

Step 1:

Log in to your Amazon account and search for the book you want to share. Be sure to click on the “Kindle” format.

How to use Kindle Instant Previews to share sample chapters from books you recommend | BloggingBistro.comStep 2:

On the right side of your desktop screen, find the sharing options and click <Embed>

How to use Kindle Instant Previews to share sample chapters from books you recommend | BloggingBistro.comStep 3a: Get link

A pop-up dialogue box will display, with options to get a link (URL) or Embed on your site (HTML).

How to use Kindle Instant Previews to share sample chapters from books you recommend | BloggingBistro.comThe “get a link” option shows by default. To use it, copy and paste the link into your document:

https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B012H10BCQ&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_yxNPwb066R1G1

That’s a long, unwieldy link, so I embedded the link in anchor text, like this:

Start reading Merchant of Alyss by Thomas Locke right now!

Another option would be to shorten the link using a tool such as bitly, like this:

Start reading a free sample of Merchant of Ayss right now at http://amzn.to/1SfyR7D

If you’re not sure how to embed a link in anchor text, check out my blog post, “How to create a hyperlink in a blog post.”

Step 3b: Embed code

To embed the sampler on your website or blog, click the “Embed on your site (HTML)” button.

If you have an Amazon Associates account, click “Add Amazon Associates ID to earn advertising fees” and insert your Tracking ID (if you forgot your ID, like I did, log in to your Associates account and it will display in the upper lefthand corner of your screen.)

How to use Kindle Instant Previews to share sample chapters from books you recommend | BloggingBistro.comClick “See more options.”

In this area, you can:

  • Choose the image size of the book cover (Small, Medium, Large, or Custom size).
  • Decide whether to show the sampler in place or to make it open in a new tab. I noticed that Amazon allows you to display the sampler “in place” only when you select the “Large” or “Custom” book cover sizes.
  • Show the “Buy” button the book cover (I recommend showing this button, particularly if you have an Amazon Associates account).

As you select options, you’ll see a preview of what your promo will look like.

Step 4:

Copy the embed code and log in to the admin area of your website or blog.

Click the HTML tab (in WordPress, the tab is named “Text.”)

How to use Kindle Instant Previews to share sample chapters from books you recommend | BloggingBistro.comPosition your cursor where you want to insert the sampler and paste in the embed code you copied earlier.

When the user clicks “Free Preview,” they’ll see an image of the cover, which dissolves into the sampler in a second or two.

How to use Kindle Instant Previews to share sample chapters from books you recommend | BloggingBistro.comAs with any Kindle app, the user can enlarge or reduce the font size for easy readability.

When the user nears the end of the sampler, another dialogue box pops up, prompting you to buy the book on Amazon, download the Kindle app, and receive a download link to the sampler via email or text.

It’s all neat and tidy and user-friendly.

Terms of Service

Be sure to review Amazon’s Terms of Service before using this feature.

Some key restrictions:

You may not display the Content Viewer on any website that:

(a) promotes or contains sexually explicit materials;

(b) promotes violence or contains violent materials;

(c) promotes or contains libelous or defamatory materials;

(d) promotes discrimination, or employs discriminatory practices, based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, or age;

(e) promotes or undertakes illegal activities; or

(f) Amazon otherwise deems is unsuitable or inappropriate.

How will you use Kindle instant previews?

I like the “embed” feature because I can easily create a gallery of thematically-related books. For instance, I could write a blog post titled, “My 5 favorite content marketing books” and feature excerpts from all of them.

Book reviewers can embed the sampler to accompany their review.

Authors and publicists can embed the sample chapter on the “book” page of any website, as well as in blog posts.

What ideas do you have for using this tool? Please share in the Comments.

Tweet It:

Free Blog Checklist

Click this image to download your free checklist that includes EVERYTHING you need to do prior to publishing a blog post! Or simply text PREPUB to 44222!

Click this image to download your free checklist that includes EVERYTHING you need to do prior to publishing a blog post! Or simply text PREPUB to 44222.

  • Dannye Williamsen

    Thank you so much for this info. Sometimes you have so many other things on your plate that you don’t notice all these type things!

  • You’re welcome, Dannye. I stumbled across the info yesterday, when I received my Kindle Direct Publishing e-newsletter. “Why didn’t I know about this before?” I asked myself. I immediately wrote the blog post because I knew it was a feature my readers would want to know about, and use.

  • Leeann Cronk

    Can we use this at the end of our books to guide readers to other books? If so, would I select the link or embed feature?

  • That’s a good question, Leeann. You’d have to check their Terms of Service to see if there are restrictions on use (there’s a link to the Terms in my blog post). If it is legal to do so and you’re talking about a printed book, I recommend getting the link and then creating a short link from a service such as bit.ly (you can track clicks on the link with them). That way, you can print the full URL of the link and it’ll be short and easy to recreate from print. For an ebook, I’d embed the feature, if they allow it.