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Affiliate Hyperlinks in a PDF eBook

Discussion in 'Programming and Scripts' started by dwarrior, Sep 11, 2006.

  1. dwarrior

    dwarrior New Member

    Hello Folks,

    I'm a newbie so don't split your gut over this silly question.

    I'm publishing and selling a series of eBooks on diabetes and I have a
    few affiliate programs that I'd like to particate in.

    Here's my problem. The eBooks are first formated in MS Word, then converted to PDF.

    MS Word allows you to place hyperlinks in the text that work fine in Word.
    But they don't work when the file is converted to pdf.

    For example, if I wanted to promote the book; "Fasting Can Save Your Life"
    on Amazon, I want this title to be shown in the pdf file. When the customer clicks on it I want them to be directed to that product page on Amazon. I don't want them to see my affiliate link or code.

    Again, this works great in Word, but in pdf you have to write out the entire URL link (http://www.amazon.com/etc., etc.) and expose your affiliate code.

    Can someone resolve this problem.


  2. terraleads
  3. lingstar

    lingstar Affiliate affiliate

    Use a redirect


    I get around that problem by simply using a redirect for all of my affiliate links.

    For example, my affiliate link for Download Guard (a way to automatically electronically deliver products once bought) is http://www.richhermit.com/help/cbguard.html . You'll see when you click on it that you're automatically forwarded to the correct site...via my affiliate link.

    I wrote up a brief tutorial on how to cloak your affiliate links at http://www.lingstar.com/knowledgebase/entry/1/21/ . Scroll to the part that says, home-grown. This idea works great in PDF files - that's how I produce all of mine.

    Hope that helps,
  4. dwarrior

    dwarrior New Member

    Redirecting Links

    Thanks Barbara,

    If my affiliate links are embedded in a PDF file (not HTML webpages)
    how can anyone change my affilate codes and steal my commissions?

    The pdf file is supposed to unalterable.

    Do you mean someone could purchase my pdf eBook, alter my affiliate codes and redistribute it to reap my commissions?


  5. lingstar

    lingstar Affiliate affiliate

    Hi Patrick,

    I'm sorry, I wasn't clear. Instead of using the straight affiliate link in your pdf file, you'd use a placeholder link that contains a redirect.

    Thus, let's say that my affiliate ID is "lingstar' and my affiliate link I want to use is
    http://lingstar.richhermit.hop.clickbank.net .

    Of course, I don't want to use


    in my pdf file, as anyone can substitute their ID for mine. ie, instead of clicking on your link, they can look at the link, remember it, type it into notepad, change the affiliate ID to their own, and then copy that back into the browser. Result? A lost commission.

    Instead, I will create a NEW file on my own website/server/homepage/etc. that redirects people to the product via my affiliate link - ie,


    shows exactly how the above is done. It uses the "meta refresh" tag like so:

    meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0; URL=http://lingstar.richhermit.hop.clickbank.net"

    The "content=0" means, forward immediately (ie, wait 0 seconds), and the URL=http://lingstar.richhermit.hop.clickbank.net means, forward the person to that particular URL. Notice how it has my affiliate link embedded.

    Thus! To recap:

    Instead of using:


    in my pdf file, I would use:


    It cannot be modified from the pdf and it does a good job in hiding my affiliate link.

    Hope that helps!

    Best wishes,
  6. dwarrior

    dwarrior New Member

    Hello Barbara,

    Your'e being very helpful, but I must be dense.

    My affiliate link is cloaked in a way in the eBook.

    When customers click on the book title: "Fast Can Save Your Life"

    they are directed to an Amazon page where they can purchase that title and I get a commission.

    My affiliate code does show at the top however, in the URL section.

    If they want to bypass my code, they would simply type in the main Amazon.com URL and purchase the book.

    They might even replace my code with theirs. I couldn't stop this even with a re-direct or link cloaker.

    With your re-direct html code, I would have to build a webpage for each title that I promote. I'm going to promote 110 titles!

    And I still don't understand how they can alter anything in a pdf file. It's supposed to be locked!

    Do you mean they can alter my affiliate links and then re-distribute my eBook for FREE on the net?

    I've bought other products from Jim Edwards before and I think his Affiliate Link Cloaker is probably worthwhile, but I'm still not clear how someone could hyjack my codes if it is embedded in a pdf file, and I have control over the eBook sales. Please clarify.

    Thank you for all your help.

  7. lingstar

    lingstar Affiliate affiliate

    Quite correct. I have more than 200 redirects myself. It's tedious, I know....but I view it as a necessary evil.

    There are several programs out there that will allow you to unlock and edit a pdf file. Consider:


    'Tis quite annoying.

    Theoretically, I suppose yes. Of course, if you find this happening you can contact the ISP....

    I didn't get your question at the beginning; my apologies. I hope I have cleared things up.

    Best wishes,
  8. JeffR

    JeffR New Member

    Rather than building a page for each title, there are other solutions. I've done both. On one site, I built a /recommends director and use redirects for it. It could be done using .htaccess (I don't) or a PHP/HTML page as described above.

    The other solution is to use a database. I found a program called FastClickSQL Lite which does this. You create the database/categories for your links, which gives you a decent management system and it handles it all. Best thing is you get some tracking on who's clicking and which links. Best of all, the LITE version is FREE. I tweaked mine a few times. I used .htaccess to give me different formatting on one site, and on another, I track a "from" parameter so I can tell which site or ad the link came from.

    ie: Normal Fastclick link...
    ie: My custom link...
    Anyway, that's just a suggestion. There's a few pieces of software that do this in a variety of ways, but I've had great luck with that one.

  9. autoecart

    autoecart New Member

    With a little work anything is possible they wouldn't have to actually alter your ebook itself but they could make their own clone of it and just insert their links. There is no way to stop it but I wouldnt worry to much about it as most will not go to that much trouble.

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