Online Book Samples for Use with Social Media

Twitter and Facebook are easy-to-use channels for bookshops to reach out to readers.

Social media posts with ebook samples also tend to get more likes and re-shares than those without. Posts with free content are more likely to be clicked, too. The net effect of online samples in social media posts is that they raise awareness for a book and drive sales.

On this page we show how bookshops can enrich and customise social media posts using the Jellybooks DISCOVERY platform.

Integrating Online Book Samples into Social Media Posts

Online samples are easy to integrate into Twitter and Facebook posts.

The best position on Twitter is to add the sample URL at the end of the post. By default, a cover image of the book against a white background will appear below the tweet when using online samples provided through the Jellybooks DISCOVERY platform.

screenshot of two tweets with sample links and embedded preview cover and title
Tweets by Blackwell’s @blackwellbooks using online book samples

The best position on Facebook is to add the sample URL in the first few lines of the post. By default, a cover image of the book will appear below the Facebook post (no need to add an image using Facebook Publisher tools) when using online samples provided by Jellybooks.

When including multiple links, an image will only appear for the last URL used. This applies to both Twitter and Facebook. However, the links remain clickable whether an image appears or not.

Screenshot demonstrating that tweets only show preview for the last link inserted.
Tweet examples showing that only the last link in a tweet is displayed as image at the bottom of the tweet. Tweets feature @dkbooks, @foyles, @AfroriBooks and @CityBooksinHove

Retrieving Online Sample Links for Use on Social media

Bookshops can access non-personalised sample links by visiting our Express Sample Page (no registration required).

Registration offers bookshops the additional advantage of personalising the sample links with bookshop information and buy links as chosen by each bookshop.

Personalising Online Samples

Samples can contain a buy button at the end and in the navigation menu.

Bookshops that are active on social media but do not have an online bookshop of their own can elect to include links to or with their own affiliate codes. Alternatively, bookshops can choose to include a buy page with the name of the bookshop, the bookshop address, and the bookshop’s opening hours along with an optional “reserve this book” button that will send an email to the bookshop with the details entered by interested readers along with the details of the book having been sampled.

All personalisation features require bookshops to set up a free Jellybooks partner account. For more details on how to personalise sample links, see our personalisation for bookshops page.

Screenshots of various buy pages illustrating the some of the permutations available.
Buy pages featuring bookshop buy link (Mostly Books), affiliate link (Chorleywood bookshop), affiliate link (B for Butterfly), and a bookshop page with ‘reserve this book’ button (Ullapool bookshop).


All Jellybooks links contain open graph images. These are clickable images that appear below the link in a social media post (if there are multiple links, the image will only appear below the last link).

By default the cover image will be displayed against a white background, but these images can be customised to be bespoke to each bookshop by using the Jellybooks SMART links functionality.

Screenshot of comparing a tweet with a standard preview with another using a customised smart link.
Online SAMPLE of ‘Mesozoic Art’ showing standard version (left) and SMART link version (right)

Bookshop wishing to create a SMART link need to visit the Jellybooks Bookshop portal, search and select the book of interest, and then use the CREATE SMART link button.

screenshot of the excerpt page for creating smart links
Screenshot of the Jellybooks bookshop portal EXCERPT page for inserting buy link and creating SMART links.

SMART links work with Twitter, Facebook, Mastodon, WhatsApp, and iOS messenger. Images need to be 1200 pixels wide and 600 pixels high (1200 x 600). Videos or animated gifs will unfortunately not work.

Additional information for bookshops:

The Jellybooks DISCOVERY service was developed with financial support from Innovate UK and Arts Council England.