Place hyperlinks in your nonfiction ebook

One of the advantages of an ebook over a paper book is the ability to link to other pages with a mere touch of your fingertip, which is especially useful if you write nonfiction. While a paper book’s footnote or bibliography requires the reader to physically move to a library or bookstore to obtain a copy of that book, links can be set up within ebooks to take you to that book, usually by purchasing it online right from your ereader or tablet. Or a link in your ebook might take a reader to a video you’ve posted on YouTube or your social media sites.

These hyperlinks also can be used to link text within a book. For example, the table of contents can be linked to the corresponding chapters, while footnote numbers can be linked to the full list of notes at the end of the ebook.

If using Microsoft Word to create your ebook, making a hyperlink to another website is easy. Simply use the linking function as if the ebook were a file or document you were going to send electronically. The links will survive the upload of your ebook to both Kindle DP and Smashwords.

To make a link within your ebook, which is being created using Microsoft Word, follow these instructions.

One question that often arises is if the URL for a website should be written out in an ebook. Arguably this is unnecessary in an ebook, which are downloaded through the Internet, so the ereader likely is connected at other times to Wi-fi. Most ereaders and tablets will display a web page you. Even if the ebook is being read where there is no Wi-fi connection (such as in a car), the reader always can bookmark the page containing the link, which seems far more convenient than writing the URL down on a piece of paper for later reference (Apparently to be used when the reader has a Wi-fi connection and can access the page through the ebook.). Of course, in the paperback version of your book, the URL needs to be spelled out as there is no link.


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.