Using TinyURL in Books

At one point in my career I avoided the use of URL shortening sources because readers complained that they couldn’t be sure where the URL would take them. For example, a TinyURL URL has the host in it. The TinyURL for my blog is The article, Secure Options for URL Shortening, discusses the whole matter of URL shortening security in more detail, but at least some organizations still don’t trust the process.

The problem I’m encountering as both a writer and a reader is that URLs, especially technical URLs, are getting progressively longer. I’m reading one book right now where some URLs are spreading over multiple lines in the text and typing them by hand is a nightmare. Some of my readers are starting to complain to me as well. They don’t want to type a URL that extends over multiple lines in the book, so they’re not looking at that really cool resource I found that explains some technical detail in a manner that I can’t really include in the book due to space limitations.

The way around the URL shortening problem is to use a site like TinyURL that has a trick you can apply to verify where a URL goes. In this case, you simply add the word preview to the URL like this: Now you can see where the URL goes before you go there, making the use of TinyURL significantly safer.

What I need to know before I start adopting TinyURL in my books for all URLs is whether this would produce major discontent among my readers or you would welcome the change with relief. Personally, I think the use of TinyURL will spare everyone a lot of frustration. However, I need to know what you think. Please write with your thoughts and concerns to [email protected].