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Posted by: Nicole Kiefer | on August 22, 2016
When you publish on Amazon you get offered to create an author page, https://authorcentral.amazon.com
Now I noticed many authors, especially older in age or young in the publishing business not using this cost-free tool. I asked here and there why those authors aren’t using it, some didn’t know it existed, while others said: They didn’t want to brag or promote themselves but their work. – That they didn’t want to share personal information with strangers. – That they didn’t know what to do with it or that they didn’t see the usage in it.
Although I used the author page feature from day one, I didn’t explore its potential. All I did was put my bio in and add my books at first. Then a while later I added my blog, after that I began to discover what else I could do there.
The thing with Amazon is, no matter if you publish solely with them, have your books in kindle select or just in the standard program, that page is yours. The other thing is, Amazon is high in search engine ranking. Meaning, your books are part of that as well, and your author page too.
So, let’s start with what you can do with your author page and what benefit it brings.
After creating an account at author central (the URL on top of the article) you land on an intro page, which in my mind is useless. It tells you a few news, but not really much about what to do with that page you just created.
So let’s jump to that rider up on top of the side that says, Author Page. It should look like this, only empty.
On your left you can add your bio, that doesn’t mean you have to divulge personal information. There should never be an address, phone number or email in a bio, you don’t even have to say when and where you are born if you don’t want to.
What you should talk about in the bio is why you are writing, how much you love it, for whom you do it, or how you got started doing it. Neither does it have to be long, a few sentences, a paragraph or two is enough most of the times.
Now under your bio is the option to add a blog. If you have one, do add it. And use it wisely, took me a while to figure out how to do that. Amazon sucks when it comes to promoting your promo, like a countdown deal or you reduced the price, or you have it for free for a day or two. So there seems no way to promote what you are doing on Amazon, right? Wrong!
If you connected your blog, the entries show up on your author page. If you have a book reduced in price, or running a promotion, write a blog post about it. That way it’s on you author page at least, then promote your author page instead. That promotes the book you’re promoting and all the others as well.
Underneath the blog feature you find an event feature, which is a nice thing in my mind for anyone who does a lot of outings with their books. Use it when you go on trade shows, farmer markets, conventions, conferences, or book store signings. Whatever you do, wherever you go to offer your books, make it known. Even if you don’t have anyone look at Amazon directly, someone might be looking for you with Google and your event would show up through Amazon.
Now let’s go on to the right part of the first page. You find on the top there a nice, short link to your author page. Very good for using it in Twitter, because it’s so short.
Underneath is a space for photos, you can add your author picture there or pictures from events you attended. And under that you can add book trailers, or videos from events you took part in.
All of those things become part of Amazon and in turn get easier found by search engines.
Let’s move on to the second page, named, Books.
Looks totally boring, doesn’t it? And of course when you begin it looks also empty. On top you find a button marked add my books. You’ll need your Asin or ISBN to add your books, do add them all.
This is where most make the mistake not too look deeper, and I was no exception to this. Once your book is added, click on it. I never did until recently, and I know there are many that haven’t either. When you do this page will come up, and it’s an important page.
On top are the book info’s, nothing you can do there. Now, the first part right under those info’s however, is important. Do you have reviews that couldn’t be shared on Amazon because that person didn’t have an account? A comment in the newspaper, or on Goodreads? A magazine that wrote about your book or a friend who commented. Haven’t you thought how stupid it is that nobody gets to see those reviews when shopping on Amazon? Now, that is what this first button is for. There you can add Editorial Reviews you got through other avenues then Amazon. Important always name the origin, don’t use links and make the comment italic, it looks better.
Now below that is the book description you entered for your book, it will change automatically when you change it on your publishing page. So nothing to do there or to worry about.
Below that you add a message from The Author about the book. I use it to say what inspired me to write it, or what topic I try to raise awareness of or what is unusual in your mind about your book. What makes it stand out from any other.
If you have a hardcover with sleeve the next one is of interest for you, here you can enter the text Amazon wouldn’t show, the text you have inside on the flap. That can be an added incentive for a reader to buy the book.
Same counts for the part where you can add the back of the book if it differs from you description.
And last you can add a short bio again. Keep it short, in my experience shorter is better in this case. If someone wants to know more they can read the long bio on your author page.
In principle this page is the really important one. For two reasons, the reviews you can add and the part where you tell about what inspired you. Those two can make a difference between a buy or a buyer walking away.
Within your author central is also a Sales Rank slider and a Customer Review slider.
The first one is a nice and easy way to see how your book is doing in the big picture, or you as author on Amazon.
The Customer Review slider is more of interest since it shows you all your reviews throughout all your books in one place.
Makes it easier than pulling up each and every detail page, especially once you have more than one or two books. From that page you have the option of answering/commenting on a review, look at it as shown on your detail page and check out the reviewer.
In conclusion, using this feature offered by Amazon should be something any indie author should utilize. It can help with sales, and it doesn’t cost you anything but a little of your time to set it up. You can only gain from using it, or at least that’s my belief.