What sets Amazon apart from other retailers, is its support of the independent publishing community with various tools and programs. One powerful tool available is Amazon Author Central.
If you’re unfamiliar with Amazon’s free Author Central tool or don’t know how it works, don’t worry; I’m here to break it down and make it easy for you to get up and running.
This guide will take you from a newbie, to Author Central pro in a snap!
Why use Amazon’s Author Central in the first place?
It’s no secret that Amazon is a huge influencer in today’s publishing climate. With online consumer spending and information consumption skyrocketing, book buyers and readers are flocking online to purchase books and find information about authors.
If that’s where readers and buyers are going, then it makes sense for you to be found there as well and that’s where Amazon’s Author Central comes into play.
If you’re selling a print book or eBook on Amazon, you should certainly be taking advantage of Amazon’s Author Central. Good news is, this is not something you’ll have to update regularly unlike Facebook or Twitter. Once you’re account it up and running, you’ll rarely have to update it.
Benefits of having an Author Central Page
You, the author, have control
You can decide what appears on your book’s listing and edit it anytime you like to keep your listings current, without relying on a service desk for everything little thing.
Improves Amazon Search
If you want to sell books, then improved visibility of your books in searches by Amazon customers is key.
Track your sales by country
From within your Amazon Author Central account, you can track sales and see which countries your book is being purchased from. At the time of this writing, this tracking excludes eBooks.
Here’s exactly what Amazon’s Author Central allows you to do.
|– Add a photo and bio||– View and edit your list of books|
|– Add your blog feed||– Join the ‘Search Inside the Book’ program|
|– Add your upcoming events||– Track your sales by country|
|– Display videos, such as a book trailer||– Become an Amazon Associate|
|– Add your Twitter feed||– Create a custom link to your Amazon Author Page|
Before we get into the steps of creating and optimizing your Author Central Page, here are the things you’ll need to have with you ready.
- Your standard Amazon account login details
- Book product information
- Author bio (About the Author)
- Author photo
- Twitter handle (eg: @BookCoverCafe)
- Blog feed address
- Book trailer (if you have one)
Creating your new Author Central account
The first step is joining by creating your account. Go to the Create your Amazon.com Author Page screen here. Even though you already have a standard Amazon account login, which you use for KDP and purchasing, you’ll still need to join via the link I just provided.
You’ll be taken to this screen below, where you’ll be required to enter in your standard Amazon account login information.
Once you login, you’ll be presented with a Terms and Conditions page. Click accept.
Next, you will confirm your identity by entering your full author name as it would appear on your books. See below.
The next screen (step 2 of 3) asks you to search and identify your books available on Amazon. You can search by author name, book title or ISBN. Once you’ve identified your book, click this is my book link on the right hand side. Don’t worry if you have multiple books, you can add more later on. See below.
Then on the following screen, confirm this book is yours. The next screen that follows (3 of 3) will ask you to confirm your e-mail address for security purposes. See below.
Check your inbox for your confirmation email. This email will have a confirmation link. Click the link to confirm. See below.
You’ll then be taken to the Registration Complete screen. Click the Go to Author Central button to continue. See below.
Welcome to Author Central
You’ll then be taken to the Welcome to Author Central screen. Here is where you can add all your information. Now, grab your other details you prepared earlier, it’s time to update your Author Page.
(Note: I’ll be referring to the links on the Home Page, to navigate to different areas of the Author Central account, but some of these areas are also available via the blue tabs at the top).
Author Central Profile
First, click on the Author Central Profile link. This is where the majority of your profile is fleshed out. It’s important you fill out everything you can. See below.
Here you’ll update the following:
This is where you’ll tell readers a little about yourself. Make this as intriguing and interesting as you can. I suggest having a couple of colleagues and reader friends review it.
Here is where you can add your blog feed link to have your author website blog posts appear. This is a great way to keep your Author Central Profile active without you having to frequently update it!
An example of what your feed link might look like: YourWebsite.com/feed
When you’ve entered it correctly you’ll see a green status tick.
List your upcoming events such as, signings, online blog tour stops, interviews and any other notable events.
Author Page URL
This is where you can add your own custom URL. When someone clicks this link they’ll be taken straight to your Amazon Author Central Page. The key here is to keep it simple, so just stick with your author name as close as possible. An ideal use for this is to include it in your Email Signature or Facebook Page.
You can use letters, numbers, dashes, periods and underscores, but no spaces are allowed.
Very important: You will only be allowed to choose your URL once, so choose carefully.
Add your professional author photos here. No photos of you in your pajamas holding your cat. You can add up to 8 photos.
This is a great opportunity to show off your book trailer or any media interviews you’ve had.
Display your latest tweets here. Like your blog feed, this will help keep your Author Central Page active. Click the Add Account button and enter your Twitter handle, such as @BookCoverCafe.
View and edit your list of books
Click the list of your books link to edit and add any other books you have available on Amazon.
Add a book
Below the are we missing a book? heading, click the orange Add more books button to search for your other books and add them. Any additional books you’ve added will appear within 5 days.
Edit your book details
This is your chance to make your book listing really sing. Under the orange add more books button, your books available for editing are displayed. Here you want to add any professional reviews. A good product description is the difference between closing a sale and the reader disappearing into the Amazon wilderness.
Your book description is essentially sales copy and needs to focus on the benefits to the potential customer. Make it as compelling as possible. You may have to rewrite this a couple of times to get it right. Put your most exciting and glowing reviews up front, these alone often convert browsers into buyers.
After your reviews, put a brief description about your book. DO NOT go into huge, lengthy detail here. If you click the to your bibliography link, it will also take you to the screen to add your other books.
Track your sales by country
By clicking the Sales Info tab at the top you can access sales information by country of purchase. The charts show each book format copies sold as reported by BookScan, for the time period that was selected.
Join ‘Search Inside’
This a free program for publishers and authors to enable the ‘Look Inside’ feature for books. This allows potential customers to take a peek inside the first few pages of the book to get a sense of what the book is about and quality. This feature also improves search results for your books.
Search Inside is automatically added for your Kindle titles within a week of uploading your title. This feature via your Author Central Page, is handy for adding this to your print books which look better in Search Inside. To sign-up for search inside, make sure you are logged in and then go to the sign up page here.
Success favours those who take action!
Make sure you take time to create and complete your Amazon Author Central Page. If you’ve reached this and completed your profile as you read through, I congratulate you on taking instant massive action!
Hopefully, this guide makes it easy for you. I’d love to hear your feedback below.
Being found in the Amazon