As you read that title, did you indie authors think one more thing to do? I get that feeling sometimes…but this post (and a few more in this short series) is very important. If you don’t have an Amazon author central page, you need one…right now. And once you create your page, you need to make sure you keep it up-to-date (like I sometimes forget to do). In this post, I’m going to cover some of the basics of your author central page, and then in future posts, I’ll cover some lesser-known things about Amazon author central (trust me, there’s one very important point you’ll want to know before you upload an ebook, so stay tuned)…
Indie Authors – What Is Amazon Author Central?
I’ll bet most of you have an author central page, but for those who don’t know, Amazon has provided us indie authors with a page that shows buyers all of our books, our bio and more. One thing I find is that new authors will see an author page when they’re poking around Amazon, and they assume that Amazon creates this page. Wrong. You have to do this. It’s not hard:
- Go to www.authorcentral.amazon.com
- You can log in (if you have an existing Amazon customer account) or create a new account
That’s it – once you’re logged in, you’ll see this page:
Indie Authors – The Author Central Profile
There are a number of things you can do on the Amazon author central profile page. It’s extremely important to utilize everything that Amazon is giving you. Remember, as much as we might not like how Amazon is trying to corner the ebook market, they have still given us some great tools to help us market ourselves. Take advantage of this. Let’s go over what you’ll want to fill out.
Indie Authors – The Author Biography
First, fill out your author central bio. Click on the link under Update your Author Page. This is the place where you want to create a bio that will pull your readers in. I’ve seen many theories on what’s best to do here, so these are just my own suggestions:
- make your bio snappy and enticing – readers want to know something interesting about you
- keep it short – readers don’t want to read a book about you
- if any of your books or writing has won awards, put award-winning in the bio
- if any of your books have been bestsellers, put bestseller in the bio (if any of your books are NYT bestsellers, note that)
- I personally like humorous (or clever) so you might think about adding a touch of humor or cleverness, but only if it really reads as humorous or clever
- a bit of your past history
- links to your website and blog (Amazon won’t create the hyperlink, but it’s good to have these listed)
Indie Authors – The Blog and Twitter Links
Amazon allows you to link to your blog. Do this. It allows readers another avenue to discover more about you. And Amazon will show new blog posts within 24 hours of you posting them. This is especially good if agents are checking you out (and they do, I’ve heard them talk about looking up and tracking authors on Amazon). Also add your Twitter account and Amazon will post your latest tweets.
Indie Authors – Events
If you have any upcoming events, you can add them to your profile page. How cool is that? You can write a detailed description of the event (say, a book signing), you can add the address where you’ll be, a particular book that will be featured (you get a drop-down list of all the books you’ve added to your author central account) and the time of the event. And your readers will see this. It’s another great way to get the word out about you and your books.
Indie Authors – Photos
You can add photos of yourself and your books (or other images). At bare minimum, I would add a picture of yourself. Those of you who follow my blog know that I think it’s extremely important to have a picture of yourself, even if you’re camera-shy. Your fans want to know what you look like, not your dog, cat or whatever. You can add more than one photo, and you can reorder them, but make sure your bio section shows a picture of you.
Indie Authors – Video
You also have the option of adding video. This is great if you have book trailers, videos from book signings, or the like. Remember that people are becoming more and more visual (at least when it comes to the Internet and social media), so entice them with some great videos that help sell your books.
Indie Authors – The Author Page URL
This one is cool and I’m not sure too many indie authors know about it. Amazon lets you create a unique author url. Mine is:
This may not be a big deal if you only have one or two books available, but if you have a lot (like I do), this url can be great. Instead of putting urls to your individual books on email signatures and the like, you can just add your amazon author link and people are taken to a page with all your books. Nice, huh….
That’s it for the profile section of your Amazon author central page. Stay tuned, as we will be covering more important information in future posts…
Do you have an Amazon author central page? Tell us what you’ve done in your profile section.