As we continue our Indie Authors and Amazon Author Central series, let’s discuss just a few more basic things you’ll want to address. But first, if you missed the first post, read Indie Authors – Do You Have An Amazon Author Central Page?). In that post you learned about setting up your author profile page. Now that you’ve completed that, let’s move on…
Indie Authors – The Sales Info Page
Amazon has added a sales info page to author central. Unfortunately, as of this writing, the sales rank graph includes BookScan data (Nielson BookScan compiles point of sale data for book sales, and they report about 75% of print book sales), which excludes Kindle and ebooks, but if you do have paperback or hardback sales, you can see a nice visual representation of your sales over time. You can also see your sales by geographical area, and if you look at your sales Rank Over Time, you get the Amazon Bestseller Rank of all the books you’ve added to author central (this is a key point – don’t assume it’s all your books – it’s only the books you’ve added, so if you forget to add a book to author central, it won’t show up in the rankings). You can also see how many places your book has risen or fallen, and this is updated hourly.
Indie Authors – Author Rank
Another feature of author central is the author rank. Your rank is based on the sales of all of your books on Amazon.com (ebooks, print, and audio), it’s updated hourly, and it’s essentially comparing you to other authors on Amazon. You can filter your rank by the genres you’ve selected for your books as well (for instance, I can see my rank by Mysteries & Thrillers (or each as its own subcategory) or Horror or Literature & Fiction). This may seem kind of trivial, but by studying your rank in various categories, you can see how to best categorize your books so readers find you (for a great look at all of this, read Robert Chazz Chute’s post). Don’t overlook your author rank and what you can glean from it.
Indie Authors – Customer Reviews
Okay, we all love good reviews and we hate bad ones. If you’re an author who likes to check out those reviews (whatever they may be :)), author central collects them all in one place for you. You can filter newest to oldest (or vice versa) and highest to lowest (or vice versa). If, for whatever reason, you wanted to know more about the reviewer, you can easily do this by clicking the arrow next to the reviewer’s name and you can see their total reviews and the number of helpful votes their reviews have received. This could be useful if you felt that someone was targeting your books with bad reviews (hey, it’s happened).
That’s it for this post. Stay tuned as we’ll cover a few newer features of author central, and as promised, I’ll share one very important point that you’ll want to know. See you next post!